little tazi at a moving plantation. borneo, 1992.

I can’t remember the first time I decided that I wanted to live abroad. It was a long time ago, but it stuck. This summer I started talking about plans for an around-the-world trip with a couple of friends. Then, when little Davie and I were talking one day on one of our summer escapades, everything seemed to fall into place. I told him about Indonesia – why it’s the favorite place I’ve been to, how much there is to do and see and explore, and the fact that I knew a bit (actually a puny amount) of the language, and how relatively close it is to other sweet countries. We became more and more excited, sending late night texts or talking over drinks about new ideas and plans we had thought up. We even got our friends and families excited about our prospective adventures. And now here we are, almost on our way.

Both Dav and I are seasoned travelers. My first trip to Indonesia was when I was 5, when my mother and I took a “rustic” boat trip to Camp Leakey on Borneo to visit the Orangutans. At this time, Borneo was pretty much untouched by the West, and I spent most of my time being an angry toddler towards all the attention I was receiving as one of the first blond-haired Caucasian girls most of the indigenous had ever seen. Since then I’ve returned four times, and the country now holds a very special place in my heart. There have definitely been other trips to remember (Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tanzania, the Netherlands, Turkey, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina, Burma, Thailand, Australia) and I have participated in volunteer programs in New Zealand, Fiji, and St. Lucia. But still, Indonesia has been one of those places I’ve always known I would want to spend more time, and perhaps call home one day.

little tazi with an orphaned sun bear cub. borneo, 1992.

Which brings me to the present. I am 23 years old and a recent graduate from Boston University with a degree in Anthropology. Like a lot of people in my situation, and I think I can safely say Dav is in the same boat, I’m not sure where I want to go from here. I’ve already had a plethora of jobs in the seven years that I’ve been working, but I’ve always known that being able to travel, share my experiences, and guide others in their own experiences abroad would have to fit somewhere in my so-called “career path”. Traveling is how I was brought up. It’s in my blood. So while I am in what anthropologists call the “liminal phase”, I thought what better time in my life to check out and do some self-exploration in a completely foreign place where I am bound to be tested and tried at every turn. Not only that, but maybe join a program or two, using my smarts to work at a rehab center for elephants in Thailand, or doing primatology research at an Orangutan reserve on Sumatra. Wouldn’t that be dandy. Adventures galore.

To be continued…