The answer to your “Kok lo jalan-jalan mulu sih??” question.
Sometimes I ask myself the same question. But all I ever know was that if i want something, i have to have it. I was born a stubborn kid, never have my parents stop reminding me of that because the habit continues til today. But i guess that stubborness comes at a price that i was able to gain lots of experience by it. Traveling experiences included.
So how was i able to travel so much even though it seems that i dont earn much? I dont have much money, may you know. My background is media and communication and it’s public knowledge that media industries lacks fortunes. But if it still left you wondering how and why I am able to travel much, you may consider these facts that I often planted in my head to experience life as much.
1. Do not be afraid to go broke
I’m sure you know that quote, “Travel is the only thing you pay that makes you richer”
I understand that money is everything for a lot of people. Money buys you food, insurance, clothing, safety and life in general. But my parents sure to remind me since I was a young girl, “you’re not gonna bring your wealth and money to your grave!” Statement that forever sticks to me. Now, I’m not saying that you should spend all the money you have to do whatever you want. You should still spend it wisely and prepare for the worst. Coming from family of religious Muslims means that we prioritize hereafter purposes more than worldly mortality. So more often than not, I spend my money wisely to gain worldly experiences that are beneficial for the hereafter. Beneficial meaning that through traveling and education, it gains me a proper view of being a better and purposeful human being which leads to inshaAllah a magnificent life in the hereafter.
In Islam we also have a belief that sadaqah (giving charity) will make you richer. Therefore you shall not be afraid to go broke, be positive knowing that with every penny you spend on experiences and charity, you’ll gain more and more.
2. Travel according to a suited budget
Now that you are generous enough to spend your money for your own life-gaining, note that my way of traveling still ranges on a suited budget. I don’t go around and splurge everything I have for the things I want. As a Libra, I balance out many decisions fairly. If I think I have the money to go on a dive trip, then I would spend an entire week or two just for that! However, when I do feel that I’ve used up my money on other things and still wanted a vacation, I will go to a nearer and cheaper destinations that does not require a plane ticket, like chilling in Bandung/Ciwidey or Mount Papandayan in Garut if I want to be showered by nature.
3. Consistent savings
This one maybe quite a useful trick. This tip will make me sound like financial advisor, and I’m sorry if it did, but I promise you this is only based on my personal experience. Save and make sure the amount you saved continues to be certain and stable.
After I graduated college, I was blessed with a good amount of savings from my university insurance deposit. I know not a lot of university opt this for their students, but you can always start saving from a certain amount at one time. For example, you saved Rp. 3.000.000 from your first salary or from your parents’ inheritance. Then you save some more and then you need to travel and spend a little bit of your savings. By the end of the next month (or by your own spesific deadline), you should promise yourself that that saving should be back at Rp. 3.000.000 or more but NEVER less.
This is useful because you will learn to manage your money and be aware of your spending. If you are lucky enough to have better income in the future, you could always set up a new savings goal that need to stay certain and stable.
4. Opportunist mindset
I considerably admit that I am an opportunist. I often kill two birds with one stone. “Menyelam minum air“, we call it in Indonesian. I often will find good opportunities to discover places while I’m at another purpose. Like slipping out few hours or days after a work event in another city to befriend and get to know it a little bit. Or even gush over their famous culinary!
You probably ask again, where do you find the time? Make it. Opportunist would say use your weekends wisely, use your right of annual leave wisely and that’s exactly what I would say. When my family and I lived in the US, we actually just stayed there for 8 months for Dad’s work opportunity. But believe it or not, we went to over 12 states in total because Dad made sure to use our weekends and Spring Break wisely to explore the country and learn something new about the place. And I believe that I take after his places-discovering habit until today.
5. Leave your comfort zone
Traveling comes with good and bad days, and once you’ve placed your mindset to being an opportunist, you should be able to try new things without consent to always having the best of times. When I took the cheapest flight but with the most ridiculous hours of transit, it was up to me to make sure I am comfortable enough to survive it. Even if that means getting kicked out twice for attempting to lounge/sleep at a restaurant. Most importantly to keep your brickwall face on! *Read: muka tembok.
6. Consider yourself lucky than most.
Last year I found a video on Facebook (link here) that made me think again about how grateful I am of my life despite having to always mentally complain in my head. The video is titled “10 Signs You’re Doing Well in Life (Even if you don’t feel like it)”. Some things like having a roof over your head and that you ate today are already signs that you are well and lucky.
Besides those 10 signs, I consider myself lucky that traveling was bred in my family. You know the stereotype of Padang/Sumatra people who were always nomadic (perantau)? I guess it feeds through my genes.
Think about other positive things that made you, you and stop comparing yourself to others. If you can’t travel today as much as I am, surely you have other things to be grateful for.