How Can You Travel So Much?? 

The answer to your “Kok lo jalan-jalan mulu sih??” question.


Many people often asks me “how are you able to travel so much??” and knowing that I had not a stable job or career through out my post graduating life, they were left concern and wondering.

Sometimes I ask myself the same question. But all I ever know was that if i want something, i have to have it. I was born a stubborn kid, never have my parents stop reminding me of that because the habit continues til today. But i guess that stubborness comes at a price that i was able to gain lots of experience by it. Traveling experiences included.
So how was i able to travel so much even though it seems that i dont earn much? I dont have much money, may you know. My background is media and communication and it’s public knowledge that media industries lacks fortunes. But if it still left you wondering how and why I am able to travel much, you may consider these facts that I often planted in my head to experience life as much.

1. Do not be afraid to go broke

I’m sure you know that quote, “Travel is the only thing you pay that makes you richer”

I understand that money is everything for a lot of people. Money buys you food, insurance, clothing, safety and life in general. But my parents sure to remind me since I was a young girl, “you’re not gonna bring your wealth and money to your grave!” Statement that forever sticks to me. Now, I’m not saying that you should spend all the money you have to do whatever you want. You should still spend it wisely and prepare for the worst. Coming from family of religious Muslims means that we prioritize hereafter purposes more than worldly mortality. So more often than not, I spend my money wisely to gain worldly experiences that are beneficial for the hereafter. Beneficial meaning that through traveling and education, it gains me a proper view of being a better and purposeful human being which leads to inshaAllah a magnificent life in the hereafter.

In Islam we also have a belief that sadaqah (giving charity) will make you richer. Therefore you shall not be afraid to go broke, be positive knowing that with every penny you spend on experiences and charity, you’ll gain more and more.

2. Travel according to a suited budget

Now that you are generous enough to spend your money for your own life-gaining, note that my way of traveling still ranges on a suited budget. I don’t go around and splurge everything I have for the things I want. As a Libra, I balance out many decisions fairly. If I think I have the money to go on a dive trip, then I would spend an entire week or two just for that! However, when I do feel that I’ve used up my money on other things and still wanted a vacation, I will go to a nearer and cheaper destinations that does not require a plane ticket, like chilling in Bandung/Ciwidey or Mount Papandayan in Garut if I want to be showered by nature.

3. Consistent savings

This one maybe quite a useful trick. This tip will make me sound like financial advisor, and I’m sorry if it did, but I promise you this is only based on my personal experience. Save and make sure the amount you saved continues to be certain and stable.

After I graduated college, I was blessed with a good amount of savings from my university insurance deposit. I know not a lot of university opt this for their students, but you can always start saving from a certain amount at one time. For example, you saved Rp. 3.000.000 from your first salary or from your parents’ inheritance. Then you save some more and then you need to travel and spend a little bit of your savings. By the end of the next month (or by your own spesific deadline), you should promise yourself that that saving should be back at Rp. 3.000.000 or more but NEVER less.

This is useful because you will learn to manage your money and be aware of your spending. If you are lucky enough to have better income in the future, you could always set up a new savings goal that need to stay certain and stable.

4. Opportunist mindset

I considerably admit that I am an opportunist. I often kill two birds with one stone. “Menyelam minum air“, we call it in Indonesian. I often will find good opportunities to discover places while I’m at another purpose. Like slipping out few hours or days after a work event in another city to befriend and get to know it a little bit. Or even gush over their famous culinary!

You probably ask again, where do you find the time? Make it. Opportunist would say use your weekends wisely, use your right of annual leave wisely and that’s exactly what I would say. When my family and I lived in the US, we actually just stayed there for 8 months for Dad’s work opportunity. But believe it or not, we went to over 12 states in total because Dad made sure to use our weekends and Spring Break wisely to explore the country and learn something new about the place. And I believe that I take after his places-discovering habit until today.

5. Leave your comfort zone

Traveling comes with good and bad days, and once you’ve placed your mindset to being an opportunist, you should be able to try new things without consent to always having the best of times. When I took the cheapest flight but with the most ridiculous hours of transit, it was up to me to make sure I am comfortable enough to survive it. Even if that means getting kicked out twice for attempting to lounge/sleep at a restaurant. Most importantly to keep your brickwall face on! *Read: muka tembok.

6. Consider yourself lucky than most.

Last year I found a video on Facebook (link here) that made me think again about how grateful I am of my life despite having to always mentally complain in my head. The video is titled “10 Signs You’re Doing Well in Life (Even if you don’t feel like it)”. Some things like having a roof over your head and that you ate today are already signs that you are well and lucky.

Besides those 10 signs, I consider myself lucky that traveling was bred in my family. You know the stereotype of Padang/Sumatra people who were always nomadic (perantau)? I guess it feeds through my genes.

Wise message at Rumah Pohon, Tulamben

Think about other positive things that made you, you and stop comparing yourself to others. If you can’t travel today as much as I am, surely you have other things to be grateful for.

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Aryaduta Weekend Brunch, A Weekend Done Right!

You know how Millenials today often go, “Hey, let’s go get brunch!” and you stand corrected confuse on where you should have that once in a month meal that is the popular culture in today’s society. Well, no need to think no further, because Aryaduta Hotel now offers a weekend brunch that’s suited to your delight!

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Continue reading “Aryaduta Weekend Brunch, A Weekend Done Right!”

Spot an Orang Utan and more in Tanjung Puting National Park

Recalled as one of the most famous Orang utan conservation and rehabilitation center in the world, Tanjung Puting National Park is another way to explore yet another mother nature’s greatest creation, the flora and fauna.

Continue reading “Spot an Orang Utan and more in Tanjung Puting National Park”

7 New Hidden Spots in Belitung You Should Visit

7 Tempat Terbaru di Belitung

Belitung was not a foreign place for me, as it is my mother’s hometown and basically the place where she and my maternal family grew up in. My grandparents worked and lived there for years, before moving to Jakarta. My maternal family even speaks the dialect in their everyday life, so it was very easy to get to know this place through their stories and from relatives that visits our home in Jakarta. Negeri Laskar Pelangi or the Land of The Rainbow Troops has become tourist-famous ever since a movie came out in 2008. The movie, Laskar Pelangi that came to life by Indonesian movie geniuses Mira Lesmana and Riri Riza was based on a true tale book by Andrea Hirata. The movie began as an eye opener of how beautiful Belitung is, as part of the Bangka-Belitung Province, east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Continue reading “7 New Hidden Spots in Belitung You Should Visit”

Legok Kondang Glamping, The Ultimate Glamour Camping in Ciwidey

I don’t know when the trend started, but I’m guessing since Indonesia have been a lot more outspoken about their vast destinations, people started to follow the trend and wanted to be out in the wild and open. They don’t want to miss out on the beautiful sceneries the country has to offer. Including those who prefers suitcases instead of backpacks.

Continue reading “Legok Kondang Glamping, The Ultimate Glamour Camping in Ciwidey”

#YaTuhan, Kamu, Aku, Doa – Buku Doa Anak Muda Masa Kini

Suatu hari, satu Instagram Story post seorang teman kantor membuat saya penasaran. Post tersebut tertuliskan satu kalimat, “Ya Tuhan, ijinkan kami untuk berpasang-pasangan. Amin.” Simpel. Sebuah kata-kata; doa, I must say, yang dapat relate kepada kami rombongan manusia quarter age life yang mungkin galau akan sebuah hubungan. Tapi kok lucu dan menarik, saya pikir. So I replied my friend’s story, “AMIIIINN!! itu apaa?!”. “Buku kaak!” she replied back.  Continue reading “#YaTuhan, Kamu, Aku, Doa – Buku Doa Anak Muda Masa Kini”

A Steep Rocky Paradise in the Far East

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The view from a kitchen window

East Nusa Tenggara province, or in Indonesian we call Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) is surprisingly huge! I’ve just probably noticed that since my recent travel to Pulau Alor (Alor Island) on the 10-12 December 2016. Alor, along with other big islands and regencies in the East Nusa Tenggara (Sumba, Flores, Lembata, Ende, Maumere, Kupang — Yes, I finally know that they are still part of NTT) are home to many dive sites and beautiful marine wildlife with locals who may look and talk like nothing you’d find in large cities of Indonesia. They are the people of East Indonesia who many are descendants of the neighboring Papua, that inherits dark skin, curly hair in many ways. Different, I thought, and much to my surprise, I fell in love with this paradise.

After all the traveling I’ve done, this was my first time going on a trip to do a mission. Social traveling you may say. It was a mission to help expose the less-explored beautiful island in East Nusa Tenggara, Alor Island. Not many of you know, but Alor Island have actually been rewarded recently for having the most popular dive spots from Anugerah Pesona Indonesia Award 2016. So my curiosity was challenged when a friend posted about this social trip organized by Thank You Indonesia movement with a tagline,  “Jelajah Alor. Mewarnai Pulau,” which basically means to explore Alor Island and paint them in colors!  If that does not sound promisingly fun, I don’t know what else is.

