My name is John Michael Milton
and found myself having a bit of a crisis.
I have worked, (although very interesting and fulfilling jobs) full time since I was 18.
My jobs have all been quite static, single location positions, and for years I have felt the walls steadily closing in around me.
Desperate for a change I scoured job and career change websites to find what it was I was itching for and then it hit me, what if I just move to another country? I can do that! I am a grown-up! It would also help me tick off that other thing I have always wanted to do and that is learning a new language. But where to go?
France or Spain? Maybe a bit too close to home though. Wouldn’t want those pesky parents to just show up at any time now, would I? And this isn’t a holiday, I’m taking this seriously. I am going to work and grow as a person, learn a new language and take on new challenges, experiences, and develop a whole new skill set. I want something completely different to what I am accustomed to.
Italy maybe? My boss a few years ago lived and worked in Italy and I will never, as long as I live, forget the conversation we had about it one dreary morning in Leeds. Opening up the shop I asked.
“so what was your favourite thing about Italy?”
And he said, without taking a second breath.
“My morning cigarette, accompanied by the best espresso that I have ever tasted, sitting on my veranda overlooking the landscape, feeling the cool breeze on my face and watching the sunrise, THAT, was the greatest experience of my life.”
He then looked up at the rain, took a sip of his Greggs latte, scowled in disgust, and then (looking at his pathetic undercooked Greggs bacon and sausage sandwich) sighed regrettably and said: “let’s get inside”.
He could speak fluent Italian after a year. Actually, you could say he was my first bit of inspiration, because this was the first instance that I started to think there are much bigger and better things out there, and I could do them.
But again Italy is still a bit close for my liking, plus, I know someone that has proved it can be done. I need something more challenging, something not so easily accomplished.
I had thought maybe Germany-somewhere to the east like Berlin, but, from what I found out the vast majority of people there speak English so not challenging enough!
Maybe a Middle Eastern country? (Quick look at the news), maybe NOT a Middle Eastern country.
Russia? Isn’t it cold there? I think I could go further anyway.
Finally, It came to Japan. Now I have always wanted to visit Asia and Japan was very high, if not the top spot on my list.
To me, Japan was just one of those places that you wish you could visit because it is so out there. The majority of people struggle to speak English. I thought I would have to learn the language to avoid starving! Also, judging from what I have seen online and on TV, the place is a total death trap! Tsunamis every year, monsoons every other month, earthquakes every other week, 111 active volcanoes, and 3 of which are apparently very long overdue to blow. There are also places that are still uninhabitable by humans like parts of Fukushima due to radiation. Not to mention Kim Jong-Un fires a missile at it every time he has a paddy! And I’m thinking to my self, this is perfect!
A quick (not so quick) look online to find out what I need to do to get there and my plan starts to take shape.
So less than one year later with everything I need packed and ready to go (not including the cat) I applied for my visa, handed in my notice, canceled all my direct debits, and grabbed the cheapest flight out of the UK.
So why create a website? Well, I have been told a fair few times during my career that I should have a personal website and I always thought it would be a good professional addition to my business cards (when I finally get around to making some). It can be a place potential employers could do a bit of research on me, find out what it is I am really about, and what it is I have been up to. I know several people whose jobs rely on clicks, subscribers, followers, and re-tweets, and they all swear that the future of recruitment and employment will be through social media. If I want a career in marketing (which I do) I really need to market myself and focus on my social media, and the best way to self-promote would be to have a website.
With nothing really to talk about other than uploading a CV and writing a self-glorified statement about how amazing I am, I was a bit lost. I thought I would really struggle with content to put on my website. I mean sure, I could write about my life in Leeds but come on, who wants to hear about the time I accidentally ordered extra hot instead of medium at Nando’s, or the time I replaced all the black and white photos of my brother with black and white photos of Nicolas Cage and Jeff Goldblum in mum’s house.
It’s only now that I am in a foreign land, experiencing new and very different things that I find myself with an abundance of stories and things to talk about but no one to talk about them with. “I know!” I’ll do that thing everyone else tells me to do and write a blog and create a website! Two birds with one stone!
The goal of my blog is to help, inform, and tell a few stories along the way.
By all means, feel free to subscribe to my blog! You can also check out my Instagram where I will be uploading pics of where I am and what I’m up to.
If you have any questions or suggestions for me, then please feel free to get in touch!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton