Solo Traveller


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Three Cliffs Bay, South Wales, April 2014

Travelling isn’t always about where you’ve been to many great famous places but whom you spent the time with. For me, travelling alone, meeting people, deciding where the next destination were quite challenging, making me feel that this world has it arms open for me. Indeed i found many homes while i was away from a place i called home.

Never be afraid of getting lost. I will tell you why, because it is funny that when you are lost, you did found the real you inside. Being lost triggers that bravery inside us, the true us. How to survive while you were starving in the streets where nobody knows you and while you too, then, realise that you are nobody as well.

In the end, just like a storybook, it’s not about the destination but the most interesting part is the adventure written or told during the journey. The end of the journey somehow is a new start of another journey. Our life will always be a new journey as long as we don’t let ourselves got trapped in the comfort zone too long.

To get out from our comfort zone and not afraid of moving and always be ready to leave and say goodbye is what traveling taught me about this world.

“Life is about courage and going to the unknown” – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Farewell to A Jedi


photo (20)Trying not to drag this thing down in my heart but however, I just can’t.  Two and half year together is not a short time. Somehow I know that this day will come.

No, it’s not just two half and year. When was that when you asked me for the first time, “would like to have lunch with me?”. Yes, you are the first and only person in the office that day, my first day of working, who asked me to have lunch together and that day, I never thought that it would lead us to adventures over adventures.

Small conversations of faith, hopes, and dreams filled up our sometime-boring days in our working desk. Until one day that we stepped into that hall and found our dreams were about to come true.  It was yours, at first. I was almost giving up but then you came up with those challenging-words that started with “what if”.

Yes, “what if”. Two short simple words that changed everything.

These “what if” brought us to the same country, same university, same class, and what we didn’t even plan: same house, same room.

Good times, hard times, though sometimes we didn’t need words to express it, though we’ve tried to break apart somehow God glued us together. We’re just stuck together.

The can-never-stay-away mate.

It’s been an amazing two and half year we’ve shared together. Looking back all through the years, we’re the only couple still together till the very last of our student’s life here.

I know I’ll be lonely (I already am) without you in our room but I just want you to know that you are irreplaceable. I know I’ll see you soon in the future, maybe the same new working place again (no?) hey who knows?

I wish you bright future and great success. This is not the end, it is just another step to another adventure.

Eunika, we made it, Jedi Knights we are now. May the Force be with you, mate.

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Leaning Down in Pisa


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Lean on

We arrived at 8 pm in Pisa. After that awful pizza in Siena which I can’t even finished, I can’t hold the hunger anymore. I queued in front of McDonalds counter and ordered for food. I felt something good about Pisa that night. It turned out to be true which started from a bonus given by the cashier who looks like Jarvis Cocker. Here’s the story: I was waiting for my order to be done which he said that I need to wait for 15 mins. So, I waited, and waited until the last customer finished. He noticed that I was there still waiting then when I came (again) and ask “uhm…my burger?” and he suddenly realized that I haven’t got my order then he grab not only one but three burgers from the racks and put them quickly into the paper bag in front of me. “Ti regalo (a gift from me to you), I am sorry to kept you waiting,” he said while put his hands as a gesture of asking apologize. I said, “Wow, tre (three)?” and he replied “Yes, my apologize” again he smiled. Two extra burgers, woo hoo! See I told you I had good feeling about this town.

Then, our hostel was easy to found plus the owner was super nice. The hostel was cozy which will make you feel like at home once you stepped inside.

Then, we decided to take a night walk to the famous tourist attraction in this city, the Tower of Pisa.

I just can’t help for not letting my jaw open and say, “woow” when I saw this towering sight in front of me. Just 25 minutes by walk from our hostel, and then I saw this famous leaning tower. I used to see it on books, TV, or movies, but now I saw it with my very own eyes. Despite the rain and the dark of the night, Tower of Pisa is stunningly beautiful.

I could not believe my eyes that among the modern buildings, suddenly this ancient building was visible. This hundreds-year old building was well taken care that it seemed like it never aged. It was like someone just built it yesterday, like a replica. I could not believe that it’s real.

It’s not one of my favorite object but still when you see and know that this is famous and was one of world’s seven wonders, you admit that it still gives you a wow feeling. One thing I like during our night walk to the leaning tower was that, not too many people there. It felt like it was reserved privately for us.

it was just us and Pisa Tower.

I wondered this tower has been standing there for hundreds of year and had witnessed so many things during the years behind. If it can talk I wonder what it will say?

The frosty Florence, going solo in Siena, and finally leaning down at Pisa and so our journey in Tuscany had come to an end. The next morning, we reached the airport and flew back to our sunny Calabria. Tuscany was frosty and beautiful, however, when I saw the land of Calabria, I saw home and I couldn’t hold up the smile when I heard the passenger in front of me saying, “Oh, Calabria mia”

No matter how far I’ve gone, well, home is where the heart is and it’s true that I can’t deny that Calabria is a place I call home right now.

Calabria bella, Calabria mia.

Solo in Siena


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Choosing souvenirs is a tricky job

We woke up too late in the next morning. We supposed to catch the train early in the morning to Siena but we ended up in checking out late from the hostel. I just didn’t want to lose Siena. This time is a Me time, can’t let anyone ruins it.

I walked as fast as I could but still we missed the nearest-scheduled train to Siena which meant we must wait for another 50 minutes to get on the train and wait another 40 minutes to reach Siena. What I worrying was that we only have a very short time to spent in Siena since we will sleep in Pisa and I was kinda worry of not seeing the Tower of Pisa during daylight which was obviously came true.

