Hey guys! We are a young married couple currently living and teaching English in Japan as high school ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) with the JET Program. We love our simple lives here in this rural town surrounded by beautiful beaches and big mountains and are blessed with amazing jobs but we both feel like teaching is not what we want to do forever. Like most people our age, we’re trying to figure out how all of our passions come together to form some sort of career. We’d rather spend the rest of our lives barely scraping by, but doing something we love than be loaded and unhappy with our jobs.
2015 was the biggest year of our lives as we graduated from the University of Oregon in June, got married in July, traveled to Europe for our honeymoon, all before finally arriving at our new Japanese home in early August! We love travelling (maybe a little too much sometimes) and have so far explored parts of the US, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, South Korea, and soon-to-be Thailand, together. Through our travels thus far, we have began to learn the ins and outs of “budget travel.” We have become passionate about exploring new places, meeting new people and trying new food without emptying our bank account. These experiences, we hope, will equip us to share tips and inspire others to do the same.
And a little about each of us:
Jon– People always ask me where I’m from and after 23 years of life I still have no idea how to answer that question. I was born in Tokyo, lived in Nagano during my elementary school years, went to middle and high school in Colorado Springs then headed out to Oregon for college before completing the loop and coming back to Japan.
I would say I was born with a sense of adventure, but apparently I was terrified of everything as a kid so we’ll just say I picked one up somewhere along the way. I’ve always had this need to explore the unknown, to see what’s on the other side, and as a result I’m notoriously bad at turning back, even when I know I should.
As much as I love adventure, I also cherish the down time. Whether it’s the stillness of nature, reading books about following Jesus, history, or religion, and a good soak in a hot tub/spring, this time recharges me. I’m not the biggest movie fan, but if I’m going to watch one it’s usually a documentary or at least something based on a true story.
Kaya– Five years ago, if you asked me, “where do you see yourself in five years?” I would have never told you that within those five years I would graduate debt-free, meet and marry the love of my life, move to Japan to teach English, travel to eight countries and three continents and continue to fall more and more in awe of Jesus. Actually, first I would tell you that I hate that question; I hate it because it encourages us to take control of our plans with little acknowledgment of what God might want to do. And for someone like me who loves planning, this can be a dangerous, faithless place to be. That being said, over time I am coming to realize that nothing ever happens the way I plan. When I put the plans into God’s hands and let him do the work, that’s when life really happens.
He knows that a bowl of healthy food and experimenting with new recipes as I pretend to be an amateur chef is my form of therapy. He knows that I am in awe of his ocean and the depths of the sea. He knows that I passionately want every woman and young girl to know that they are beautiful and worthy of love. He knows that I would rather watch a movie than spend weeks attempting to finish a book. He knows that I enjoy the hunt for a good deal, even if it makes me look cheap. He knows that I have a slight obsession with ice cream. He knows that I whole-heartedly desire to be a balanced and devoted wife, daughter, sister and someday mother. He knows that I am often a Martha, busily working without stopping to rest in His presence. He knows my strengths and He knows my weaknesses. He knows me. This is why when I think about the future and the passions God has given me, I can rest assured that He has it figured out. And thank goodness for that.
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