The Ballad of Green Indonesian Passport Holder Who Wants to Travel the World

With the growth of tourism industry as most of millennials nowadays would choose traveling the world over getting settled, I think most people wouldn’t mind to take traveling full time as an option.

Well, at least I’m one of them. 🙂

Sure, I have been inspired by those people who decided to quit their job and travel full time. But then there’s one gap that most people miss when it comes to the ability to do it: the passport matter.

I’ve got an idea to write this post when I saw one post that was so close to home on the group that I am a member of on Facebook: The Solo Female Traveler Network. Btw, this is one of my favorite groups on Facebook as it’s so full of encouragement and inspiration when it comes to traveling as a woman.

The Ballad of Green Indonesian Passport Holder Who Wants to Travel the World - The BeauTraveler

So, the post was written by an Indian woman who was aiming to travel the world but she wanted to get some tips on the best place to travel for an Indian salary as well as passport holder. She emphasized, “Any idea is welcomed. But not to be rude, please stay away from my thread if you’re USD/Euro earners.”

I mean, this girl is definitely a sister to me!!! 😛

I can’t relate to most of travel blog posts written by USD/Euro earners. Here’s why!

First of all, you probably don’t have a struggle like mine. To tell you the truth, I’m an Indonesian passport holder who used to work full time in a decent office job for only USD 800 salary per month.

Sure, it’s easier to tell me that I can always save up to travel right? Maybe yes, maybe no. But then to apply some visa, for example Schengen or Australia, one of the requirements is the bank statement with at least USD 50,000 in the account. 

With the rent and utilities, not to mention the living cost in general, not sure whether I simply suck when it comes to financial matters, but USD 5,000 in my account is nearly impossible for me.

I used to work 2 jobs simply because I wanted to earn more money so at least I could have some more left in my account. You know what happened next? I got restless and depressed, because I worked my full time job from 9 to 6, and continued to my second job from 7 to the point sometimes I barely slept.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

I don’t really want to compare myself to anyone, but when it comes to the ability to travel then I gotta admit that I sometimes envy others. 

For example our friendly neighbor Singapore, with their minimum wage that is probably equal to around USD 2,000, their passport holder can have an access to go to 173 countries… visa free. No hassle for visa application that requires you to have the certain amount of money that prevent you to get on your regular life. 🙁

So this is why I’m writing this post. This post is for those who are pretty much like me: struggling for life with minimum wage but maximum desire to travel the world. 

1. It’s never too late to start with something.

While most of my friends have traveled half the world by the 2nd year in the university because of their parents’ privilege, I had never even traveled by an airplane until I was 21.

But then again, there’s always the first time for everything. So even though I didn’t have the privilege like most of my friends did, but at least I started out somewhere even though some people might consider it’s too late. 

Now, now… I don’t care whether you’re 15 or even 45, if you want to see the world, then just start it somewhere! 🙂

2. If you can’t afford to travel, find a way out to travel for free!

Well yeah, I mean there’s a lot of options now that the world itself has become flat. Also because you can always opt for finding a sugar daddy to enable you to travel more. 😛

In a serious note, the first time I traveled abroad, it was for a summer course scholarship sponsored by Turkish Embassy. Nowadays, they’ve got a more integrated system through Turkiye Burslari.

All you need to do is just fill in the application and essay needed and nail the interview. Once you get the scholarship, you can get a chance not only to travel to Turkey, but also live there for the summer! 😀

Now, maybe not everyone is into the idea of scholarship, so maybe you should get a job that will allow you to travel? Why not?

I used to work as a flight attendant. It allowed me to visit some places that I had never been before.

You can apply some job that actually allows you to earn some money while you travel. Being a flight attendant is one of them. 

Otherwise, I know a lot of people who also take TEFL certification so they can teach English abroad while travel. I mean, if you speak decent English, even though you’re not a native speaker, this can be your option! 😀

3. Create a realistic list for yourself.

I’ve always been aiming Europe, especially Croatia for my dream destination. But with the regulation and all that, it seems so hard to achieve it. I mean, I’m not sure when I’ll be financially ready to do it for real but Croatia has always been on my bucket list since I was 11!

So, my option would be either I save up and go nowhere to travel for a few years, or I just fill in the gap between my desire to my reality with some kind of substitution destination. I’d choose the latter. 

Intramuros, Manila.

I mean, I can’t just go a year without traveling ever since I finished my university. Traveling keeps me sane and I simply have to travel once in awhile for the sake of my sanity.

So, despite mourning on the fact that I’m not sure how long it’s gonna take until my dream to visit Croatia comes true, I go traveling to some places nearby instead. 🙂 

My short-term plan is to visit the whole ASEAN country members. So far, I’ve been to 7 out of 10 countries with Laos, Cambodia and Brunei left.

I’m planning to visit Laos and Cambodia for my late-birthday trip next year. And who knows? Maybe I can visit Brunei too after that? 😉

4. It’s okay to be left out when it comes to cafe-hopping and shopping.

Some people asked me bitterly why I got a chance to travel a lot of times in a year. I’ve been quite lucky that I usually got a job in the offices that were quite flexible when it comes to taking the annual leaves.

But when it comes to money and the budget, I suppose my anti-social traits as well as the fact that I’m single kind of help since I barely go anywhere for the weekend. 

To tell you the truth, the amount of money used when I hang out with my friends just to go to one cafe could sometimes cover a night rate in the budget hotel somewhere. Not to mention, that I’m sort of out-of-date when it comes to the things I use or wear.

For example, I’ve been using my iPhone 5c since 3 years ago while I only bought clothes lately after a few years. And the only reason why I bought the new clothes is because I’ve gained weight. 

The Stolen Cup, a small coffee shop located in Jonker Walk, Melaka, Malaysia.

Well, cafe-hopping might be a thing for some of you as I know some friends who would do that even when they go traveling.

I do it occasionally, but not too often as I prefer going to the museum or see the beauty of nature somewhere. 😀

5. Internet helps you to connect with more people, in more places in the world.

Here’s the story, you meet someone online. You get connected to each other. They’re far away and then you just simply can’t wait to visit and meet them in person someday. 

It doesn’t have to be an online dating things that make you feel like a Tinderella or something, it can be something like friendship too! 😀

There are a few girl friends that I’ve met online. I’m lucky to tell you that I’ve got a chance to visit them eventually. And even become one of the bridesmaids when one got married in Penang. 🙂

Me and Sya at her wedding. I met Sya through MySpace back in the day when we were young and stupid. 11 years later, I was one of the bridesmaid at her wedding as she forced me to wear hijab just for the bride to see. 😛

Not only that it encourages you to travel more often, but also sometimes it allows you to avoid thinking about accommodation.

No joke, I once abandoned my 5-star hotel room in Kuala Lumpur when I had a layover there just to stay the night with Miza, another online friend that I’ve known for 15 years, at her dorm. 🙂 

Don’t get discouraged by the power of your passport or the amount of your bank statement!

To travel the world, you need to take the first step somewhere. And no matter how powerless your passport is, if you want to travel the world, then you gotta start somewhere. 🙂 

Sure, you want to achieve your American dream someday, but if you want to travel the world then there’s nothing wrong about visiting your neighbor countries first as a ‘foreplay’ if you know what I mean.

My first cruise experience in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

At least that’s what I do so far. Whether you want to start somewhere or save up until you achieve your dream destination, it’s up to you and safe travel! 😉


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38 thoughts on “The Ballad of Green Indonesian Passport Holder Who Wants to Travel the World”

  1. #5 is on point:) The world is literally at your fingertips now and it’s easy to find people who have the same vision and plans as you online. Some of very best of friends I actually met online…they’re awesome.

  2. I will comment as a French passport holder and Euro earner! It’s true we are quite lucky and there is a lot of unfairness about this passport thing, but as you said, you can always visit “easier” countries first – and often they are fantastic! I can only agree about meeting friends online, I have had a Peruvian friend for 10 years that I have visited twice, and met my Singaporean girlfriend 6 years ago on another site to make friends from the world. I am confident that you will get to see Croatia someday and it will be amazing because for you, the feelings will be much stronger, after the struggle.

