A girl could change the world

During those times when Bandi and I used to talk about our imaginary kids, I always addressed our imaginary kid as a “she/her”, such as “She’s gonna be whatever she wants” or “That’s what I wanna give her” and so on.

I was wondering why I wanted to have daughter so much more than I wanted a son. Aren’t society mean to women? Won’t my girl face challenges more than if she was born a boy?

Hmm… But… A girl could change the world.

I don’t mean to be sexist that men can’t change the world. Turns out that a lot of great men did.

But, let me put it this way…

I’ve always thought that a well-read educated woman could change the life of any men they want, thus she could change the world. They could inspire their partner. It is true that:

Behind a great man lies a great woman.

Men no matter how great they are, could always fallen apart if they had the wrong support system, the wrong partner. But for strong women… they would always find a strong partner; and turned him to be even stronger. See what I mean?

This is not stereotyping. This is generalizing, trying to see a pattern of some life phenomenon.

I want to parent a small little girl and I want to watch her grow to be a strong independent woman that  not only has dream but also follow it. I want her to strive and achieve and I want her to change a life of one boy, and if she might, change the world as what she pictured it to be.

That’s why I always wanted a girl.

But that only if Bandi and I decided that someday we’re gonna have kids. For now, we’re happy with our imaginary daughter. :)

And the reason why I wrote something feminist today is because this happened yesterday:

A 17 years old girl named Malala won a Noble Prize for peace.

A 17 years old girl named Malala won a Noble Prize for peace.

That’s why I’m writing this now… because…

A girl has changed the world.

P.S. google her to know what happened to her, how much she suffered but she turned out to be stronger than ever and stands up for what she believes: education for all.

Cheers,

May, always the feminist.

Kepada Pak Jokowi.

Kepada Pak Jokowi yang saya kagumi,

Persilahkan saya memperkenalkan diri saya. Saya salah satu anak bangsa yang tidak cukup memiliki adat ke-Indonesiaan, oleh karena itu saya tersingkir oleh seleksi alam dan memgembara ke negara tetangga.
Kami biasa disebut tidak nasionalis dan diremehkan sebagai setengah warga negara Indonesia atau traitor.
Hingga detik ini setiap kali saya berpergian ke negara-negara barat dan bertemu dengan para pelancong dari negara barat, mereka selalu berkomentar sama mengenai Indonesia, “your country is beautiful and the people are friendly.”
Benarkah begitu? Jika iya, mengapa banyak sekali yang pergi?
Saya melanggar banyak sekali adat ketimuran atau ke-Indonesiaan. Saya memilih tinggal di negara yang memberikan saya kebebasan individual. Saya tidak mau dikukung oleh norma yang hipokrit dan ditahan oleh hukum-hukum tidak masuk akal sehat saya.
Pak Jokowi adalah penggemar musik metal, yang dulunya dianggap musik non-Indonesia, dan kita tau betapa orang Indonesia sangat anti menjadi non-Indonesia atau antek asing. Segala yang asing asing itu pasti jahat dan salah, ironis sekali karena konsumerisme akan barang asing justru sangat tinggi, dan kelakuan “konsumerisme” ini sendiri datangnya dari negara barat. Ironis? Atau munafik?
Saya percaya Pak Jokowi tidak anti asing, namun bukan berarti Pak Jokowi akan mengendurkan sovereignity negara kita.
Saya percaya Pak Jokowi mencari teman untuk membantu bangsa kita berkembang, bukan menjual jiwa bangsa kita ke mereka.
Kami, orang-orang Indonesia yang tinggal di negara lain, seringkali dianggap tidak peduli pada negara sendiri. Kami tidak menyalahkan mereka karena kami memang pergi meninggalkan Indonesia. Namun, apakah sungguh kami tidak peduli?
Kami ikut mengawal pilpres kemarin, ikut berpartisipasi menyuarakan aspirasi kami, padahal siapapun presiden nya dan siapapun yang menduduki kursi DPR, tidak akan merubah hidup kami disini. Semua demi apa? Demi bapak menang kah? Sesungguhnya bukan pak… Itu semua demi Indonesia yang lebih baik. Hanya saja kami punya keyakinan kalau bapak bisa membuat Indonesia menjadi lebih baik, oleh karena itu kami memilih bapak. “Faith can move the mountains.” Sungguh kuat keyakinan kami. Bapak menang 80% disini, Pak. :)
Sebagian dari hati kami masih ada di Indonesia, Pak. Suatu saat saya tentu ingin kembali menetap di tanah air sendiri, menua dan menutup mata saya disana. Tanah air adalah suatu hal yang tak mungkin bisa direbut atau diubah dari individu seseorang. Itu bagian dari identity.

Bapak sudah resmi terpilih menjadi Presiden ketujuh Indonesia. Mari kita jalankan revolusi mental yang bapak ide-kan itu.
Ubah mindset orang Indonesia yang suka menghakimi orang seenaknya.
Hapus pengkotak-kotak-an agama dan ras. Tolong mulai dari hapus kolom agama di KTP, Pak!
Biarkan kami percaya kembali kepada pemerintah, mencari perlindungan dan welfare dari pemerintah, bukannya takut kepada pemerintah yang seperti lintah darat selalu menyedot uang rakyat.
Bebaskan setiap individu untuk menjadi apapun yang mereka mau. Jangan kucilkan orang-orang dengan AIDS, komunitas LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender), dan para mantan pecandu narkoba. Mereka semua memiliki strugglenya masing-masing dan pemerintah tidak seharusnya menambah masalah mereka. Berikan hak yang sama rata kepada seluruh rakyak Indonesia, tanpa memandang label-label diatas.
Dukung para petani dan para peternak untuk Indonesia dapat kembali ber-swasembada pangan, saya yakin ini sudah ada di list nomor satu bapak. Saya percaya bapak bisa menyejahterakan rakyat kecil. :)
Tolong juga beri perhatian kepada para TKW yang bekerja sebagai pembantu rumah tangga di negara asing, Pak. Mereka sangat butuh perlindungan negara.
Jangan lupa juga revolusi mental untuk mencintai hewan sama seperti mencintai manusia. Mengutip kata-kata dari Mahatma Gandhi,

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated

Saya ingat bapak pernah melakukan razia topeng monyet di Solo dan membebaskan monyet-monyet. Hanya Bapak satu-satunya politisi Indonesia yang begitu peduli dengan animal welfare dan saya menaruh harapan besar kepada Bapak. Semoga bapak suatu saat dapat membebaskan lumba-lumba yang ditawan di Ancol. Ingat, ini bagian dari revolusi mental kan, Pak? :)

Saya juga senang sekali ketika Bapak memilih Pak Jusuf Kalla sebagai wakil presiden. Bapak mengumumkan kabar bahagia itu tepat di hari ulang tahun saya. Benar-benar kado yang luar biasa untuk saya. Saya yakin Pak JK memiliki visi dan misi yang sama dengan Bapak. Apa yang Pak JK lakukan untuk Makassar sungguh luar biasa dan pribadi Pak JK yang humble dan apa adanya mengkoplimen Bapak sebagai tim yang solid dan saya optimis bisa me-revolusi mental bangsa ini.

