Simple Things: On Traveling

13.11.17


A few months ago, a friend LINE'd after a long time. We swapped stories and she asked what I've been doing. She laughed at the lack of traveling I did in the past year and compared me to another friend of ours' escapisms here and there. She said I need to sort out my priority to be able to travel. My response?

"That's the thing. I don't set my priority to travel."

Currently, there's this increasing trend among Indonesian people which is to travel someplace trending on Instagram. A trend in which always get my hardest laugh. Whenever there's a new 'it' places somewhere, rest be assured flock of people with their phones and SLRs will swarm the place. Not to mention there are so many cheap travel tours and packages nowadays, which make traveling super accessible for more people. Don't get me wrong, it's great to travel someplace new. It's lovely to see other places. I'd love to. Heck, give me time and money and health I'll go. Have opportunity, will travel.


But I also can't help but notice: traveling has become a trend.

It has become an identity. An explanation of ourselves. A symbol of existence. You're seen as how far you've gone.

Yet, to travel is a choice.

As it grows to be more accessible, people forgot that traveling itself is a privilege. Some sort of reward to ourselves. It should not and should never be a priority. Some people set a particular time in a year for leisure traveling, nothing wrong with that. It becomes wrong when people imposed the necessity of traveling to everyone. Even more so to impose it as a priority for everyone.

No.

As I think of the lack of traveling I had throughout the years, I constantly reminded that I am also privileged in another way. To be able to relax on the weekend without a pile of jobs waiting to be done by Monday. To be able to sleep eight hours a day without wake up every 2-3 hours for no reason. To enjoy the house and empty neighborhood on the weekend. To be able to do whatever the fuck I want on the weekend because I finally have all the time to myself. To chill. To be free to be me. To finally be apart from so many people.

I will forever envy all of my friends who could go here and there, filling their passport with stamps from various countries, posting their adventures. But to people who travel for the sake of being hip, for the love symbol they earned, to be regarded as matter yet laid waste in places they went to, no. Never. I couldn't care less.

So go. Go where no one has boldly gone before. Go where the swarm of people is. Go because you want to. Because it's a place you're dying to go to. But don't go to add to your mileage only. Don't go so that you'll get labeled as hip. Don't go to take a photo then put it on Instagram just to prove you made your mark. Go for your heart, not for the likes.


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