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2nd Trimester dan Must have/do – Pregnancy Update

16th July 2019 - 13 min read

Today, my baby is the size of a puppy

Alhamduilllahirrobilalamin, 2 hari yang lalu tepatnya hari Selasa tanggal 16 Juli 2019, kandunganku tepat menginjak 28 minggu/7 bulan. Bahagia tak terkira bisa sampai hingga hari ini mengandung. Nggak kerasa tiba-tiba sudah segede gini, dan waktu mengandung tinggal sedikit lagi, sekitar 2.5-3 bulan lagi.. I really just want to cherish this moment. I don’t want to take this magical moment for granted, because I’ll surely truly miss it. Although sometimes I forgot when I was too busy. Karena beberapa minggu ini lagi nggak fit, akhirnya aku memutuskan untuk cuti sejenak dari rutinitas organisasi dan bisnis Zero Waste Indonesia, walau nggak bisa 100% tapi perasaan overwhelm itu bisa lebih termanage dengan baik. Bersyukur punya partner yang sangat suportif dan mengerti, juga partner di rumah (baca: Damar) yang juga mengerti sekali kondisiku. I am so blessed and forever grateful! Allah memberi amanah dengan segala pertimbangan, masya Allah. RencanaNya emang yang paling baik.

Anyway, sampai hari ini aku masih batuk, walau sudah jauuuuuhhh sekali mendingan. Sama dokter sampai diberi obat dan antibiotik karena terlalu lama dan sudah mengganggu, you don’t know how sad I was pas dikasih resep. Tapi semoga semuanya baik-baik saja, bayiku tidak apa-apa. Aku berusaha untuk minum air yang sebanyak-banyaknya untuk rinse out residu racun-nya. Semoga ini menjadi bentuk proses dan perjalanan ku dan bayi untuk memiliki tubuh yang semakin kuat.

So, my due is October 9th… Jadi kalau dihitung, hari ini tepat 83 hari menjelang persalinan.. Semakin deket rasanya semakin nggak sabar untuk ketemu.

Di trimester kedua ini beda dengan trimester pertama, dimana waktu itu yang diingat hanyalah kemualan dan kemasuk anginan yang menyerang setiap hari. Aku inget banget, tanggal 22 Maret 2019 (kira-kira usia 12 minggu) saat aku diajak kolega-kolega untuk makan dimsum sebagai bentuk perpisahanku, I could feel that my appetite was slowly back! I could eat quite a lot of food dan semangat banget pas makan di hari itu. Sesuatu yang agak hilang beberapa bulan belakangan. Lemes pusingnya masih ada, tapi paling nggak mualnya sedikit demi sedikit hilang. Dari hari itu, aku berangsur-angsur bisa menatap cerah masa depan kembali heheh.

Masuk ke trimester 2, rasanya lebih seger dan berenergi. Orang bilang trimester kedua adalah yang paling mudah. That’s right, in my experience. Mudah dalam artian untuk aku, sudah nggak mual-mual, tapi perut masih belum terlalu beser untuk gampang capek.

Dan di trimester 2 juga, aku harus pindah ke Indonesia, keputusan yang sudah lama kami buat. Harus pindahan, settle di tempat baru, nggak kenal siapa-siapa, berkewajiban untuk jalankan organisasi/bisnis, kalau dipikir-pikir kembali bukan hal yang mudah juga yaaa… Tapi alhamdulillah semua dimudahkan, bayinya kuat sekali dan Damar is everythingNever for once he complained, walaupun aku kadang juga demanding dan ngerepotin. He did almost everything untuk persiapan pindahan, packing-packing *di pojokan nangis* Apalagi di trimester 2, aku makin clingy sama Damar. Nggak mau jauh-jauh.. heheh nempel muluk. Salah satu love language-ku yang dominan adalah physical touch. Dan semakin menjadi saat hamil hehe

How am I feeling? 

I am feeling great, except the cough that still happens yang kadang bisa bikin sampe muntah kalau batuknya pas habis makan. Kalau udah kaya gitu biasanya lemes… During the day, capek dan kepengen rebahan walau nggak harus tidur. Walaupun it’s the easiest trimester, tapi going towards 3rd trimester, another day can be a surprise gitu. Jadi one day I feel sooo nourished and energetic, one day feel tired. Bisa gitu yakkk..

Aku ngerasa lebih bisa bonding dan ngobrol dengan si bayi juga karena gerakan dan tendangannya yang sudah sangat aktif semenjak di bulan ke5. It just seems more real!!!!! Oya, we also found out the gender! Insya Allah it’s going to be a baby girl! That little girl is strong and loves kicking. And I think we found a name 😉 

Sekarang aku ngerasa semakin ngejar-ngejar target, karena aku punya beberapa target untuk diriku sendiri yaitu Khatam Alquran, nyelesein semua buku kehamilan dan bayi yang aku punya, beli perlengkapan bayi (dengan riset terlebih dahulu), buat birth plan dan nyari tempat untuk melahirkan karena bercita-cita ingin homebirth jadi harus mendekatkan ke rumah sakit dokterku, dan hal-hal lain. The clock is ticking. But in the mean time, I also have to enjoy every moment and be present. 

Yang jelas, I feel grateful everyday for her growth and everything else. 

 

Aktivitas apa saja yang sekarang ditambah?

  • Yoga – usaha setiap hari. Dan setelah yoga, badan dan pikiran jadi lebih enak memang rasanya. Bisa ngebantu banget untuk badan dan back pain.
  • Kegel – usaha setiap hari. Katanya ini akan berguna untuk melenturkan perineum (mulut vagina). Doa dan afirmasiku setiap hari adalah perineum utuh. Aamiiin!
  • Swimming (tapi nggak rutin)
  • Sujud-sujud, karena saat dicek di 24 minggu, kepalanya masih di atas. Jadi sujud-sujud deh, alhamdulillah sekarang sudah di bawah, tapi untuk mempertahankan dan lebih optimal posisinya, harus sujud/downward dog. Tipsnya: sujud saat baby-nya lagi gerak, kalau nggak percuma kata bidan.
  • Baca buku lebih rajin – usahain setiap hari
  • Nonton video pelajaran untuk ibu bayi melahirkan menyusui dll di youtube aja sih.. favoritku adalah Andien, Alodokter, parentalk, Sarah Therese, dan some random western videos. 
  • Berjemur antara jam 9-11 pagi selama 20 menit
  • Minum suplemen Hemoglobin dan Kalsium, sebagai tambahan dari asam folat dan omega 3
  • Jalan-jalan online untuk cari perlengkapan baby yang kurang
  • Mulai mikir soal birth plan
  • Ngajak ngomong baby lebih rutin – she understands more and more
  • Cari rumah untuk homebirth nanti
  • Massage – yang ini nggak rutin sih. Tapi I feel like I needed it more than ever heheh.
  • Ohya dan baby udah bisa lebih lagi ngerasain makanan yang masuk lewat plasenta dia, in which makanan yang aku makan. Super magical how things work. Kebesaran Allah yang luar biasa.
  • We start calling her by name 🙂 

What really helps?

