Thursday, 24 May 2018 06:43

Endings are often beginnings in disguise

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The jet engines are rumbling. They’re thrusting the plane forward at 398 miles an hour. Outside, the temperature is -53C, but 33,000 feet below I can see how the warm, blue waters of the Pacific Ocean stretch uninterrupted to the horizon.

 

I’m flying to Japan, Tokyo to be precise, but there’s more to this story than just my destination.
Those of you who read this monthly column know I cover a variety of topics.
For the most part, I share stories of interesting people who have either accomplished an inspiring feat or who are in the process of accomplishing an inspiring feat. From time to time, I share my thoughts on life in general and I’ve also expressed a political opinion or two.
As you may have guessed from the title of my monthly column, my goal for “Your Life is Now” is to suggest that life is what you chose to make of it.
That being said, we all have obstacles that stand in the way of our dreams.
Maybe it’s our mortgage, our responsibilities to friends and family or maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s all of the above.
For the past eight years, it’s been my dream to live and work in Japan. Between 2012 and 2014, I taught Japanese exchange students in Medicine Hat and Sherwood Park. You may recall I wrote about the experience in the June 17, 2016 edition of “Your Life is Now.”
As I explained in that column, the Japanese have strong values. My students believed in education, respect and they were very considerate of others.
Those values are important to me, as well. Because I believe that only a good country can consistently produce good people, I wondered what it would be like to live in Japan and to surround myself with their values.
Unfortunately, I had a few obstacles of my own that prevented me from leaving for Japan.
Recently, a door closed in my life. I chose to look at it as a chance to pursue my dream. After all, endings are often beginnings in disguise.
Thanks to the closed door, I was free to sign a one-year contract to teach English in Japan. During the next year, I’ll continue to share stories with you about inspiring people. I’ll also continue to express political opinions on topics I would rather not remain silent about.
In addition, my goal is to explore Japan and then report back to you on life in the Land of the Rising Sun.
I plan to share information with you on subjects that are of interest to Western Canadians, but from a Japanese perspective.
For example, I’m curious to know what are the challenges faced by Japan’s agriculture industry? What’s like to be a senior and why is their life expectancy so high? How does the average Japanese person cope with the ever-increasing pace of the modern world?
I want to look at Japan to help me better understand in what ways Western Canada is doing well and in what ways it could use some fresh ideas.
I hope you’ll join me for this adventure in “Your Life is Now.”

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Dominique Liboiron

Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing.