4 Activities to Make Your Mudik Trip More Memorable and Meaningful
Are you and your family among the tens of millions Indonesian who are making the mass exodus to their hometowns ahead of the long Eid al-Fitr holiday? Considered unique to Indonesia, mudik is an annual tradition when Muslims migrate from big cities to visit their parents or other relatives in their hometowns to spend the special holiday with their families.
For many people, the homecoming journey can take anywhere from a few hours to several days on a road trip hopping from city to city. The long journey may feel tedious from time to time and the whole trip can be taxing. But mudik can be a lot more than just paying a visit to your elders. Yes, it is tradition, something you embark on year after year without hesitation, knowing that at the end of it you will be rewarded with the warmth of having your whole family gathered together. Still, you can make this year’s mudik a much more meaningful and beneficial trip for you and your family to take.
Here are some ideas:
1. Be a trivia master
Before you start your trip, read up on all the interesting facts of the cities or neighborhoods you are passing through or visiting on your journey to your hometown. They can be historical events, unique traditions practiced by the communities living in the area, or other small but fascinating details. Memorize them or print on a small piece of paper.
During the trip, read them aloud to your family or other travel companions and be the master of trivia. This is a good way to expand your general knowledge and will pique everyone’s curiosity to learn more about the new places.
2. Embark on a religious heritage tour
While passing through a city or small town, get to know more about its Islamic history by visiting one or two of its oldest mosques. Look up its history, explore the architecture (in some old mosques this can be a mix between Hindu, Buddhist or Chinese and Islamic influences) and observe the activities.
3. Keep a journal
Keeping a detailed journal about your trip will help you remember more about the places you visit and the things you do with your family. Your journal will be a keepsake that stores all your memories of your mudik trip. In your journal, you can write about anything; the foods you try, the streets that you pass by, or the way the locals greet you. Don’t forget to snap some pictures. At the end of your trip you can upload your journal to your blog and share your experience with others. This will make your trip a memorable one.
4. Observe the development
Along the way, you can observe how the villages or cities are developing. If you are taking the same route that you took for last year’s mudik, you might be able to notice if there has been a significant change not only in terms of infrastructure, but also in economic growth or social and environmental breakthroughs.
For instance, you can observe the economic activities in the area, from production (some are home-based, such as sewing or weaving fabrics) to selling (go to the local markets). You can also take a closer look at the informal sector and the ubiquitous micro, small and medium enterprises and learn about what kind of businesses they are running. This will give you insight about how SMEs in rural areas help boost the local economy.
If you are interested in helping Indonesian SMEs grow, go to Mekar’s website, Mekar.id. Mekar is a peer-to-peer lending platform that lets you finance small business loans. As an investor, you will gain returns from your investments, ranging from 10 to 13% a year.
If you care about where your money goes when you invest it, Mekar can give you peace of mind. The good thing about Mekar is that this is one of the only P2P lending platforms in Indonesia that vet the SMEs so that only those that are making positive social and environmental impact can get a loan financed through Mekar. This is where you will find socially responsible investment opportunities. Even when mudik is over, keep the Ramadan spirit alive by investing in businesses that are doing good for their environment and surrounding communities.