Now Everyone Can Fly (including You and Me)

Traveling is fast becoming affordable. Budget airlines, internet discounts for accommodation, WikiTravel. There’s no more reason not to travel independently. I’m not trying to discredit tour and travel company here but seriously, independent traveling has been the one and only way to travel for me although that’s not the case for the majority of Indonesian. It is still difficult to spot an Indonesian backpacker abroad who came not with a bus but the signs are there. More and more of my 20something peers are going out. Inspiring blogs like The Naked Traveler or Ransel Kecil helps with the case as well as the increasing amount of guide books made by Indonesian for Indonesian available on the market.

I’m not claiming myself a die hard traveler nor an experienced one at that. I get lost all the time, for one. That doesn’t stop me. Being actively involved in Bali’s CouchSurfing scene also plunge me further into the addictive world of traveling. Wanderlust is in the air. And now we have AirAsia, the official carrier of backpackers across Asia. Let me brag a bit in this paragraph about my victoriously cheap tickets that will bring me to travel this year. I’ll be in Perth this Easter for a mere 90 USD. I’ll be in Penang the month after that, eating my heart out for 70 USD then off I’ll go to Singapore on June, right on time for the SALE (I won’t tell you how much I got the tickets for this trip because I’m afraid you’ll get frustrated and chew your shopper’s feet off). And to close the year of living ludicrously, I will be off with my darling, recently traveling addicted Mother to Vietnam on July for a mere 100 USD for the two of us. Returns. I’m unashamedly a cheap shit for travel.

As a financially struggling 20something self-employed sourcing agent/interior designer/writer, traveling for me is still a luxury as also for most of the population in Indonesia. We have basic needs that are much more important to fulfill than being lost in Prague. We’ve been taught at school that human being needs three vital things to survive: sandang (clothes), pangan (food), papan (home). I’d like to redefine it now. There’s the fourth need, an abstract but the most important of all need: the need to learn. When you cease learning, you basically stop living and none of those three needs will do you any good.

I learned about life from my travel experiences. I even learned more about myself when I’m out there getting lost and trying to read a map in a country where English is not known, then any other time in my life. It is such a shame that gap year or backpacking is not known as a rite of passage in Indonesia. I could very well imagine how good it would have been for a generation of Mummy’s Little Boys and Daddy’s Little Girls that now might have been stuck in a convenient marriage and thoughtless breeding that will drive this country into its sure population explosion. I bet my cheap tickets that you who loves to travel as much as me, an Indonesian, in your twenties or thirties and in the state of unmarried, has been in this position of being asked by a concerned Auntie: “Why do you spend all your money traveling instead of settling down, find a nice husband (or wife)?”

How could you describe to that Nosy Auntie the beautiful, liberating, vibrant jitter, lurching in your stomach when you first arrived in a strange destination, not yet unknown by you? How could you tell her the joy of meeting perfect stranger and when you’re lucky, made a lifetime connection and memory with them? How could you explain it to her that occasionally there will be times when you found a part of yourself that you didn’t even know exist, that so appealing and true and real? I guess you just can’t. You could try but she will gives you that look that says it all: this kid is hopeless. Hopefully, she’ll leave it at that.

3 komentar:

CH said...

i'm loving this post so much fact and interesting new things. consider me a devoted reader !

SapiMalas said...

thank you Claude! Coming from you, it's a compliment indeed XX

Miss Lai Lai said...

I was blogwalking and stumbled upon your blog. This post - I adore so much, and resonate with so many points you raised.

I just went solo-backpacking in Bali for a month, and the comments I get "I don't see a lot of solo-female-traveler from Indonesia" comes everu so often from the locals, and fellow travellers.

I wish I did my gap year so I learned the skills I learned during my travel earlier. But no matter, I'm doing my "gap-year" now. More and more Indonesians like you and I are travelling,and yes, the world is such a small place these days with those cheap airfares.

Will be following your blog from now, especially cos' you reside in a place that has cast its spell on me. More now than ever :)


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Hello! I’m Eve Tedja

I have been a professional writer for four years.

During that time, I have worked as a permanent contributor for Let’s eat! Magazine, Hello Bali, epicure, and published my articles in several other magazines like Venture, Panorama, Bravacasa, and Bali & Beyond.

Words, sentences, stories... these are my passion. I love to take new challenges in writing for various format and media. I create contents for websites, blogs, and communication materials. I’ve also worked as a copywriter, translator, coffee book editor, social media coordinator, media consultant, and even writing for a specialty coffee packaging.

Interior design, travel, environment, culinary, culture, history, and social issues are some of the themes that I have worked with in the past. I love getting involves with individuals, companies, organizations, and communities with stories to tell.

I am available for assignment worldwide. Reach me at eve(dot)tedja(at)gmail(dot)com.


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