The longing feeling when you crave something so bad, it takes over your mind and consumes all your thoughts, you just have to have it. It shouldn’t be, but it is the highest priority in your life.
The simple yet clichè life. School, uni, career, marriage, kids, retire. Hmmm no thanks. I’ve ticked off two of these, but in no way have I lived my life so far following the norm. I was lucky enough to travel to Europe and USA representing my country and state in football (soccer) whilst i was in my senior years at school. Many trips to Indonesia and travelling the Australian states for many different competitions in surfing and football. These trips created unique experiences that I never wanted to end as well as many worldly insights into travel.
Everyone has a plan or idea of where their life is going. I wasn’t really one of these. I finished school and set off to university with an open mind and two new housemates. I would escape class as often as I could to the beach and surf. With countless trips to Bali, attending way to many parties and nursing some dreaded hangovers after the famous PE parties, I attended the very minimal classes but somehow I graduated. Like most young and innocent girls, I had this image of the dream guy. Someone I didn’t know, someone new, someone good looking and of course a surfer. But It never crossed my mind that he wouldn’t be local to the area, state or even from this country.
It was right in front of me. One of my best friends. Love smacked me right in the face. With too many trips to Bali to count, I was surfing and hanging out with who I considered one of my best friends. Little did I know we were in love. I never planned on including a long distance relationship in this so called ‘life plan’. As I have been told by many that know me, I never actually have had a plan and my laid back attitude was to just go with it for a while. So I did.
I had known a few friends that lived on the coast and had partners travelling interstate for work or boyfriends that lived 4 hours away and personally, I never knew how they did it. It never crossed my mind and I was never really interested in a relationship or a long distant one at that. I had over a year and a half until I would finish my uni degree. To be honest, I wanted to quit so many times. That’s the time we realised we had no choice and that we would have to do this long distance thing for a while and stick it out. I flew to Bali as often as I could, but the goodbyes and long weeks apart weren’t the fun times that we wanted.
Our goodbyes were always hard but it was never goodbye, always see you soon. One last nice Balinese dinner over looking a Bali sunset would soon lead to standing at the airport, both with red, watery eyes and one last long hug. What is considered a short 6 hour flight home, felt like weeks. As the weeks ticked by with only a few Skype calls and texts on the weak internet connection in his village, soon enough he would be here or I would return to the magical island. We soon realised long distance wasn’t for us and we would do anything we could to make it work and be together. So far so good.
Yes, visa’s suck. We were lucky that my sister had organised for Dwi to visit Australia as a friend over a summer well before we were together which made it a little easier in getting visa after visa. The amount of paper work, phone calls and trips to submit visa’s is definitely worth it. Yes, it is a hassle extending a visa, finding photocopiers and a solid internet connection in certain parts of the island but I would never choose an easy visa free relationship with someone close to home over this anytime.
The future is never known. It’s never known for anyone. We are always changing plans and creating new ones. Wether we are in Bali or Australia, we have accepting families that love us both. My Indonesian is slowly getting better and Dwi’s English is close to perfect as he confidently throws around Aussie slang now. We are always learning the cultural and religious differences, our habits, backgrounds and even down to the kinds of food we eat and in Dwi’s case, he can’t eat anything without chilli sauce. Our life together is exciting, happy, fun and full of love. We are lucky to live in many dynamic environments; island, coast and village between the two countries.