I never had a thought to call myself as a traveler, just like some friends who posted their profile in their Instagram account. I don’t know how a people could be called as a traveler. I don’t know whether I can call myself a traveler or not. But I do traveling once a year. And let me humbly share with you my travel experiences.
I started visiting Singapore for holiday since I was a kid. I visited Singapore several times, more often I went with my uncle’s family or my cousin’s family than with my parents. Luckily they took care of my expenses. Then the further destination I had was Guang Zhou, China in 2010. I was in the semester break in my first year of uni and I haven’t had any desire to travel. Maybe it’s because the destination was not interesting. I visited China for the first time to help my Mom in her business. Probably she wanted me to know how she works and hoped that I could help her in the future. Unfortunately, I was so bored that I chose to stay at the hotel that time, since we only visited the business spots.
I also dreamed to study in Singapore since I was in high school, but the plan failed. So in my last year of uni, right before starting my final paper, I visited Singapore and had my first solo traveling experience. Unexpectedly, my parents let me go solo that time, maybe because they know how Singapore is and I also had traveled to there several times. I took a week in Singapore, stayed in my friend room in the university dorm. I just wanted to experience how life is as a Singapore student. I brought my laptop and did the final paper proposal in the university library. Sounds weird, but I don’t care. Because it was what I looked for. Even until now, I go and will go to weird and uncommon travel destination, just because I desire to.
Besides going abroad, I had visited several cities in Indonesia, such as Belitung and Semarang when I was little kid, Pontianak when I was in my sixth grade, Yogyakarta when I was in high school joining the Live-In program from my school, Bali when I was in my first year of uni and Malang when I was in my second year of uni. Of course near by city like Bandung when I was in high school.
Dreaming of Europe, I planned for Europe trip after uni. After a year of working, I met my friend who also planned to go to Europe. We made a promise to go together. As the time came, I told her I can’t join her, because I didn’t have enough money. I broke the promise and she went by herself. So I rerouted. I had my first most thrilling travel experience in my youth : a solo traveling to a new continent, I nor my parents haven’t visited yet : Australia. I flew solo for my longest flight ever : 9 hours in budget flight. I stayed with in my friends’ places. I arranged it by myself. I bear the cost with my own saving. I processed everything by myself. I decided the destinations by myself. I ate my favorite western foods. I watched a musical Broadway show. I had my first experience of snow. I visited beaches and mountains. Recalling again of my Australia travel, I just can’t believe I was so brave. Every second of it was thrilling!
The weirdest place I visited in Australia was the St. Mary Mackillop Place in Sydney. In there, I found the meaning of my travel. Not knowing much about her, I visited the tomb of this Australian’s first Saint. On the tomb’s side was written her renown quote : “Remember we are but travelers here.” Yes, I visited that place as a traveler. And it taught me that we are not the host of this world. Our home is not here. We have a home which Jesus had prepared for us : His Kingdom of Heaven. This short life on the mother earth was just an adventure, just like when I was a tourist in Australia, I would go back home to Indonesia.
Still I never plan to be a traveler nor desire to call myself as a travel, the experiences I had when traveling taught me that this world got so many things we have not known yet. So does life, we think we know it all, but in fact, we only see a spot in life.
Then I visited China last year. This time I traveled with my family. I arranged everything by myself again, guiding my family. Luckily they trusted me enough for this. From all great places I saw with my eyes in the China Mainland, Macau and Hongkong, all I saw were the greatness of human’s masterpieces, the Great Wall, the skyscraper towers, the high buildings and the great transportation. Many people underestimate China for travel destination. My admiration of China as a big country increases after visiting its big cities and seeing the development there.
What is your favorite travel destination?
If people asks me whether I prefer to visit beach or mountain, I would answer them that my favorite travel destination theme is the historical places. I visited St. Mary Mackillop Museum and knew more about this Saint. I visited the Blue Mountains and learnt about the Australia Aborigine’s history and politic history. I visited Shanghai Museum and saw the amazing reconstruction of the past history and the development of the city. I visited Beijing’s Emperor’s tombs and was told the long long genealogy of the Emperors and failed to memorize China’s Dynasties. I realize that I love history! Well, it wasn’t a boring subject when I was at school.
So, what’s next? Yes, I definitely have traveling plans. In this 2016, I will visit an island in Indonesia with my best friends. And the main travel destination this year is Poland. I dream to join the World Youth Day since I was in high school. And I will make that dream comes true this year. Another weird destination I plan to visit is the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, visiting the unforgettable world history of Nazi. And for 2017, I promise to visit the Holy Land with my Mom. I am not sure how I will afford my traveling expense while still saving money for my future. But definitely I will work hard for my dreams. And when I can’t spend less money, I will just earn more.
Definitely I need your prayers to help me to travel this world and to live as a traveler in this world.
“Remember we are but travelers here.” – St. Mary Mackillop