I get questions every now and then from people, wondering what on earth I do all day. Or, just the classic assumption, that I spent my days in a sun chair, with a Margarita in one hand and laptop in the other.
Oh, I wish.
Let’s talk some common decency, people. I’ve been flying a lot this past year and even though I try to avoid wasting energy with being annoyed over things I can’t control, like my fellow passengers, I do have a few suggestions on how to make everybody else’s lives a little bit nicer.
My time here in Bali is coming to an end. It’s bittersweet. On one hand, it is definitely time. On the other, this island has been my safe haven since I first got here in September last year. Being here has allowed me to get both clarity and inspiration, which finally led to a decision. I’ll write more about that at a later point.
In the meantime, I want to share the first little product of my two most recent interests; scuba diving and videography.
Three months and a couple of days. That’s how long I’ve been 30. Whenever I say my age to people I meet here, their instant reaction is “what, I would have guessed 25?!”. Good for my ego, but I could not be happier over being exactly the age I am.
Life has taken a few twist and turns getting to this point. “And what point would that be”, you might ask. Or not, but I’ll tell you the answer anyway.
As usual, I wake up early. It’s 6.30. After a quick visit to the bathroom, where I say hi to the guy who does the morning shift at the hostel, I decide that a couple of more hours of sleep would be good for getting over my cold. Few things are as annoying as being sick when you’re traveling.
Checking in from Ubud, Bali! I thought I would start doing these more personal roundup posts once in a while, as so many of my favorite travel bloggers are doing. Right now I’ve just checked into a hostel, after staying a week in a private hotel room. It has been great with some privacy, but I’m looking forward to the hostel environment and meeting some new people.
I have some news. September 4th I’ll get on a plane to Bali. Well, to be more accurate, London – Hong Kong – Singapore – Bali. (Honestly, I should not be allowed to book my own flights. I always go for the cheapest option with fifty layovers, even though I’ll spend more on crappy airport coffee than what a better flight would cost me. And I do this. Every. Single. Time.) So the news here is not that I’m going to Asia for the first time. It’s that I’m not coming back until January next year. I’ll be on the road for four months. Part of it will be vacation time, but the main chunk of it will consist of me working part-time, traveling around Asia. But why? I could just answer this with a “Why not?”, but there are a few reasons why I brought up the subject with my manager…
At my previous job my manager told me that I at some point would have to decide what to focus on. We were a small web agency, only three people, so I could get away with doing a little bit of everything. I liked playing around with code, so I built websites in Wordpress. Photography has been a passion for many years, and with that came an interest for Photoshop and editing, so I did some of that too. I studied communication new media, which resulted in a interest for the social media landscape. I could spend months discussing and analysing how business could use new tools and technologies to their advantage.
In the beginning of this year I wrote that 2014 would be a year for answers.
It has not been a parade of happy times. I have not been dressed by little birds in the mornings and I still curse people on the subway on a daily basis. You know, the usual ups and downs. But I have learned a thing or two about myself and what I want to do with my life. Realized my priorities, made a few decisions.
But before diving into the chaos that will be my life in January, here is what 2014 taught me.
Sime. A conference by, and with, a bunch of fun and crazy people. I used to be part of the team, and as we former Sime people joke about, once you are in, you are never really getting out. Every year I am surprised by how much I still enjoy it. So, here is my brief summary of Sime 2014.
Ever heard of The Compulsive Draft Disorder?* I believe it’s somewhat common for consultants who spend their days writing e-mails, offers and other documents. When you get home after a day with the most soul-killing of programs (yes, Microsoft Office, I am talking about you), you might discover that you have grown so used to twist your words for clients that you are no longer able to find your own voice. This is annoying for someone who loves to write. And since you love it, you are not able to stop doing it. What happens though, for someone suffering from The Compulsive Draft Disorder, is that you don’t recognize your own words. Your write that first draft and then you become so tired with your own vocabulary that you have to shut down the computer and dramatically run out on the street, in pouring rain, crying over your own uselessness. (Or, to be honest, just go to…