It has been two years already. How time flies.
I have a mole below my left ankle. I remember during my childhood days, my aunt Busu ( now known as Nek Busu to you my boys) interpreted that as I would travel far. I believed her. How could I not? I was told she was the one who chose my name for me. That sounded like a big deal to me. So I grew up with a self fulfilling prophecy that I would travel far because 'Busu' predicted so.
I am now residing in Rawang, working in Mutiara Damansara, commuting daily on the NKVE - hmmm.... doesn't that count as traveling far? I've only used the car for 3 - 4 mths now, and I checked this morning it has already clocked about 15,000 km already. That shows I do travel far, don't I? Ahhh... I digressed.
Yes, I wanted to travel far. Not just between Rawang & Damansara daily. I wanted to travel the world over if I can.
Soon after marrying Ayah, I found out that he too wanted ( actually he still does) to travel the world over. Specifically, he wanted to visit the 7 ancient wonders of the world. Busu was right after all! Now we both husband and wife would travel far together-gether.
As we progressed in our own careers, it soon became apparent that my jobs were mainly desk-bound. You know, shuffling papers here & there, meeting and talking to people now & then. The farthest would be Sabah & Sarawak. Oh yes... overseas, but South China Sea only. That was it. Ayah on the other hand, with his IT background, backed with the much sought after software license and project management exposure, could easily secure jobs or assignments that involve traveling to anywhere in the world. That's if and only if he really wanted to. But that would mean him traveling on the job on his own. Concern is, the traveling far was supposed to be done together-gether by Ibu & Ayah. Attached to the hips if possible. Not one here and the other elsewhere. Tried it once - away from each other for about 9 months. Ayah in Jeddah and Ibu in ...where else? Rawang. The absence of each others' company was too much to bear. We've decided we have to be under the same roof, well... at least most of the time.
That didn't kill our desire to travel the world over. Except that the vision became clearer - it cannot be solely dependent on work related ( i.e 'sponsored') travels because that would be synonymous to both of us traveling to different directions at different times on our own agenda, mostly business. We want to travel the world over together-gether. I snap your photo. You snap mine. I hold your hands, you hold mine, and my luggage too please :). Get the drift?
There is another twist. Not only do we share the same desire to travel far, but without necessarily influencing one another, we both also came to the same conclusion that our travel destinations must be prioritised. We made up our mind to go for hajj as soon as 'possible' before we travel to other worldly desired destinations. They say, great minds think alike. But hey... fools seldom differ either.
We figured Eiffel Tower would not get any shorter. The dome of Taj Mahal would not be any less shinier. Stonehenge would not lose any of the stones. The leaning tower of Pissa would still stand, though tilted. The Sphynx, well.. it may be further eroded year after year - but it too will still be dusty just the same. And the Sydney Opera House - my choice this one - would not move on its own.Not visiting any of these during our lifetime would not be a major 'non conformance' in our books. After all, it's the 5th pillar. So we thought, let's get the priority right for both us.
Some of our friends and relatives said, that must be an early calling for us both. The beaconing.
Some others said, you two rugi lah... Enjoy first gua cakap lu! Still young what? What's the point of going too early? There would be too many remaining years after you return, hence the higher chances of you two still committing sins after sins. The idea (perhaps) is live your life to the fullest, then go to hajj & repent. Upon return, go to surau often, concentrate on ibadah and start preparing for the life hereafter.
Well, what can we say? Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion.
We had one of our own. And we were sticking by it. Our priority got further self reassured, at least while we still can and while we were still able-bodied to do so.
Is being able-bodied good enough though? Is having enough savings to fund your pilgrimage sufficient? Apparently, for "young people", that may not be good enough. Not quite. Not just yet.
So for some good number of years after Ayah & Ibu embedded our desire to prioritise our travel destinations, and for many moons after we carved in stone our commitment to perform the hajj while we were still able-bodied, we were kept waiting for the invitation to be the guests of the holy land.
The waiting that we dutifully obliged with. Without much fuss.
To be continued ......