As we’re about to welcome the mysterious new year 2017, I would like to bid adieu to 2016 in a more or less respected ways as this year have lead me to many travel opportunities. Whether they are purely purposed as a new traveling experience, or as a notably full-of-agenda kind of travel, 2016 wouldn’t let my feet anchor.
Here’s a recap of what #FidaTravels looked like in 2016.
January – A Kuala Lumpur Wedding Bound
One of my best mates from University, Syafira wedded her Russian husband at her hometown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Growing up having girl talks about relationships with this girl is always amusing and insightful. So I was gloriously ecstatic to attend this Malay wedding and watching her mualaf Russian husband in a Baju Melayu. Such a beautiful couple (with now a cute little baby boy!). Came here with my all time favourite travel partner, Amanda and her boyfriend to as always explore and eat all the glorious foods! ❤
March – Travel Beyond Infinity to Belitung Island
So I have this gang of dancer friends who unites in a group called Infinit8. We made this group for a performance back in 2015. Years later of constant meet ups and dances, little did we know that there is another reason we can bond so well with one another. And that is traveling! So I requested a gathering for us to travel together. Belitung Island was chosen as it was within everyone’s budget and it was still quite ‘home’ for me and another one of my dance friends who used to live there. Not all of the Infinit8 crew could join, but we still had a great time together. We personalised a hashtag for whatever we posted on that trip as #TravelBeyondInfinity 🙂
April – A Wedding slash Adventurous Agenda in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta)
My best friend’s sister invited me to a wedding in Yogyakarta in late April. I have always loved Jogja (short for Jogjakarta) because there will always be something new to discover every time I went there. Knowing someone who was residing there at the time, I took the opportunity to have an adventurous exploration with him. Places unknown and those I never been to in Jogja was successfully explored, and I had a jolly good time. Beach, hills, temples (candi), theme park, and hang out places were checked in as well as that wedding I had to attend to.
May – Siblings Tag Team Story to Derawan Islands
Early May as it was the Labour day weekend, My brother and I was lucky to be chosen as a trip leader to Derawan Islands. Picked by our good friends from Wuki Traveller, it was the first time Zaki and I went together to lead a group of awesome travellers. We had a blast meeting a bunch of full of life people ranging from different age groups. We went through a few challenges on the trip such as from miscommunication, ill-mannered boat crew, and bad weather conditions. But thanked God for the most patient participants and the most understanding and presentable brother as a partner, this tag team trip leader stuff paid off really well. And what to do if the place you keep coming back to will always capture your heart more and more every time? Derawan is love.
July – A Japanese Family Retreat
Finally some family traveling after a long time. My family and I basically has a rare condition of travel bug bites that never heals. We are so used to traveling on our own, until finally this year we can travel again together for the Eid Holidays. Japan was picked, it was our first time there for my brother, mother and I, and we did not use any tour of any sort. It was a remarkably emotional journey filled with laughter, rage, new experiences and love towards another culture and family. We went from Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and finally Tokyo moving from one train stations to the next, bus stops and long walks, and prayed so much for the well-being of my parents. They’re tough guys, who I finally realise how much older they’re getting every day, but still possesses that young heart and wisdom we adore so much. Mom and Dad, may we continuously be blessed to be able to taste many more experiences together ❤
End of July, my best friend slash one of my best travel mate was about to leave the country pursuing greater study. Of course we had to take a farewell trip together and Bandung was the option. Endless laughter, serious talks over local foods while riding the bus and Gojeks never felt more fun and memorable. We also met up with former Derawan travel mate who resides in Bandung and had a great time catching up over coffee in the woods. Bandung is forever the best go-to place out of the city.
August – Trip Leader-ing to Belitung Island
Yes, I went to Belitung twice this year and I do not regret it. Again from Wuki Traveller, I took about 30 people for their first time in a journey of the island of big stones, tin mining and sweet-mannered locals. Teaming up with the local guide who basically did everything (making me feel like part of the travel participant and not the guide :P), we went to landmarks and tourist spots we shouldn’t miss. Of course each trip to the same place would never be similar. It is always different, and I experience many new things too. Most memorable part of the trip for me: having the tiniest participant named Binar. She was two years old who was traveling with both her parents of avid adventurers. The parents mentioned that she has been traveling and camping around since she was 8 months old! Truly inspirational!
September – Dreaming of Nepal and India
Hands down the best month of the year and one of my most awaited travel this year. After months in purchasing the tickets of Jakarta – Kathmandu – New Delhi – Jakarta, we finally went. My cousin Michelle and her friends, Caron, Viviea and I equipped with only a 7kg backpacks take on Nepal and India for 10 days. It was one of the best eye opening journey I have ever been to. Despite missing Indonesian foods so much, India and Nepal has captured my heart. I mean, Nepal despite being one of the world’s least developed countries is home to beautiful mountainous natural views and locals who are helpful and overly friendly and hospitable. Nepal also won as my overall favourite aerial view ever! India on the other hand is also far from what we’ve imagined and what the media have portrayed. Traveling through three cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, we’ve discovered how beautiful the country was with all of its heritage. Yes there are many poor people on the streets begging, yes they are loud, horns can be heard everywhere, but still, it represents as one of the best travel experience I have ever done. It was madness of fun!
October – Birthday Dance Treap (Treat/Trip) to Bandung
Since 2012 I have always gift myself a birthday treat of traveling. As this year I was less involved with my other love of dancing, I decided to take a dance class for the weekend all the way in Bandung. Yes some of them thought why would I go all the way to Bandung just to attend a dance workshop. Honestly, having Bandung as one of the best place for arts and where creative youngsters unite, I just had to join. It was a workshop led by an inspiring Japanese dancer named Akiyoshi Nita. It was a great way to reward myself for not dancing contemporary the entire year, and I learned so so much.
November – KL Bound with the family
A random conversation with my mom and aunt of “I haven’t had a stamp on my passport this year” led to a sudden purchase of return tickets from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur. Hahah! So end of November, my aunt, my cousin, mom, brother and I went for a weekend of gang-banging the wallets and credit cards in Kuala Lumpur. LOL. Going to KL with them was so much fun, as we went to the must-visits to Colmar Tropicale in Bukit Tinggi for a nice afternoon stroll in a European setting.
December – Social Traveling in Alor, East Nusa Tenggara
Maybe I won’t stop saying how amazing this kind of traveling opportunity was for me. It was my first time traveling for a cause, and having to colour the island of Pura in Alor along with meeting the friendly locals really made a memory. It was a trip done by Thank You Indonesia movement and I went with two of my office mates. Definitely something that sums up the end of the year with great traveling memories. Read about my recent travel to Alor here. It was a blast.
Thank you 2016 for giving me endless traveling opportunity. 2017, Let’s do this ❤