Where to go in Indonesia and Barcelona: Student travel finding love and more

November 14, 2015
6 min read

Thinking about joining an MBA trip or study abroad program? Wetravel posts the stories about student travel to provide inspiration and insight to plan your next step in your education.

Taking advantage of programs while studying in university is the best way to ensure better life-experience to beef up your resume as well as make networking connections for the future. Think about it, many companies like Facebook, Google, and startups today grow by people who made their friendships whilst in college. We found one business school student who used his travel program to extend his horizons further than just academically. These two students found each other and have traveled from Indonesia to Barcelona, and their journey has only just begun.

A Business Degree Finds a Soulmate

One girl from Indonesia and a boy from Barcelona unite the two places and travel together. (Bunker del Carmel (Turó de La Rovira), Barcelona)
Bunker del Carmel (Turó de La Rovira), Barcelona

Meet Dinda and Marc. A couple nearly as opposite as you can get, but they are inspirations to each other as well as to the travel community whilst they conquer the world. What began as two students from completely different worlds working on their perspective specializations, it instantly turned into a love story around the world. During her studies at university, Dinda was involved in a youth-led organization called Indonesian Students Association For International Studies (ISAFIS). This organization has an annual event called Indonesia International Week, where they invite students from European and other Asian countries to come and experience Indonesia. In the summer 2014, Marc, who was still a student in ESADE Business School Barcelona at the moment, decided to join this event and came all the way to Indonesia, while Dinda was the emcee for the Opening Ceremony of the event. They met that first night of the event and immediately felt sparks. This is where their story began….

They’ve started their traveling adventure together from Indonesia to Barcelona and are documenting it on Instagram under #IndoCatalanCouple.

Traveling has always been part of Marc’s life. Since he was young his family brought him all over the world. Although he has traveled to all 5 continents, Marc doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Traveling for him isn’t just about the number of places you’ve been. It means living new experiences, learning about cultures you didn’t even know existed and becoming aware of the beautiful things (and people) around you. Traveling lead Marc to Dinda and he would never change that trip for anything in the world.

IndoCatalan couple unite to share the best of both worlds. (Kawah Putih, Bandung, Indonesia)
Kawah Putih, Bandung, Indonesia

Sometimes it takes a special person to inspire you to travel

Dinda wasn’t really a traveler until she met Marc, but he inspired her to ignore her fears and follow her desire to travel. It was a long journey from home for Marc the first time he came to Indonesia, summer 2014, and after that he came back Christmas 2014 to Indonesia just to prove his love for her. “So if someone could do that for me, of course I would want to do even more for him.” Dinda is quiet and afraid of a lot of things: she can’t swim nor even ride a bike. On the other hand, Marc is adventurous. So every time there was the chance to get into the water, either for snorkeling or diving, Marc wanted to do it. Dinda was afraid. In the end, Dinda learned how to swim to keep up with Marc, and Marc works hard to persuade her to try new challenges. Dinda sees Marc not only as someone who has a sense of responsibility for his life, education, and career, but also how to take what he wants and enjoy it all to the fullest. Marc has traveled to more than 35 countries, and now with Dinda by his side the list will keep on growing.

Imagine how hard Marc pushed Dinda to jet ski (Platja de Torredembarra, Catalunya, Spain)
Imagine how hard Marc pushed Dinda to jet ski. (Platja de Torredembarra, Catalunya, Spain)

Each one of us always wanted to show the other the best of our countries and by asking all our friends and family we got the best possible ideas.

Their trip together has brought them to many parts of Indonesia (Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, Thousand Islands, Pelabuhan Ratu, and Bandung). Although Dinda is from Indonesia, their travels together helped her learn new things about the area. Most of their time in Indonesia was spent in Jakarta, and they finally found out that around Jakarta there are some places to visit without having to pay much: Thousand Islands or Bandung. “It is not as touristic as Yogyakarta or Bali so it will not be as expensive, but it is still beautiful.” – Dinda

(Pulau Tidung, Thousand Islands, Indonesia) Two Student Travelers find each other and the most beautiful beaches.
Two Student Travelers find each other and the most beautiful beaches. (Pulau Tidung, Thousand Islands, Indonesia)

Another tip from Dinda: “And for those who can ride motorbike, if you go traveling in Indonesia, it is better to rent a motorbike than to take taxi because it is a lot cheaper.”

Then it was Dinda’s turn to visit Marc’s hometown–a journey farther from home than she’s ever been. The two lovebirds spent all of September 2015 around Catalonia (Barcelona, Girona, Torredembarra, Sitges, Montserrat). “My family told me to go to Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona that is very nice and I wouldn’t have taken Dinda because I thought that she would not be interested but at the end she loved it. And thanks to my friends I could also take Dinda to some non-touristy but very beautiful places like the Laberinth or the Bunker’s Viewpoint with views of all Barcelona.” – Marc

(Catedral de Girona, Catalunya, Spain). There's so much for the both of them to see of the world.
There’s so much for the both of them to see of the world. (Catedral de Girona, Catalunya, Spain)

How are they able to do it all? Marc and Dinda’s advice:

“Money is always the question, but the answer is not in how you make it but in how you spend it. As students we do not have a lot of income, and most students rely on their parents. When you start working, even if it is in an internship, you will make some money, and no matter how little it is you can already travel.”

Prioritize Where you Spend the Money

For Marc, doing an 8 month internship in Barcelona, while still living with his parents, gave him enough money to travel around Asia. “Of course, you must choose, you can either spend all your money in one week going to fancy hotels and wasting all your money or you can travel smart, do activities and visit monuments as long as you are careful with what you spend your money on.”

(Barcelona Cable Car) Traveling Abroad bringing new sights.
Traveling Abroad bringing new sights. (Barcelona Cable Car)

The Best Aspect of Traveling

“The best aspects of traveling is not where to go, but with whom to go. With the right partner, we will be able to open our eyes to see things we are not able to see in daily routines, and hear different perspectives about that.” – Dinda

“It’s also about the people, when you travel, you get out of your comfort zone and you start meeting new and fascinating people, with different mind-sets and different cultures. When we travel, we become richer people from all the small interactions we have and what we can learn from them.” – Marc

Platja de Torredembarra, Catalunya, Spain
Platja de Torredembarra, Catalunya, Spain

Marc is moving to Singapore for work, and Dinda is going to move there too very soon. Be sure to follow them on Instagram @indocatalancouple and visit their blog to see where their love story travels next. We wish them the best of luck on their future adventures and thank them for providing inspiration to travel out further past our comfort zones.