Saya tidak akan mengulang-ulang lagi hal yang pastinya sudah sering Bapak dengar. Saya hanya ingin menyemangati Pak Jokowi untuk memulai perjalanan lima tahun kedepan yang pastinya penuh rintangan, melelahkan, namun saya harap dapat Bapak jalani dengan senyum optimis dan pikiran positif.
Kami, anak anak Ibu pertiwi yang jauh disini, akan selalu memberi doa untuk Indonesia. Kami mungkin jauh, tapi dekat di hati. :)

Terima kasih Pak Jokowi, yang secara tak langsung telah mempersatukan bangsa Indonesia dan telah memberi harapan baru kepada kami. Satu harapan cukup untuk membangkitkan semangat juang kami yang sudah lama tidur. Kami akan berjuang bersama Bapak.

Selamat bekerja, Pak Jokowi, presidenku. Selamat jalankan amanah.

Dengan hormat,
Meitriyana, si anak bangsa yang hobi mengembara.

Best Day Ever (Part 2)

Finally!!! I have time to continue the story of the best day of my life. Part One here! So yeah, after we played the video to the audience, it was time for us to come in!!! And this is how we went in! :D

Basically we Bandi and I tore down the “Heck Yeah We Did” paper and Fenty supposed to ignite the fireworks and place them around us, but unfortunately the firework didn’t work. Hahahaha. Angel, Renny and Tannia put the words “BEST DAY EVER” below us and it also didn’t really work because somehow we all laughed for no reason.

After that Bandi and I supposed to kiss each other hot and wet and they supposed to look grossed and left us alone. However only Renny acted seriously grossed (or was she really? LOL)

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It started very smoothly

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But everything was just so fun, or we were a little high, I don’t know. Everything just seemed so right. Hahaha. I was in the happiest moment of my life.

After that, We were all seated and Bandi began his welcome speech.

Huuby <3

Hubby <3

It was funny and sweet, and pretty long for a speech. Who knows now he loved to speak in front of public? LOL

Here's to today.

Here’s to today.

And for the rest of our lives. :)

And for the rest of our lives. :)

So here’s to today. The best day ever. And may we remember this day forever. :) Now let’s start dinner!!! I’m starving!

Parents and close family's table! =)

Parents and close family’s table! =) Guess which one is my mom which one is Bandi’s mom?

DSC_5090a DSC_5092a DSC_5095a After the starter course, it was time for Ricky (One of Bandi’s groomsman to deliver his speech) Oh thanks god he delivered the speech in English because there were a loooott of things not supposed to be said in front of parents on that speech. LOLOLOL.

His stupid face when he got a call from somebody on his phone while he read his speech. "Somebody please stop calling my phone" LOLOLOL

His stupid face when he got a call from somebody on his phone while he read his speech. “Somebody please stop calling my phone” LOLOLOL

And again!

Cheers again!

And again! Bandi couldn't stand to finish them all!

And again! Bandi couldn’t stand to finish them all!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Let’s continue dinner! =D But Bandi decided it wasn’t the time to eat but to drink instead, so he shared drinks with everyone. Awww, my cute hubby… so selfless. :) DSC_5112a _DSC0132a _DSC0136a _DSC0147a _DSC0139a _DSC0150a While I… liked to be on the spotlight! So I took photos!!! LOTS AND LOTS OF PHOTOS!!! :D DSC_5128a DSC_5124a _DSC0167a _DSC0166a DSC_5120a DSC_5132a DSC_5134a And then it was time for the bridesmaids’ speech.

It was started with Renny showing to the world how fat I was as a baby. LOL

It was started with Renny showing to the world how fat I was as a baby. LOL We even took photos together when we were 3 months old. :) Left baby is renny, right cute baby is me.

And how we grew up as "remaja galau". XD

And how we grew up as “remaja galau”. XD

And even galauer teenager. Hahahaha

And even galauer teenager. Hahahaha

And she told me about the first time she, I and Bandi hung out together. It was an instant click. :)

And she told me about the first time she, I and Bandi hung out together. It was an instant click. :)

What a ridiculously funny and extremely sweet speech from my maid of honor, my cousin and my forever bestfriend. :)

What a ridiculously funny and extremely sweet speech from my maid of honor, my cousin and my forever bestfriend. :)

And then Fenty continued the speech.

And then Fenty continued the speech.

Fenty telling stupid things. haha

Fenty telling stupidly funny things. haha

Angel carried on...

Angel carried on… And I was already sobbing out of happiness. :”)

And then Angel was telling something people shouldn't know. LOLOLOL

And then Angel was telling something people shouldn’t know. LOLOLOL

Tannia finished the speech beautifully.

Tannia finished the speech beautifully.

I remember she said, “we were friends for so long we didn’t even realize how much changes we’ve been through and yet we’re still friends now. :) We were friends when my hair was still like lion, when Fenty was still super fat, when Renny was still crying every 5 minutes and May was still so tanned.” LOL

And then Tannia said about things happened on my bachelorette party! OH NO!!! Look at Bandi's face! XD

And then Tannia said about things happened on my bachelorette party! OH NO!!! Look at Bandi’s face! XD

Let's cheer one more time!!!

Let’s cheer one more time!!!

This time is for friendship!!! For how wonderful our lives are with friends. :)

This time is for friendship!!! For how wonderful our lives are with friends. :)

Bottoms up!

Bottoms up!

IMG_0342 IMG_0343 Some friends from the guest tables also delivered speeches. Thanks to Angita (the apple pie from a story here.) Cuanda, my frenemy. Yoan, the most romantic girl I’ve known. And Uman for the dadakan speech! :) You guys completed my BEST DAY EVER with all of your sweet and funny words! :D

Angita, the "Apple Pie" A girl with her own fairy tale that made me believed in true love. It's an honor receiving your speech. :)

Angita, the “Apple Pie” A girl with her own fairy tale that made me believed in true love. It’s an honor receiving your speech. :)

My sweet and bitter Cucu. :)

My sweet and bitter Cucu. :)

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And Yoan who wrote a  story about a boy named "Light" and a girl who's not afraid of the sun and doesn't bother to apply sunblock. :)

And Yoan who wrote a story about a boy named “Light” and a girl who’s not afraid of the sun and doesn’t bother to apply sunblock. :)

DSC_5166a Yoan’s short story about Disney’s version of Me and Bandi really moved me. I promise I will copy it on a post right after I unpack all the wedding cards from my friends. :)

And Uman who didn't even prepare a speech and he did deliver one! =D

And Uman who didn’t even prepare a speech and he did deliver one! =D

Now it’s time for kisses, hugs and photos!!! :) So many beautiful moments captured on the lenses. I cannot pick my favorite, they all meant a lot to me. Each one of them. :) All of my friends who drove and flew from all over the country, thank you couldn’t express how grateful I am having you guys… :) _DSC0255a _DSC0249a _DSC0271a _DSC0274a _DSC0284a _DSC0262a _DSC0303a _DSC0296a _DSC0295a _DSC0293a DSC_5184a And now it’s time foooorrrrrrrrr…….. DANCING!!!! =D WOOT WOOT

First it was a Father and Daughter Dance. :)

First it was a Father and Daughter Dance. :)

My dad taught me 2 important things: Always be grateful and always love animal. He never kills any animals even it’s only bugs or ants, even cockroaches. He’s a very loving person… And it was my honor to have him dance with me on my wedding day. :”)

Always be the daddy's girl. :)

Always be the daddy’s girl. :)

And then it was time for him to give me away to my husband. :)

I love this photo.

I love this photo.

And then Bandi and I had fun! :) _DSC0318a _DSC0326a _DSC0322a _DSC0325a _DSC0333a _DSC0334a And then it was time foooorrrr….. choreographed dance by the wedding committee!!!! Wooottt!!! Please do watch the video!!! hahaha

Super LOL!!! After the treasure dance, the dancefloor was pretty much packed! See a video below, captured and edited by one my the great Journalist today, Lukman Soedarbo!

