I have traveled my fair share, but it was more about moving to a country, rather than signing up for a tour, cruise or a retreat from work. I stopped traveling for a while (since 2008) while I focused on career goals and work. I actually settled down in a country and found myself calling it home. I never thought I would love living in the United States as much I do, but Chapel Hill, North Carolina is such a great place to live: the clear Carolina blue skies, the wonderful weather, the friendly people. I became extremely comfortable and had put traveling on the back-burner, something I could do once I had finished all my studies. Then this opportunity to do an internship with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia basically fell in my lap, and I was suddenly searching for tickets and planning a whole summer traveling around Indonesia and working in Jakarta.
I lived in Jakarta as a teenager, from the ages of 11 to 15. I later moved there with my three children in 2002, wanting to expose them to same culture I grew up and love so much. It is a sort of second home for me. It is where some of my best friends live, childhood friends. It is where my parents met in the 1970s. And while I am not completely fluent in the language, I feel completely at home in the culture.
But at this point, in 2016, I have been away from Indonesia for more than 10 years. It feels so distant. The travel jitters have been unbearable. I know I will get in the groove fast enough, but I feel like a rusty traveler at this point. Even if you are going to a place you have been before, it is still exciting. It is a whole set of new experiences waiting to happen.