My Master Plan for the Year

With February coming to a close soon, our last month in Japan is fast approaching. Things are changing rapidly. I need to plot a course of action for the future. There are many things to consider, and not everything will be set in stone. But I do have a plan for the rest of the year.  This is it.

Our Move to Canada

Until March 22nd, I’ll be working still, but also packing and cleaning at the same time. Everything must be completely packed and everything must be ready to be taken out of the apartment by March 23rd. That’s the day we move out. We will spend the next couple days cleaning the apartment from top to bottom while our daughter stays with her grandparents. From the 26th to 29th, we have some free time to meet friends, go places we want to see for the last time while living in Japan, and restaurants we want to eat at once more. March 30th is the day we leave Japan. We’ll arrive in Vancouver the same day, although it will be at an earlier time (time travel!). And then it’s on to Vancouver Island for a week visiting family and sightseeing. We’ll then arrive in Edmonton and move in to my sister’s house.

The First Week in Edmonton

There will be a lot to do while my sister has a week off to help us run around and get things done. First order of business is to get my Japanese driver’s license and driving record translated at the Consul-General in Calgary. I need photo ID as soon as possible. I’ll then get my license changed to an Alberta license. During the rest of the week, I need to arrange health insurance for myself and my daughter, as well as change address at my bank, get my daughter’s social insurance number set up, and get her registered for kindergarten. My wife’s permanent residency will come, but not sure when. Once it does arrive, she’ll also need to have her health insurance and social insurance number set up.

Employment and Education

I already mentioned in yesterday’s video (see this post) about what I’d like to do for a job. I’m interested in working at a travel agency, bank, book store, or teaching English. To teach English, I need to get my CELTA, which is an ESL teaching certificate through Oxford University. It’s a six week course that I can do on the weekends.


April will be busy, but I think I’ll be able to get back into writing by May. I’m going to focus on writing every day at that point. I want to finish Journey to Ariadne this year and start outlining the first novel of Ariadne. I’ll also be working a lot on planning a nine part science fiction series, which consists of novellas, rather than full novels.


I will be setting up my account at YouTube for monetization, which means I’d get paid by YouTube for advertising on my videos. I’ll get that done after I set up a US dollar account for YouTube and Amazon. Best to keep that separate from my regular account, because I’d need to keep track of American income for tax purposes. I don’t expect it to amount to much this year, though.

I will continue working on videos chronicling our move to Canada and our adjustment to life there. I will also do all 30+ videos about Japanese sightseeing, as well as a new series on what it was like to live in Japan. That will be based on questions that have been asked to me on this blog. I also plan to focus on writing and book videos.


Pretty much everything will continue as usual on this blog. However, I do have the planned weekly flash fiction series to start up, hopefully in May. I’ve seen some interest in it, so that’s great. I also have plans to get guests for Authors Answer. We will see who will be guests.

Official Author Website

I should consider getting a domain name. Also, I plan on getting a lot of reference material up on the official website as I write Journey to Ariadne. I’m hoping to also do up some concept sketches and have them on the website.

Language Studying

This is more of a personal thing, rather than anything related to business. I hope to completely finish the Esperanto course on Duolingo, then get back to French, then Spanish. It would be nice to get those done this year. After those languages, probably going into 2017 and beyond, I’ll work on German, Norwegian, and Russian. But I also want to learn Greek, Dutch, and Italian.

There’s a lot to do this year. I don’t think this plan is particularly ambitious. It’s realistic and achievable. My goal is to complete every aspect of it. What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

Saying Goodbye

Today, it felt like everything was real. The move to Canada feels more real than ever. You see, I had to say goodbye to some students I’ve been teaching for several months. And this isn’t going to be the last time. It’s just beginning.

Whether it’s only a few months or several years, I have a lot of people to say goodbye to. I didn’t really know how I would feel about this, but now I do. It doesn’t feel good. It was difficult to say goodbye. I’ve met so many wonderful people in my job teaching English, and there are many I’ve been teaching for five and a half years. There are also some I have known longer, but haven’t taught recently. I won’t have the chance to properly say goodbye to them.

I’ll be saying goodbye to more coworkers, friends, and students over the coming four weeks. I’m finishing at one school next week, but I’ll be at four others next month. I feel some regret that I won’t be able to say goodbye to the students I’d taught for more than five years on Saturdays. But I’ll try keep in touch with some of them.

Eleven years in Japan is coming to an end soon. It’s such a strange feeling. I know it’s real, and it’s feeling real. I’ve been doing the same job for a long time now, so looking for another job is a daunting task. I know what I want to do. I have four jobs I want to go for, but I’ll have to see what’s available. I made a video about this. Watch it below.

Finishing this job and looking for a new one is pretty bittersweet. I started teaching English with a feeling of nervousness. I had no idea how to handle children. Now, it’s not an issue. I actually enjoy teaching kids now. I originally planned to stay in Japan for a year or two, but as time went on, I really enjoyed my job. My personal life changed a lot, but my job was constant. But with the end near and so many goodbyes to be said, this is the worst part of leaving Japan. I’m going to miss it. I’ll miss a lot of people.

I hope to someday see some of my old students again when we visit Japan. There are some old students I need to see before we leave. There are friends and coworkers I need to meet. I’m pretty sure I’ll see them again, someday.

This chapter of my life is coming to a close, but there’s an exciting new one starting soon. But I’ll never forget my amazing time in Japan. More than a quarter of my life. It’s a very large part of me now.