These are some of the photos that aren’t blurred from the dance floor!

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Everything after the crowded dancefloor was a bit blurry for me and Bandi. I remember when friends started to leave the party, saying goodbyes to Bandi and me, and then Bandi drank with his close friends and he was so drunk I remember he ran around Burgundy like mad man. Hahahaha. And then he went to cottage and pass out for a while.

Here are some of the stupid after-party photos from my friends…

I helped Bandi who was trying to puke. My make-up was still on!

I helped Bandi who was trying to puke. My make-up was still on!

Bandi passed out on the top of all the wedding stuffs. He actually slept til morning.

Bandi passed out on the top of all the wedding stuffs. He actually slept til morning.

Me dancing around on a plastic clothes. Tannia made this for me because she was afraid I got "masuk angin". LOLOLOL

Me dancing around on a plastic clothes. Tannia made this for me because she was afraid I got “masuk angin”. LOLOLOL

And..... I passed out.

And….. I passed out.

I didn't remember taking this photo. That man on the black suit is Burgundy staff. My friend was too friendly and they got drunk together hahaha

I didn’t remember taking this photo. That man on the black suit is Burgundy staff. My friend was too friendly and they got drunk together hahaha

I told Tannia, "Quick get me out of this dress!" and replied, "SHUT UP!" Hahahaha

I told Tannia, “Quick get me out of this dress!” and replied, “SHUT UP!” Hahahaha

Looking back… so many funny inside jokes that wouldn’t fit on this post, but seriously I couldn’t ask for a better wedding day for me and Bandi. The friends that we have are truly our treasure. People can change but memory lasts forever… When I’m sad, I will look up at these photos and remember how grateful I am, to have all of you as my friends. :)

And guess who spent the night on our “kamar penganten”? Klemens and Vigar!!! Hahahahah!!! Bandi was sleeping on the top of random stuffs while Renny and I slept on another room. Well… the weirdest thing was… Angel passed out on the car! Hahaha Thank goodness she didn’t die! XD

And this is us the next morning... Fully sobered up and ready for nasi goreng!!!

And this is us the next morning… Fully sobered up and ready for nasi goreng!!!

Some photos from the “Behind the Scenes”

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And here comes for the most epic photo………

My wonder bridesmaids lifted Bandi up! Hahahaha!!! And they were wearing high heels!!!

My wonder bridesmaids lifted Bandi up! Hahahaha!!! And they were wearing high heels!!!

The stationaries! :)

The stationaries! :) By: The Bridesmaid United

So yeah… that sums up the super fun and super yellow wedding that I’ve claimed as THE BEST DAY EVER in my life! =D

I’ve had so much fun and I’m so grateful for the memories every single day. :)

SPECIAL THANK YOUS FOR:

  1. Burgundy. For the sweetest, most romantic venue ever!!! And for the great team! Mega, Kiky and Wiwin. You guys are awesome! Thank you for putting up with all my bridezilla requests!! hahaha
  2. Rosa Hidayat. (fb: Rosa Hidayat) My make up artist and my friend. Hire her here, people!
  3. Carmelita. (fb: Carmelia Renatha) You exceeded my expectation for a GREAT florist!!! You grant my wish to have PEONIES for my wedding bouquet!!! I’ll be forever grateful!!! :)
  4. Bridesmaid United (OFCOURSE!!!) We’re in charge for decoration, invitation, souvenir, concept making, photobooth props, everything really! We’re not only keen for weddings but also for birthday parties! Basically, we just love all kind of celebrations! Please follow our instagram on @bridesmaid_united ! Our website is on progress! Yaiy!

And for my bridesmaids and groomsmen, Renny, Fenty, Angel, Tannia, Ferric, Piter, Ricky, Gery…. And my officials, Klemens, Yofie, Vigar… Thank you for going on this beautiful one year journey, thank you for the funny and stupid comments on our whatsapp group, for the endless and stressful meetings, for the fun road trip to Bandung, for the very sincere hardwork tanpa pamrih, I’m sooooo grateful. All… is just for that day to happen. I owe guys BIG favor, really. If one day I could repay this favor, please… :”)

I love every one of you. I do. :”)

07.06.2014 = Best Day Ever.

P.S. @bridesmaid_united now is open for hiring! Contact us for details! =D

Cheers,

May, the happy wife.

Photo 10-6-14 10 12 01 pm

Why Christmas is so important for a Buddhist like me?

Lately been busy doing stuffs… *ahem* who am I kidding, okay, I admit, this past one month I’ve been busy playing GTA V. Yes, I know as I feminist I should’ve been offended by a misogynistic game like GTA, but oh maaaan the gamer soul inside of me enjoyed it very very much. I have completed GTA V last week and I still love doing the after-main story activities so that’s the main reason why I’ve been so lazy to blog lately.

But after GTA has been completed, I got so busy with my wedding thingy. Arrrghhh doing wedding preparation while you’re on PMS is a bad combination. I cried for such a stupid problems and come to think about it now, I feel embarrassed.

I don’t have any interesting things to talk about but because I have an oath for “post a week”  (thankfully the oath will end on this end of the year so I can write anytime I want again start next year) so I “recycled” one of my favorite post.

Christmas is very near,  so I re-post a Christmas post I’ve written two years ago. I hope it brings smile on your face as it did to mine. =)

I did spend Christmas’ eve with Bandi in the church ever since. =)

Happy Christmas to all! Be merry!

***

23rd december 2011.

I grew up having Christmas in my school every year since I went to Catholic school from… err, basically for the whole of my school year, even my college year. I knew best about the story of how Mary and Joseph couldn’t find a home for a shelter when Mary needed to deliver baby Jesus, I took part of the Christmas show every year when I was in elementary, I forget whom I played as though.

I love going to Catholic Church especially on Christmas’ eve just to listen the carols and feel the holy night atmosphere. Not once, I likely to shed a tear (yes I’m that drama queen.) Thus, I received this question a lot, “If you really love Christmas and Church, and plus your boyfriend is a Catholic, why don’t you convert to one?”

Because I don’t believe in god.

I appreciate people’s relationship with their gods. I appreciate my man’s relationship with god. I love to see him praying. I know he believes in god. He has this close relationship with his god that I could never interfere and will never understand, not because it doesn’t exist, but because I don’t believe in god. But doesn’t mean something doesn’t exist just because you don’t believe in it.

If you believed in something, it is what it is you believe. And if you didn’t believe? It will never be existed in your mind.

For a record, no one believe my LDR will work, but ta-daa, it does!

As Buddha ever said,

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

I believe my relationship with this universe and Buddhist philosophy. I believe I am stronger each day because of yesterday. I believe in love and human’s relationship between each other. I cherish what I could feel, such as joy, contentment and comfort.

Everyone has their own joy, contentment and comfort. Some finds in their gods. And a lot of people believe a lot of gods. Why bother to insist someone to believe your god? It’s like insisting someone who can’t paint to take fine art major.

Christmas is an event. For the Christians, it’s the day when Jesus was born. For me, it’s a memory, of my fun childhood, of the warmth of my tiny school, of having an unforgettable Christmas’ Eve Mass with my man before he left to USA, of having hopes and wishes.

He is the only Catholic in his family, while the others are Buddhist. He used to spend Christmas alone, went to Church alone and didn’t get used to having presents on Christmas day. I have a Catholic Dad even though he wasn’t so festive about Christmas. So, five years ago, my man and I went to Church on Christmas’ Eve and since then, I whispered to Mother Mary in his god’s house, “I would like to do this every year with this guy, which ‘this guy’ refers to the guy beside me kneeling towards you, praying. And I hope he prays the same thing.”

