October 13, 2015

Off to the other side of the world

San Francisco > Taiwan > Bali

I'm 43,100 feet in the air, traveling at 644 miles per hour. It's -54 degrees outside my double-paned window. I spent seven days knowingly leading up to this moment and I'm still having trouble processing the fact I'm hovering over the International Date Line, above the vast mystery of the Pacific Ocean. My first reaction is laughter when I hear mention of Bali, Indonesia, or South East Asia, because I still feel I am in some sort of dream state. This is real?

Nine days ago, I was opening my eyes to my blaring fire-truck alarm set for 4:45am. By 6:45am, after having yet another call in another time zone, I was sitting next to my classmate, Kacie, asking the question:

"Wait, did we both just get jobs in Bali?"

Seven days ago, I was sitting at a boutique coffee shop in the small town of Loomis, California, discussing the mysteries of what our next few months would look like in a country I had only dreamt of (and seen through the eyes of Julia Roberts' character in Eat, Pray, Love). "Our project manager said to come ASAP and the cheapest flight is next Friday, should we just get them?" My life seemed to be rolling like a wave of questions. Not knowing where we would be living, what our salary would look like, or even a complete answer of what our jobs would entail, I pulled out my credit card.

I was moving to Bali in a week.

The past week has flown by with a scroll of emotions – excitement, being overwhelmed, questioning – which then led to both tears of sadness and joy. Now, here I am, sitting in row 71, seat A, on a 777-300ER, enduring 35 hours of travel time.

The next three months of my life fits in a mustard yellow North Face Terra 45L backpack, and I'm about to enter a life of living in a villa, driving a moped, having an afro (thanks humidity), and working for a socially-conscious creative marketing agency.

Halfway around the world, in the town of Canggu, I'll be working within visual and graphic design roles, as well as marketing, for a new humanitarian organization (that's making charity "sexy") called Mercy Machines. We will be teaming up with companies such as GoPro and BMW to put on a twelve-day ride across four islands of Indonesia, bringing medical supplies and clean water resources to villages only accessible by motorbike – staying on the south sides of the islands to incorporate a surf trip as well.

So I sit here laughing in this uncomfortable seat, listening to The New Basement Tapes, and pouring my thoughts into my Notes app. Somewhere above a large mystery of blue, I am awaiting the 14-hour mark, until we land in Taipei, Taiwan, where I can take a long 12-hour nap on an airport floor (damn those night layovers). I'm unsure of what the next 90 days has in store, but that seems to be my preferred way of living.

Don't mind me, I'll just be in the air somewhere, pinching myself.

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