I’m sitting here on the floor at LAX waiting to check in my bags to go home. It’s a fitting end to a year where I haven’t been of any fixed address for more than four months at a time and have spent an absolutely incredible amount of time at airports, as well as bus and train stations…
2010 started in Jakarta on a sweaty night spent drinking with friends at a Kemang dive pub, then getting home on an ojek, darting through the small backstreets while people in the kampungs blew horns and let off fireworks. Then it went, if I recall correctly… Yogyakarta, Pangandaran, Jakarta, Denpasar, Kuta, Padangbai, Sanur, Ubud, Denpasar, Jakarta, Georgetown (Penang, Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur, Yogyakarta, Kaliurang, Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya, Probolinggo, Cemoro Lawang/Mt Bromo, Surabaya, Sidoarjo, Surabaya, Singapore, Batam, Medan, Tuk-Tuk (Lake Toba), Medan, Bukit Lawang, Banda Aceh, Pulau Weh/Sabang, Jakarta, Kuta, Melbourne, Albury, Sydney, Albury, Melbourne, Albury, Sydney, Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York City, Washington DC, Phoenix AZ, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Washington DC, Los Angeles (where I am now…). Then I’m on a plane… Sydney… to Albury… then to Canberra in a week or so. So this is my third international move of the year, not counting the months of backpacking.
Yeesh. Part of me looks at that and goes “wow, what a year.” The other part looks at that and goes “I’m really tired and now I can kind of understand why.” Add three months of full time work in Jakarta at the start of the year, three months of freelancing on the road, a couple of months working at the family restaurant and freelancing, four months working part-time in the US while completing my first semester of graduate school in a discipline I haven’t studied before, an intensive language program in Yogyakarta, trying to teach myself macro and microeconomics… a lot has been crammed in.
It has been really great. I’ve seen some really amazing things and met some amazing people and I am super super thankful that I had the opportunity to do all of this cool stuff. But now I’m tired. And broke. So my resolution for 2011 is to roughly stay in the same place for at least a year. Sounds simple enough, right? That place will be Canberra… I’ve decided to transfer back to finish my master’s degree at the Australian National University (the reasons list is lengthy and complicated… those that know me in person can ask about it when they see me). I’m also resolving to keep up the good grades, and also to look after myself and to rebuild a bit financially etc after a crazy year.
But 2010 certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry, that’s for sure.
So while I’m planning for a 2011 that is a little more sedate (but not toooooo sedate…), I wish everyone the best of luck for whatever adventure they have got planned for the year ahead.
Happy new year… or selamat tahun baru, if that’s more your style.
Note: The picture up top is from a restaurant called “Bubba Shrimp” in New Orleans. It was a Forrest Gump themed restaurant… if you were fine and didn’t need service, you left the sign as “Run Forrest Run.” If you needed to catch the waitresses’ attention, you flipped it over to the “Stop Forrest Stop” sign.