This is 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.

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About Us

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.
About Me

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.
A Bit More Detail

We are a family who spends 24/7 together to the astonishment of our friends. We have 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, 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.

Please communicate your thoughts, suggestions, constructive criticism, or simply say hi by contacting me at my Facebook account account. Everybody is welcome here.

Looking forward to meeting you all. Until then.

Howie Hayman