LAlapsambEL and the City

Lessons from Foreigners in Indonesia

Posted on: February 19, 2014

I had multiple interesting things yesterday. And I should have written the experience on the same day. Oh well, I can’t blame HBO movies that kept me awake until my bedtime.

So, yesterday I was in a discussion where two foreigners who have lived and worked in Indonesia for a long time -much longer than my career- share their experience of working here. One of them is going to leave the country soon. The other one said, “You cannot escape this country. I’ve seen so many goodbyes and yet they come back in 5 years or so.” This guy doesn’t answer anything I could remember. He might be thinking about it. He loves Indonesian food and has worked with Indonesians in the past 10 years.

The other guy then explained what happened to him when he came back to his country after working in Indonesia. He talked about how he can see his country as a foreigner. The exact same thing I experienced when coming back from AFS year in the US a long time ago. He then realized that people in his country were not as nice and that he preferred working with Indonesians.

What he did next was to set up a totally different business in his home country, while maintaining his work here in Indonesia. He never got rest when going home, but all he needed was a change from his “thinking work” in Indonesia to “physical work” in his home country. I admire him for doing this. I myself always have a mind-battle between the “businesswoman” and “adventurous traveler” part of me. I see myself as both and today I still have not connected between the two and they still push each other to different directions most of the time, but I’m working on it. This conversation lead me to think about it again.

After the discussion, I was blog-hopping for some traveling information when I landed on this website. The author does RTW (Round The World) Trip every year, while maintaining her career. RTW trip is something I want to do at some point in my life, which totally makes sense, since traveling is one of my priorities in life. Yet, I have higher priorities over traveling, with ‘being together with my husband’ topping the list, followed by building career and ‘independent nest’. This reminds me of my plan once again, that at some point I may just buy the ticket and go. At least that’s what happened with me getting married and applying for MBA. I just found myself doing it.

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