The Christmas after was bittersweet. He was about to leave the next week, and that time, I hope his prayer was to come back to me. I was so afraid that it could be our last Christmas together.

Years after that were hard times for us, but having the thoughts of spending Christmas with him somehow got me through everything.

It’s so amazing how memory could make people stronger.

So, this Christmas, after 2 years absent from Christmas’ Eve Mass, I would listen those carols and hold that candle again. After the last two Christmases were spent playing “Merry Christmas Darling” on the ‘repeat one’ mode, buying Christmas card and went to post office and skype-ing and wishing to have the next Christmas with my man, the wish finally comes true this year. (<– I smile while typing this.)

I wish everyone to have a jolly Christmas this year and years after. I wish every wish came true. I wish Christmas Miracles happen to everyone. I wish for more candy canes, louder carols, Santa’s tighter red legging, wetter kisses, warmer hugs and creamier cakes. Coz that’s what Christmas is all about!!!

Can’t wait for Christmas day!

Be merry!

Love, May.

***

Bonus photos from the past Christmases!

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2012, Boxing Day!

Christmas 2012, Boxing Day!

Can't wait for Boxing day this year! Yaiy Yaiy!!!

Can’t wait for Boxing day this year! Yaiy Yaiy!!!

Cheers,

May, on festive mood.

Fifteen years later, her dream came true.

Fifteen years ago, I fell in love with football.

And then I fell in love with a very talented football player named Fabio Cannavaro.

And then I fell in love with AC Parma, Cannavaro’s old team.

And then eventually I fell in love with Azzuri (Italian National Team).

Wait, I hope there is another verb to describe my feeling because love wasn’t enough. I lived through them, I lived for them.

However I grew up and life happened and even though the love’s still there, I’m not that naive anymore.

Two years ago, I met Fabio Cannavaro in person. Universe has proven me that if you really REALLY believe in one dream, the universe will conspire and make your dream come true.

And it happened. I met Fabio Cannavaro. What are the odds?

Three weeks ago, another dream has come true. The twelve years old little girl named May had a dream that she will visit Ennio Tardini someday. Not so common for a travel destination but she loved Parma so much and she wanted to visit the town someday.

Woohoo!!!

Woohoo!!!

Guess what, she did.

(Geez I’m so corny I cried while typing this.)

But seriously… when I was a kid, I wasn’t so happy at home. The only thing that made me happy was football. I was watching football and daydreamed about all the nice things. That someday I will visit Italy, I will come to Parma, see Ennio Tardini and I will met Cannavaro.

I know it sounded so silly back then. It was almost impossible but somehow just daydreaming about it made me happy.

If only I could go back for a second and meet the twelve years old May, I would kiss her and said, “you will make it someday. Never stop dreaming.”

Let's go inside!

Let’s go inside!

Run now!!!! I can't wait another second!

Run now!!!! I can’t wait another second!

OMG! This is happening!

OMG! This is happening!

Oh wow! I've made it.

Oh wow! I’ve made it.

Graawwwhhh!!! I dont know what to say anymore!

Graawwwhhh!!! I dont know what to say anymore!

It was surreal

It was surreal

Definitely a moment to remember. =)

Definitely a moment to remember. =)

Even fifty years from now, I will still remember the feeling. I will always always remember the feeling. =)

Parma per sempre!

Parma per sempre!

 

Making the childhood dream came true: checked!

Making the childhood dream came true: checked!

 

You live your life everyday but only a few moments left an unforgettable points in your life. I wanna make sure I have a lot of moments to remember in my life. =)

You live your life everyday but only a few moments left an unforgettable points in your life. I wanna make sure I have a lot of moments to remember in my life. =)

Oh I'm glad I was such a silly little dreamer. =)

Oh I’m glad I was such a silly little dreamer. =)

Never stop dreaming… and believing. No matter how silly/stupid/impossible it seems. You’ll never know. =)

This year is a hundredth anniversary of AC Parma.

I wish Parma will always be the humble team, and someday could really win a scudetto. =) Well, I’ll never know. ;)

Cheers,

May, her childhood dreams came true.

Today is the day I’ve been talking about

Looking back to the past one year when Bandi and I first really planned about this. We’ve been talking about this plan since forever but last year we talked about really doing it.

October 2012

Bandi started to browse for cheap tickets… for months.

November 2012

Bandi took me to the Library and we browsed for hours. We borrowed some of the books back home and started to sort out the cities.

After hundreds of arguments, we finally agreed with multi-destination ticket. Even though it would be more expensive, we would save time. So we decided to arrive at London and leave from Athens.

31 December 2012

Bandi paid for the tickets. I couldn’t believe he did that. He paid the tickets with the money he’d saved from working part-time in USA back then.

After the ticket was bought, we planned the budget together and agreed to contribute equally. :)

January – February 2013

We I read all the books from Rick Steves. Seriously. I’m a prepared traveler. LOL

March 2013

Bought flight ticket from Rome to Athens.

April 2013

Nothing really happened. LOL

May 2013

Bought our Railpass.

June 2013

Booked half of the B&B’s

July 2013

Booked all the B&B’s, bought overnight train tickets, bought Santorini tickets, Bought Insurance, and applied for Visa. Horribly failed to apply the Visa because Italian Embassy requested for the complete point-to-point reservation ticket.

Itinerary is finalised.

August 2013

Got the UK Visa, reserved all the train tickets.

September 2013

Bandi accidentally washed his passport, so he needed to change his passport and re-apply UK Visa. After he got the new passport, he applied the Schengen visa with me and applied UK Visa again for himself.

We booked the Mt. Titlis Tour.

The host from Amsterdam suddenly cancelled then it was a bit difficult to find a new host whose room is available in short notice and of course which the room we could afford. Thankfully airbnb was so cooperative about this. =)

October 2013

We booked all the museums we wanted to visit.

We lost the most expensive documents that we needed for the Europe Trip just two weeks before our D day. We almost cancelled our trip but then we decided to just get the hell with it. We re-purchased the lost documents and accepted the fact that for this trip, Universe really wanted to test us, and I hope we passed. =)

11th October 2013

Today… I can finally start to see the dream is getting real. I’m kinda terrified, the exciting-terrified. I am a proud person now. I can’t explain with words how I am feeling right now but it is so overwhelming that it consumes me.

Why I am so proud of my Europe Trip?

I didn’t come from a wealthy family, you see, it is nearly impossible to go to Europe if I look back to ten years ago. I believe in my dream. I believe there will be a way for me to go to Europe. Even though it takes years to save money, I would do it. Even though people said it is silly to blow a huge amount of money for one trip, I don’t care. Even though I’m considered irresponsible to spend so much money on a trip when it should’ve been paid for more responsible things like… house, I don’t care. It’s a matter of priority. You can’t say I will be happier buying house than going to Europe.

What I know is, while other girls buy bags every payday, my only bag is the almost-torn Mango shoppers bag that I bought so many years ago. (And thank god strawberry bought me a new bag. LOL) While all my colleagues are eating out, I spent more time the night before and cooked for my lunch. I went out less, ate out less, drank out less. I’ve saved more money than I supposed I should. It’s not that much that I can buy a house or a car, but enough to send my mom for her dream holiday and my dad to check up to doctor, and I still save every cents left…

To go traveling. See the world.

