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  • Ryoga

You Don't Fit in Society? Find a Society Where You Belong

Updated: Dec 22, 2023


A little girl outside of the group

Feeling out of place in your own society can be a challenging experience. The societal norms and expectations may seem stifling, constraining your true self from shining through. It's a struggle that can lead to feelings of alienation and discomfort. But what if there was a way out? What if the solution is as simple as exploring new horizons? In this article, we delve into the concept of leaving your native land to discover a society where you fit in.



The Complexity of Society

Society is a complex entity. It's a tapestry woven with intricate patterns of culture, traditions, norms, and values. It's a place where we learn to live, interact, and coexist with fellow beings. However, sometimes, the very fabric of this tapestry can feel stifling, especially when you don't conform to the ingrained patterns.


Out of Sync with Asian Society

The struggle to fit in can feel all the more real if you hail from an Asian society. These societies often have deeply entrenched norms and practices. If you're someone who doesn't conform to these norms, life can be challenging.


If you grew up in an Asian country, you may have experienced a sense that society isn't always fair or supportive. Personally, as someone who grew up in Japan, I often felt a certain robotic or impersonal quality in people's behavior. There seemed to be a tendency to laugh at others' failures or criticize them rather than offer support. Also, there was a strong emphasis on conformity and following societal norms. If you departed from the ordinary path, you would often face blame or judgment.


Japanese Working Culture

The working culture was particularly peculiar, where the length of your work hours was often valued more than the actual results you produced. These societal factors, such as the pressure to conform and the focus on working long hours, have been linked to Japan's high suicide rates. While my experiences are specific to Japan, you may find parallels or similarities in your country's society.



The Question of Fitting In

But why should you change yourself to fit into a society that doesn't resonate with your beliefs and values? Why strive to conform when you can find a place where you're accepted for who you are? After all, there are 195 recognized countries in the world, each with its unique societal fabric. There is a high probability of finding a society that aligns with your personality and values.


Embarking on the Journey of Discovery

Travel can serve as a gateway to finding the right place. It allows you to meet diverse people from around the world, broadening your perspectives. Backpacking and staying in hostels can lead to interactions with people of different nationalities. These interactions can help you discover the kind of society you would feel comfortable in.


However, it's essential to remember that travelers are usually more open-minded than the typical residents of their home countries. So, if you're planning to settle in a new place, it's advisable to visit several countries, interact with the locals, and get a feel of the society.



Taking the Risk

Once you're ready to take the leap of faith, choose your first destination. To facilitate longer travel, you can apply for a working holiday visa. This visa allows you to work and travel. This option is beneficial if you're in the early stages of your career.


As an English speaker, you're equipped to survive anywhere in the world. English is a universal language spoken in almost all countries. However, learning the local language can be beneficial if you plan to stay for a longer duration.


Finding the Right Place

After years of traveling, you might find a few countries where you could potentially fit in for a longer period. However, the journey of self-discovery doesn't end here. There's always more to explore, more people to meet, and more ignorance to dispel.




Did I Find the Right Place?

After three and a half years of traveling, I came back to Japan and still feel like I don't fit into this country. However, my perspective has become more positive because I've realized that I can live anywhere. I no longer need to be stuck in this country. I have discovered a few countries where I could potentially fit in, even for an extended period in the future. But for now, my burning desire is to continue traveling, meeting more people, and expanding my horizons to overcome my ignorance. Perhaps I won't settle down until I find a partner and have children. In this current state, I want to invest my time in self-improvement and personal growth.



Conclusion

The feeling of not fitting in can be an opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth. It's an indication to look beyond the borders of your native land and uncover societies where you can be yourself. So, if you're feeling out of sync with your society, maybe it's time to pack your bags and embark on the journey toward finding a place that embraces you for who you are.


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