Lithuanian Expat Living in Indonesia - Interview with Ria

Published: 26 Oct at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Indonesia
I‘m Viktorija (aka Ria) – the lucky person who have opportunity to live, enjoy, explore Indonesia and other Asian countries. Before (in my home country) I was working more than 7 years like advertising project manager and now after the studies in Indonesia I decided to try something new, things that I never done before :). Ria's expat blog is called What is big tent? (see listing here)

Me in Gili Meno island
Me in Gili Meno island

Here's the interview with Ria...

Where are you originally from?
I'm originally from small but beautiful Lithuania, capital city Vilnius.

In which country and city are you living now?
At the moment I'm living in Indonesia, Java island, Yogyakarta city. But life here gives opportunity to live in whatever island you want. So maybe I will move somewhere else.

How long have you lived in Indonesia and how long are you planning to stay?
I'm already living in Yogyakarta a little bit more than 1 year. I would like to stay here longer. How long? I don't know depends on opportunities that this country will suggest to me.

Sunset in Yogyakarta, Java island
Sunset in Yogyakarta, Java island
Why did you move to Indonesia and what do you do?
I moved to Indonesia because I got Darmasiswa cultural scholarship. So 1 year I was studying in Yogyakarta.
My studies already finished and at the moment I'm writing my blog, sometimes accompany guests during their trips, helping other travelers and people who want to collaborate with Indonesian market. What will I do next? Let's see - I'm open for new challenges and ideas, collaborations:)

Did you bring family with you?
No:) My mom is not able to travel so far anymore and my brother chose another country to live outside Lithuania :)

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
It wasn't hard in the beginning, like everything was new and exciting. As well I came to Indonesia with open heart and eyes, it helped to adapt quicker. But day by day, when Indonesia became second home - the life seems a bit more challenging.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
Be polite, patient, friendly, not judge people lifestyle, curious, honest, helpful and many other things really help to find the way to keep in touch with Indonesian people.
Yes, as well I have foreigner friends but most of them are the same Darmasiswa students, who after their scholarship period decided to stay in Indonesia longer.

Meeting with orangutan in Borneoisland
Meeting with orangutan in Borneoisland
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Yogyakarta is really live and artistic city. Many people know this city just because of Borobudur and Prambanan temples, but only ~2 hours drive from the city center you can see waterfalls, beaches and other attractions. Everything depends on your hobbies and traveling habits :).
If you have time for sure worth to visit Timang beach with "cable car", Kalibiru National park, watery curtain at the Luweng Sampang, Jomblang cave and many more places :)

What do you enjoy most about living in Indonesia?
The city is live and full of events. If you are an artist for sure here you will find partners for collaborations. As well this city is famous for sweets - everything is extra sweet here:D (talking about the food:))

How does the cost of living in Indonesia compare to home?
In Indonesia everything is much cheaper than in my home country Lithuania. But, sometimes, I'm like a foreigner get higher prices in markets and some other places- it's just a part of the culture. Some Indonesian people think that if you came to Indonesia, it means you have enough money, if you have enough money, it means you can pay more than local people :

Dance performance in Ubud, Bali island
Dance performance in Ubud, Bali island
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Indonesia?
I didn't find anything negative. Yeah, if you not used to living in a big city, can be quite problematic using public transport. But t is possible to adapt to anything and find the way negative things turn into positive or at least not think about them :).

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Indonesia, what would it be?
Be ready for lot of attention from Indonesian people. Like here (mainly in Java island) to make selfie with foreigners (especially with bright color skin) is very common.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
To adapt to local food. Some of the travelers will say that food is very delicious, but unfortunately not for my taste :. As well bathing in cold water - especially during rainy season, when it's wet all the time, wind and a bit cold.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
During this 1 and a bit more year I haven't been at home yet. But soon I'm planning to visit my family for Christmas. I'm really curious myself how I will feel back home - to cold winter, to those that I haven't seen for so long :).

Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. You will need be patient with Indonesian people and their lifestyle, the way how they manage things.
  2. I would suggest to respect Indonesian culture, religion and don’t judge people.
  3. Relax and take everything easy, like not everything will be so easy and not everything will depend on you.
  4. Accept everything what is happening around you with open eyes and heart.
  5. Don't try to change things that is not possible to change. If you don't like something most probably you will need to change your attitude.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I‘m not professional writer, photographer or my English is excellent. But my wish to share and help others to discover daily life of Indonesia is bigger than no-confidence in myself. That's why I decided to start my blog. I share there not only Indonesian daily life discoveries but as well my travel experience, advice from other Asian countries where I have been and practical information about Darmasiswa scholarship.
I started blogging not so long time ago, so I'm still in the progress to make the blog more useful:)

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?

About the author

Expat Blog ListingRia is a Lithuanian expat living in Indonesia. Blog description: Personal experience of living in Indonesia, travel stories from Asia and practical information for those who are planning to travel or stay here longer.
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