I don’t go traveling with a high end tours which my parents paid for me. I paid every cent of my airfare, hostel cost and the backpack myself. Every city I will be traveling to has meaning and reason why it’s been chosen so yeah, I’m control freak that way.

And yes, I’m proud of it. I am so freaking proud of it like it’s a very big achievement. And yes, IT IS A BIG DEAL.

So I have different priority from normal people, so what?! I don’t have a house, but I have a home, who goes traveling with me always. My home is with me wherever I go.

This is me living my dream. And I am so very very PROUD that I paid every cents with my own sweat and tears.

If you’re proud of your branded bags, your new job, your new house or car, why can’t I be proud of my adventure?

Europe, in particular, is my dream land. So many history, so many masterpieces and so many pieces of my dreams took place there. I’m going to conquer it. =)

If I could go back and tell the 9 years old May…

I would tell her not to worry, eventually everything would go according to her plan. Universe would conspire and made all of her dreams come true.

Never, NEVER let anyone’s words went into your head, little May. You were right when you were little and you would still be right even 20 years later… that it is OKAY to dream big, dream silly, and dream a lot. You’re gonna be just fine, May.

And yes, you would find that one person who you could spend all of your happiness with, earlier than you thought you would. You two would be best buds and he would share your dream.

So, don’t worry, dear… Never worry.

What happen to my blog when I’m in Europe?

It will be pretty much dormant. I was thinking to set some auto-post, but then there are nothing much of interesting things in my drafts. :p

I’ll try to blog once in a while through wordpress app but we all know it sucks big time with the photo editing. So don’t count on it.

I will share my dreams-come-true adventure on my instagram with hashtag #BayEuropeAdventure and will post regularly every night before I go to sleep. Please do follow my instagram @jaunemai for super awesome stories!

I promise it won’t be just a photo. It would be a story in every photo. It would be like taking you with me in my adventure.

Ready for an adventure?

Cheers,

May, the dreamy one.

#BayEuropeAdventure Giveaway

Fed up with my Europe posts? Don’t! Because this one is good news for you! Especially those who loves postcards!

As I mentioned before, I would love to share this beautiful moments with everyone. I’ve been thinking so many ways how to do it. I wish Doraemon was real so I could borrow his magic flashlight and turned you all into tiny people then put you all in my backpack (in alphabetical order of course–OCD ahem OCD)  but unfortunately it wasn’t possible. Then I wish my wedding was held in Santorini so you all could be invited as guests and there was a good excuse to bring everyone to Santorini, but again, it costed a lot of money (DUH).

Sooo……. I got this idea.

Photo 8-10-13 8 57 15 am

I will stay in Riomaggiore, one of the five awesome villages called Cinque Terre (Please do google the images), for two days and what I will do is slacking around. I think I will have free time to browse for postcards, find a local post office and send them to you. I hope you never got postcards from Cinque Terre before so this is going to be very VERY cool! The postcards will be sent from Italy of course to make it even cooler!

What do you have to do to receive an authentic postcard from Cinque Terre?

You have to send me syomai when I’m in Italy.

Kidding!

All you have to do is:

  1. Follow my instagram @jaunemai
  2. Post a creative photo about my Europe Adventure at your instagram account, tag my instagram account and post hashtag #BayEuropeAdventure mentioning your advice/jokes/wishes/excitements, anything really for my Europe adventure. Don’t forget the hashtag and promote that Dreams do come true!

or… (if you don’t have instagram)

Send me syomai when I’m in Italy.

This time I’m serious. No, I’m joking again.

Create one lah! :p

Ok ok, if you don’t have instagram:

  • you can create a post about which city you are excited the most from my Europe adventure, or why are you so excited about the adventure. (I know I know it sounds really lame but you must at least fake excited lah…) please link it to my blog and mention to follow my instagram @jaunemai. (Now you get it I’m trying to promote my instagram, right? Xp)

(If you think it’s too lame/too difficult, then create an instagram account lah! LOL)

I don’t think I will have enough time to post anything on wordpress during my adventure, adding the fact that wordpress app for iPhone sucks big time, so I will be only online in instagram (which is linked to my twitter–but I guess nobody tweets anymore hiks) that’s why I use instagram as my primary platform for this big adventure.

What I’m about to say is…

I create this hashtag: #BayEuropeAdventure (yes you read it right, it’s Bay, not May) because I want to filter out my Europe adventure photos and memories of course. And also to remember that Dreams do come true.

I promise I will not only post photos, but also stories. Trust me it would be so real that you will feel like your soul is with me. =) I don’t really use soc-med during the trip so I will be only online at night before I sleep, so I promise I won’t spam your instagram/twitter timeline. :D

And please please don’t comment “jealous” or “envy” on my instagram, I might delete your comments. I don’t like envious people. :p Unless you’re doing it sarcastically then I’m on it. LOL

Additional Info

  1. There will be only 3 postcards sent from Riomaggiore. It’s freaking expensive :( unless the stamps could be cheaper. I hope I could send more but I can’t promise first ok?)
  2. If I couldn’t find any stamps or post offices in Riomaggiore, I will send postcards from Santorini. If I couldn’t find any post offices in Santorini then I will send from Athens airport. I will try my best ok?
  3. Giveaway open for EVERYONE, unless those who live in Europe. (I just feel it’s wise not to open for European residence.) Once you post photo/blog post/tweet or anything (seriously I’m open for anything! Creativity is limitless) just email your full name and address to this email: sanguinesjournal[at]yahoo[dot]com
  4. I will take photos of the postcard to tell who gets them later on!
  5. The giveaway is closed on Sunday, 27th October 2013

How do I decide who wins?

I will decide who wins by this category:

  1. The dreamy one: I will choose one with my heart. I know it sounds bias but I want to send the postcards to those who really are dreamy like me and have the same dream to conquer Europe. =)
  2. The creative one: I will choose one who post the most creative thing! I already told you that creativity has no limit. As long as it’s posted on social media that I can search for, then it’s valid. Be creative!
  3. The chosen one: I will ask Bandi to choose one of his favorite. And I will mention what is her reason later. So be cute! LOL

To end this post, I want to quote what Walt Disney once said,

If you can dream it, you can do it.

Never give up even though universe washed your passport and sent a hurricane to blow up your documents, they were just some pebbles on your long winding road to see the most beautiful sunset in your life. =)

Cheers,

May, preparing the journal.

Meet the bloggers

Blogging has brought so many great things in my life. The intention of blogging has never changed since the very first post I posted, it is a journal for the future May to read. All the idealism, the bitching, the inspiration and the sweet romantic stories packed into one hearty journal.

I’ve never intended to entertain people with my annoying rants or my cheesy love story but if you are entertained then it’s a bonus. =)

Blogging without blogwalking is like May without Bandi, it is not complete (sorry for the cheesy reference, I can’t help it) so when I started to blogwalked last year, I’ve met so many great people with so many stories. Some will leave friendly comments on my blog, some are silent reader, some can turn out to be good friends and chat occasionally with me on whatsapp. I’m so grateful knowing everyone and reading their stories.

And then I posted this post, and Dea emailed me that invitation was accepted. Meeting her was my very first time of doing the kopi darat (literate translate as land coffee) which means blind-meet up. After that, meeting other bloggers have been one of my favorite thing. =)

Meeting Dea

Dea came to Singapore last May with Utin, her husband. We had been emailing each other to plan her Singapore trip. When the day finally came, we met in Raffles Mrt because I told her I would bring her around for a day. It was a freaking hot day! And she survived! LOL.

