Introduction Greetings from Vancouver

rad33

New member
Hi everyone,

My name is Radley and I will be moving to Okinawa around Spring of 2020. Currently I reside in Richmond, BC, an airport city that is part of the Greater Vancouver Area. I have a Japanese wife and a 3 and half year old daughter. I took a year off work when my wife got pregnant and lived in Tokyo for one year from 2016-2017 during which time I worked as an Assistant Language Teacher at two public elementary schools in Arakawa-Ku. I have been working in hotels since 2013 and started out as a banquet server at Hilton, got promoted to a Captain after about 9 months and remained in that role for 5 years while also supervising the restaurant and bar, room service, and breakfast service. Recently I have moved to the Marriott and started a position as a Dual-Property Sales and Events Coordinator representing both the Marriott and Sheraton properties on the block, and have been in this role for about 10 months. During this time I received a few accolades such as employee of the quarter twice and employee of the year in 2018.

We are moving to Okinawa mainly to improve our health and overall quality of life due to some medical predispositions. Also living in Vancouver is extremely expensive and even with a good salary it is challenging to live in the city and tough to buy a home unless you are willing to live far away from the city core. At this point we are not sure where we are going to live on the island as it depends largely on what jobs are available as we want to avoid having to commute through traffic. Recently we visited Okinawa this year in August and previously in 2017 in February when it was still a bit chilly. My sister in law recently moved to Naha from Tokyo as she was seeking a better work-life balance and I hope my father and mother in law decide to move here as well in the future.

Through this forum and by engaging with others, I hope to learn as much as possible in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for my family. I feel bright and confident about our future in Okinawa, although I do expect that there will be many challenges and obstacles along the way. I would love to eventually study at a local university or college and graduate with a post-secondary degree as I never completed it in Canada. As a family our focus is on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle with proper diet, exercise, and contributing back to the community.

I love to play tennis, am interesting in learning how to golf, and also need to learn how to swim in order to enjoy all of the awesome water activities the island has to offer. Driving is another one of my interests, eventually would like to own a "fun" car with a manual transmission and participate in some of the car groups and meetups. Coming from a hotel background, I love to travel and explore different cultures and connecting with others. My wife and I also love to eat good food (who doesn't?) as well as indulge in nice red wine and beer. I personally love Canadian Whiskey although Japanese Whiskey is very good as well.

This move will be the second biggest thing I have ever done in my life next to having a baby. I feel like I am diving out of the bubble that is my current life and into something strange and unknown, yet wonderful at the same time.

Thank you for reading this! Hope to connect with more of you here soon, and hopefully meet up some time after we move :)

Also I have some pictures of my recent trip to Okinawa in this thread I started last week if you are interested: Click Here

-Rad
 
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
My name is Radley and I will be moving to Okinawa around Spring of 2020.
Nice to meet you Radley (Rad, as I've already seen on other forums. I'm David, the founder of Okinawa.Org and my wife is @Snow. We have two children, now 16 and 8, so can relate to some of the struggles that you're about to face. It'll be tough, but if we got through them, so can you... you just have to want to want it enough.
an airport city that is part of the Greater Vancouver Area.
Being a Washington State resident (how I got to transfer my license, as you will be able to as well), I got to visit Vancouver a couple of times; only one time crossing by ferry to Victoria B.C. and then on over to Vancouver. It's a nice place.

In fact, when my wife, with our then 3 or 4-year-old stepdaughter, had a layover in Vancouver, we were able to experience it all together for about an hour. In a tax. We got to see some nice sights and ended at a park before going back to the airport to get on the flight headed towards Japan.
got promoted to a Captain after about 9 months and remained in that role for 5 years while also supervising the restaurant and bar, room service, and breakfast service.
Reading this should give you an upper hand in the Hilton hirings (later mentioned), so I wish you luck there!
During this time I received a few accolades such as employee of the quarter twice and employee of the year in 2018.
Although at the Marriot, still something that I would include on my resume as it demonstrates your service capabilities.
We are moving to Okinawa mainly to improve our health and overall quality of life due to some medical predispositions.
Health insurance is very cheap here, and unlike Canada, it doesn't have much waiting times for some ailments as I've heard that Canada has (usually immediate care). Just be prepared that they're about 10-30 years behind US medicine and typically operate off of a Japan/EU medical system only, so if you need something specific, find names prior to coming.

I outlined how to seek different medicines out in a blog post of being your own patient advocate.
it depends largely on what jobs are available as we want to avoid having to commute through traffic.
Traffic traffic here. You're going to face it one way or another. Whether it's one hour in traffic moving 1km in workhour traffic or a 45-minute drive to see a famous spot down a 1-lane road that had a speed limit of 35kmph, stuck behind small truck after small truck, you're going to be annoyed.

Just be prepared for that; it's apart of life in Japan.
My sister in law recently moved to Naha
You can ask her about the traffic in Naha then. That's why I want to get out of here and up north or down south (forget central). 🤣😭
although I do expect that there will be many challenges and obstacles along the way.
There may be. But, I hope you don't have to face as many as we did. :)
I would love to eventually study at a local university or college and graduate with a post-secondary degree as I never completed it in Canada.
A lot of local options here, but with the internet, there are far greater options now than there previously were, even at more prestigious schools and not "degree mills".
I love to play tennis
If you're on a resort, you should get some tennis time in. However, playing where you work might not be the best and an escape would be nice. There are some places that come to my head for playing tennis and I'll post them here in our Places directory for you and others to know where to go for that.
am interesting in learning how to golf
Plenty of places to learn how to golf as Okinawa is one big golf course.
need to learn how to swim in order to enjoy all of the awesome water activities the island has to offer.
Ironically, it's also an island so there are instructors. However, I think you'll do just fine on your own.

I think the water is a bit saltier here so the added buoyancy will help you float while you tread, to doggy paddle, to swim.
participate in some of the car groups and meetups
Quite a few of them out here and it all depends on what kind of car you want. There are groups for the Nissan GT-Rs, Suburu B4s, kei "Jeeps" like Jimmys, drifting groups, and just general groups too. You'll meet those types of people at Cars & Coffee, an event thrown at Esparza's Tacos and Coffee from time to time.
My wife and I also love to eat good food (who doesn't?)
There are a lot of options for that in Okinawa! Pretty much any style you want. 🤤
indulge in nice red wine and beer
Not so much red wine, but, I don't go out and look for it so I wouldn't be the one to ask on where to go for finding bottles, except the cheap $4 plastic ones that I still enjoy, but have been told are horrible grape juice mixed with rubbing alcohol flavored.

Beer, on the other hand, is plentiful. There's quite a bit and you can make special orders as well.
Canadian Whiskey although Japanese Whiskey is very good as well.
You might need to order the Canadian whiskey, but there are shelves of Japanese bottles ranging from $5 to $500.
I feel like I am diving out of the bubble that is my current life and into something strange and unknown
Pretty sure anyone moving to a new place has had that feeling once in their life. You, in fact, going from Tokyo to Vancouver may have had it too, to an extent as you were more comfortable there as opposed to a totally new world.
Thank you for reading this! Hope to connect with more of you here soon, and hopefully meet up some time after we move :)
We'll try!

We've met three of our members and want a tight-knit community here in Okinawa where we can all meet up and have a great time, online and off.

Anyway, welcome to Okinawa.Org!
 

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