What better place to write the next blog entry than at a coin laundry in Jakarta. We just came back from a great trip to Yogyakarta and are getting ready for Borneo. I can’t believe it’s finally time to start our volunteer project. 15 month ago things weren’t great and we had to make some changes to prevent me going crazy. Christmas 2014 the decision was made to leave England. Sounds very easy, but it actually is not that straightforward when you have been living and working somewhere for 11 years. To actually brave the drastic measures of quitting our jobs, selling our house and leaving behind friends, we had to find something that was worthwhile. So what should we do? In most people’s eyes finding a new jobs in Germany would have been the logical choice. But we are not “most people”. As most of you know, we don’t have children, and we are not in this situation by choice. So we needed a different “project” where we could funnel our passion and believes into. One option would have been to try and make shitloads of money. But money does not nessesarily make you happy. Some things in life might be easier if you have it, but we realised, that money should not be the driving factor for our decision. Since we are both passionate about nature and environment, we decided to do something totally different, to see if this could be our future path.
Ok, this was the first step. Google is your friend, so we started looking for projects which are not just for youngsters doing a gap year after school. Looks like we are not such an oddity after all, judging by the numer of different companies offering to help with these career break projects. But which one is good? Some sounded more like a nice holiday, that wasn’t quite what we had in mind. We wanted to make a difference and work on a project close to our heart. To cut a long story short, we ended up with the “Great Projects” and chose to help with the Samboja Lestari Orangutan project, since the story behind it really fascinated us. There is even a TED talk about it (got to love a good TED talk).
Ok, the decision was made and a few month later (it took so long for the 2016 dates to come out) we could finally plan and book the whole trip. What an exciting time. Our families were great, they always supported us in our decision and listened patiently when we told them over and over again how excited we are and confirmed that it’s a great things to do, when we had waves of doubt and fear. We had our moments of worry, when we thought about the time after the project. Will it be easy to find a job? Will people understand the reasoning behind all this? I always worry too much about what other people think, even if it should not matter what random people think about me. But what will our friends think? Will they understand and help us to adjust to all the new situations?
And now, roughly 12 month after we booked this exciting project, we are sitting here in Jakarta, getting ready for our flight to Balikpapan tomorrow morning. It does not feel real right now but I hope I will be able to tell you soon about my first encounter with an orangutan and the work we will be doing throughout the next month.