    1. yeah.. you’re quite lucky in terms of your passport power as well as your currency. i mean, sure i understand about how my passport is simply powerless, it’s just when i saw the begpackers in some countries that i have visited, i was kind of upset with the fact that they could actually enter the country with VOA but end up begging people for the money when here i am, not too sure when i’ll be able to visit their country without any anxiety to get the visa application rejection just because my account hasn’t got any decent amount of money as per the embassy requirement. 🙁

  3. Well for me travelling not only about the destination or how far you go, but every vacation has its own story, no matter it’s close or far from your house. The important thing: enjoy every single moment. Have a nice holiday…

    1. that’s true.. gotta work hard to travel far, but then again indonesia itself is so big that i usually travel some place in the country. normally i take 2 trips annually, one for international and the other for domestic. and i usually have a short getaway to some place nearby as well. recharge my energy everytime! 😀

  4. “… I don’t care whether you’re 15 or even 45, if you want to see the world, then just start it somewhere!” This rings true! I agree that if travel is your passion, it doesn’t matter when you start. I am just recently starting to travel again now that my children are grown. Yay! I especially love your resourcefulness of working for an airline, teaching English, and visiting friends in other countries. Keep at it! Something tells me you will go far!

  5. This is such an interesting read! I feel like as I get older (I’m only 25 :D) I don’t have this huge longing to travel and I don’t know why…maybe it’s just where I am in life right now but traveling seems just so exhausting to me. But I love your points on how everyone can do it and it’s never too late. Also saving money by not constantly hopping on the bandwagon to get the latest trends and spending not spending all your money in coffee shops is great advice. It seems like a few dollars here and there, but it really pays off when you’re trying to save!

    1. no worries, you right though.. traveling itself is not for everybody. 🙂

      i mean, there’s a big hype somewhere about traveling, but for those who are not into that, i quite understand too, my dad is not really a traveler. when he travels, he complains a lot. 😛

      yeah, it’s a matter of priority actually. i mean, i’m not really up-to-date when it comes to the latest trend, but i suppose it’s because i have traveling is my priority nowadays. that could be different to someone else, probably different for you too? 😉

  6. I like the encouraging spirit you spread with this post as well as your creative ideas! Don’t let yourself be stopped in pursuing your dreams! And I really hope that you will make it to Croatia one day!
    Now I feel bad being a holder of a German passport…

    1. there’s no excuse to feel bad about holding a German passport, if anything you should never take it for granted because people like me would do anything to have a passport as powerful as yours. 😀

      thank you for the encouragement, fingers crossed for me and safe travel always! 🙂

  7. Thanks for the interesting perspective. As you mentioned, if you have a passion for travel, you can often find a way to make it happen. Thanks also for the tip on the Solo Female Traveler Facebook page.

  8. That’s awesome that you worked as a flight attendant!!!!!! Must’ve been quite the dream job getting to travel for work – although I can imagine it must’ve been quite stressful and tiring too. I’m 24 and I feel like as you get older, it gets harder and harder to travel because you’ve got commitments with work then family and what not. But your’e right, there’s always time if we make time for travel and it’s never too late 🙂

    1. hi, thank you for dropping by! 😀

      about being a flight attendant though, it was fun and game until i had some routes that most of the crew find difficult with demanding and snobby passengers. honestly, if there’s any reason why i hate people, it’s probably thanks to my experience as a flight attendant. 😛

      well, for me though… i’m still single and the older i get, the more flexible i get to the chance of traveling. but financial-wise though, not really. so it’s such a shame but i’ll get through it. hopefully i will. 😀

  9. Well you made some really good points there. Can’t really say anything because I am a holder of one of the most powerful passports from one of the richest countries in the world (won’t tell you which one though haha) but I can relate that it is always difficult to travel to EUR/US countries for people from Asia. Keep up the good work, thanks for sharing!

    1. thank you for dropping by, jack.. but despite you want to keep it discreet with your passport and the country you are from, thanks to your blog, i have found out that you’re from luxembourg. it led me to another question though, as english is not my first language, now i wonder what people from luxembourg are called. what is it? luxembourgian? hmm.

  10. Travelling to me is about challenging yourself, however you do it. Everyone has challenges and limitations and it is how we go about trying to overcome them that turn us into the people we are. Whether you can only afford to backpack, or are a luxury traveller, there are ways of doing it all. You’ve shown some great insight into your own situation and how you are rising to your own challenges.

  11. This is really interesting and good for you in knowing what you want and going out to get it. I guess I forget about how much hving an Australian passport helps me. I am not from a rich family but my parents taught us to love travel for the minimum by exploring our own backyard. Good luck in all of your future travels!!

    1. yessss, in fact since indonesia doesn’t allow their citizens to have dual citizenship, some of my friends who come from mixed nationality parents with australian, they’d choose to have australian citizenship instead because of the privilege they’ve got. it’s totally understandable! 😀

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