Sunday, February 19, 2017

Portraits: Stories of Faces on a Trip to South Korea (Day One)

Soekarno Hatta International Airport

My long distance boyfriend met me on my layover en route to Seoul at the airport. He met me for about an hour and a half, in between his free time of work and my schedule to board on flight to Seoul. We do this several time now, the transit date in an airport I mean. It is kind of strange how this type of date becomes our casual encounter, sometimes I feel like our relationship rarely follows what is common, doesn't it?

Nami Island

In this island, Ibu (mom) was having a conversation with a fellow traveler from Indonesia. Upon heard them talking, I love the way she did not brag about any of her traveling experience though it was clear that she has traveled to every of the places which the other party mentioned and bragged about. Yet she just sat there and gave her fair opinion or encouraged the other to tell more stories by asking few questions. Of course I learn from her that silence, at the right place and time, is gold.

Petite France

He does not like to take a lot of picture of himself for it ruins his time enjoying the ambience, he said. That is my brother and oh yes it is so hard pushing him to take this one picture.

Nami Island

Actually it is the same with me. Me, too, do not like taking too many pictures of my self while travel for it will ruin me enjoying the ambience and the moment. A few pictures, only for a reminder for me to look at to one day, that I have ever got that gut to work on my dream to travel the world, is enough. This selfie costs us a great effort, then. It takes quite much of our time, to be honest. So this is how hard the effort to take a selfie is, eh?

Nami Island

Petite France

Petite France

Garden of Morning Calm
Dress (Dorothy Perkins), Coat (Zara), Scarf (Zara), Thermal Tights (Marks and Spencer), Boots (Mark and Spencer), Bag (Everbest)

Four pictures above was taken purposely so I can share an ootd of my winter monochrome outfit. It was 8 degrees celcius on my first day at South Korea. I visited Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm so I was practically exploring the outskirt of Seoul. Because it was not quite freezing for me, then I only wear a simple winter outfit. Under my dress I wore a sleeveless thermal vest from Marks and Spencer and it was already enough to warm me. But again, each person reacts differently to spesific temperature. So if an outfit is enough to warm me it does not always mean that it is also enough for you. That day, some fellow traveler couldn't stand exploring Garden of Morning Calm at night, because the temperature drop to 4 degrees celcius and they chose to stay at a coffee shop or restaurant. So I guess for us tropical country people, if we couldn't stand the cold please please mind our outfit or try to travel in a warmer season first. Hence, we can explore all of the places we come miles away for instead of only sitting at a restaurant because we could not stand the cold, I guess? 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Stay, in The Moment

"Slow down you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile...

Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It's alright you can afford to lose a day or two..."

Vienna by Billy Joel

South Korea as My Eyes Saw It

Petite France

Nami Island

Mount Seoraksan

Garden of Morning Calm

 Lotte World

 Dongdaemun Design Plaza

I remember when I was a child, though my memories are not so clear but the feeling is still so strongly attached in my self like it wasn't happen more than decade ago. How happy I was as I sit on the train to Bandung, experiencing train for the first time with both of my parents and my brother. Observing life outside the train window along the journey, sometimes I saw small houses densely populated with families of all generation, children, adolescent, parents, and grandparents. Sometimes I saw a vast unpopulated area filled with paddyfield, river, and birds accompanied by the blue sky with cotton candy clouds above. Sometimes I asked to my mother "Where is that, mom? Is someone ever be there?" and the other time I would just sat quietly observing things while eating an undeniably delicious warm cup noodle. 

Wasn't that a simple occasion? Ain't I still used to go traveling every once in a while until now? Can't I easily experience a journey on a train again nowadays? Yes I can take the train whenever I want to,  but the experience? I will admit it, no, it is hard to enjoy one as perfect as how I had it when I was little. It is true, yes, sometimes I would quietly enjoy a journey on a train while reading Tuesdays with Morrie. Sometimes I would do what I do best, observing the life accross the window with a cup of coffee or tea in my hand. But it would not last as long as when I was a child. Because not long after I enjoy the moment, there would come the thoughts of problems I got back home, mostly on works. Then I would still stare at the window but I was no longer observing, I was drowning on my own thoughts thinking about all the works I haven't perfectly finished, calculating how much time I have to spend after I got back home from this journey to finish it and how I should finish it. I lost the moment. I was there but my mind wasn't.


Exactly a month ago while I was observing the quite life beyond my bus window on a journey from Pyeongchang to Seoul, I saw mountains covered with snow it was so beautiful I was so tempted to take a video of the moment because it would be a beautiful one to be shared on Instagram stories. And if, there I followed my desire, I know I too, will lose the moment again. As soon as I finished uploaded the story it would  be no secret that I would be stuck on Instagram replying the comments or maybe curiously checking on who's viewed my story.

