Leaving France : the unexpected journey

At that time, I remember how hard it was leaving France. I went from being surrounded with family and living in my comfort zone to a strange world outside of my comfort zone.

Leaving France : the unexpected journey

Growing up in Strasbourg, in the cold Alsace, I was dreaming to be an archeologist. I was always overwhelmed by seeking the truth in books and understanding the world we living in. Discovering unknown places, meeting indigenous people, sharing some stare and laugh with them. I knew I wanted to be an explorer, a better version of Indiana Jones or tom raider ; pack my backpacking and exploring and discovering the world and beyond.  

In February 2013 from my hometown Strasbourg, I started planning an escape somewhere in the world. At that time I didn’t pay attention about the destination, I just wanted to get out from France. At 22 years old I felt bored in my comfort zone. I deiced to apply for an internship for 2 months, I have sent over 600 cv and motivation letters to China, Mexico, south Africa, Australia and countless countries.

I get accepted by two companies ; one in Singapore and one in Indonesia. The living cost was higher in Singapore so the choice was quiet easy. Indonesia here I come. The day my brother dropped me out to the airport, I start stressing out with some tears in my eyes. Questioning myself if it’s a finally a good idea. Somehow it was a good stress or what psychologists refer to as “eustress ;  the type of stress we feel when we are excited. Going to the unknown is scary, but staying home forever is deadly.

The first days in Indonesia

June 2013 from the sky, somewhere in the air between Europe and Asia, sitting blankly in the airplane ; thinking about new horizon to grow my dreams and escaping the lack of adventure and challenge in France. I just touched down in Indonesia. I’m overwhelmed by the heat and the humidity. Here I am in the 4th largest country on the planet. A country that I barely know. Two nice ladies from the office picked me up. They were the two first Indonesians I meet beside the immigrations officers. They make me feel comfortable, one of them (Niken) was fluent in french so I felt even better.

We arrived at my place where I will spend my two next month, in the center of Jakarta “sarinah”. I was amazed by the big buildings, the noise of the streets and the amount of people eating on the street. I was lost. Completely lost and scared.

Jakarta is an exhausting city, around 12 million people hustle here. The first months in Jakarta were surprisingly uncomfortable, shocking, and morose. I started with fear, with doubt, with hands shaking, with voice trembling, and with a broken english. Jakarta raised me to the point that I start having another perspective about Gratitude, patience, loneliness. And learned living out of my zone of comfort. Instead of staying for 2 months, I finally extend my internship for 6 months.

Leaving France changed my life. It opened me up to all the possibilities the world had to offer. I experienced another culture, the wildlife that I was imagining when I was a child, is here under my foot and in front my eyes. That exact moment I became : a wanderlust.

The way back home

There is no doubt that the reason I’m flying back is to see my family and my friends and tell them these stories that happened to me, but I knew that I am happier here. I flew home, start working during 8-9 months in 2014. My manager offered me a promotion, I rejected it and decide to fly back to Indonesia where I got a job in Bali in 2015 and set out on an adventure plan life around the world that continues to this day.