Growing up as a suburb kid in a very small city, where traffic light was nowhere to be found and computer was something that I fancied the most back then, the thoughts of travelling somewhere outside my country seemed to be out of my reach. Even at the age of 14, I properly learned how to operate a computer for the first time, and that was when I moved to big city, Jakarta.
When I was 12 years old, long before ‘Eat Pray Love’ even existed, I had this bigger picture inside my head where I wandered the world on my own. I remember telling my 12 year-old self that one day I had to make it happen. But even saying that under my breath made me very scared. I mean, what was I supposed to do? I only spoke my mother tongue, so how the hell was I going to be able to wander the world? Then, I found this old saying ‘If your dream doesn’t scare you, they are just not big enough’ and I thought ‘Ahhh, this dream is possible. Because it scares the crap out of me!’. The next day, I decided to learn English on my own and never stop since then. Even up until today, it has been an ongoing process for me and I enjoy every single step of it.
I grew up as a kid who was not used to being spoiled and asking anything from my parents, so it was kind of sad that when I was 20, not many countries I have ever been to because I was so sure that one day I would be able to afford my own trip, not from my mom`s pocket.
In 2010, I was destined to watch this soul-searching themed movie called ‘Eat Pray Love’. When I was watching the movie, I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to do what this lady named Elizabeth Gilbert had done to her life, traveling alone and embracing life with its highs and lows. Walking out of the theater, I never felt more sure than ever that that kind of experience was what I needed in my life. At least once in my entire life.
Years on, the dream of wandering the world had a bit subsided, I got so caught up with job and my so called ‘comfort zone’ until….. I hit my rock bottom in 2015. My world seemed to have turned upside down. I couldn’t curse at anybody but myself; to have relied so much on my own expectation, which in the end, hurt me the most; to have met the wrong people and trusted the wrong person simultaneously and so on and so forth (too many to be mentioned). So, I was severely hurt emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, so to speak.
Then, I recalled the memory of Mrs. Gilbert`s journey which led me to book my first solo trip to Bali as a part of my self-healing journey (check out the story here: Bali: The Beauty of The Island of Gods). I informed my boss about my plan a week before I was on leave, and told him that I was unable to reach, my work wasn’t left unfinished though. I gave short notice to my family about where I was heading, literally 30 mins before the flight took off. I switched off the phone and I didn’t switch it back on again the minute I got to Bali. And it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made thus far. The experience has touched the core of my humility in a sense that there is this intangible power that is much bigger than myself, that you seem so powerless no matter how hard you want certain things to happen in your way, but it wont happen unless this intangible power says so. So, the whole Bali experience might not have been a well thought out decision but it has been such a humbling journey to have gone through for sure.
Coming back to Jakarta, I felt re-energized. I give so much credit to myself for having let me have the remarkable journey of my own. I have learned to be thankful for the incredible gifts that life has bestowed upon me. As an old saying goes ‘Some people who come into your life are meant to be either a blessing or a lesson’ but who wants to be a lesson of their presence in someone`s life? You`ve got to hurt someone in order to be that lesson, right? And who wants to be like that? Duh!
I am a firm believer that when the wrong people have left your life, good things start happening. And its so true! So, I would like to take a moment to express something to these wrong people who have put me to be where I am right now, to have made me make the best decisions in my life. Because of you, I got out of my ‘comfort zone’. Because of you, I made my long lost dream come true. Because of you, I realized how far off course I was. Because of you, I have matured through my hardship. And this is me showing my attitude of gratitude, NOT TO YOU SADLY, but to what has happened in my life.
The first time I decided to do my solo travelling, I found it very therapeutic and I have become addicted to it. My first solo trip to Bali has led me to some other destinations and it has never stopped since then.
Until one fine day, an opportunity came to me. An opportunity that enables me to treasure more my life by living as a total stranger somewhere, I took it without any doubt, because this is what I have been wanting since ages ago. In this new place, I would have no friends, no family, no place that I can call home yet, no nothing. So, technically this would be my first time to start everything from scratch which is supposedly as exciting as it sounds, errr…. doesn’t it? No comfort guaranteed but something to enrich life awaits. Well, I`m just sure I`ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
If you have checked out my Bali story, where I share my remarkable story about how my first trip to Bali has changed the way I see my life, then I am going to tell you that as soon as I got back from Bali, I submitted my resignation letter. When I quit the job, some of my close friends thought I must have been out of my mind. Letting go of the job would probably make me regret the decision my whole life, well at least its what they thought. But what I thought was… I couldn’t just let the chance slip through my grasp. I think I would regret my life more if I didn’t take the chance.
When people question my decision just because I would spend some years in my life not pursuing my career or whatever my job would be if I was not a banker, I`d say ‘Don’t!’. Do not ever question my decision because I believe every single thing in life has a price to pay. I might miss out my chances to better jobs or positions, but you who question my life, you who spend most of your time pursuing you career, might miss out the chances to see what I see, to experience what I experience.
No judging here. I am just saying.
Its like what they said, ‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at, change.’ We just have different definitions of happiness, I guess. And the good news about happiness is you don’t need any validation and approval from others to be happy about what you do. You just do it.
I don’t know where this decision is going to take me in my future life, I don’t know what life has in store for me either, but what I do know now is that I am ready to embark on my new journey, to experience life at its best.
I still cant believe this is happening in my life right now. When I graduated from college, I thought I would spend years doing and pursuing job that I SUPPOSEDLY loved because I was this ambitious fresh grad student who saw life in black and white. But I think life has catapulted to different path where I really let nature take its course, but hey… come hell or high water, life is fleeting, if the odds are stacked against me then I`ll come home and start to figure things out. But at least once in my lifetime, I can pass on the story to my grandchildren that as long as dream is free, why bother having small dreams? Have big dreams because one day they do come true, and what you can do now is to be careful what you wish for.
I still have a lot in my bucket list so I am just hoping I can make other dreams come true, hopefully before I become too old to do so. At last but not least, I am proud to say that I am about to do such a big favor that my 20 year-old self will thank me later. So, stay tuned for my next posts where I will share things that I discover throughout my journey.
Wish me luck! ❤