  • Maternity pillow – aku pakai punyanya Omiland, merk lokal. Harganya 200 ribu saja! Di pertengahan trimester 2 mulai ngerasa ngebantu dan nambah rasa nyaman terutama dengan perut yang semakin besar. Kekurangannya adalah jadi agak jauh sama Damar pas bobo karena di bagian belakang ada penyangga-nya. Jadi ada pemisah di antara kita hehe Tapi bantal ini ngebantu untuk back pain sih karena ada penyangga untuk punggungnya untuk meningkatkan kenyamanan. I recommend it!

Image result for omiland maternity pillow

  • Talk and share with friends – kebetulan di sekitarku ada beberapa orang yang lagi hamil, jadi bisa sharing dengan mereka. Nggak hanya itu, tapi juga banyak sharing dan nanya-nanya ke orang terdekat yang memang sudah berpengalaman seperti kakak perempuan dan kakak ipar. Lebih kepada printilan esensial sih yang aku tanya. Juga mungkin pertanyaan yang berhubungan dengan tips-tips.
  • Tidur dengan bantal agak tinggi – karena di trimester 2 ini lebih mudah untuk heartburn, perasaan panas di dada kaya habis makan pedes. Sekarang tahu rasanya heartburn, karena seumur-umur belum pernah. Menggunakan bantal yang agak lebih tinggi dari biasanya bisa sangat mengurangi. Kenapa heartburn? dengan perut yang semakin besar, jadi mendorong lambung dan ususnya ke atas.
  • Pakai reusable mini menspad kalau pergi – karena gampang pipis, sesuatu yang hanya terjadi saat hamil(!). Bisa banget pas lagi batuk atau bersin itu nggak sengaja keluar pipis walaupun kita nggak mau. Nah menspad ini ngebantu bangetttttt.. Aku cuci kering pakai setiap hari. Punya 2 aja cukup kok.
  • Pakai oil untuk stretchmark – aku pakai Bio Oil kaya dibawah ini. Dulu belinya di Belanda sekitar 15 euro, kalau dirupiahkan sekitar 250rb. Tapi di apotik dan marketplace juga ada kok di Indonesia. Aku direkomendasi beberapa orang waktu di Belanda dulu, katanya one of the best dan ini juga ternyata untuk menghilangkan bekas luka hmm. So, let’s see how it works out. Sekarang alhamdulillah masih belum muncul stretchmark-nya, masih aman..Image result for bio oil
  • Air hangat jeruk untuk tenggorokan dan eo/ vicks untuk leher di malam hari – Untuk aku yang lagi batuk-batuk dan nggak enak badan, enak banget dan ngebantu untuk minum air hangat lemon dan juga dikasih eo atau vicks di malam hari.
  • Prenatal gear atau big clothes – Masuk ke sekitar 18-20 weeks, badan udah kelihatan banget perubahannya. No people can say they don’t know we’re pregnant heheh Nah disini, aku masih bisa mix dengan baju-baju keseharianku karena bajuku cenderung besar-besar. Tapi kalau celana, sudah nggak bisa. Harus pakai celana hamil. Ohya alhamdulillah aku dapat lungsuran beberapa baju dari sahabat-sahabat. So here is my prenatal gear:

1. 2x workout legging (dikasih)

2. 1x maternity jeans (beli di H&M)

3. 1x maternity sweater (dikasih)

4. 2x maternity dress (dikasih)

5. 4x kaos hamil (dikasih)

6. 3x Bra extender  (beli dulu di Belanda, tapi bisa cari di marketplace – ini ngebantu banget sih karena sebetulnya yang diperlukan hanyalah bra yang sedikit lebih lebar jadi nggak perlu beli bra baru)

Image result for bra extension

7. 2x bra menyusui (beli di H&M, dan aku belum pakai karena belum perlu)

  • Surround with positivity, with people who give positivity only! it’s okay to be selfish. Lots of inhale and exhale.
  • Tell expectation to partner – Please, jangan berharap suami kita bisa mengerti sendiri. Tell him what to do! Karena sebetulnya dia ingin sekali bantu, tapi karena nggak ngerti secara otomatis yang kita rasakan, dia juga nggak bisa nebak apa yang kita butuhkan. I try my best to include him in every moment, karena apa, karena kita hamil bertiga. He has a lot of keys and roles in here. Tiap ingat sama yang Damar lakukan di beberapa bulan belakangan ini, aku selalu terharu dan senyum, sadar, how he love us both. He’s done so many things, although he does not understand the feeling, but he’s always there for me.
  • Ritual – bikin ritual dengan suami dan dengan baby. Seorang teman bilang bahwa ritual yang dilakukan akan diingat oleh baby nantinya. Entah itu conversation, sentuhan, baca buku atau nyanyian. Nanti saat dia lahir, dia akan nyaman saat orang tuanya melakukan hal itu. Aku suruh Damar nyanyi, tapi dia nggak mau haha jadi ajakan bicara/afirmasi positif dan sentuhan dengan bio oil di malam hari saja sebelum tidur.

Intinya, orang hamil bukan orang sakit. Tapi, karena ibu hanya sebagai vehicle, maka Ibu harus jeli mendengarkan apa yang tubuh butuhkan. 

Semoga kalian yang diluar sana yang sedang hamil selalu dimudahkan, dilancarkan dan selalu sehat yaaaa.. Yang masih menunggu semangat selalu, ini waktunya untuk membaca dan mengumpulkan ilmu Insya Allah dia akan datang di waktu yang tepat aamiin.

 

Love,

Dreams Milestone

THE TICKET IS ONE WAY – packing dan kesan pertama ada di Bali, Indonesia

14th April 2019 - 11 min read

Hi semuanyaaaa.. Aku kembali untuk menyapa siapapun yang membaca blog ini atau menonton videoku. Terima kasih banyak. Dan terima kasih banyak banget perhatiannya di Instagram, youtube, yang nyariin aku. Maafkan yahh. Life happened, and there are just many things I had to tackle at the same time. Beberapa di antaranya adalah PINDAHAN.

