Many have said that South Korea is a place worth visiting. Some would say for its food, others would argue for its skincare products. Those reasons never appealed to me, as I found the country rather boring.
That was before I got pulled into a black hole called K-pop.
Influenced by manga, anime, martial arts, and Zen since young, Monitoring and Analytics manager Charlie Tjokrodinata’s dream came true when he got the opportunity to visit Japan. There he found his inner Zen in the most unlikely of places.
From childhood, Japan has been a spiritual and somewhat of a cultural home for me.
Japanese culture, for people of my generation, was to us what Korean culture is to Gen Z today. I grew up on manga comics and Japanese animated films, more popularly known as anime. My infatuation with manga, anime and Hong Kong action movies drove me to pick up martial arts.
Solo traveling did not come easy for me. It took me four years of wishful thinking before I could summon enough courage to travel alone to somewhere distant and adventurous.
For someone raised in a family where girls are looked down upon, it took the lure of a free stipend from a Personal Development Fund from Maverick, the company I work for, to decide me to travel. The fun, equivalent to a month’s salary, is what the company gives its staff who have worked there for a year to develop themselves. They can do so traveling to a place they haven’t been before or taking a course that develops them as persons.
Resolute, I bought air tickets for Kathmandu, packed my bag, and told my parents that I was visiting my best friend in Bangkok, a necessary little white lie to placate my conservative parents.
There is something magical about Japan, waiting to be revealed
When you hear the word “Japan”, what do you have in mind? Sushi? Kimono? Sakura blossoms? Some might even think of the Fuji Mountain, Japan’s highest mountain and most iconic landmark. From the breathtaking natural landscapes to its authentic food, from the cultural history to the modern technology, people around the world are so intrigued by Japan that they decide to travel there for the unique travel experience offered. According to Japan Tourism Statistics, the number of foreign visitors to Japan last year reached 28.7 million and the number keeps increasing!
Among those foreign visitors were our Mavchicks and Mavbros. Utilizing Maverick’s Personal Development Fund (PDF), six of Mavchicks and Mavbros—Marsha, Dhini, Fuad, Karen, Karina, and Rendy—visited Japan at different times during 2016-2018. For you who wonder what PDF is, it is a benefit provided by Maverick to its employees to go to places that have never been visited or take courses and learn new things outside of work. The purpose of PDF is to support employees in developing themselves and adding experience beyond their daily work. Sounds cool, huh?
Curious about their experience, we asked them five questions. Their answers might give you hints about Japan and help you plan your holiday when you decide to visit the Land of the Rising Sun.
Unlike many of my three million fellow Chinese-Indonesians in the country, I grew up in a family that was pretty removed from the Chinese culture. I never celebrated Cheng Beng or Cap Go Meh, nor did I know when to eat bakcang or kue keranjang. One that I especially yearned for growing up was to celebrate the Lunar New Year the true Chinese way.
So, when my Personal Development Fund (PDF) from Maverick was due this year, I used it to fly to Taipei, Taiwan just in time for the Lunar New Year.
I expected lots of festivity, with dim sum a-plenty and firecrackers going off every few meters. Instead I found…
Mount Sinabung decided to erupt just about I landed at Medan’s Kualanamu International Airport. As I walked from the runway to the airport building, I began to receive text messages on my mobile. My friends were asking how I was doing. “The volcano is far away so I’ll be fine,” I confidently replied to them.
That was how I jinxed my trip.
Carissa is an analyst who has been working at Maverick since 2015. In April 2017, she ticked another adventure on her bucket lists, swimming with whale sharks, at Derawan Islands.
This is her story. Read More
Oni is an associate who has been working in Maverick since 2015. In 2016, she ticked one of her bucket list and visited Raja Ampat. This is her story. Read More
Ignes Dea is a consultant who has been working at Maverick since 2014. In December 2016, she took her Personal Development Fund to visit a country that holds a special place in her heart, Japan. This is the highlight of her long-awaited trip. Read More
Wulandari is an associate in Maverick, who has been working for more than two years. She has been handling clients from different industries, including Microsoft and Bridestory. In December 2016, she took her Personal Development Fund to visit United Kingdom, the country that she has been dreaming of. This is her journey. Read More