Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 11 January 2011 • Blog
A lot of people say that traveling with company accelerates getting to know your travel mates, may they be your friends, girl/boyfriends, siblings, parents, or people you just hooked up with for the sake of sharing transportations etc. I cannot agree more to that. When you travel together, you basically do most – if not all – things together. You go to museums together, talk about the same sceneries in the bus, you see the stuff they pick out from the stores, you’d know how early or late they’d wake up in the morning, you probably share the same beds, and you see how they interact with other people along the way. Basically, you’re stuck with them and you have no choice but realizing tidbits about them. At the end of the travel, especially if it’s a long one (and in places with foreign languages, moreover), you’d know whether or not you click with them, like them, get them, or at least whether you can stand them or not.
2 of my best travel mates so far from whom I learned a lot, Renny & Mumun
Picture taken at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, Oct 2009
What I didn’t comprehend was that some people put “finding myself” as their reason to travel. But that’s fine, we don’t all have to have the same reason to travel. Maybe I haven’t been in a situation where I have to need to find myself, maybe I’m just not there yet, or maybe I have found myself without realizing it (is that possible?). Nonetheless, my reasons were.. well, I’ve always liked going to new places, seeing things I haven’t seen before, and now, a little less selfish reason, to introduce Indonesia to more people in this world.
So, in the quest of saving my nation (I deserve a cape!) and pleasing my own needs of seeing places and things, I’ve traveled more and more in these last 3 years (which makes the question “Vira, are you in Jakarta or somewhere else?” be the first question that some of my friends would ask when I answer their phonecalls.. LOL). And I travel with a lot of different set of friends, or sometimes with just a friend. I never meant these trips to be self-help trips whatsoever, but that is, I think, what they’ve become.
On our way from Tanjung Batu to Derawan Island, no need for shower at 7AM
Vindhya, Nina, Yusdi, Norman, me, Novi, and Yusuf the boatman – August 2009
Over the 3 decades that I’ve lived (and you thought I was 17?), I thought I have gotten to know myself so well. I’ve done some retrospect, introspect, read self-help books that my dad recommended (it’s a long story), and made attempts to be a better person yadda yadda yadda, but still.. I discover some interesting things about myself through my travels.. and more specifically..through my travel mates. I realized how stubborn and domineering I could be by getting easy and flexible responses from my easygoing and mild travel mates. I even realized how snappy and annoying I could get when trying to make others agree with what I have to say by reflecting to mean(er) smart-ass travel mates. But also I learned to be more relaxed when facing unwanted situations in order to find win/win solutions, and I’ve learned that not having a plan is sometimes the best plan to have – in other words, I’ve learned to be more flexible. At least that’s what I think. And these lessons of life, so to speak, are learned from many kinds of situations – like when a city turned out to be less exciting as I thought, or when we were having a problem communicating with the locals, or simply when exchanging opinions on simple matters like packing, food taste, or today’s agenda.
My latest travel, to Kalimantan, with Teddy, Keukeu, and Mumun
So, all in all, these travel experiences have given me so much more than what I hoped for. It’s like getting a bonus, a really good one. It’s the kind that slaps me on my face pretty hard once in a while, but really worth getting. And I think I still need some more slapping. In other words, I need to travel more. And more. And more.