Chasing Waterfalls

I experienced something new again last weekend! I went canyoneering for the first time in Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines! The trek was 10.5 kilometres full of walking, swimming, jumping, and hiking ended with this beautiful Kawasan waterfalls.

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Unfortunately I didn’t take so many pictures that day because I was too busy surviving not to die (am not a daredevil like so many people think I am), so I hope the story of Kawasan Falls will still convince you to go despite lack of pretty photos. So here we go…

We arrived at Cebu last weekend and we hired a local transport to bring us to Moalboal. The trip took about 3 hours because of the bad road and traffic. We stayed in Parrot Resort and we asked the receptionist about what activities to do (we didn’t do any homework about Cebu obviously) and was recommended to do full day canyoneering with an adventure tour called Cyan Adventure, which turned to be a very good idea. Shout out to Mark, our friendly guide!

We paid for 3,450 pesos (equivalent to S$100) for the full gear (wet suit, boots, life vest, helmet), transport from and to our resort, and meal. There were 10 other guests going with us that day, which ended up becoming our friends, what a wonderful gift of travel, making new friends.

The adventure started around 9 am with one hour rough and bumpy road trip to Badian Canyon area. After parking the multi cab (van that’s used for public transport in Philippines), the guides paid our entrance fee and then we started hiking for good 20 minutes then we were approaching the forestry and starting going down to our first water dip, ahhhh it felt so good, the water was cold!

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Riding the multi cab

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The start of the trek

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The first dip felt so good after long sunny hike!

It was pure awesomeness from there, 3 hours full of walking, swim, slide with streams, jump off from edge, pretty much what an adventure should be.

There was this time when they jumped off from an 8 meters high rock to the lagoon (I skipped it anyway and walked down the slippery rock but Bandi had the best time of his life boohoo-ing all the way) and once you reached the water, there was a vast stream of water and you had to jump again and let your body moved by the stream down the limestone cave. Oh MY GOD… It was really really beautiful, I was again amazed by how amazing our mother earth is. I don’t have the photo but you really have to experience it at least once in your life.

Bandi Jumped

Bandi was loving it!

The jump became higher and higher and if you love heights, you’re gonna enjoy every second of it. The high jumps are optional, of course, because there is no way I’m gonna do that. Bandi, on the other hand, enjoyed the feeling. I love every second of the adventures except this part, just because I hate the feeling of falling.

The last jump was 12.5 meters and look at Bandi doing it happily, while I had to climbed down on the edge of the waterfall… :(

Bandi Jumped 2

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So, that last jump wrapped up the whole adventure, but sadly we had to walk another 30 minutes hungry and tired. When we finally reached the end of the trek, we were served (super late) lunch and beer!

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Cheers to great adventure and new friendship!

Life is formed by amazing moments like this. I’m truly grateful with all the wonderful people we’ve crossed path with and the breathtaking places we’ve seen. I hope I’ll live my life like this forever, the only way I want it to be.

So, if you have plans to go to Cebu, don’t skip Kawasan Falls! Go canyoneering and meet new people, life’s good! And if you don’t have plans to visit Cebu or Philippines in general, start planning it, the beer is freaking $1 for god’s sake! Our next target for Philippines is Palawan! We love the Philippines!

Cheers,

May, sore from the hike.

 

 

 

On the top of Mount Fuji

I climbed Mount Fuji.

I still can’t believe I did it. It was the most horrible thing I’ve done to myself. And it’s all because internet is such a dark place full of lies! I climbed Mount Fuji because people in the internet says it’s not difficult, that grandparents and kindergarteners climb Mount Fuji. So I decided to write this post and give you the truth; like I always do.

First of all, kindergarteners did not climb mount Fuji. They hiked from 5th Station to 6th Station and then they went back. I met a lot of kindergerteners along my hike from 5th Station to 6th Station. It was a breezy long walk with amazing views.

Some grandparents do hike Mt Fuji, but only those super crazy fit grandparents who train daily. During my hike, I met some ‘older’ people, probably those with teenager kids, but no individual grandparents. The only old people I met were those who led the group of hikers (so it’s probably his professional job). So here’s a flash news: normal grandparents do not climb mount Fuji.

So, who climb mount Fuji?

Fools.

Only fools like me climb mount Fuji.

I’m trying here guys… to make you really really understand that it’s no joke. Do not climb mount Fuji expecting it’s gonna be an easy climb. It’s freaking horrible… grovels and rocks and rain and hail and fog and the cold…. oh the cold…

It’s not gonna be pleasant, it’s not gonna be rainbow and unicorn, the weather might change so fast just like teenager’s mood and the wind will tear your soul apart.

If you read this post and plan to climb Mount Fuji, I want you to be prepared. And even after you accept these ugly truths you still want to go, then go. Go conquer that beautiful mountain!

I’m not a hiker and my ECG test result came out abnormal (inherited from my Dad), even though I do yoga I know I am not generally fit person. But I decided to climb Mount Fuji with 2 persons who are so close to me, my hubby and my bestfriend. I know they would understand my weakness and will not shame me if in any case I couldn’t make it.

If you’re still interested with the story and want to know technicality on “how-to”, go ahead and read, but if you have lazy eyes, just grab the pop corn and watch the vlog instead:

So here’s a story of Bandi, Tannia and May conquering Fuji-San:

Storing our other luggage at Shinjuku Station

I tried to find in the internet on where should I store my stuffs which I didn’t want to bring to Fuji but there is no exact clear answer. I know there are a lot of coin lockers in every train station in Tokyo, but I knew that it’s only for 24 hours. What happen if I want to leave it there for 36 hours? You can do that. You just need to pay the penalty when you take out your luggage. You can leave your bags up tp 72 hours. So don’t worry about luggage!

Arriving at 5th Station – 2,305 Meters

We took the Fuji highway bus on 14th July 9:45 am from Shinjuku Express Bus Station. It’s located in the 4th Floor of Shinjuku JR Station. The bus ticket can be booked online only if your IP address is in Japan, if you’re from overseas then you can call them. We booked our outbound tickets through phone and inbound tickets through internet once we reached Tokyo one day before the hike. The price for one way ticket is 2,700 yen.

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We then exchange the booking code with the actual tickets in the bus station. It’s Japan, so everything is well planned.

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The bus ride took about 2 hours and 15 minutes, so we reached Fuji 5th Station on noon. We ate our lunch and bought the walking stick made of wood, which is a perfect souvenir from your Fuji adventure. You will know why later on!

5th Station to 6th Station – 2,390 Meters

We took Yoshida Trail (the most common trail people take) so all the stations I’m mentioning is in Yoshida Trail. The walk between 5th Station to 6th Station is nice and breezy. From the altitude you can see it’s only 85 Meters difference in altitude, so with the long walk, you don’t really realize you’re climbing a mountain.

At the end of 6th Station, you can take a selfie like us coz this is gonna be your last happy selfie.

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6th Station to 7th Station – 2,700 Meters

Most of the terrain during this climb is grovels and sands, in a long zig-zag inclined road. Just right before reaching 7th Station you will have your first spiderman climb on the rocks. It was fun!

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7th Station to 8th Station – 3,020 Meters

I think this is the most exhausting and difficult part of the climb. It’s all big rocks with sands so you have to use both your hands and your legs to climb. I stopped in every corner and I started to have difficulty yo breath properly because the thin air. The original 8th Station supposed to be on 3,360 Meters but somehow they moved here… I think it’s probably because it’s just too difficult so people won’t quit if the distance between 7th and 8th are too far from each other. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it rained! We took out our gears and wore our raincoats… and kept walking.

8th Station to Original 8th Station – 3,360 Meters

Still the same… grovels and rocks and then it stopped raining coz… it hailed! On this moment my soul has already been torn apart… I kept imagining laying down in my bed with warm tea on my hand…  but the reality is I was cold, my hands are frozen til I thought my fingers needed to be chopped off (I’m a drama queen whaaat). We started to be panic because it was already 7 pm, the sky was getting darker and darker and we haven’t reached our Mountain Hut… I knew nothing to book Goraiko-kan Hut which is located in the highest of all huts!!! Good job, May!

Original 8th Station to Goraiko-kan (8.5 Station) – 3,450 Meters

I remember it was only the 3 of us and the other 2 persons climbing up from 8th Station. Soon, the 2 persons stopped at a mountain hut before us… and there were only the three of us left, climbing slowly…

When we finally reached Goraiko-kan on 8 pm, I was so happy…. I just wanted to sit in a warm room and rest. I had better… I ate a bowl of ramen. It was the best ramen I’ve ever eaten in my life.

We were given shoe bag where we put our dirty shoes in and then shown into our sleeping bag. We were sleeping in the attic and because I drank too much water before sleeping, I had to go to the toilet in the middle of midnight and the toilet is outside the hut! Noooo!!! I had to walk out alone in the cold! brrr….

Anyway, I had about 3-4 hours sleep until one person started to turn on a torch light and made noise when he packed his stuffs. He was then followed by other people and in minutes, everyone were awake, including us. We ate breakfast in the small attic (imagine it was only 1 meters attic so you have to sit or crawl when you move), which we got from the staffs the night before. It was rice with salmon and tamago. After breakfast, we packed our stuffs and made a move. I was so scared with the cold I almost wanted to give up.

To be honest, even though I groaned a lot, I’ve been very sure I would reach the summit all along… until that morning… when I saw darkness and felt cold. I couldn’t imagine I had to climb in the cold! But of course Tannia and Bandi cheered me up and made sure it’s gonna be alright.

Goraiko-kan to Summit (3,776 Meters)

The distance between Goraiko-kan to the summit was techincally very near, but with the elevation and the cold with little rain, it took us 1 hour to reach the summit. Bad news, there were no sunrise because of the fog. But to be honest, I didn’t really care about the sunrise anymore. I JUST WANTED TO GO BACK TO A WARM PLACE AND SLEEP.

We bought a 500 yen canned drinks that were boiled in the water. Yes they put cans into this boiling water so the canned drinks were boiling hot. Great idea! We held into this small hot can and felt the instant relief of warmth… Oh…. finally… after such a wet cold climb…

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We sat inside a crowded mountain hut and everyone felt so proud of themselves, exchanging stories. I was just so sad because now I had to descend back to where we started, which seemed so horrible for me because I didn’t have any energy left and I had no appetite to eat anything; I was just so tired.

Summit to 5th Station (Descending Trail)

The descending trail is different from the ascending trail. The descend trail is longer but easier. It’s just a small zig-zag road full of rocks and grovels. We descend for 4-5hours I couldn’t remember just because I sat down to rest for every 10 minutes. LOL.

Like I told you, I was in low batter mode already.

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Aftermath

I was definitely proud of myself, no doubt. Climbing Mt. Fuji is by far the greatest physical challenge I’ve ever encountered; and completed. However if you asked me whether I will ever do it again, the answer is very easy: NO WAY in a million gazillion years.

I was left sore and beaten up and I slept the whole evening til the next noon. Bandi insisted to wake up earlier so he could go to Tsukiji Market. Crap.

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Cheers,

May, loving Japan even more.

An incredible journey to the far north

It’s been zillion years since I logged in to wordpress, let alone blogging. I’ve been caught up with work and lost all the energy to write. It’s sad, I know. Adulting is hard.

On 13th May, I’ve got to have a break by taking a trip to… Norway!

It was an incredible journey to the far north, leaving warm Singapore to get showered by snow! :)

Why Norway?

Last year we saw a promotion from Lufthansa, all flat $700 return tickets to any destination in Europe. Bandi and I chose the furthest destination, Oslo. You would probably think Reykjavik (Iceland) is futher? Nope, wrong! Norway has the northest (I don’t think this is a word) point in the North, it’s called Nordkapp. We didn’t travel that far though. our furthest North point was Tromso.

View of Tromso from the top of a mountain.

View of Tromso from the top of a mountain.

Norway in the summer.

Being a super tropical species, I have a low tolerance of cold. Going to Norway in the summer seems pretty sensible to me. It was okay in Oslo (10-12 degrees) but once we reached Tromso, it dropped to ZERO! It was 3 degrees in the sunniest day though (yeah, like 3 degrees warmer makes a lot of difference). Guess what, I cancelled the hike (HAHA). I wouldn’t want to suicide.

I don’t like cold. I feel uncomfortable in the cold. Runny nose, aching bone, numb toes and cracked lips. I wasn’t built for arctic winds, that’s for sure.

Summer in Norway means 24 hours daylight. They call it Midnight Sun, when it was 12 midnight and the sun is still up. You can only see midnight sun in the Northern part, like Tromso. We literally had 24 hours daylight, we could have outdoor activities for 24 hours if it wasn’t so cold. :(

Fjords, Lakes, Waterfalls, Snowy Mountains, Fairy Tale.

I think Norway is like a Fairy Tale. It’s so beautiful beyond words. On the second day, we did a DIY trip from Oslo to Bergen using “Norway in the Nutshell” route. I made a vlog about it here.

I got chills in every turn, I couldn’t contain it, I teared once. Because it was just too much to handle. It was just so beautiful. Period.

Oslo has so many museums per square meters.

We ended up going to 7 different museums! National Gallery, Munch Museet, Vigiland Museet, Kontiki, Viking Ships, Astrup Fernley Museum and Noble Peace Centre. SO MUCH FUN! We learned a lot of stuffs too! :)

Bandi asked for a photo (which is rare)

Bandi asked for a photo (which is rare)

Smitten by Munch.

Edvard Munch had a sad story. He was a victim of death, disappointments and broken hearts. He poured his feelings in his art, he was a genius! He was considered as a very sensitive man in that era, being daring to express his feeling. So I guess, he was a feminist, eh? :)

I remember the moment I saw his painting named “Puberty” and I had goosebumps all over me (I still do now remembering it). The aura that the painting created was inevitable, as the whirlwind of emotion inside my heart. The young girl staring at me, wondering, questioning, scared, brave, what is it? I asked my self. What is it about puberty that is so sad that the dark soul left the young girl’s body.

"Puberty" By Edvard Munch.

“Puberty” By Edvard Munch.

I went to Munch Museum the next day to learn more about him. I watched his movie and cried when he talked about death. That people could be easily forgotten after they died. :(

What is the price of a soul?

Hiking the Pulpit Rock

Bandi and I spent the night in the mountain lodge, it was a bit scary because it was in the middle of nowhere and it has a haunting atmosphere. We had a very nice dinner, we enjoyed the scenery and relaxed, had a good talk and went to bed early to wake up in 3 am in the morning for the hiking. I will write a separate post about Pulpit Rock because I think it will benefit other people who would want to do a hike to understand the technical preparation.

We did it!

We did it!

Fun Facts about Norway (from a visitor perspective)

  1. Norwegian people are generally loves to travel and adventurous. Maybe because of their country’s landscape that offers so much adventures and they are generally rich too so they can afford the time. My host at Bergen said that his dream life is to live in Bali. LOL
  2. It’s the most pet friendly country I’ve ever known. Dogs follow their owner EVERYWHERE. Seriously, buses, trains, ferries, even planes. I met dogs everywhere! In a hike, in a restaurant, in the airport, you name it. What an amazing thing. ;)
  3. Oslo is the most expensive city for a tourist (according to my opinion). Food in the restaurant costs 200-300 Nok ($30-$45) for a meal. A meal and a glass of beer can easily cost me $50, and it will be a whooping $100 for 2 persons. We mostly bought food in convenient store like Narvessen or 7/11 and also bought groceries from supermarket and cooked.
  4. Their toilet paper are so soft and nice. Their toilet is always clean. Maybe the second best toilet after Japan.
  5. Plastic bags are very rare. No paper tickets on our local flights, all sent to our passbook in our iPhone and just scan them. I love how environmentally responsible Norwegians are. They are very proud of being a green country.
  6. Everything is self-service, another thing I like! Bandi and I love self-service because we get to do everything in our own pace. Living in Singapore, we were not really foreign with the practice, only whenever we had to pay something using cards, they would just hand over the machine. We had to use the machine ourselves.
  7. Wifi are everywhere. And free. Seriously everywhere including IN THE PLANE.
  8. It’s illegal to honk in Norway, as our bus driver told us.