Yes, buat yang sebagian udah tau aku bermimpi tinggal di Bali sudah dari beberapa tahun lalu karena banyak hal, alam dan pantai adalah beberapa alasan besar di antaranya. Plus aku selalu ingin kembali ke negaraku tercinta, dekat kembali dengan keluarga. Dan alhamdulillah kita diberi kemudahan untuk membuat keputusan itu tahun lalu dan berpindah bulan Maret kemarin.

Jadi, aku dan Damar sudah mulai bersibuk-sibuk ria packing dari bulan Januari. Karena kita ingin mengkapalkan beberapa boxes karena nggak mungkin dibawa di pesawat, plus mengkapalkan barang itu akan menempuh wakt 3 bulan. Barang-barang seperti elektronik, gitar damar, dan alat-alat useful yang kita tau di Indonesia sudah barang tentu sangat mahal. Tapi jangan bayangin kita packing setiap hari ya karena barang kita juga gak sebanyak itu. Kita started slowly seperti ini kira-kira

  1. Pilah dan pilih barang, yang ternyata banyak juga kalau dipikir-pikir ada aja yang nggak dipakai dan bisa dijual. Padahal sudah merasa mempunyai yang paling esensial. Ternyata aku pun juga manusia. Hehe tapi aku emang tahu aku nggak minimalis yang gimana sih, tapi berusaha lebih sadar yang kemudian berujung ke barang yang seadanya. Tapi walaupun sudah berusaha dengan sadar, tetep aja ada yang bisa dijual dan didonasi. Nah gimana kalau nggak sadar?
  2. Dimulai dari kategori-kategori, aku mulai dengan lemari baju.. mulai memasukkan yang aku nggak wajib pakai untuk kemudian di pack bersamaan dengan box yang lain karena juga berfungsi sebagai ‘bubble wrap‘ hehe. Kemudian lanjut dengan peralatan elektronik yang bisa kiranya tidak dipakai hingga beberapa bulan ke depan (mesin kopi, mixer, blender, hiks 🙁 ) tapi nggak apa-apa. Bisa hidup kok tanpa itu semuaaa walaupun serasa kurang. Dan lain-lain.. Eh tapi 1 kesedihan hari ini adalah yoga mat ku yang masih ada di kapal 🙁 kesedihan yang mendalam.
  3. Donasi dan jual-jual, barang-barang yang sekiranya tidak esensial untuk dibawa dan masih bagus kita donasikan jika kita tahu ada tempat membutuhkan untuk menyalurkannya. Yang lainnya sih dijual-jual saja seperti biasa di martkplaats.nl. Salah satu barang yang paling pertama aku jual adalah sepedaku. Dan senangnya aku bisa menjual ini ke temen kantor satu team. I’m sure it’ll be in good hands 🙂
  4. Beres-beres bersih-bersih dapur, permasalahan makanan ini beda cerita walaupun bisa masuk ke bagidan ‘dimulai dari kategori-kategori’. Namun makanan ini terbagi menjadi yang kering dan fresh. Yang kering, aku berusaha makanin dan ngehabisin kecuali bumbu-bumbu dapur. Toh akan ada yang pakai penyewa rumah kita nantinya.. Dan orang Indonesia juga jadi nggak akan kebuang. Kemudian yang basah-basah seperti yang di freezer harus banget dikonsumsi karena sayang walaupun maksimal bisa dimakan oleh penyewa rumah kita nantinya. Tapi sayang aja, toh juga menghemat jadi nggak harus belanja baru 🙂 Ternyata kalau fokusnya ngehabisin apa yang ada di kulkas, ya bisa jadi kreatif.
  5. Packing dan mengirim barang, di masa-masa ini sekitar Maret pertengahan aku lagi tepar banget nggak enak badan. Damar dengan angel-nya ngerjain semuanya sendiri. Things that I am grateful for, so blessed. Dan dia nggak ngeluh sama sekali. Anyhoo, kita nyari ekspedisinya aja udah lama sendiri karena cek-cek harga liat review tanya-tanya dan akhirnya memutuskan untuk menggunakan http://www.holindo.nl/ Mudah-mudahan sampai semua tepat waktu dan tidak kekurangan suatu apapun aamiin.

Karena kita masih kerja full time dan juga ada agenda-agenda lain, plus aku lagi nggak fit banget 3 bulan belakangan, maka packing ini inginnya memang sedikit-sedikit, karena yang sedikit-sedikit akan lebih efisien untuk waktu menjual, berpikir, mendonasi dll. Untuk meminimalisir barang terbuang percuma aamiin.

Pesawat kemarin kita naik Singapore Airlines, THE TICKET IS ONE WAY. WOW, cannot I believe we get to this point and with our own choice. Kita berangkat tanggal 26 Maret pagi naik bus malam yang langsung ke Schiphol Airport, kami hampir nggak pernah pergi naik taxi kalau memang nggak perlu misalnya kalau pergi sama mama bapak. Karena selain mahal banget, juga yah kalau naik bus bisa bareng dengan 50 orang lainnya. Lancar semuanya. Masih belum terlalu terasa sedih atau gimana, I only cried once sebelumnya. Lebih fokus ke mau naik pesawatnya daripada ninggalin Amsterdam-nya mungkin karena aku tahu kita akan kesana lagi. Aamiin.

Begitu nyampe di pesawat, aku ngebukain kartu-kartu dari sahabat dan kolega yang memang aku sengajain mau bukanya di pesawat aja. Duar. Melerrrr, nangis sesenggukan 🙁 I felt so loved and I am just forever grateful to have met everyone I met. There are always reasons why we encounter someone in our life.

Perjalanan lancar semua alhamdulillah, nyaman, bisa tidur enak.. Menyenangkan.. Excited to be home! Di jalan pastinya nonton film karena aku nggak pernah ke bioskop dan jarang nonton-nonton film haha Jadi bisa nonton A star is born. Terus nangis lagi 🙁

Besokannya jam 9.30 pagi waktu Bali, kami sampai di Bandara Ngurah Rai. Still felt surreal. Nggak percaya kami sudah menapakkan kaki di pulai dewata. First thing first adalahhhhh Bubur Ayam alias Sabu. Kerasa hangatnya nggak cuma dari matahari tapi juga dari orang-orangnya.. Disambut dengan sajen dimana, ahhh welcome to Bali, Indonesia.

Sekarang sudah sekitar 20 hari kita di Bali. Still happy walaupun istilahnya kita memulai lagi dari 0, nggak punya barang-barang harus beli, masih tinggal di kosan dll. Ini kesan-kesan ku selama tinggal di sini, nggak cuma Bali tapi Indonesia pada umumnya.

