#FidaTravels 2016 Recap

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

#FidaTravels 2016 Recap

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

#FidaTravels 2016 Recap

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

#FidaTravels 2016 Recap

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 ❤


6 Most Beautiful Aerial View Ever


What’s traveling on a plane if you don’t sit by the window? Well, I guess if you’re not a fan of heights, you’d pass. But I’m here to tell you how very unlucky of you to be missing out the world’s greatest sights! Window seat is always my favorite spot when I travel by plane. Sure, it’s difficult to cross over other passengers when you need to go to the toilet, but watching the plane slowly drift off, finally fly, making turns and revealing what’s underneath tens of thousands of feet above, it’s a whole different kind of breathtaking thing.

Here I want to show a few of the best aerial view (view from the airplane window – Duh!), that I’ve ever witness. And I do sometime regret that I don’t always carry a camera or let my phone on (stays in airplane mode though!) to be able to capture the best aerial moments, but I hope some of these images does justice. One other trick to witness one of the best aerial views? Midnight to early AM flights. Sunrise is such a tease when you’re on an airplane. Continue reading “6 Most Beautiful Aerial View Ever”

A Steep Rocky Paradise in the Far East

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Nepal, The Unexpected Crush (Pt. 1)

As seen on her blog here

Nepal, 3 – 6 September 2016

At Tribhuvan International Airport

Earlier this year, I made a super random trip plan to the most unexpected place anyone (well, Indonesians, really) would ever go. NEPAL.

Continue reading “Nepal, The Unexpected Crush (Pt. 1)”

Songkran Is More Fun With Water Guns, Foam, And Angels

As seen on Zafigo.com

Songkran is one of Thailand’s best-known festivals, popular for it’s the one time in the year when you can douse perfect strangers in water and come away as friends. It’s considered a form of respect to the Lord Buddha and symbolises being refreshed or cleansed. Continue reading “Songkran Is More Fun With Water Guns, Foam, And Angels”


As seen on Style.com Indonesia

December 2015

Nusa Ceningan adalah sebuah pulau kecil di bagian timur Bali yang belum tersentuh banyak oleh keramaian. Who knows, ternyata disana terletak sebuah private beach club yang super chic dan nyaman! Continue reading “LE PIRATE BEACH CLUB, CASUAL TROPICAL GETAWAY DI TIMUR BALI”


As seen on Style.com Indonesia

Bukit Campuhan atau yang kadang masih juga disebut dengan ejaan lama, “Tjampuhan” ini adalah sebuah bukit cantik yang sangat indah di kawasan Ubud, Bali. Continue reading “MENIKMATI PEMANDANGAN INDAH DI BUKIT CAMPUHAN, BALI”