By the time you read this I will have officially left Jakarta. And if everything went according to plan I should be on a plane bound for Boracay, the Philippines, as you read this.
Are you jealous? Because you should be…
I spent the month of June tying up loose ends. I finished my writing job in Jakarta a couple of weeks ago. Since I had a little bit of free time my last two weeks in Jakarta, I tried to be as productive as possible. My goals were to research apartments in Cambodia, apply for jobs and write tons and tons of blog posts. Despite my good intentions I don’t feel like I was productive at all.
This month seriously flew by.
I was also on a mission to see as many of Jakarta’s tourist attractions as possible. And I actually did pretty well on this front. Aside from some sightseeing, I attended a few gatherings that were hosted by some of Aaron’s students. I finally got to meet a bunch of the students I’d heard Aaron talk about all year. It was a blast meeting them and seeing just how much they loved being taught by Aaron. I can now see why he is so sad to leave them because that group of kids is awesome (hi guys!).
The month of June was full of goodbyes, farewells and see you laters. There were moments of nostalgia and pangs of sadness, and I found myself stopping and thinking about all the things I’m going to miss about my life here on many occasions. I’m going to miss my job, my paycheck, the food and, most importantly, the people.
But at the same time it’s been a month filled with giddy excitement for the future (I’ve literally been X-ing the days off of my calendar each evening) and a general readiness to move on.
But that’s enough rambling…here’s what I was up to during the month of June:
I didn’t travel to any new and exotic destinations this month. Instead, I decided to spend my last weeks in Indonesia hunting down all of Jakarta’s top tourist attractions. I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed playing tourist in my adopted city. And I can now honestly say that Jakarta is definitely worth exploring for a few days if you ever have the chance.
Sampling Jakarta’s food scene…
Food is a big part of traveling, so I made a conscious effort to eat as many Indonesian treats as possible this month. I made sure to get my fill of all of my favorite Indonesian foods, but I also had the chance to try some new and amazing eats.
Have you ever heard of martabak? It’s like a super thick pancake filled with savory and sweet fillings. It’s actually been around Indonesia (and other parts of Southeast Asia) for ages but it’s all the rage in Jakarta right now.
I tried a Nutalla and cheese martabak. It might sound like an odd combination but it was so freaking good! I’m kind of glad I didn’t discover martabak earlier because I probably would have gained a good 30 pounds while living in Jakarta.
I also discovered that Jakarta has some awesome Indian food. The district of Pasar Baru is actually home to a sizable Indian population and there are tons and tons of vegetarian Indian restaurants scattered around the area. Why, why did it take me 11 months to realize this? Expat fail.
On the eating front Aaron’s students have been showering him with gifts and food all week. As I’m writing this, my kitchen table is filled with 2.5 pounds of chocolate covered banana chips, bags and bags of fried Indonesian snacks and six cupcakes that look too beautiful to actually eat.
Suffice it to say, this has been a month of eating.
Like I said earlier, I finished my job here in Jakarta a couple of weeks ago. My job has been the best part of living in Jakarta. It got me back into the writing game and I even had the chance to publish travel articles, which is a dream come true for me. That being said, that one gig took up most of my time and was my primary source of income. So leaving that job means I am unemployed, yet again.
But after working for the better part of a year doing what I love, I’m much more optimistic about my career prospects this time around. I’m currently in the midst of sending out applications to magazines and newspapers in Phnom Penh and attempting to navigate the world of freelance writing and editing. I’m a little nervous about not having a steady paycheck anymore and not really knowing when I’m going to have one again. But I’m actually feeling pretty good about the future. I’m prepared to work my butt off to make this freelance writing thing work for me.
I’ve been trying my best to blog more over the past two months, especially about life in Jakarta and travel in Indonesia. It’s always a challenge to balance blogging and working but I’ve tried my best. Here’s what I wrote last month:
And the rest:
- Finding the Authentic Bali on Nusa Penida
- A Girl’s Survival Guide to Traveling in Jakarta
- Playing Tourist in Jakarta
- 11 Ways Living Abroad Changed My Life
I’m off to do some traveling. In the next month I’ll be spending some time in the Philippines and the US before making my way to Phnom Penh in August. As always I’ll be posting lots of pretty pictures on Instagram, @thetravellush. If you’re not following me yet, now is definitely the time!
How did your June shape up?