But no.

One month ago I succeeded on holding the temptation to share too much moments or stories on social media. I succeeded to refuse to post photos as soon as I captured it on my camera. I succeeded to refuse to think about my pile of works to be finished back home. I succeeded to stay in the moment. 

It surely wasn't one easy task.

As I grew up from a high school student until now that I am in my last year as a clinical student, not much people of societies around me encourage one another to stay in the moment. This last decade education and economy is growing fast and technology is so rapidly developed. One after another social media is coming up and have taken our attention. Everybody is easily connected online. But offline, is it as easy as that? Life becomes so fast paced for information becomes shorter, more efficient, but also more immediate. 


Everything is fast. I could get any information be it about a travel destination or medical related stuff, easily from the internet. I will know the news of my friends who are studying abroad easily from Instagram, ain't no need to wait months for that postcard to arrive anymore. I could be in Jakarta in the morning and arrived at Amsterdam in not more than a day with a direct flight that is now easily available. Everything is fast. And so does my mind is pushed to travel my thoughts faster. When I was in my last undergraduate year, people around me already asking where would I go after I finished my minor thesis. And now when I am in my last clinical student year, people around me already asking where would I work after I got my DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) title. Circumstances around us always direct our mind to think about the future instead of staying in  the moment, doesn't it? Nothing is wrong of course, oh it is perfectly normal human nature. 

But how about habit on enjoying the process?

But oh have I just realized, I can control it. I can control everything starting from my own mind. Now I train a habit on enjoying the process. On my last journey to South Korea I push my self to only post photo on Instagram when I arrived at the hotel and had satisfied wandering the neighbourhood and oh hey I even succeeded in taking ski class without taking any photo of my self for I busy sharping my skill on ski! I try to enjoy Sunday morning without phone so I could enjoy my mundane morning swim and brunch all to my self, smell the aroma of a french pressed coffee while observing my surrounding or reading a book. I try to enjoy my Tuesday ballet class without bothering my mind to think about my tomorrow's work. I try to enjoy my work without controlling and expecting the outcome. I lock my phone in my bag once I'm exchanging conversations with my long distance boyfriend I meet once in a while these past 7 years of our long distance moment. It is a slight improvement but it starts to develop into a habit of mine. 

A habit to stay in the moment, just like the old time, just like how I enjoyed observing the life outside my train window to Bandung when I was a kid. Oh, stay in the moment, it does sound liberating, doesn't it?

-Sunday, February 12th 2017-
(Written at one of a comfortable coffee shop with French Pressed Papua Wamena accompanied me, after a good quality morning swim I had and my phone is comfortably locked in my bag. This post, too, is a reminder for me of how good today for I stay in the moment while writing and observing this old couple busy taking wefie of themelves and share it on social media rather than talk to one another.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

On (not so) Solo Travel to Bali - Part 2

Previous post: On (not so) Solo Travel to Bali - Part 1, better to also read the first post for a more complete information.

Check out the video for a glimpse ambience of Ubud and Seminyak

I spent 4 days in Bali, 2 nights in Ubud and 1 night in Seminyak. I have written about information on transportation, hotels, and luxury needs on this solo journey in my previous post. And here I'm gonna catch up the rest experience I got on places to visit, places to eat, and event to attend. 
  • On places to visit. Ubud: On my second day, I visited Puri Saren Agung Ubud while I was doing my morning wander. Puri Saren's front gate usually used as a venue for traditional dance show in the evening. Unfortunately tourist is not permitted to enter it further than the dance's venue. But the entrance gate is divine already, surrounded by a serene lotus pond. Puri Saren Agung Ubud Ticket: free entrance. On my third day, I visited Museum Puri Lukisan, an art museum and gallery founded by Tjokorta Gde Agung Sukawati on 1936. This museum consist of the history of arts and paintings in Ubud, how Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati succeeded in presenting art as a good commodity for Ubud's development and new paintings and carvings from recent artist. After a long walk in the museum, they will give us complimentary drinks with choices of iced coffee, juices, or soda to enjoy in its breezy restaurant, perfect! Museum Puri Lukisan Ubud Ticket: idr 75.000/ USD 5.5. Seminyak: Of course Seminyak is more fast paced, modern, and full of hustle and bustle than Ubud. But it has its own charm. I love to end my day in its beach club, sipping drinks while watching the sun slowly disappear from my eyes leaving me a colour in the sky where my camera can't even catch its perfection. On my last night in Bali I visited Woo Bar, yes that famous beach bar in W resort. Unlike any other beach club they don't give you minimum spend, so relax and enjoy the beautiful horizon without having to worry about your pocket. Cocktails here cost around idr 100.000/ USD 7.4. On places to visit, total budget: around idr 175.000/ USD 12.9.

