‘Bali’ has been on our agenda for nearly two and a half years and the fact that we are now going there is quite something as I am about to reveal.
It all started a couple of months after Pedro and I first met. One cold grey morning when I was then living near Cambridge, Pedro rang me up and said ‘Lottie, how would you feel about taking a year out and going somewhere like Bali with me?’- ‘A year out to make our own work, study, learn and generally be creative?’ – I responded immediately with an affirmative but, being a hopeless romantic asked if we could we please make it ‘A year and a day’ like the Owl and the Pussycat in Edward Lear’s poem. – ‘A year and a day it shall be then’ said Pedro.
The reason that Pedro had been inspired by taking a year out away from work to do our own stuff, was because he was greatly inspired, and still is, by a Graphic designer and typographer called Stefan Sagmeister. Having watched one of his talks on TED, Pedro wanted to go down the same route and with me in tow. I’m not going to write any more here about Mr. Sagmeister, but instead, at the end of this blog I am posting a link to the talk that he made that changed our thinking and ultimately our lives. ‘Stefan Sagmesiter: The power of time off’.
For 2 long years Pedro and I plotted and schemed and talked relentlessly about our ‘A year and a day’ trip, and having decided on Bali for various reasons, we were then left scratching our heads as to how we might practically be able to make this wacky plan work, especially financially.
At the end of last year 2010, and sometime earlier this year, Pedro was offered voluntary redundancy not just once, but twice, from the University in London where he worked as the course leader in Graphic design. We had already started our fledgling design business Big Dharma Studios, along with Pedro’s brother, Simon, and I was concentrating my efforts on that, having given up my own business as a Sales Agent a few months previously. Unfortunately there was no way we had the income yet to survive souly on our own business. To say we were living from hand to mouth would be a lie, but let’s put it this way, we were always in the red by the middle of each month. We had a dilemma, should he accept the redundancy, take the cash and run, only then to have the stress of finding a new job? or should he hang in there and pray that push wouldn’t come to shove and he was made redundant? We decided to hang in and in hindsight this was the best decision we could have made.
The randomness of the Universe came into play last Good Friday when Pedro, on his way to meet some mates, starting thinking about an old friend and work colleague whom he hadn’t seen or spoken to in a while. He made a mental note to himself to get in touch with Jim over the Easter holiday weekend. Later that day quite out of the blue, Jim, who is now based in Malaysia, sent Pedro and email and suggested that Pedro should apply for the post of Dean for a new Media, Art and Design school at a university ‘in the making’ in Jakarta. The University, which is still in the abstract, were looking to recruit specialists from the Uk, and Jim, Pedro’s friend, thought that Pedro had all the qualities that this University might need in their exciting new project.
The rest as you know is history but I thought you might be interested in an example of how synchronicity works! In a round about way we are now living a life that we had only dreamed of a few years back and yes, it’s more work than play right now, but what an extraordinary opportunity for an Owl and a Pussycat who might still be scratching their heads if it wasn’t for sheer good fortune and the random events of the Universe that got us here!