In 2015, Yumi Nagashima was feeling a little uncomfortable. In fact, she had been feeling that way for a few years. It was like being bothered by a tiny thorn, barely perceptible but still there, reminding her that she wasn’t living the life she had envisioned when she left Japan.

Rewind to 2008, when Nagashima was 28. She was teaching English to kids at a conversation school in Japan. She had always loved English, and majored in English literature at Bunkyo University. Life was fine but uneventful, until she fell in love in with a fellow teacher from her school. “I thought he was just amazing,” says Nagashima over Skype. “His name was Kevin.”

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