Feeling confident enough in my ability to get home by myself, I told my instructors that there was no need for my homestay family to come get me – something that was only going to happen on our first full day in our home stays. As I began walking and successfully crossing the busy streets of Jogja, I was very proud of myself for getting home alone. I made all of the turns at the 3 checkpoints Bapak Yudah had shown me that morning and began my walk along the river.
As I was walking, I suddenly became very confused. I turned up a street that I thought my house was off of and did not recognize it. One of my biggest fears of being in a city was coming true – I was lost. My confidence on my navigation skills quickly diminished and I instantly jumped into panic mode. I stopped to pull out my instructor contact card and my journal from language lessons.
As I did so, a woman approached me and tried to ask me a question. Knowing little Bahasa, I had no idea what she had said to me. Miraculously, I spotted my house during our interaction and walked towards it. I attempted to open the gate and found it locked. I yelled towards the open windows to see if anyone was home and when I got no response, I quickly began to panic again.
I wandered back down the road and was once again greeted by this woman who could sense I was confused. In my little Bahasa, I was able to ask to use her phone to call one of my instructors. I quickly explained the situation and was told they were going to call my Ibu and Bapak. I got a call back and was told that my Bapak was home. After I hung up, I see him walk out of the gate towards me. In a mix of English and Bahasa, I explain what happened and he showed me how to open the gate.
I started my walk home confident in my navigation skills, panicked twice, but was able to use my resources and figure it out. Although I panicked when I got lost, I am very proud of myself for remaining calm enough to take it one step at a time. I am now more confident in my ability as an independent traveler and my ability to navigate Jogja. I am looking forward to continuing to explore the city and for the next time I (purposefully) get lost.