This is what happens when you don't pay close attention to Indonesian visa laws.
Looking out from the inside of the Balinese jail cell it all became clear. I should have never quit my day job!
Then I woke up and realized it was all just a bad dream.
We did, however, in the span of 24 hours:
fail to complete our Indonesian Visa extension in time
we lost our pre-booked campervan rental in New Zealand without our knowledge
we lost our bank card in the ATM machine and
we did have to pony up over $750 in cash to avoid deportation.
But at least we aren’t in jail… Yet!
Later the next day, while on our drive to Kuta to catch our newly adjusted flight, I caught myself lamenting our unfortunate chain of events to Dewa, our wonderful Balinese van driver.
In response, he simply said:
“sometimes you have to pay good money to learn from your mistakes“.
Yes indeed, I love Hinduism!
What is a good price for a roadschool education?
After Dewa proved he was far along the path of a good Karmic reincarnation, I began thinking back to all my years of paid education.
I bet if you added it all up (minus loans, grants and free government money) my undergraduate and graduate degrees with interest and cost of living would total well over $300,000 dollars.
Hell, my Cecil’s Textbook of Medicine which now doubles as a table weight for home construction projects was close to $200 alone.
So this time, when we were faced with a very costly error in judgment, it was good to step back and put everything into perspective.
The school of the world will make you pay from time to time for the privilege of enrollment.
Mistakes make your brain grow
My daughter’s kindergarten teacher has a wonderful saying “mistakes are what makes your brain grow“. My daughter will remind me of this from time to time, and it is true.
No matter how carefully you plan, prepare, analyze or set up detailed parameters to prevent an epic fail, things will fall through the cracks.
This time, when I was forking over the money to Indie to adjust our flights and prevent hard jail-time in Bali I was kicking myself. “Man, what I could have done with that money I thought, we just threw it all away. ”
But, it was an education and if you compare its cost with a college textbook or one semester at community college (or the price of fixing a leaking hot water heater) the school of hard knocks is actually very cheap.
Roadschooling for Parents and Travelers
When most traveling families talk about roadschooling we are usually referring to our kids’ education. But we parents are receiving an education just as valuable.
What can a $600 dollar mistake teach you that is of any benefit?
Great question, I can tell you one thing, next time I book my airline tickets I will make sure to carefully read through each countries visa requirements and review them once again with immigration upon arrival at the airport.
It also teaches one to be a traveler not a tourist.
Becoming a world-class traveler requires an education. Becoming a world-class tourist is usually free of charge.
Tourists pay other people for the privilege of avoiding mistakes, travelers pay as they go.
Travelers become tour guides, tourists may avoid the stress, the problems, the long lines and the extra costs of a roadschooling education. But really, what do we worry about more when we travel?
That something will happen, or that nothing will?
And which one is more valuable in the long run?
To teach our children the meaning of gratitude, to grow as a family through love, adventure, service community and of course travel.