Some people said that traveling waste your time and your money. Not necessarily wrong, but it is not fair if you look that statement one sided financially or efficiently.
I would like to tell you a short story about one of my journey that change my view about traveling.
In 2015, I hiked Mount Rinjani, which happened one week before Mt Rinjani coughed (erupted) a little that caused trouble to Indonesian flight around Bali and Lombok.
Mt Rinjani (3.726 mdpl) is one of the highest volcanic mountain in Indonesia. The beauty of Mt. Rinjani can not be expressed simply by telling you a story. It is located in the center of Lombok Island, and on the east of Bali island. Recently, Lombok is famous for its small islands (it’s called gili) surrounding it, but I chose to hike the mountain instead.
I traveled with my colleague friend, Ragil. With just the two of us we decided to hire a guide and 2 porters.
So after went through the harsh track for two days — we started hiking from Sembalun track, went through a several valleys which is famous by the name of “Valley that make you regret” — we finally reached the bottom of the peak, called Lawang Sembalun. I got to know Ragil better, we supported each other to take down the valleys. We stopped once a while if we were tired.
We set the tent on Lawang Sembalun for the preparation of summit attack at midnight. You can see a beautiful scenery from there. If you look to the west you can see Segara Anak Lake, and if you stay for summit attack and reach there before 5 PM, you can enjoy the sunset. You also can look to the east all the beautiful fields and valleys that you already beat.
And then at 1AM, we woke up and prepared for summit attack. Our body were shaking because of low temperature (maybe around 5 celcius degree). As the journey went, we got to know the guide and the porter better and we were bonded. They cooked us some pancakes and prepared warm tea.
Then it came the summit attack, we hiked through a slippery hill. The hill was slippery because the ground consist of sand stones that was not sticky. So whenever you tried to go up 2 feet, the ground made you slid down 3 feet. Not only it drained my stamina but also lowered my morale.
The slippery hill takedown dragged to 3 hours, and it was still not even 1/3 distance to the summit. When finally we reached the top of the sloppery hill, I gave up and said to my friend and my guide, “I’ll wait here, it’s 5 AM, I’m out of breath. I don’t want to let you miss the chance to reach the summit and the sun rise. I will greet you all if you come back.”
My friend and our guide insisted not to let me give up. But I’ve made up my mind. I was alone. Several hikers passed me by. Say hi and greeted me while they were taking a rest. Some hikers left me a bon fire, lucky me. It was so damn cold up there!!
6 AM. I could see sun rose from the east. I was surprised my breath came back. I remembered correctly that suddenly there was a huge noise from below the slippery hill. Then a young foreigner showed up with a beatbox sound from his backpack. What the!!
Then another foreigners, which some of them were elderly people, reached the top of slippery hill. They were so happy. I could sense a happiness from them. They asked me to took a photo from me.
My morale gone up. “If the elderly can do it step by step. Why I can not?” I thought. Then I set up a small goal: I want to reach that small hill up ahead. If they come back, that would be game over for me.
I took a step by step carefully and slowly, and did some monologues with my gopro–I was not crazy!! 15 minutes passed by and I reached the top of that hill. Then I set another simple goal: get to that hill far ahead! If they come back you lose!
It made another simple goal and achieve it, i did it repeatedly until unknownly I saw the summit!!!! I wanted to scream but I was so thirsty. EUREKA!!!
Suddenly, I met my friend and my guide just about two hills before the summit. I was ready to give up. I knew it was too much for me. All my dream to defeat all my fear i thought it was gonna end. Fear of height, fear of laziness, fear of failure.
Then, our guide said
” YO MY MAN, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, HIKING ALONE UP TO THIS POINT. COME ON I’LL ACCOMPANY YOU TO THE SUMMIT ”
What the!! My eyes shone brightly and looked to Ragil’s eyes saying whether if it was okay for me to continue. I knew it was too much for him to go back there, but at least I want to ask permission to go there alone. He was so supportive and gave me a nod to take down the summit.
I even got to know some acquintances who went through the same hardship as me. And finally I reach the summit!!
It is something like life that you need to take it step by step to reach that goal. You will be in fear. Fear of falling. Fear of not knowing. Fear of failing. Also I faced many temptations to drift away or give up. But if you’re work hard enough you will reach the top or your goals! Also you will get help out of no where.
Who say traveling just wasting your time and money? Traveling is mountain of lessons if you want it!