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Bright colorful houses of Pura Island now can be seen from across the ocean. Photo: Ina Ocktarina

The mission was done in a small island off the coast of Alor, called Pura Island. There are about over 140 houses in a steep rocky hills with village locals who has deep intimacies with their culture and are very open for innovation. This social project is done to fully raise the awareness of this island to many Indonesians and obviously to the world. We helped paint bright colors to the houses in this island, starting in Harilolong Village, since they are the most visible from the ocean. The goal was one: to help many diver boats and sailing ships to notice this multicolored houses in order to pay a visit to Pura Island. So tourists won’t only visit to explore the underwater heaven Alor has to offer, but also to meet many promising new friends and exposure to culture that are so rich, it will leave you in so much awe.

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Lego Lego Dance to welcome guests

The friendly and hospitable Pura Island locals who cherishes their culture will welcome guests in the coolest tradition. Dancing! Lego Lego dance, is a traditional dance where locals will gather hand in hand (pinky in pinky, actually) in circle, moving in specified steps, while singing and chanting followed by the traditional gongs and drums. Lego Lego dance is part of their way to enunciate gratitude for the guests that comes by. I was lucky to experience this awesome dance, being one with the locals who chants loudly and move with steps that are hard to process by the brain. (Even I who dances on a regular basis still got lost in their steps).

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Joined in the circle to dance Lego Lego

I was in so much envy from where these people live. I mean, climbing those steep rocks everyday, only to find endless panoramic beauty by the window of your house is definitely an eye pleaser. The view of neighboring island in full lush, the ocean in the middle with the knowledge of fresh resources underneath the surface of the ocean only made this island so precious.

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Painting Papa Max Namaboling’s house

Okay, so the mission started as for us to paint the villagers’ houses in bright colors. My friends and I was set out in groups to do one local’s house. We were assigned to do a house of Mr. Max Namaboling, a name very unfamiliar for many of us who lives in the capital. It was a tough yet cool name to remember. Papa Max (as many people here would call in familiarity) lives uphill almost in the steepest top of the island. We were climbing those rocks and steep trails drenched in sweat to get to his house. But alas, the scenery we saw after we got there, left us…speechless.

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The view from Papa Max’s house

I was already picturing myself on the set of a movie based in Greece, Mammamia when I got there! Bougainvillea flowers bright atop his roof, overlooking the sea and the neighboring island. Gorgeous! Lucky man. But it was not only him, almost all of the houses in this island have the same exact view. Aren’t you envious? After spending time painting bright blue color on the side of his house, we were offered delicious bunch of mangoes, fresh from the trees! Villagers of Pura Island are all-rounded farmers, fishermen, agriculturist of many. So no wonder they’d have supplies of fresh fish, veggies, fruits, even their own traditional gin made fresh from the Lontar tree. Late afternoon talks with the locals only made us fall in love over and over with their tranquility of innocence and willingness to exchange life stories. Their heavy Eastern Indonesia accents and language is very unusual, but that doesn’t stop the fact that we’d still be able to communicate. Still, with those heavy accents, the beauty of Bahasa Indonesia that unites our conversation as one is what made me proud of being an Indonesian.

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Papa Max Namaboling with his niece

There are so many places to explore in Alor, not only in Pura Island itself, but the beaches and other wonderful adventure-filled sites in Alor that is waiting for you to notice. I myself would also love going back here, not only to see how the locals’ been treating their island, but also to dive all the way underneath their beautiful ocean! I want to write so much more about this beautiful place, because what I experience through out doesn’t seem enough to put in writings. Go and explore it yourself, I dare you. Again, thanks to Thank You Indonesia movement for organizing such wonderful social trip and leaving us all mesmerized by the beautiful Alor.

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Sunrise from the house window
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Local Mamas of Pura Island
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Photo: Ina Ocktarina
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Under the sea
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Sebanjar Beach, Alor

SHAKE ME UP, RANGKAIAN MILKSHAKE ENAK DI TEMPAT COZY

As seen on Style.com Indonesia

Daerah Bintaro, Tangerang Selatan mulai dipenuhi dengan rangkaian tempat hang outdengan pilihan seru. Setelah merasakan rangkaian menu dan tempat nyaman di Lot 9, timStyle.com Indonesia kembali meng-explore daerah yang sama dan menemukan kafe baru bernama Shake Me Up! Continue reading “SHAKE ME UP, RANGKAIAN MILKSHAKE ENAK DI TEMPAT COZY”