I decided to go around Siena in solo. I didn’t need GPS or map since I love to be lost and sometimes by getting lost we will find the best part whom no one ever seen. So, my me-time involved a solo wondering around the city, taking pictures of the Divine Beauty which I can only see from outside, being confused of choosing the magnets and postcards for souvenirs, walking in the rain, and the best part was, eating Siena’s specialty “panforte” and since I’m a sweet-tooth person, this cake of dried fruits and pieces of almond was one of the best things of human’s invention.

My day in Siena was closed by blah-pizza for a lunch and a walk to the station in the middle of a light rain, alone. I really couldn’t be happier than this. I can’t stop smiling while putting my rucksack on the seat of the train to Pisa, our next and last destination.

Love from The Frosty City


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The Lion of Florence

People said Florence is a beautiful city. I’ve confirmed this from more than three people but what I saw when I stepped my feet in Florence was that garbage everywhere. I can’t blame my friends for saying different thing since the situation was different. They visited Florence during the spring while we were there on the winter and, what worse, it was after the big night of New Year’s Eve. Well, can’t really blame the local government too.

Honestly, yes, I was disappointed when I saw the plaza of the church was adorned with pieces of the broken bottles, plastics and more garbage. I was imagining a beautiful antique city which was said to be the most beautiful and romantic city. Well, dear readers, I just couldn’t catch the ambiance.

With the help of GPS, we found the famous cathedral, an antique-gigantic building which stands out proudly in the crowd of the surrounding buildings. You can see its blue sky dome peeping from small alleys, like a queen in her throne watching the whole city with all her grace. It was stunningly beautiful.

Since it was national holiday, not many stores open. Most of them were closed including coffee bars. Even the museum was opened from 2 pm till 7 pm which we decided not to enter since we got no time (we only have one day in Florence).

So, our next task was to find where our hostel was and we found out that our hotel was waaaaayy far away from the city center but near to the Campo di Marte train station. I couldn’t bear to walk any longer. Fatigue was all over me, so I slept for an hour before preparing ourselves for a night walk at the city center. My friend told me to go to Ponte Vecchio to see the sunset but we missed it since we all slept during the sunset. However, we made it to go to Ponte Vecchio to climb to Piazza Michelangelo where you can see the whole city.

Like Miley Cyrus said:

Ain’t about how fast I get there

Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side

It’s the climb!

Yes!! It was the climb. What a steep climb that I almost fainted! Plus those frosty winds just couldn’t leave me alone. The jacket did no good to cover me. I was like frozen to death without my scarf which I noticed it was nowhere to found before we left the hostel. However, Hannah Montana was right, life’s a climb but the view is great. From the top, Florence’s beauty is visible to any dreamy eyes. It’s an instant cure for any eyesore. Now, that I’ve seen the real beauty, I can’t help myself to say, “well, indeed, it was worth the climb after all”.

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Florence from Piazza Michelangelo

A Year on A Train


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A year awaits to be written

Our plan for New Year’s Eve was totally screwed. We took the night train from Paola, the closest city which is the hub for all trains going to and from the north. The train departed from Paola at 5 and supposed to arrive in Rome at 22.30, yes we supposed to see fireworks in Rome but plan was only plan when our train stopped for almost one hour at Diamante and we were not even out from Calabria!

The disaster got even worse when one of the members of our travel “pack” started to sing which everyone know that he’s kinda annoying when singing. Stuck in a compartment with him was just a starting point of the night. Two hours of an almost-bleeding-ear experience, it was the longest night I’ve ever had. Seriously when they said “gee, a night with him is like a year” it is literally true, we spend the last minute of 2013 together with his singing and it was over until the train which was finally arrived at Rome’s station Termini at 00.30 AM on the 1st January 2014.

It was the longest night train travel ever!

I can imagine my friends watching the fireworks during the night from the balcony, well, we also watched it from the train window. I can’t say it wasn’t good, it was somehow different, kinda melancholy since we watched it from a moving vehicle as if we were moving toward something (well, yes, toward our destination which was Rome). As if we were told to keep on moving, new year, new days, new hope, new dream, and new goal.

We missed the party when we got there in Rome. All we saw was people vomiting, and people wearing glowing head band, similar to those Mini Mouse’s. Everyone wore it, kids, teenagers, adults and even grandmas wore it. No bus, no metro so we walked roaming the ancient Roman street at 1 AM in the morning, trying to find our way to the Trevi Fountain.

People gathered there, and trust me, I’ve never seen Rome at night and this one was beautiful. Seeing those old ancient building towering between modern building. Honestly, I always fall in love with Rome, over and over again.

We spent the next four hours at our embassy which had been very kind to lend us the couches for us to just sleeping and plus gave us Indonesian food which made us feel like in heaven. Fresh eyes and body, full stomachs, we were ready to catch our early morning train to Florence, our next destination.

Florence here we come!

Mothers


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When I was 11 years old…

I remembered how I used to give you the headaches

What you told me not to do, I did it instead

You were very strict with me, telling me to do my homework but I left it blank and just went sleep

In the morning, when I woke up I saw all my homework were done.

I know it was you…

I never obeyed your words. I know I should have done it if only I knew

If only I knew…

That you would left us and went to better place months after…

Yet, He took an angel and sent us another angel…

When I was older than 11-year-old…

Ma…

It took me a while to learn how to call you with that word

You are a hard worker who tried to make everything possible for us.

I remembered how you left early in the morning for work and I always found your message in my door

On my birthday morning, I found your present in front of my door wishing me a blissful life.

You are the first person who always text me, “Where are you? Come home, please” when I was gone for hours after arguing with father.

You are the person who always whispers gentle word, “be patient, it’s ok”.

Ma, you were not, are not and never be our number two

Mothers…

What I am today is because of your lovings and carings

Both of you are the reasons why now I am standing still

Trying to fulfill my promise

Thank you for having me in this world

Happy Mothers’ Day

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