The Northern Light Question

The most questions I got from people when they knew I visited Norway was “Did you get to see Northern Light?” Let me get the facts right. Summer means 24 hours daylight and Northern light (Aurora Beorealis) is only visible when the sky is dark. So you go figure.

More Photos and Videos

These are some of my favorite photos of Norway, and at the end of the post you can view my video of the Norway trip summary with a tune of Jack Johnson’s Better Together. :)

Oslo in the evening.

Oslo in the evening.

The vast snow as far as the eye can see.

The vast snow as far as the eye can see.

Fjords.

Fjords.

The beautiful Bergen.

The beautiful Bergen.

Kissing under Sakura Tree. <3

Kissing under Sakura Tree. <3

Stavanger. The place that we will definitely come back someday. =)

Stavanger. The place that we will definitely come back someday. =)

On the top of Pulpit Rock, just us. Oh The places we've been. <3

On the top of Pulpit Rock, just us. Oh The places we’ve been. <3

And now, the video! I hope you enjoy it! =)

I’ll update soon for another travel stories!

Cheers,

May, finally warm.

You don’t need to quit your job to travel the world

I got a goosebumps just now, when I wrote my first word on this post. I can assure you that this post will be, by far, the most passionate piece of blog post I’ve written. (And it will be word-heavy, get your popcorn!)

This post is specially written to those who are truly passionate about travel and for the dreamers like me. :)

Here's a photo of me in Mt. Bromo to jump start the mood!

Here’s a photo of me in Mt. Bromo to jump start the mood!

I have a new star in my life and his name is Gunnar Garfors. Check his blog and you will fall in love too. This guy travelled to every country in the world while he’s having a full-time job and traveling is not the job itself.

Travel is his hobby, and he’s doing it right. He’s criticized of being too ambitions for doing so many rush trip such as traveling to 4 continents in a day but if you understand his style, he’s the kind of guy who keeps wanting to break the record, who likes to tick off challenges and trust me, he really loves the idea of traveling (moving from one place to another).

I was a bit disappointed reading his book though, the English translation is poor and he visited Batam for his Indonesia trip. Sigh. Apart from that, it’s an interesting book!

The most important thing about his existence is that it strengthened my belief to travel around the world without doing that dramatic move: Quit my job. (except I strike a lottery, then I will quit my job. LOL)

I don’t agree with quitting your job and then go travel until you’re totally bankrupt. What’s the point of it? You can only travel for maybe 1 year, then what’s after that? It’s true you have to live in the moments, like today is your last day on earth, but…. I wanna live in the moments throughout my whole life, not only 1 year and then suffer. I want to live long and travel forever! I don’t want my travel to have an expiry date! I want the adventure continues forever!

I love to travel, it’s my hobby, my lifestyle, my true love, whatever you people call it these days. But since as long as I remember, I’ve always been fascinated by the Globe. When I was a kid, I would spend hours reading Atlas Book and staring at the Globe while dreaming about my adventure. I’m a common girl (not very academic-smart, not very pretty, but super lucky) from a middle income family in a third world country. Going overseas or let alone holiday was almost impossible. When my Dad lost his job, it was even harder for me to survive life.

Bottom part, I was not fed with golden spoon in a silver platter. But….

I am a dreamer.

I wanted to travel the world. AND I WILL. BECAUSE I CAN.

So, I made a plan. My plan was simple: Find a decent paying job and save some money to travel the world, one city at a time.

The challenge was: I have to support my Mom and Dad, how am I suppose to feed 3 mouths and saving money to travel?

Travel needs money, we all know that. So, I made a very very risky move: I left my country and moved to a neighbor-first world country, because I needed the currency. Thankfully I made it. So, now that I can spare my money for both my parents and my travel, I need to find the time, because I have a full time job, remember?

Then, I realize, to travel you just need 2 things: MONEY and TIME. So now…. let’s analyze the shit out of it!

MONEY

Used by 90% of people as an excuse not to travel… Money! I don’t have money to travel, blah blah blah. I didn’t have the money to travel either, but I MADE MONEY. BECAUSE I CAN.

No matter how little money you make, you can always spare 5% or 10% for travel. Everyone could have different amount, but I’m a believer: AS LONG AS YOU’RE FOCUSED ON YOUR GOAL, YOU CAN. Nothing in this world you cannot do unless you say so.

1. Have a decent paying job, which you actually like.

You don’t have to be super passionate about your day-job. As long as you like the job, you’re happy, you’re having fun with your colleagues, the environment is good, and make a decent living, you’re on the right track. Remember, don’t suffer your self in a job you hate just because it pays you more money. I know you love to travel and have to focus about your goal, but hey… be kind to yourself too. :)

2. Buy cheap air tickets.

I totally agree with Garfors in this post he made about cheap flight tickets. Calculate how much money you make per hour, and then buy the tickets that is the cheapest calculated by YOUR VALUE. Remember, time equals money too! And my personal travel tips would be: WHEN YOU SEE A PROMOTION ticket price that is too good to be true, BUY! I know it’s an impulse buy, but it’ll bring you to a new place, go for it! Always ALWAYS subscribe for all kind of airplane newsletter.

Sometimes I didn’t plan where I would go. My travel destination could be very random, depending on the cheapest air ticket. My ultimate goal is to travel the whole world anyway, where to visit first doesn’t really matter anymore (after Europe). For next year, I’ve bought tickets for 2 different trips and both were impulsive because the price was ridiculously cheap. I didn’t think too much, I just bought it.

3. Free/Cheap accommodation.

Since Airbnb was invented, I no longer stayed at hotels when I travel. I only stay at hotels for relaxing trip (such as anniversary trip and honeymoon). Airbnb is THE BEST THING that could happen to me (after Bandi lah of course). I know there are a lot of scary stories about airbnb. The thing is… you can never find a flawless system in the world, because no matter how many people having good intentions, there are always some bad people who wants to ruin it. There are always some bad apples.

Be Smart about everything. Don’t just blindly trust people and follow your instinct! If you don’t feel comfortable, or suspicious about someone, GO AWAY. 99% of the time your feeling is right! So yeah, airbnb saves a lot of money for my travel. But if I have friend in a place I’m about to visit, I will notify them. You’ll never know if they are willing to host you, or maybe willing to show you around their city. It’s always fun to travel with locals!

I’ve shared so many wonderful experiences with airbnb in most of my travel posts genuinely because I want everyone to experience trip in the best way possible. :)

Anyway, if you haven’t had airbnb account, please sign up with my reference link here, you’ll get SG$28 free for your first booking! :D (This is not an advertised post, I swear!)

4. No Shopping Policy.

I don’t really shop when I travel. I can’t relate when people said “empty your luggage and come back full.” I feel like shopping is a waste of time. I can always shop in Singapore if I need something. I will not spare my time to shop. (It only happened once in my life, when I went to Japan with my girlfriends. Osaka has some crazy cheap stuffs!) But anyway, if it’s already struggling for you to buy air tickets, why would you waste your money buying stuffs you don’t need (and you can’t afford)?

It’s all about priority. I’ve written a post in Bahasa before about prioritizing your money. I got this comment a lot, “Wow, you must be making a lot of money, you travel a lot.” People perceives traveling as a luxury. Well, yeah it’s value-added (it’s the only thing you buy that gives you actual value to your life) but I don’t think it’s luxury lah… It just happened that I prioritized travel above shopping, above wasting money clubbing or hanging out in a expensive cafes. We just happen to use our money for different purposes.

There is nothing impossible in this life unless you say so. It’s the same with money. Set your goal, calculate and math the fu*k out of it!

TIME

I once worked in a company that gives 7 days leave a year (shit, right?) and I could still travel. I went to my 26 days of Europe trip with only 3 days unpaid leave. I saved my leave, I prioritize my travel. Once again, prioritizing is the key word here.

Starting next year, I will have around 20 days leave. I’ve planned 2 big trips and 1 small trip so far. It will be 3 new countries for me. So exciting! I’ve calculated the budget too so I can still pay my bills, my rent, my house mortgage etc. I’m still a common adult who has responsibilities you know… I just chose traveling as my number 1 hobby (and priority.

1. You need a good plan.

I must say my planning skill is super impressive. #shameless. But seriously, I could travel to Mt. Bromo, went to KL (for Bon Jovi concert) and roadtripping in NSW, Australia in the same month and only took 5 days of leave. Amazing, huh? Told you my planning skill is crazy! :p Visit my post about my Eurotrip and you’ll understand what I meant by crazy planning skill! I have itchy feet. This year, my passport documented at least one trip per month! No matter if it’s just a short weekend trip, I just have to gooooo! :D

2. Planning on next year’s calendar.

Whenever I see there is public holiday, I see it as a travel opportunity. Whenever there is a promo priced ticket, I see it as travel opportunity. My skill at chasing of cheap air tickets has also increased throughout the time. I now pronounced my best catch ever is when I bought return ticket from Singapore to Taipei for only S$55. No kidding. I felt like winning gold medal when I got that price. LOL. Back to the topic, I will block the long weekends and spread my leave to acquire as many trips as I can get (of course must calculate the budget too lah).

3. Energy.

There are some days (like in September) when I traveled every week, I didn’t have enough sleep because I needed to work. You need to recharge your energy, so find an activity that recharge your energy. Some recharge by sleeping, some by exercising, some by spending time with family, some… with more travels! LOL. My point is… know your limit. Don’t overdo yourself. If your body tells you it’s tired, it is. Spend some time for yourself too!

I don’t know what else to say about saving your time, so I guess the list ended on number three.

About prioritizing life

It is very difficult for me to finally swallow this ugly truth, but I just have to accept it and now saying it… To travel around the world will be a bit difficult when you have kids.

I will get hate comments for this, but this is the truth. You can keep denying it, but it won’t bend the truth.

Why? Because kids need time and money. It doesn’t mean you can’t travel at all, no I didn’t mean that. It’s just more difficult and your frequency of travel will be less, of course.

AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THESE TWO. You just have to shift your priority, that’s what life is about anyway, prioritizing things.

We make decisions all the time, and we should never regret anything. You just have to be honest about what you want and do things that make you happy.

If you decided to have kids and be happy about it, you should stop making sad comments on people’s traveling photos like “ohh… so nice… I wish I was there but I had to take care of my kids”. Is it suppose to make the other person feel bad or to make you feel better? That you chose a path as a mother, and it’s an honorable thing to be a mom? (Oh wait, now I’m rambling about a totally different topic here)

Bottom line is… EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT PRIORITY IN LIFE. BE HAPPY ABOUT WHAT YOU CHOSE. :)

NEVER COMPARE YOUR LIFE WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S.

Also as I mentioned before, not everyone loves to travel, which is very understandable. Some will save money to buy branded bags, some for fast cars, some for staying in a five stars resort. Please understand that everyone has different way to spend their money and NEVER JUDGE. Never think that your way is better than someone else’s way. Again, don’t compare.

But I believe if you read this post, you should be one of those people who loves to travel. :)

And if you’re an adventurer like me, keep going! Don’t stop, don’t compromise your happiness. Keep your curiosity, explore the world. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a waste of time or waste of money. Traveling is a great investment, trust me. You feed your soul when you travel, you experience, your view is widened.

Don’t stop.

ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE! :D

Cheers,

May, keep moving.

The Legendary Pacific Coast road trip

Bandi and I went to Australia! Woot! It’s our first time in Australia and Bandi’s fifth continent! He technically has traveled around the world. :)

I can’t wait to visit my forth and fifth continent too.

Anyway, where did we go in Australia? It’s quite difficult to answer this question in a short sentence because we didn’t just go to 1 or 2 cities, we went to tens of them. How? Because we did a road trip.

So, here’s our map:

Pacific Roadtrip

If you’re interested in building an itinerary, I recommend you to visit this website.

Well, every adventure has its own charm, so does this one. I personally love road trip, but I can’t drive. I feel so blessed that Bandi would do it for me because he knows how much I love road trip. :)

Road trip is more fun, more relaxing, you can see more things and stop by wherever you want. It has more freedom and I lovvvvvvvvvveeeeee freedom. :p

I will not tell the technicality of the stories like when did I go to this place, how long is the distance etc etc, I will list our stops below and tell you my story. Every stops are unique, but you will find out which on is my favorite. This will help you if you want to build a road trip itinerary of your own.

Anyway, this post will not be helpful if you want to visit Australia with public transportation, because we hired a car, so I don’t know a thing about Australia’s public transportation. So all the places we went to, we drove there,

STOP #1: GOLDCOAST

Gold coast is overrated. We decided we won’t stay long in Gold Coast because it was full of tourists. Sure it was warm and the beach was nice, but everything there is more expensive and more touristy. Anyway, we went to Surfer’s Paradise and had our lunch there, waled around for a while and had to pay $8 parking for 1 freaking hour. Talking about expensive…

STOP #2: BYRON BAY

Byron bay was also full of tourists… but we love it! haha! Double standard! I’ve been livin in a city my whole life, so I always prefer small town for holiday destination. I love small town’s charm and Byron Bay has it. Our host at Byron Bay was sooo friendly and warm, contrary to Byron Bay’s weather that was super cold!

If you put in Byron Bay in your road trip destination list, remember this: VISIT THE LIGHTHOUSE. Seriously pretty view from the lighthouse, and have some walk! You will reach to a most east point of Australia. And have I said, the view is spectacular!!! If you’re lucky, you can see whales or Dolphins!

You have to pay AUD$7 for a car if you drive here, but hey you get a free parking!

The Byron Bay Lighthouse

The Byron Bay Lighthouse

Bandi, trying to do some yoga shits with sunset as background. LOL

Bandi, trying to do some yoga shits with sunset as background. LOL

We walked around the most east trail of Australia

We walked around the most east trail of Australia

Spoiled by this view.

Spoiled by this view.

STOP #3: NIMBIN

Nimbin is just so…… unique! First of all, it is a drug town, marijuana to be exact. So if you’re extremely against marijuana, don’t come here at the first place. Nimbin is also a hippie town. It is a very small town where the community believe in everything organic, non-corporation-related, free-trade and also believe in healing stones, tarot reading and using weeds as medicine.

It was so interesting to see the town itself and see the people, I visited some of the stores are all of them were so unique and fun! It is a definitely must-see if you’re around Byron Bay area. it’s about 1 hour driving (or 2 hours driving if you decided to choose the longer route-but more scenic- like we did).

Cute little town!

Cute little town!

Some Psychic doing her thing.

Some Psychic doing her thing.

Even the apothecary sign was cute!

Even the apothecary sign was cute!

STOP #3: BALLINA

Ballina was very…. quiet! I think we only met total of 20 people there. Haha. Yes, it was so quiet and big, but the beach was beautiful. I didn’t get to learn a lot about this town as we didn’t really spend a lot of time here. We just went to watch waves crashing the coast, and took some lovey-dovey pictures of course. :)

Mwack!

Mwack!

:)

:)

Wooo!

Wooo!

STOP #4: LENNOX HEAD

Lennox head is a charming little beach town. I had one of the best salad in my life here! Groovers Cafe is the name (if you ever visit Lennox head, give it a try) which also served awesome sweet potato chips.

The beach was as fantastic as the other beaches we saw in Autralia’s pacific coast line. Can I just make a statement now that there are no best beaches in Australia, all beach has its own charm and atmosphere. Basically all you have to do is just drive from Brisbane to Sydney and stop wherever you want and visit the beach. The whole coastline is beautiful.

A walk along the lake.

A walk along the lake.

STOP #5: HAT HEAD NATIONAL PARK

Bandi and I went bushwalking to korogoro track, the loop one. I think there are three or four different walking tracks. It was drizzling at first but we didn’t hesitate. The track was easy at first, however it became more advance later on. The view when we reached on the top of the hill where the gap was, was REALLY AMAZING. It was raining and nobody was there so it was a bit spooky, so we hurried up back to our base, if it was sunny, I would spend hours there just to watch the sea. :)
We saw kangaroos too, living wild. Ahh…. it’s a privilege to see wild animals as a city girl. :) We didn’t really take many pictures because it was drizzling the whole time. Look at our wet hair!

Raining and hiking!

Raining and hiking!

:)

:)

STOP #7: COFFS HARBOUR

A short stopover at Coffs Harbour before we reach South West Rock. We bought a fresh caught fish turned to Fish and Chips here. OMG! Australia has the best Fish and Chips! Nothing can beat fresh seafood! We also had fresh prawns and squids! Yum!

