Abu Dhabi & Dubai, UAE (2019)

It was around midnight local time, and I remember looking out the window to watch thousands of silver specks scattered among the pitch-black sky for quite some uninterrupted time, feeling at ease. That week had gone extremely fast, and I could hardly believe I was already flying above the Indian Ocean by the end of it. I had no time to process anything, as I was only allowed to make decisions after decisions. And there I was, in that window seat, off to another phase that I was both excited and terrified about.

I tried to record what I was feeling, as those eight hours would be the first time in that week where I got to sit back and not be in a rush. But I could only come up with a tweet draft, which never saw the light of day anyway.

At the beginning of that week, I had unexpectedly submitted a one-day notice to quit my first office-based job, knowing I’d take another although hadn’t been sure which one yet. I had done the last interview stage for a company and was notified I got the offer by the end of the day. I had emotional conversations with my parents regarding my life choices on the phone while I was on an ojek, on my way to a local mall to buy a few pieces of clothing I needed to bring for the following day event with another company. I had attended an orientation for that other company which had given me my first full-time position offer a week before. During which, I was continuously talking with the former company regarding my final decision. That day I risked stability, for something that I didn’t even know what, but I felt that I knew by heart that it was going to be better suited for me.

I had my medical screening for the company that eventually became my current workplace the next day, went back to my hometown the day after to be back with my family for a bit, then went back again to Jakarta the next day to sign a contract. By the end of the week, there I was, off to thirty-five thousand feet above the ground once again.

I felt a bit anxious because I thought it was going to be like school orientation all over again. I wasn’t socially ready to have that immersive experience again, I guess. Yet I still came (because I had to), and somehow; I… enjoyed it. I loved it, actually.

It was such a pleasant feeling. To be somewhere completely new where nobody knew who each other was. But then grew closer with one another by the end of the week.

And to sit on a dusty bench in an unfamiliar airport, having nothing else to do other than waiting for your turn to embark on your journey. A trip that might be extremely mundane to the places that witness it since it’s just another person with another ordinary story, but feels so much more for the passenger. It was always special, at least for me.

Little did I know, that would be my last overseas travel in the following two years, at least.

And, yes, I’ve missed it.

(See more photos here.)

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. cakep banget foto-fotonya bil, udah lewat dua tahun ya? jadi kangen juga pengin baca-baca cerita traveling kamu di luar negeri… pengin diajak jalan-jalan lagi sama cerita dan foto-fotonya.

    semoga semua bisa balik lagi kayak dulu, bisa bebas traveling tanpa ketakutan lagi. bebas menghirup udara segar di luar tanpa keharusan memakai masker.

    1. If only there were at least 1k people who said the same thing, I think I would’ve become a full time travel blogger atau vlogger ahaha.

      Aamiin. I don’t mind masks asalkan bisa ke mana-mana tanpa rasa takut itu sih betul.

  2. Seharusnya sih 1k doang mah gampang, tinggal konsistensi sering muncul aja di sosmednya. Masalahnya sekarang adalah adanya kamu sebagai blogger itu blm diketahui banyak orang, kalo kamu mudah ditemukan, beuh… femeus deh. Asli

    1. For me it was just because I had another offer coming at that time so it wasn’t very courageous juga hihi. Thanks for the kind words yaa 🤍 It’s been two years in this job now but I still need a daily dose of “good luck” indeed 😊

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