If you think I love travelling, you need to look no further than my parents to understand why. I grew up in a family where travelling is an annual ritual (we would have a big family trip for two weeks every year) that I have no idea how to live my life any other way.
Now that the kids have grown up with two of us living abroad, my parents seem to bear the torch of our family tradition very well. They would be in China one day, Thailand next, some other city in Indonesia afterwards and Singapore probably a few weeks after. Sometimes I lost track of where they are, and would wake up to a constant stream of pictures of them posing with some landmarks that were definitely not anywhere near our home in Jakarta.
So, really, I could just blame it on the genes that I am spending so much time (and money) travelling, all in the name of satisfying my sense of curiosity. Not that it is a bad gene to have, I have been having the time of my life for the past few years exploring new places around the world.
However, it is a bit ironic that the very thing my parents have inspired me with, this unwavering sense of wander, is what makes me unable to be with them on this very special day. Today marks the 30th year of their journey together as man and wife, and here I am, way up north in a different continent and very much wish that I could be there with them today to celebrate.
My parents haven’t just been parents to me, their (slightly rebellious) daughter. They have been my role models in life, work and relationships. They are the rare example of how long-distance relationships can work (they spent several years in different countries and continents before getting married to each other), they teach me the meaning of being with each other through thick and thin, and simply how you can make things work if you have the will to.
Their humble journey started from their hometown in Medan, before eventually moving to Jakarta where they started to build a family while still trying to make ends meet. Now when they can afford to live comfortably, they have decided to spend the time conquering city after city with each other.
Even though things haven’t always been easy for them and my family, it is heartwarming and refreshing to see their determination all these years through the hardship in life, and learning together to overcome their differences to be where they are today.
One of my favourite travel quotes comes from one of Malaysian Airlines advertisement campaigns (before their reputation went down due to the missing planes saga). I remember stumbling upon it on my way home from work and just stood there thinking that this pretty much sums up what I wish for in my life.
My parents have been lucky travellers who find that great someone in each other to journey this life together. I certainly hope to find mine too one day.
Happy 30th wedding anniversary, Mom and Dad! 🙂