Mee in a Nutshell
I’m an Indonesian-born-and-raised Australian girl living in London. Working on tools for visual effects for movies by day, a blogger by
night morning, and always a traveler at heart. I’ve lived in 7 cities around the world for the past 14 years – in Asia, Australia, America and Europe, and traveled lots more. I recently started an obsession to reach as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
I believe in meaningful independent traveling and immersion with local culture. I’m naturally a curious person and always question how the world works. Traveling is one way for me to learn, to understand why things are the way they are.
About this Blog
I started Wandering Mee at the beginning of 2012. Here I write mainly on travel, culture and food, possible occasional life stories when I feel all mellow. I’m an art and history junkie and I love taking pictures – I take my DSLR at every single travel no matter how back-breakingly heavy it is! I’m not new to blogging world as I’ve been blogging about books (and more culture) for 5+ years at Bookie Mee. Some posts are easily cross-overs so I post some at both places at times.
When I moved to London in May 2011 and landed in Europe for the first time, the travel bugs hit me, really hard. Though I have always been big on traveling, I didn’t quite anticipate such love at first sight for this lovely continent. I cannot get enough of Europe, and I just really have to share my findings! I do plan to dig into my repository of adventures around other parts of the planet from the years back, so you will see those popping up as well – mostly from Australia (my home) and South East Asia (my roots).
In the Beginning
I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and lived there for the first 17 years of my life. There were many times during that time when I wondered whether I would ever go as far as Singapore (an hour flight away from Jakarta). In that 17 years I had never even left the island of Java. In fact, my entire life only revolved in a very tight circumference in the West part of Jakarta. My more realistic dream went as far as a neighboring city 4 hours from the capital (Bandung).
Until a period of darkness came to strike our life in May 1998 and we had to run away, lots of people did, to escape a horrific racial massacre. In just a few months my life has turned upside down. My high school year was cut short and my parents sent me away to Malaysia, telling me that I no longer have home, to just keep going and never look back.
And I never did look back. My family migrated to Australia a couple of years after me. I have thrown away my motherland, changed my surname, and call Australia home.
For one reason or another, I also manage to wander from city to city, country to country, continent to continent. For the past 14 years I have lived in Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Vancouver, Singapore, Sydney, and I’m now working and living in London – the 7th city I’ve lived in – my precious, my lucky seven.
Never ever in my wildest dreams had I thought that I would be able to go as far as I am now. Every single day I wake up, more often than not, feeling like I am the luckiest girl in the world.
I love to travel. I love the journey of seeing new places, learning new cultures, eating exotic food, meeting interesting people. I love flying, long train rides, road trip, the feeling of going far, further and further away to the unknown. When most people dwell in their comfort zone, I feel uncomfortable to get too comfortable at one place. There’s a very strong force that always pulls me to go somewhere I haven’t been, to explore, and to seek new adventures.
And I have a strange obsession to not only visit a place, but to live in it, to be part of the new world, to learn things from the inside, to walk the streets day by day, and to know every little tidbits that make the society. This explains why not only have I traveled to places, I also move around, a lot. Since I was forced to leave my birth country more than a decade ago – which I now think could be either the worst or the best thing that ever happened to me, I haven’t stayed at the same place for more than 3 years.
I like to travel around where I live at the time. I traveled around Australia when I was back home. I traveled around Asia a lot when I lived in Singapore for 2.5 years. I traveled around the US and Canada when I was in Vancouver, though I lived there for only a year when I was a student, so I haven’t got around there much. Now that I’m in London I travel around Europe. I’m currently addicted to art and history in Europe and have been listening to history podcasts and reading, devouring, and absorbing like a big hungry sponge.
It just happens that I have a job in the industry that allows me (even encourages) me to move around. I was doing video games for a few years, then moved to movie and visual effects industry – a very small industry (in size but not in scope) of some thousands of people that circle around the relatively small bunch of studios around the world. I move across the planet and keep bumping into the same people. A lot of people have to always move, depending where the jobs are. Most people are employed contract base and jobs are never completely secure. So I guess depending how you look at it, it can be either a blessing or a curse!
“Destinations are only desirable because a journey lies in between. If I arrived somewhere and knew that I would never leave again, even a sojourn in paradise would turn into hell for me.” ~ Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837-1898)