Wanna Meet Asian Men? Then Get Yo Ass Out the Country!

13.5.11 ShaSha LaPerf 7 Comments

LOL got your attention right? No this isn't a blog post about the only way to meet great Asian men is to say fuck it to the states and head on. But this IS a blog post about traveling. A few days ago The Root posted an article about the rise in black expats which I enjoyed a lot. While I was living in Japan I met a few black women. One was an African girl who was doing study abroad. I met another woman who was in the military and two other women that were teachers. I enjoyed meeting these women because not only was it good to see that I wasn't the only one bitching about how the humidity was messing with my hair,but it was good to see that these women were in Japan doing different types of things. I always encourage black women to get out in the world and get cultured and shit. So do it!


Although it's been almost 4 years since I left Japan a lot of what I experienced is still quite fresh in my mind. Going there did make me a different person. While I was in Japan, I found my own confidence and comfort in who I am. Being in Japan oddly enough rekindled my passion for jewelry making and lessened my obsession with anime. LOL okay my obsession with Chemistry got stronger. I decided to go natural when I was in Japan and haven't looked back. And of course Japan is what really fueled my interest in Asian men. Despite the fact that I was into Japanese culture and I went to a school that was predominately Asian, it wasn't until I was surrounded by Asian men 24/7 that I realized their attractiveness, greatness, and yes their craziness! I'm not saying you need to go to Japan specifically to "find yourself" and whatnot, but the general idea of going abroad really can have a great impact on your life. It makes you cultured and shit.

What I loved about living in Japan was the fact that things I enjoyed were so available to me. New chemistry album out? I could just head to the store to Tower Records on HMV. Taste for cucumber sushi? There was a little shop on the corner. In the mood for karaoke? I called up a friend and we'd head down the street to do karaoke all night. Wanted a date. Oh he's cute...and he's cute...and he's...well he's not that cute but his friend is!

When I was in high school I had the opportunity to do study abroad in France and I didn't want to go because I was scared of flying and being away from my family. When I was in college I missed the chances to go to Japan for study abroad because I was broke, scared of flying and didn't want to be away from my family. Ugh! what the hell was I thinking!? I missed out on being cultured and shit at a younger age! So ladies don't hold back. Get out there!

Now I know there's a bunch of "buts" running through your head. I wanna go but:

I don't have any money.
I don't know how the country will respond to a black woman
I don't speak the language
I don't want to be alone


And I bet the list goes on and on. I will admit, being a broad abroad isn't always gonna be great. If you're a tall girl in a couple with no-so-tall people you'll have to make sure you pack well or have good friends and family in the US to send you stuff. If you can't speak the language you'll get frustrated trying to point A to point B. If you have a medical condition making sure you have everything you need can make you suitcase extra heavy. Dating may suck, you might get stared at, you might face discrimination just for being a foreigner. Then there's the homesickness. Some nights while I was in Japan I would watch those horrible Steven Segal movies because they were on TV and I just wanted to hear someone speaking in English. Sometimes I wanted to be able to walk into a store in find a shirt that fit but couldn't. And I missed my dad's BBQ ribs, mac and cheese, baked ham, Cherry Coke, Skittles, etc. Don't even get me started of missing my family and close friends. And like a lot of people I went through the stages of living abroad. But you know what? I'm glad I got to experience all of this. Because even though they were small things they made me more self-aware and able to appreciated the small things. So don't spend so much time worrying about what can happen to you, think about the thing you want to happen. 

Living abroad will be an interesting experience one way or the other. Some people can only deal with it for a few years but a lot of black people will live a abroad for years. when I was in Japan, there was a show called "Okusama wa Gaikokujin" which featured Japanese men married to foreign women. It was a great show because on occasion it would feature Japanese men with black women from Europe, America, and Africa. One woman had been living in Japan and married for a good ten years. I made it to three years in Japan before deciding to come home to go back to school. A college friend spent about 4 years in Japan and I have another friend who's been teaching in Korea for about 5 years now. A great thing about the internet now is that it opens doors for black women to blog or vlog about their experiences abroad. Sadly I didn't get into it while I was in Japan and there were few websites out there that catered to black women. But now you can find quite a few sites and videos about black women living abroad and loving it. Add yourself to this group!