  1. Orang-orangnya ramah, peduli tapi nggak terlalu peduli. Maksudku, mereka tetap orang Indonesia yang peduli dengan sesama, juga ramah tapi mereka nggak beda-bedakan orang. Walaupun mereka ada kasta-kasta ya, tapi aku juga nggak tau kenapa mereka tidak membedakan siapapun di kehidupan sehari-hari. Apa karena sudah terbiasa dengan orang luar (read: bule) jadi terbawa bahwa semua orang sama dan tidak dilihat dari cara berpakaian dll? Bisa pakai sandal jepit kemana aja. So far siihh dan semoga akan selalu seperti ini. Aku sempet takut akan dipandang gimana karena bukan orang lokal, tapi sama semuanya mereka semua baik. Ohya beberapa hari yang lalu kami diserempet motor dan motornya jatuh. Aku udah panik aja terus ngeliat semua orang berhenti untuk bantuin pengendara motornya, untuk bantuin kami juga bantu benerin spion yang lepas. Ahh you won’t get it in NL. Just so different.. Yang akan terjadi adalah mereka telpon 112 (polisi) dan udah gitu aja ditinggal. Nggak terlalu ada tanggung jawab moral untuk membantu orang di sekitarnya mungkin juga karena rule yahh. Jadi memang kita semua itu unik.
  2. Privilege go massage dan go go yang lainnya. Sangat nyamannn, tapi kalau nggak hati-hati bisa mager dan males haha. Tapi go massage is the best! Apalagi massage di Belanda itu mahal banget. 5x lipat harga di Indonesia. Oya, poinku di atas tadi dibenerkan oleh ibu Made, langganan go massage-ku.
  3. Banyak hiburan murah, yaitu PANTAI! Whoop whoopppp! Pengen nyobain eventually semua pantai. Kemarin baru nyobain 3 pantai sajah. Tapi ini tergantung gaya hidup dan pengen hidup yang kaya gimana ya. Kalau aku sih orangnya santai banget, kalau gak necessary dan gak perlu, males sih ke beach club-beach club gitu. Sayang.. mending buat beli kulkas atau rumah ;D
  4. Dinamis, susah untuk memiliki rutinitas. Banyak kemungkinan yang terjadi, seperti macet, kecelakaan di jalan, emosi naik turun,  yang bisa terjadi. Mungkin salah satu alasan kenapa toko juga tutup sampai malam, karena siang susah banget diprediksi dan banyak habis di jalan. Ini adalah salah satu hal yang aku harus banget adaptasi kembali.
  5. Food is everywhere.  Tapi kalau dipikir-pikir, ya gak semurah itu juga. Cooking is always the cheapest option.
  6. Pengurangan plastik dimana-mana di Bali apalagi dengan PEMDA yang tidak memperbolehkan supermarket untuk menggunakan plastik sampah sekali pakai lagi. Seneng banget tiap kemana-kemana kaya Alfamarkt, toko buku dll selalu ditanya mau pakai plastik atau tidak? Walaupun kalau toko-toko kecil, tetep harus sigap yah. Tapi seneng bahwa kesadaran itu sudah ada. Bayangkan berapa plastik yang dikurangi karena selalu diberi opsi kaya gitu.
  7. Surganya buah tropikal, please dont take it for granted. Salak, duku, nangka, kelengkeng, rambutan, sirsak, they are all sooooo expensive in Netherlands. So so so so expensive belum lagi emisi karbonnya. Disini, it’s good, it’s cheap and you can find it anywhere. Tapi aku harus belajar milih buah nih, kemarin beli asal terus pada busuk 🙁 Kasih tips donggg..

Gitu deh kira-kira, akan banyak lagi ke depannya pengalaman yang Damar dan aku lewati karena kita masih dalam proses settling in. Kemarin akhirnya beli kompor haha horay! Nanti aku akan cerita-cerita sedikit yah.. One thing for sure, hidup di kosan dengan cuma punya 3 pasang alat makan dan pompa untuk ngambil minum dari galon is goodd and it’s enough hehe. Ini sih baru minimalis yang sebener-benernya…

See you soon!

Life Milestone Resolutions Self growth

Year at glance 2017

31st December 2017 - 6 min read

Seperti yang selalu dilakukan Arnold Schwarzenegger, yang merupakan salah satu kunci suksesnya adalah menulis resolusi tahun baru dan menandainya. Banyak orang di dunia ini yang termotivasi di tahun baru untuk menulis resolusi, tapi nggak banyak yang  follow up setiap bulannya, bahkan nggak follow up di akhir tahun. Menurut saya tipsnya, kalau bisa tiap bulan dilihat kembali biar semakin semangat dan bahkan dicoret jika tercapai. Itu akan semakin menyemangati untuk mencoret poin point selanjutnya. Juga tulis resolusi bersamaan dengan deadline. Make a commitment! I will so do it and write in my blog about this. Biasanya breakdown dan timeline hanya saya tulis di jurnal 🙂

Anyway, tiap akhir tahun saya selalu berusaha untuk me-review resolusi di awal tahun sebelum akhirnya menulis resolusi untuk tahun baru. Nggak jarang, resolusi di tahun baru adalah resolusi yang belum tercapai di tahun sebelumnya. Sayangnya resolusi itu ternyata nggak saya tulis di blog. Jadi ini resolusi saya kurang lebihnya dan review-nya, Year at glance: 2017.

  1. Khatam Alqur’an terjemahan

    Baru 3/4 jalan, rencananya bulan depan selesai. Telat dikit nggak papa deh asalkan ada progressnya.

  2. Travel more, using long weekend

    We tried our best, malah ada ke beberapa tempat yang kita sama sekali nggak rencanakan, yaitu UK, Malaysia dan Indonesia.

    Africa

    YES! Walaupun Maroko nggak terlalu afrika-afrika banget dan kami nggak pergi safari, tapi Maroko letak geografisnya di benua Afrika. Checking list benua baru. Alhamdulillah! Somehow juga selalu pengen melanjutkan perjalanan Islamic trail di bagian selatan. It’s majestic to think about the history while visiting it.

    Winter trip

    Kayaknya kita nggak pergi karena budget trip tahun ini sudah habis, dan waktu sudah tinggal 1 hari sebelum New Year haha Mudah-mudahan tahun depan insha Allah.

  3. Camping and hiking

    YES! Kami pergi long weekend ke France Riviera, tepatnya di Gorge du Verdon. Disitu kami pergi camping dan hiking. Rasa-rasanya ini akan jadi sesuatu yang kita bakal lakukan lagi di masa depan.

