Where Were We…?

A funny thing happened just after my last post hit the screen. Well, maybe not so funny, really. I’ll start over. A really frustrating thing happened just after my last post. Our lone computer, an old Acer laptop, stopped working. I took it to one of the few repair shops in town, and was told it would take “a week” to fix. This entire post could be about Bali’s notorious “rubber time”, a phenomenon that can change minutes into hours into days into weeks into months -but it’s not. I only mention this bcuz the comatose state of our laptop meant that I couldn’t write my blog posts (or get to my photos or to my other writings, etc.). Thus the silent blog treatment all this time.

Meanwhile, the earth spun and life moved on and much happened for everyone and everything. In September I returned home for the first time since we moved away to Bali, and had one of the best 6 weeks ever. The weather was perfect, every day. I spent a lot of time alone, and a lot of time with loved ones. (and a lot of time on Jack and Kristi’s, and Matt and Rita’s couches, thanks!). I walked miles and miles through my favorite diverse San Francisco neighborhoods in between great visits with dad and family and friends. I hugged a lot of people, and felt a lot of love. I even extended my stay an extra week in order to enjoy the sensation of the Giant’s playoff run and 3rd World-Series victory. What fun that was -and every bit as crazy improbable and thrilling as the other 2.

One morning early in my visit, I was walking alone along Crissy Field. The whole scene was as perfect as it gets, and I had many hours at hand. My thoughts turned to what it felt like to be back at this familiar and beloved city and bay area, and something interesting washed over me. I became aware that I had returned as a visitor, rather than as a resident. I could feel the difference, and it felt ok -even good. Something had changed. I was not craving, or pining or wishing that we were still living in bernal, with the life we’d had. And I did not regret spending the past 18 months living somewhere else. In fact, walking along the bay at that moment reinforced that we could indeed go live abroad and explore the world, and come back to visit San Francisco -at any time. I imagined many similar returns in the future for years to come.

More than just wanting to retire, we wanted to live in foreign lands and witness other cultures, and to move outside of our familiar circles and comfort zones. Bali qualified, and is our home base for now. We don’t know how long we’ll stay there. We talk about possibilities and options a lot, maybe to remind ourselves that we have them. It seems likely that we’ll spend most of the next 2-3 years in Southeast Asia, maybe more, using Bali as our base, or not. We’ve yet to set foot in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, nor the biggest fish of all, India. And, our home country of Indonesia has over 14,000 islands to explore, a good handful of which are especially interesting (and on our horizon).

We’ll continue to miss seeing and living near our loved ones back in the Bay Area though. There’s just no getting around this sad consequence to what we’re doing. It affects us both, as a constant. However, we do appreciate at least how social media has changed the experience of travel. During our 2 years away, we’ve been able to connect and follow along with our circle of family and friends in a way that was impossible not long ago. We love visitors too, by the way, wink, wink.

Now, eight months after that stroll along Crissy Field, our Acer is still in a coma. However, I’ve been reunited with wordpress via my old imac, pulled out of storage, and I’m back in San Francisco again, living in our bernal house for a while. Before the Giant’s won that 3rd championship, I met with the couple who were renting our house, and explained that we’d decided to move back to San Francisco about now in order to sell it (and most of our possessions). What followed over the next several months was a slow game of San Francisco tenant-owner checkers, which ended in a flurry of crowning and then suddenly they were gone. I needed to return to SF quickly, while Jennifer needed to stay in Bali. I’ve been busy schlepping boxes and chairs and futons ever since, and dealing with home repair jobs, and etc, AND getting reacquainted with our 2 cats -which has made us all very happy. Meanwhile Jennifer has been really busy in Ubud too; managing Jingga’s amazing honest-to-God recovery and home-coming (his story could be a movie with Sean Penn); finishing home-repair projects herself; and seeking out the best sub-letters available for the time that we’ll be away. She’ll wrap up those loose ends and join me here in SF soon. We figure to stay 5-6-7 months before returning to Ubud.

There’s much work ahead for us, and people to hug. We’re excited about this long visit back home. And we’re excited about what will follow.


A peek at what’s to come:













1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. arthurkoch2015
    May 27, 2015 @ 06:50:38

    Great photos! Good to have you back for a while.


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