The end of 2017 is approaching and I already started my financial audit, my review of the year and my reflection this weekend. It was not a smooth year. In fact, if I never reviewed my year, I would simply say I hate 2017. One bad thing blinded me from all the beautiful things that happened this year.
As I organized my collection of boarding passes, I was reminded that I traveled a lot this year. But which trip was the best one? Which was the most fun? Which was the hardest? Which trip do I want to repeat? Those questions running through my mind but all I could answer was, me being me: the most expensive trip, the hottest and coldest trip, the longest and shortest trip, the trip with the highest expectation, the most complicated trip. the most dramatic visa process... There was barely any feeling nor meaningful reflection.
I tried to scroll through my blog and my drive, I could barely find any clue. I was too swamped by I-swear-I-have-no-idea-what and my 'alone' time this year, that I forgot all the things that were actually meaningful to me. So this brought me scrolling through my photos and asked 'Which one was the most meaningful trip in 2017?'
|the 5th flight|
I bought the ticket for this Chuseok break November last year and I never forgot about the exact dates. In fact, I registered for my classes this semester while always considering this trip, looking for classes on Thursday that would allow me to be absent for a day without penalty.
The trip was short but I learned so much things. It brought me to endless realizations that our lives, our family's lives, had changed. I came with the mindset and the intention of being fully present: I would take whatever schedule Princess gave me with no complain and squeeze in for other things in between. It was not easy, as turned out there were many obstacles and going back-and-forth to the airport was rather time-consuming.
The first realization, coming to an empty house. There is no more driver around. I do not drive nor tempted to ride the motorbike. That was not the main problem. It was just the fact that I had no one to talk to during the day and barely any familiar TV show to catch up with. There was no internet too, as my brother, the owner of the wifi (and the rest of the facilities, I'd say) had gone. My room stays pretty much the same, except for the fact that most of my belongings are kept somewhere else. I am rarely home yet I was bothered. What about Princess who has to feel the emptiness every day?
Second realization, how much I was annoyed with the flight arrangement. I had to take 6 flights during the 10 days. We are completely used to it (I had 10 flights in 14 days in February) - and I truly understand the burden of going to the airport multiple times when you live 80km+ away. But it was more about the flight arrangement that slapped me. We are a family of four yet we are always taking different flights from different points of departure to gather at the destination of the week. I am not sure when did we start this habit, probably the moment I entered high school. Who started it? Arguably me. I remembered taking different flights to some cities because I had my own schedule. My schoolmates always teased my endless-traveling and I missed many class pictures due to my high mobility, yet on the other side, I also missed many family trips because I could not skip too many classes... Uh. More on this, see point four.
The ability to take different flights rather than forcing on a schedule that works for everyone means flexibility for us. I just realized I was not happy waiting alone in the lounge or roaming alone in a city that I am not familiar with, or to keep going back and forth to the airport to pick up the next person if I arrive earlier than the others. I guess I wanted to be treated special, as I came from Korea with the high opportunity costs. For a moment, I was being selfish. I forgot that each of us has to sacrifice something to be able to gather in Surabaya.
The third was the concept of 'home, home where?'
So my dad asked about my plan after the Surabaya-Malang trip. I said, "Nothing, I am going home."
"Oh, which home?"
"Hmmm? What do you mean?"
"Bogor or Yogya or where?"
It was a very simple and short conversation yet I felt very confused. At least until the last time I went home, which was barely a month before, we were always very clear about where the 'home' is. Now everything is a blur.
This brought me to the thoughts I had in the summer. 2 weeks before I came back home in June, things were crystal clear. We would all (by status) relocate to Yogya, as my brother would go to private uni in Yogya and Princess would also transfer there. Then suddenly after the SBMPTN announcement, it turned to be a confusing change for everyone. My bro got accepted in the public uni (my parents' greatest obsession), supposedly it was a good news, yet we all were not sure about what's next...
|1 hr of standing and laughing before I flew back|
I was talking only about my brother, a relatively free student. Think about Princess who works 5-to-9, instead of 9-to-5. Meeting in a third city every weekend is time-money-and-energy-consuming. Yet we do that because we treasure our 'unique' quality time.
