I’m not the same person I was a few years ago. I was painfully shy, a loner, private, lacking in self-esteem, and more often than not, depressed. Thankfully, I did not lose all hope.
I ended up volunteer-teaching in the Burmese jungle teaching English to Karen (lovely ethnic group!) youths. I grew to love the simple village lifestyle and learned about friendship and smiling despite hardship.
I returned vowing to do more with my life. I left my job in 2011 to attend a youth program in Thailand where I met a group of motivated Southeast Asian youths and activists. We started SEA Youth Say So, a website for Southeast Asian youths. I went on to meet a lot more wonderful people from all over Asia during my travels.
I started volunteering at Yayasan Prima Unggul, a non-profit entrepreneurship high school for orphans late 2011. I lived at the orphanage to carry out marketing and PR work and teach English. In between, I continued to travel, making more friends and picking up random Karen words like “you crazy man”.
Aside from small side jobs, I didn’t earn a single cent. I was fueled by vision. The great thing about this vision is that it’s a vision for self-sustainability. So I know it’s a work once = reap for a lifetime formula. I like that. Every non-profit should have that goal.
Over time, I’ve realized it’s good to have a combination of both idealism and realism. I’ve decided to return to the working world, but in no way will the journey end in that sense. Except now, the journey is confined to the mind and small but conscious efforts rather than just throwing everything away and living on sunshine.
I’m a bit of an idealist. I like to analyze things and situations and find out the best way to do things. I love personal development, people and cultures, marketing and entrepreneurship. Being such a private person in the past, having a public blog was a huge step for me. But at the same time, I just wanted to express myself and share my stories in the hope that whoever reads this may be inspired to find their own purpose and happiness in the world. That they may be able to maximize their potential and make the world we live in a kinder, better, happier place.