Paradox of Traveling

IMG_6090-2Pic: Victoria Train Station, London, UK. (Self documentation)

I never complain about my life, but I do criticize it.

My life isn’t perfect, or probably it never would be. However, it is a great one. Full of great things that I could have ever asked for. Some achievements are successfully taken. Some dreams that finally happened. Parents love me unconditionally and some friends that I can trust. And for all of those, I never regret, even for a second for having this imperfect life.

But, why do I call it as the imperfect life?

Read the rest of this post, and then judge me later.

I do remember since I was child, I always had a huge interest to astronomy. Even I ever had a dream to be an astronaut. It was a simple idea for a 13-year-old girl, because I imagined that our universe out there is an unlimited space to explore to, and I like the idea of floating around in a non-gravity place.

However, that simple idea was not simple at all.

Did you ever watch “Inception” movie? It says “what is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere

And you know what? They are right.

A simple idea never been simple when it is fully formed and understood. The idea of exploring the universe is then interpreted by my brain as traveling.

I really love traveling and I travel quite frequently. I fall in love with the idea behind traveling. At earlier stage of my finding, I saw that the traveling is only about visiting new places during the holidays. I felt excitements every time I discovered new things in new places. However, as I grew up, I feel more about traveling. Drove me to expand the meaning of traveling, which later I defined as being anonymous and living in a foreign place for quite some time.

That is why I wanted so badly to have a scholarship to study abroad. Apart from the basic need to fulfill my passion towards research, it also suited my desire for traveling. Therefore, 10 years of living far away from my parents’ home, including 2 years of living in the Netherlands brought me to the amazing experiences.

You can tell that during that time, I had a chance to learn cultures, see the world, visit some countries that are already in my bucket list, learn a lot of new things, fall in love with historical sites, see the amazing spatial environment, meet new people, make new friends, make my dreams alive, grow up and get older, be strong and be brave, and of course, I learn a lot how to ‘dance under the heavy rain’.

Through those movements, I have changed.

I see my dreams differently. I perceive people differently. I argue differently. I judge my government differently. I value more the humanity. I do not get irritated with new habits. I started to feel calm about the new meetings and the goodbyes. All those crowd happen every second of every single day inside my brain, which surely other people might not recognize it.

And then, when it comes to coming back home, at some point, I feel excited to have reunions, but at another point I feel lost. I have a gap between the time I left and the time I come back home. It’s like that I am not familiar with the environment and the surrounding system that I have been involved previously. It’s like learning a foreign language that no one around you speaks so there is no way to communicate to them how you really feel. I like running, but others like to slow down. Probably, people also change. Probably they are just busy with their own settled lives. The discussions that might suppose to be interesting become dry. Lead me to another case, it is then limiting my social circles. I only can talk to a few people.

This is then what I knew as the “travel bug” (or, it is just a name to call the pattern), therefore I always get excited when I have a chance to go traveling again. Mainly to get away for a moment from the office work, or the routines. Makes me to have a wish, that wherever I go, I do hope that I finally end up in a place where I am surrounded by people who speak the same language as mine. I wish that no matter how anonymous and alone I would be, I don’t feel lonely.

It is sad, yet it is funny.
Somehow you feel like a stranger in your own place. You feel more lost in your hometown then you did in the most foreign place you visited.
But, this is apparently a pitfall of traveling.

Therefore, I keep continuing my steps. I always analyze the purpose of my life. I keep myself busy to do some useful things, no matter how significant it is. That thing is just to maintain my sanity. At least, I don’t regret by neglecting all the resources that I have. By then, I hope that I could give time enough time, as if they prepare another exciting journeys for me to go through.

Indeed, I never complain about my life, but I do criticize it. And therefore, I keep wondering and moving. I keep taking a risk and taking a leap a faith, and later seeing how much I could grow even more.

Some words are borrowed from this article. Glad to know that I am not alone.


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