So sorry dear readers (all six of you), if it seems I fell into the abyss. My last entry was from Malaysia, which seems about a million years ago. I will catch you up to speed….
After Malaysia I headed back to Indonesia, a place that has a magnetic pull for me, and landed in Ubud Bali. The first time I went to Ubud, I sorta liked it, but couldn’t wrap my head around why every traveler so was wistful about the place. Sure it was “arty” and it had great food, but the traffic and constant “transport” touts wore me out. The second time I liked it even less. So, why go back, you ask… hmmm, I can’t really say. But there I was. After settling in (because I needed a settling in sort of place at this point in my travels) I got it. I met great people, I fell into the rhythm of the town and I fell in love with this smallish city in the hills of Bali.
At this point I had my ticket home and I was filled with anxiety.I wanted to stay on the road but I was running out of money and staying wasn’t an option. Quiet desperation set in. I scoured websites and talked to everyone I knew about strategies for being an expat. Barring finding a big ol’ pot of cash, there was nothing I could do (nursing is basically slave labor in the developing world) sure I could volunteer until the cows came home, but that doesn’t buy a girl a roof over her head, not to mention cocktails. Sigh. More anxiety. More desperation.
You see, I had changed. My world view had changed. What I wanted from my life had changed. I knew that if I went back to my old life (which by most standards was a pretty good one) I would regret it. As much as I liked being a nurse I could no longer work in the crazy dysfunctional world that is the US healthcare system. It is untenable and unsustainable. It is system that is unfair, extremely sad. The more I thought about it the more anxious I became.
But it isn’t just working in the US that overwhelms me: It’s living here. Every moment of every day seems to be scheduled. Iphones, laptops, siri, traffic, and all the stuff it takes to feed the machine of “a good life”. I worked my ass off to pay a mortgage, insurance (homeowners, car, umbrella, medical, life….good grief), taxes (I’m not going to complain about taxes because I value what my taxes provide and think we as a nation would be better off if those who could, paid more) but none of those things seemed to add value to my life. I want a life that is slower, more reflective, and doesn’t require me to have a calendar in hand when I get invited to lunch.
In March I headed back to Gili Trawangan to meet up with my Jakarta girls for our annual pilgrimage. While there I stumbled upon some new bungalows. They were clean & new & had a pool!
One day I was chatting with the owner, an affable aussie, and sharing my anxieties. He said, “well these bungalows are for sale” The universe will present us with life changing opportunities if we just listen. The question was : Was I going to put my money where my mouth was or just whine about the state of my life? I looked at his books, we talked about a price and if I sold everything I owned I could swing it. So I made an offer. And he accepted. Holy shit.
So here I am. In Portland. (A great hometown if there ever was one.) Working like crazy (thanks Nancy for believing I was a worthwhile, albeit short term investment), living out of rubbermade totes & planning the next phase of my life.
It begins November 1st. Stay tuned. It’s going to be amazing.
For a preview go to