I find myself when traveling.

Time stands still when I’m traveling. It is one of the few times in my life when I am completely present. There is no past and no future. The only thing that matters is now and being in a place that is different yet familiar in many ways.

I find myself when traveling. I encounter the person that I really am. In my day-to-day life, I feel unsure about myself most of the time. I second-guess my decisions and actions. More often than not, I don’t take risks.

But when I am out on the road, I feel free. I jump into the waters even when I don’t know how deep it goes just to see a giant fish. I ride a small bangka to cross to another island despite big swells. I enjoy cramped bus rides through winding mountain roads. I converse with people even when our languages are different; a warm smile and a genuine respect and curiosity are all we need to understand one another.

I walk for miles even if I am not sure I am fit enough to reach the top. The climb is steep and I have to stop many times to catch my breath. The temperature drops and at times I shiver. Yet from the cold rises one certainty: I will be at the mountain’s summit come daybreak. I may have gotten sick when I got there, but I got there.

I made it.

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