Purpose of My Travels

travel, traveling

Traveling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
― Ibn Battuta, The Travels of Ibn Battutah

It has been 4 years since I started to travel extensively. I then decided to keep being on the road to satisfy my curiosity and thirst for other cultures. Honestly, curiosity was the first and main reason why I did all of my travels. I saw people surround me who had adventures to other continents, either for work or for fun. Then it made me ask myself, what am I doing here?. At that time, besides Jakarta, Bali is the only place I wanted to visit frequently. I did travel very often (like 2-3 times a month for work) but it didn’t make me want to explore the world. I was thinking, the world is so big so why am I stuck in one place and only exploring it by books and imagination?

1. To fulfill my curiosity
I have a huge interest in other cultures and history for a long. When I was working as a tv journalist and traveled very often to many regions in Indonesia, my younger brother took a further step by exploring Europe then studied there. I saw my then bf also went there for a work trip, so did the other ex who has been living and working in Europe and the US. I knew many things about those countries including its history and history of their religions, but only from books. I don’t understand why at that time I had never been thinking of traveling to another country, let alone living there. In 2016, after I got enough money from a yearly bonus, I decided to take 2 weeks off and flown to Europe to have my first solo trip.

2. To have adventures

Once I’d done my first European trip, I felt addicted to traveling. One of the reasons why I love it so much is because it gives me a sense of adventure. Travel around Indonesia also exciting, but I won’t call it adventures. I like visiting foreign places which the people, the language, history, and culture are completely different than mine. When I stayed in a country/ city, I sometimes met the locals to have intriguing conversations about their country’s history, politics, and culture. Thanks to Couchsurfing for providing me access to meet like-minded people who willing to share their knowledge and let me peek over a portion of their life.

Since I often traveled by myself, I have plenty of chance and time to observe the local’s life, also to admiring their history, art & architecture. I begin to understand how history & culture shapes a nation to be what they are now. Some are very proud of their glorious past but can’t keep up with the fast-moving world (Greek), another culture is very rich in history and creativity but doesn’t evolve too much (Italian). I do love to visit a country where its people have forward-thinking, very creative, and continuously evolving like Japan. or the US which I thought will be boring since I thought they don’t have authentic culture, but then I admire how they ‘smashed’ every culture brought by the immigrants then giving birth to a new culture called American culture. Comparing another culture with mine also helps to reflect on what we can do to improve our way of life.

What comes to your mind when I said: ” to have adventures”?. For me, having adventures related to the feeling of excitement of being a stranger or foreigner in someone else’s land. I had this kind of conversation with Kyle a few years ago in Hanoi. He said the people who travel to meet girls/ guys are low and superficial. I can’t agree more with him. Recently in Osaka, Japan, a friend seems implying that he thought I travel to meet guys. Of course, I don’t! Even if I met someone and feel connected with the person when I am traveling it’s more like a bonus. I have experienced something like this before but not by purpose. The main purpose is the journey itself.

3. To heal my wounds

Solo travel and being a digital nomad gives me a lot of chance of contemplating about many things, but most often is about my life. The moments I sit at a bench near Hoan Kiem lake or in a local coffee shop in Hanoi, Vietnam, were among the most peaceful moments I had. I’d done a lot of contemplation and learned the lessons from things that had happened in the past. This and added with no connection to the internet gradually helps to heal my wounds.

4. To find distractions

It might be the reason why I travel right now. I currently am staying in Singapore after finished my trip to Japan and Taiwan as I feel more peaceful when I travel than stay in the home country. As explained by my ‘psychologist’, I like having a pace-moving lifestyle because it keeps my mind busy. When my mind isn’t busy, it starts to make me unhappy as I often thinking about problems. A journey helps me to distract my mind with many things such as itinerary, where to eat, the history of places I will visit, how to navigate myself to the destinations, and many more. And I feel peaceful having this kind of lifestyle. My mind won’t have enough time to start negative and scary thoughts.

But of course, I can’t travel forever as my money is limited and even if I have limitless money, it still feels irresponsible to have a very long vacation as a grown-up woman. Then, how to deal with this situation?. One thing I can try is doing meditation or mindfulness. It could maybe help so that I could feel comfortable with not being busy. Letting my mind rest. Trying to befriend with negative thoughts.

Looking for distraction seems like I want to escape from reality. Even if it’s true, I don’t think it’s very bad. I might escape now, but I can create a new life too. This is the 5th purpose of my travels: To rediscover myself.

Source : theislandgirldventures.com

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