It was so sweet of her to bring me emping and some Indonesian snacks (and those were the culprit of my sore throat later on :p). I was with Bandi and one of my friend, Klemens, who happened to visit and stayed at my place. So five of us went to Singapore walking trail in a very hot day, I still can’t believe we survived. It was a good coincidence that Klemens and Utin went to the same college and even shared mutual friends, later on we met another friend from Utin’s old University and we ended up having a big dinner. It was a fun HOT day.

Dea was sweet and really pretty while Utin was funny and cheerful. The two of them were so meant to be (also explained by how they met, such in a movie!) and Utin is head over heels in love with Dea, I can tell! (Or I’m just being sotoy.)

The four of us, somewhere in Marina Bay

The four of us, somewhere in Marina Bay

Anyway, I hope I can meet them again some time in the future. =)

Meeting Keven

Keven was my very first reader. I didn’t know about blogwalking back then and also didn’t know how he found my blog. But thankfully he’d found my blog so we could get to know each other more.

He came to Singapore last August for his surgery (and thank god it went well) so we met up for a sushi a couple of days before the surgery. The full report was written on his blog here.

Just like he mentioned on his blog, we connected instantly, like old friends. We talked about life, love, food, dreams and one unexpected topic: GHOST! LOL.

Keven and Me, at Orchard Road

Keven and Me, at Orchard Road

Keven was cute and fun to be with. We have one thing in common: we both are romantic! Haha!

Meeting Chelle

Chelle had to come to Singapore because she needed to take care of her pregnant aunty. In her busy days we managed to meet up for a dinner. I brought her to a Korean fast food because she liked Korean things. =)

From the very first time we met, I felt comfortable with Chelle. It felt like going out with my own little sister and she didn’t hesitate to hug me and snuggle with me. Awww she was so cute.

I listened to her talking about her life and her dreams. It was so good to know that this girl is full of energy and believed in dreams. Never let it go Chelle and keep striving for the best!!! =D

Chelle and Me, in Jurong Point.

Chelle and Me, in Jurong Point.

Meeting Lia

We’ve been mentioning Sushi on each other’s comments for a while and it was finally the time to have a real sushi meet-up! We decided to try a sushi bar called KOH and how shocking it was that the queue was so freaking long that we spent one  and a half hour just for queuing!!!

Thankfully Lia was such a great companion so 90 minutes didn’t seem that long. she told me her 6 years LDR story with Robby and I was awed by how she was patiently going through the LDR. But she, herself, seems so patient and matured. She also gave me a lot of helpful advice for my upcoming European adventure. =)

Later that night Lia whatsapped me that we forgot to take photos together. Geez, how did we forget about it?! I think it means we must arrange another suhsi meet up!! yaiy!

Um, you all probably wonder whether the 90 mins queue is worth the taste of the sushi… Hmm, YES IT IS!!! The sushi is awesooommmmeee!! I would gladly queue for another 90 mins for that sushi! =D

Meeting Gillian

I have been asking to meet her since long time ago because we both lives in Singapore but then Gil was so busy traveling around to Israel and then Hongkong so we postponed the meet-up a couple of times. (Yes, blaming to her, yes!) Hahaha no lah, it was also my fault too. :p

Anyway the most important thing is… we finally met!

We ate in a sushi restaurant (Yeah yeah now I realize Bandi was right saying I ate too many sushi) and she gave me this cutie bracelet. It was handmade by her friend. Thank you so much, Gil!

Gil is so loud talkative. LOL. Nah, It’s fun to talk to her. She’s like a non-stop machine gun and she never stop talking. She’s also adorably funny. =D

We talked mostly about her being a teacher and me being interested of going back to teach so I asked a lot of questions about being a teacher in Singapore. She looked so happy with her job and she looked younger than her age, both are probably the effect of being a teacher. You know, because it’s a fun job.

And of course the other thing we talked about was… TRAVELING! About the trips that she had done and her planned trip next year. I learned that Raimond has an OCD like me too (haha), he likes to organize things to the detail. You’re one lucky lady, Gil! =D

Oh and I forgot to snap photos with her, but don’t worry we both live in Singapore so it won’t be a problem. Next meet-up is probably another Japanese food. hahaha

Meeting Noni

My medan trip was almost being cancelled because of Bandi’s passport incident, but thankfully the passport came back on time so we could go to Medan. The meet-up just happened yesterday. I’ve been eating 7 meals a day in Medan and I almost didn’t make it to meeting Noni. I felt bad because I was late, so DAMN late. T.T

Thankfully Noni was very understanding. =)

After we dropped off Matt to his office, we went to a coffee shop nearby and had a chat. The topic was of course traveling. She has good knowledge about Mt Bromo thus I asked a lot (way looot) of questions. Noni is easy going, fun and pretty! She’s surprisingly small. LOL. Don’t take this the wrong way Non, I meant you’re cute, you know. Hahaha.

It’s too bad we didn’t have more time to catch up because she seemed to have a lot of interesting things to talk about. I also only met Matt a little while (because I was so damn late duh) but actually I wanted to hear him talking about his work. =)

Anyway, not to worry, Non, cause I LOVE Medan (which was frowned upon by you and Matt, LOL) and I’m so going back… for THE FOOD! Hahahah.

None and me, in... a cafe which I forgot the name. :p

None and me, in… a cafe which I forgot the name. :p

So yeah, I met new friends because of blogging and it’s been a bless. =)

I do hope I can meet everyone!!! But that would include a lot of traveling, which is a very good excuse! LOL

But if anyone of you wanted to come to Spore, I would gladly show you around with an exchange of syomai. :p Nah, just kidding. =D

Cheers,

May, with her extended waist line of Medanese food. WORTH IT!

Bonus Photo of Bandi carrying Brownie in Medan

Bonus Photo of Bandi carrying Brownie in Medan

Eight days to the big adventure!

The countdown is getting closer and I can’t believe it’s eight days to the D DAY!!! OH MY GOD!!!

As you guys now, I almost cancelled the trip because something bad happened last Sunday. I know I didn’t tell the detail of the story (I intended not to) but I can assure you nobody (friends and family) is hurt. I just lost some things… which can be paid by money. I must suck it up and move on.

I won’t let material things ruined my optimism for my Europe Trip! WOOHOO!

Let me update you everything. First of all, let’s talk about budget.

Total damage for the Pre-trip

Let me tell you the most important thing for planning Euro Trip: BUY MUSEUM TICKET ONLINE. Seriously, I’ve read it from any guidebooks and travel forums and everybody said the same thing. If you need to pay extra € for the booking fee, PAY IT! It’s worth saving you hours of queuing.

The pre trip budget is paid for:

  1. Air tickets
  2. Train reservation + Europass
  3. Lodging fee
  4. Any tour booking, theatre booking, excursion etc
  5. Visa (both UK and Schengen)
  6. Travel Insurance
  7. Museum passes, museum tickets. (Most of great museums in London are free! Horray!)

Here comes my final pre-trip budget. All in Singapore Dollars, however I put remarks for the things purchased in Euro or Poundsterling. The total budget is for one person.

