Photo by Matt McGee

Photo by Matt McGee

It’s been quite a while since I have written here on Simplistic Thoughts. There are a number of reasons for the hiatus. There have been many things that I wanted to blog about, but never was able  to do so because of the big changes in my life.

For the last 5 years I have been living in Miyakojima (a small island of Okinawa). My wife and I moved there after we had enough of the busy life in Tokyo. It’s an absolute beautiful place with some of the best beaches in the world and a very unique culture (the video in the top right corner of the page is of pictures I took in the first year). We loved it!

We were also able to do amazing things and have incredible experiences while we were there. My wife worked as an English trainer for the teachers and learned hula and lei making. I taught English, did internet marketing, learned the sanshin (an Okinawan banjo) and the ukulele, and tried a number of diets and exercise routines. We also ran a half-marathon, went diving and snorkeling, cave exploring, and volunteered at various events. Most importantly, we made great friends. Sounds like paradise right?

Unfortunately, Miyakojima is a small island and doesn’t provide a lot of opportunity. Jobs are few and the types of jobs available are even more limited. While there we also began to start eating more healthy. We switched to a more vegetable rich diet and since then have switched again to a complete whole foods plant based diet. For those of you who have been in Japan, you know how expensive (and difficult to get) a lot of vegetables and fruits are.

However, it was really the plans to start a family that finally made us decide to move back to the US. I moved back to California in May to look for a job with a university while my wife waited for her green card.

It was  a difficult transition for me. I left most of my friends, and being back in California was a bit of culture shock. The area had grown so much in the eight years I was gone. I realized that to live in the area I had planned, I would have about an hour and a half commute to work everyday. I also missed the subtropical weather of Miyakojima.

I looked at moving to the surrounding states, but none of them really seemed like a good place for me. It was actually my father who first suggested Hawaii. We had planned to move to Hawaii for a short span of a couple years in the future, but I never really considered it as a main home….until then. The more I researched, the more it seemed perfect to meet our needs. It is in the US, but we can still get a lot of the Japanese products and foods we are used to. The weather is warm year round and it is located in between our two families. Could a place really work out for us this well?

After waiting four more months for my wife’s green card, we met (her coming from Tokyo and me from California) at Hilo airport just a few weeks ago. I will save the slightly crazy story of the first week of our arrival for another time, but we our now settled.

We have a very small apartment, our car has Hawaii plates, we are getting used to the area, and hopefully will have locked down jobs in the close future! So far, we love it here! Now that things are a little more settled, I will be writing more often. There are so many things I have learned and experienced that I can’t wait to share!