Saturday, May 11, 2013

How did we Get to Japan?!?

For folks who missed the “who, what, when and why” (the “where” should be obvious), this was the setup:
  • Alex wanted to try clinic work (as opposed to hospital work).
  • Heidi spends half her time in SE Asia.
  • Alex and Heidi both like to travel, and had talked (vaguely) about living abroad someday.
  • No kids at this point.

And then, Alex sees a job posting for a pediatrician at Atsugi Naval Base, located just south of Tokyo.

[INSERT HERE: Lengthy discussions about what it would take to move to Japan, how to keep Heidi’s job, what to do about our house in Seattle, and what would be a good step for our first year of marriage.]

Chapter 1:
The clinic made an offer to Alex. We decided that a year living abroad would be an excellent foundation for life together. It sounded like there was a path forward for keeping Heidi’s job. We accepted the offer, and (over the course of several months) dealt with the necessary tasks of moving to another country.

Chapter 2: Packing: 15 boxes, plus assorted suitcases. (Neither of us ever travel with that much luggage.) As to be expected, we overpacked some items. (Way too many clothes). And forgot other vital things - Heidi forgot the ginger grater, and it’s driving her nuts.

The House: Neither of us wanted to put our furniture in storage, so we were trying to rent the house furnished. This turned out to be somewhat of a challenge, but our renters are an answer to prayer. Cathy and Bill are a retired MD couple who wanted to move to Seattle for a year to care for their grandbaby. Charming, trustworthy people – and we like them tons. Thanks, Cathy and Bill, for taking care of the house.

The Move: We headed out through Idaho, so as to spend some time with Heidi's family before leaving the country. Left the car with Heidi's brother and sister-in-law (thanks!) and spent some time with cutest-niece-ever. Then flew Boise-Seattle-Narita. Pickup by the Navy Shuttle, and a long but uneventful drive into base (where we stayed while looking for our own place).

To everyone we didn’t get a chance to visit with before we left – goodbye! See you soon, write often, and the guest room is (as of May) open!

EDITORIAL NOTE: We've been drafting blog entries and capturing stories and pictures since we got here...but it took us a while to put the actual blot site together and put the text to photos. None of the entry dates are (yet) real time, and we're still emerging from the use of past tense. But we're catching up. Pretty soon this will be a real-time effort!


  1. So excited to have you blogging! Can't wait to read more!
    Heidi, no ginger grater, that is tragic!!! I'll bet that you can find one there. (sarc off)

  2. Thanks for the update!