July 20, 2014

My Life These Days

Hi everyone! I know it's been a while since I literally said hi to you(s) and posted something personal here. Although I'm constantly trying to update my blog, I become more cautious to share my personal life here on the blog. The thing is, I don't know who's going to read it. In the early days of blogging, I thought I could share everything in my life. I put up pictures of myself and people around me, I wrote my feelings so obviously (especially when I was down), I talked about my childhood and other personal things. Somehow, as a reader of other bloggers, I found myself enjoying read their personal lives. I feel like really connected with them through the stories and photographs that they have shared. And most of the time, it feels good when I read those bloggers who share positive life. While some readers of my blog also wrote to say how much they appreciated reading my words and seeing my pictures, and I can feel the same happiness when I knew it.

Somewhere along the line though, I finally decided to not share too much personal writing and photograph publicly. So, I ended up posted something that I want other people to know without too much involving personal information. That is also the reason why I often posted something more "general" like pictures of places, traveling stories and outfits. Is it something that really common in our society? We only show something that we want other people to know, but to what extent do we want them to know is different for everyone. Some people share their morning to night activities, others complain about their family problems, and some only give a bit of their lives. And I prefer the last one. So, if my blog seems so happy and filled with fanciness all the time, then those are the things I want to share with you :)

However, I'll give you a few hints about my life lately. Since moving back to my hometown, I've been working in a university which based in Depok; can't wait to finish decorating my apartment (actually it's all done except for the rooms); so nervous yet excited to pursue another big dream of mine; have a side project on something that I'm really passionate about; can hardly hardly hardly wait to meet October and December; and the last ones are here, my current mood boosters.

Paper Towns
Shame on me, I haven't read John Green's bestselling novel but already watched the film. So I pick this book to taste his imagination and writing as my sister's recommendation. Even though I haven't finished it yet, but I can safely say this book is worth reading! It's been just two weeks since I bought it and now I almost finish reading it (well, for a slow reader like myself, finishing a book within a month is quite impressive!). 

Traveling Frame
I have this idea since years ago to put all the things that I bought and kept after traveling to a place: put them into frames and hang them on the wall, or make a traveling scrapbook. Basically, I just want to put all the memories into something that will not break easily. It's such an easy task, really, but I always had great excuses to procrastinate it. 

Favorite Songs
Good music never fails to make me happy. Lately I've been listening a lot to Ed Sheeran and the soundtrack of The Fault In Our Stars. I love almost every tracks on these two albums, but my favorite ones on Ed Sheeran's are"One", "Photograph", and "Tenerife Sea". While "Strange Things Will Happen", "Long Way Down" and  "Let Me In" are the songs that I never get bored of listening to on TFIOS's album. 

Lovely Outerwears
I'm a real sucker for outerwears, especially the blazers. If you come to my room, you can see that most of the clothes I have are outerwears. Needles to say, I'm so happy that after a long time, I finally bought another blazer. And no longer after I bought it one of my good friends gave me this silver sequin blazer. I couldn't be happier!

I bought this little baby from a flea market in Yogyakarta when I went there two months ago. But I haven't "played" with it, not even once! Do blame me, huh? So today is a good time to change the batteries and the film to play with Flexy!

Sometimes, as a person with a very limited tolerance for living in a crowded big city like Jakarta, lying down somewhere quiet and peaceful is a simple thing that brings more happiness than watching movie, shopping or even traveling to the surrounding cities. I found myself feeling thankful that I had perfect companion, perfect time, perfect place and, of course, a perfect picnic :)

July 16, 2014

A Brighter Day

Top : Vintage. Skirt : Vintage Marks & Spencer. Tights : Primark.
Bag : Longchamp. Shoes : Topshop.

July 07, 2014

Get Featured: TraveLibro.com

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from TraveLibro.com, a travel website which specializes on planning itineraries and sharing travel stories among travelers around the world. They are interested with my posting about solo traveler and asked me to answer a questionnaire that they have sent to all the solo women traveler around the world. I found it very interesting!

