In my early childhood, I recall that travelling was just a part of life. I remember from a very young age to have gone on holidays with whomever was available at the time. I have gone travelling as a family, with relatives and with friend and their parents. There was a sense of new adventure and discovering new environments and cultures. I remember being told by my friend and his parents that I was sleep talking during the road trip to Central Java, I was seven at the time and living in Jakarta, Indonesia. I don’t remember too much of the trip, other than it was a two nights trip to the Central Java, a lovely resort with a rather large swimming pool and a large garden to roam around in. When it was time to go I made sure I didn’t fall asleep during the road trip home!
As a young child I didn’t really like going to school. It’s not because I didn’t have many friends, I did. I had lots of friends wanting to sit next to me, or at least being around where I was. Maybe that was because I used to give out my answers during tests and exams. In year 2, my good friend at the time, Gabriel and I were inseparable. We sat next to each other for the whole year. During the year, we helped each other out and especially during exams. Our school ranking were also in sequence, I just had to make sure I was one up from him.
Almost every school holidays I used to travel with either my family or with my uncle’s family. There were the five of them – Uncle, Aunty and three cousins, the youngest being the same age as me. My cousins were my mentors, I always looked up to them, and hence the love of travelling with them during school holidays.
Our favourite destination happens to be a town called Pangandaran, West Java. The beach, the resort, the scenery and the food were absolutely gorgeous. The seafood there is to die for, almost literally, I love crab however I am mildly allergic to shellfish. Shellfish gives me the bumps and itchy feeling, luckily there were tablets that my uncle had stocked up for whenever we have this trip to Pangandaran. I used to play hours on end on the beach with my cousins, and as the day was getting closer to night we all migrated to the swimming pool for what we thought was endless time of fun. Of Course the fun didn’t end there, food was also a big part of why we were there. Pangandaran has fresh seafood market and restaurants, similar to the ones in Bali.
Bali was another destination which we all took a liking to. I was lucky enough to have travelled to Bali since I was four years old, sadly I don’t recall anything about it other than being told by my parents about my first time to Bali in 1987. It seems to me that every school holidays meant travelling. Travelling doesn’t have to be far nor expensive, it was just a good way to pass time, broaden our horizon and enhance our bond with everyone involved. To this day I am thankful to my parents and relatives, who have made my childhood a pleasant and loving one. Fast forward a few years, I think my parents got sick of me and sent me abroad to New Zealand to board and study there at a ripe age of eleven years old. New country, new beginning!