I came back to Tokyo almost a month ago. I wouldn’t say that things have returned to normal or the way they were; although case numbers in Tokyo have been high lately, the government does not seem inclined to impose another state of emergency, and so many businesses, stores, bars and restaurants are open. But still, it doesn’t feel the same as before, and it probably never will. For me, returning to Tokyo after my three-month long hiatus in Kanazawa wasn’t as much about coming back to my old life as moving forward with my new life, something I couldn’t wrap my mind around while stuck in limbo in my old city and camping out in my old apartment complex.
One thing I had liked about my old job as a teacher at a language school was the comparative stability it afforded me, after a life of working part time in retail whilst pursuing a creative side hustle. Ironically, after getting laid off I now find myself doing the freelance/remote/digital nomad lifestyle. Like most opportunities in my life, I didn’t choose this – it sort of chose me. While on unemployment, I suddenly had more time for writing, and my clients were willing to publish more articles from me. While catching up with a friend, I mentioned I was looking for EFL work, and she connected me with an online language company. I’ve started doing some contract work for them, developing materials and teaching a few online lessons, and have high hopes that they’ll give me more permanent work in the fall.
While I didn’t really want to freelance again, I’m loving it so far. I love working from home and setting my own hours and schedule, though discipline is not my strong suit and I’m still getting used to forming my routine. I love that I can run errands and exercise during weekdays when it’s calmer and safer to be out and about in the city. I love that my livelihood now is so portable. I’ve even found a cute cafe and bakery near my apartment where I can go work if I need a change of scenery. It’s going to be hard to go back to a 40 hour a week office job, and I plan to avoid that if possible.
Actually, the reason why I haven’t been writing that much on this personal blog is because I’ve been doing so much writing for other people lately, and I want to take this opportunity to share some of that with you.
For Japan Forward, a news and culture website, I’ve been exploring the effects that the pandemic has had on different industries here in Japan, including in Buddhist temples and the religious community. For that article, click here.
For Japan Journeys, a tourism website, I’ve written 11 different articles about different topics and points of interest in Kanazawa. After two years of living there, I had plenty of material, and isolating there in the spring gave me the chance to take lots of tourist-free photos to go with the articles. Click here to check those out.
As with everyone, I long for the days when I can travel again, but for now, it’s good to be back in my own bed, and taking some time to rebuild my life.
Happy (Future) Travels,