Moving Abroad

Goals For My Year Abroad

I finally bit the bullet and bought a Kindle.

And I hate Kindles.

I hate Kindles because I love physical books. The feel of them, the smell (the dustier, the better), the fact that one day I would love to have a home library with a port cabinet, so I’m collecting as many novels as possible to facilitate this (I think I was in the region of 150+ the last time I counted, though I could be overestimating).

Yet I bought a Kindle because 1) e-books are often cheaper, and 2) e-books are easily transported.

In Indonesia, English books are harder to come by and a lot more expensive. I remember being in a bookshop in Bali, reading the most epic blurb and then finding out the price and putting the book promptly back. This was for both the classic English novels (think your Austen’s and Wilde’s) as well as contemporary fiction. They were all just so damn expensive, it wasn’t worth my money to buy it in Bali when I would be back in the UK in ten days.

But I’ll be moving to Indonesia permanently in three weeks (THREE WEEKS!? I’m still repressing the feelings), and won’t be able to have the attitude of ‘oh, I’ll wait until I get back to London,’ because then I won’t read a book for at least 11 months.

I also can’t take 20+ books with me there and back. It’s a waste of valuable space for all the other invaluable crap I want to carry around, so the Kindle made sense.

Additionally, because I have amazing friends who read amazing pieces, one of my goals is to read more non-fiction whilst I’m away so that I might become more informed about important topics too. I figured it would be easier to download the likes of What a Time to be Alone by Eggerue and Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible by Adegoke and Uviebinené than it would be to go trawling the shops in West Java.

Which brings me on to my next section:

Goals For My Year Abroad

I don’t want to waste time when I’m in Indonesia. From travelling previously, I know how easy it is to only have fun, fun, fun and some inevitable personal struggle. This year, I don’t want to do that. I want to have fun, fun, fun, the inevitable personal struggle, but also direction and accomplishments.

Because as I get older and travel more, I’m aware that there is a whole world out there, filled with things I may like to do and opportunities I may like to take. I’ll perhaps touch on this in another post, but when I wasn’t travelling, that was the only ambition I had. I saw nothing else but to take myself on the road. Now, as I travel more and find myself about to start a 10 year old dream of living abroad, I can finally look and see what else I would like to do. My mind is open to opportunity more than ever before, because I’m now doing what I love. Does that make sense?

I thought it would be a good idea to set some goals for the year, to hold myself accountable and be in a better position upon my return to the UK. Also, I’m still repressing all of the feelings I currently have about my imminent move, and even thinking that I may accomplish some of these or at least try to, is helping my fear and my homesickness (yes, I have this already) immeasurably.

  1. Read more non-fiction books.
  2. Learn the basics of the Indonesian language – enough to hold a decent conversation by the end, at least.
  3. Get to know the locals and about Indonesia itself.
  4. Make this blog bigger, and write more.
  5. Get published on another platform.
  6. ‘Get swoll’ or more likely: ‘get in better shape.’
  7. Take some online classes or a course, e.g. in writing or gender studies or poverty, etc. Originally, I wanted to see if I could take a distance learning MA, but as I’m not 100% which course is right for me, I don’t want to yet spend the amount of money required. (I’d have to save it first anyway).
  8. Have a path I would like to take upon my return to the UK, whether that’s a career or living elsewhere, I would like to know.

These are all alongside the goals that I generally set myself: to improve in cooking and baking, get better skin, have a healthier diet, have fun, etc. I’m hoping that I can at least get some of these goals accomplished, or in the works, because I’d love to come back to the UK being able to run 13 miles again, or having been published by an online publication, or with more knowledge of intersectionality. I just want to come back to London more confident and assured in my abilities, and to also, hopefully, hopefully, find a bloody path to follow.

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  • Sarah

    A list of goals is a great idea. I wish I had been so organised when I went to work in Italy in my late teens, when my only two aims were to learn Italian and build up some sort of a social life there! What can I say, we humans tend to mature a lot in our early twenties years 😉

    It’s probably not on the scale you had in mind for no 5, but if you’d be interested in writing a post on settling into your new job and life in Indonesia at some point in the coming months, I’d be happy to share it on my blog as a guest post 🙂 It might help a little towards no 4.

    • Diandra Francesca

      Oh absolutely! Even just a year ago, those were my goals, except I wouldn’t even try to learn the language, haha. It would just be ‘have social life, eat food.’

      And omg that would be wonderful! I would absolutely love to do that. You’re amazing <3

      Hope you're having a great week so far, hon! xx And thanks for your comment 🙂 Moving this site over and trying to navigate it has certainly been interesting, lol. I really appreciate your support 🙂 🙂

  • NunziaDreams

    I’m loving your list of goals, dear!! Sooo amazing, and ahhhh you’re getting so close! Only three weeks, that’s so exciting!! I took a class in non-fiction during college. It was about creative non-fiction, and it was one of my favorite classes in college. Also, while I love the smell of books as well, I do not blame you for getting a Kindle at all! They are extremely useful. I’m thinking of buying Alejandro one too for his birthday. He’s always reading his textbooks for school on his phone (cause damn, textbooks are expensive as ever!)

    Amazing post, as usual!! x

    • Diandra Francesca

      Thank you love! 😀 Yes, so close! Only one week to go now and the sleepless nights are beginning to kick in, haha.

      Creative non-fiction sounds kind of like what we write. I do think it’s a lovely genre.

      OMG you’re so right, textbooks are SO expensive – it would definitely be worth getting him one. Which Kindle are you thinking of? I got the cheapest one (and still haven’t used it becauseI’ve bought two books since, haha).

  • Jenny

    I also finally caved in and bought a Kindle when I moved away from the UK, for the same reasons – cost and space. I hated it at first, but there’s no denying how convenient it is. I will say though that I no longer feel the same connection to a book when I don’t see the cover every time I pick it up. Now when anyone asks me what I’m reading, I can never get the title or author completely right!

    • Diandra Francesca

      You’re right. You just made me think about what it is I’m reading… and haha, I only remembered after a few seconds. I do miss being able to lend others my book when I’m done with it too, especially if it’s one I love.

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