Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 1 July 2015 • Blog
As posted on Vira’s personal travel blog Sapijalanjalan.blogspot.com
“We’re having churros!” was the caption of a photo my uncle sent in our big family’s Whats App group. It’s him, my two aunts, and my parents having a churros fiesta in Barcelona, posing with two churros ‘bartenders’. Yeay, they took my advice on trying this popular snack in Jakarta, in its hometown!
These 63 – 72 years old folks are having the time of their lives. They’re enjoying the fun and beauty of the other side of the world. It was my parents’ 4th Euro trip (this time combined with Morocco and Egypt), with the first one done only in 2009.
If you think traveling is only for young and adventurous people, you can’t be any more wrong. Traveling is something a lot of older people do as well. They have saved up, no more children to be fed and paid tuition for, some are retired (like my dad), some have reached a point in their career where they can manage their own time to work (like my Mom), and some have companies run by subordinates. Working and saving up hard in their productive years, then traveling when they’re older, is a common thing people do.
Nowadays more often I hear my friends say that they prefer to travel a lot when they’re young, so they can enjoy the journeys better, with no back ache or knee pain. Well, it’s up to anyone. I think both ways are backed up with good reasons on deciding when to travel. But if you manage your money and health the right way, I think most likely you can travel when you’re young AND keep doing it when you’re older.
My parents are never the consumptive ones. My Mom doesn’t splurge on clothes, bags, let alone diamonds. Her wardrobe rarely changes, she doesn’t care much about new clothes for each relative’s wedding party, as long as she looks neat and appropriate. My Dad wears relatively expensive shoes and glasses but he makes sure he doesn’t have to replace them in many years, sometimes decades.
“Human eats to live, not lives to eat,” my Mom used to say when my siblings or I wanted to have more snacks just because we liked it. She gave me scrap papers to practice my Math equations instead of buying me a new shiny Sanrio notebook. I used to think she did that because we were poor, but as I got older, I realized she meant to teach us sufficiency.
Nevertheless, we traveled a lot as family in my grade years. We didn’t stay in 5-star hotels, but we road tripped and saw a lot, from Sumatra to Bali, from Michigan to Florida. My mom and dad set the priorities, and it looks like their priority quite rubs off on me.
I’m happy that my parents keep that traveling spirit until now. Of course, whatever they encounter don’t amaze them as much as it would’ve decades before, because apparently that’s how it is for seniors. They’ve seen too many things and too many things have happened in their lives, almost nothing overwhelms them anymore. Amazing things simply remind them of how great God is and how cocky we could be for much smaller achievements. Nonetheless, excitement radiates from their eyes when telling us about their travel experiences, everytime!
Similar to my parents, were this sweet couple, Mike and Marta from the US. They’re my AirBnB guests who stayed for a night before they joined a tour to Yogyakarta and Bali. Diyan and I had endless conversations with them, exchanging travel stories. They’ve been all over the world, yet still finding more places to explore and enjoy.
On our Greece trip, we met so many senior travelers. They’ve been to many countries and still wanted to see more, like the couple that let us feature this note. A lot of these people are so fit, they walked faster than us when trekking the Samaria Gorge. I’m so amazed at the spirit and the fitness.
These folks, mi familia and people like my guests and the ones I meet in my travels, I find inspiring. Their stories and journeys (especially my parents’ because it’s what I know more) make me excited to welcome my future years yet with more traveling. I’ve become more determined to keep my good health and strength so I can keep traveling when I’m 70 or older!
What about you? Do you have stories about getting old and traveling?
Notes: Some of these photos are courtesy of my uncle.