One Year in Okinawa

This month means one full year of living in Okinawa: one year ago we packed up our lives and headed into the unknown.  It’s been amazing so far!  It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a full year–while my move to D.C. felt seamless, an overseas move definitely took some adjusting.

Discussing lease and moving details one year ago

The highlights

We got married!


In August, we flew home for the BEST WEDDING EVER.  All my favorite things: Milwaukee Public Museum and lots and lots of beer.  We had the best friends and family, and it was the most perfect day.

Learning to live together has had its challenges: I had to learn about some of Carl’s questionable cleaning techniques, and he had to open his mind to some new recipes.  In the past year, we’ve gotten used to each other’s quirks and even developed a few traditions of our own.

Birthday traditions

Happy birthday to Hayley, Carl, and the USMC!

We celebrated my birthday with a deep sea fishing trip.  Carl opted for a low-key, relaxing weekend at the beautiful Okuma resort.  Happy birthday to us!


We were blessed with the opportunity to travel all over Japan this year.  We spent a chilly Christmas in Kyoto (Carl’s first time!), and a two week honeymoon trip all over mainland Japan.

Okinawa home

Our house has become our home.  This little garden has brought me so much joy, and our cat makes us laugh every single day.

Some of the experiences we’ve had this year are so uniquely foreign, and I am so happy to have had them.  There was the time that I asked a grocery worker to help me find cottage cheese, and three workers frantically attempted to draw me a map to a local store that might sell it; I left totally touched and baffled.  There was the time that we rode in a taxi as the driver talked a mile per minute in Japanese without any care that we didn’t understand, and as long as Carl told him “straighto”, he understood to just drive straight.  At times, my whole heart misses all things American, but I am perfectly content to eat great sushi 24/7 and live this sweet life for now.

Okinawa is a wonderful place to be, and I am so so happy to be here with my husband and my cat.  Cheers.


Currently listening to:

2 Dope Queens Podcast



2 thoughts on “One Year in Okinawa

  1. Hayley I love EVERYTHING about this post! Except I miss you like crazy and the fact that it’s April again reminds me of how sad I was when I drove you to the airport last year! But I am so happy for you and Carl and your awesome life. I’m glad you guys are living it to the fullest!

    Liked by 1 person

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