June 2015: the guy who I was seeing at the time received unaccompanied orders for 2 years to Iwakuni, Japan. He was to go alone for 2 years and we had just begun to get to know one another so we did any logical thing that a 25 & 30 year old would do. We got married in October of 2015, we had known each other for 6 months by the time we were married and never once lived in the same town. He was in Yuma, AZ and I was in the Northern part of Los Angeles, CA. We both however had been through a lot already, he was married before and I was engaged before so this time around we knew it was right that we were meant to be. Through lots of prayers and talking with God we agreed that we would do anything to make our marriage work. So, in December of 2015 I dropped off my new husband at LAX not knowing when I would see him again let alone talk to him again.
Once he arrived to Japan he immediately started the process to get me to come as well and be on his actual orders. Countless numbers of prayers, 6 months went by the orders finally got approved and I would be on my way to Japan. I packed up the rest of our belongings and shipped them off in hopes they would arrive in one piece, which they did, mostly. In June of 2016 a year after he received these orders I landed in Japan with my new husband to start our new life in a new country.
Leaving my hometown of 26 years was a very difficult task. I was involved in my community more than the average person: Boys & Girls Club, local community college, Memorial Day & Veteran’s Day events and more. It seemed as if every week there was a new event to plan or to attend where I would see all of our friends coming together to support and raise money for these special organizations in our community. However, as much as I love my hometown and community my path was to be with my husband and to start our life together on this wild adventure God was taking us on.
We experienced not as much as we should have but we did do quite a bit. We took in the culture and learned the customs and I still find myself bowing my head from time to time when I say thank you or arigatōgozaimasu. We learned to drive on the left side of the road and the right side of the car. Hiroshima was only about a 45 minute drive away so we were able to see the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, had some of the best pizza I've ever eaten surprisingly enough and even went to Costco. Another place we were able to experience was the Akiyoshido Limestone Cave in the Yamaguchi Prefecture. Luckily we were able to also see the Cherry Blossom Season and got to take some really pretty pictures. In the town of Iwakuni lives the Kintai Bridge built in 1673 with 5 wooden arches along with the Iwakuni Castle on top of the mountain. We even adopted a 120lb German Shepherd who we named Thor & brought him back stateside with us.
Our time was cut short in Japan as we only stayed for 1 year instead of the 3 years due to pregnancy complications. All in all living in Japan was a really great and fun experience and I do miss some aspects of Japan and the Japanese culture. We did a lot of praying and followed the path that God had laid out for us, and I do hope that our paths cross with Japan again in the future.