It all started 2-3 years ago. At that time I was working in Romania as a web engineer for a big Norwegian company. I don’t know what happened but at some point I wasn’t feeling very well, don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed the people I was working with, but somehow I lost my appetite for work. The days were passing and I was doing almost nothing, comparing with previous years when I was totally engaged.
I remember that I was siting at my desk all day in front of my 22 inch screen reading on tedoo.ro the adventures of Brad Florescu touring around Thailand on a side car motorbike, or the self discovery journey of Sega in India and Nepal (Namaste).
Than an opportunity knocked on my door: to go and study 1 year in Indonesia. But for all this to happen I had to make a small-big step: to leave everything behind and go. And as romantic as is sounds, it’s actually not easy at all, at least for me it wasn’t. Human brain is so fucked up sometimes. You know those moments when you want something really bad and when it’s finally happening you have doubts. Half a year I was thinking of what to do, but eventually I realized that is better now than later, that I either have the balls to do it now or I will spend a few months regretting it and start all over again, searching for another opportunity.
My first long journey in Indonesia was in Karimunjawa. My plan was to stay there for only 3 days, but on the last day I couldn’t leave. I felt like I was in the right place so why leave? I didn’t have too much money so I decided to sleep on an empty beach that I saw the day before. Didn’t have any clue how to get there, so I asked some locals, they all pointed in the same direction but they all had different answers, between 3 and 7 km (gotta love the indonesian way of giving directions, they won’t say I don’t know so they just invent something). It didn’t matter, I started to walk alone. On the way there I stopped at different houses for some water, fruits and a chitchat (didn’t knew too much indonesian). After 3 hours of walking in the sun, a scooter stopped near me and a guy with a big beard and a strong british accent asked me where I am going. I told him that I am trying to find a beach. He asked me if he could join me and I said yes. 30 minutes later we were on the beach with 2 bottles of Bintang beer and 2 fresh fish ready to be grilled. His name is Sandeep, an indian guy that was working for some years in UK as a programmer. Now he was traveling in Indonesia and wanted to go on his motorbike to Papua, perfect match. That night I realized, nothing was planned but it was so much better than anything I could ever imagined.
I spent another 5 days on the beach sleeping in a hammock 5m from the sea with no roof over my head. It’s amazing how many and different people somehow appeared on that beach those days: a couple from Poland, some Greeks, some Slovakians, a couple from Russia (the guy was just returning from North Pole), a guy from Chile, somebody from France, a girl from Ukraine with a dude from USA and many others, all special people. 5 days of freedom combined with unbelievable discussions, amazing nature and snorkeling.
Do I need to say more? O yeah, on our way back, Sandeep and I placed our backpacks on the slow ferry and went near the port for a coffee. Of course we were too relaxed and we didn’t hear the signal of the ferry leaving. When we realized what happened, we started to run like crazy but it was too late. We were stuck on the island with no backpacks almost no money and no way to get a refund on the tickets. But we were not alone. Our friends from Greece missed the ferry as well. Really calm and smiling we found the only ATM on the island, tried 3 cards, and finally managed to take some money out. One problem solved, one more to go: our backpacks were on the ferry that just left. I called some friends from Jogja, to find the number of some students on the ferry. After 7 calls, making the tour of the world, I finally got a number, but the guy didn’t have signal. Ok lets go to the port and try to contact the ferry from there. But wait we don’t speak indonesian and they don’t speak english. Sandeep was funny, really calm, the guy was speaking with them in a sign/english language and somehow they understood but they could only contact the ferry in 2 hours. Ok relax, lets eat something have a coffee and take the next fast ferry. After 2 hours, while on the fast ferry I received a call from the russian girl: all is ok, we saw your backpacks on the ferry, we took them and we will wait for you. 2 hours later we were in Jepara, laughing in a waroeng about the day.
Why to make plans? Only to miss this kind of people and adventures? No way man.
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