Pre-trip Budget
Name Amount (SGD) Remarks
Air tickets (SIN-europe-SIN) $ 1,372.00
Fare London – Paris $ 85.00
Air tickets (Rome-Athens) $ 85.00 55 Euro
Air tickets (Santorini-Athens) $ 249.70 Return, 145.64 eur
Eurorail Pass 15 days $ 761.00 From raileurope.com.sg
Train Reservations $ 669.00 for reservation only
Hotels/Hostels $ 882.00 except Parma
Mt Titlis $ 185.00 Paid online (US$140)
UK Visa $ 159.00
Schengen Visa $ 98.00 60 Eur
Travel insurance $ 116.00 NTUC income 25-27 days
London’s Les Mis $ 49.00 29 Gbp
Rijksmuseum $ 25.00 15Eur
Van Gogh Museum $ 24.00 14Eur
Anne Frank Huis $ 16.00 9.5 Eur
Paris Pass Museum (2days) $ 65.00 39 Eur
Neuschwenstein castle $ 23.00 13.80 Eur
Academia Firenze $ 17.00 10.50 Eur
Uffizi Firenze $ 17.00 10.50 Eur
Villa Borghese $ 21.00 12.5 Eur
Vatican +Sistine Chapel $ 25.00 15Eur
TOTAL $ 4,943.70

Kindly take note that Paris Museum Pass and Neusch-something castle are not paid yet. They accept payment on the spot. We also can’t purchase the Juventus ticket before the trip starts because the ticket opens 10 days before the game. Bandi said that he will find internet connection and buy it once the ticket opens NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. LOL. We haven’t booked any hotel/bnb in Parma because there are none to be seen online! Hahaha. We will just try our luck going there and walk in to the Bed and Breakfast. If we can’t find any, we’ll just sleep at the station, LOL.

Bandi’s cost of course is cheaper than me because he refused to pay that much money to enter museum. He kept complaining “ohhh this one month will be the month when I visit the most museums in my life…” or “You will pay 10 Euro just to see David? That’s ridiculous! Can I wait outside?” and the blah and the blah. I was so fed up with his complains so I finally told him let’s just split up because I don’t want to hear his rants when I browse the museum.

I will post here my budget for lodging and I must say I’ve done a pretty good work because it’s surprisingly under-budget! You can see yourself which city is expensive and which is not.

No City Date in Date out Nights Price Total
1 London 12-Oct 14-Oct 2 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
2 Paris 14-Oct 18-Oct 4 $ 98.00 $ 391.00
3 Amsterdam 18-Oct 20-Oct 2 $ 104.50 $ 209.00
4 Lucern 21-Oct 22-Oct 1 $ 134.00 $ 134.00
5 Munchen 22-Oct 23-Oct 1 $ 87.00 $ 87.00
6 Venice 24-Oct 25-Oct 1 $ 86.00 $ 86.00
7 Firenze 25-Oct 26-Oct 1 $ 60.00 $ 60.00
8 Parma 26-Oct 27-Oct 1 $ 112.00
9 Turin 27-Oct 28-Oct 1 $ 67.00 $ 67.00
10 Cinque Terre 28-Oct 30-Oct 2 $ 115.00 $ 230.00
11 Rome 30-Oct 1-Nov 2 $ 57.00 $ 114.00
12 Athens 1-Nov 2-Nov 1 $ 96.71 $ 96.71
13 Oia 2-Nov 4-Nov 2 $ 144.70 $ 289.40
21 $ 1,764.11

*) I stay with a friend in London so I put zero and the $112 in Parma is just budgeted price.

The on-the-trip budget

We prepare for €40 (S$65) a day for food and total of €400 for transport such as tram/subway/metro/bike/gondola. We prepare 250GBP for London (3 days). If that’s not enough, there’s a mini magic called Credit Card. LOL

Enough with the crap, how much is the Total Budget?

The total Budget would be S$7,000 per person for 26 days in Europe. If you think that’s expensive, think again. That covers 16 cities, the chosen cities. I picked every city by heart. I know the history and I know why I go there. And that also covers all the museums I want to visit and the Les Mis show I badly want to watch.

If you want to cut the expenses, you could choose to travel by airplane. Budget airplane in Europe is now so various and cheap! I personally prefer to travel by train simply because it saves time and it brings me right to the city center. And don’t forget the feeling. The feeling like you’re in the Before Sunrise movie. (pardon my dramatic side)

If you plan to visit less cities, I think plane could cover most of the big cities. But cities like La Spezia (CInque Terre), Hohenschwangau (from Fussen), Parma and Lucern are better visited by train.

The Final Itinerary

This is the most complicated itinerary I’ve ever made in my entire life! I’ve spent one year of reading books, browsing forums and calculating the best and cheapest way possible, well I admit I got carried away reading European history :p. I think I’ve invested around 200 hours doing this itinerary. I’m very well-prepared about all the infos and Europe history. Well, it’s fun so I won’t complain. The least fun thing was probably counting the budget and actually paying it. LOL.

So here it comes…

Date Day City Vessel
11-Oct Fri Singapore Qatar
12-Oct Sat London
13-Oct Sun London
14-Oct Mon London Eurostar
Paris
15-Oct Tue Paris
16-Oct Wed Paris
17-Oct Thur Paris TGV
Reims
Paris
18-Oct Fri Paris Thalys
Brussels
Brussels No RV
Bruges
Brussels
Brussels Thalys
Amsterdam
19-Oct Sat Amsterdam
20-Oct Sun Amsterdam CNL
21-Oct Mon Basel
Lucerne Eurocites
22-Oct Tue Lucerne 2166, ICE 370, Eurocites 2261
Munich
23-Oct Wed Munich NO RV
Fussen
Munich
Munich CNL
24-Oct Thur Venice
25-Oct Fri Venice Frecciargento
Firenze
26-Oct Sat Firenze Frecciargento
Bologna
Bologna Frecciabianca
Parma
27-Oct Sun Parma Notte Italia
Turin
28-Oct Mon Turin Train 511
La Spezia
29-Oct Tue La Spezia
30-Oct Wed La Spezia Frecciabianca
Roma
31-Oct Thur Roma
1-Nov Fri Roma Easyjet
Athens
Athens
Santorini
2-Nov Sat Santorini
3-Nov Sun Santorini
4-Nov Mon Santorini
Athens
5-Nov Tue Singapore

*) No RV means No reservation so we can hop on to any train. But we probably will skip Bruges, because there will be not enough time. But let’s see later.

Actually my real Itinerary looks like this:

Yeah, I love planning. Judge me!

Yeah, I love planning. Judge me!

I even browse about the weather forecast, you know just to make sure if I should cover my backpack. I will put this itinerary on my phone but if you ask me, I must say I know it by heart, every single detail. LOL.

You can also see the tabs on my excel which breakdown every details of the budget, food choices and an itinerary template for visa application. Yes, I’m a crazy planner. If you would like to have this itinerary, just let me know I would be glad to send one for you. :)

For the food choices, it looks like this:

Break down for certain areas in every city

Break down for certain areas in every city

What can I say, I don’t want to ever waste one meal with the bad one. First, it would be wasted calories, second it would be wasted Euros! LOL. But seriously my boyfriend fiance is such an annoying food critic, his mood could change if he ate a bad food. The man can cook so I don’t blame him. Nah, just kidding, Bandi can eat anything, but we prefer to eat the good ones in Europe. Afterall not everyday you’re in Europe. :)

My mistake, your lesson

Here are the things that I’ve learned during the planning. I hope my mistakes could be your lesson.

