Tag Archives: Japan

9 Medical Tourism Myths Exposed

Medical TourismMy wife and I have had doctor and dental visits in five different countries now. After some initial apprehensions, we have gotten pretty comfortable visiting foreign medical professionals. Not every country offers the same level of quality, but you might be surprised at the service you can get abroad for very little money.

In Canada, just getting a dentist to look in your mouth for a few minutes will likely cost you $60 or $70. In Thailand, that will get you two hours of a dental specialist’s time. Your home doctor will probably warn you of the dangers of venturing abroad for medical services, but are those criticisms valid?

Myth 1 – Western doctors are better.

I have visited lousy dentists and doctors in very developed countries and great ones in less advanced countries. Sure some countries should be avoided, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your country’s doctors are always superior. If you can afford private doctors in the top U.S. hospitals, you will likely get some of the best medical care in the world. If you are going to lessor known, public hospitals you will likely get a standard of care that is comparable to most other countries in …

We made it out of Japan

Narita Airport Earthquake Damage Tokyo

My wife and I were in Japan during the earthquake and tsunami but were in Nara at the time so we were far from any danger. Just after the earthquake happened I tweeted, “Just had a small earthquake in Japan.” I didn’t think much of it because Japan has earthquakes all the time. I experienced some pretty scary shakes and this one barely registered where I was. It wasn’t until I saw the news a couple of hours later that I learned that this wasn’t a “small earthquake.”

In the following days life in the places I visited were still pretty much normal. People were still working, shopping and going sightseeing in Nara, Kyoto and Osaka. It didn’t really feel like anything happened.

The news shows a different story though. I really can’t imagine what it must be like for the people affected. Many lost their lives, others lost loved ones and/or everything they owned. Now they are dealing with the mounting nuclear crisis.

Japan is Special

One side of the disaster that I believe is under-reported is the patience and goodwill of the Japanese people. There is no looting or mass panic in the streets. Delayed commuters patiently queue …

Want to Visit Japan for Cheap?

Nara House for Rent - Digital Nomad NetworkI have a house in Japan that is currently empty. I am still debating renting it out or possibly making it available for travelers and digital nomads. It would be a completely set up house, with high-speed internet, a proper kitchen, furniture and bedding, etc. for up to about 6 people comfortably. The rent would be relatively inexpensive as I am just looking to cover costs.

I would like to keep my house in Japan as a place to return every year, but I don’t want to pay for a full year to only stay there for two or three months. If I can rent it out for at least an additional 3 or 4 months per year, then I will re-furnish the house and get it ready for others to stay there.

Japan is actually not that expensive, particularly if you have reasonably priced accommodations and don’t live in a major center like Tokyo.

The Idea

In a previous post I mentioned the difficulties in getting set up in a new apartments in new countries. Dealing with shady real estate agents is a big pain and apartments are often dirty, poorly equipped and/or have lousy Internet connections. It …

Why I am so Successful (Hint: It is not because of my over-sized ego)

The Secret of My Success

The Secret of My Success

In a recent email, a reader of this blog asked me how I became so successful. He read in one of my posts about how I moved to Japan on one week’s notice with no job, no work visa and only $1000 to my name and later became a jet-setting global rock star celebrity. (Okay, I added the ‘jet-setting global rock star celebrity part ‘ for added effect. :-))

Here is the Secret to my Success

The short answer is … I am not successful. Most people, myself included, tend to glamorize or even exaggerate successes and hide set backs or negative aspects of their lives. Don’t believe everything you read or hear because you are only getting the positive side of the story.

I am not rich. I am not famous. I am not particularly smart or talented either. I am just an ordinary person that is not afraid of hard work. When I arrived in Japan more than 13 years I worked a lot to save money and pay down debt. I worked two English teaching jobs and a bar job.

A couple of years later I started teaching private students in my …

One More Week to Leave Japan!

My Last Week in Japan

My Last Week in Japan

My wife and I are frantically trying to wrap up our life in Japan. Needless to say, there are still a million things left to do and the clock is ticking. It is a lot of work to leave a country.

Less is More

It really is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate over the years. I thought I was pretty good at limiting my consumption but I have purchased so many things that I barely use or have never used. My wife and I are really looking forward to a simpler existence in the near future. Less stuff, more life will be our motto.

Travel Update

We decided not to bring our car to Europe. We will sell it here instead. Unfortunately, the resale value of vehicles is really low in Japan due to the high taxes. It generally makes more sense to buy a new car than to drive an older one. That is why you never see old, run-down cars in Japan. It probably also contributes to the strength of the automobile industry here.

