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Goodbye Japan, Hello World

So I’m leaving Japan.

It’s a simple thing to say, but it still feels pretty crazy to say it. I’ve been living in Tokyo for over 15 years. That’s a pretty giant chunk of my life, and that’s pretty much all of my adult life. 

But it’s time to move on.

I’ve been feeling the urge to leave this country for a while now. Not just me, but my wife as well. There are a great many reasons that we want to leave, which I may get into describing in more detail in future posts, but basically, I’ve really had my fill, and it’s time to refresh the batteries.

What’s next?

I’m actually not sure yet. We’ve made the decision to leave Japan at the end of March, and I’ll start by going to to my hometown to spend some much needed together-time with my parents, and then, well, it depends where I can find work. Yes, leaving Japan also means that I’m leaving my position as Executive Director at PechaKucha, a place where I’ve worked for the last 6 years of my life. PechaKucha is of course a global entity, but also proudly and happily headquartered in Tokyo. I’m sure I’ll still be involved with PechaKucha in some way or another even after I leave, as I do feel quite a bit of love for the family I’ve worked with, and this thing we’ve all helped grow over the years, but it’s time for something new.

What do I want to do? It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or who follows me on Twitter that if there’s one thing I’m passionate about more than anything else – and something that’s been a true constant my entire life – it’s of course gaming. I want to be involved in the world of gaming, and that’s what I’m currently hoping to achieve.

Yup, that’s right, I’m leaving Japan and I have nothing lined up, no job waiting for me on the other side. We needed to make a decision sooner or later on when we were going to leave, and needed to make sure that we would have enough time to make that move happen – and with the rental contract for the house we live in being up for renewal at the end of March, that made for a natural endpoint. 

I’m scared shitless, but I think I’m at a point in my life where I need to be scared shitless. All I know is that I truly want to return to North America (we’re particularly interested in the Vancouver/Seattle area, followed by Toronto/Montreal, but still quite open on where to go), and that I hope I can find work sooner than later – and hey, if you are someone who has suggestions, tips, recommendations, ideas, or hell, even a job to offer me, do get in touch, I’M ALL EARS.

The next few months are the start of a big scary new adventure for me and my wife, but at the same time, we’re actually really excited for the first time in a long while.

As I tweeted at the turn of midnight on New Year’s Day, 2015 is going to be a big year for me, let’s hope it works out.

By Jean Snow

Senior Manager, Esports at Ubisoft. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.