Why did I Leave My Job and Choose to Travel

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

 

In some recent days, I had messages from friends that following my post on Facebook. I knew that I post stuff there in an album named Deascovery 2015. This album dedicated as my memory after I decide to leave my job in Jakarta and following my passion in traveling, writing and promoting the beauty of Indonesia and another places I’d been during my trip and so on by writing about it.

 

The messages I received mostly asking about what I am doing now? How about my job? Do I have money to travel? And some nice comments as “Hey Dea, you look happier now. I am like to following your post and see how happy you are.” Those kinds of comments exactly help me more eager to do what I am doing now. Travel, and writing, and being grateful for alive and seeing things.

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Photo by @wgadit_fm. Taken in Nuse island, Rote, East Nusa Tenggara.

 

I became so tan or probably better called it as “dark” which I am no longer care about it, anymore… 😉

But how can I ended up here? And able to make such a decision?

It was such a brave decision, they said.

I don’t really know whether I can say myself as a brave one. But the thing is. I just knew what I want to do now and I don’t want to do something else besides of it.

First, to leave Jakarta.

I am in a point that I want to go anywhere as long as I am not doing monotonous life and being in Jakarta. I felt like a robot and trapped by long jam traffic everyday. The fear that I am going old on the traffic pushed me to decide to leave Jakarta, as soon as possible.

 

But it wasn’t such an easy steps actually. Most of it was about the courage. I need to make sure that this is really what I want to do.

 

I had been working in a coal gas exploration company for nearly 6 years. I loved my job and colleagues I had there, they were cool friends who always supporting my passion for traveling and writing. During time as a worker, I already tried some opportunities to follow writing competition or writing for some magazines and online website and got published or won the competition. So… the more I think about it, the more I know that I need to follow the passion that always lingers deep inside my heart, which is to travel and to write. Perhaps also doing volunteer from one place to another.

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Me and Efrat, in Dikira village, Sumba, for Sumba Expedition 2015.

 

I had so many times when I want to quit my job as soon as possible but my friends told me to hold it a bit longer, because the time isn’t right yet. With some uncertain conditions I had for about 2 years in the company, I used that period to prepare my own courage to really leaving my usual job and starting the dream.

 

To short the story, there was a time when the company being sold to another company and my boss asked me whether I want to stay to work with them or not. I told him that working in Jakarta is not my concern anymore. I want to do volunteer and being away from Jakarta. I want to gain lots of new experiences, exploring this country, help people and write about it while I am still young, able to do it, and also because I am still single. I know when I get married and especially if I have kids, it will be difficult to do it. So now is the time. Not tomorrow. Or later.

 

He thought that I am crazy. “Are you sure? When lots of people want to have a job, are you sure that you want to give up your job?”

“Yes, I am sure, sir.”

So here I am now. Writing this with a view of bunch of coconut trees in front of me.

 

In the beginning time after I told my boss about the passion I have, I decide to visit my parent hometown first. I managed to go to Lake Toba, to Sihotang village and to Pematang Siantar… Then I continued to Bukit Lawang to see the Orang Utans, something that I already waited for sooo long to see them. And another spectacular thing I did, was to visit 0 KM, in Sabang, Aceh. When I finally stood in the huge humble sign of 0 KM, I was having tears in my eyes.

I-Left-My-Job-and-Go-Travel (4)I never believe that I finally have no job and able to go to 0 KM!

Oh, for sure you can go to 0 KM anytime. But the happiest thing for being unemployed that I have plenty of times to go to wherever places I want. I can say yes to all opportunities in front of me…

And I said yes when I’d been chosen as 2015 Sumba Expedition Team and the juror asked me whether I can go to Sumba or not. I had to go there for 10 days and learning about renewable energies resources there and make a campaign about it. It won’t be possible to do, if I still stay in the office because I only have 18 days annual leaves… And to tell you the secret, I already took all the leaves even it is still in mid of 2015!

After went to Sumba, I had another trip with a friend to Bali, that moment, I decided to move to Bali on November 2015.

 

My plan was to stay in Ubud, Bali. I want to be away from Jakarta and write something there. But as we know that some plans are not always happened as we want, the staying idea wasn’t working well. Because there was a situation which made me to think twice to stay in Bali at that moment.

 

So when I got an offer to go to Kupang with Asita NTT and Travel Bloggers Indonesia to promote local tourism in Kupang, without thinking I said yes to them and pack my bags. This opportunity I use to stay longer in East Nusa Tenggara instead of Bali. My goal is to explore East Nusa Tenggara from Kupang, to Rote, to Alor, to Lembata until up to Flores and going back to Lombok and Bali.

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Together exploring Kupang with Asita NTT and Travel Bloggers Indonesia. No, we were not only girls 😉

 

I left some of my stuff in my friend’s house in Denpasar, because I told her that I will come back probably after one month trip in East Nusa Tenggara. But deep inside me, I never know when will I come back exactly… They said, “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Probably they were right….

A week ago, I finished the trip in Kupang. It was fun, it was crazy, I got so many new experiences with interesting people during the journey.

As my plan before, I wanted to visit Rote Island after Kupang’s trip, as the beginning of my overland trip in East Nusa Tenggara. A friend decided to follow me so we will go the two of us for the whole trip. But also I always need to be opened for any changes. After almost a week in Rote, he decided to go back to Jakarta because there is important thing he need to do there.

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“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Photo by Valentino Luis, taken in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

 

Well, now I am all alone again. But will it make me give up my dream to exploring Rote? No. Not at all. I know after all, I will do my own journey. The show must goes on, right?

Then another fate came to my hands.

In a random conversation under the starry night in Nuse Island, still in Rote, with a friend of mine last night, it was brought me to make another decision. I said to him I want to help him to exploring Rote, writing about it, make some videos about it, and help people who need my help here, just to make me able to stay longer in Rote Island. I thought, why not the volunteering project started from now on?

He asked, “Are you serious want to do it?”

Me : “YES, SURE! ANYTHING TO MAKE ME ABLE TO STAY HERE!”

Each day I am here, just to prove me that I am falling in love with this island more and more everyday…

He : “DEAL! 2-3 weeks staying, ya?”

Me : “DEAL!!”

Yes, I am that open to anything a head. I believe one opportunity will lead me to another opportunity…

 

This morning he said : “Mbak Dea, why don’t you stay here until January, cause I want to start to make community for young people to learn about our traditions.”

Me : Well….

 

Anugerah hotel in Rote will be my home for the next following days and I can’t wait to blend with local, exploring the island, help people and tell you about it.

“A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.”- Lao Tze

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My humble outdoor office, under the coconut tree 😉 Taken behind Anugerah hotel, candid by Rodolphe.

 

Lots of love from a breathtaking sunset beach,

Dea Sihotang

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27 comments

  1. GOOD FOR YOU, Kak Dea!! So happy reading this. After all, what traveling teaches us is to believe in ourselves. Whether it’s for taking, changing, or even dropping decisions. Semangat untuk jalan-jalan sambil volunteeringnya, Tuhan bersamamu. :*

    Liked by 1 person

      • Salahkan semua kakak2 di TBI! kecuali saya! :p
        hahaaha…

        I am actually at the same path as you, leaving Singapore, leaving my busy life and re-evaluate myself what do I actually want to pursue in this life. it won’t be easy, but your strong determination gonna get you there. Semangat Kak D! Looking forward for your updates! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Read all your story remind me to someone …. Me 🙂
    I did it 11 years a go. Resign, leave the job, and start exploring India solo travelling and continue my education. and.. here i am. 🙂

    Keep writing nd travelling 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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