Can you believe it’s already been 6 months since I moved to Indonesia? Life has been so crazy I have not even been able to blog about it. But FINALLY! I can tell you a bit about the How and why I moved to Indonesia, getting you up to speed with my fans following my life here on Facebook.
There are many nuances about my life in Malang, Indonesia. However, the following video, recorded prior my departure, will tell you a bit more about myself and how I ended on this magical country. If you have any tips or enchanting places I should visit Indonesia, please leave a comment below!
How and Why I Moved to Indonesia VIDEO and transcript
Hola! My name is Maria Alexandra Laborde, and I’m a 27-year-old translator and travel blogger from Caguas, Puerto Rico.
You can kind of say I’ve become a serial expat, as this is not my first move abroad. I actually moved from Puerto Rico to Tampa, Florida to go to college back in 2005. during college, I also studied abroad in Egypt and Morocco for about a year and a half. I traveled all over the Middle East, Europe and I loved it, so I vowed to myself that once I got back graduated I would become a nomadic translator and hit the road indefinitely.
But then life happened…
Before I even graduated, on my last semester, I got a translation job. Once I got my 2 degrees, I earned a quick promotion to manager of 2 departments. So there was this war between my adventurous spirit and all this newfound success and money at an early age so I was confused. Unfortunately, at the time, the latter suffocated the former.
Things changed very quickly in early 2013 though, as I suffered of an on-the-job injury and had to move back to my parents in Puerto Rico because I lost my job. Things were tough.
It was during one of those “I have no idea where my life is going” moments that I realized “hey! I’ve always wanted to go to Indonesia!” Ever since I was little kid, I was fascinated by its biodiversity and the mix of Buddhist/Muslim/Portuguese/Arab…all these cultures. So then, I went through that my files and I remembered there’s a full-ride scholarship that would allow me to study in-country, all-expenses-paid, the Bahasa Indonesia language and also their culture.
So I was like WOW, let’s apply…so I applied, crossed my fingers very tightly and…BOOM! Just in June (2014) I found out that I WAS SELECTED!
This move came with some great SACRIFICES though, of course.
I was in a 3-year relationship and had to take an indefinite break due to the great distance. Also, I have a 2-year-old nephew back in Puerto Rico and he’s growing up so fast. I’m afraid he’s not going remember me when I come back…
As for the city I’m moving into, I can honestly say that I did not choose Malang: Malang chose me. It was nowhere in my application for the scholarship. However, the committee felt that since one of my goals was to delve deeper into the culture that Malang fit the bill. And, after reading more about it and finding out that it is known as “the Paris of East Java,” I was pretty convinced.
Now on to the house hunting experience which was, very surprisingly, the easiest part of this entire process! Right after I got the scholarship, I went online and searched in the Indonesian language for boarding houses in Malang. Given my budget, there was no way I was going to find something the boarding house while searching in English.
BUT! Just 2 days in I found a boarding house I liked, I haggled the price down in Indonesian via email, finalized everything through Skype, put my deposit in, and that was that!
It’s pretty crazy that because of an injury is that I’m actually moving to Malang, Indonesia. Even crazier is the fact that I’m moving there without ever stepping foot on that country. Or town. EVER. But that seems to be my life and my motto. There’s a famous quote that sums it all up very nicely: “It is only in adventure that some people finally find themselves, get to know themselves.”