Was there a turning point, a moment when you decided/realized you wanted to travel full-time/solo? Is this something you can share with us?
The first time I decided to travel solo was at the end of 2012. At that time, I only had been spending couple of months in the UK for my study. The Christmas holiday came and I really wanted to travel somewhere else to refresh my mind as I had just finished the hectic days of being a student. And more to the point, I was also experiencing the downsides of the life; I felt homesick and I had just broke up with my boyfriend. On the other side, I knew that there’s no one around me that would be compatible to be my travel partner. So, I decided to travel solo from the Southern England to Edinburgh. The most interesting part was when the first time I celebrated New Year all by myself in Edinburgh, and got hugs from some total strangers I just met on the streets!

Is there any one destination that you think is ideal for first-time solo travel? Especially for women?
I must say, it is the UK. I did solo traveling for quite often to some places in this country, but I never had any bad experience, not even once! 

A moment when you faced your biggest 'culture shock' in a foreign country?
Born and raised in a religious family and country made me think that religion is the most important thing in life. I used to had a negative perception towards people who don’t have a religion. So, when I lived in the UK, I was quite shocked that I met a lot of people who don't have a religion but acted better than those who do. I’ve come to realize that we can’t judge others based on whether they have a religion or not. Because those who have religion are not always better than those who don’t. Everything that matters shall be not judged by religion, nationality and ethnic, but by how the person himself/herself behaves.

What is the next destination on the cards?
I always wonder how it feels like doing solo traveling in Asian countries. Japan and Tibet are at the top of my list.

Could you tell us a little about the best and worst reactions you have gotten when you tell people what you do? I imagine it must be quite unusual!
The best reactions I’ve gotten so far is when some people said that they want to do solo traveling because they are inspired by my courage and stories of traveling alone to some countries. I’ve never gotten the worst reaction, but sometimes people react with “what the hell were you doing traveling alone?” written all over their faces, as if I’m a weirdo, can be really annoying.

An essential piece of advice you would give to all first-time solo travelers would be?
I always remember what my mom said to me (not only in this case, but everywhere I go) about the most important things when I'm traveling alone: Firstly, don't look people in the eye when you pass by them, especially the ones you deem suspicious. Second, don't walk in quiet streets/places and don't go outside after dark. Third, don't show your weaknesses, which in my case is my "daydream" habits. And the last one, always pretend you have the ability to fight people even when you don't, which means you have to act tough when the situation calls for it. As long as you are cautious, I guess everything would be fine. At least, it’s been working for me so far.

Have you ever faced unpleasantness because of your faith or your nationality, when traveling in a foreign country?
I’m so grateful that I never faced any bad experiences because of my religion and also my nationality.

On the flip side, is there any one place where you found the people to be most open and friendly, and welcoming of you as a traveler?
For the second time, I must say, it is the UK. I think it’s the most comfortable, friendly and safe place I know so far to do solo traveling.

Is it possible to travel self-sustainably to do you rely on other funds from part-time work at home and/ or family support?
Yes. With the job I have right now , I can safely say that it’s possible to travel self-sustainably.

Do you feel travel has influenced your personality and your outlook on life?
Definitely yes. It has influenced me a lot. I’m careless and forgetful; I’m literally a daydreamer, my mind easily wonders whenever and wherever and I wouldn’t realize it until I’m doing it, much like breathing in that it just happens; I tend to act clumsy upon meeting someone new; I’m na├»ve because I often see something and someone in a positive way which isn’t really a good trait to have when you’re on your own. Solo traveling has taught me to turn these weaknesses of mine into life lessons that I couldn’t possibly hope to attain otherwise. Since I’ve traveled alone, I can and always do take care of myself and everything more than ever; I can say “no” to people; I’m not as gullible; I became more aware of my own limits and try not to do anything that I feel well beyond my capability; I open myself to people, try not to be clumsy and instead be more adaptive. The surprise is the biggest thing. It teaches me about a way of life that I knew nothing about before and I gain a view of what the world is like.

Have you seen our portal TraveLibro.com? As an experienced traveler what is your take on it? Would you use it and if not, how can we improve to offer  you the best and most comprehensive travel resource on the web?

Yes, I have. I’d definitely use it, especially the travel itinerary session!

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