  4. One month one book

    YES! Audible membantu sekali dalam hal ini. Beberapa tahun belakangan resolusi ini tapi susah banget tercapainya. Sejujurnya aja saya merasa super duper idle kalo lagi baca buku, padahal juga nggak, otaknya mikir. Tapi saya suka merasa bersalah, karena waktu jadi berasa stagnan. Rasanya seperti buang-buang waktu (padahal mah nggak sama sekali, kan belajar hal baru). Biasanya saya prefer untuk melakukan hal lain yang lebih aktif. Walaupun ya nggak bener juga cara mikir kayak gitu. Tapi karena saya begitu, akhirnya buku suka nggak kepegang. Untungnya ada audible, itu solusi banget untuk mendengarkan buku selagi beraktifitas. Saya dengerinnya bisa dimana aja dan sambil ngapain aja. Jadi lebih produktif dan progresif baca bukunya.

  5. Business project

    Selalu jadi mimpi saya untuk membangun bisnis sosial yang bisa menjadi berkah untuk sesama. Dari nyoba tas kanvas, tas kulit, dan banyak juga yang lain dan gagal. Investasi pun gagal. Tapi selalu diambil hikmahnya disitu. Uang hanya alat, alat untuk membantu sesama bukan hanya untuk memperkaya. Saat uang itu hilang, saya percaya bahwa akan ada penggantinya yang lebih baik dan saya masih di pencarian itu. Tapi alhamdulillah ada satu yang akhirnya launch di belanda alaminaturals.com. Puji syukur.. semoga niat yang baik dan cinta dalam pembuatan akan membawa saya ke tingkat berikutnya aamiin.

  6. Be more presence and inner peace

    Yes and no, masih naik turun. Tapi itulah manusia, yang jelas sekarang saya lebih sadar akan pentingnya be presence  dan ingat untuk kembali saat kepala dan pikiran saya kemana-mana.

  7. Keluar makan maksimal seminggu sekali (ajah!)

    Kayaknya oke sih ini, ada kalanya lebih dari satu minggu sekali tapi karena minggu-minggu berikutnya saya nggak kemana-kemana. Sosialisasi adalah investasi yang tidak harus berlebihan. Maka dari itu memilih kawan adalah penting, supaya investasi ini tidak sia-sia. Bisa dari tertawa, ide, hal-hal baru, dsb. Engage with people whom you can exchange values with 🙂 It’s always a give and take, remember that

  8. Date out with Damar for quality time once in a month

    Nyatanya kita berhemat dan biasanya date in hahah masak enak dan coba bikin resep-resep baru. Atau sekedar jalan belanja ke supermarket atau jalan ke taman. Dan juga belajar dan produktif berdua. It’s a quality time I will never exchange. 

  9. Write down gratitude journal everyday, with Damar

    First 6 months kita on track, abis gitu menguap gitu aja hahah Tahun depan lebih baik lagi 🙂

  10. Volunteer once a month

    Cuma 3 x Hikssss.. Tapi juga karena kadang saya nggak ngerasa signifikan dan disini membantunya terbatas. Kurang banyak yang bisa dibantu. Jadi saya juga menimbang nimbang apakah itu worth spending time atau nggak. Bisa dibilang lebih banyak yang ingin membantu daripada yang butuh dibantu. Mudah-mudahan tahun depan diberikan kesempatan yang lebih besar untuk volunteer. Aamiiinnn

  11. Got our own house 

    Yes alhamdulillah

  12. Investing ONLY in friendship that matters and inspirational

    Yes!

  13. Reunite with Family 

    Yes, my family and Damar’s. It’s truly valuable

 

Africa Milestone Morocco

4 Days Morocco Itinerary Tips and Stories

16th December 2017 - 14 min read
4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Morocco has always been a place in my list. Its berberian building and mosaic tiles are what prettified my 3 years vision board. This trip was a surprise trip (which almost failed) for Damar’s birthday. We made an agreement not to give each other’s gift this year, especially after buying a house and big next year’s travel plan. But, the flight ticket deal was absolutely irresistible. Usually we always plan the trip and itinerary together, this time I had to do it by myself (yes, very challenging to be decisive for me). In this post, I would like to share our Morocco itinerary tips and stories. Note that this travel is in budget and I’ll also share roughly our expense in upcoming post.

DAY 1 – Marrakech

We stayed over night in Tulip Inn hotel just right above Eindhoven airport. It is because we took the very first flight from Eindhoven to Morocco on that Sunday. Public transportation only starts operating at 8 am on Sunday. However, it paid off! Because the good thing about having first flight is that we don’t lose a day in Morocco and was able to enjoy the rest of our first day there. The flight was smooth and took 3 hours 45 minutes. I found it fascinating that in 4 hours away, we arrived in a whole complete different continent, Africa.

Once we arrived we immediately took BUS number 19 (read here why we took the bus). It only took 25 minutes to Jemaa El-Fna. Unlike other airports which location is in the outskirt of the city, this one it is quite close to the city. It is quite nearby Gueliz, the modern ‘new town’ of Marrakech. I wish I had more time to visit and try out its wide range of food. It is amazing to know that beyond the borders of the historical old town (Medina), there is a modern town. It was designed and developed by the French in the early 1900s and the French influences are obvious in stark difference in the design of the area.

We went straight to the Bab Doukkala (the stop of our stay (Riad Itry – from hostel world) which is 5 minutes away from Jemaa El-Fna square. We were already guided with the direction from our hostel on where we should go. Even so, we almost got scam on our way (read more for story and how to avoid it) Tips: Always follow the guidance, it is usually very clear or turn your GPS. Do not let other people who ‘pretend’ to be nice and want to show you the way. Always take your guard up. Believe in yourself or call your hostel for help.

We got tips for our kind hostel keeper to avoid people in the street who try to approach us. To be polite we can say ‘La, Syukron” (no, thank you) or just ignore and walk away (according to him, it is more effective). He also reminded that the price in the Souk (souq or souk is a marketplace in North African cities) is never a fix price. If you ever want to purchase something, be confident and do not let the shop owner play the mind trick. The mind trick here would be “acting” offended saying your bargain price is too low etc. Know how much you want to spend on stuff. To be safer, you can always secretly take picture and ask your hostel keeper once back in your stay how much that stuff usually worth.

We walked around Bab Doukkala to get some lunch, I was super starving that time that we just went in to a restaurant. It was the only restaurant we saw putting their menu and price clearly outside. It ended up not so bad (read more here). First time “tagine” experience in North Africa. While waiting for our food, we suddenly heard azan (islamic call to prayer). I missed that too much. We were used to it back in our home country (Indonesia). Such a beautiful sound! Please scare not, it has such a meaningful message.

