I moved to the Tri-Cities area, Johnson City in particular, in 2016. I grew up in Lenoir City and was living there when I met my wife, a Johnson City native, in 2015. From 2001 to 2011, I lived in Japan, and I began translating Japanese to English as a freelancer in 2005.
I continued to freelance when I moved back to the US in 2011. Since I worked at home, it was a no-brainer for me to move here when I got married rather than having my wife move to Lenoir City where she may or may not get a job right off the bat.
In Japan, I lived in Kawasaki, which is almost like a suburb of Tokyo. I enjoyed being so close to a big city, but I also preferred living in the suburbs with more natural surroundings. Lenoir City has a population of around 9,000, so I’m really a small town guy at heart. At 66,000 people, Johnson City is quite a bit bigger, but not as big as Knoxville. For me, it’s just the right size.
Soon after moving to Johnson City, I began taking classes at Olson’s Martial Arts. I’ve been practicing taekwondo since I was 16 years old, and I continued to practice while in Japan. I’ve had great instructors everywhere, but I have to say that Olson’s has the nicest facilities of any school I’ve ever been a member of, and they keep it spotless. The Olson family are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, too. Glenn’s a busy guy, but he found time to show up at the surprise birthday party my wife threw for me the first year I was here, and when our second daughter was stillborn, he attended the funeral. Obviously, that family has had a tremendous impact on my life. I can’t talk about Johnson City without mentioning them.
I also enjoy the restaurants downtown and taking walks on the Tweetsie Trail.
I’ve only been in Johnson City for going on four years now, but I can say without reservation: It’s home.