I graduated from Uni in 2009 in the depth of a recession with no jobs available for fresh graduates.
My options were to stay in London and keep hussling between unpaid internships 🙄 and short term gigs in service industry 🍽️, or move back to Vilnius that had even less jobs available, but at least I could live with my family.
Neither of these options seemed ideal. 20s is a beautiful period in life meant for travelling, making mistakes and learning about yourself and life, so this desolate post-crisis Europe was not the best environment for my personal growth.
At least, that's what I thought at the time. I was 22 years old with no fear of failure and plenty of naivety and stupidity. Who wasn't, right?
So I went for The Wild Card - a completely crazy option that was outside of "usual" paths. I went to South East Asia, found few freelancing jobs, eventually settled in Penang and had this amazing opportunity to co-found independent art center called Hin bus Depot.
I had nothing to lose, only gain, while going for "conservative" options would seem safe at the first glance, but in reality there was no gains for me.
It's counter intuitive, but safe options often lead nowhere.
It turned out really well for me. Plenty of new challenges, new friends, new skills and much deeper grasp of how different and how universal at the same time people are.
I would not be who I am without these 7 years in Malaysia and I am still in love with Penang.
My insight is that you always have more than two options. In fact, there are unlimited options once you start thinking outside the box. We often tend to trap ourselves with thinking that "if not this, then this".
I'm not advocating crazy risks, but rather to open mind for unusual paths that your intuition tells you to follow. 🧳