エリカ(インドネシア出身)
立命館アジア太平洋大学(日本)で異文化、社会、メディアを学び、2019 年に卒業。子どもの頃から、世界中を旅するのが夢でKUMONのイマージョン活動にキャンプリーダーとして2016年 に参加以来、子どもたちの成長を応援してくれています。現在、チェコ共和国で小学校教師として働いています。

Erica from Indonesia, who joined many Kumon English Immersion Activities (KEIA) since 2016 and has been continuing to support children’s growth by currently being a primary school teacher in the Czech Republic. She has dreamed of traveling the world, discovering new places and meeting people from different cultural backgrounds. Today she wants to share with us about her experiences of traveling.

The start of my adventurous traveling journey

Ahoj from the Czech Republic! I’m Erica from Indonesia. Currently, I work as a primary school teacher in the Czech Republic. I love learning about other cultures, so I studied Culture, Society, and Media at Asia Pacific University Japan and graduated in 2019.

Since I was a kid, I dreamed of traveling the world. I wanted to discover new places and meet people from different cultural backgrounds.

My adventurous traveling journey started when I was at the university. As a university student, I had limited budget. Instead of traveling with suitcases and sleeping in hotels, I preferred to take my mountain backpack and sleep in the house of local people.

Backpacking didn’t only help me save money, but it helped me to experience more than just the traveling itself. When I went backpacking alone, it gave me time to reflect on myself. It helped me to discover of what I wanted to do in life. Moreover, when backpackers meet each other during travel, for me it is easy to get along because we share a love of adventures.

This is how to travel cheaply and adventurously

  • Staying at the local people’s house
    I always used Couchsurfing when I traveled. It is a social network for backpackers. By using this site, you can host or stay in a house of a local person for free. Usually, the hosts are also backpackers, so if they welcome travelers, in the future other backpackers will let them sleep over at their place.

    There are also some hosts who just want to practice their English and get to know more about foreign cultures. It is really fun! Not all hosts can speak English fluently. So, how did I manage to communicate with them? There is something called Google Translate! Despite using Google, we also used body language, created sounds, and drew pictures of things we wanted to say.
  • Kill two birds with one stone
    When I traveled, I usually had other reasons to visit that country like doing volunteer activities, having a study exchange program, international camp, etc. The reason is that those international programs gave me a partial or even full scholarship! So, I could save money on the flight ticket or accommodation.

What do I love the most about traveling?

The experience of meeting new people and learning new things is what makes me love backpacking. Another reason is that solo backpacking helped me to be more grateful. It made me think about how wonderful the world is.

I would like to share with you some memorable moments from my travels.

My first time backpacking
Thailand-Cambodia

Met my future husband
Sochi, Russia

What a small world!
Prague, Czech Republic

This was my first time backpacking to hitchhike from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I wanted to visit Angkor Watt. The adventure of riding on a low-budget train and to hitchhike was more difficult than I thought but I got to meet new friends and kind people.

This traveling experience is the most memorable because it was when I met my husband. Taking the route from Fukuoka → Hong Kong → Russia. It was a long journey. I got lost to my destination but found the man of my dreams.

I received a scholarship at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
I hadn’t made friends yet but miraculously I bumped into an Indonesian family. I was surprised to find out many wonderful things we had in common! What a small world!

Do I still travel now?

I still travel with my husband, but mostly within the Czech Republic or the surrounding countries like Austria, Slovakia, and Poland. The reason is that I want to focus on my career in education.

Backpacking helped me find my passion and what I want to do in life. During my travel, I interacted a lot with children and did volunteer teaching activities in different places. I always felt happy when I was around children. That’s when I realized that I want to be a teacher.

My message for people who are afraid to travel

If you are afraid of traveling to other countries, I recommend traveling in your own country first, visiting the countryside, historical regions, and other islands, so you get used to being in an unfamiliar environment. It is all about getting out of your comfort zone.

この記事のまとめ

私の冒険の旅は大学時代に始まりました。当時は学生だったので、節約のためホテルではなく、大荷物をもって地元の人々の家に泊めてもらいました。バックパックの旅はお金を節約するのに役立つだけでなく、自分自身を振り返る時間を持ち、人生でやりたいことを発見するのに役立ちました。

安く冒険旅行をするには 1. 地元民の家に泊めてもらう 2. ボランティア活動、交換留学プログラム、国際キャンプなどを利用するという方法もあります。

旅をすると新しい人々と出会い、新しいことを学べます。いろんな人々に「感謝する」気持ちでいっぱいになり 世界の人々の素晴らしさを考えさせられました。タイ、カンボジア、ロシア、チェコ共和国 などでたくさんの思い出ができました。

現在は主に国内やオーストリア、スロバキア、ポーランドなどの周辺国を旅しています。一人旅は人生でやりたいことを見つけるのに役立ちました。旅の間、いろんな場所でボランティアで教育活動に参加し、たくさんの子どもたちと交流し、いつも幸せを感じ教師になりたいと思ったのです。

外国旅行はまだちょっと…という人はまずは国内から!興味を持った地域(田舎、歴史ある地域、離島など)を旅してみては?なれない地域に身をおいて、日常から抜け出し、新たな自分を発見してみましょう!

New words List

couchsurfing:地元の民家に無料で泊まれるオンライン Web サイト名より泊まれる民家を探し泊まり歩く事
accommodation:宿泊施設(費)
bumped into:ばったり出くわす
hitchhike:通りがかりの車に無料で乗せてもらうこと。この方法で旅をすることをヒッチハイキングという
unexpected:思いがけない
unfamiliar:なじみのない
Kill two birds with one stone:一石二鳥

この記事の感想を、ぜひ教えてね!