France, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Italy, Indonesia, Germany, Japan, United States…travel is one of my passions. If someone paid me to travel and eat, I would do it in a heartbeat. There are so many happy moments, sad and difficult times and challenging moments throughout my trips. I love every county I’ve ever been to and I have great memories on those trips. Thinking about that just makes me happy.
If someone asked me what was my happiest moment, I would answer “Ngurah Rai International Airport.” It is an airport in Bali, Indonesia. “Just an airport?” you might ask. Yes, that was my happiest moment in my travel history. Entire travel time was 22 hours or so including 2-lay overs at Taipei and San Francisco. I was tired but excited for my first visit to Bali.
When I landed, I had to buy a tourist visa at the immigration counter. I was in line about 30 min. Then I had to be in another 20 min line to go through immigration for an entry stamp. As any other airport, there were so many exhausted people and crying kids. Quite loud.
Finally after I came out from the immigration gate to exit the airport, all sounds got muted and all I heard was my name. This person waving both arms so big but he didn’t even have to do that because all I could see was him. I kid you not, that was what I experienced. For a second, I didn’t hear anything and see anything but him. Then suddenly my world turned to color. What I mean is that I was not seeing or hearing as I should have been before that happened. I was not paying attention to what my eyes see and my ears hear. I had been in a deep and dark hole for the longest time so I probably had forgotten how the world actually looks like until that moment.
From that moment on, I finally have been able to “live” my life. I feel everything, not only the pain. I feel happiness, satisfaction, fun, pleasure, enjoyment, well-being, joy, contentment and love. I am not saying they are the only things that I feel but those feelings are not what I was able to experience completely before that moment at Bali Airport. That was June 2011. Sun near equator was shining and burning my skin. Humid and breezy. I am forever thankful for that moment at the airport.