I've been home for a little over four months now. After finishing up in Takaoka I went to Nagasaki for three days of what turned out to be a lot of soul searching. During that time my sister got engaged to her boyfriend and announced that in 2011 I am going to be doing some traveling that I had not budgeted for.
Nagasaki proved to be an overwhelmingly awesome time for me. Three days of touristing, traveling and learning about the history of Japan's international involvement left me wanting more. I am now watching my way through Ryomaden thanks to dramacrazy.net. Ryomaden is about Sakamoto Ryoma and his involvement in kickstarting the Meiji Restoration a lot of which was sparked in Nagasaki.
Nagasaki made me realise my own mortality too and how important it is to be prepared to lay your life down for whatever cause you are involved with, be that your hobbies, your city, your country or your own spirituality. The place was full of stories of passionate people who died doing what they loved, fighting for their freedom or simply loving where they are from. It was really powerful for me to be there and become more and more connected to Japan through knowledge of its history and I have been doing a lot more of that since I have been home too.
After Nagasaki I stayed with my host family just outside of Osaka in Nara Prefecture. That was a really special time too and I learned a lot. They gave me so much from taking me to Ise to helping me cancel my cellphone which was a disaster and something I am still working on. Softbank and any other telco must be treated with distrust in my opinion. But my host family helped me to see some more of the history of Kansai and to really enjoy Osaka for my last few days in Japan. It was a really special time and I don't think I will ever forget it. In fact I don't see myself forgetting Japan any time soon to be honest. The JET Programme was totally worth it!
I came home and quickly got into my studies. During my last month in Japan I started a post graduate diploma in Environmental Management with the first class I took being Maori Values and Resource Management. That class was one of the best I have ever taken and made me feel so much more connected to the place I am from.
I have caught up with friends from intermediate school, high school and university. Not mention reconnecting with my mother's side of the family which has been really cool since I am by far the youngest cousin. I am definitely looking forward to more time with friends and family as I settle into whatever it is I am meant to do.
I have also been job hunting with 4 interviews in 4 months and not one of them accepting me which is actually fine because I think the universe is pointing me down a path which is ultimately going to give me a career that I can be completely passionate about and give me all to. The last thing I want out of life is to be doing something that I don't actually care about.
More about what I plan to do in 2011 closer to 2011. It's not set in stone yet.
Have a lovely day!