Skip to main content

When Travel is the Journey, not the Destination

Five years ago when I started having money for traveling, I really cared about how many places to go in a short time, to maximize my holiday. I would feel wasting of time and money if I didn't visit all the must-visited places in one city/country. I was also careful to not visiting the same places I had been to.

One day in 2009 when I was traveling oversea in a big group with my friends, we visited a glamorous giant casino and suddenly separated into 2 groups. One group, including me, walked around the place, played some games, took photos and so on. The other group, to my disappointment, was only sitting and talking each other in Starbucks. Come on, what's so special drinking Starbucks in this country, not even a local coffee? You could find many Starbucks cafes in other countries, even in our own.

Fast forward to 2012 when I was traveling solo in Tokyo, I was walking around Asakusa, Ueno, Ginza and Akihabara in one day. In Akihabara, I suddenly felt tired and then entered.... Starbucks. I suddenly wanted to drink a good coffee that I used to drink. I just wanted to sit down, take a rest, write my journal there and watch those local people in the busyness of Akihabara. There were more places to visit, hence I stopped there and enjoyed my peacefulness.

In 2013 when I went to Kuala Lumpur (KL) for business trip, I had one free day to walk around KL before meeting my colleagues. I already planned to visit some places I hadn't been to, such as KL Tower, Zoo and Bird Parks, some lakes and museums, and even Batu Cave which is quite far from the city. In the end, none of them was accomplished, haha!

Before arriving in KL, I contacted a friend there (read the story here) and made appointment to meet up. Fortunately she was available for the whole weekend and taking me around with her car. Instead of visiting above mainstream tourist places:
* We passed by a luxurious hotel where our favorite Korean celebrity once stayed there during his concert in KL.
* We had her favorite Japanese dessert.
* Since we both love Korea, she took me to Korea Town in Ampang, where we had Korean foods for dinner and I bought my favorite Korean instant coffee.
* We went to IKEA.
* She drove and showed me around Bukit Damansara and Bukit Kiara, suburb areas where the wealthy Malaysians live.

None of them related to tourist attractions in KL, right?

We also went to KLCC to see the beautiful Petronas Tower and Lake Symphony. This is a favorite tourist place, but I had visited it before with my husband. As I told before, I usually didn't go to my been-there places. But now I know, there will be a different experience in each visit with a different accompany. It felt different watching the lighting musical fountain with my husband, and with my friend (and later with my colleagues). With this friend, I bought some fruits from convenience store, had a picnic along the lake, and talked about our life. I love visiting above places where my friend often goes in her daily life: Korea town, her favorite Japanese dessert (which to me tastes like all common bubble teas mushroomed in Jakarta right now), her rich friend's house in Bukit Kiara hehe... I really enjoyed it, and I didn't feel disappointed at all to miss all KL tourist attractions I had planned to visit before.

What I am about to say is, I finally realized that traveling is not all about the destination, it is more about the journey. I am still listing down places to visit when I go traveling (in case I have enough time and money :p), but I won't be disappointed if I cannot go to all the places. If I know friends living there, I prefer to meet and chat with them, rather than finishing my to-visit-list. I prefer letting them, rather than me, decide where to go because they are the locals. I may know more about the places from books and internet, but they understand more the local culture. I go slowly, not rushing my time. If I find myself enjoying one museum, I will let myself be in that museum for long time.

"I just want to enjoy my coffee, please!"

If I find myself enjoying Starbucks coffee in a new place, I will sit and enjoy my Starbucks.

