Moving to Manila, Philippines

My previous post was titled, “Life 2.0” for a reason; we’re moving to Manila, Philippines in July.

This newly created future was unplanned until very recently. Forgive me if some of you feel ‘left out’, but I wanted to make sure everything was 100% before announcing anything.

This post has been difficult to compose, as many of you may realize I’ve spent a quarter of my life in Indonesia, and have had more dramatic changes occur in that timeframe than in any other single period of my life in America. It won’t be easy leaving – to me, this is also home.

Despite some previous posts eluding to my curiosity for what the future may hold, I had fully planned on staying in Jakarta until at least June of 2010. However, an opportunity arose that I simply could not pass up. Just as I couldn’t pass on the chance to move to Indonesia in 2002, I cannot let this one slip away.

Only time will tell if this is the right decision, but for now, I am confident that this will be a very positive experience. I won’t lie, this is a career move first and foremost – but one that will challenge, expand, and test my skills and abilities. I fully welcome the chance to meet those challenges head on.

I’m also quite excited to move to the Philippines; I love learning about new cultures, exploring new destinations, and getting to know all about a new country. It’s only a 3 1/2 hour flight from Jakarta, so it’ll be quite easy to return ‘home’.

I’m very happy to remain in Asia – it’s a region of the world that has captured my heart and inspired me photographically. I had considered moving back to America at some point, but considering the economic woes and the fact that half of my family is overseas (in Australia and Japan), I’m completely content with remaining an expat. I have no idea how long I’ll be in Manila; the minimum is two years, but if things go well, perhaps it will be longer than that.

I’ve strived to keep a delicate balance between posting introspective writing and photographs while not publishing too much personal information. For these reasons, at the moment I’ll refrain from discussing my employment any further. Those of you who know me well may ask, but I am undecided about posting much more detail at this point.

I have maintained that policy in regards to Novita as well, but needless to say, she will be joining me. I’m excited to see how she handles living overseas, embracing a new culture, and getting around the quirks of a new life overseas. I’m sure she’ll adjust very well – probably my main concern is how she’ll handle the different cuisine! She’s a food addict and accomplished cook; surely she’ll be able to whip up some Indonesian food with ease.

I’ve only been to the Philippines once (in February you may recall – are the pieces fitting together now?), but most people I know have had very positive things to say about the country, the beaches (of course), and the people. Manila initially seems similar to Jakarta and/or Bangkok – correct me if I’m wrong. We’ll be in the Makati area; a posh, upscale section of Manila. I’ll be sure to share more about the area once I arrive.

The next three months will be a whirlwind of activity, planning, shipping, and paperwork. Lots of paperwork. I’ll be increasing my posting frequency once again now that this is ‘out’. It’s been tough sidestepping this subject whilst so much has been happening.

July is approaching much too rapidly. In many ways, I feel as if I’m not finished with Jakarta or Indonesia. The reality of leaving isn’t fully settled in, but surely it’ll hit us soon enough. For now, please know that I’m in no way leaving Indonesia because of anything other than the fact that this opportunity came up at the right time. I will always consider Indonesia my beloved 2nd home, fully plan on revisiting often, and perhaps will reside here again in the not-so-distant future. Only time will tell.

Now what about this blog’s address!? “thejavajive” won’t make as much sense over there.

Let the next chapter begin.