STOP #6: SOUTH WEST ROCK

I had the best airbnb experience in South West Rock! Our host, Shirley and Mick were soooo friendly and super nice people. They brought us around their beautiful tiny little town. The town was so small, it doesn’t have any traffic lights! It has 5,000 population and has only 1 primary school. So when their kid grew up and entered high school, the kid had to go to high school in the neighbor town.

South West Rock is famous among local Australians and divers. We saw the Fish Rock, a famous diving site and went up to the lighthouse but it was to windy to actually go up to the lighthouse. So we detour to watch cute kangaroos around the lighthouse instead. :)

Wild Kangaroos

Wild Kangaroos

Our sweet sweet host, Mick and Shirley.

Our sweet sweet host, Mick and Shirley.

Found a baby kangaroo that was sticking out! Super cuteeee!

Found a baby kangaroo that was sticking out! Super cuteeee!

South West Rock has so many lookout points that have spectacular views! Here are the photos to give you ideas!

What a view

What a view. Universe is awesome, isn’t it?

And old jail with breathtaking view around.

And old jail with breathtaking view around.

The beach!

The beach!

I really really enjoyed South West Rock. In the evening, Bandi and I had the best dinner we’ve had in Australia in a Restaurant called Seabreeze, which is also a hotel. Go ahead an try it if you’re there!

STOP #7: PORT MACQUARIE

A short stopover at Port macquarie, a small city 2 hours from South West Rock. I fell in love with this small town and promised myself to come back again someday. :)

First stop was a Koala Hospital. There was no injured Koala on the operating table, so thanks goodness everyone is in good condition. So we just visited them in their ward, most of them were sleeping. Do you know that Koala needs to sleep at least 20 hours a day to digest the eucalyptus leaves? :)

Look at this cutieeee!

Look at this cutieeee!

And then we visited Roto’s House, which is a heritage house from the world war era. We went there accidentally actually but I enjoyed it! :)

The entrance of Roto House

The entrance of Roto House

Hanging out at Roto's Balcony

Hanging out at Roto’s Balcony

We walked around the park and sat to discuss where to go next.

We walked around the park and sat to discuss where to go next.

Then we went to the most beautiful small cafe in the outskirt of Port Macquarie, that is also a vineyard. Sooooo beautiful. Ah… I just loved Australia so much!

Isn't it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful?

You + Me. We're invincible.

You + Me. We’re invincible, together.

STOP #8: PORT STEPHENS

We reached Port Stephens quite late and went out for Dinner at Nelson Bay. There was only 1 town centre which has the boat docks, some restaurants and some shops. We had the Hog’s Breath, a steak chain in Australia that we’ve been eye-ing on. The steak was not so bad though, but not that fantastic either.

I remember when I talked to our host, an artist who was born in Easter Europe and had lived in Australia for so long, “you’re very funny!”, because she kept making jokes with us. her reply was something that I will remember, “Ain’t it the only way to live?”

Yes, we should not take life so seriously. Life is funny, so should we. =)

Her house was beautiful and we stayed in the floral themed bedroom, sadly we stayed there only for a night, a short night, because the next morning, around 5 am, we had already checked out for our Dolphins adventure. WILD Dolphins! WOOHOO!!! So excited!

As written in some of my blog post, I’m passionately against dolphins in captivity. If you understand about this issue and you still go to those sad dolphins show, we have trust issue, my friend. If you know nothing about it, please read my post here, and learn something new today and educate yourself. =)

We went on a boat trip and it was a bumpy ride. Bandi has zero tolerance on sea motion, so he swallowed some pills and knocked out in the boat. Not fun, huh? Haha.

I was cheering and singing with the other crews and swimmers on the front deck, calling for Dolphins. After some ride away from the bay, we met them! Oh…. I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw them… Swimming freely in the ocean, making happy noises, jumping up and over in the sea. Such beautiful and smart creature. I learned another fact about dolphins, when you sing louder, they will jump higher and show off to us even more! They’re such happy creature! Some of the participants went into the sea and swam along with the dolphins. Don’t worry we didn’t do anything or change anything about them. They were free and happy!

Sadly, I don’t have so much pictures of the excursion trip because I kept my phone safe in my pocket and didn’t want to risk dropping it into the sea. :p

So here’s the only picture I captured from my Dolphins video.

Happy dolphins.

Happy dolphins.

STOP #9: NEWCASTLE

Before we hit Sydney, we made a quick stop to have a late lunch in Newcastle, like usual Fish and Chips and coffee. Newcastle is a satellite city of Sydney which has a number of car dealerships, factories and big buildings. I felt it’s more like Karawang or Bekasi.

Nothing special here and I barely took photos. Next!

STOP #10: SYDNEY

Sydney… Sydney… Sydney… the most expensive city we’ve ever been in our life! $8 for 30 minutes carpark? $17 for one-way trip (so freaking near) from Airport to town? Zoo was $56? Geez…. It surely costs a lot to live here.

Thankfully we got free parking in our airbnb, I couldn’t imagine how much we pay for overnight parking.

Our first stop in Sydney was to meet CALEB, the cutest baby in Instagram! LOLOLOL

Dian, Caleb and me! This photo took thousands of takes! LOL

Dian, Caleb and me! This photo took thousands of takes! LOL

Caleb was super cutttttttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeeee! Now I want a baby! :p

Anyway, finally I got to meet Dian (I don’t even hyperlink your blog anymore cause it’s dead), we’ve been missing each other very long. She’se been providing me with airport tax money, bus card and sending me cute postcards, she’s like my sugar mama. XD Thanks for all the fun time Dian! I will be back to Australia!

Sydney is surely a beautiful city with the pretty bay full of boats and birds contrasted with some old buildings. I enjoyed Sydney a lot and it has awesome Thai food (one of the perks of big city – good international food).

A city by the bay is always good idea.

A city by the bay is always good idea.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Yellow wildflowers!

Yellow wildflowers!

Awesome stuff!

Awesome stuff!

This is like the BEST IDEA ever, riiiiight?

This is like the BEST IDEA ever, riiiiight?

And before I left Sydney and went back to Singapore, guess what happened? My flight was delayed for about 6 hours and it was a blessing in disguise because I got to meet my gurl, Tannia! We thought we would miss each other because she will land when I fly out but now we could meet!

The foxy global trotter

The foxy global trotter

And during September, we got to meet at Surabaya (Bromo trip), Kuala Lumpur (for Bon Jovi concert) and now here in Sydney! If it wasn’t meant to be when I don’t know what is. :D

SPIN OFF: BLUE MOUNTAINS AND LEURA

We took one day off from Sydney to visit Blue Mountain and it was gorgeousssss! I loveeee it! My only regret was not to pay parking tickets for longer hour so I could hike longer and explored more.

If you intend to visit Blue mountans without hiking/bushwalking, you may spare only 1 hour here just to visit three sisters, but if you want to hike, spare minimum 5 hours because the trail was a bit tough.

We paid our parking ticket for only 4 hours and ended up panicking because we had to come back ASAP. Bandi left me with our friend (who joined us on the ride) and he ran to the car just to make sure we didn’t get fine tickets. hahahaha

The stairs were horrible!

The stairs were horrible!

Three Sisters from far far away

Three Sisters from far far away

Beauty

Beauty

The tiny waterfall.

The tiny waterfall.

After the super-tiring hike, we thought we wanted to chill a little bit before we drove back to Sydney, so we read some local newspaper and found a garden in nearby town called Leura. It was an impromptu trip, so we went there and it was a pretty little town! :)

A friend asked us to take this photo. so cute!

A friend asked us to take this photo. so cute!

I wanna have a garden this pretty! :D

I wanna have a garden this pretty! :D

So yeah… the journey was fun, amazing and full of coffee. LOL. WE LOVE AUSTRALIAAAA! And I want to come back so so so badly! I even thought about having a gap month to explore Australia. Watch out Europe, you have a competition! Haha!

But of course Europe is full of beautiful history, ruins, museums and old building, while Australia is full of unique wildlife, beautiful beaches and amazing national parks. There are totally 2 different adventures.

I found something new: I LOVE BUSHWALKING! (But only when the weather is cold, so I don’t get all sweaty) Australia is full of unique animals so when we bushwalked, we would meet porcupine, kangaroos, rare birds and other interesting animals that I didn’t even know their names. And Australians are friendly and happy people so we enjoyed everything there actually!

I can’t wait to plan my next Australia Trip! :D

And to sum up our Great Pacific Roadtrip, here’s the video that I made! (I have a new hobby to make 1 summary video per trip so in the future when I feel like remembering the trip, I will just play the video; instead of scrolling to thousands of photos. :p)

Enjoy!

Cheers,

May, adventure-ing

Photo 24-9-15, 3 02 23 PM

Encounter with Bromo

So it was just a regular day at work when my boss told me 11 September was gazetted as polling day, so it would be public holiday.

My first reaction was “hmm… Where should I go?”
I had a talk with my best buddy, Angel about some possible destinations and we decided to make our long-waited Bromo Plan to be reality. Yep, we talked about going to Bromo hundred of times. This time we really did it.
It was even better when Tannia had a flight to Surabaya for her roster (she’s the flight attendant) so we could meet up and sleep at her hotel (Shang FTW) but the dream was crushed when she realized, “guys, I saw the date wrong. I’ll reach Surabaya on the 13th, not 12th.” Arrggh! You have one job, Tannia! One Job!

11th September 2015

Angel and I flew from Singapore and reached Surabaya in the morning. We went around to Pasar Atom and met Angel’s relative. We did some shopping too and of course we aaaatttteeeee every hour. LOL. Renny and Fenty reached Surabaya in the evening. We picked them up from the airport and went straight to Bromo. We rented a car and hired a driver. We were so tired, we all slept in the car on the way to Bromo.
We also passed Sidoarjo and saw the high dam built by Ba**rie to keep the mud in the area. But the truth is… What we heard from our driver was the mud kept rising and rising and it’s just about time until it becomes national disaster. It’s so sad :( the mud drowned almost half of the Sidoarjo city. Can you imagine your home is just gone?! Puff! Just like that? :( sad.
We arrived in Bromo around 11:30 at night. It was freeeeeziiinng cold! We slept and woke up on 3 am for our Bromo adventure!

12th September 2015

Our jeep had arrived and we were going to see the sunrise from Penanjakan. I didn’t take a shower of course. Who would do that? It was super mega freaking cold! I told my friends that I will take a shower in Surabaya when the temperature came back to normal. Lol. The jeep ride was about 30 minutes. We passed the dessert full of sand and we almost couldn’t see anything it was scary.
When the jeep stopped near the hill (Penanjakan), the driver told us to go up. It was soooo scary since we couldn’t see anything. Nobody brought torch so we only relied on the people above us. The hike was short and difficult because of the sand, but we made it.
The weather was super cold, about 14 degrees, windy which made me even more shivering. The air was thin, it made us a little more difficult to breath. It was dark and quiet at first.
And then I looked up.
And I was stunned.
Universe.
Yes, a paint of universe.
A sky full of stars.
Such a beautiful dark canvas full of sparkly dots.
And then I googled the constellations and started to hunt for some constellations. The whole novelty experience was pretty romantic and dreamy. Sitting down in the edge of the hills, cold and dark with this great set of stars above your head. Unforgettable. I even dreamt about it the next night. :)
The sun is coming up! ((Sorry for the bad quality photo as we didn't bring any pro camera))

The sun is coming up! ((Sorry for the bad quality photo as we didn’t bring any pro camera))

So cold! Yet so pretty!

So cold! Yet so pretty!

Amazing moment

Amazing moment

These girls. <3

These girls. <3

We went down again and we were sooo cold and hungry. Baso Malang to the rescue!

We went down again and we were sooo cold and hungry. Baso Malang to the rescue!

We visited the Bromo crater after that and we rode horses!!! It was so fun!!! I never rode horse before and it turned out to be fun! I bonded with my horse, Jingo instantly. We made an instant love connection. He was shy and sweet and has very soft mane! I fell in love!

Me and Jingo.

Me and Jingo, ahhh don’t you see the sparks? LOL

We hiked up to see the crater.

We hiked up to see the crater.

All of us with our horses. Cutttee!

All of us with our horses. Cutttee!

We went back to Surabaya after that and hung out for a while, nothing was special because in my opinion, Surabaya is just like any other big city in Indonesia. Great food, traffic jam, overcrowded malls and hipster cafe.

13th September 2015

My flight was very early in the morning. Thankfully all of us could wake up on time and we rushed to the airport to meet Tannia! You remember I said she saw the wrong date? She arrived on the day we supposed to leave. But we didn’t wanna miss a chance to finally get back together in a complete set, so here we are!
Back together again!

Back together again!

A short trip to Bromo. A sweet and beautiful one. Added to my list of amazing things in my life. Looking forward to more amazing things to come!
Photo 12-9-15 6 37 23 am
P.S. I have a great news. Super great news. But it’s too early to tell. I will tell later when it’s time! Kyaa~~!
Cheers,
May, always happy.

Visiting Maldives 101

Two months have been passed since Bandi and I had our honeymoon in Maldives and somehow the beautiful feeling still lingers everytime I hear the name “Maldives”. Maldives is such a truly beautiful country with literally thousands of beautiful islands.

I might have promised some friends about the Maldives posting, so here it finally comes. But please take note that this post is not my story about my honeymoon in Maldives. It’s merely about process to book your dream holiday to Maldives, some tips and tricks and budget perspective as well.

So let’s begin the class of Maldives 101!

How to go to Maldives?

The answer is so freaking easy! By plane! The international airport (the only hub that you need to remember) is at Male, the capital city of Republic of Maldives. Male is a small (tiny) crowded city that you won’t want to explore after your dreamy heavenly holiday in one of the Maldives Island. Take note to that!

From Singapore, there are 2 direct flights to Male; by Singapore airlines or Tiger Airways. I chose the later one because of budget constrain. :p

The cheapest plane you can find is Srilankan Airline and Malaysian Airline, but both will have to stopover in Colombo and Kuala Lumpur respectively. I don’t like waiting in the airports, so layover was not an option for me that time.

Srilankan Airlines offered around S$600 for round trip from Singapore to Male and Malaysian Airlines offered slightly cheaper.

Which Maldivian atoll should I go?

Here’s the thing. You probably can’t do island hopping in Maldives. Why? First, because it’s super expensive! Second, why would you do that? You suppose to relax and have fun!

And from this sentence forward, I will have to switch the word island to atoll. Atoll is a (much) smaller version of island. Maldives has thousands of atoll. If I’m not mistaken only 10% is habitant. The rests are inhabitant. I’m not sure about the number though, you can always google them.

Some habitant atolls are public atoll, meaning there are Maldivian living there. But most of the habitant atolls are owned by… Private Resorts.

These private resorts will become your home during your holiday.

Now, let’s talk about how you choose the atoll/resort to go. You have to do the research! Read from travel blogs, tripadvisor, agoda, anything that has honest reviews from real travelers!

Bear in mind that the hotel/resort/atoll you pick will be your home during your holiday. You will be stuck there! It’s impossible to go out from it unless you want to swim across Indian Ocean. :p

I stayed at Kuredu Resort, and I can say I’m truly pleased with everything. :)

Types of rooms and types of boards.

Hotel/resort in Maldives are a bit different from the rest of the world. First, you have to choose a room between Beach Villa and Water Villa. Beach Villa is the small house located on the beach, while Water Villa is the small house that was built on the water.

The water villa where we stayed for a week. Sunset was the most beautiful time.

The water villa where we stayed for a week. Sunset was the most beautiful time.

One of my best shot from Maldives.

One of my best shot from Maldives.

After you picked your room, you have to pick your boarding types: Half board means your breakfast and dinner are covered. Full Board means all breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered. All Inclusive means All meals plus alcoholic drinks are covered.

What would you do over there?

I thought I would be bored, but how wrong I was! The resort I stayed offered so much, I could never get bored. There are a lot of activities to do such as Swimming (of course), snorkeling, diving, sailing, kayaking, golfing, soccer, jogging, games (billiard, chess, and other stuffs), and other sporting games. They also offered excursion trip to nearby Maldivian public island.

