Diary Extracts from a Tropical Nomad

Chapter 1 – Endings and Beginnings

Okay so I suppose I should introduce myself.  They call me Lucky, an old nickname that I resurfaced a few years ago with a view to manifesting some good fortune.  The idea was, if enough people call me lucky it will stick.  It worked.  I continuously find myself in favourable conditions.  Or perhaps, I just choose to see it that way.

On July 5th 2016 I caught a one way flight to Bangkok.  It was the best thing I ever did.  You can read more about that experience in this blog.  I am ashamedly behind on logging the details of that eighteen month experience in South East Asia and Australia and so I have decided to rebirth the logging of my experiences with a brand new edge.  A sort of Bridget Jones’ Diary for the wandering thirty something.  

In March this year I packed up my life for a second time and threw myself into the abyss.  I really quite enjoy doing this.  It’s like banging a gong on your life.  Really shakes things up you know.  I was lucky (there it is) enough to have a friend open up a new door for me in the form of a job in Indonesia.  The synchronistic nature of this venture cannot be understated.  The exact words… 

“I just want to live on an island somewhere in the middle of nowhere”  

….had not left my lips but twelve hours prior when I receive a message from Kirstie saying,

‘Lucy, are you still interested in moving to South East Asia? The day you asked me one of our guys handed his notice in and now there’s a job available here, where I work.’

Cold sweats beaded from my skin as I knew instantly that this would happen.  There was no doubt in my mind that this would be my next move.  All I had to do was summon the courage to make it.  A Skype interview and a couple of very smooth communications later and I had a ticket to Singapore and a knot in my stomach.  

The weeks leading up to departure were torturous.  I would swing between rapid excitement and overwhelming dread.  You can read more about that here.

Back to the present. 

I have been living on the Islands of Nikoi and Cempedak for almost four months now.  In some ways it feels like I’ve always been here and some days I cannot believe a third of a year has already passed.  I will be here for at least another year and right now, I cannot see when I would ever want to leave.  But it wasn’t always like that.  

I will take you on a journey through my innermost thoughts, transcribed from frantic tear stained journals.  This is a verbatim transcription and contains bad grammar and bad thinking.  But I suppose I am not afraid of myself anymore.  I want to share this side of me because it’s who I am and maybe it’ll help people build the courage to start their own adventure… or maybe it will scare them further from it.  Either way, take it as you will. 

This adventure has been so challenging, but I look back and see that it was never too much.  Always just enough to make me rise to the occasion and learn the things I have been so desperate to learn about myself but had only just grown ready for.  

Let’s begin at the start.

20th March 2019 – Wednesday

Location – Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Singapore 

Local Time – 15:54

Cigarettes – 2

It’s been a turbulent few days.  Saying goodbye to Sean was incredibly difficult.  I knew it would be.  I was feeling sick all week.  I had a dream last night that an enormous tidal wave was coming, it was a mile high.  You could see it coming from miles away. I was with Nikki (sister) and Joe (her husband).  We hid in the house which seemed to be Mountfields Drive (where I grew up) as it approached.  I was absolutely certain I would die and just felt acceptance about it.  As it struck it was loud and water came in the windows. But we survived.  There was a sense of ‘that wasn’t so bad?’  

I really think it’s all about this great wave of emotion that I’ve been aware of and watched as it arrived.  Which, when I went through the security check at Heathrow, wasn’t so bad.  Of course I miss Sean but I’m okay.

This morning I woke up after a difficult night’s sleep and was feeling very lost.  Everyone was in the office next door and I felt out of place.  They were so welcoming though and I had a coffee and a chat to some of them.  Josh went through the job with me in detail.  I think I can make it on my own.  He’s a very different person, youthful and active.  Makes me feel like a drudge.  But I will bring my own thing to it.  Years ago I would have tried to emulate him and would have burned out.  Now, I stand beside my own character.  If it’s not suitable then fine.  I’m excited to look at making pigments out of natural products on the island.  

So that’s my first two days back in South East Asia.  Singapore is lovely.  It smells incredible.  Like flowers – everywhere.  The quitting smoking is going well.  

My next post will be about my first day…it was a doozie.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Do let me know if you have any feedback or questions about travelling and/or moving to a new country.

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