Updated: Aug 2, 2022
Every month on WOMENCANFLY.CO’s blog series, The Way, we introduce inspirational women who live abroad. This time, we interview a couple making it our first 'Partner Project!'
Having partners who support and bring the best out of each other allows us to take on new challenges and overcome difficulties. We want to put the spotlight on the efforts and charms that even the person themselves doesn’t notice from their partner’s perspective.
For our first ‘Partner Project’, we meet Haruka and Keiko Terasawa who live in Sydney, Australia.
After getting married they had three children and when their younger twins were two, the Terasawa family moved to Australia. Why did they decide to move abroad at that time? What are the pros and cons of moving abroad? We discuss what it’s like to make the move abroad with a partner.
Let’s do it by 40! Making the decision together to move abroad
During their 20s, they were both living in Bath, England where Haruka was a judo club coach and Keiko attended graduate school to obtain her Master’s in Simultaneous Interpreting. They met in Bath and got married a few years after returning to Japan.
Even after returning to Japan, the two naturally had the desire to one day live abroad with the whole family.
The plan to move abroad started to become concrete in the New Year of 2015.
Keiko says, “Every New Year, we discuss what we want to accomplish in that year and at that time, we were 36. We had always thought about moving abroad but if we were taking on a big challenge, we wanted to do it by the age of 40.”
There were three main reasons why they decided to move at that time in their lives.
First of all, they didn’t want to procrastinate while they had the physical strength and energy.
Secondly, as their eldest was planning to go to primary school, they wanted to go as early as possible while their kids were young.
Finally, the more complicated their circumstances and relationships with the children’s friends, the more difficult it would be to move.
Keiko says, “When their environment changes, children may have a hard time. But instead of saying, “I really wanted to do it but I put up with it for you,” I thought it would be better to say, “Even though it was hard, I did what I wanted to do.”
In this way, 2015 became a year of preparation and challenges where they tried their best.
Full of thoughts and lots to do: The road to immigration
They did as much as they could and after deciding, the couple started moving immediately.
At that time, Haruka, who ran two osteopathic clinics as a Judo rehabilitation teacher entrusted their management to a partner and he himself changed roles from an officer to an employee. He made preparations so that he could move at any given time.
Keiko worked for a global IT company that had four locations, California, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, where she could be transferred to.
“I wanted to avoid the financial risks of raising three children so I wanted to move to a place where my husband could also work as well as a place where I could get a job I wanted to do”, says Keiko.
As a result, it was decided that Australia would be the place to migrate to as Haruka’s qualifications would be recognised there and he would be able to find a way to do business in the osteopathic industry.
Haruka immediately started looking for a job in Sydney and received an offer in the summer of 2015. He also had to validate the qualification that he acquired in Japan so to do this, he went to school in Osaka on weekends before moving to Sydney and continued to create an environment where he could work using his expertise.
Haruka immediately started looking for a job in Sydney and received an offer in the summer of 2015. He also had to validate the qualifications that he acquired in Japan so to do this, he went to school in Osaka on weekends before m