But then again, remember the main purpose for your Maldivian Holiday: to relax and unwind. :)

Hubby. Relaxing.

Hubby. Relaxing.

Can we go backpacking to Maldives?

As a budget traveler, this might be my first luxury trip. I usually backpacked with Bandi, but then it was our honeymoon and it was Maldives, so we decided to splurge. However I think it is possible to have a budget trip to Maldives but you maybe only explore the nearby atolls around Male. It won’t be as serene as those atolls that’s organized by resorts. But when there is a will, there is a way!

How to go to the Atolls from Male?

Don’t worry, the resorts representative will pick you in Male and they will put you on a small seaplane (operated by Trans Maldivian Air) and it will transport you from and to the atolls. Well, with a charge of course, varies from US$250 – US$500 (round trip) depends on the distance. The further your resort, the more expensive it is.

Mine was US$330. Bummer.

The aerial view from the seaplane.

The aerial view from the seaplane.

But our eyes will be spoiled by the beautiful scenery along the way. So I guess it’s worth– it?

Money matters.

Once you arrive in the resort, you will not need to pay anything. You can drink in any bar as you like, buy whatever you want… But then on the day you check out from your room, the bills will wait you there. Hahaha!

That’s the great thing about Maldives, they made you forget about money for a while! :D

Your breakfast, lunch and dinner will be in buffet style (no wonder I got fat) but they also have some premium ala carte Restaurant. We managed to have our romantic honeymoon dinner by the beach. We were having lobster, drinking some champagne, and got carried away. It was beautiful. Surely a moment to remember.

Great food, surprisingly. :)

Great food, surprisingly. :)

Drinking water throughout our stay was free but I read reviews from other travelers who stayed in different resorts, some charged drinking water as high as $10 per bottle! And since you’re stuck in the atoll, you don’t have any other choice than buying it. (Unless you’re willing to drink salt water for days).

That’s why it’s important to get a wonderful resort.

Technical!

  1. Regardless of you nationality, you don’t need Visa to enter Maldives.
  2. You are not allowed to bring in any kind of alcohol into Maldives.
  3. If you arrived late (after 5pm in Male) you will have to spend the night in Male and fly to your resort the next day. Same goes if your departing flight from Male is very early in the morning, you better spend your last night in Male.
  4. The currency of Maldives is Rufiyaa, however resort would only accept US Dollars. I only use Rufiyaa when I was in Male.

Any Other Questions?

Just hit me up in comments. I’ll be glad to help to plan your next dreamy holiday in Maldives!!! Woot Woot!

Photo 29-7-14 2 20 25 pm

Cheers always,

May, loving the good life.

 

 

 

#30daysblogging Where to, next?

Day 13

Post is an idea from El Tandiono

After the amazing-tiring-moneysucking Europe Trip, Bandi and I had been some kind of travel immunity movement… We tried to ignore all the emails from airlines flashing about their promo prices, until… we couldn’t handle it anymore. LOL. We got a very very good price for only $200+ (I didn’t remember how much exactly) per person to explore Darwin, Australia. And we impulsively bought it. It’s for next August. Come to think of it, we didn’t really know what to explore in Darwin, we didn’t know whether we would have the approved leave, the time to apply visa and the money by then, but we did buy it anyway. LOLOL. So let’s see what’s gonna happen.

Our  next ambition is actually to resign and backpack across Indonesia. We planned it for 30days but if we ever had the guts to quit our jobs, we probably would do it for 2 months. But well, we have house mortgages and everything, we don’t know if we’re really gonna do it. :p

Remember this plan?

Remember this plan?

I’ve always had this imagination in my mind that someday we’re gonna do it. Now it’s just either we have the guts or not.

If we really couldn’t leave our responsibilities for that long, maybe we’re gonna shift to plan B: which is take different short trips for different destination. But honestly I like the long trip better. I love to be on the run, to be constantly moving everyday. It’s tiring, but it’s ADVENTUROUSLY AMAZING. :)

But it’s still a dream now. I hope it’s coming to be true one day. :) But for this year, we’ll just settle for a week at Darwin. (oh, and a possible honeymoon :))

What’s your travel plan for 2014? I hope it’s exciting!

Cheers,

May, si kaki gatal.

Bay Europe Adventure, Full Report: The sweet kisses, the scenic journey, and the dirty laundry.

First of all, thank you for everyone who keeps reading my blog, even though I skipped blogging for a month the stat turned out to stay consistent. I’m so grateful. I don’t know where you guys come from because there weren’t many comments posted but the traffic was good. I’m just happy to know you guys are still reading. *sobbing* *dramaqueen approaching*

Anyway, I think this post is gonna be the longest post I’ve ever made or ever will make, but I’m not sure because I love to exaggerate. Howeveeeer, I will have to write some in Bahasa Indonesia because some of the jokes are just too funny to be translated into English.

I also put soooo many pictures in this post to make sure you don’t stop reading in the middle because of the length, and of course to prevent you from falling asleep.

So this post is probably the summary/well-rounded review/story from my Europe trip. However I have already posted some of the special stories. =)

The Blueprint, Europe by Train

Let me give you the whole itinerary first to have a glance of how fun it was. I looove train trip, thus I chose train for the journey because I could enjoy more of the real Europe. =)

London to Paris / Train – EuroStar / 2 Hrs

Paris to Versailles (return) / Local Train – RER / 30 Mins

Paris to Reims (return) / Train – TGV / 50 Mins

Paris to Burssels / Train – Thalys / 1.5 Hrs

Brussels to Amsterdam / Train – Thalys / 2 Hrs

Amsterdam to Lucern (Via Basel) / Overnight Train – City Night Line / 12.5 Hrs

Lucern to Munich (Via Zurich) / Train Regional / 5.5 Hrs

Munich to Fussen (return) / Train Regional / 2 Hrs

Munich to Venice / Overnight Train – City Night Line / 8 Hrs

Venice to Firenze / Train Regional – ITALO / 2 Hrs

Firenze to Bologna / Train Regional – Trenitalia Frecciarossa / 30 Mins

Bologna to Parma / Train Regional – Trenitalia Frecciabianca / 1 Hr

Parma to Turin / Train Regional / 4 Hrs

Turin to La Spezia / Train Regional / 3 Hrs

La Spezia to Rome / Train Regional / 4 Hrs

And the train trip ended in Rome because we continued to Athens by airplane.

The drama before the departure

Remember this post where I sounded so sad and depressed? Let me tell you what happened first. I put all my original train tickets on the shoes box on the table at my house. The table was placed by the window. When the heavy rain with strong wind came, the wind opened my windows and opened the lid of the shoebox and blew my tickets away. The tickets costed me $3,000. Can you believe that happened?

I didn’t believe it to.

But it did happen. Story of my life.

Long story short (after gallons of tears and vodka) we decided to buy a new tickets, this time we picked the e-tickets (but unfortunately only available for Italian regional trains) and we must paid another $2,900. This time we could only afford second class because buying railpass wasn’t an option anymore.

I wrote in the letter (that post I mentioned):

” 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.”

After the trip, I kinda understood the lesson. As Bandi said, the 3K paid off the wonderful weather and the safety and the good people we bumped during the trips. 3K meant nothing when Universe made sure we had a great trip.

We can always make more money, but not memories. =)

We almost cancelled the trip because of too many signs telling us not to go. But when I looked back, they weren’t signs to tell us not to go, but to understand that Bandi and I should be a great team.

We did everything together, through thick and thin, all for one dream. And if we believe it hard enough, it will come true. =)

And it was happening…

Changi Airport, Friday night 10pm-ish 11-Oct-2013

Changi Airport, Friday night 10pm-ish 11-Oct-2013

Doha International Airport, 8 hours later...

Doha International Airport, 8 hours later…

Heathrow Airport, London. Saturday Morning, local time, 12-Oct-2013

Heathrow Airport, London. Saturday Morning, local time, 12-Oct-2013

And the adventure began…

It all started in London

I started my journey in London, the most exciting, cheerful city. If London was a person, she would be that girl whom everyone loves. She is sexy, fun, knows what she wants, a little ambitious but yet so humble. I always felt like everyone in London were having good times. They laughed, they smiled and they never pouted. Guess Santa Claus did a great job there. LOL.

London girls were pretty! They were fashionable, confident and classy. The guys? Not so much. LOL

I had this conclusion that Singapore has copied London in soooo many ways! The CPF system, the strict rules, the CCTV’s, the subway system, the theater hypes, the London eye and the main river, and the girls. It is known that London guys are afraid of their ladies with the “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine” logo. Hmm… Familiar, right? But of course London has the history and the culture.

The thing I like the most about London is… THE MUSEUMS ARE FREE!!! Hell yeah!!! I won’t even bother the other tourist attraction! The tower of London costs you 20 pounds, are you freaking kidding me?! I’d better revisit National Gallery! The other thing I love about London is… THEATERS ARE EVERYWHERE! It’s like every book and every movie are turned to be a play! I swear I will be back to London someday and have one week full of watching plays.

On the second day in London I woke up at 1 in the afternoon. I was sick. Not serious though, I caught a cold. I went downstairs where Bandi and Raj, my sweet and kind host started to have their breakfast. Raj cooked me the big English breakfast. Two toasts, one bratwurst, two slices of bacon and sunny side up egg. And I ate them all. Hahaha. It was raining in London the whole morning, and when we went out at 1pm, the rain stopped and Raj was like, “WTH, you really did bring the sunshine!” Awww. Yes I think I am a sun catcher. =)

Anyway, Raj is a friend whom we met two years ago in Halong Bay. We had lunch together on the boat and had nice conversation and he invited us to travel to London. Two years later, we really did visit him. I talked to his mom quite a lot too. She is just the sweetest! She likes to cook and told us funny story about her traveling. Too bad I forgot to take a photo with her. :(

First day, Hyde Park. Soooo beautiful. =)

Day 1, Hyde Park. Soooo beautiful. =)

Day 1, in front of Buckingham Palace.

Day 1, in front of Buckingham Palace.

Day 1, below us is an old English bunker! Whoa!

Day 1, below us is an old English bunker! Whoa!

Day 1, Westminster Abbey.

Day 1, Westminster Abbey.

Day 1, Raj, me and Bandi, in front of "Big Ben" whose official name is Elizabeth Tower.

Day 1, Raj, me and Bandi, in front of “Big Ben” which official name is Elizabeth Tower.

Day 1, Still, Westminster Abbey. The most beautiful Gothic Church ever!

Day 1, Still, Westminster Abbey. The most beautiful Gothic Church ever!

Day 2, practically spent the whole day in National Gallery.

Day 2, practically spent the whole day in National Gallery.

Day 2, still in front of National Gallery

Day 2, still in front of National Gallery

Day 2, Tower Bridge at night. This is the coldest moment in our Euro Trip. So windy and chilly.

Day 2, Tower Bridge at night. This is the coldest moment in our Euro Trip. So windy and chilly.

Day 3, Trying Gordon Ramsay's Maze. =)

Day 3, Trying Gordon Ramsay’s Maze. =)

Gordon's Pork Belly. OMAGAAAHHHH speechless.

Gordon’s Pork Belly. OMAGAAAHHHH speechless.

On board on Eurostar, ready to go to PARIS!!! =D

On board on Eurostar, ready to go to PARIS!!! =D

Technical stuffs!

As I mentioned, we stayed with a friend in London so it wasn’t a problem at all. Raj picked us up from Heathrow Airport and we took Tube (subway) to the city centre.

London transportation was the most expensive ever! The second was Venice.

I knew I loved Paris before I met her

Paris was just like I’ve always imagined, even better! Love was in the air, romances were everywhere! Well, if you asked Bandi, he wouldn’t say so but if you asked me…

I did fall in love with Paris! The personality that is warm, smart, sharp and strong; with an attitude that is sophisticated, creative and respectful; with history and arts and all the details in between. I love the colorful flowers, beautiful buildings, compelling language, ahh… everything in Paris is perfect.

Day 2 in Paris, Notredame. Super Beautiful from the inside!!!

Day 2 in Paris, Notredame. Super Beautiful from the inside!!!

Sitting in the park, doing nothing but kissing each other. awwww

Sitting in the park, doing nothing but kissing each other. awwww

My favorite museum!!! =D

My favorite museum!!! =D

And then we reached Eiffel!!! Hoorray!!!

And then we reached Eiffel!!! Hoorray!!!

Okay, let me tell you a story about how I saw Eiffel Tower for the first time… We had just finished eating in Notredame Cathedral area and decided to go to Eiffel by Metro because it would take around 1.5 km to walk and we should’ve walked because we wanted to lock our padlock but we forgot the padlock so we thought, “Oh never mind, we would just come here again tomorrow. Today we will spend the rest of the afternoon at Eiffel.” Thus, we preferred to take Metro.

We alighted at Champ de Mars and I think we took the wrong exit because when we came out from the metro station, we didn’t see Eiffel. I thought I would have a dramatic moment once I came out from the station, but I didn’t. We walked around some buildings looking for the tower but we didn’t find it. I was a bit annoyed and I said, “where is Eiffel?” with my annoying tone and then suddenly, we took a turn to the right and…

TAA-DAA!

It was there.

And guess what? I cried.

I know, I’m such a drama queen. But I swear I cried not because of the drama, but simply because Eiffel was breathtakingly beautiful.

I’ve never admitted that human’s creation could so so beautiful that it would make me cry. I usually cried because of beaches or mountains. But goddamit! Europe has proven me wrong. There were indeed a lot of genius artsy people hundred (and thousand) years ago. Gustave Eiffel is one of them.

I can’t describe or explain why Eiffel Tower is so beautiful. I think this has something to do with feeling. It’s like falling in love in the first sight. I never believed in it before but I indeed fell in love.

Typing this brings back that sweet memory. That very day when I saw Eiffel for the first time. We were connected instantly and I knew it was love. =)

Three of us, posing in front of Eiffel. By three of us I meant with Brownie. :D

Three of us, posing in front of Eiffel. By three of us I meant with Brownie. :D

My favorite, of course.

My favorite, of course.

Dozens of selfies!

Dozens of selfies!

Another favorite. =)

Another favorite. =)

After that we went to Arc de Triomphe and sat for a while to eat macaroons. :9

After that we went to Arc de Triomphe and sat for a while to eat macaroons. :9

From below of the Arch.

From below of the Arch.

The underlined names were killed during the war while others died after the war.

The underlined names were killed during the war while others died after the war.

Tribute for the heros.

Tribute for the heros.

And we climbed all the way up (270-ish steps of stair!) and saw the city of Paris 360 degrees. =)

And we climbed all the way up (270-ish steps of stair!) and saw the city of Paris 360 degrees. =)

The short trip to seventeenth Century in Versailles

On the third day, we took a short trip to Versailles to visit the palace and the garden. Please take note that you should not visit the palace without booking the entrance ticket first or if you don’t have the museum pass. I’ve read some people complaining in TripAdvisor saying that they went back home disappointed because they couldn’t go in to the palace.

PUH-LEASE!

You know it’s a very famous palace and you want to walk-in?! BE A SMART TRAVELER! Nowadays it’s very easy to book the ticket online and the price is the same (some attractions cost booking fee but it’s WORTH your time). Trust me, you don’t want to queue for two hours and when you reach the front line they tell you it’s sold out.

For me, I bought a Paris museum pass. It’s a good deal for me because I visited so many museums in Paris. If you didn’t want to visit museums, just buy the ticket online.

Anyway, the chateau was built for 300 years during Louis XIII-VI era (if I’m not mistaken and I’m too lazy to google). The palace was abandoned during the French Revolution. You will find out why French people was angry because OH MY GOD, only god knows how much money was spent to built that such GRAND PALACE?!!! The palace was too much for me. Everything was covered by either gold or silk.

From the palace you can walked out to the garden which is beaaauuuutiful!!!! Heads up: The garden is HUGE! Don’t come here with high heel, you’d die! And don’t go around the garden unless you spare 3 hours before the closing hour.

Bandi and I spent a lot of time in the garden. We were picnicking, doing romantic photo-shots and some stuffs you shouldn’t know. LOL.

Don’t forget to visit Marie Antionette estate, even though it was so faaaarr away from the palace, it’s worth the walk. It’s so freaking romantic and beautiful!!!

