I found an article online about ‘Date a Girl who Travels’
– I personally do agree to what Steph wrote as I am a traveller my self.
I have travelled my whole life …. I am a girl who travels, I travelled SOLO in the past and with my partner for the last five years. I caught travel bugs from my parents who apparently ‘travelled for a living’ in their 20 – 30, so did I …
I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth nor from family who had their own house in late 70, instead I grew up in an orphanage in Central Java, Indonesia after my father passed away, my mother was a young widow who could not afford to pay two young children, my self 4 years of age and my older sister 7 years. She was a dressmaker when my father was still alive and she still does it for a living.
My mother’s adopted father, who I called my grand-father, knew someone who ran an orphanage and he suggested my mother to let us go to live there.
I do not blame her for doing that, one of the hardest decisions she had ever made in her life. I could go to school, learnt to read and write, despite living away from my mother was a tough life also I and other kids who lived there had to do labourer work from very early age.
When was I started to travel?
My solo-travel journey started when I was 17, graduated from High School and left Central Java to a small island called Batam where one of industrial places in Indonesia. The company provided a roof and a bed to share with 20 other young girls at one of rooms among women dormitories. I made friends and money at the same time for the first 4 years until one day in 2002 one of my childhood dreams called me ….
It was and still is … I want to travel and see the world like Captain Cook, it was influenced by the first book that I could read at the orphanage ‘The Adventure of Captain Cook’ when I was 7.
Please note that the colonisation influence not influenced me at all LOL.
I resigned from the company with a reason that I wanted to travel the world without realised the consequence that I would be a big joke for my former colleagues or people who knew me. I heard a lot of negative comments, bullying etc.
Since then, I tried to get better work experience, hopped on from one island to another island in Indonesia although it was failure on the first three months, learnt to speak and write English language, dropped-out from university due to work overtime that I had to do almost everyday and during public holidays since it was compulsory for every employee plus looked after my own living cost also helped my mother to pay my youngest brother’s tuition. He is a son of my mother and my step father, we had 13 years differences of age.
When did I get my first stamp in my passport?
It was in 2003, I have a friend who married to a Singaporean man and she lives in Singapore, I finally visited her for the first time, the same time when I got the first stamp in my passport, thus … I started explore Singapore on my own regularly until it became my second-country due to the location being so close to Batam. Sometimes I stayed at my friend’s house, sometimes I stayed at a backpacker hostel.
I decided to travel solo backpacking to Thailand in 2005 after reading a lot of travel blog mostly written by western travellers, I saved up my salary monthly and I bought tickets to Thailand, I was in Thailand for 10 days and spent less than 3million rupiah (equal to £170 based on £1 = IDR 17,000) and during Songkran festival !
How did I fund my travel?
Travel backpacking was not so common in Indonesia back then. I believe, travelling infected Indonesian youngster for the last five years. Please do correct me if I am wrong 🙂
Time gone by as wind blew, my travel passion was getting stronger as well as my career was getting better, I did brain storming and tried to apply a job in Singapore since I knew that the living standard there were better compare to Indonesia, I went for several interviews, got a job in one of big Australian construction companies in Jurong, with regards I did not finish my degree, my work permit was rejected. It was a big slap on my face although it did not stop me to keep trying until one day a Norwegian ship builder company interviewed me for a job, I decided to relocate to another small island called Bintan, about an hour from Batam, where luxury resorts were being built by Singapore investors.
Since 2003, apart from Singapore, I backpacked to Malaysia and Vietnam in 2006, Hongkong in 2008 also back to Thailand several times. In 2006 I travelled to Bali and reached Flores, I felt in love to Indonesia remote isles.
Since I relocated to Bintan in early 2008, my travel passion was idling due to work load. One day, I decided to leave all the luxury perks and looked for a job in another island of Indonesia as long as it is in a remote area, although this job provided me with a three bedroom villa in a complex, completed with swimming pool, golf course, chef and driver also every now and then I would go to Singapore for training and stayed at a huge apartment located in the heart of Singapore.
I was lucky enough, not long after that, I got a job in a gold mining company in North Sumatera, the camp-site was located in the jungle, been flew by helicopter, flew by private plane chartered by the company over Lake Toba. The company looked after me well and I explored the villages surrounding the camp-site and met people there. Sadly, a lot of people had to leave the job due to big cut of employment caused by world economic crisis in end of 2008.
I said to my self, I wanted a different life experience, not just travelling and spending money as a tourist but I want to travel and live among local people to learn their culture and tradition.
In early 2009, a company in Jakarta called me for a vacancy for their branch office in Lombok Island and I packed my bag and flew there. The job was not worked out as I expected and after 5 months in Lombok, I flew to Bali Island to try observe whether I could find a job there or not, while waiting for the news from the company in North Sumatera whether I would be on board again after economy crisis recovery.
Life led me to the other way, I did not go back to Sumatera and I met my soul-mate in Bali during my travel instead, who also travels for his passion of surfing while teaching English language, who has travelled to more than 26 countries and lived in France, Spain, Italy and Indonesia. Similar story happened to my father who met my mother during his apprentice worked at my grand father’s house back in 1975 in Lampung, Sumatera.
At the first years of my journey, my mother was against my travel passion, perhaps she seen herself in me – a rebel young girl who wants to see the world outside.
I understood her well because she wanted me to concentrate on my career, buy a house and settle down like the other girls she knew, I spent my salary travelling to other places instead.
I was glad that finally she understood me when I told her that I leave my country to see the world like Captain Cook.
I still have funded my own travel although I have travelled with my partner for the last five years.
Yes, I am a girl who travels funding her own travel expenses. Proud of it !
ME in THAILAND – MALAYSIA – SINGAPORE
ME in VIETNAM – KOMODO ISLAND – HONGKONG
Me in Kuta beach, Lombok and with a villager in Nipah, Lombok
Me in gold mining, North Sumatera and by a beach in Sibolga