In general, people love to travel. Whether it is to the nearby places or somewhere far that involves taking a various mode of transportation. What kind of holiday, preferences and the way each people plans might not the same, too. Some people are flexible that go with the flow while some are stick to the plan type of people. There is no right or wrong as I think the most important is to choose whichever you prefer and see how to plan better each time. While me, I am 50-50.

I started my travelling journey at the end of the year 2007. It was when I went to North America for the very first time; places that I thought I would only be able to know from the TV screen and magazines when I was a kid. It was a dream that came to past unexpectedly. Although back then I was still working behind my desk and juggling with my daily creative tasks, however, the interest in exploring new places never stopped since then. From one country to another, until 2016 when I decided to focus on exploring Indonesia only for the next two years.

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

There is an unexplainable feeling for being in unfamiliar places. Especially when we are so tied up with our busy daily life with so many noises, feeling lost once in a while is not really a bad thing after all. Instead, it is like a moment when we can slow down our pace, learn new things, meet new people, and even learn how to love ourselves and care of others more. We will eventually realize that we travel not to satisfy our ego but rather an opportunity to rediscover ourselves and reconnect with people. As a quote saying “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” This quote by Gustave Flaubert won’t be so popular without reasons.

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That morning, I arrived at the Hong Kong Cafe in Menteng area, central Jakarta before 9.30 for the Bloggers Gathering event held by AXA Financial Indonesia and C Channel Indonesia. There were sharing sessions about financial, travel planning and also photography tips which I found interesting. That almost four hours event was started with a welcome speech by Ms Yanti Parapat as the Director of AXA Financial Indonesia and then continued with a sharing by an AXA Financial Planner, Ahmad Ali. He shared about how to have a better financial plan for travelling as well as a safer holiday.

What is your plan for the next 20 years?

He asked every one of us in the room. The similar question that was usually popped up during the job interview that made us squeeze our brain and think seriously for that moment. Whatever our hopes are, it is always better to plan as early as possible and that including our finances. There are few things that can affect our finances greatly and the obvious one is our health which is why it is important to get insured. “Money is not everything but everything needs money.” A simple statement that summarizes his whole sharing that morning.

Although AXA Financial Indonesia doesn’t really offer travel insurance in particular, however, they do offer insurance products that we all generally need such as life insurance, health insurance, personal accident protection, unitlink and syariah insurance.

AXA Direct Portal – Get insured in few clicks

There are two things that keep me procrastinating about getting insurances. The first one is looking for a reliable insurance company out of so many options nowadays and the second is to find out the estimated monthly premium cost without feeling being hard-selling. Probably the latter is the bigger turn-off. Agents that I met before tend to push a higher premium to their clients rather than looking for the most suitable plans with the monthly premium amount that clients are comfortable to pay for. So, knowing that AXA Financial Indonesia has their own very platform, AXA Direct portal, where potential customers can help themselves with all the product information, purchasing as well as claiming, it is really a good news.

Peek Holidays – AXA Direct Portal Screen Shot

I tried to make a test purchase to see how it works. The purchasing process is pretty straightforward. On the first step, we customize the plan by choosing the inclusions that we want. Then we will see the recommendation plans based on the inclusions we choose earlier on with the amount that we would like to be insured for. Next, the system will automatically calculate and show the premium amount we shall pay on a monthly and yearly basis based on our selections. After that, we fill up all the necessary details and make a direct payment using a credit card or via bank transfer and that’s it! No hassle at all. While for the claiming process, it is also can be done online or simply via Whatsapp.

Insurance is one important thing to have especially when we travel to places that are not really safe.

Adam and Susan from pergidulu.com – a couple travel influencer that has started their blog since 2012 and travelled to almost 60 countries since then said that getting insurances, anticipation and stay alert of surrounding wherever we go are few important points to take note of when we travel especially to places that are not really safe. They usually choose to travel on low season for better travel deals so that they can get more with the resources or budget they have prepared #RencanakanLebih. Adam and Susan also shared that to travel and stay longer in one place are much more cost-efficient than only spend a few days at one place and move around quickly to another place.

“We love to travel so we work it around travelling. We publish books about travelling, we get paid as a speaker and so on,” said Adam relating to the most frequently asked question from people about how they can afford to travel so much. When our passion is there and we love what we do, we certainly will find ways to work it out. Even that means we have to work harder than others, sometimes. Nothing comes free.

AXA Bloggers Gathering- How to plan holiday – A better one
Kompas Senior Photographer, Yuniadhi Agung (the most left), Adam and Susan from pergidulu.com (centre)

No bad photos. It is only depending on how people see it.

The statement from Yuniadhi Agung as the Senior Photographer from Kompas daily newspaper reminds me of the photography trips I joined a few years back. Most of the so-called photographer in the group complained about the places that they were brought to was not scenic enough. Hence, they couldn’t get any good photographs. Then the other times, I heard from one event photographer said that the photos he took didn’t turn out as nice as others because the people in the frame were not photogenic. That time I was thinking, isn’t that a job for a photographer to find the moment or find anything interesting to capture? If everything was good or perfect, there is no need for the existence of photographers anymore. Anyone can take over the role.

Peek Holidays-Yuniadhi Agung
By Yuniadhi Agung

He showed us some of his photos taken in the various situation. There are photos taken during not at the best time of the day. There are photos taken when he was not really fit but he had to take. There are photos taken randomly based on what he wanted to take at that time. There are photos taken only with the camera on his phone. There are photos showing simple objects but were framed so beautifully.

“No bad photos, all depends on how we see it,” he said. He has been working as a photojournalist for more than 15 years but to him, he is still in the learning phase. There is always something to learn everyday. We learnt seeing something from the different angle that day. Indeed there is always something to learn.

The Blogger Gathering event that day was closed with a group photo competition where we were divided into a group of five and we had to come out with a series of photos showing AXA Financial Indonesia provided props with interesting caption posted on Instagram within 15 minutes. The fact is sometimes to think of a caption to go along with our photo itself has taken more than 15 minutes! But it was fun seeing how everyone worked together and came out with interesting photos and captions. I suppose the sharing session that day didn’t go in vain, at least for me.

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AXA Bloggers Gathering - How to plan your holidayTalking about photos, the portable hard disk where I stored all the travelling photos for the first 5 years was technically dead two years ago. Back then, I didn’t write and share much. Social networks were not that happening as of now. Those memories are in my mind, some of them, fortunately. The good and the bad times and also lessons I learnt from travelling. There was a time I lost the excitements of travelling and that was when I decided to travel deeper and slower rather than only clearing the check-list.

Perhaps like what Adam and Susan said, we shall consider staying in one place longer. Not only that it is more cost-efficient but also we get to know the place as well as the people much better. Doesn’t it sound like a better holiday for you? No? Spill your thoughts in the comment box below.


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