Reached the chateu!

Reached the chateu!

The main gate's key. Holy crap, that's one giant key! (I put my hand for comparison)

The main gate’s key. Holy crap, that’s one giant key! (I put my hand for comparison)

It was pretty much the same grand ceiling all over the palace

It was pretty much the same grand ceiling all over the palace

Whoaaaaa

Whoaaaaa

Look at that chandelier!

Look at that chandelier!

And the king's bedroom!

And the king’s bedroom!

This room supposed to be the dancing ball, that's why I looked like I was dancing. Yes it's dancing, though I admit it did look a little idiotic.

This room supposed to be the dancing ball, that’s why I looked like I was dancing. Yes it’s dancing, though I admit it did look a little idiotic.

What up, May? Umm, nothing much. Just hanging around in my palace. LOL

What up, May?
Umm, nothing much. Just hanging around in my palace. LOL

One of the romantic photos we made in Versailles garden. Trust me I got lots of them!! I chose the most "decent" to be published. LOLOL

One of the romantic photos we made in Versailles garden. Trust me I got lots of them!! I chose the most “decent” to be published. LOLOL

Ohhh I loooveee the leaves!!!

Ohhh I loooveee the leaves!!!

Marie Antionette's estate. It took one hour walking here from the palace!

Marie Antionette’s estate. It took one hour walking here from the palace!

Marie Antoinette's houses.

Marie Antoinette’s houses.

Another one.

Another one. This place is sooo romantic, when bandi asked me “Do you want to drink?” I said, “I do! I do!” with meaningful stare. LOLOLOL

We finished exploring Versailles around 2 pm and it was drizzling. Bandi and I walked back to the Versailles train station and it was soooo freaking romantic! We used only one small umbrella and it was cold so we had excuses to snuggle all the way back. It was so freaking romantic I could die!!! Arrrghh!!! >,<

Anyway, we took train back to Paris and went straight to Louvre. I wanted to pee so bad I felt like crying!!! I held the pee since I was on the train and when we entered Louvre, I straightaway looked for toilet. Guess what? The queue was super long!!! OH NOOOO!!!! But nothing I could do beside queuing and prayed to god that I would not pee on my pants. Thank goodness I didn’t.

Bandi, enjoying Louvre.

Bandi, enjoying Louvre.

Under the pyramid!

Under the pyramid!

One of the Louvre's wing, taken from the other wing when I was so freaking tired walking.

One of the Louvre’s wing, taken from the other wing when I was so freaking tired walking.

The magnificent one. =)

The magnificent one. =)

The rain has stopped when we walked out from Louvre so we decided to just walk to Pont de Arts and lock our love forever. =’)

From now on until forever and beyond. Amen... universe hear hear!

From June 7th 2006 until forever and beyond. Amen… universe hear hear!

I locked the padlock and gave the key to Bandi. He kissed the key (didn’t know what it meant) and then threw it into the Seine river. It was romantic. I felt like we were in some kind of movies. But then I realized, it wasn’t. Because movies have endings and I hope Bandi and I don’t have ending. I want to just keep walking with him forever. Walking to anywhere, through sunny days or rainy days, as long as we’re together. Walk to a new adventure, new places, forever just us. I hope nothing will ever change. Because on that moment I didn’t want anything to change. I wanted everything to be exactly like what we had.

Of course I know it’s not possible. Apparently, things change. I thought I couldn’t love him more. I was wrong. I loved him more.

So I guess love is not permanent. It’s evolving. I hope ours keep evolving to be higher, better, more and more and more… =)

Merci, Paris. For the sweetest memories. See you soon! à bientôt!

On the fourth day, we took a day trip to Rheims which I wrote about in this post and the fifth day we were off to Brussels. =)

Now, technical stuffs!

I stayed in a vintage apartment at Montmartre area, a place where Van Gogh, Renoir and all the artists used to hang out. It wasn’t far from the city centre but far enough to chase away the tourists. The apartment itself was soooo charming. Anyway, we booked the apartment through airbnb. Here are some pictures!

The tiny hallway

The tiny hallway

The tiny foyer

The tiny foyer

Awwww

Awwww

The cozy corner

The cozy corner

Kitchen area

Kitchen area

Cutest herb container

Cutest herb container

Kitchen knick knack

Kitchen knick knack

Recipes on the corkboard

Recipes on the corkboard

Bathroom

Bathroom

Toilet

Toilet

For the transportation, we took Metro everywhere because Paris only had Metro. It costed €1.70 per ride but if you bought carnet tickets (1 pack of 10 tickets) it would only cost you €13.

No buses or trams and don’t ever take cab unless it’s urgent! We took cab once from Gare du Nord to Rue Custine (our apt) it was soooo near (go check it on google map) and it costed us freakin €7! It was worth though because the cab driver looked like Jason Statham. :p

Metro system is Paris is soooo amazing! It’s impossible not to adore their metro system. Cheap, easy, fast and reliable. If you’re lucky you would also watch free entertainment from street artist in Paris’ Metro!

Four hours in Brussels

We didn’t have Brussels map so when we arrived at Bruxelles Midi Station, we just went straight to the subway station and bought return tickets to Grand Market. When we got out from the station, we didn’t know which road to go and we ended up lost! LOL. So after arguing, we bought Brussels map for €3 and we were back on track!

Honestly, I didn’t feel very safe in Brussels. I felt much safer in Paris. It felt like my own home (yeah I wish) but it was probably because I spent 4 days in Paris and only 4 hours in Brussels. My friend, Yofie, was pickpocket-ed in Brussels so I guess I was more aware of everyone who went close to me.

Manneken Pis was overrated. He was just tiny boy who behaved poorly in the middle of the town. LOL.

He was wearing a robe that day so we couldn't see the pee-pee. So disappointing. LOL

He was wearing a robe that day so we couldn’t see the pee-pee. So disappointing. LOL

I think this one is way cooler! :p

I think this one is way cooler! :p

But the waffle, on the other hand is not underrated at all!!! Brussels waffle is so good it would ruin all other waffles in the world!!! OMG!!!

The best waffle on earth. Do google "Maison Dandoy" and visit them if you're in Brussels!

The best waffle on earth. Do google “Maison Dandoy” and visit them if you’re in Brussels!

Brussels is a photogenic city. =)

Brussels is a photogenic city. =) It looks pretty in every angle.

It was just too pretty to be ignored.

It was just too pretty to be ignored.

Ahhhh!!!!! Flowers!!!! I could die!!!

Ahhhh!!!!! Flowers!!!! I could die!!!

Chocolate stores everywhere.... *drooling*

Chocolate stores everywhere…. *drooling*

Bandi drinking his soup before we took off to Amsterdam.

Bandi drinking his soup before we took off to Amsterdam.

The cool kid named Amsterdam!

So when I asked “can I jay-walk?” (jaywalk = cross the road without following signal) to Jerry, my Dutch friend, he laughed. “Of course you can! You can do everything in Amsterdam!”

Well, Amsterdam suddenly sounded very cool already! If Amsterdam was a person, he was definitely the cool kid everyone dying to hang out with.

We reached Amsterdam in the afternoon and went straight to our host’s house in Javakade island by taking bus from Amsterdam central. Our host was so niiiiceee! We had the whole upper floor of her house and sometimes her cutie cat visited us. :p

After freshening up, Bandi and I went to Anne Frank’s house. I read the Anne Frank’s diary before so I was interested to go in, but surprisingly for Bandi, who didn’t know anything at all about Anne, it turned out to be interesting as well. He said, “It is by far the coolest museum I’ve ever gone into.”

There were some disturbing pictures at the end of the museum about the holocaust victim during the video and I almost threw up because I didn’t think it would be that disturbing. So if you have weak heart, skip the holocaust video at the end.

From Anne Frank House, we walked to the red district area and accidentally stumbled upon a street fair!!! OHHH I LOVE FAIR! There I also found the best fench fries I’ve ever had in my life!!!! And the fries were soooo big, thus they were called “XXL Fries”.

What kind of sorcery is this??? LOLOLOL

What kind of sorcery is this??? LOLOLOL

The best and biggest fries ever!!!!

The best and biggest fries ever!!!!

Bandi felt a little feverish at night and even worse the next day. He swallowed some pills but he said he only needed “Lo Han Kuo”, a traditional chinese medicine that has a function to reduce the heat from your body. Where the hell in Amsterdam I could find Lo Han Kuo?!!

You know what? My host had it! What a coincidence, right? It turned out the previous traveler before us gave her Lo Han Kuo! She also offered to cook soup for Bandi. So when I knew Bandi was in a good hand, I left him. LOL.

I went to Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum. I saw the “Iamsterdam” statue in front of Rijksmuseum and I sent the photo to Bandi, “you said you wanted to take photos in Iamsterdam statue? Be healthy and come out!”

The "I amsterdam" statue in the morning.

The “I amsterdam” statue in the morning.

Around 1.30 he came to the statue and it was already crowded. So his mission failed. LOL.

WTF is this? It doesn't look like this in the picture you sent me?! LOL

WTF is this? It doesn’t look like this in the picture you sent me?! LOL

Yaiy! I finally visited Van Gogh Museum!

Yaiy! I finally visited Van Gogh Museum!

This wax sculpture was borrowed from Madame Tussaud. :)

This wax sculpture was borrowed from Madame Tussaud. :)

We then went to Vondel Park and Chinatown area and guess what? We found Lo Han Kuo! It was freaking cheap! Only €1! Even cheaper than in Singapore! Woot!

Yaiy! Got it! Bye bye fever!

Yaiy! Got it! Bye bye fever!

Vondelpark. Another place to have a romantic photo set-up. Unfortunately, Bandi was ugly as hell. LOL. He hasn't showered and his hair was as sticky as kid's hands on halloween. LOL

Vondelpark. Another place to have a romantic photo set-up. Unfortunately, Bandi was ugly as hell. LOL. He hasn’t showered and his hair was as sticky as kid’s hands on halloween. LOL

Bandi loves Amsterdam. He thinks the food was great and cheaper than the rest. And one more thing, there were wifi everywhere! :p

The last day in Amsterdam was planned very nicely by Jerry. You can read about it here.

Technical Stuff!

Going around in Amsterdam is pretty easy. The 24 hours pass was relatively cheap (€7 if I’m not wrong) for trams, buses and metros. The transportation mapping was also very easy to follow, very simple and well organized.

We planned to go biking in Amsterdam but too bad, Bandi was sick so we cancelled that plan. I saw biking was very common and safe and probably the main transportation in Amsterdam and bike rentals were so easy to find. So I guess next time I’m in Amsterdam, I’d definitely try biking.

Lodging? We stay with a very friendly host via airbnb. Please take note that Amsterdam lodging is a little more expensive than any other European city.

The sleepy Lucern and the mighty Titlis

Bandi has been talking about Lucern for so long. He said that Lucern is his favorite European town. When I found out the best way to reach Mount Titlis is from Lucern, I got excited because I could finally see Bandi’s favorite town.

I reached Lucern very very early (took overnight train from Amsterdam), so early that nothing has really opened yet. I took the midnight train the night before and I was desperate for a shower. I was so shocked that I needed to pay 18 Swiss Francs (S$25) to take a shower in train station! WTF! I could buy one big plate of good sushi with that!!! NO HELL WAY!! I better be stink and dirty then.

Thankfully our host was so kind because when we reached her house too early, she let us taking shower and freshen up, otherwise all my Titlis photos would be covered with our greasy hair. LOL.

Thank goodness, I've already washed my hair. :D

Thank goodness, I’ve already washed my hair. :D

Kiss kiss! =*

Kiss kiss! =*

Bandi was right, Lucern was beautiful!

Bandi was right, Lucern was beautiful!

=)

=)

Here in Lucern also happened our first big fight during the trip. I forgot why we fought but I remember we ate McDonald’s angrily and didn’t talk to each other. And while Bandi was mad I put a camera and a timer. LOLOL.

As a momento of our first big fight. LOL

As a momento of our first big fight. LOL

That’s Bandi face when he’s mad at me. Hahaha! After the photo we made up and laughed about it. I didn’t remember what we were fighting about. But because we fought, we decided to eat McDonald’s and Bandi gave his wallet to me and said, “order whatever.” I ordered the food that costed CHF 17 and he was like WTF?! And I said, “you said whatever.” He got angrier. HAHAHA!

From Mc Donald’s we went straight to meet our local tour in the town area and we went to Mount Titlis!!! Woot!!! Best times of our lives! The full story about Titlis was done here.

We came back from Titlis around 6 pm. Bandi and I were starving but we decided to go back to our host’s house for a shower. That, my friend, was a bad idea! Why? Because once we got out again, everything was closed! There were two restaurants opened near the host’s house but the place looked expensive so we walked around and damn it, nothing was open! We walked further more to the central station and when we found a Burritos kiosk we went in straightaway!

Looking around.

Looking around.

Almost sunset. =)

Almost sunset. =)

Technical Stuff!

In Lucern we practically walked everywhere but we also didn’t spend that much time there. Lucern also is more expensive in the terms of living than any other European cities.

And now for the most-asked questions: How to go to Mount Titlis from Lucern?

You can take train from Lucern to Engelberg (1hr ride) and would cost around 20CHF and then from Engelberg station you will have to walk to the Titlis Rotair Cable car. You will ride two different cable cars and will stop three times. Just keep riding to the very top. The price of the cable car return journey is 86CHF.

Did I do that? NO.

I booked a tour. Hahaha! The half day tour only costed me US$150 and I didn’t need to walk plus free Titlis Ice Flyer (which we didn’t use LOL) So it was a good hassle lah!

Absolutely No Clue in Munich

The first hour in Munich, we were already lost. Not only because the road name was difficult but also because we didn’t have map. Of all the cities in our European plan, I only didn’t research for one city, that’s Munich! Why? Becaue the initial plan was to arrive late in Munich, sleep and then hop into the next morning’s train to Fussen. However the plan changed because we got shorter waiting time in our transit time in Mainheim and long story short, we already reached Munich at 1 in the afternoon! It means we had half day to explore Munich!

The first thing came up in my mind was, “I have to go to see van Gogh’s sunflower here!” So I googled and it was said to be housed in Pinakothek. I asked Bandi to google the transportation and taa-daa 30 minutes and 1 gelatto later, I was in Pinakothek.

I asked Bandi to wait outside because he did prefer to enjoy the garden view and played his Candy Crush game than following me inside the museum.

The things about Munich’s museum: (1) It’s cheap! I only paid €7 and it was already included the audio-guide! Holy moly! Try in other European Museums where the audio guide itself already costed you €5! (2) It’s not crowded at all! While European Museums are usually crowded and full of tourists, Munich’s museum was sooooo quiet.

I browsed around and I felt funny because all the paintings were from 1700’s and below. How would an impressionist painting fit in here? And then I asked one of the museum staff, “Where is Van Gogh’s paintings?”

“Van Gogh’s are in the New Pinakothek. This is the Old Pinakothek.”

And then I saw my entrance ticket and it was written “Alte Pinakothek” so I figured Alte means Old. #%^*@!!! I got into the wrong pinakothek.

“May I know where is the New Pinakothek?”

“It’s just around the corner from the exit of this building. But it’s closed for today.”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! And then I broke down on my knees and cried. Ok, Not really. I was exaggerating.

I went out the museum and approached Bandi with that stupid grin on my face. He was like, “what did you do?” LOL.

After I told Bandi, he said “let’s just see the building since it’s very near.” So yeah I went to the New Pinakothek which was closed that day. Darn it!

And then the Munich Fiesta began!!! I loveeee food in Munich. They are tasty, relatively cheap and in big portion. Munich also has some kind of mall in the interchange of the subway. Felt like Singapore actually. But the good news is, there were a lot of snack shops! Yaiy! Happy tummy happy Bandi!

The clock tower near Marienplatz

The clock tower near Marienplatz

Marienplatz, the centre of the Munich Market. Let the hungry games begin!!! XD

Marienplatz, the centre of the Munich Market. Let the hungry games begin!!! XD

Pork knuckle! Super Haram!!!

Pork knuckle! Dan besoknya asam urat gue pun naik…. T.T

Photo 22-10-13 4 53 17 pm

Bandi’s choice of fiesta!

And to compliment the good food is good drinks!

