In The Beginning, There Was… Bali?

To tell you more about why I’m in Indonesia, guess I have to give a little bit of a background. I finished my degree last April, after 7 years of studying engineering. I combined engineering, fine arts, and business to build a degree called Industrial Design. No I don’t design factories; I design cars, products, electronics, motorcycles, boats, architectural structures, etc. Anything you see around you has to be designed by someone – the way it looks, feels, and interacts with people. Prior to coming to Indonesia I was working at a company designing auto interiors for companies such as Nissan, Mercedes Benz, and Toyota.

As nice as this could have been, it was making me feel old quickly. Looking back, I realized that every day was the same. I could gaze back upon 5 months and hardly remember a distinct day. They all blended together into this fog. I realized that if I wasn’t careful, my whole life could become a blur – it could literally flash by me without even a hint of excitement. So I decided to sacrifice money for memories.

Two weeks before my graduation last April, I was offered the chance to teach in an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia. The details of the offer didn’t even phase me. I simply said, “thank you, this is not for me”, and gave it very little thought. I had hardly ever heard of Indonesia, much less ever desired to see it. All I knew was that Bali was close by. I never thought I could do something like that. I knew that I was supposed to get a good job involving my degree – not venture off to some island and teach. Teaching was never an interest for me and to tell the truth it’s still not my ambition in life. But the more I thought about the opportunity, the more I realized that if I was ever going to do anything crazy, anything reckless, and anything irresponsible, now is the time. It’s better to get any of this out of my system before I have a wife and kids. I know that if I never had accepted this offer, I would have always wondered, “what if?” – and that scared me much more than leaving. I never want the weight of wonder or regret.

After April I spent the summer taking a break from the stress of school… and worked for my dad’s construction company. Not to get all cheesy or sappy, but those 4 months were time that I cannot put a price on. It was great spending time with family again.

Once July came it started hitting me that I was actually leaving. I didn’t feel any pondering; I was ready so I got my vaccinations… an experience in itself. I felt like a dog at the vet. The doctor was very reassuring of my decision, “are you fully aware of the problems you may encounter over there?”… was her response. “Let’s see, you’ll need: Typhoid, Hepatitis, Smallpox, Dengue Fever, Malaria…. “ Haha, yeah…

So on August 1st, I boarded a plane with my life in two suitcases…