We met Thomas in Bali on an amazing bike tour. His big wide smile, sense of humor and easy going nature were a delight to be around. Through him we were able to learn more about Dutch culture (did you know they celebrate two Christmases??) and understand the history better between Indonesia and the Netherlands. I loved how he just couldn’t stop buying his girlfriend back home gifts too :)
Name, Age and Country of origin
Hi my name is Thomas, I’m 23 and I’m from Holland.
How long will you be traveling on this trip and where will you go?
I’ve traveled now for 7 weeks. I went to Java, then to Lombak and now I’m in Bali.
And what is your ethnic background?
I’m Indonesian, like both of my parents were born in Indonesia only I’ve got five different countries inside of me. My father is Italian and Dutch and my mother is German, Chinese, Indonesian and Dutch. So, I’ve got a lot of them.
Why did you choose to leave home and travel?
I just graduated from school and I just wanted to know where I came from, like Indonesia like I hear all the stories about my grandfather and from my parents all those different stories, I wanted to know where I’m from.
Did you have any goals for yourself for this trip before you left?
The reason why I wanted to travel was to see the house that my mother was born in, so that was the start. Only the sad thing is that it was demolished about two years ago. So I arrived there and like almost all of the houses were gone or neglected and that was really sad, but that was the goal the first thing, why I wanted to travel was to see where my mother was born.
And where was that?
Surabaya. I also wanted to go to the part where my father was born but that’s in Pakua, but that’s too dangerous now. All of the old tribes are still fighting against the government, you know they don’t want to be part of Indonesia, so they are still fighting over it so it is too dangerous. But that was my main reason to go to Indonesia, to see Surabaya and to see, to have a picture with all of the stories my grandfather told me. It was hard for me to tell him that the house was gone. Like I heard from my mother that he was really down by it, so it's sad.
Can you describe your favorite moment on this trip so far?
Arriving here in Indonesia, like all my friends were saying like yeah you’ve got the feeling like you’ve got after a hard days work you will arrive here and just say like “I’m home” but I was like, “Yeah I don’t think so”, but I arrived here and still don’t get the feeling like I’m in Indonesia, I get the feeling like I am home. It feels good, like it feels safe, it's good, it's like home. So I’ve got a second home.
If you could summarize your philosophy of life in one sentence, what would that be?
I think it’s easy, I think you have to say, “Live now”. That’s it. Like all my friends are saying “Yeah I want to travel, I want to do this” but they’re not doing it. I said I wanted to travel, ok I’m going to travel. Maybe I’m 40, 50, 60 and maybe I’m still traveling, I don’t know, but if the opportunity is there, than seize it. So live in the moment and don’t just put everything on hold, that’s it.
Any other thoughts?
Just enjoy life, I think that’s it.