I came for a month just before the funniest holidays – the water festival – and during the time against which my Burmese friend from Brussels warned me – it’s too hot and crazy, avoid going to Myanmar after February. Well, I did the exact opposite and here I am, still in Yangon, quitting my nomad life for now.
I had options for my visa run from Indonesia: either I stay in Malaysia and go back to Sulawesi after I get a new visa or I go to Myanmar (cheap flights from Malaysia) and return to Kuala Lumpur overland. I chose the latter, but my overland trip never materialised and last week was my 1.5 year anniversary of living in Myanmar – the longest time I’ve ever lived abroad.
For someone so comfortable living in my backpack and move wherever life takes me, signing a 6-month rent contract in Yangon was a big deal. It meant committing to stay and equip an empty flat with furniture, appliances and to invest some money in beautifying it and making it my own. I was exited to do that and decided to ignore the fact that I have no work secured 4 months from now. I’ve been fortunate taking leaps into the unknown so this is just another one.
There is some kind of calmness in knowing that I have a place I can call home and where I can return to rest and recharge. During my recent long trip in Chin mountains I even caught myself thinking of my sofa and the time I’ll be back in my flat. Nomad life is paused for a moment as I am becoming a resident of San Chaung – Yangon’s coolest neighbourhood, seriously.
There is still a lot of work to do in my apartment and I have hardly any furniture, but it’s cosy and liveable now and I can even invite people over without feeling too embarrassed. Dealing with boring stuff such as broken water pump or installing washing machine is somewhat exciting because it’s new to me and I am patiently waiting for that moment when I say, Now the place is perfect.
A strange feeling of accomplishment is already growing inside of me. I was hesitant to get a place on my own and face occasional loneliness or deal with annoyingly needed shopping activities, knowing that I would have to sell it when the time comes. But I do enjoy it! I go to a market and look for useful items to make my home original and mine. It’s a different challenge, but it comes at the right time.