Deciding to relocate out of the U.S. is very liberating. When googling jobs in Cincinnati (the longest place I’ve lived to date- 10 years), I kept spinning my wheels not getting anywhere, not really finding anything that I truly WANTED to do. After see-sawing back and forth and trying to come up with an answer to “what do you want to do in life?”, with the help of my wonderfully inspirational friends, I decided- Why limit myself to jobs in the U.S.?
The 2nd longest place I’ve lived before Cincinnati, the place where I actually grew up- Jakarta, Indonesia. As someone mega passionate about travelling (I’ve lived in 5 of the 7 world Continents now), I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to go back to a place that is incredibly rich in culture, where the people are so beautiful and welcoming, the food is fantastic, and the environment is absolutely stunning.
My friends always make fun of me because I am not much of a book worm…aka- I pretty much just don’t read. However I’ve found that the few books I’ve read that I truly enjoyed all have a common theme. They all have to do with survival and adventure- so yes I like to read “Island/Wilderness Fiction”: The Cay, Island of the Secret Love Nun, Lord of the Flies, My Side of the Mountain…So in taking on the initial idea of moving out of the country, I decided I wanted to be in my own “island fiction” story.
I found an amazing opportunity in the software industry that would have me relocate to Bali, Indonesia. The idea of this lit a fuse in me! Bali is a gorgeous island close to the equator, embedded within the awesome Indonesian archipelago. I started to dream about how amazing it would be to have the chance to go back to my home away from home. I figured the culture shock wouldn’t be too crazy since I was already familiar with life in Indonesia, I had been to Bali many years ago as a child, and the language would be relatively easy to pick back up.
So I did it. I submitted my application, and let the waiting game commence. Without going into too much detail, the application process was interesting. Had to submit a video screencast, had a lot of back and forth communication with the company, and 2 interviews via Skype which both went very well. I think I had very good, positive, raw, organic energy that the interviewers could clearly gather after speaking with me.
It took about half a year of correspondence, before the date was set. I would quit my job and leave Cincinnati on 4/28/12. The last 3 weeks prior to my departure were intense. Lots of sadness, all mixed up with a lot of love from the people that mean the most to me. From here I went to Chandler, AZ for about 11 days; a nice gradual way to process my separation from my home, family, and friends. Left AZ on 5/11/12 to head to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (I specifically stayed in a town called Putrajaya). I went from AZ to L.A. to Tokyo to Singapore to KL. My 7 hour layover in Singapore kept me entertained with tons of shops, gardens, koi ponds, butterfly gardens, a wide array of botanical gardens, free foot massagers, internet, people watching, a free 2 hour Singapore tour (that I got really excited about but could not make due to the boarding time of my next flight), and of course FOOD! I’ll share some photos of the delicious food and treats later.
It was refreshing to be immersed into the lush green empire of Malaysia, after seeing nothing but desert browns and reds in Arizona. I love the tropics, always have. The trees, the flowers, the birds, the cute little cicaks (lizzards) all made me so happy. This was the next gradual step in separating from the U.S. It is so easy to forget how amazing the rest of the world is until you step out of Western Culture. My parents have been so amazing in helping me through this transition, and I am so thankful that I’ve been able spend time with them, particularly my Madre. She is truly one badass lady, and great to have on your side =)
I’ve been spending time checking out the general attractions in Malaysia, visiting their monstrous shopping malls, getting a new hair cut, seeing a lot of women wearing beautiful fabrics as their head wraps (Malaysia is predominantly Muslim), adjusting to the tropical climate, and eating the local cuisine. It is Thursday 5/17/12, and one day before departure to my final destination to Bali. My Mom and I are getting massages today….YES!
Well, I must say- Thank gawd for the internet and Skype to keep me connected to the ones I love, as I welcome the journey ahead of me.
See you all in Bali! ❤ ❤