We continued walking toward Koutubia Mosque (biggest mosque in Morocco) which is nearby Jemaa El-Fna. If you are moslem and have time, use the opportunity to pray there. It is always magical feeling to experience that in different country with different culture. You’ll be amazed on how normality is not existing anymore. Your way is not normal and you have to adapt on your surrounding, ALWAYS!

IMG_6379

Koutubia Mosque

That is what I learn so much with traveling. To be more opened and understand people better. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to pray in Morocco (you know why ;)) but Damar did and people around him did not take eyes off of him. He was also taught to do wudu (cleaning before praying) in the ‘correct’ way. Hahahha. Our routine is not theirs, theirs are not ours, but as my dad always says ‘never feel the most righteous, keep open minded’.

After spending sometimes and taking bunch of pictures in Koutubia Mosque, we went along to Jemaa El-Fna which was just 2 minutes walking distance from the mosque. I started hearing the sound of Moroccon instrument and vendors cheering. It was quite chaotic I must say, so many people, if you’re not used to it, it could be overwhelming. You’d quickly adjust though, don’t be afraid and smile. I was a bit scared then remember how blessed I was to be standing in that square really. Never had I dreamed when I was a kid, I would arrive in this point.

First thing first, ORANGE JUICE. They would all whistle at you and give you smoothie tester. I’d say stick with orange juice and pomegranate. I tried the mango which tasted sugar sweet. After the shot, we walked around the souk and all of the sudden I looked up and saw how beautiful the sky was! The color was just as terracotta as the typical Moroccan building. I trully admire it. I am sure there is something magical with sky in Morocco.

After getting lost and enjoying azan+sunset, we sat in a cafe and have moroccan mint tea. I saw so many guys by themselves (did not see much women in general) having their tea time. They take this rather seriously. At night for dinner, we got our food on our way and went home because the next day the desert tour driver would pick us up at 7 am.

DAY 2 and 3 – Sahara desert

We spent the whole day in Zagora desert which the details I would dedicate in my upcoming post. The desert was not closeby! It was 7 hours drive. We crossed the high atlast mountains and visit Kasbah Ait Ben Hadou which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a place where traditional Saharan habitat used to live. At the moment there were still 4 families living there. We had an hour tour continued with lunch and continued driving along Draa Valley. After arriving in the desert, we met our camel friends which brought us to an hour ride to our tents.

We left the next day to the desert early after sunrise and breakfast heading to Ouarzazate and eventually Marrakech. It was an incredible experience even in a short time.

 

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

4 days morocco itinerary tips and stories

DAY 4 – Marrakech

We started to do the tour ourselves from El Badi Palace, Tombeaux des Saadiens, Bahia Palace, Ben Youssef Madrasa (but closed when we were there), and Jardin Majorelle.

El Badi palace is a ruined palace that is used to be a display of best craftmanship in Saadian period. I imagined how was the setting and the hardwork back then. This needed 25 years to complete!

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories 4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Bahia Palace means (palace of the beautiful, the brilliant) is a 19th century palace of eight hectares. It is one of the masterpieces of Moroccan architecture. This place is genuinely mesmerizing, out of the 3 (El Badi, Bahia, Tombeaux des Saadiens), this was my favorite. It is brilliant, just like its name. Capturing every little details will not fit a day.

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories 4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Tombeaux des Saadiens is grave of Ahmad Al-Mansur and family. The most famous is the room with the twelve columns. This room contains the grave of the son of the sultan’s son, Ahmad Al-Mansur. Outside the building is a garden and the graves of soldiers and servants.

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Ben Youssef Madrasa is islamic college in Marrakesh, named after the Almoravid sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106–1142), who expanded the city and its influence considerably. It is the largest madrasa in all of Morocco! Too bad, it closed for construction when we were there.

Jardin Majorelle is a place that I was always curious to see. This one needed 40 years to be completed, can you imagine? This garden contains many sahara plants (cactus etc). It is full of green plants color, and Morocco color in the building (cobalt blue from indigo and yellow from saffron). This was designed and built by French painter Jacques Majorelle and then rescued/bought over by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge on 2010.

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories 4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories 4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Where to stay in Marrakech

Try to stay in Riad if you want to have full Morroco trip experience. Riad is traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyardI’d suggest to not stay far from Jemaa El-Fnaa or in the old town (Medina) if you want to have much easy access to the places in the center. Everywhere is quite walking distance anyway. But staying in the city ease the access to get to food and attractions.

The second Riad we stayed is very much recommendable. The name is Riad La Caleche. It is affordable, nice staff, clean space, free breakfast and service to drop/pick up from the airport.

What you should go and try if you have more time in Marrakech

HAMAM / Spa – A bath is a type of public bathing associated with the culture of the Ottoman Empire and more widely the Islamic world

Cooking class – It will be amazing to learn cooking from the local master chef especially if you are like who love food. Check some of the options in here 

Dar si Said – A monument to Moroccan mâalems (master artisans), the residence of Bou Ahmed’s brother Si Said. The highlight of a visit here is the spectacular painted and domed wedding-reception chamber flanked by flower-painted musicians’ balconies; credits to artisans from Fez.

House of Photography (La Maison de La Photographia) –  It contains a large collection of pictures and documents gathered during the period 1870 to 1960 mostly by anonymous visitors and some very well-known photographers. Many people say the restaurant/cafe above is worth paying visit.

Gueliz – The modern ‘new town’ of Marrakech

Morocco Itinerary (Downloadable)

 

Hidup di Belanda Milestone

Buying a house/apartment in Amsterdam

11th November 2017 - 11 min read

Damar and I have recently moved to our new house! Wooohoo! Alhamdulillah.. So happy!

We are relieved to finally get through the real struggle to get a house in Amsterdam. The house market is tremendously crazy at the moment due to the low interest. This situation creates a high price and competition. Sometimes I reminisced the house hunting time and we are very grateful that we are not in that situation no more. Yup, it is that crazy. But it is not a reason to give up!

The main reason for us to look for a house in Amsterdam is because it is close to our work as well as the demand. It is incredibly high that people just increase the price knowing there are always potential tenants or buyers somewhere. Although, there is such thing like buyer/tenant protections that do not allow seller sell in any price they wish. But the potential buyer would kill to buy a house in Amsterdam that they bid as crazy as they could. Hence, volatile house price. According to dutchnews.nl house prices in the capital have risen steadily since the end of 2013, with annual increases of up to 25%.

So there you go, hope it can be a good investment for our future. *Remembering about our nomade and working in a coworking space everywhere in the world plan gives me such a big smile*. We would like to rent out this house in the future for a passive income or simply sell it. Oh I guess we will see. Start easy Maurilla, you just got a house!

