I am here sitting next to the window, looking at the grey clouds hanging in the Strasbourg sky. The rain will be falling soon but the strange thing is, I don’t feel upset. If the rain were falling during one of my past travel, like in 2019 and early 2020, I would have been agitated since it would destroy my travel plan. But now in 2022, when the world has almost been recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic and tourism is recovering, I find myself can’t keep up with the schedule and itinerary that I’ve made a month before we left Indonesia for Europe.
The initial plan for my 4th Europe trip was to visit 9 countries for 4 weeks. Until the end of my trip, I had only could visit 6 countries. I had canceled, postponed, and rearranged the itinerary to fit with my current situation at the time and the best thing I could do was not to force myself to fulfill the schedule I’d created. I began to realize that the more I travel, I enjoy slow travel way more than jumping from a city/ country in Europe to another one as I did in the last 3 Europe trip. Some cities that I was supposed to visit but canceled were Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Andorra La Vella and Vaduz. Instead, I went to Portugal and spent some time in Lisbon and Porto. A decision I won’t ever regret since when I travel slower I feel more relaxed, got more chance to know better the city I am visiting, almost feel like I was living there (in Paris, I mean), and I get to build a bit of daily routine, which is essential for me.
In my younger days, I traveled pretty fast and extensively (especially in Europe) and I didn’t regret it at all. It wasn’t easy to get 14 days off for a vacation in Europe, let alone a month or two months off if you’re working in an Indonesian company. It’s also uncommon as well since most people didn’t take all of their annual leave at once, and in Indonesia, we only have 12-14 days of annual leave, depending on which company you’re working in. It’s not Western Europe where most people got 5 weeks off annually or America where people can jump on a plane easily since it’s pretty close. With that being said, I had to make the most of the opportunity I got and used it to see as many places as I could.
It’s true that Money can always return, while time will not, that’s one of the reasons why you have to travel while you can and since young. You can always go back to continue your career/ business and work your ass off to earn more money than before. But there are other reasons as well you should consider before you decide not to travel or postpone it.
In my 20s and early 30s, I could travel very often, like once a month or so. In 2019, I traveled 11 times a year. I’d done 3 Europe trips where I moved from one city to another city at a pretty fast pace. I didn’t feel tired physically and mentally although I had to repeatedly carry bags going up and down the stairs of subway stations, pushing the suitcase to a new Airbnb, hostel, or hotel once in a few days, or constantly packing and unpacking my stuff when I had to move to another country after staying in for a few days.
There’s a science behind the seemingly unlimited stamina that I had. Our body has better metabolism in the 20s. It’s breaking down chemical bonds in food to release energy and storing energy as chemical bonds, like those in carbohydrates and fat, for later use. In the 20s, our bodies release more energy compared to the 30s. Meanwhile, in the 30s, metabolic activity decreases. Our body starts to reduce muscle mass, which means less energy being burned and instead the body will store that potential energy as fat.
That is why during this trip I often feel tired after walking around for an hour or two in Paris or needing to rest longer after exploring Colmar for the whole day. Sometimes, I prefer to sleep for long and start exploring the city just after lunchtime. Mentally, I just wanted to relax and rest and not force my brain to keep working on the travel plan I should have done. I ended up adjusting my travel itinerary to my body’s needs so I keep seeing new places while at the same time my body doesn’t scream too much asking me to rest. That is why I only visited 6 countries instead of 9 and also the main reasons why I stayed longer in Paris and Strasbourg. As I said before, I am pretty satisfied with this trip since I’ve seen many things and places when I was younger. Hence, you should travel often since you’re young and more energetic.
A few years ago, my top priority is to travel as much as possible. I had deliberately quit a full-time job to get more time and a chance to see the world and create a new lifestyle I haven’t had before. But pandemic has changed many things including the way I see life. I had been forced to stay inside my country for 2 years but in exchange, I could build a more stable life, job, and routine. By the end of the pandemic, when travel is reallowed, I already have a new set of priorities, and traveling as often as possible isn’t part of it. I am working on a long-term plan which is required full commitment, hard work, attention, and huge cost, hence I choose to settle down in a city I’ve been living for a long, but I would still travel once or twice a year during long holidays. I think that’s pretty fair.
If you travel since you were young, it’s gonna be easier to do it since you don’t have bigger priorities, commitments, or responsibilities yet. You won’t think much about mortgage, family, future, etc. So, what are u waiting for? Our normal world has been back, no need to think much, just pack & go!
Curious about my adventures in Europe and America ?. You can click the following links to see my traveling videos that have aired on Net TV :
- Desa Hallstatt, Desa dengan Arsitektur Klasik di Pinggir Danau
- Imutnya Park Guell, Dunia Fantasi Ala Gaudi di Barcelona
- Ada Turki Mini di Bosnia Herzegovina
- Nyobain Makanan Khas Bosnia, Kaya Rasa dan Pasti Halal
- The Bean, Seni Kontemporer yang Ada di Film – film Hollywood
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