My point is: for my friends in Korea, I go home too often. Yet for the people home, I am always away. There is a discrepancy between the two worlds and I am slowly adapting to it. For my mom, it would be better if I go home every weekend than go back for two months in the summer. It is never about the duration of me being in Indonesia (because where 'home' is has become hard to judge), rather it is about how often and how long I meet her everytime I am home. It is very tough to juggle my personal ambition of maximizing my every school break for traveling and the time to meet my family. I am working on it. It is a tough job.
Fifth, the time I spent in Yogya is worth every kilogram that I gained. I am referring to both the semester I spent in 2014 and the 30hours I spent on this trip. I was reluctant to go as I was skeptical on what would a night in Yogya mean to me. I was too lazy to pack early to go back to Korea too. I ended up going only to repay my junior's kindness of lending me his phone (and I needed to pass it to his mom in Yogya). Turned out, I had a good time catching up with my past uni classmates and eating all the stuff I craved for. I had a good 6 hours in the hospital to check up on every problem that I had. Hospital visit never been this fun, especially after knowing the real power of my new insurance coverage (ok me being a finance lady here). I also got to catch up with a senior from Korea and learned a lot from her experience working in a Korean company in Indonesia.
Not to forget, I finally attended my dad's public event for the first time in many years (aside from his doctorate degree open defense, I think the last one I attended was in 2013). He openly said that we are the icon of KB - Keluarga Berserakan (re: scattered family) because we are mostly located in different places.
|Coz dance studio is our habitat|
|coz pedestrian is equal to a challenging motorbike track|
I split my ride into two, from Depok to Pasar Minggu with a very kind biker and then sudden change of plan forced me to find the best way to go from Tebet to Grand Indonesia. My luck, after heavy rain and freaking train disruption. those Grab bikers did not pick me and I had to use my old secrets: put the word URGENT and insert TIPS. Going from Tebet to Grand Indonesia never felt that threatening, especially with occasional against-the-traffic-speeding on a motorbike that was not even registered on the app.
Why did I believe that Indonesians should use public transportation more often? Oh, I am really sorry, it was a stupid idea thinking that we have been improving.
|Luluk, my idol|
We then continued to go to Depok to meet a mutual friend, even when she was supposed to go somewhere else. Luluk, I am your fan since 2010. Since the day we realized we sneaked on each other's IQ test paper.
Good timing is also something to be grateful for. If it was not for the mooncake season, I'd probably have no valid reason to keep visiting my best friend's family. First I came for the mooncake, then for the tahu goreng then... just for food. The best vegan mooncake that the aunty bought is already a solid and valid reason to always go back home every Chuseok.
Mooncake business aside, I am surprised how fun it was just to reconnect with my friends' family, even when they are not there. I played with Metta's cats and talked with her parents, spending more than 2 hours in joy everytime I dropped by. I also got to know my juniors' parents while passing his phone or taking her stuff to be brought to Korea, even with no advance introduction before.
And oh, having a slow life made me realize how much I still love angkot and talk in Sundanese. Wow, knowing all this I feel like I should've just stayed home rather than going to UK or Thailand last summer, man.
Finally, it is all about people. People and the world keep changing, it is up to us to adapt and keep up with the change or to stay static and grow irrelevant to our surroundings. It is definitely tough and challenging to continue catching up with friends and relatives back home when I am away in Korea, but it is not impossible. I can keep talking about how much I appreciate everyone that I met throughout the trip (yes, everyone. Including the shady Grab biker with different registered motorcycle). I can choose to take only the happy memories. I can choose to let my negativity to blind me from seeing the beautiful things that God has given me. But I prefer to always be open and be grateful for all the good and the bad things that I experience.
Chuseok trip 2017 certainly won the most meaningful trip of the year! Conclusion, I do not need to go far away to feel content. A trip back home might be the best answer.