Anyway that is my main reason, other people want to settle their life in this capital city just because it’s simply beautiful. And it is a good idea, I am telling you!

Here are usually the reasons to buy a property in Amsterdam

  • Control over the property (design, decoration, pets, activities, etc)
  • Great financial incentives / tax benefits.
  • Can be a smart investment
  • Multicultural and big expat comunity

I want to share several tips to get you ready to the whole process. It can be quite exhausting yet you have to realize and keep on reminding yourself that it is worth the risk. Also, nothing worth having comes easy 😉  This does not only apply for Amsterdam but also other cities.

1. Check the estimation on how much you (or you and partner) can borrow from the bank

All bank has this mortgage calculation in their website, even Funda has. All you need to do is entering your income (and your partner) income. Note: Bank would prefer to lend their cash to indefinite contract owner employee, for most people intentional letter of indefinite contract extension will suffice too. And for business man, they need at least 2 years establishment and report from their accountant. This is something for the next step but good to keep in mind.

2. Browse through actively when you get the chance

Funda by far is the best resource to browse houses/apartments in the Netherlands. It is one leading website that always gets updated. Do a good filter in Funda, it might be quite confusing at first, but take your time and you will know that it is all what you need. Click ‘koop‘, put your city/neighborhood you prefer and your price range. To be really honest, I would suggest to only put city and see where the map (kaarttake you.

I think map layout is one of the best invention about this website. It shows you a clear overview of Amsterdam. And then on the left side you can filter more in detail, house type, number of rooms (this is always including living room, not only bedroom, so if you want 2 bedrooms, then search for 3 rooms). You can also search for the days when it has been advertised in Funda. We found this very helpful as well.

3. Act quickly

Due to its crazy competition in Amsterdam, a house can be sold in a few days or even in a day after put up. Call the numbers and be persistent!!

4. Real estate agent (in dutch aankoop makelaar) or not?

Damar and I did not use any aankoop makelaar because we simply don’t want to spend extra money. So far, we could get information we needed ourselves. It might not be in depth as if you have aankoop makelaar that has its eyes and access everywhere. However, there are a lot of ways to get all the information such as how much houses in that neighborhood sold in the past. You need that information to assure you bid decent amount of money. Huispedia.nl (link) is one of the websites you can use, for the one you need to pay is kadaster.nl (link). You will have more visibility in details for the paid website. I think for each house info, you need to pay around 2 eur or something.

We did not come to a conclusion bluntly, we had some phone appointment with aankoop makelaar. There are 2 types of fee, fixed or percentage. The percentage is usually 1% from the house price, yet normally they have minimum amount. What it means by it, if the minimum is 2500 but the house price will result to less than 2500 in percentage, you still have to pay 2500. I hope that is clear?? But conclusion was, we do not want to spend that money and were willing to take risks in finding our ways.

However, other benefits for having aankoop makelaar are the priority to get the most up-to-date information. Sometimes the makelaar association get the first news on the houses that are on sales. It might be earlier than Funda. Also, for expats they are the bridge for communication and to minimize the risks on the seller side. The risk is hit and run, while if somebody comes with makelaar, normally they sort of know each other from the organization they represent, hence the trust. Some of my friends said the downside of having it is that it is very hard to match schedules, while you don’t want to lose chances. In this case, just go by yourself.

Note: If you decide to hire aankoop makelaar but at the end you get the house by yourself and with your export, no obligation to pay that makelaar. 

5. Mortgage adviser/broker or not?

Damar and I used this service. But it’s not necessary if you already have a relationship with your current bank and do not want to go extra in the effort. For us, we are keen to get the lowest interest offer possible. That is the key role of mortgage adviser. They will also help out to advise what are the best for our condition (working, contract, age, finance, future plan etc).

Another key role of mortgage adviser is their legal access to borrow money on your behalf to the mortgage lenders/bank. Brokers work with a variety of lenders to find loans for clients, but do not lend out money directly. They are the middle man. The lender could be a mortgage bank, which specializes in mortgages; it could be a large commercial bank, a community bank or a credit union. Ask a broker what he or she can offer that a bank can’t and the response will almost certainly be variety. Because brokers are not tied to any one lender, they have the ability to shop around on behalf of their client.

Note: At the end the extra service fee you pay is more or less the same with what you pay to the bank. Because they also have mortgage adviser that is shoved to you to be used.

6. Take it easy in bidding

Don’t bid too crazy and try not to be too attached to one house. Always believe that if you lose one, there will be many more coming and it will only be for the better. Nothing is too good! By having this mindset, you will not go mental in bidding. Think realistically! First of all, you have to think about the taxation process that will happen after you get the house. If the taxation report (done by an official to check the value of the house on behalf of your mortgage lender) is lower than what you bid, you have to pay the extra amount yourself. If you do not have savings, bank might reject your mortgage request and you have to cancel your bid, which no one really prefers after the long process. So, make sure of this.

Bidding tips: It’s always good to mention your savings (if any) because these days the selling agent (verkoop makelaar) are very cautious and they do not want to go too far when they know there is a chance that your mortgage request will get denied by your chosen bank.

7. Enjoy the process

I know that it could be very overwhelming, house visits, calling, research, checking the house pieces, bidding, waiting in vain, rejected, and start all over again. We had to go through around 10 house visits in 2,5 months and 6 successfully rejected bidding. But we learnt through it all, we observed and know where we could improve. Not only in the hunt process but also in my relationship with Damar. Through it all, it’s more and more clear for use about the priority we both wanted. We did it all together, split tasks etc. It was a bonding moment with him. So, no stress just enjoy it and don’t get to emotionally attached to anything you are interested in. Rejections and struggles only lead to something better!!!

Good luck!!!

This is a glimpse of our house look (in Indonesian)

Source:

Dutchnews.nl

nytimes.com – Choosing between mortgage and bank

 

Europe Family Hidup di Belanda Life Milestone Netherlands

Idul Fitri 1437 – Lebaran di Belanda

18th July 2016 - 3 min read

Alhamdulillahhh akhirnya melewati hari kemenangan juga. Puasa selama 1 bulan penuh terbayar dengan makanan yang berlimpah di hari raya 😀

Damar, saya, dan mas Argo (kakak Damar) memang sengaja ngambil cuti tanggal 6 Juli kemarin karena kami pengen merayakan hari Idul Fitri dengan proper. Apalagi kan tahun ini adalah lebaran pertama sebagai istri, jadi pengen banget masak masakan Lebaran yang serius. Dan tahun ini ceritanya mau bikin menu Lebaran yang beda, karena keluarga suami yang berdarah Medan. Menu yang biasanya lontong opor, berubah jadi lontong gule nangka dan rendang. Untuuuuunggg banget mamanya Damar super baik bawan bumbu gilingan gule dan rendang, jadi gak perlu terlalu repot bikin semua dari scratch. Dan pastinya terbebas dari potential error hhaha. Jadi cuma tinggal nambah-nambahin sedikit spices dan santan, bikin lontong, bikin sambal balado, dan nggak ketinggalan opor (pengen banget!).

