Rachel Paterson

Hi, I’m Rachel, I’m 34, Scottish, gay, ace, and ADHD, and I live in Japan with my American wife. 

I grew up in Scotland, in the north and in Greater Glasgow, after obtaining a mild English accent from my birthplace of Plymouth. I studied Zoology at Dundee University, hoping to go into labwork, maybe ensuring ethical treatment of lab animals or maybe teaching science.

In 2010, I met my now-wife when she was an international student in Glasgow. It was hard to actually be in the same country after her studies were over, so we looked into how to get to Japan individually, as we shared an interest in living there. We moved in together in Japan in 2013! First in Okayama, now Osaka, and hoping to move to America now that we are married. We keep parakeets, and we love travelling Japan (when possible!), especially discovering its many small islands.

In Japan, I’ve been an ALT in more than 10 public schools, a conversation school teacher, a preschool/kindergarten teacher twice, and now I’m an elementary (3rd grade) homeroom teacher in an immersion English program, where I teach ELA, Science(!!), IT and Maths.

I was diagnosed with ADHD within a year or two of moving to Japan. Being treated for it in Japan wasn’t easy. There are a ton of hoops, but I’m finally on a medication that works, after 7 years of fighting!

I really like cake decorating! I started a small business making cakes, cupcakes and cookies for friends and customers.
In my spare time, when I can find it, I enjoy embroidery, movies, and binge-viewing British comedy and Drag Race.

I’ve gone from a little-known town in the Scottish Highlands to the second largest city in Japan, and I can’t wait to see where the world takes me next!