And to compliment the good food is good drinks!

Toko yang jualan cabe doang. Lewat situ pun gue bersin2.

Toko yang jualan cabe doang. Lewat situ pun gue bersin2.

How cute is the market?! =)

How cute is the market?! =)

Technical Stuff!

Transportation: Tram and Subway. Pretty easy and not so expensive.

Take note: If you dare, you don’t need to buy the subway ticket and just hop in to the subway train. If nobody checks the ticket then you’re fine. We did that once. LOL

Lodging: We stay with a host via airbnb.

The Amazing Neuschweinstain Castle

The next morning we rushed to the Muenchen HBF and took the train to Fussen. It took about 2 hours train ride full of farm animals scenery so I enjoyed it very much. :)

In every 5 minutes I would shriek, “Kyaaa~~! Fat cow!” or “Sleepy cow!” or “Dalmation cow!” And Bandi would pretend to sleep. Tsk.

We arrived in Fussen around 10 and looked for the bus stop nearby. We rode the bus to Hohenschwangau village for about 20 minutes and when we finally reached there I fell in love instantly! The village was sooooo beautiful and homey! I could even see the castles from a far. I couldn’t wait to go up to the hill and go inside!

Remember this!!! You must book the tickets online and book your slot. You will pay the tickets in the ticket counter but if you didn’t book online, you will suffer by the never ending queue!!! One more time: BOOK EVERYTHING ONLINE!

The slot to visit the castle is every 30 minutes and it is compulsory to follow the timing. You will only be allowed to enter the castle 5 minutes before the tour begin. There will be a guide for every tour and it is already inclusive with your ticket price so don’t worry. What you have to do is just enjoy the awesome castle and jaw-dropping along the way.

That's the castle! Let's go up!!!

That’s the castle! Let’s go up!!!

Up! Up! Up!

Up! Up! Up!

Don't forget to take photos along the way! :D

Don’t forget to take photos along the way! :D

40 minutes later... yaiy!

40 minutes later… yaiy!

The entrance of the castle. So fairy tale-like!!! Kyaa~~~

The entrance of the castle. So fairy tale-like!!! Kyaa~~~

We weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside but seriously this place is soooo terrifyingly beautiful!!! Not only the castle, but also the surrounding. The foliage, the rocky mountains, the hills, the river, the village, they all collide into one and become one amazing place that really really took my breath away.

Here’s a little interesting fact about the castle. This castle is actually not finished. Can you imagine how awesome this would be if it was actually finished??? King Ludwig II was found dead drowned in the lake with his psychiatrist (*ahem* lover) thus this castle was never finished. Ludwig had also never sat on the throne because before the throne was finished, Ludwig was already deemed psychologically unstable. Oh… how ironic.

People perceived Ludwig as the mad king… well I think he’s a genius king. He also looked quite handsome though. But we all know most gay guys are handsome right?!

The view from the castle's balcony.

The view from the castle’s balcony. I will never forget this ever, in my life.

The unforgettable view. Ludwig could see this everyday. =)

The unforgettable view. Ludwig could see this everyday. =)

We took a horse carriage back to Hohenschwangau because I seriously couldn't walk anymore!!!

We took a horse carriage back to Hohenschwangau because I seriously couldn’t walk anymore!!!

Germany is so underrated. I am sooo going back to Germany and explore more!!! It’s such an amazing country! It’s beautiful, the food is great and the people are nice! I will so come back!!!

At Starbucks Munich. The barista could write my name but couldn't write Bandi's. LOL

At Starbucks Munich. The barista could write my name but couldn’t write Bandi’s. LOL

Love-Hate Relationship with Italy

We spent most days of the trip in Italy. We started from Venice and went south to Firenze, went north up again to Bologna, Parma and then Torino, went to south west to Cinque Terre and then all the way down south to Rome.

Actually there are so many places in Italy I want to visit but I only had so limited time so I could only cover just a little bit. I still want to come back for Pompeii, Naples, Sicily, Lake Como, and of course come back to Cinque Terre.

The Veneto Region

A lot of people questioned me why I didn’t like Venice. Well, it’s not that I didn’t like it. I just won’t be coming back there to stay. I will probably come back to Veneto to visit Burano, but not Venice.

For me, Venice is waaaay to touristy. Yes, it is a very VERY VERY pretty town. You can shoot any photo with any angle, without even trying and it would still turn up to be a wonderful photo. Venice is photogenic.

The small alley of venice. You'll definitely be lost in Venice at least once!

The small alley of venice. You’ll definitely be lost in Venice at least once!

Boats were like cars. Everyone must have one.

Boats were like cars. Everyone must have one.

Cutey couple hand in hand.

Cutey couple hand in hand.

The famous gondola

The famous gondola

Sunset in Venice.

Sunset in Venice. HDR.

The most beautiful shot of Venice. It looks 100x better in sunset.

The most beautiful shot of Venice. It looks 100x better in sunset. (Edited)

But Venice doesn’t have personality. I couldn’t find a personality for Venice. I couldn’t read it. Everyone were tourists. I couldn’t hardly spot local people. Even the waiter/waitresses were Indian people with very thick Indian accent.

True Venetians kept leaving Venice and the population had becoming lesser and lesser. There were dark alleys with abandoned empty houses with a strong smell of urine, while the bigger path along the canal was so lively, packed with overpriced restaurant offering tourists a “venetian experience”. I don’t think there is anything venetian about that.

I’m sorry for all the Venice lovers out there, Venice is just not my cup of tea. =)

But of course my trip to Venice wasn’t totally screwed since I found the hidden gem called Burano. It’s an island located northeast from Venice.

Venice is the "A" point while Burano is the "B" point.

Venice is the “A” point while Burano is the “B” point.

The population is only 2 thousand people. I saw little kids buying football star cards from the kiosk after school, they bought gelatto too. Their mom picked them up from school. After school they had their lunch and then everyone had siesta, which meant napping time. When the household was napping, the house’s curtain would be closed. When the siesta was finished, they opened the curtain again. Oh man… I forgot when was the last time I had a nap. What a good life.

I walked around Burano for an hour. It was a very slow walk with some stops at Gelatteria and dozen times for taking photos. Can you imagine how small it is?

Small and serene. I fell in love with Burano.

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HDR

I wish I could live here. =)

I wish I could live here. =)

Gelatto!

Gelatto!

Bandi and his weird face

Bandi and his weird face

And he always said, "Mana tangannya?" =')

And he always said, “Mana tangannya?” =’)

Impressive clouds

Impressive clouds

Love!

Love!

Ahh… basically I easily fell in love with small town.

Florence, Calenzano, Bologna, Parma, Turin.

From Venice, we took the morning train to Firenze (or known as Florence). We had quite an experience when we took the morning train. The train was early and we needed to go out from our host’s house at 6 am. The thing was… the alley from the house to the bus station was dark and kinda scary. I swear to god, if I was alone, I would just prefer missing the train than walking on that dark alley. We waited about half hour in the bus stop, with our backpacks on and were scared that some drunkards or mafia would come approach us.

Thankfully there were no such things. The bus came and we hopped on. 30 minutes later we reached the Venezia Mestre train station and heading to Firenze.

Firenze was… err….

*ahem*

Let me just say this. If David wasn’t in that city, I WOULD CURSE ALL OF YOU who asked me to go there! David is the only good thing from Firenze. There is no way I would come back again!

Do I sound angry? Wait until you hear Bandi’s version.

No lah, just kidding. Firenze wasn’t that bad. I was exaggerating.

But honestly it was quite boring. Firenze was full of tourists, scammers, shits (literally) and angry motorists.

A friendly dog with a scary face I met in Firenze.

A friendly dog with a scary face I met in Firenze.

NO GPL = Gak Pake Lama

NO GPL = Gak Pake Lama

A cool street artist

A cool street artist

Bandi orderin a cup of cappuccino for me.

Bandi orderign a cup of cappuccino for me.

Bandi dan Meitri pergi ke pasaaaarrr!

Bandi dan Meitri pergi ke pasaaaarrr!

Bandi jajan di Pasar

Bandi jajan di Pasar

Piazza Duomo where the cool artists hang

Piazza Duomo where the cool artists hang

Going to Uffizzi Galery

Going to Uffizzi Galery

Impersonating "David." LOL

Impersonating “David.” LOL

But David… was just so mindblowing. I don’t understand anything about sculpture but seeing David standing tall so relaxed yet ambitious somehow mesmerized me.  And did I mention his butt was damn hot?!

Illegally snapped inside Accademia.

The original “David” by Michaelangelo, housed at Accademia, illegally snapped. :p

From Firenze we stayed a night at Calenzano, a small new-built town full of block apartment but no restaurants in sight. We were biking around trying to find any pizzeria but couldn’t find any. So we went to Carrefour and bought the food court’s pizza. So sad…. :(

Where is this pizza place!!! I'm so hungry!!!

Where is this pizza place!!! I’m so hungry!!!

The next morning our host, Francesco drove us to Senso Fiorentino train station where we took the train back to Firenze Santa Novella and hopped onto another train that took us to Bologna.

Somewhere in Bologna, on the mission to find pasta fresca, but in the end we ate frozen pasta. Bummer.

Somewhere in Bologna, on the mission to find pasta fresca, but in the end we ate frozen pasta. Bummer.

The free dessert from a nice waiter.

The free dessert from a nice waiter.

They said Bologna has the best fresh Pasta in Italy but I couldn’t find any because all the Pasta Fresca Ristorante were still closed. So after we walked around in the center area we ate a frozen pasta in some coffee bar.

We had the worst train delay in Bologna. We were waiting for almost 2 hours. for our train to Parma! %^#$!!!

Delay again....

Delay again….

While waiting for the “ritardo” (delay) announcement Bandi and I learned a lot about numbers in Italian. I’m pretty fast at grasping language while Bandi is more ignorant. So I asked him, “Uno, duo, tres… And then?”

He replied, “un pasito padelante Maria!” lengkap dengan nada Ricky Martin!

I was laughing my ass off! My boyfriend is so adorably stupid! XD

But of course like Indonesian proverbs said “bersakit sakit dahulu bersenang senang kemudian” (same meaning as there is a rainbow after the rain) I had a great time in Parma. The twelve years old may’s dream came true. Full story here.

The next morning, we took a very early train on 5 am in Parma station that brought us to Turin. On the train, we shared the coach with so many Juventus’ fans, came all the way from different parts of Italy just to watch Juventus vs Genoa. Bandi had already given up that he won’t watch the match live because all tickets were sold out. It was kinda strange because it wasn’t usually like that. It turned out it was because there was some kind of tifosi “meeting” that so many buses from all around Italy visited Juventus stadium.

Bandi, happy like a 5 years old kid.

Bandi, happy like a 5 years old kid.

The experience was so amazing though. It was my first time to be surrounded by thousand of people wearing juventus attribute. Bandi was smiling all day.

Bandi, in front of Juventus stadium.

Bandi, in front of Juventus stadium.

Going to Juventus Museum!

Going to Juventus Museum!

Bandi, taking photo with the real champions league cup!

Bandi, taking photo with the real champions league cup!

Most caps: Alessandro Del Piero.

Most caps: Alessandro Del Piero.

2006 world cup... a very emotional moment for both of us. =)

2006 world cup… a very emotional moment for both of us. =)

Bandi and the cut-up board of his lifetime hero. I hope someday he could meet Del Piero for real. =)

Bandi and the cut-up board of his lifetime hero. I hope someday he could meet Del Piero for real. =)

He loves the wording. =)

He loves the wording. =)

Bandi in Juventus store. This is his wonderland. ;D

Bandi in Juventus store. This is his wonderland. ;D

The tifosi.

The tifosi.

I could totally feel the different between a winning team like Juventus and a “small” team like Parma. First of all, about stadium. In Parma I could go inside the stadium free, nobody was there! I could snap hundreds photos without people giving a fuck; while in Turin, we should pay €25 to go on stadium tour plus Juventus museum. Holy crap! Thank god Bandi was buying.

Second of all, the tifosi (supporter). Of course Juventus has muuuuch more tifosi than Parma dan you could feel their desire to win. I could see it from Bandi. Everytime I saw him watching Juventus match, or talking about Juventus, I fell deeper in love with him. He was so passionate about it, he loves it. I only see his eyes sparkling when he talks about two things: Juventus and me. (awwww).

Third of all, the store. Juventus was sponsored by Nike and Parma was sponsored by… no particular contract for the outfit I think. So Juventus store was soooo big and crowded and the tills kept cha-ching while Parma was so quiet.

It was kinda sad actually. I remembered I cried a lot back then when I was still actively supporting Parma. But it is about history really. The winning team is the one that has history. And now I realize Parma doesn’t have that. :(

Cinque Terre

Are you guys still reading? Good.

This one’s a great story.

This is a story when we hiked from Vernazza to Monterosso. It might sound simple but seriously it was more adventurous than it seems. It wasn’t a normal hike. It was that type of hiking that if you made a wrong step or if you *knock on wood* slipped, you could die. Okay I might be exaggerating a bit but you would at least suffer a serious injury.

We started the hiking from the sea side of Vernazza

We started the hiking from the sea side of Vernazza

Ohhh the sound of the waves. =)

Ohhh the sound of the waves. =)

But it’s not the danger that made it exciting (although sometimes it is), but it’s the view, the experience and the fact that Bandi and I looked for each other. I have never felt so aware of someone else’s safety til then. I was watching his step and he was watching mine. We kept worrying about each other and kept saying, “Watch your step, sweetie…” or “Look out for the rocks.”

The trail

The trail

Fighting!

Fighting!

We had a crazy beautiful view from the top of the hill, watching the ocean below us. We were singing the “rain rain go away song” and then the rain did stop! Bandi sang “Maju tak gentar” to cheer me up, I was almost fainted then. LOL. It was just so fun and crazy at the same time. I mean, we didn’t want any serious physical pain then because of the long walks and the long trip and the heavy backpack, we didn’t know the hiking trail was that serious! But we did it and it was incredible.

Yaiy! We reached the top! Now all we have to do is going down to the next village. Arrghh

Yaiy! We reached the top! Now all we have to do is going down to the next village. Arrghh

I was pretty much dead once we reached Monterosso. LOL

I was pretty much dead once we reached Monterosso. LOL

I also never thought of Bandi as a nature loving kind of man. He gets rashes near trees and grass but that day he told me, “I didn’t know I could really enjoy it. And I did enjoy it so much!”

We spent 3 days in Cinque Terre and we had a good life there. We had dinner at 6 pm and we were already relaxing at 7 pm, either talking or eating snacks. There were no TV or internet so we did have intimate times talking and sharing our feelings. =)

Ah… I left my heart in Cinque Terre. I’ll be back someday. I WILL!

Bandi, in Vernazza

Bandi, in Vernazza

Finally find a beach in Monterosso

Finally find a beach in Monterosso

Found a heart-shaped pebble so I made that. ;)

Found a heart-shaped pebble so I made that. ;)

Monterosso, the pretty little town.

Monterosso, the pretty little town.

And it is A SIN not to take advantage of the romantic setting by taking cheesy photos, riiighttt?

And it is A SIN not to take advantage of the romantic setting by taking cheesy photos, riiighttt?

Eating a good pesto sauce there!

Eating a good pesto sauce there!

Manarola, my favorite town of all five.

Manarola, my favorite town of all five.

Rome

Rome is hands down the most beautiful city in Italy. I’m serious.

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I have the love-hate relationship with Italy. I’ve been intrigued by Italy since I was a kid. At the beginning, I fell in love with its football, and then with its language, and then with its pop accapella group, Neri Per Caso, and then I kept falling in love more and more when I read about all the beautiful things in Italy.

But then I hate it too for its bad reputation of racism, lack of humanity and dirty politics.

Stepping my foot in Italy was surreal at first. I had just traveled to the other European countries, the better, the richer, the more stable countries. Italy was considered much poorer compared to them. It felt like Indonesia  compared to the neighbors. But somehow, the culture and the feeling were so different too. Italy has the passion to live, urge to win, and this magical vibe that is impossible to explain with words.

Bandi swore a lot when we were in Italy. Every 200 meters, we encountered cute dogs and every 500 meters we encountered dog’s shits, and if we’re lucky, people’s shits too. What? Bird’s shits? Bird shits are everywhere.

