By Miranda Leitsinger, msnbc.com
The family of 25-year-old Daniel Nations, an American living in Tokyo, just wants him to come back home to Austin, Texas.
But even though the U.S. government is offering to help Americans leave Japan as radiation continues to leak from a stricken nuclear plant, Nations says he is staying put.
Courtesy of Stephenne Nations
Daniel Nations seen in family photo back in Texas. In the back row from left to right: Scott Nations, Daniel Nations, Adam Nations and in the front row Stephenne Nations, Sarah Nations
“I really don’t want to leave yet," he told msnbc.com in a phone interview from a guesthouse in Tokyo. Though "it’s very worrying," he said he wants to "stay here because I feel that it will all get better within the next week or so … Once it does, I think it will be much harder to return than it will be to just stay put."
Nations arrived a few days before the quake to find work as an English teacher, and he used couchsurfing.org, a web site that connects travelers who provide free accommodation to one another, to find a place to stay with a Japanese couple. He was in a coffee shop when the quake struck.
"Honestly, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal because earthquakes happen in Japan all the time," he said. "But this one was particularly long and it got pretty strong and so everyone just ran out of the building."
With the trains not working, "it was just a constant flow of people walking and the crazy thing was nobody was getting too upset. Nobody was too frustrated,” he said.
Daniel Nations of Texas moved to Japan recently to find work. Instead, he's found himself in the middle of a huge disaster. Watch excerpts from his video journal about the experience.
Nations, who graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in philosophy, said he wants to stay in Japan to perfect his language skills and gain some overseas experience. Eventually, he would like to get a degree in international business.
Courtesy of Stephenne Nations
Stephenne Nations, mother of Daniel Nations a Texan who is currently residing in Japan while he looks for a job, packs a care package to send to her son following the triple disaster that has occurred in Japan. The care package includes food, masks and radiation antidotes.
To give his parents some peace of mind, he has decided to head to Nagoya, a city to the southwest.
"They're freaking out," he said. When asked if going to Nagoya would make his parents feel better, he said, "I don’t know that it necessarily would but it’s something. But really, in my mind, it’s much safer just because it’s that much further away from Fukushima (the nuclear power plant in crisis)."
His mother, Stephenne Nations, said his decision to move out of Tokyo is a "little comforting.” She said her son has assured them "that if it gets bad he'll get off this island somehow. But we would really, really rather he load up and come home."
Daniel's relatives have been calling, texting and emailing him to encourage him to leave, she said during a phone interview with msnbc.com from Austin, Texas.
"He's pretty headstrong, pretty independent and I know he can take care of himself but it's also really scary as a parent," she said. "He was at the University of Southern Mississippi when Katrina hit, so he has already lived through a hurricane." (He began his studies in Mississippi and later transferred to UT).
His mother said she had assembled a care package for Daniel that includes potassium iodide.
"He can't get any potassium iodide so I had found some here," she said. "He asked for other things, like face masks, things that just seemed like putting a Band-Aid on an amputation, just silly."
His father, Scott Nations, said he was trying to keep things in perspective.
“At least we know our son is alive and he’s safe – and there is so many people for who that’s not true."
Back in Tokyo, Daniel Nations said he had an interview for a job since the earthquake hit and otherwise has "been hanging out, watching movies, trying to not go outside too much," because of the radiation threat.