There are many ways to get out the country. For a lot of people the easier ways are study abroad and teaching abroad. Since I didn't do SA, I don't have a lot of details about it, but I'm sure most universities have a study abroad program. At a school like Pepperdine University in California, SA is part of the college culture! even if you're going to a for-profit school like the Art Institutes, you can find a good study abroad program.

Then there's working. Although I wanted to do SA, I enjoyed WA more because as adult, I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. For Asia, teaching is probably the easiest job to get into, especially through programs like EPIK and JET. But you may be able to get a job in the US that will transfer you to another country. Or you can be ballsy and head over to the country and look for a job there.

You can always volunteer to do some work in another country too. Yeah, you don't get paid much or anything at all, but it's all about the experience. Though watch out for Peace Corps, recently they've gotten in trouble for their blasé attitude about women being attacked in other countries.

Or if you have a few extra bucks, plan a trip! Go with friends or go alone. Hey don't let being by yourself stop you. You get to do what you want to do when you want to. Of course this is the priciest since well...you're paying for it.

And you don't have to think of just Asian when it comes to going abroad. Australia, France, South Africa, Brazil, Canada (yes I do consider this "abroad"), the world is a big place. And hey, Asian men travel too. Shen spent a summer down in El Salvador. You may meet a cute Asian while you're backpacking in Europe. It's not that impossible.

So ladies, I strongly encourage you all to take a look at going abroad. Get cultured and shit! Here are a few websites that have helpful information:

Black Women/People Abroad Sites
Black Expats
Life Behind the Wall 
DN in Korea 
American Black Chick in Europe 
African Girl Living in Sweden 
Black Tokyo
Black Girls Travel
Oneika The Traveller 

Teach/Study/Volunteer Abroad
JET
AEON
EPIK 
Teach in Asia
Study Abroad
Gaijin Pot
Go Abroad

Misc.
Adventourous Wench
Twenty-Something Travel
Passport Project

Go get cultured and shit!
 

7 comments:

  1. In college I tried to do 2 different short term study abroad programs. The London one was canceled after 9-11 due to low enrollment. The Egypt one I completed the class, was all packed then Bush attacked Iraq and our trip was canceled. That was my senior year so there were no more opportunities to study abroad even though the university actually increased my scholarship to cover the trip because study abroad was considered a tuition expense. If I'd known that Freshmen year I would have gone somewhere every year for free. I considered joining the Peace Corps but chickened out. Now I'm in my comfort zone. I'd never heard of ESL opportunities in Asia until last year. I now work for a university so I get tuition reimbursement which I hope to use for short term study abroad programs on campus. There was a program for South Korea this summer but it was canceled after the Japan Earthquake/Nuclear problems. Maybe next year. My luck has to improve eventually! I used to be afraid to travel alone but after moving cross country to cities where I know no one and traveling solo for work I'm mostly over that fear.

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  2. Sorry about all the traveling drama! :( Keep pushing for a study abroad program. I was really curious about college life in Japan, but was only able to experience it through a friend or two. And yeah traveling alone can be a bit scary at times, but like I said the freedom of it is what I liked. I think it made me a bit more daring because I didn't have anyone to convince me not to be. Of course you still have to be careful when you're by yourself but I'm all about keeping my guard up regardless of where I am and who I'm with.

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  3. I wasn't expecting to scroll down and see my blog mentioned. Thanks ShaSha. Guess that means I should update more now, huh?

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  4. Jacqueline NumataJune 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Well my husband is Japanese, and I live in Japan with him.

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  5. Great post! I hope more black women will read this and be encouraged to go abroad. I only recently started living abroad, and though it's frustrating at times, I don't think I'd have it any other way =]

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  6. Great post! FYI the Teach in Asia link at the bottom goes to a page that doesn't exist...

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  7. Thanks for letting me know! I updated the link.

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