Yoga_Travel_Happyhr_Repeat: Becoming An Expat

As a transplant in Japan, I frequently feel like the odd man out.  I don’t mind this feeling at all, especially since I’m not introverted at all, quite the opposite probably.  I have no choice but to stand out here.  Even though I buy the shoes, clothes, treats, bags, and anything else I can get my hands on (and afford!); when it comes down to it, I don’t look like I belong here.  While this may make some people uncomfortable, I’ve actually been using it to my advantage.

I’ve been putting myself out there in a way that I never did in my life back in NYC, or anywhere for that matter.  I’ve got a newfound confidence when it comes to teaching, and I think that is because of two things: a lack of ego in my colleagues, and the fact there really aren’t THAT many English speaking fitness/yoga teachers.

If you can’t tell by my Instagram (@yoga_travel_happyhr_repeat), I am absolutely in love with Japan.  I love the people, the culture, the 5 o’clock weekday bell, I love Disney, I love Shibuya, I love Tochigi Prefacture… the list goes on for eternity.  The support from my colleagues and people who have employed me here is really something special.  Coming from NYC, life is so competitive you can sometimes forget why you’re even doing what you’re doing.  It truly becomes a rat race, and while it makes you the strongest version of yourself, it may not be the best version of yourself.

I have found myself creating a YouTube channel and taking my fusion class online at, at the request of my clients (use KARENKIM25 for a monthly discount). After years of honing my skills and growing my toolbox, I felt confident enough to go even more public with my product.  This is something I couldn’t envision happening had we not come to Japan.  I will say it has been really rewarding and the purpose of this post; however vague it may seem, is to share my story and encourage you to do the same if there is something that you are holding back.  To bare it all takes courage and confidence, but it makes you a stronger version of yourself.  I firmly believe that helping others in turn helps yourself, and I’m hoping that’s what I am doing in some small way.

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