The idea of Backpacking is not common for Indonesian. We generally travel with organised tour from our country. Perhaps because of the language barrier that makes it so much more convenient to have a guide who can explain about the visited place in their native language and enable them to enjoy what the place can offer. Indonesian is the sole official language in Indonesia and spoken by over 200 million of its population. Only small percentage of the people speak English. Somehow I can see a job opportunity for me there; being travel guide for Indonesian!
Another thing to note is the difficulty of travelling with Indonesian passport. There are institution that rank the world passport mainly based on their value and their power of taking their citizen to other countries without VISA. US, UK, some countries in Western Europe, Australia and NZ are some countries on the top of the rank. Indonesia is close to the bottom of the rank. Which means I have to apply for VISA to most places I want to visit. And who likes the process of applying for VISA? Does it make me feel discontent of being Indonesian citizen?No, not at all… I am proud of being Indonesian. Indonesia has cared for and keep me and my family. It always have special place in my heart. It is not the best country in the world, but it is my country. I do have to confess that the whole process of VISA application has made me considering getting NZ citizenship. Not only because of the convenience of visiting other countries, but also because I have lived here for a while now and when I am here, it feels like I am home. Anyways, I was still an Indonesian travelling with Indonesian passport. Praise God I got most VISA required for my trip. Yay!!! The fact that I am NZ residence with a full time job certainly helped in obtaining all the required VISA.
Was it an OE? If the definition of Overseas Experience is working holiday, my trip was not an OE. Travelling as Indonesian, we did not have working holiday scheme. So, I had to rely on my saving and God’s provision. These are what I have been questioned a lot lately: “Why did you leave your job and backpacking alone?”, “Would you have enough money?” and “You quitted from your job! What are you going to do after travelling?”.
I travelled to see and learn more what the world out there looks like. Looking at different culture, meeting different people and experience different circumstances. Perhaps a year was not long enough to get to know cultures or people, but I certainly deepen my simple understanding and knowledge. It helps me to learn more about God and of myself and finding my place in the world. There was a saying, “You will more disappointed on things that you did not do than by the ones you did”. I completely agree with that. Perhaps it would be nice to keep staying in NZ doing my full time job and never have left. I can imagine myself be in the same position with my saving increasing each month. I am glad I did left and had the trip! It was a very good experience!
Enough fund? I did not know if I would have enough money to sustain me for the time I travelled. Some said it is very costly going to places I was going to. I made the most of the backpacking opportunity I had, had to be wise in utilising my resources and it took me as far as I could go. Being Indonesian citizen and NZ residence, I am blessed to always have Indonesia and NZ to go back to when all is gone/done. And I am now back in NZ. It was indeed an expensive experience, but with all the help I could get through couchsurfing, friends and relatives, I had the best holiday. It was a lot more than what I could ask for. I was blessed to have met good and generous people who made my overseas experience a pleasant one. Being open minded is certainly one of the requirement to have a good overseas experience!
My mum once said, “Riches I cannot give you but I will give my best to provide you with education because no one can steal knowledge from you”. Now that I finish my travel, I am still me; still have my qualification and my knowledge in the area. I have also learnt so much from my travel which (hopefully) make me a better person. I am starting all over again. Why worry for the future. Each day has its own blessing. I am going to live each day enjoying the blessing for the day. Life is not only about making money and be rich, but gaining experience, building knowledge and character, building friendship and have a healthy community. Be the person you are created to be – the person who will make a difference!