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Keeping The Dream Alive

It was hot and humid, the streets were lined with vendors sweeping their porches, getting their shops ready for the first customer of the day. People calmly sat on verandas, sipping away at their tiny glasses of black coffee. Small waves broke the silence as they crashed onto the shore of black volcanic sand. In the distance the first morning prayer to Allah took place while incense offerings to Shiva filled the cosmos with a pleasant fragrance, swirling and twirling into the air.

The power of Indonesia swept me off my feet and it is here, where the humidity, black coffee, black sand, morning prayers and incense woke me up; where I fell in love with a country and her people and more than anything else, the language.

I spent countless of hours reading up on the diversity of the 17 000 islands of Indonesia, making virtual Google Earth visits to tiny islands, villages and forests; I looked for jobs, opportunities and even bursaries. My obsession with Indonesia during that time easily got blamed on the wonderful vacation I had there the first time, but it all changed when the beautiful sounds of Bahasa Indonesia crawled into my heart and out of my mouth. It was no longer an obsession; it was the start of a lifelong-never-ending-dream.

It started with a free online Indonesian language course, then I got a Teach Yourself Indonesian book, bought a dictionary and miraculously found an Indonesian guy about 2 hours away who taught me the language during weekends for a few hours. After my first visit I went back a few more times for much longer periods, had simple conversations in Indonesian and studied some more. It was no longer an obsession; it was the start of a lifelong-never-ending-dream.

The dream was simple: be fluent in Indonesian and live in Indonesia. That was over two years ago and to this day I'm still hopeful; believing that every single day is a day closer to the dream.

Dreams are fearless without an expiration date. Dreams don’t fit into a structure, a law or a requirement. Dreams are irrational and hopeful. Dreams don’t take no for an answer, they find an answer; they make the impossible, possible. Dreams are powerful and sometimes it’s the only thing we have to hang on to.

The dream is still there and I’m keeping it alive – it is a path unknown, a path of mystery and destiny. I will try not to speed to process along or ask questions, I will try to wait patiently because the dream is simple: be fluent in Indonesian and live in Indonesia.

It’s a lifelong-never-ending-dream and I am keeping the dream alive.


COUNTRY


Profile photo of Anje Rautenbach

The craziness and desire to travel started from a very young age. I went from the backseat of my parents' VW kombi to leaving South Africa in 2009 to explore South Korea and the rest of Asia.I picked up the travel bug quite fast - the unknown intrigued me and I got mesmerised by different smells, cultures, food, languages and adventures. I explored beautiful places around Asia, ate delicious Asian food, got food positioning countless times, collected Asian beer cans, did a two month cycle trip in Indonesia, fell in love with bicycle touring, studied Indonesian, taught English, ticked off items on my bucket list, added items to my bucket list, filled up a passport, met locals, lived like a local, CouchSurfed, got tattoos and developed a personal mantra to "dream, explore & discover".I tried to be professional, with a decent eight-to-five job in South Africa as a copy writer, but with a serious case of wanderlust, everlasting itchy feet and an adventurous heart to explore the unknown...I quit my job. My bicycle, panniers and passport are luring me away daily from the safe and familiar into a wandering journey, never a destination.



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