A story about an international
couple raising and home educating three young boys on a small
island in Japan, half living in buses, engaged in organic,
self-sufficient farming in the middle of a mountain forest while
dealing with climate, cultural, and personal challenges. These pages are about pretty
much anything and everything all guided by our family motto, Taking Chances, Making Changes,
Being Happy. Thank you very much for joining us on
our ongoing crazy adventure.
We are the Hayman family....a very different kind of family. We are not working
in the conventional sense, our kids are being home educated, we
are mostly self-sufficient supplying close to 100% of our
fresh food needs, and we spend 24/7 together.
These pages are all about our interests, thoughts, and anything
else which seems noteworthy. Hopefully you can find a few
ideas, a bit of motivation, and maybe even a little inspiration from what we've
been through including both our successes and miscalculations. We learned tons
over the years and hopefully you will too from our story. Thank you very much
for joining us on our ongoing crazy adventure.
Welcome to my place in cyberspace. My
name is Howie, a guy originally from a quaint little village
called Kenmore, in Western New York.
The time between my days growing up in the snow, and the
present, has been quite an adventure, albeit not without
many personal challenges. Over the years I realized a few
things, actually three in particular, which are important
for getting through from day to day, and making it, in this often crazy and chaotic world.
1. Taking Chances - Over the
years I took many chances, including marrying someone from a
different culture, making four
international moves, buying a couple of houses online sight
unseen, purchasing a 4.5 acre forested mountain, and buying
several vehicles online which now serve as our family
bedrooms up in our mountain. I firmly believe in taking
chances when things aren't entirely working out, and it seems
like it's time to move on. Much more about this in future
posts. Anyway, without taking chances it's impossible to
make it to the second step....making changes.
2. Making Changes - For me, taking
chances is the easy part, implementing changes is a lot more
work. I spent years adjusting to living in a different
country and working on properties in an effort to make a
nice home for my family. I tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist which results
in changes taking considerably more time and effort for me
than most people.
3. Being Happy - This is the
most difficult part of all. I grew up being told that "the
grass is always greener on the other side" which of
course means things might seem better when looking outside
of your situation even though it's not . In reality though sometimes the grass really is
greener on the other side, in fact, much greener on the other side. I made
many changes over the years, and while each change seemed
like a step upward, ultimately it turned out that something
was still missing. Moving helped, a lot, and eventually I found
myself and my family in a stable and happy place, AKA our
present situation. Although not perfect, we are now leading a
very quiet, and simple existence on a small island.
Bit More Detail
We are a family who spends 24/7 together to the astonishment of our friends.
always been together and are very used to our situation.
This turned out to be a huge benefit since we were already set
up to endure the COVID pandemic and any others which might spring up in the future.
In addition, the economy,
school closures, event cancellations, all have little or no affect on us. Really
the weather is the main factor for guiding most of our
schedule and daily decisions.
We decided to live permanently in Japan for many reasons. Unlike
America, the health insurance in Japan is fantastic.
Premiums and copays are based on a sliding scale dependent
on income. There is very little crime in Japan, and none on
this island. We enjoy a very simple existence, something you
would find many years ago (albeit with access to
modern technology....lol), with self sufficient farming
begin our work, the island along with the rest of the world
being our source of education, and the incredible friends we
made on the island as our source of socialization.
As previously stated, our kids are being home educated. We
do not give them formal instruction at all. We teach them
how to support themselves. We let them fully participate in
farming, we teach them how to cook, basic construction and
home maintenance. They
have space in and out of our property which is totally their
own and it is up to them how they maintain that space. They
have tons of books, mind expanding toys such as Lego, board
games, and many shows online where they learn about the
world. All math and science is taught by application to
daily work such as farming and working around the house. We
also talk a lot, which is probably their main source of
information. The conversations are on an adult level. They
know all about the pandemic, sex, politics, societal issues,
and basically about the good and bad in the world. We have
fantastic friends of all ages with kids of all ages. This
gives our kids the opportunity to constantly communicate on
many levels with people of different ages. We speak mostly
English in our house but our kids can understand Japanese as
it is spoken all around them on this island. Our kids do not play video games, they do not eat
garbage, and they do not hate, in fact they are exposed, on a
daily basis, to the humor and music of different cultures.
Although me and Akiko read the news online, the news is not
ever watched on the TV. In fact, there is music playing much
of the day in our home. Our kids are very happy, they love
each other, our home, and are very happy to be in Japan.
Hopefully we get the chance to meet many of you in the
coming year. Until then.