Comments

  1. Couldn't agree more. The best part about travelling is when I get to blend in with the locals, do what the locals do instead of joining the foreign tourists at the crowded places. Often times I couldn't do that because the company I was with had the same opinion as you were i.e. going to as many famous places as they can & not going to the same place more than once.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice post and really impressive one to read this post. thanks for sharing this impressive post with us

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very impressive post! I really enjoyed reading through your experience and like your views about travelling and destination. Have you ever been to west coast tours? Let me know about your views regarding to the attractions there. I hope it will be helpful for me to plan my tour.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Chennai Balaji Travels Organizes a complete one day group traveling packages wholly & Separate car packages from Chennai to Tirupati

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting sharing friend. I really enjoy your experience. I like travelling and see the beautiful creation of God. I visit in different countries for my travel interest. This summer I choose the la to grand canyon tour to enjoy summer holidays and see the attraction of this places. I listen the Grand Canyon is the major tourist places in the world. Million of peoples come here to the neutral beauty.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Chennai Balaji Travels Organizes a complete one day group traveling packages wholly & Separate car packages from Chennai to Tirupati

    ReplyDelete
  7. There are so many tour packages from chennai to tirupati.
    It has to be booked prior one day before journey date.
    As it is one of the divine place, crowd will be normal at all times.
    So people do not want to worry about getting difficult for darshan.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We offer Tirupati darshan booking chennai facility for all our customers.
    one can easily afford and take up this trip, we use to post some images taken during trips chennai to tirupati tour package.
    Thank you for your kind co-operation and support by Chenani srinivasa travels

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jeju Island in 3 Days

Jeju Island, the Hawaii of Korea, where couples usually go for honeymoon, and the place of many UNESCO Nature Heritage sites, is really beautiful and romantic. Some people say we need to spend at least 1 week to explore and experience the most of this island, but in my opinion 3 days are enough. Trust me, many places in Jeju only look good in advertisement, they're good at selling it. There are no interesting places in the North and West part of Jeju Island, so you can focus on East and South. East and South parts are amazingly naturally beautiful! Here's the itinerary I recommend.

Day-1: East of Jeju Island

Manjanggul / Manjang Cave
Spending time: 30-45 minutes
Hallasan, located in the middle of Jeju Island is the only volcanic mountain in Korea. It created several small volcanic mountains throughout Jeju Island, called Oreum in Korean. One of the biggest Oreum is Geomun Oreum, famous with its large lava tube system and designated as a UNESCO Natural Heritage site. It has few l…

Review: Homestay Cahaya Sikunir Dieng

Mencari penginapan di Dieng itu susah-susah gampang. Disana tidak ada hotel, adanya penginapan rumahan atau homestay. Beberapa turis kadang menginap di kota Wonosobo, sekitar sejam dari Dieng, demi mendapat penginapan yang bagus. Pilihan di travel apps hanya sedikit dan kurang cocok. Setelah browsing sana-sini, terutama baca review blog orang, saya hubungi beberapa homestay di Dieng baik lewat telpon maupun Whatsapp. Saat kami sudah mulai road trip Jawa Tengah tanggal 12 Desember, kami masih belum tau mau menginap dimana di Dieng tanggal 17 Desember nya. Karena waktu itu kami belum fix juga sih mau berapa malam di Dieng, 1 atau 2 malam? Kalau 2 malam, keduanya di homestay yang sama atau ganti homestay?

Akhirnya tanggal 16 Desember, sehari sebelum ke Dieng (saat itu kami di Solo), kami memutuskan untuk menginap 2 malam di Dieng. Malam pertama di Homestay Cahaya Sikunir, karena keesokan subuh nya mau sok-sokan melihat sunrise di Bukit Sikunir, dan malam kedua di Homestay Serayu. Untuk

Transportation in Jeju Island

These are some remarks regarding public transportation in Jeju.
Buses in Jeju Island accept Seoul's t-money card. You can buy and top-up it in convenience store, like GS25 and Family Mart.City buses normally charge 1000won for cash, or 950won for t-money card. If you pay by card, tap it to the machine when you aboard and when you alight. If you transit between 2 buses during a certain times, fee for the next bus can be 0won, or free.Intercity buses vary depends on the distance, usually between 1000-3000won. There's no different fee paying with cash or card. When you aboard the bus, tell the driver about your destination, he will tell you how much it is, and you have to pay there directly. If you pay by card, no need to tap it again when you get off.There are 2 bus terminals in Seogwipo city. The main bus terminal is in the south-east of downtown, near the Jeongbang Waterfall, which is also the old one. The second one is to the right of the E-mart in front of the World Cup Stad…