Friday, 22 May 2009

10 months earlier: July 2008

Why is it always raining in this country?" Denis-Jose stared at his sorry looking tomato plants which had seen way too much water and no where near enough sun. Was that a mould he could see on their leaves? It was the end of July but it may as well have been the beginning of March. Despite a promising early spring the British weather had once again lived up to its reputation of being, well, rubbish.

"What?" shouted Gavin from the kitchen, "Can't hear you over the noise of the kettle!"

"I wonder what the weathers like in Japan?" Denis continued to talk to no one in particular as he stared at the grim darkening sky, from his balcony in Battersea, London.

"I heard you say something about Japan?" said Gavin, wondering over and handing him a cup of tea.

"Did I?" Denis frowned. "Sorry, I didn't realise I was speaking out loud. lost my inner voice. I was just wondering what the weather was like in Japan." Gavin, sat down on the couch with a slightly puzzled look on his face. Denis Sighed. "I think there is something I should tell you. Do you remember I said I was waiting to hear about a new job?..."

* * * * *

17 years ago, in July 1992, I quit my job, stuffed some things in a backpack and headed off into the big wide world. The plan was to travel round Europe and Asia, whilst I figured out who I was, where I was going and what the meaning of life was. You know, typical early 20's angst stuff. I thought I'd be gone for a year or so, but aside from the occasional visit back home*, it was 13 years before I came back to live in the UK. I returned full time to London life in July 2005. Older, wiser, battle-scarred and ready to get on with the rest of my life. Or so I thought.

My return home was the right thing at the right time. I'd been away for a very long time. Socially, I had a lot of catching up to do! I formed new friendships - some of the best I've ever made - and enjoyed some the craziest, most amazing, social engagements of my life. But after 3 years it all started to feel a bit hollow. Along with a string nightmare jobs, the stress of London life, a series of panic and anxiety attacks and other things, life started to feel pretty grim. In Spring 2008 I started to think it was once again time for a change in scenery.

So I applied for loads of jobs overseas. Much to my surprise I almost immediately got a positive response from an animation studio in Japan. The details were worked out pretty quickly. Could I start in a few weeks? Sure! Suddenly I had less than 4 weeks to move out of my house, tie up loose ends and move to the other side of the world! I had to cancel a long planned (paid for!), much anticipated holiday. I didn't even have time to tell everyone I was leaving. But, you know, if there's one thing I learned on my previous adventures its this: When it's time to go (and you'll know when that is), it's time to go!

One month later I was sitting on a plane heading east to the land of the rising sun.

* and one very ill-fated attempt to start a business & live in two countries at the same time