ex·pa·tri·ate1. To send into exile.2. To remove (oneself) from residence in one’s native land.3. To give up residence in one’s homeland.4. To renounce allegiance to one’s homeland.
I moved to Indonesia in year 2012. Living in Indonesia is one of the most challenging and exciting experience in my life. I did not realise culture shock can be so prevalent until I went through it personally. I consider myself to be someone who is open to changes but yet when face with reality, it is really tough. Wait, do not be mistaken. I love Indonesia. It is such a beautiful country filled with different cultures. There is so much to learn and experience in Indonesia.
My husband always say, “We can never finish touring Indonesia in our lifetime. There are too many islands.”
According to wikipedia, Indonesia consists of 17,508 islands! There are about 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia and some can be really exotic. It is the fourth most populous county and I thank God I am living here. I know many people dream of living in cities rather than islands. If you know me personally, I am such a typical city girl. Back in Singapore, I will never leave house without make-up and I adore heels.
I love fashion and will always try to dress well, at least in my opinion. Over here, everything just change. Yes, you do see some Indonesians dressing well but that is only in the city. After all, be realistic… have you ever seen their roads? It is crazy to wear heels on such uneven roads. Okay, sometimes I still wear heels but it depends on where I am going. No one walks on pavement either, it is dangerous especially if you are a girl walking alone on the streets. The most common transport is motorbike, so most people will be wearing jeans or pants. If you see someone wearing skirts, he or she probably drives. Anyway it is crazy to wear mini-skirts and bike around.
Listed above are just some of the differences that I experience. If you want to live in a foreign place, you need to be prepared emotionally, physically and spiritually because there are just so many things you need to change and it can be overwhelming. Culture shock if not properly dealt with can lead to depression.
A new living environment is stressful but yet exciting at the same time. There are many opportunities where I can be a blessing to the community and this is what I really want to do.
Click to read more about my expat experience in Indonesia and to find out nice places to tour in Bandung!