Hi, I’m Kate. Welcome to my blog. I hope you’ll find the stories and photos that I’ll be sharing with you useful and/or enjoyable.
I’m an American from Chicago, but I’ve been living in Indonesia for most of the time since I arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Christmas Eve 1982.
I came to Indonesia on a whim. It was a time in my life when I had started feeling very restless. I was in grad school studying to be a psychologist, and it seemed that a noose was slowly tightening around my neck. You see, I had always wanted to live and work overseas, but had not done it. And I figured that as a psychologist, I’d set up a practice and have to stay in one place the rest of my life. It seemed that my dream would never come true.
And then one day I saw a newspaper ad to train people in Indonesia on word processing equipment. Well, I was sure I could do that, so I sent in my resumé – never thinking that I’d get an interview, let alone a job offer. But I got both an interview and a job offer for a 3-month contract. I accepted immediately. My love affair with Indonesia was about to begin.
After the end of that 3-month contract training Indonesians on the ancient word processing equipment that was being used at that time, I had to figure out how I could stay. I wasn’t ready to leave, but what could I do?
I’d been a Spanish teacher in Los Angeles, so I thought that I could transfer my skills of teaching Spanish to teach English, my native language. I was lucky to be a native English speaker. I didn’t realize it at the time, but we can get jobs all over the world – even without training in teaching language.
I easily found a 6-week contract to teach English on a special project. Lucky again. I was happy to have just a short commitment to see if I could actually do it. I found that I liked it and seemed to do a good job, so I began signing contracts for a year at a time.
I then spent several years teaching academic English to government employees who were going to an English-speaking country for a Master’s degree – the United States, Australia, the UK, or Canada.
I lived in the capital Jakarta for the first 8 years. But then I was offered a job teaching English on a Canadian project in Yogyakarta, Central Java. I took that job offer, and that’s where I live to this day – actually just north of Yogyakarta on the slope of Mt. Merapi, a volcano that was in the news a lot in November 2010.
Eventually, I’d had enough of teaching. I didn’t want to leave Indonesia, the first place I’d really felt at home, so I found the perfect job. I became a tour director for an upmarket American tour operator. It worked out great because the tour director job meant I could live pretty much anywhere in the world that I wanted because the tour operator flew me to the beginning city of my tours.
For the next 15 years, I worked around 6 months a year and then had the other 6 months at home in Indonesia. That’s kind of like being semi-retired. During the 6 months that I was at home in Indonesia, I had the freedom to choose whatever I wanted to do.
So now I’ve chosen to spend a good part of my time writing. So far, I’ve published books that you probably saw on Kate’s Books page of this blog. In addition, I work online building websites and writing content for those sites.