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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sometimes Dreams Do Come True

I remember holding on to the AirAsia voucher for so long. It worth only Rp 500,000, but to me it was my greatest treasure. To me it's a gate to a new life, the life of an adventuress that I've always longed for. I have always wanted to travel and see things other than Jakarta and Denpasar, but I never did because I always thought I couldn't afford it. Then a friend - someone whom I submitted some articles to - connected me with a gig, a request to cover a special one-day bank promotion in Bali. I made friends, touring Bali's tourist district by bike, won the voucher, and get to experience a very impressive fancy dining. The next day I had my first white water rafting experience with the bike team, and after that the adventuress in me is officially awaken. I want to go to Jogja and pray at Prambanan, I want to experience a day at one of Indonesia's remote island, or even go to Singapore just to get a stamp in my passport. I know the voucher is probably only enough to pay a one way ticket, but it is a good start. I will go somewhere, I keep telling myself, I will go somewhere.

Days past and turn to weeks, which in turn turns into months. And I was still lodged where I was. The expiry date for the coupon was fast approaching, yet not a single trip has been made, nor even planned. The adventuress in me had calmed down, yet I can feel her silent seething frustration. Life, said the pessimist in me (which called herself Logic), is too complicated for adventures. The adventuress made one final bid though. See the world, she said, go to Singapore and see the world. I have loathed people who prefer going abroad than experiencing my own beautiful country, but I understand why the adventuress in me wanted to go to Singapore. Jogjakarta can still be considered as my comfort zone, and it is far too costly to go to Labuan Bajo or Raja Ampat; yet I can easily do a day trip to Singapore and it will only cost me less than Rp 1,000,000. It is crazily affordable now. A round trip ticket to Jakarta cost about Rp 800,000, which is roughly the same price that I have to pay for a non-promotional return ticket to Singapore thanks to the voucher. I made up my mind and start saving hard to make that day trip come true.

About a month from that day and a mere 3 weeks before the expiration date I looked at the voucher again. It was decision time, and I have to make one really fast. I met a special person online, and I wanted to meet him in person. The problem is that he will only be in Jakarta for 2 days before returning to US. I could use the voucher to buy a ticket to Jakarta to meet him, but that means I wont be able to use it to go to Singapore. What will it be? An hour in Jakarta with a man that I think I have fallen in love with or a day in Singapore to established myself as an adventuress? I had enough heartaches and dissappointment already, why waste my chance of adventure just for another heartache and dissappointment? I wanted to see the world, I really do. But I was lonely too, and world is so grey and dull when you are lonely. I booked the ticket to Jakarta an hour later, fully realizing that I am not an adventuress and I'm just a meek lame commoner. It hit me hard when I held the Jakarta ticket, and I silently say goodbye to my Singapore adventure.

Fast forward 26 months later, and I am standing on the edge of a swimming pool 57 stories above the ground, looking at the vista of Singapore below. My husband, the man that I decided to meet in Jakarta with that voucher, called out my name and as I faced him he grinned and snapped a picture of my smiling face. As I rested my head on his shoulder I realized how far that voucher had took me. It initially took me to Jakarta, but then it took me to Arizona, California, remote islands of Gili in Lombok, Lombok island, other places in Bali that I've never been to, and eventually Singapore. The voucher has allowed me to tick off a vast majority of my travel bucket list, even those that I didn't know I wanted to go to. And yes, it has also given me the thing that I wanted above all else: a travel companion, a lover, a life partner. You see, sometimes dreams do come true, and mine come true because of that little voucher. Life is unpredictable, life is harsh; yet in life dreams can come true. So believe in life, and enjoy it to the fullest :)

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