|Some pursue an overseas education in order
to experience other cultures.
Some head to exotic lands to pursue romance and adventure.
And some are just trying to escape financial, political, religious, or
legal problems back home.
We were none of those.
We were just sitting in a small house, in a small town,
on a small island, in the state of Vermont, watching another foot of snow
fall, when a call came from my manager.
Would we like to live and work in Japan for a year?
We laughed, until we looked outside at the three feet of snow on the
ground and sub-zero temperatures.
Then we said, "Why not?"
At least it would get us out of the house.
Our friends and family were happy to help us with the
They pointed out all the good things that we'd be
leaving behind, starting - of course - with our friends and family.
Then they added ESPN, MTV, no smoking restaurants, Fourth of July,
Thanksgiving, Christmas, two car garages, cars to put in the garage, and
They neatly avoided American politics, the religious right, serial
killers, junk mail, and reality TV.
Then they pointed out all the obstacles that we would
face in Japan.
We listened, because they meant well, but in the end we decided that we
weren't going to let raw food, exchange rates, earthquakes, typhoons,
yakuza, language barriers, Godzilla, or the kamikaze work ethic get in our
A more immediate obstacle, it turns out, was marriage.
Ours was not to be a shotgun wedding, but more of a 'chopstick' wedding,
necessary to ease our Japanese visa and tax documentation.
We talked about it, and decided that if our love could span oceans,
countries, and political preferences, it could probably survive marriage
So we packed, visited our parents, flew to California, took care of our
paperwork, got married beneath the redwood trees of Santa Cruz, and then
flew to Japan for a one year honeymoon.
That was pretty much it. There was no grand plan.
We didn't leave on a search for wealth and riches.
We didn't come to seek eastern enlightenment.
We just said why not, to a one year contract.
Five contracts and seven years later, we're still here - working on the
world's longest honeymoon.