When January rolls around in the JET world you pretty much know what time it is: recontracting decision time. In most cases, ALTs are required to fill out and hand back their recontracting (or not) form by mid-January. It can become quite nerve-racking as you are expected to make a decision on something that will only come into effect almost 8 months down the line.
Last year it was easy to sign on the ‘yes, I want to recontract for a second year’ line as I felt Japan had so much more to offer and I hadn’t had my fill of exploring. So a second year felt like the right way forward. 🙂
However this year that decision was a little bit harder…
Yay or Nay?
So this time I decided not to recontract for a third year.
Well, the reasons aren’t really that important. I’m not leaving because I hate it here – far from it! I suppose one factor that made me think twice about recontacting for a third year was my age. I’m no spring chicken (I’m in my mid-30’s) and I want to move on from my time on JET and head back home to start on the next adventure in my life.
Teaching in Japan was never a solid career plan for me to begin with – it was more to do with the experience and adventure of living and working in a foreign country. Though now I have come to realise that teaching is quite enjoyable and am thankful that I was given this opportunity to discover it and try it out.
I will miss Japan…
I really enjoy living here and have discovered the part of me that holds a passion for teaching. There are many things here that I will miss once I am back home in South Africa (such as the convenience of everything, the brilliant salary, exploring a new culture, counting cats, etc)… but at the same time there are some things I definitely won’t miss (things that I decide not to write about 😉 ).
I will also miss writing posts on this blog. Through this blog I have have made contact with so many interesting people, many of them aspiring JETs.
The Bright Side 🙂
On the bright side, ever since I signed the form in January stating that I would not recontract, I have been making my remaining time here really count. If I had to pack up and leave tomorrow I wouldn’t have a single regret from my time in Japan. I feel that already I have seen so much and experienced so many wonderful things (just looking at my posts from the past year and a half shows all the awesome things I have done).
It’s not over quite yet!
I’m not too sure why it took me so long to write this post when I already knew in January where this year would take me. But now you know and at least there are still a few months left for me to write some more posts. So I’ll definitely be around for a little while longer. 🙂
Oh, and one last thing…
If you are an incoming 2016 JET and your placement is Hiroshima-ken (as a senior high school/prefectural JET), then there is a chance I might be your predecessor! 😀
Official Onomichi Cat Count: 99