Anywhere Lifestyle, Here We Come, but I hate to give away my sofa

While we are definitely …

Teach English in a Foreign Country, 10 Interviews with Experienced Teachers

Teach English Abroad

Teach English Abroad

The easiest,  fastest and safest way to leave your home country and begin a life in a foreign country is to teach English. If you have a university degree, a couple thousand dollars and about three months, you can reset your life in an exotic location. I did it and thousands of others have as well. Here are ten interviews with English teachers in various countries around the world to give you an idea of what to expect.

Teach English in Korea, Interview with Jordan Lunan

Great information on what it is like to teach English in Korea by an experienced teacher. Visas, cost-of-living, getting a job and quality of life.

Teach English in France, Interview with Roni Weiss

What it is like to teach English in France. Covers visas, cost of living and what you are likely to expect. Roni also explains what it is like to teach in English immersion camps around the world.

Teach English in Korea, Interview with Simon and Martina Stawski

Great interview with EatYourKimchi bloggers and English teachers in Korea. Detailed advice and information on teaching in Korea.

Teach English in Vietnam, Interview with Sherry Ott

What it is like to …

The Fastest, Easiest and Cheapest Way to Reset Your Life in a New Country

Asuka Village in Nara, Japan

Asuka Village in Nara, Japan

Many of us dream of quitting our jobs and moving to an exotic country to have completely new experiences. What better New Year’s resolution then to completely restart our lives abroad?

The Problems

Leaving everything behind for a new life of adventure seems like a great idea but then fear shows its ugly head.

  • How will I make money?
  • I don’t have enough savings.
  • What do I do with my things?
  • What if I can’t find a job when I return?
  • What if I get sick?
  • How will I find a place to live?
  • What about language barriers?

After a quick run-through of all the worst case scenarios, staying home and avoiding any risks seems to be the wiser choice.

Fastest Way to Work Abroad

Moving to a foreign country doesn’t have to cost much money or be particularly risky. In fact, you can have someone in your new country sponsor your visa, help you find an apartment, get set up and even pay you a salary. Relocating to a foreign country can be almost risk free if you choose the right path.

The secret that worked for me when I came to Japan, and …

My One Year Plan to Find a New Country and Career – Mission Accomplished!

We are Leaving Japan!

We are Leaving Japan!

It has been a few months since I have written about my progress of achieving my one year goal of leaving Japan. I didn’t have much to report so I spared you the boring details, however, now my goal is much, much closer.

Step One – Mission Accomplished!

The biggest challenge my wife and I had in order to begin our new nomadic lives was to sell our business in Japan. We just received the money for the sale of our English school so now the hard work is finished. That was the only major obstacle holding us back and now that it is complete there are only small details and preparation left ahead of us.

We have to stick around and train the new owners and teacher, but we will be free from all obligations a couple of months ahead of schedule. We are leaving!

Japan is a fantastic country, so don’t get me wrong. We definitely plan to return regularly. However, running the same business for a decade was growing tiresome and we are definitely ready for a change.

Step Two – Rent Out Our House

The next step is to decide whether or …

Interview with Author and Global Citizen, Maya Frost

Interview with Maya Frost: Author of The New Global Student

Interview with Maya Frost: Author of The New Global Student

No one has embodied the principles and ideas of the “Jet Set Citizen” more than Maya Frost. Expatriate, entrepreneur, educational expert, exquisite! Maya Frost offers great lessons about what it means to be a global citizen in this interview.

Please tell us about your book, The New Global Student

Thanks for asking! It’s my first book, and though I had zero connections in the publishing world and was thousands of miles from any English writers’ conferences or other schmooze fests, I was fortunate to get an agent, a publisher and a contract with Random House within a few weeks of sending an initial email query. I navigated through the entire process—from pitch to publication—via email from Argentina. In fact, I never met my agent or editor until the book was already in bookstores!

In 2005, my husband and I sold everything and left our suburban Portland, Oregon lifestyle behind in order to have an adventure abroad. The tricky part: we had to usher our four teenage daughters through high school and into college in nontraditional ways. The book was inspired by the lessons we learned (and loopholes we discovered) that …

Life Abroad is Easier Than it Looks

Here is my first video interview. (You may have to click the “Read More >>>” link at the end of the post to see the interview.)

Jun Loayza of Viralogy.com interviewed me recently and asked me questions about what it is like to live abroad.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

Viralogy is the platform that develops social rankings for influencers in social media.

Here is the blog post that Jun refers to in the interview:
Can you Retire for $500 per Month

Thanks again to Jun Loayza. Be sure to register your blog at Viralogy.com , it brought my site lots of traffic. Also check out the Viralogy.com blog for great interviews with bloggers in a variety of content areas.