26 December 2014

DEAR JAKARTA, I LOVE YOU!


I’ve been wanting to post this article for a couple weeks now and wrote most of it when I first got home from my solo trip to Indonesia last month.  But the more I thought about it, I really wanted to let my feelings on the topic of solo travel marinate for a while and see how I felt a few weeks after the experience before posting my thoughts here. This recent trip to Indonesia is my first time traveling  alone abroad.  All of my other travels to Panama, Guatemala Mexico etc were done in the company of my husband. But this was the first trip that I did on my own to South-east Asia. Before I go on, I want to state that I do truly believe that traveling alone is something I think everyone should experience at one point or another.  It’s something like nothing else, it makes you think differently, it makes you take in more around you and it really is inspiring in many ways that traveling with other people often isn’t. It’s a way to build your independence, a way to break free of social regulation and a way to explore parts of the world and parts of yourself more deeply. But it can also be lonely and isolating in ways that we may never even realize until we experience it. And truthfully, it can be draining as well, both emotionally and physically when you don’t have another person to rely on or be up with in the middle of the night when you’re jet lagged, or having to trust complete strangers to assist you with certain things. I also really think it’s important to relay the truth about some of the darker parts of traveling here on my blog.  And while I whole-heartedly believe travel is overall a fantastic experience, there are some things, like traveling alone, that can really test you.
My most recent trip was one that I wouldn’t take back and I know I am so blessed to have had this opportunity but it was also one that was hard for me. Exploring Indonesia especially, I’d see something and want so badly to turn to my husband and show him, or I’d see something I knew he'd love and it made it even more apparent that he wasn’t there with me, and that I was creating memories alone, without him. I missed sharing the moments abroad with him and it  felt sort of wrong to be experiencing them without him.  On the other hand, this trip did open up many lessons to be learned.  It challenged me in ways that my travels with my husband do not.  I didn’t have someone to rely on for help finding places, to take my photos or the security of having a man by my side.  It made me more aware of my surroundings, which helped me see beautiful little details around me that I perhaps would not have, had I been with someone else. I think that traveling alone is definitely something everyone should experience at some point. It really is a way to connect with yourself and even when lonely, it gives you a tremendous opportunity to find yourself, to explore new places and build up courage on your own. All of my experiences abroad alone have taught me different things and I credit some of my deepest soul searching moments to those trips. But as I get older and the more I travel, at the end of the day, I just miss my husband and wanted to share our travels together, creating memories together.

Home in my apartment. 

Halal Coke I bought at the supermarket. Superrrr.



So fascinated with this new pair of shades I bought. Kinda like square pegs in round holes.





Out in the mall. Food is priority.




Magnificent sunrise in Jakarta city (view from my apartment's gallery)

Backyard view of my apartment, from up above.


I spot a mosque in the distance :) Never miss the adhaan. Never miss prayer.

Jakarta's busy and noisy highway.


Breakfast in bed. The housekeeper ensured I never miss breakfast. Lovely lady.


I have no clue what this place is but I love the roof. Artistic much!

Masjid Al Ikhlas.

The best peanuts I've ever had.

So amped up about the Safari!!!

You can never have enough chocolate. Too bad I was on my way to the Safari though. Should have made a detour.




Boys will be boys...

Local punk?!

Exciting billboard, wouldn't you say?




Last day in Jakarta :'( Waiting for my driver to take me to the airport.