Honolulu, Hawaii

A World Of Opportunity

I am a Japanese and English bilingual working mother, who has a trilingual daughter currently in college. I've lived in Japan for 25 years and lived in the US for 25 years now. When I first moved to the US, I felt that not being able to speak English was a disliked part of myself in my daily life. I had a difficult time communicating at my daughter’s school, doctor’s appointments, and even at grocery stores.

However, I soon realized that I can be competitive in the job market, which gave me hope and confidence.  I eventually landed a basic job at a major Japanese electric company. I began to feel very valuable within the organization because I understood both cultures. I truly enjoy being the bridge to close the gap between the local hired employees and Japanese expats.

At home, even though my daughter was born and raised in the US, she learned my language and culture through her daily routines, which helped her become who she is today. The new social and cultural opportunities open up to her because she can communicate to more people in different areas of the world, and that gives her new perspectives.

Currently, I am a bilingual real estate agent in the state of Hawaii where people from all over the world dream to own properties. It is very hard to find an individual who has a US working visa, state of Hawaii realtor license, and fluent both in English and Japanese. I’m definitely more competitive in the job market now and have increased my annual income by 100%.

Twenty years ago, I was a non-English speaking immigrant who was always nervous to communicate with others, but now I am a rare gem in the booming real estate industry. I would not have thought of this happening to me in my wildest dreams!

 Most importantly, I truly enjoy sharing the beautiful culture and language from my country here in the US.

(Photos courtesy of Megumi Pelka)

Megumi Pelka