Wings to Fly

Travel teaches toleration – Benjamin Disraeli

When reading this quote for the first time, it’s understood that travel teaches us to tolerate with the things we don’t know and would be experiencing for the first time in another place. But then, this morning I woke up and I had this in mind – it teaches me to tolerate myself when I’m put in situations, of consequences I’ll be facing and most importantly, to lower down my expectation of myself to be who I see myself to be rather than who I will become.

Confusing? Totally. 

Lately, I’ve come to realised that I have put myself in such an “unrealistic” expectation of myself and for every time I don’t meet that standard, I would berate myself for it. So what does this have to do with traveling then?

I’ve been reading, learning as much as possible and revising what I’ve forgotten to prepare myself for my upcoming backpacking trip to Europe and as minutes passes by, I’m no where closer to where I see myself to be. It’s ridiculous to think that I’m running against myself. For what? No idea really.

So, even before I step foot in the aircraft, travel has taught me this:

1. To take my time in learning what is needed
2. To accept that you can never be too prepared
3. Enjoy
4. Live
5. Anticipate

I know at the end of the day, I’ll make do with what I have while traveling but I’m not sure why this time around, this trip makes me push myself hard to be more prepared. All my other trips has never been like this, not even my last backpacking trip to Europe. I’ve always been that girl who just have what’s needed and the rest will fall into places.

When have I changed and become an entirely new person?

When technology made it more accessible to travel I guess.

To be honest, this would be the first time I’ll be traveling with a smartphone that has all the apps I need and even then I’m not sure if I want to use it. I have to agree, the apps and information made available out in the cyberspace are only meant for us to use it as best as we can but I feel as if I have this “need” to know it all.

Let’s go back to basic. A month in Europe all requires me to bring 2 pants, and 5 shirts, a cardigan, a jacket and one pair of shoes. A book, some music, camera (yet to fix the comatose dlsr) and a lost soul. Everything else, I will have to reconsider. I know I’ll be bringing my trusty o’ Sony Eriksson phone from the past to last me through the trip. 

Reading back what I’ve written here just opened my eyes to who I need to be when I leave in  17 days. For some reason, I feel so much lighter on my shoulders now. 

I’ve never been ready in any of my travels and I came back happier than ever. Therefore, this trip shouldn’t be any different yet it is. 

Close an eye and take a leap of faith Dian.

Home is Where the Heart is

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. – Maya Angelou

There are many reasons why people like to travel – see the world, meet new people or even to start fresh. Whatever your reason is, go for it. Maybe for some of us, we can only go so far, but even then, I would definitely encourage all of us to go out. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 10 minutes walk out to the park or moving to another country. The point here is so that you’ll have a broader mind to understand how the world works. 

I for one find travelling therapeutic. 

It’s when I find myself in places where I don’t feel so strange or out of place that I know I’ve finally arrived. Finally have a place to call it home. That’s when I know I can just be myself, away from things I don’t have to deal with at the moment. 

Rolling down the hill in Ludlow, anyone?

A running away scheme sort of. 

I understand myself deeper when I travel, emotionally and spiritually. Maybe because I get to put reality on hold. Able to explore the possibilities of what I could do, much like an idea of what my alternate universe would be like. 

You would say it sounds like a soul searching path.

In a way, yes.

Breathtaking view of Jaipur
On a more direct approach, I’m searching for that home feeling. Places that has a sense of belonging to me. Safe to be me.

I remember when I was in Jakarta when I discovered that home feeling. It wasn’t the first time I was away but it was certainly the first time when I didn’t feel like an outcast. I suppose it has a lot to do with the people there. They don’t judge you on your looks or status. You are human, much like them. What separates the good ones from the bad is the character.

Oddly enough, I don’t feel the same here. I came back feeling dumbfounded for a few weeks after that. Never thought there is such a feeling. Ever.

Perhaps some people may think I’m not patriotic about my own country. On the contrary my friend, if you know the work I do, then you will know me better than that. I just don’t know what went wrong. Either I was born in the wrong century or so happened to be an alien. Either ways, I find difficulty adjusting despite living here all my life.

Hanging out in Bingen
I guess different people have different strokes?


What I know is, since then, the places I go to, I have moments of being at home. At ease. And that’s my motivation to explore and be away. Often, this feeling occurs when I’m in old cities. It could be because I have an old soul..or associate the feeling with the books I’ve read while growing up. 

Old cities makes me feel home. There I’ve said it. 

Ludlow reminds me of The Secret Garden, Montserrat of Indiana Jones and Hardy Boys for Haarlem. 

It’s kinda like exploring my own mind actually. Things I’ve only read and imagined actually existed in some parts of the world. 

Cozy looking house in Haarlem
I’m still looking forward to the day when I find the place that reminds me of the movie My Girl. That would be the ultimate home I’m sure.

Why do I feel this way? While growing up, these are the places I wish to have, to run away to; just a place to call my own. To be honest, I’m still finding my way in this world. Most of the time, I create this place in my head to go away. Now that I have the means, I search for these places. More often than not, I usually stumble upon those places.  

It’s interesting to know that I feel home when I’m away.

Travel helps me manage my tendencies. Keeps me grounded and gives me a peace of mind. Overall, it teaches me to be receptive of Mother Nature, Him and people in whatever condition. 

An endearing moment at Lakeside
In a lot of ways, I can go as far and say that travelling save me from many things. 

Traveling: It’s a state of mind.

Everyone travels, whether it’s from one’s house to the office or across the ocean. Different places offer different experiences, some gain a new perspective and others find it indifferent. It’s all about making the lemons into lemonade.

This is why I love traveling. It didn’t matter where I go, how I do it or why I make the journey because without fail, I will learn something from it. Able to appreciate further what a smile from a stranger without feeling hesitant to reply the same is an amazing feat I’d say! It also humbles us from the materialistic world, educating us to make the most of what we have and always be grateful.

What is the best part for me about traveling? People I rub shoulders with can easily make my day just as much as I can make theirs. It’s the little things in life that makes it so special, you truly have to be there and experience it yourself to understand how remarkable the experience is. I wouldn’t be surprised to know that Selangor can throw our socks off with its incredible characters and stories.

Since I started backpacking out of curiousity 5 years ago, I learned to be more tolerant of other cultures, have deeper connection with people I meet along the way and make each place I stay a home of my own. That way I’ll be able to embrace the beauty God has created for us that we disregard so often these days.

Maybe that’s why He wrote MySelangorStory into our lives.

I like to think that each street, area, city, state, country and continent holds a secret key for each and every one of us. I know it sounds impossible to unearth every key in the world but that’s what motivates me even more to move around. After all, to do something and follow through, we need to make sure the intentions are solid and real. Otherwise, it will just fizzles out with time. Which wouldn’t do any place, even Selangor for that matter, justice if we don’t put our heart into it.

I wouldn’t know how to word out reasons why I should be part of MySelangorStory team because you don’t need reasons to travel. You just do it because you want to and have faith that every person, place and culture touches your heart so that you’ll come out better from it.

Thus far, I can’t find a place I’ve been to that I never liked. Heck, you can throw me in Bukit Melawati tomorrow and I’d be just as ecstatic to go. Traveling has truly shaped my mind and altered it into something else that I hope I’ll be able to return the favour along the way.

Yes, I must admit, traveling is a sacred ritual in my life and I’d like to make Selangor part of that ritual too.

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller