Earth Day reflection

Sunday, May 21, 2017



We left the city driving our way straight to the harbor without really knowing what lies upon us. Despite the time that almost hit midnight, the harbor was still as energetic as it could be filled with locals who were ready to embrace the long weekend. You can pretty much smell the air of excitement even before entering the gate. While waiting for the last boat ride of the day, we exchanged some stories with a few strangers who turned into companion throughout the trip.

There was a midday worker, Arief who lived by the motto of "Work hard, travel harder" which was printed on the front side of his T-shirt. At first, I thought it’s only a mere statement, while in fact hearing his solo trip stories from Banyuwangi crossing the border to the island of Gods by boat proved me wrong. Meeting like-minded people like him reminded me once again that there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to traveling. You work hard, and the reward might be as memorable as when you decided to just go for it.

Encounter


While the view and sunshine intake that I've got during this trip were undeniably good, moments that I'll always recall are the people that we've become friends with. Being on a long boat ride crossing the island will do no good if there's no good companion throughout it. Luckily this time, we met with a lovely grandmother who joined her kids and two grandchildren on this trip together.

Seeing her take such a good care of the kids really reminded me of my own grandma who passed away 2 years ago. She took all the responsibilities with a full compassion, from changing her grandchildren' swimwear, made them eat three times a day, until making sure we're all being well-fed. In one fine afternoon, while others were asleep after such a tiring day being out in the open water for hours, we sat together under the big tree overlooking the sea. Hearing her stories about life makes me miss my grandma even more. Her spirit in life even though her husband had passed away is something that I'll always hold close in my heart.

"Seeing my grandchildren grow up is what keeps me going every day. In the city, I take care of them while their parents work, and now I get to enjoy taking care of them while being on a trip like this which is even more better."

I don't know about you but I always look up to a figure of a grandmother. Maybe because they become wiser as they grew older, or maybe I just have a thing for older people and their positive outlook on life. Only after that trip, I realize that in every journey that we take, we can be reminded of our dearly beloved by the people whom we've shared our meals with within that particular days.

Nature

Being near the sea makes me happy for no reason. I stared out the window of our boat for hours to find the constant movement of the water passing was peaceful. The next morning, we woke up before dawn to catch a sunrise overlooking Mt. Krakatoa. The trek itself was not too difficult compared to the breathtaking view that welcomed us as our biggest reward of the day. Standing in front of such a beautiful mountain surely felt amazing. To be able to witness that kind of view brought me back to imagine how tragic the story was when the big eruption hit this volcano island in 1883, killing more than 36.000 people. A gentle reminder that this world is much bigger than yourself, and to take a good care of the mother nature is everyone's responsibility.

(accidentally) Celebrating Earth day near my element on a bloated boat filled with ecstatic strangers never crossed my mind even at once. And I'm so glad I did.



Zen corner and the art of decluttering

Sunday, May 14, 2017



Every once in a while, we might stumble into a never ending thought of having a dream bedroom. Some people consider the act of flipping through interior books as a natural high, while others prefer to do it on the screen while scrolling through an endless images on Pinterest and create their own 'dream bedroom wish list'. Because nowadays I'm having more time at home, I don't really have that much options rather than doing work in my bedroom since spending day out at a coffee shop will cost a fortune for my weekly expenses.

I haven't really put that much thought of doing a makeover for my bedroom after recently realised how I feel overwhelmed by the things that surrounded me which were hiding in boxes on my closet. While previously working a 9-5 job, I rarely spent time at my bedroom so I just leave it the way it was, but now to keep it clean and organised are on top of my priority.

The first step was decluttering my closet, I've heard many good things about this and how it will not only give more space of inventory but leave a really great impact for our lives personally. It gives the freedom to save time while getting ready to dress up and live by the philosophy of 'less is more'.

On the clean up day, I was surprised to find my elementary uniform and swimwear from when I were a kindergarten, boxes of memories filled with bits and pieces from junior high school, journals, band T-shirts, invitations, brand new greetings card, and A LOT of printed photographs. I realised that I'm such a sentimental keeper (or more like a hoarder), so the process of cleaning up my whole bedroom sure wasn't easy.

Thankfully, I keep Marie Kondo ultimate tips on top of my head:
Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend

Zen Corner

After hours of cleaning up, finally comes the most exciting part, although my bedroom is far from perfect (I have the most cheesy bedroom wallpaper you could ever imagine and a big closet that take a lot of spaces :( ) I decided that we gotta use what we have now and make the best out of it. So I clean up my bedside table which usually filled with clothes, and transform it into what I'd like to call a Zen Corner.

I gathered things that carry an element of nature and life behind it. Such as my sun print creations, sea shells which I always carry back home from a tropical getaway, a handmade pottery by one of a very talented young potters I know, and a wooden painted doll by a local illustrator. This corner is dedicated to that two elements, I always have this spot for handmade stuffs because I'm a firm believer that we not only buy the product but the time, effort, and thought that goes behind it. 
Now every time I look at this zen corner, I just feel at ease.


On Being Vulnerable

Monday, May 8, 2017



I stumbled upon this interesting fact by researcher Brene Brown about vulnerability and when do people feel most vulnerable. It turns out that a lot of us feel vulnerable during the most simple and serene moments in our life. For me, it's the moment when you can fall asleep beside your mother, it's when you can hear your dad's humming to an old crappy karaoke TV show, it's when your brother checked on you before bedtime, and so on. 

Life is indeed a collection of moments, not when or how you reach another milestone.

Letting go of Phở

Thursday, April 6, 2017



April marked the most unforgettable month of this year, and it's only the beginning of April
This month, I learn how to let go of things and be mindful to make decisions that is close as a priority in life
Instead of keeping this thought to myself, I feel the need to pour it all out and share it with you, and here's why...

This month, I let go of
my return flight tickets from Jakarta to Vietnam, right on the day before my departure
a long overdue trip with the closest friends that we've been planning for months
a remarkable food tour in Hanoi by local university students
a 3day2night adventure on the boat overlooking the beautiful karst in Lan Ha Bay
a dream to do kayaking in one of the most iconic sight in Asia
the stupid conversations over a round table filled with Bánh mì, Phở, and the famous egg coffee
some meaningful conversations between all five of us that might only happen throughout the trip
teasing a few of them who will protest the idea of sleeping in a capsule hostel
admiring the heavy French influence in Vietnam modern days
a day trip to Hue in search of ancient tombs and their history
the proud moment to spend my own savings after working tirelessly for a trip abroad
the evening bike ride wandering through alleys and small bridges in Hoi An
being homesick on the last few days before going back home listening to Float' Pulang in between transit
feeling both exhilarated and tired upon the arrival to my homeland after 12 days, and grow to appreciate things more

I was feeling both devastated and relieved at the same time while cancelling that trip the day before. I was devastated because all of my expectations and the efforts that have gone to make that trip possible. Yet I felt also relieved knowing that I don't have to worry about my mother's health throughout that trip and that I can take a good care of her while she's sick. I can only imagine it would be too painful to be on a holiday while worrying and instantly checking up on her condition separated by thousand miles away.

It has been hard and I only hope for things to get better. I come to an understanding that we learn the most valuable life lessons only during the hardest moment. This time, to let go of a trip that you wanted to go so badly and choose what really matter to the heart. Although I'm such an avid fan of making plans. Somehow, we cannot compare a privilege of taking care of our parents with such thing as checking items off the bucket list. Plans shifted, unexpected things happen all of a sudden, and that's okay.
 

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