  • Buying a Europass doesn’t mean you can use the pass to take any trains you want. You still have to pay reservation fee for the inter-country train and for inter-city train in Italy, France and Swiss. The reservation for overnight train cost around €100 and the reservation for intercity train cost €8 in Italy and €20 in France (TGV or high speed). If you want to take Thalys of course it costs more. What I did was… I counted both scenarios. With and without Europass. The prices between those two are actually about the same, but with Europass you get the first class, so I chose Europass.
  • Browsing every possible transportation in every city. Example: in Paris there are so many choices of Metro card and it’s quite confusing. There are Paris Visite card, carnet tickets and Navigo something… Paris also have so many metro lines which are divided into zones. Different price of the Metro card will cover different zones. What I did was… I READ A LOT. I listed out the places I will visit and find out what zone (most touristy places are covered in zone 1-3 while Versailles is on the zone 5) so I choose the carnet tickets which cover zone 1-3 and buy the individual Versailles ticket. If you’re confused, don’t be. Just read more. It’s good to know before you’re actually arrived. However I will double check by asking the metro guy again. Hahaha.
  • Sort out your museums! This is important! Except London, most of museums in Europe costs a lot of money. You could buy museum pass if you want to visit a lot of museums but if you only want to visit one or two per day, I advise you to buy individual ticket. The only city where I buy a museum pass is Paris, simply because I want to visit a lot of places! But I already sort out my priorities by highlighting the paintings’ location. So I won’t waste time wandering around in Lourve which can be explored the whole day and won’t even finished. It’s also best to browse the museum’s website to know more and to really think about if it’s worth your money. Make sure you know what do you want to see in each museum. And to save up some $$$ download the museum guide app on your smartphone (I did!) so you don’t need to pay extra €5 for the multimedia guide.

The airbnb experience

I booked all my lodging in airbnb, except hotels in Greece. I must tell you that airbnb has the best customer service ever! So here’s the case… 3 weeks before my departure date, my host in Amsterdam cancelled the reservation because he needs to be out of town. I have paid total of $147 for the reservation and thankfully it’s refundable. The problem was… it was so hard to find the cheap and available place so close to the departure, so I booked the more expensive place which costed me $209. Later on airbnb emailed me with an apology that my host cancelled the reservation. Actually it wasn’t even airbnb’s fault but I guess they’re feeling responsible. To compensate that, airbnb gave me $65 extra to cover the difference cost of my previous host and my current host. WOW! I didn’t see that coming! Isn’t it a very sweet gesture? So basically I didn’t pay anything else anymore.

I emailed back to airbnb and said that it’s the best customer service I’ve ever received and the fact that they wanted to go extra mile just to make sure everyone has a great travel experience. That’s very kind and sweet. I promised them to write something sweet on my blog so everyone will know that AIRBNB IS AWESOME!

KUDOS for Airbnb customer service team! =)

Shopping for Not-so-cold Wear

Not only I was good at cutting budget for the trip, I’m also good at saving as much money as I could for this trip. LOL, so shameless, but seriously, I know where to shop cheap and good in Singapore. That’s the other reason why you should bribe me Syomai the next time you come to Spore. LOL.

So here’s what I shopped for our trip:

All in 100 bucks!!! Woot!!!

All in 100 bucks!!! Woot!!!

Of course I bring another jacket and a shawl but actually I don’t bring so many clothes. How many I can bring with that backpack, huh? Darn it!

And for the fiance…

Not even 100 bucks!

Not even 100 bucks!

Bandi actually bought another pair of shoes which are hiking boots but I ddin’t put on the tab because it would ruin the cheap price I try to achieve. Haha :p

Where did I shop, you ask?

Well, if you want to shop cheap, go to EXPO on the weekend. But before you go, make sure you check their schedule of warehouse sale first. If there is “John Little” or “Robinson” on the schedule, then it’s a shopping paradise! All items could be discounted until 80%! Some FOX shirt/pants were $5 each!

Then for the cheap Crocs and Charles and Keith, you just cross over the road from EXPO to Changi City Point, a mall that has so many outlets inside. I can guarantee all the items are super cheap! Hahaha.

The everyone’s trip

This trip is my childhood dream which honestly still feels surreal right now. I remembered people kept saying I dreamed too much (because I grew up in a middle class family so traveling is not so common) but I kept saying that I believe in dreams. Dreams are what keeps us alive. People change, I change too, but the only thing that remains the same and forever is that… I ALWAYS TELL EVERYONE THAT DREAMS DO COME TRUE. Have faith because faith can move mountains.

And I feel so overwhelmed by all my friends’ sweet words about my European dreams. They are looking forward to this trip as much as I am. I know I won’t have any free time to play with my smartphone, I’m a socmed whore in my normal life but I usually ignore my phone when I travel, however I will try to spare half hour a day before I sleep to blog or post pictures/videos in instagram. I will bring everyone to my trip, with me, with my stories, with this “Dream Comes True Adventure” =)

If you follow my European journey on my instagram (@jaunemai please do follow!), please please don’t comment “Envy” or “jealous” because I don’t like that. My mission is to spread happiness and show everyone that dreams do come true. I don’t spread jealousy.

#bayeuropeadventure is on the making

#bayeuropeadventure is on the making

Come to Europe with me and my dreams! Hang tight and enjoy the ride!

Cheers,

May, packing her backpack.

P.S: Was thinking to make a giveaway, to send something from Europe. But let’s see how high the excitement for this post first, ok? =)

A letter to Universe

Dear Universe…

It took me two days to finally have accepted the fact that what happened to me was indeed not a nightmare. It was unfortunately real, which I later call as a lesson, sadly I must learned it the hard way.

What happened was a proof that you control every single thing in my life. The air I breathe, the water I drink in, the wifi signal, everything! And oh, the wind… Don’t forget you control the wind, and the rain, and apparently my window handles.

I have lost some things because you meant it to happen. And the first thing I must remember is… when you meant something to happen, it will happen no matter what. Sometimes, I, as a human, forgot that you had a better plan for me. I would just get angry and complain. How could the documents put secured inside a box got carried away by the wind? If I told people about this, they would think I used the “my dog ate my homework” excuse. And don’t start with the insurance company.

But again, I know you did this to me because you have a better plan.

I have always asked you for a life that is so interesting if it was a movie, and you did give me the Oscar winning one.

It wasn’t a sarcasm. I meant it. It’s just the way I talk.

Dear Universe…

Thank you for the lesson. I can assure you that the learning is in progress. For now I haven’t really understood the purpose of the lesson, but fear not, I eventually will.

Thank you for only taking the least important thing in my life, my belongings that could be measured by money; and keeping the most important things in my life, my future husband and my friends safe. Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am to have such supporting and comforting friends and a wonderful man who would go upside down for my sake and whose only mission in life is to make me happy.

Dear Universe…

I will never forget what happened last Sunday, the day I lost something and gain back my consciousness that I’m truly blessed, that nothing… nothing could break me, because people around me kept me strong.

I will always remember that in this life, some things that were meant to happen will happen no matter what, and that’s never my fault or anyone’s.

I will always remember that I can always find the money I’ve lost but I can never  find back the time I’ve lost. I can never turn back time.

I will always remember that no matter how difficult the circumstances are, there is always a way.

There is always a way and I’m going to find it. Because I’m a believer.

Dear Universe…

You didn’t make me reconsider about marrying him. You just made me wanting to marry him more.

There’s saying about “the darkest hour is just right before dawn.” I guess you’re so kind to let us walk through our darkest time hand in hand. It was dark but at least I have the love of my life holding my hand.

With that kind of intensity, I guess it would be one hell of remarkably beautiful sun-rise.

Dear Universe…

I hope this letter doesn’t sound like complaints, because it is truly not.

It is a thank you note for trusting me that I could stand tall against the hurricane. Yes, it is a long and winding road to the dream comes true, but nothing can turn me away. I’m a believer.

I will be the most optimistic girl you will ever know. I will stand tall against all odds. After eveything we’ve been through, I believe you know me. =)

Sincerely yours,

A girl who will always have faith in you no matter how hard you shake it.