11 + 4

chocolate cakesI’m back from my Golden Week holiday! It was nice to have a few days off to myself, and I enjoyed seeing friends as well. I did manage to improve the event calendar also – more about that on Thursday. Because today I want to tell you about that double anniversary I hinted at in my last post…

Well, the title says it all: 11+ 4 = 15. I have been living abroad for 15 years now! I left Austria on April 25th 2002 to get my PhD. Altogether, I spent some 7 years in Europe, and 8 years in Asia. And half of those, the last 4, starting on May 5th 2013, I lived here in Kyoto!

How time flies! I can hardly believe I have been here so long – except for the 4 years and a bit I spent on my PhD, this si the longest time in the last 15 years I lived in one and the same city. And since my plans with respect to Kyoto or at least Japan include “settle and die here”, I think I am on the way to a new record here. Of course, I cannot rule out a total change of direction. So far, my life did certainly not go according to plan (neither my own and surely not that of my family) so who knows what’s in store for me further down the road…

In case you’re wondering: No, I don’t have many regrets, only one and a half to be precise. The half is something I can still catch up on, and probably will be able to until the end of my life. The one full thing concerns a missed opportunity in a moment that will never return. And even there, sometimes I think I should have done it, and sometimes I think it was better that I didn’t…

At the end of the day, I don’t think it makes much of a different. There are many things in my life that in retrospect I would like to lessen the impact or at least the duration of. But at the same time I recognise that I am the sum of all my experiences, the good ones, and the bad one probably even more so. And after all these years, probably for the first time ever, I can say with deep inner conviction:

I am happy!

One thought on “11 + 4

  1. Congratulations!!!

    I only spent a year abroad for my MA and then went back home. I was too chicken to try and find my luck in the UK or Japan or wherever. So travelling is all there is for me, but that’s OK. I have never been a risk-taker and would probably have developed some kind of ulcer from all the worry and stress. ;D

    I am happy to see when it turns out well for others, though.