But every 500 meters we also encountered beautiful buildings, genius architectures and enticing history. I encountered delicious gelatto and to-die-for espresso in every bar I stepped in.

One thing I will never miss from Italy is the way Italians smoke. They smoke in every possible (even impossible) conditions! In the scooter, inside the car, walking the dogs, hugging their friends, eating their gelatto, queuing for restaurant, anywhere, anytime! They have this habit to put cigarette on their lips just one stop before the bus/train reached their destination. When the bus/train finally stopped and they stepped on the road, they lit their cigarette. They couldn’t wait even one more second to delay smoking.

This fact is so ironic with their regional trains, which are always delayed! Do you know what is the first word I learned in Italy? Ritardo, means delay. It only took 5 days for me to understand completely the full Italian train announcement. “In treno regionale (insert number) destinazione (insert city name) blah blah blah cinque/dicci/venti (five/ten/twenty) minuti ritardo.” There it was, the delay announcement I faced almost in all my regional trips in Italy.

Now let’s talk about my other love for Italy. Coffee. Bandi used to ask me “what time is it?” and I replied, “It’s espresso o’clock!” Yes! you can drink espresso anytime you want in Italy! Go to any bar, make sure you stand in a bar (DO NOT SIT DOWN unless you want to be charged double!) and then say “Vorrei un cafe.” It usually costs €1.00 or €1.20 for a single espresso. If you want macchiato or cappuccino it costs around €1.80 to €2.00. I didn’t say please in Italy (not like in Paris where everything ended with sil vous plait) simply because Italians are rude that way. Sometimes they didn’t say “Grazie” too! I’m being serious.

But my most favorite Italian culture is of course the football culture. :) Well, I must say that Italians take football too seriously. “What is your religion?” go ahead try asking a guy in Turin and he would answer “JUVENTUS! FINO ALLA FINE!” “What is your religion? to a guy in Rome and he would answer “ROMA PER SEMPRE!” It is most likely to change job, to change wife or to even change your religion, but in Italy it is IMPOSSIBLE to change your favorite football team. When you love a team, you’d stuck with it forever. Because it’s an unconditional love.

I went to Juventus stadium when there was a match between Juventus and Genoa. The atmosphere was sooooo passionate and burning! It wasn’t even my team but it was sooooo amazing! Everyone sticks together for their team! The ambience, the euphoria and the feeling… just WOW. They have the desire to win, they need to win!

Bandi’s motto in Italia was “live like local” which means crossing the road as you like, and ride public transportation without paying. Seriously, after a week of paying public transport, we stopped paying because Italy is messed up that way. We rode anywhere we wanted and anytime we wanted. How much? We didn’t know anymore! LOL! We had this inside joke “ini negara bapak lo yah?” because we didn’t pay for bus/tram inside the city and even one time for a regional train!

The most remarkable building in history. Pantheon. 2000 years old and succeeded to make me cry because of its beauty.

The most remarkable building in history. Pantheon. 2000 years old and succeeded to make me cry because of its beauty.

Inside Pantheon. MUST MUST MUST Visit while in Rome. and it is FREE ADMISSION!

Inside Pantheon. MUST MUST MUST Visit while in Rome. and it is FREE ADMISSION!

Colloseum

Colloseum

Trevi fountain, sooo packed with people. But it was truly one sweet memory I had. =)

Trevi fountain, sooo packed with people. But it was truly one sweet memory I had. =)

Vatican City. Amazingly beautiful.

Vatican City. Amazingly beautiful.

The must have picture inside Vatican Museum. :p

The must have picture inside Vatican Museum. :p

In front of St. Peters Basilica. The greatest, biggest church in the world, where a lot of masterpiece of artworks  belong.

In front of St. Peters Basilica. The greatest, biggest church in the world, where a lot of masterpiece of artworks belong.

The ten days journey in Italy ended in the most beautiful city in Italy, Rome, and in a sweet way with the sweet champagne. If you can only stop in one city in Italy, make it Rome. It has more history in square meter than anywhere in the world! Stepped into pantheon and I shed a tear because it was just too damn beautiful!!! And the Sistine Chapel… OH MY GOD!!! It was surreal! You will wish that Michaelangelo would live another 70 years to make more arts. And St. peter Basilica… Holy mother of god! You’d lost words…

I hated some things from Italy, but the love was just too strong it won’t fade away.

Italy, you will always have a special place in my heart. =) Forza Italia!

We saved the best for the last

We reached Athens around 3 pm and had the next morning flight to Santorini. Athens wasn’t in our plan because it was only meant to be a transit, but after talking with the hotel’s receptionist, it was just so wrong not to explore the city a little bit, so we did.

We had a great meal, found out that Greek people are friendly and Athens is surely a beautiful city. I will definitely come back for a real holiday someday!!!

But of course the spotlight for this trip was stolen by…

SANTORINI!

SANTORINI!

It was soooooo amazingly surreal you would actually think you were inside a desktop wallpaper!!! Santorini was so freakingly beautiful, I lost words!!!

In Santorini, the color of the building collides with the skies… The sea breezes together with the singing bird and the wind… The crazy beautiful sunset blends the colorful wild flowers… And the happy people drinks the delicious wine… And they all are mixed together into one magical paradise.

I couldn’t tell many stories from Santorini. What we did was only laying down, smooching, eating, smooching again, riding a donkey, lazying on the balcony, smooching again, eating again, and repeat.

Bandi, just lazying around everyday

Bandi, just lazying around everyday

Snacks, drinks, and goal.com on the phone screen.

Snacks, drinks, and goal.com on the phone screen.

Waiting for the beautiful sunset. =)

Waiting for the beautiful sunset. =)

So Bandi could take an awesome photos like this.

So Bandi could take an awesome photos like this.

So that we could take this amazing "accidental" photo of sunset behind us!!! Hands down! Best photo ever!

Or this amazing “accidental” photo of sunset behind us!!! Hands down! Best photo ever!

Santorini was the most romantic place I’ve ever visited. While Paris is historically and dramatically romantic, Santorini was more sexy-kind of romantic. It was secluded, passionate and magical.

With this kind of view, I didn't really care what the food tasted like. LOL

With this kind of view, I didn’t really care what the food tasted like. LOL

I rode a donkey once!

I rode a donkey once!

The pedestrian path in Santorini was built with marble?!! OMG!! Heaven!

The pedestrian path in Santorini was built with marble?!! OMG!! Heaven!

Keep calm in Santorini? DUH!! OF COURSE!!!

Keep calm in Santorini? DUH!! OF COURSE!!!

The bay to cross over to the Volcano island.

The bay to cross over to the Volcano island.

The last sunset in Santorini. I will surely see you again!

The last sunset in Santorini. I will surely see you again!

Hands down, I think this is the best honeymoon destination. Even two straight guys coming here together would definitely turned out to be gay. It’s that magical!!! =)

The other interesting things

Did we bring Brownie? to answer this post.

Yes we do! Here’s a proof!

Hellowww!!!

Hellowww!!!

Was bringing Brownie a good idea?

YES! He was the reason I could sleep comfortable on the train and plane! He was also so damn cute. But that’s another context.

Did I throw some clothes?

Yes I did! Our policy was… eye for an eye. I bought two t-shirts, so I threw two shirts as well. Bandi bought one shirt and one sweater but he didn’t throw any. BECAUSE HE IS ANNOYING that waaaaaaay!

Did we shop?

Yes, if buying magnets and postcards as souvenirs considered shopping. But do we shop, like really SHOP? No. Unfortunately no. I love my back… and my bank account. :p

Does it change our perspective in life?

Change is a big word. It did give me new perspective, it did teach me more things and broadened my perspective, which I think is a good thing. I become richer in value and experiences. But change? No. I am still the same person with a bigger perspective. =)

What was the ultimate proof that Bandi and I were made for each other?

Hmm… I think it was when I realize I could take him the way he is. I could finally laugh on his annoying habit and accept his flaws. Honestly, backpacking is not that easy. There were times when we were both tired, hungry, itchy (for not taking showers) and a little comment would make us wanting to kill each other, but somehow  we ended up laughing.

We always looked out for each other. When I was sick, Bandi brought both backpacks, one on his chest and one on his back and he still made sure one of his hand was free to hold my hand.

But the ultimate proof was… we could read each other’s mind. Maybe because we talked a lot to each other, in some point we could read each other’s mind. We used to see something and then “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” and then laughing for the reasons that haven’t been said.

I think so. I am pretty sure we were made for each other. =)

If I ever revisit Europe where I would go for sentimental reason, re-experience the joy of beauty, and explore the unknown?

First of all, “If I ever revisit Europe…” GOD WHAT IS THAT “IF”?  I WILL DEFINITELY REVISIT, like hundreds of times! I even plan to visit Europe every year! Hear hear Universe! LOL

A) Sentimental reason

Cinque Terre, for the sweet memories.

Paris, just to check on our padlock.

B) Re-experience the joy of Beauty

Germany and Switzerland. AMAZINGLY beautiful!

Reims, I’m seriously planning to stay there for a month or two. =)

C) Explore the unknown

Prague! Vienna! Berlin! Istambul! Naples! Athens! Barcelona! Norway!

What do I loath the most?

Bandi will shout at once, “FIRENZE!” Oh man… all the shits were lying around on the streets…

For me, I dislike Venezia.

What is our craziest (happy) moment during the trip? Skinny dipping in Santorini?

Hmm, I wish I skinny dipped in Santorini!!! But I think the ocean was too cold for a dip, with our without clothes. However, I would like to skinny dip with Bandi someday, that would be fun! But of course preferable in summer time.

The crazy happiest moment was… (I actually give time to think like for a minute)

when we crossed the suspension bridge in Mount Titlis.

So here’s a fact. Bandi and I are a wimp when it comes to height. Bandi didn’t always show his fear because he always wanted to keep me calm but I know he’s also not a big fan of height.

We skipped the Titlis flier even though we had a pass because we’re a couple of wimps. Boo us!

Anyway, the suspension bridge is quite long and when I first stepped on it, I didn’t know it was scary (and long). Honestly I didn’t do research for Mt. Titlis because we took a half-day tour from Lucerne so everything was taken care of, I thought. Little did I know, the bridge was wobbling whenever you crossed it, and what was below you? clouds and snows. HOLY CRAP. I thought I could die of heart attack!

I almost peed my pants and I talked to Bandi with my squeaking voice, “I can’t move! I wanna go back.” But he held my hand and said, “Don’t look down! Just keep walking!” And then I did keep walking. I walked faster and faster and finally reached the other side of the bridge and I caught a breath. Bandi then was laughing, “HOLY CRAP wans’t that scary?”

YOU THINK?!!!

It wasn’t that CRAZY-crazy but it was the highest adrenalin during the trip and I swear I almost peed my pants. T.T If you don’t believe me, see the suspension bridge photos here.

Why didn’t I take picture in suspension bridge? YOU TELL ME!!! Groooaaagh!

So what’s the moral of the story? If you can’t stand heights, next time do your research before step into any bridge!

Which continent will we conquer next?

Well, I humbly say I haven’t conquered Europe at all. I still want to go back to Europe, explore the south part of Europe like South France; Avignon, Provence, Arles; South Italy; Sicily, Naples; and of course Greek Islands and Turkey (if I can call it South part) After south part, I plan to explore the upper east and east like Czech, Hungary, Austria, Poland and on… And then there’s the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland if it’s possible. =) I still want to come back to Europe again and again and again and again… I left my heart there anyway. ;)

But if I should say, what continent I am willing to explore after Europe, it would be America of course!!! South America with their beautiful beaches! Oh yeah! Someday I’ll go there too. =)

But for the short term plan, Bandi and I have already planned the ultimate Indonesian adventure! Wooott! I’ll write about it at the end of this post. =)

How do I pee during the trip?

Yes, you need to pay for toilet in Europe. And please take note I pee a lot! I could pee like 10 times a day. Some toilet costs €1 while some costs €2, so if I pee 10 times a day and half of them done outside, I need to pay around €7 per day and it would cost so much! So, how did I do it? Well, in some emergency cases I did pay to go pee-pee but most of the cases, I just walked in to any bar, order an espresso which cost €1.20 and went to the bar’s toilet. Am I a genius??? LOL. I also ALWAYS pee on the train five minutes before the destination.

To complete the toilet issue, “Ada kayak tempatnya ditrotoar gitu?” Toilet booth yang di trotoar ini cuma pernah gue liat di Paris, di kota lain nggak pernah liat. Toilet yang bayar itu biasanya kayak toilet umum biasa aja, cuma ada orang yang jagain buat minta duit. Beberapa toilet chain company bikin kayak automatic gate gitu (mostly in train station) jadi kita cuma masukin coin €1 atau €2 trus gatenya kebuka so kita bisa masuk ke toilet. Hanya satu tempat dimana toilet is free… in Santorini!

Do I sleep on my way to Europe?

YES, of course! If I didn’t sleep, I’d be like zombie because I reached London at 8 in the morning so if I didn’t sleep I would be living 2 and half day full! But yeah as we know, sleeping on the plane is not that comfy, especially I was coughing and had flu when we started the journey. :(

Is it true that there are donkey shits everywhere in Santorini?

True and false.

Santorini center area, where there is market, restaurant, shops and ice cream parlor etc, used white marble as the pavement road and can only be entered by people. There is another road using asphalt for cars. So, can you imagine how pretty it would be to walk in a white marble surrounded by white houses and Aegean Sea? And no, no donkey shits in sight.

However, there is one particular road from Donkey Station to the Volcano Port that is full of Donkey shits, from the fresh shits to the dried shits. The smell was… well, unexplainable. And guess what? Bandi slipped and fell down on that road! Ewww!!! And I called him “shitty pants” and refused to go near to him. LOL.

Did I discover a new bad habit from Bandi?

Actually no, or maybe I didn’t really pay attention, LOL. We had too much fun (and too much fight) so we didn’t really pay attention for the bad habits. It’s probably also because… when you go traveling, especially on backpacking, you’re turning yourself into another mode, the easy-mode. The normal me wouldn’t survive the rashes of a three days consecutive shirt because I have very sensitive skin, but the easy-mode me didn’t mind the rashes and just took minyak kayu putih and rubbed on it.

The normal me wouldn’t survive the tangled hair, the untreated pimples, but easy-mode me did survive those. I didn’t have the luxury of time for taking care of myself, so I just let the nature ruined my skin, my hair and my nails. I’m back to Singapore ugly, broke and happy. :p

Bandi also always changed his socks everyday but during the trip it’s almost impossible to do that so he compromised the smelly socks. Some socks didn’t survive til the end, so we threw it away. Oh, don’t get me started on panties… HAHAHA

Okay I’m starting to rambling about our little secrets, I should I stop. And to answer the question, I didn’t discover any bad habit from him because we were like cave people over there, so I couldn’t tell if it was a bad habit.

What happened to our house when we came back?

The house is pretty much the same because we have roommates! It’s not fully abandoned of course. =D

How do I feel when I visited the Museums?

The first thing came to my mind was always this: “Oh how I wish I lived in this city so I could come here anytime I want.”

I loveeeeeeee all the museums I’ve visited but of course there are favorites!!

Here are the list of my favorite musems…

1. Orsay Museum, Paris.  (Musée d’Orsay)

2. National Gallery, London

And: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

These two are tight. I couldn’t decide which one I love more.

3. Gallery Borghese, Rome.

Okay, so now I’ll start blabbering about art. I came to Europe only knowing two things: I love renaissance dresses which hopefully I would see more from paintings and I love impressionism. I came back knowing (and loving) hundred things! The reason why I love Orsay the most is because it has one whole floor for impressionist paintings! I will come back again to Paris and I will visit Orsay again for sure! I saw a loooot of Monet paintings which are soooo beautiful, some from Van Gogh, Gaugin, Manet, Degas, Pissaro and I might not remember all of the title of the paintings but if you show it to me I would probably know who painted that. I love it that true artists have their own style and preference.

And I will never forget my encounter with this amazing painting named “The Circus” by Seurat, stood grand and beautiful in front of me. It was unforgettable.