Puri Saren Agung Ubud and Lotus Pond Around it

The Exterior of A Building in Museum Puri Lukisan

A Recent Work from an Artist Inside The Building

Me wearing: Offshoulder Dress (Cotton Ink)

Sipping Iced Coffee in The Restaurant Facing This View

Sun Set in The Beach in Front of Woo Bar
  • On Best Places to Eat. Ubud: I visited Seniman Coffee Studio which is located only less than 5 minutes on foot from my hotel. I haven't tried all of the coffee shop in Ubud so I won't say this is the best, but I love it. I love its coffee and the laid back ambience in the studio supported by its rocking chair. I ordered chicken fingers and cold coffee latte for a total idr 100.000/ USD 7.4. The next morning I impulsively went to Casa Luna when it suddenly rain while I was wandering around Jl Raya Ubud on foot. I've been a loyal customer to Casa Luna, I always visit it everytime I travel to Ubud. They cook a lot of great Asian cuisine, including Chicken Tandoori, Laksa, until traditional Balinese food. This time I ordered healthy breakfast and a mineral water which cost around idr 50.000/ USD 3.7. I would say it was really cheap because those healthy breakfast was amazing! Seminyak: I had cappuccino from Expat and Cold Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict from Sisterfields Cafe for a breakfast with my dear friend. They are located at the newly growing Jl. Kayu Cendana. The cappuccino cost arund idr 40.000/ USD 2.9 and the egg benedict cost around idr 100.000/ USD 12.9. The coffee is good but I have to say that I have tried another better cup and the egg benedict was mouth watering, but what I like the most is Sisterfields Cafe open from 8.00 am and that is a perfect early time to spend a quality breakfast in one of Seminyak's hip cafe. On best places to eat, total budget: idr 290.000/ USD 21.5.

Healthy Breakfast at Casa Luna, Ubud

Cold Smoked Salmon Egg Benedict at Sisterfield Cafe

Accompanied by My Dear Friend at Sisterfield Cafe
  • On Event to Attend. Annually, every October in Ubud you would find an event called Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF). It was a series of discussion panel, meet & greet, book and movie release, art, cooking, and cullinary session that would meet the readers with a list of writers, artist, and even poets. Every year they have a particular theme and the discussion will be around that theme ranging in topics from humanity, feminist issue, until the colour of our different languages. This year discussion session which I love the most was one called "Screen Addicts" featuring Dewi Lestari, Elizabeth Pisani, Michael Vatikiotis, and Trianto Triwikromo discussing about how nowadays society tend to love the immediecy of something social media related than to study things deeper like reading a book (you could see a glimpse of the discussion in the video above).  Tips: For you who is still hesitant about traveling alone, I guess looking for an event you could attend first will give you a little confidence on yourself to go alone, because by this event you can make yourself sure that you have something to hold on to along the solo traveling journey, an exact place where you can socialize (and it doesn't have to be like UWRF, you can look for musical event, maybe?). UWRF all days ticket for student cost: idr 150.000/ USD 10.7.

The View at Indus Restaurant, Venue of Screen Addicts Session

Screen Addicts Session featuring Dewi Lestari,
 Elizabeth Pisani, Michael Vatikiotis, and Trianto Triwikromo 

To sum it all, on transportation, hotels, secondary (luxury) needs, places I visit, best places I go eating, and event I attend, the total budget I spent is:
  • On transportation: idr 1.676.000/ USD 124
  • On hotels: idr 1.164.000/ USD 86
  • On secondary (luxury) needs: idr 230.000/ USD 17
  • On places I visit: idr 175.000/ USD 12.9
  • On best places I go eating: idr 290.000/ USD 21.5
  • On event I attend: idr 150.000/ USD 10.7
  • Total of all the money I spent above: idr 3.685.000/ USD 263.3 (not included: another daily meals and snacks and budget on souvenir)
Not much, right? Considering that it even including budget on luxury needs and I chose a proper hotel and flight. See? You just have to work a little harder, save a little more each month and you have no reason of not having enough money to go explore this big big world we live in. And I may say that once a year, it is worthy to travel alone, detach from our mundane routines we so familiar with for a while, try to have a quality time with ourselves so we can understand ourselves a little better, rearrange our messed up minds, and breathing positive energy and fill it to our lungs. Oh just stop reading this post and go pack your bag, will you?