What is the feeling when you’re driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — It’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.

Jack Kerouac

This year, I left Japan in February, wandered around Australia and some countries in Asia, visited and trained at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in these regions.

In short, 2012 was a great year full of new experiences. Every experience is new, but what I mean is that the experiences I had this year were set in situations and contexts that differ from the experiences in the past.

I don’t know how much I grew up as a person. Maybe a lot, or maybe not much. I believe, however, that I did grow up as a person.

Another thing is that I discovered more possibilities and potentials in me. If I were to summarize 2012, I would say it was all about new possibilities and potentials.

Now I’m back in Japan. I came back on 25 December, and I’m ready to go again soon. There is no turning back. I don’t mean that I can’t go back to Japan. I’m already back and have a place to go back to.

What I mean is that I now see Japan as one of many destinations rather than a home base. This feeling is new.

Before leaving Japan this time, I had been feeling strange about living in Japan. For those who don’t know, I used to live in Australia on and off, from 2002 to 2009.

The strange feeling I felt… It felt like being an outsider who understands what’s going–the language, the culture, and the norms here–except that I am an insider. In all honesty, I’m still like that, but the weirdness is gone now.

If you ask me why I chose to live this lifestyle, my honest answer is that it seems much more fun than other lifestyles I could have right now. Compared to the average 28 year old Japanese guy, I don’t make much money at all. But I’m happy and free. I do earn enough from freelance translation, to do what I want to do: traveling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

This is a choice I made, and I’m happy about it. Every good thing and every bad thing… everything considered, I’m happy about the life I’m living now. Or rather… I love my life.

But it might not go so well tomorrow? It doesn’t matter. I believe that love is a choice, and I love my life no matter what. That’s the same with things I love and people I love.

2012 was great for me, I loved this period of my life, and with 2013 coming almost right there, it’s time to let go and get ready for the new year, new experiences, new learning opportunities, new encounters, and whatever that’s going to happen to me.

I hope 2013 will be amazing for you and me.

All the best.