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Covid-19 Expat Life: I Want To Stay In Asia

I left home the first time at 20 to travel solo and live in Mexico. From there life has been about exploration, discovery, and living in a way that drove my parents crazy and is far from conventional. 

Well, now my nomadic lifestyle is in true danger. I’m currently living in Indonesia on an employment visa but I lost my job in hospitality marketing when Covid-19 took hold of our planet. Luckily this country is like Hong Kong and others and my “stay permit” in Indonesia is still valid until my visa expires. 

But that’s coming up really fucking soon.

Plans were in place for an employment visa in Malaysia and that was days away from being done. The plan was to move to Kuala Lumpur in October. However, that dream is now dead because Malaysia has just banned passport holders from countries with 150k+ Covid-19 infections. That includes my damn homeland of the USA, which has done a poor job of controlling the virus to say it lightly. The list also includes Indonesia, my country of residence, so that leaves me no plausible excuse to apply for an exception from the immigration board.

The very real problem for me is that I don’t want to move back to my home country, which is already what most expats and digital nomads around the globe have done. Sure, I have family and friends there but they are scattered and I haven’t worked or properly lived in California for 16 years. More than that, I don’t want to live there.

The USA isn’t even in the top 50 countries I would want to relocate to. It’s a beautiful country but I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I want to keep adventuring through life beyond my holidays.

So what to do?

There’s a possible opportunity — a perfect job really — in Singapore, which is a short 40 minute ferry ride away from where I am in Indonesia. The move would be easy-peasy. Every time I visit I 1,000% love it. What’s best is that I actually have really good girlfriends there. Something I don’t have in Kuala Lumpur, which would fill a void of something I’ve truly been lacking in recent years and help my overall mental health.

Then Something Funny Happened

When I told my mom about the job opportunity in Singapore, something clicked in me. As soon as I hung up from the call, I put on music and started to dance. Like, I seriously boogied around my apartment!!!!

Even now I have music on. The funny thing is, I haven’t put on music in weeks … maybe months.

I think the idea of moving to a city where I have girlfriends — one of whom I’ve known for almost 15 years because we were friends and used to live in the same town in Spain — has brought a sparkle to my eyes.

Well, and I love change and the unknown.

Fingers and toes crossed it’ll be Singapore! Something tells me I’ll be quite happy there…..

Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 37 countries on 4 continents, residing in 8 of them (currently Indonesia's Riau Islands is my home). I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!