- Iyer wrote that we travel to initially lose ourselves and later to find ourselves. Have you experienced both the losing and discovering of yourself? Please answer with examples.
– There was a time where I travelled and I left everything I knew and felt comfortable with behind. A new start. A new beginning started as I stepped on that airplane. There was no going back, and I wanted it to be that way. Arriving at a certain destination will always make me think “will I still be able to survive? Will I be alright?” those answers will then be answered once I finished my trips. One trip that I did was in Bali with my best friend. It may seem normal, but it wasn’t at all. It was the first time that it was just the two of us in a trip, we planned. We planned everything with what we knew back home, but once we arrived, everything we planned, didn’t go as planned. Only accommodations and the things we booked online stayed as our plans, but the rest, were just like an improv on a stage. One of those moments was when we didn’t know where to go, our phone’s battery just died, along with the GPS. Then, instead of waiting for our phones to be at least half charged, we asked around. We asked the people who were strangers, who had a different dialect, and it was a dialect that still felt new to us, and we tried to go and follow their directions. At that time, we were then able to get back. I found out that I wasn’t too blind of directions, and I found out, I had the courage to not be too dependable on my phone, when there are real people who can help you in the way.
- What new experiences have you earned so far?
– In each trip I go, I know I’ll always learn something new, the law, norms, language, and even culture. Like before, when I went to Africa, my stepdad made pizza. All my life, I knew only of rice, and rice was what tasted good in my mouth. However, that time I forced myself to eat one piece of pizza, and I learned that, it was not only rice that was good, but pizza too. Even at that time, since I went to school there, I learned to play traditional African music.
- “What gives value to travel is fear”, what does it mean?
– Personally, I think it means that we don’t just travel for pleasure. Since we leave our old habits, and what we know and feel comfortable in/at, we still have that vague fear. Like if something were to happen; back home, you can go back to your family and ask for advice or help; but when you travel (especially alone), you can’t ask your family for help, you can ask your friends, but it still won’t give you the assurance that you need and get from a family member. So, in order to find the value of your travel you need fear, where those fears will become components of finding your true self. For example, when I go to a certain place to travel, I have that fear of wanting to go back home because I’m out of my comfort zone, and no one I knew, except my best friend was there to help me. But because of that fear, I became more self-reliant, and confident, and those things I never found out about myself until I went on a trip that my family was not involved in. So, in a way, the fear I had, shaped part of the me that I am now.
- Were there any conflicts of values that you experienced in your trips? How did you negotiate them?
– Yes, there were, many times. An example of it was when I was not living in Indonesia, I wasn’t allowed to eat with my bare hands, let alone eat in front of the TV. However, when I went to Indonesia, I learned that it was alright to eat with your bare hands, and sit in front of the TV while you eat your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I also learned that in Indonesia you should leave a bit of the drink that you drank, because it means being polite. However, when I was out of the country, and in some parts of Indonesia, being polite means finishing your drink. I wasn’t used to how in every place there were different values; at first, but I learned to learn them. I accepted their values, and I was fortunate enough to meet those people who are open minded, and respected my values. I learned to compromise between the values that I keep intact and the new values I learned.