Hi, this is Dina. In short, I’m a backpacker, exploring the world together with my husband. In this web-blog, I will give you reports from the road, while Ryan will be your travel advisor. Of course we will exchange role time to time. If you have any questions or comments, want to say hi or seek for traveling advice, don’t hesitate to leave us message or you can email me at: dina *at* vagabondquest *dot* com. And now, here is my story…
‘Silakan masuk’ sign, Indonesian phrase for ‘please come in’, in a warung (street food stall) in Madura, an island north of East Java.
INDONESIA I was born and grew up in the Island of Java (you know, west from Bali). I graduated from a university in Bandung with a BSc. in Chemistry degree. The first time I traveled abroad was to Germany, France, and Switzerland, thank to my sister and parents. I and my sister stayed in a very small town in Maulburg, Germany, in the edge of the Black Forest, really close to the border with France and Switzerland. It was an unforgettable moment, being in the nature, culture, and towns so different from where I used to be. It was the first time my eyes were opened that the world doesn’t only share one point of view.
Being a backpacker from Indonesia, my Indonesian friends and family often misinterpret what I’m doing. Typically people there will contact travel agencies to take care of their flights, hotels, and tours, which makes a journey expensive. Being backpackers, we always try to be as cheap as possible. You know, staying in hostels or other cheap accommodation, walking for hours instead of taking taxi rides, eating from supermarket, arranging our own walking route instead of paying for a guided tour, washing clothes in sinks and drying them around the bed, and so on. No pile of pretty summer dresses, tight jeans of different color shades, or many pairs of exotic shoes, just a few of light-weight quick-dry tank tops and cargo pants. Pay nothing if you can do without. This idea of traveling is still unusual, so some of them think I’ve been a splurge traveler for the last 11 months. I hope this blog will give people a better idea of what backpackers and backpacking are.
CANADA I moved to Canada. I continued my education, and this time I was dealing with radioactive related synthesis Organic Chemistry for cancer detection. A year before I finished my study, I had to choose between continuing my education for 4 more year to get PhD degree, or cutting it to just 1 more year, then I could start our backpacking journey sooner. It took a long time to decide, but I made the right decision. I graduated with a MSc degree a year later, I’m now a backpacker, and I couldn’t be happier.
BACKPACK WORLD After the graduation, we were preparing for leaving. We sold, gave away, or dumped most of out possessions. Common donations, as well as a self-help one: we left our stuff around the garbage dumpster of our apartment, and homeless people from 3 different homeless shelters nearby picked them up right away. Ryan told me that he saw a homeless carrying my college backpack in his back while sniffing the freshness of his old undergarment. We didn’t have the heart to put undergarments in official donation bags, chose to leave it as garbage, but look what happen to them. Next time I will launder all clothes before throwing them away. We released our apartment, left the hometown, and joined the world.
So, we have been on the road since April 2009. Us and 2 backpacks are what we have, and we enjoy our simplicity. We travel light. I found that you can live comfortably during a summertime with only 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shorts, 2 tank tops, 1 t-shirt, 1 windbreakers, 1 swimsuit, a few underwear, 3 pairs of socks, a pair of comfortable shoes and a pair of flip-flops. Of course in my possession sometimes these number are increasing because sometimes I can’t stop myself from shopping. Then, when our possession got to heavy, we purge: ship our stuff to our parents home. Being light and cheap are essential for us.
It’s almost a year since we’ve been on the road, and we don’t see we are going to stop. The world is just too big and too interesting to stop exploring.
We now have a traveling blog in Indonesian language as well, check it out!
Sekarang kami punya travel blog dalam bahasa Indonesia juga, ayo kunjungi!