National Gallery has left a very good impression for me maybe because it was the first art museum I visited during the trip. I was introduced to pointillism there and I first saw so many new names like Seurat, Signac and Pissaro. I couldn’t contain my excitement when I saw so many beautiful paintings there for me to enjoy and learn. It was the very first time I went to a world class art museum, ever. So I spent time there until there was an announcement that the museum needed to close. :D

Van Gogh Museum is of course one of my favorite. Having a guide is a must here if you want to get to know much more about Van Gogh and his work. The museum really showed the details of Van Gogh’s art pieces and how he did it. There was one room that has a microscope to see how the paint in Van Gogh’s art look like x1000 and some x-ray of Van Gogh’s painting to prove that Van Gogh indeed using recycle object to paint. He was that poor.

I know I’m into paintings and sculpture wasn’t really my thing, but it was changed when I visited Gallery Borghese. I encountered some of the greatest sculpture by Bernini and oh my god they are just soooo beautiful! My personal favorite is “Apollo and Daphne”, I think it’s the best sculpture ever created on earth!!!

The story about the Villa Borghese is actually interesting. There was a wealthy, powerful man named Scipione Borghese who has a great taste for art. He was later made a Cardinal by his uncle, Pope Paul V. So then he was not only rich and powerful, he was also an important man. He collected art from the great artists on the era (1600’s) and decided to open the gallery for public to enjoy. I think this could be like the first art museum ever. The story of how he collected the art pieces is interesting. Some, he got it, um.. let’s just say in an incorrect way.

Cardinal Borghese also built the gallery itself with heart and soul. Every room of the gallery has its own theme and personality. I must say, the gallery has its reason to be exclusive. The gallery doesn’t accept walk-in visitor. You must book a time slot and CAN’T enter the gallery even 5 minutes before your slot begin. You only have maximum 2 hours inside the gallery. Bandi was swearing silently, why is the gallery so arrogant?! But then, it has every reason to be.

I’ve researched some artworks I love when I saw them in the museum and then I’ve written about them on my travel journal, so whenever I forget about them, I could re-live the memory again. =)

Did Bandi and I fight?

OF COURSE!!!! We fought like… zillion times!!! First of all, we always fight when we read maps, because he acted like mr. know-it-all and I hated it. He didn’t let me read maps (which is understandable because I’m bad with directions) but then I got angry when he read it wrongly too! And FYI, I could suddenly read maps whenever I’m in my easy-mode. I was suddenly a survivor.

Second, we also almost always fight about food. Where to eat, whether we must pick the cheap frozen pizza or the expensive fresh pasta, or who chooses the next meal.

Third, we were both grumpy when we were tired, sleepy, hungry and/or on need for toilet.

Forth, sometimes taking photos could end up in fight, especially when I want to be inside the photos and I asked him to take it for me. Here’s the thing, Bandi doesn’t have an eye for art or design. He couldn’t draw a straight line. He’s just so immune of art. So he’s not really good at taking photos. I sometimes complained about my photos (taken by him) and when he was feeling grumpy he would start a fight with “Then next time I won’t take it for you anymore.”

Forth, we were fighting about money. Whenever one made a wrong decision about money, the other usually wasn’t happy about it. Arguments were always happened.

We also had one big fight at the fumicino airport when we were waiting the flight to Athens. It was a little personal but then we’re glad we got through it.

But here’s a good thing…

Bandi and I are good at arguing and complaining to each other, but we are better at making up. =) Usually after we argued, we would just laugh and then said sorry. Or if I was having a big ego moment, I would just call him his pet-name and he would know that I wanted to make up, so we did. =)

Is there anything I wish I would’ve brought to Europe?’

KOYO. I should’ve brought more koyo. I did bring some, but it’s not enough! My back… oh my back….

Is there anything I brought to Europe that I didn’t use at all?

Raincoat. But it’s kinda good luck not to have to use the raincoat. =)

Let’s talk about food!

Let’s!!! I always thought I love European food…. until I really went to Europe. European food was… bland. And it turned out it was because I love the Indonesian version of European food, the enhanced ones! OH MY GOD, my whole life is a lieeeee!!!!

Now I know for sure, my taste bud is 100% Indonesian! I love spices, I love creamy, thick, spicy, soup, I love peanut sauce, and I LOOOOVVVEEE RICE! There, Bandi, I said it. Happy?

However of course, there were some discovery I’ve made during the trip.

1. Amsterdam Fries IS JUST THE BEST!

2. German people eat like there’s no tomorrow. The portion, oh my gosh…

3. I’ve found my alcohol calling. Sparkling Wine! Not just wine, but sparkling wine! Well, preferably Champagne. :p

4. Bandi is such a sweet guy. (eh? I thought I knew it for so long? Just feel like saying it. :”>)

What about the dirty laundry?

Well, well… this is the trickiest part because we were on the move almost everyday so it was a little hard to do laundry but thankfully we were blessed with sunny weather so most of the laundry were dried fast. We did laundry twice in Paris, and then in Amsterdam, Riomaggiore and Rome.

We only brought limited amount of clothes so you will only see the same clothes in every photos. LOL.

For panties, I usually washed them right after the shower. I only brought two pair of bras but I rarely used them because it was Europe! I’ve been dying to go out braless! Just FYI, I hate wearing bra!! I wish I could live in western country where I could be braless everyday!!! :p

Some stories to remember

Lost in translation

I did something stupid in Munich. I was shooed by a cleaning lady when I was about to use the toilet. It turned out it wasn’t because the lady was rude, but because I was entering the wrong toilet. LOL. It wasn’t my fault!!! The toilets weren’t being very clear. They didn’t put any signs in front of the toilets, only word “Dammen” and “Herren”, so I went into the “Dammen” because I thought Herren was supposed to be “Homme”. Nooooo!!!!

No excuses

In Zurich I saw an Asian couple waiting for the same train like us. The man was carrying a 75L backpack which was sooo huge and guess what did the woman bring with her? She was bringing a stroller with a real baby on it!!! OMG! Isn’t it sooo COOL!!!

I mean, yes, I saw a lot of Caucasian couples backpacking with their kids and babies but never have I seen Asian bringing their babies while backpacking! This is such a heartwarming view. :)

It was like a reminder for me that if you really wanted to do something, there is no EXCUSES could stop you.

Ahhh, I can’t go because I have kids… I can’t go because I have to save for mu kids… I can’t go because it’s impossible bakcpacking with kids… WHAT A BULLSHIT!

You CAN go, you just don’t think it’s convenience. So CUT THE CRAP.

I hate it when people commenting, “Ahhh.. It’s easy for your to say because you don’t have kids, you don’t have to save money for a house…” Blah blah blah. EVERYONE HAS THEIR BAGGAGE. They’re just not complaining. They’re looking for solutions.

Oh, wait, why did I bitch out? There would be a special post about bitching later. LOL

Anyway, I salute that Asian couple. ;)

Digerebek Polisi

During the overnight train dari Amsterdam ke Basel gue tidur di tempat tidur paling atas. Satu cabin berisi 6 tempat tidur, dibagi dalam dua sisi. Jadi bisa bayangin dong ribet nya gue turun kalo udah sampe atas? Gue harus lewatin dua orang dibawah gue dan karena gue nggak enteng pasti lah bunyi kriyat-kriyet. Gue kan hobbynya pipis, so menderita banget deh tidur semaleman nggak pipis, so waktu pagi-pagi gue bangun (sekitar jam 5:30) gue mau ke WC aja deh, sekalian sikat gigi, cuci muka terus nunggu kereta sampe di Basel, jadwalnya kan sekitar jam 7 kurang.

Pas gue keluar si Bandi pun terbangun. Dia nanya, “mau kemana?” gue bilang mau pipis. “Aku juga, sekalian aja yuk bawa keluar barang2.” So grasak grusuk lah kita pagi-pagi tuh… Habis semua barang udah keluar cabin, si Bandi ke WC duluan (emang kampret tuh orang! Yang kebelet siapa?) dan gue jagain tas di depan pintu cabin. Tiba-tiba….

JENG JENG JENG! Segerombolan polisi masuk menggerebek cabin gue dan cabin sebelah gue! Panik lah gue dikerubungin polisi gitu! Masalahnya bukan karena kenapa-kenapa, karena gue jadinya nggak bisa kemana-mana, padahal gue mau pipis bangeeeet!

Ada kali tuh 30 menit si polisi menggerebek barang2 bawaan roommate gue. Herannya barang gue kaga disentuh sama sekali. Mereka udah tau target mereka siapa, soalnya emang bener, tiga orang yang digrepe-grepe maksimal ini ternyata bawa ganja. Oalaaaahh pantesan semalem kok bau ganja beneeer! Makanya tidur gue pules! *lho?*

Ya udah intinya si polisi baru selesai menggerebek pas kereta udah mau sampe Basel. KAMPRET!

Tapi untungnya gue sempet pipis kilat sebelum turun di Basel! Phew!

Tante2 take advantage of my Bandi

Jadi ini cerita soal seorang tante yang dari awal hobi nya ngeliatin gue dan Bandi.

Pas sampe Roma, si tante nunjuk-nunjuk koper nya dan minta Bandi bawain! Udah gitu kopernya banyak bener… Si tante nggak pengertian banget, lah masa gue bawa bakcpack dua biji?! Mana bandi nggak dateng2, dan akhirnya jiwa kuli gue keluar lah, gue angkat deh tuh backpack dua biji…. for the next 2 seconds. Hahaha! Terus si Bandi balik deh, thankfully.

Ini setan bukan?

When we walked back from Villa Borghese to the subway station, we forgot one thing, it was already dark and we had to cross over this huge garden inside the villa. Ini pernah kejadian sekali waktu kita pergi ke Gili Trawangan ketika Gili masih sepi dan malem2 nggak ada listrik. Kita jalan kaki pulang gelap-gelapan dan ketakutan. Bandi takut rampok, gue takut setan.

Nah, I can’t believe ini kejadian lagi, padahal gue udah sumpah-sumpah untuk selalu mengingat masalah ini kalo traveling. JANGAN LUPAKAN JALAN DATANG, inget selalu apakah ada lampu, supaya kalo baliknya malam-malam, nggak serem-serem amat.

Lagian tuh Villa Borghese aneh banget! Masa garden segede gitu kagak taruh lampu banyakan dan terangan!!! Walhasil pas gue jalan kaki cepet-cepet mau keluar garden eh tiba-tiba ada yang gerak di deket bangku taman!!! Bandi langsung kaget kan. DEG! Gelaaaapp banget! Kalo feeling sih berasanya manusia gitu. Tapi ngapain dia berdiri sendirian malem-malem buta gitu?!!! Bandi langsung tarik gue setengah lari. Dia takut itu rampok… Dan gue masih sama… gue takutnya itu setan!!!

Who’s mapping?

This one is a compilation of Bandi’s photos, candid, when he was studying the map.

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I really can’t imagine how awfully lost I would be without you, sweetie pie. (both literally and romantically)

The sweet ending from a dog in Santorini

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So I was sitting down on the stairs when suddenly this dog sat next to me very closely (no boundary huh?) And then I played with him for about ten minutes. We watched the sea and talked about stuffs. I even told him that I stayed in Alexander hotel and he could visit me if he wanted. And then I left him.

Two days later when I was waiting for a pick-up to Airport back to Athens this dog came to my hotel!!! OMG!!! It was quite far from the place I met him and he found where I stayed?!! Isn’t it amazing!!?!

I was surprised yet kinda happy. He was like saying goodbye to me and I got s very sweet ending for my adventure. =)

Don’t worry, doggie, I will come back to Santorini. I can promise you! =)

The aftermath

So what happens now after the biggest adventure in my life has ended? Well, It was surreal at first. It feels empty not to have something to look forward to but surprisingly it wasn’t that depressing. I mean, I thought it would be depressing and I would be so dramatic and all, but it wasn’t.

The annoying thing is… Bandi and I had always procrastinated some plans to be done after the Europe trip. We were like “I promise I’ll do it after the Euro trip.” So when the “after euro trip” time has come, we have TONS of things to do on the list, like repairing air-con, cleaning out the closet, trying our luck in a new destination, translating a friend’s book, some project with a friend, and the wedding. ooohhhhh the wedding. How would the wedding be happening when we’re so broke. Damn it. Anyway, that’s why this post comes out so late and you are not allowed to complain because I have so many problems. LOL

The Inspirations

I received so many emails after the Eurotrip ended. Most of them were really inspired and would like to do it. I’m wondering why this happened while I was on the trip and after the trip? Then I realized… It’s because they didn’t believe it happened until it really happened.

Bandi’s little brother has already told Bandi that he wanted to go backpacking to Europe too after he saw our photos. Even though actually we asked him whether he wanted to come along when we planned the trip. I got the idea that people didn’t really believe we would actually do it when we told them about the plan.

So when it actually happened, they were like “Man! So it’s possible to do that!”

Of course it’s possible!

Come to think of it, backpacking to Europe is not that difficult.

You just need money, time, and brain.

Money. Don’t give me the excuses about not having money again. Cut that crap and read this post. I don’t wanna bitch about people and their priorities anymore. If you think you don’t want to “waste” your money on traveling, then SHUT UP.

Time. I saved my leave for the Eurotrip. If I can do it, then you can too. If your company didn’t allow you, then quit the job! Haha.

Brain. This is very important. If you’re dumb, then find a friend who’s smart enough to do the plan.

In the end, it’s about how bad you want it. If you really want it, then you’ll make it happen. If you don’t want it that bad then you’ll find excuses.

One more thing: traveling is not for everyone. You don’t have to travel just because everyone’s doing it. Remember that everyone has their own priority. I don’t watch Kpop even though everyone did, because it’s not my thing. So if traveling is not your thing, stop saying “Ohhh how I wish I could go but I–” cut the crap! I’m a pretty straight up gal. I don’t buy craps.

The next adventure?

Let’s just say we plan something like this awesome…

Bay Indonesian Adv

If the plan can’t happen next year because of the wedding (ooghhh the wedding) then we’ll do it in 2015. Will post later for the Ultimate Indonesian adventure preps!!! Woot woot!!! So excited!!! =D

So, this is it. I don’t have any “hutang” anymore so I can sleep well and play my playstation peacefully. :D

Cheers,

May, achievement unlocked!

The moment I felt invincible

It was my first encounter with snow ever. EVER.

I’ve never liked cold weather. I was born as a sun catcher and a beach lover. I’ve never known how snow feels.

So when I first touched it…

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I LIKE IT!

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I didn’t know it was fun playing with snow when my bestfriend, the sun, was present. It was warm and cold at the same time. It was the good kind of paradox.

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I tried to lick the ice but my other bestfriend, Bandi told me not to. “You don’t want to have a stomach ache on a trip.” He got the point. So I licked him instead.

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It tastes sweet. :)

Of course, we didn’t stop the “selfie” there.

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And then I slept on the snow.

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And then I did some push up on it, you know… for the sake of being fit during the trip. LOL

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And then I slid on it.

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And when I got up, I couldn’t feel my buttock. I tapped on it and the snow fell down from inside of my skirt. LOL.

And then I climbed up to the cliff walk. And I saw this.

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Shot in HDR

And I thought…

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I am invincible.

I had that moment. It was just about 5 seconds. I looked down and I closed my eyes because I was scared. I breathed the air in and then I opened my eyes and there it was…. The greatest view I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

And then I reminded myself, I should never worry about anything. ANYTHING. The universe is so great and the universe is invincible. The universe is always at my side… and I am invincible.

I should never be afraid as long as I do the right thing. I should always believe in the good memory, and hold on to it whenever I feel sad. Life is incredible. Earth is beautiful. There are still so many things I haven’t explore.

I looked to the left, looking for Bandi. He was standing quite far from me. He stood still too. I didn’t call him, I let him having his moment too.

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There were only the two of us on the cliff walk. I waited for him to turn his head to me. When he did, he came to me and I asked, “what did you do over there?”

He was speechless. He was titlis-struck too. :)

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Bandi, act-cool

Actually I ‘m preparing an ultimate post for this ultimate journey but it’s still half-written. This morning I woke up remembering Mt. Titlis and I just copied half of my camera’s memory card to the laptop so I felt like reminiscing this moment. =)

Bye for now Titlis!

Bye for now Titlis!

I’ll post more soon! Behooolllddd people!!!

Cheers,

May, whose buttock has melted.