A fairly nomadic childhood possibly sent me on this path. Although, I think it tended to make me sedentary for too many years… until I started moving again. I lived in 10 different houses, in 5 towns, and went to 6 different schools before I left home, then I stayed put for almost 20 years in Sydney, Australia. I was the first person in my family to get a passport, but it was my brother who went off and discovered the world, while I got on with the business of life and a career.
After a rather stressful week at work, I booked a holiday to Bail. ‘Who wants to go to Bail’ was a phrase that often passed my lips whenever anyone mentioned the place. In my imagination it was a place for drunken Australians to get even more drunk, not my cup of gin. But it was cheap. Then I started reading about the place, and it’s unique and wonderful culture, it was more than I thought. Much more.
While in Bali, I remembered a few phrases of Indonesian that I had learnt for a short time at one of my schools. Indonesians are great at making you feel special and clever for even attempting to bastardise their language. As I felt clever and special, after I went home I enrolled in Indonesian classes. My next holiday was to Java, the one after that to Flores, the next to Sulawesi, Indonesia had me hooked… I had the travel bug. I had more than the travel bug, I wanted to live and work in another culture.
Time passed, and one day I stumbled upon an add for a job as a tour leader in Asia. ‘I could do that’, I thought – I’d taken my friends away and organised them. I applied, got the job, and ended up leading tours in Malaysian Borneo. When the opportunity arose, I started leading trips in Indonesia as well.
To celebrate more than 10 years in this extraordinary part of the planet, and on my 50 years of being on the surface of it, I wanted to do something mildly epic, so like many pilgrims before me, I will follow the path of the Camino de Santiago, to give thanks for my good fortune, hopefully raise some funds for some less fortunate in Indonesia, and consider my next 50 years. This blog will be a record of my journey.