Eat. Write. Travel.

Travelogues and Musings by Nandra Galang Anissa

Where I’ve Been and Where To Go

September 4, 2017 nandrawr 0 Comments

I guess my worst fear has happened since I started this blog: I forgot about it. In fact, I think I forgot about a lot of things. I forgot where my passion lies, and somewhere along the way I left my craft. I left my notebooks filled with thoughts and outpouring of emotions in the corner, to collect dust and store memories — instead of creating new ones to remember.

I was still writing, but I was doing it for a living, and so it was different. I began to associate writing with work, and deadlines which used to be my motivation turned to dread. Opening a Word document, didn’t bring as much excitement as it used to.

So, here we are. Months after my latest post. Months after the last time I wrote for the sake of writing. Sure, I have tonnes of drafts somewhere in the labyrinth of my hard drive. But, somehow I convinced myself it wasn’t worth publishing anywhere. The internet is too cluttered, so no one will read it anyway, I thought. Of course, that should have never been the point, but a girl can dream, yknow?

However, that’s not why I’m here.

I want this to be a testament about my life’s progress, now that I’m nearing my quarter century in this planet. I get so caught up with creating an idea of what I’m going to be in the future, I forgot about what I have in the present. So, I’m hoping by writing this post it would be therapeutic for me.

Aaaand, here’s what I’ve been up to:


1. I have resigned from my job

Yepp. It’s part of the starting a whole new chapter thing. I left my job after 2.5 years, and I left with a baggage of knowledge and experience to take me further. Looking back, I never thought I’d be where I am since graduating 4 odd years ago. I honestly thought I was going to be a journalist, but I soon realise that’s not the path for me.

I came home after a glorious gap year to find Indonesia progressing at a speed that is unheard of before. It was overwhelming to come home finding your life made much easier thanks to a single device in your pocket. I mean, seriously, just five years ago, I could never have imagined I would be able to conveniently request for an ojek to pick me up with just a few clicks on my phone, AND not to have to haggle for a price (ojek drivers were notorious for overcharging, smh)

However, there are a lot more work to do for Indonesia. We’re still lagging behind other nations in terms of digital literacy, and the quality of our tech talents are way behind. I really believe that the power of tech and digital will be the driving force to move the country forward. But, to reach that point where we can call Indonesia a digital nation, we need the right set of policies to make sure we’ll be able to compete in an increasingly globalised market.

You see, I would not have gotten these insights, had I not gotten the privilege to witness, get an insider look and learn from the best in the industry. It has truly been a humbling experience, and now I feel like it’s time for me to contribute more to the industry.


2. I have moved to London

…and temporarily closing the gap with Alex. Yaaa, long distance is hard, fam. But, on top of the romantic reason, I’m moving to pursue my masters at LSE. Which to me, is the bigger reason for the move, to be honest. I think it’s the right time for me to do it, as I’ve finally understood what industry I’d like to build my career in.

I’m going to join the Media and Communications department in LSE, so technically it’s like going back to my roots. However, my main decision to take this degree mostly stems from my work experience and exposure with the tech startups community, as I’ve explained above. My degree will mainly focus on digital transformation and will explore on the importance, impact and role of data in a modern society. Yeah, I’ve never found it easy to explain what I’ll be studying, and of course, not a lot of people would understand why I chose to pursue this for my master’s. But, in a nutshell, this degree was a perfect combination of my academic background in social science and my work experience in the tech industry, and my gut just tells me this would be the right move for me to move further in that field.

Anyways, other than the studying bit, I’m having mixed emotions about moving to London. Sure, it’s probably my favourite city in the world, but as with each time I move abroad, I’m incredibly anxious about living there. The news I read and hear about the country doesn’t help in remedying the anxiety, too. What helped though, is the prospect of reconnecting with friends I haven’t properly seen in years, the excitement of being as student again, and of course, being reunited with Alex.


3. I staffed a CISV camp this summer!

So, I took another plunge, after being dormant from the CISV circle for over 5 years now. I went through what I’d like to call a “rite of passage” for a CISVer: being an adult at camp. My last international CISV experience was my seminar camp 7 years ago, and I had no idea how the organisation has changed since then.

Aside from having to understand somewhat new regulations, it didn’t feel any different at all. In fact, it was like coming back home. I’ve almost forgotten about the warm and fuzzies I feel at camp. I’ve almost forgotten about how much I’d miss the routine of waking up to flag time, the kiitos, the lullabies, the energizer (PIPOCA!), the running games, the intense discussion activities… Except this time as staff I just had to deal with some kids driving me off the wall, making sure everyone is fed every day, and driving the sick ones to the hospital. Despite some stressful moments: a fractured hand, running out of toilet paper, and an exploding basketball (don’t ask) — I wouldn’t trade the 3 weeks I spent with them for anything else.

To this day, I’m still haunted by the noises people make during wake up time, singing of CISV song, and just the feeling of having 48 other people around me almost all the time.

I miss you, all, my dear anak setans. I hope we’d get to see each other again soon 😉


4. I went to Bali and (finally) got my Advanced Open Water license

I’ve put down get my AOWD license since my last trip to Komodo 2 years ago. The pressure of work and everything has completely worn me out, but I finally did it during a trip to Tulamben few weeks ago! I was a bit hesitant at first but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. I’m glad I did it in Tulamben, too.

The current was always calm in Tulamben, and the Liberty wreck is a definite must-see for any scuba addicts out there. It was the first wreck I’ve ever dived, and I was stunned by the biodiversity. It was fascinating to see how something that’s “dead” now becomes part of the ecosystem, sustaining the life of organisms in that area. Needless to say, I’m definitely coming back because I haven’t gotten enough of Coral Garden. With visibility of up to 20m, how could I resist?


In a nutshell, I’ve spent the past 5 months or so trying to set my sails to the right course, so to speak. Although, who can ever know what the “right” course is — life’s holds too much mystery, and sometimes one just have to rely on their intuition. I have to admit, it has been tough to make this decision. There were a lot anxieties, confusion, and some disappointment. But, it got me to where I am now, and for now, I am happy.

What comes next and where to go from here? I still don’t quite have the answer to that. I guess for now I’m just going to cruise on, roll the windows down, enjoy the ride and hope that London is going to be good to me.

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