Friday, June 28, 2013


Four Eyes - anywhere Exceptional Destinations

Text by Vega Probo, adapted by darmansjah

Listened gobsmacked photographs in Afghanistan rubric Portfolio Magazine National geographic Traveler. Become more familiar with the author and photographer, Augustine Wibowo.

FAMILY FROM hardly ever roam, dozens of men who control the world's languages ​​actually have crossed the globe. Almost all trips done alone or with colleagues he met in the street, "If appropriate, get together, if not match, live apart on the road."

His experience exploring Afghanistan and Central Asian countries he poured each of the book covers Dust (2010) and Border (2011). On two occasions came face to face with these friendly men in Jakarta, some time ago, continues via the virtual world chat, implied how great enthusiasm for learning to surf-worth which he reflected on his book reader.

When and where the first time flier Far? First time doing an independent trip to Mongolia, 2002. In the first and second day I was robbed in that State. That experience taught me that the real challenge to be faced. At least I am no longer afraid to travel independently, that later created the concept of traveling for me. For three weeks in Mongolia, I witnessed many cultures are "alive" again because of tourism. For example, the tradition of eagle hunting (hunting with eagles) which gets crowded because every year held for foreigners.

Is there something to inspire you traveled the world? I collect a lot of stamps from almost every country in the world. Seeing paintings on sheets of stamps made ​​me fantasize about the countries of the middle of nowhere.

So, how did you explore Afghanistan and countries in Central Asia? Generally I avoid tourist spot, because for me the trip was a learning process. I learned about the lives of real people, and it's kind a hard to find in the tourist spot. I prefer to visit remote villages that are not included in the list of tourist destinations, or arguably off-the-beaten track, because I can find the real life and get a real learning journey. Afghanistan, according to me, is like a treasure box. Every time I go, there are always surprises, no paradox. I'm fascinated by the mystery of Afghanistan, to stay in the country for three years. Writing a book about Afghanistan titled Dust Blanket.

What exactly do you want for the reader? I hope the reader is not just a look at life in the locations that I wrote, but at the same time can take reflections from life stories, both successes and failures of other nations, and be learned for our own lives in Indonesia. Actual trip is a reflection, so travel writing. I promote responsible traveling, because the journey is done irresponsibly will cause negative effects, especially for the places we visit.

Many people who write travel books, but few books a memorable trip. According to you? Writing a book is not so easy way people imagine. Not just to go to a place or country, journal writing, and published. Book a trip, or here I focus on the narrative journey, should have a common thread and a strong groove. The trip was a learning process, the maturation process itself, and the process of finding something. For the trip I did in Afghanistan, for example, I take pride in the groove of paradox in a country completely destroyed by the war. For Central Asia trip, I was impressed by how the state boundary line dividing the lands there-Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and they are fighting each other for the sake of the boundary line and concept creation invaders. Then I lift the plot in the book The Borderline is on the line, not just physically but also mentally, which separates humans.

Experienced traveled the world, how you look at tourism in Indonesia? We had a rich country, the interest of visitors from abroad, and of course we should be proud of it. But on the other hand, we must remember tourism are the two sides of the coin, on one side of a developed tourism sector brings a lot of tourists and income, but on the other hand many of the 'poison' that damage the tourism culture of local communities. My own most memorable during a visit to Disneyland. Funny thing is, there are local residents who do not believe I am Indonesian, and he continued to converse in English.

Destinations that still makes you curious? Curious? I think I now no longer be too curious destination. Once I'd love to Negra-closed state like Bhutan or North Korea, as well as to countries that do not exist, such as Nagoro Karabakh, Abkhazia, or Transdniester. But now, my destination was not everything. Traveling in essence no longer seek the exotic, but the process of learning, and we can actually learn on the go. One of my philosophies is on the way: it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. So, wherever the destination is special, even the home itself that is so you know.

Augustine Wibowo, a travel writer. Currently working in the media in Beijing. Next project, working on the third and fourth books about travel in Tibet, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, and Mongolia. Youth from Lumajang, East Java, was once a volunteer earthquake in Kashmir, Pakistan, for six weeks. Interests: Photography, traveling, and fitateli.

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