Checklist Indonesia: Things to accomplish

I love lists.  I have already made about 50 lists in preparation for my move to Indonesia.  Things to buy, things to pack, things to do, people to see, food to pack, errands to run.  I have lists of the lists I have. It gets a little tiring, but it keeps me (somewhat) organized.

When I decided to move to Indonesia and take this job, I felt like it was my first “real” job.  I’ve just finished my Master’s, and the job required three years teaching experience (which I had from my jobs in Europe), and it also required a Master’s in ESL. So now that I feel pretty legit, I also decided that I needed to have grown up plans.  I’m not talking buying a house here, or even a car, or even a life plan (!) but things I want to accomplish along with my first “real” job this year.  Some of these are also, “I need to grow up” suggestions.  I will also willingly admit, my list is a little faulty because I KNOW I will accomplish some of them since it is in my job description …

I shall try to combine them into like categories, and I will probably also add to them in the coming weeks before I go (or when I arrive).


  • Start a blog (check)
  • write in said blog a few times a month
  • Write in journal weekly
  • Learn basic Indonesian/go to lessons weekly
  • keep up Spanish language as much as possible
  • Read Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal (HP & the Sorcerer’s Stone in Spanish–my only Spanish language book).  I will admit- very optimistic of me…let’s say, read HALF


  • Do yoga several times per week (with help from my yogi cousin, Margo,…skype?)
  • Run another half-marathon (apparently there are lots in Indo)
  • Find a swimming pool in some Western hotel and start swimming weekly
  • Try new food that I wouldn’t normally (obviously a given, but I’m thinking here of trying sometime *gross*  like lamb brain?)

Travel: (this includes places in Indonesia I know I want to go, and also other places)

  • go to Bali
  • Go to Lombok (should be easy since my friend Christen will be teaching there!)
  • go to Jakarta (also, duh)
  • go to Yogyakarta
  • Go to Thailand
  • go to Australia!!!! (for xmas I hope to FINALLY meet some of my cousins, and to see again other cousins & aunts & uncles!)
  • go to Arizona AND meet Bridget’s gummy bear baby boyy!
  • go to England/Ireland on my way back from Indo next summer to visit family & friends

Hobbies/Learn how to :

  • Learn a new instrument (okay, I wrote this BEFORE Floydfest, but I’m now the proud owner of a ukulele.) Also room for Indonesian instrument?
  • Learn three new chords on guitar
  • find guitar in Indo?
  • Learn how to sew (yeah right)
  • Learn how to scuba dive (yikes)
  • Hike more
  • Learn more about Islam (apparently this will be quite easy as my students/colleagues will want to teach me.  I feel this is especially important for me to be able to explain to people in the U.S. how Islam is not this scary religion).
  • Send more letters (Sophia & Mark are my current pen-pals–although they might not enjoy the term ‘pen-pal’… anyone else want to write letters? It’s so fun!)
  • Email my Nana weekly (oh yeah, she’s got email!)
  • Learn how to NOT scream at bugs or creepy crawleys.


  • Write an article for a journal
  • give teacher-training workshops
  • Present at a conference (eek! this is happening in November!)
  • Start a book-club/ some kind of ‘American corner’ organization in Palembang
  • find a job abroad for fall 2013 (renew in Indo? or go to Latin America)


  • Learn how to use iPad
  • freaking READ the manual to my new camera
  • stop taking a bazillion pictures- or at least delete bad/repetitive ones.
  • Learn how to clean off my computer
  • only check fb ONCE  a day
  • stop fearing technology


  • Do not buy things you don’t need
  • save 20% of salary
  • Chip away at Student Loans


  • ride an elephant
  • see volcanoes
  • go to an Indonesian wedding
  • do not hyperventilate when seeing a rat
  • find an Irish pub in Indonesia
  • keep making lists

About Deirdre Hand

"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted." Bill Bryson
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3 Responses to Checklist Indonesia: Things to accomplish

  1. OMG we’re obviously soul mates. Did I show you my uberlist? I can help with a bunch of these! First one: find Irish Pub!

  2. Kate Bu says:

    I love your list! And I like the book club idea…what a great idea to do something I already love (reading books and talking about them) and connect it to our work here!

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