Sunday, July 13, 2008

Trip to Indonesia: conclusion

I thought it's about time to put behind my blog about my trip to Indonesia. Here I will try to put together my general thoughts and moments.

Even though it has been 3 months ago, images from the trip still flashing into my head frequently such as faces of people on the street and people I know, poverty, buildings, roads, and landscapes. Sometimes it felt like a dream, realities from two different worlds (Indonesia vs. United States) make it harder for the transition.

When I flew away from Indonesia, I looked down and saw houses and roads were fading away from my sight. From the distance, there were so many people down there with their own stories to tell. I am pretty sure most of them have harder times than most people in United States. Nonetheless I would not say Americans are happier. Human have great abilities to survive, from what I saw Indonesians were very resilience because they had no choice. I feel like I am a wimp. There are insurance and retirement in US because we live in the culture of independence, stability, security, and predictability. Perhaps sometimes it may drive some people into depression. In Indonesia, most people do not have many luxuries. They work one day to feed their families for another day, literally. They truly live their lives one day at a time.

Where and how you grew up define your life perspective and how content you are. Every time I made a trip to Indonesia, I came back to US with a revival. There is always a sense of betrayal but I realize life moves on. At least I am more content and it raises my awareness of what is going on outside US. I would encourage anyone in US to visit a 3rd world country and live there for awhile. I can bet any American will come back as a different person.

I don't know if I will continue to have trips to Indonesia. It has definitely not been a vacation, more like guilt trips. I hope the next one will be a vacation and I would like to explore more exotic places that I have never been to instead of visiting relatives and friends.

I used to call Indonesia home, having away so long, more than half of my life away from Indonesia has changed my perception of "home". There were many memories and people who influenced my life and I treasure them.