“Lebaran sebagai minoritas hanya bisa dirasakan lewat suasana yang diciptakan sendiri”

Jadi di hari H-nya, kami bangun pagi-pagi, sarapan, pake baju muslim yang akhirnya sukses bikin orang-orang dijalan ngeliatin kami haha padahal belum lengkap sama jilbab dan kopyah lho. Sepi banget rasanya hari itu, nggak ada kumandang takbir atau apapun, sama sekali nggak kerasa suasana lebarannya. Tapi ini lebaran ke-7 saya di Belanda, jadi sudah lumrah. Kami pergi ke masjid komunitas indonesia di Amsterdam yang namanya Al Ikhlas. Sholat ied disini dimulai jam 09.00 pagi. Setelah selesai, kami dibagikan goreng-gorengan dan lontong opor. Alhamdulillah rejekiii! selama ini saya selalu sholat ied di Den Haag dan setelah sholat nggak ada dibagikan lontong opor karena pukul 13.00 ada makan siang dengan sajian lengkap menu lebaran di wisma duta (rumah duta besar).

Hari itu penuh dengan makan, makan, dan makan. Makanan yang full dengan santan *elus-elus perut* dan akhirnya bisa menikmati kue kering yang sengaja disiapkan jauh-jauh hari hihi. Sorenya saya beli kue spekkoek di toko Oriental untuk dibawa ke kantor, ceritanya berbagi dan merayakan idul fitri bersama-sama, supaya mereka aware soal kultur islam yang suka bersyukur dengan cara berbagi. Besoknya orang-orang senang sekaliiii dibawakan kue indonesia, dan banyak yang mengucapkan selamat idul fitri ke saya. Indahnyaaaa!!

Foto-foto di bawah ini adalah foto-foto yang diambil di akhir pekan, saat kami berkumpul di rumah kerabat dan akhirnya bertemu dengan mbak Vicka (kakak perempuan saya) sekeluarga. Suddenly feeling like home. Itu ada foto saya sedang skype dengan bapak mama di rumah 🙂

Taqabbalallahu Minna Wa Minkum – Taqabal ya Kareem

Asia Indonesia Love life Milestone Wedding Series

Wedding Series part 11 – Akad Nikah

16th June 2016 - 6 min read

22 May 2016

Exactly a month ago, I married a man of my dream. Everything that I was looking for to be in a person.

I never thought being married would be this great. And I guess, it is not about the marriage, rather about being married to the right person.

My thought flew to the milestone we both had a month ago.
The ceremony was started at 9 in the morning. I was preparing myself with a big help from tante Made, the woman behind Sanggar Mitapuri in Surabaya, since 5 in the morning. I love Tante Made’s dedication in transforming me to a proper Javanese bride complete with Paes (that is the black paint in my face that is continued to my hair which shows maturity and readiness to be someone’s wife). Javanese make up artist had to go through serious study and taken diploma in Javanese culture and make up. Thus they would not only do the job, but also having in-depth knowledge about every rituals in the Javanese traditions, including how to do the make up (which color of eyeshadow is allowed, etc), where to tide up the jasmine flowers, what kind of prayer she needs to do before starting to work on the bride’s face, etc. It was very sacred already starting from the make-up process.

I made the request from the test period with tante Made to not have to high ‘pompadour’ and a big synthetic hair bun that Javanese bride always has. And she granted my request properly. I think the ceremony is the most important and sacred moment of the whole wedding process, where both Damar and I should be a feeling a little nervous. And not being confident does not make the situation any better. Thus, being comfortable with our selves and confident with everything we wear is foremost. That is why, choosing the right vendors to work together and deliver the expectations is vital.

Alhamdulillah, the ijab qabul went smoothly. Damar apparently was less nervous than I was. The moment when Damar said the words, happy tears were bursting. I was very moved by the minute my dad officially gave me away to another man. Subsequently happy and smiling from ear to ear to have another amazing man in my family. Moreover because everything happened witnessed by my family 100th years Rumah Joglo (type of traditional vernacular house of the Javanese people made of teak tree).

After the Islamic married procession successfully took place, the ceremony continued with Panggih. Panggih in Javanese means to meet, is a traditional cultural event held after the ceremony. Meaning that the newly married couple can live their domestic life with a happy and prosperous accompanied by the blessing of both parents and relatives. This ceremony is usually performed at the bride’s house which is my house. I love this part of the wedding, felt very sacred and traditional. I felt like I was a real pure Javanese woman 🙂

Supplies used in this ceremony are: Banana, 3 kinds of flowers: roses, jasmine and magnolia, etc. Kembar Mayang is a series of decoration consisting of palm leaves, especially foliage is plugged into a banana tree leaves which are arranged in the shape of the mountain, a dagger, whip, umbrella, grasshoppers and birds. There is also a banyan leaves, pineapple, jasmine, rice, cotton, cengkir. The significance of those are so that the life of the bride and groom are well and do not encounter obstacles and barriers so quickly to achieve happiness in life. Gantal (betel leaf that has been tied by a thread). Ranupada (washing feet) consisting scoop, bowl, tray, flowers and eggs for the event sritaman ngindak endog. Rice, coins, seeds, bags of cloth, fabric for tablecloths for Kacar Kucur. Rice and side dishes for Dulangan/Feeding each other. The below slideshow is kind of in order on how the procession happened.

Nice to have everything documented and to be able to flashback. That is the main reason I write it down here.

To one month and forever…..

Review Vendor Surabaya (AKAD)

  1. Venue: Rumah Joglo Keluarga Imron (5 stars) Rumah ini merupakan peninggalan nenek moyang kami dari sisi Bapak. Bapak memindahkan rumah ini dari desa beliau di Pati, Jawa Tengah. Saya sangat beruntung bisa menikah disaksikan dengan saksi bisu rumah ini.
  2. Catering: Hidayah Catering (reviewed in here)
  3. Dekorasi: Mitra Flower (reviewed in here)
  4. Make up: Tante Made dari Sanggar Mirapuri (5 stars) Tante Made sangat tidak memaksakan kehendaknya dan beliau dapat memadukan sifat kekunoan dengan kekinian. Dengan sifat keibuan tante Made, saya merasa tenang di make up-in dan mempercayakan segala sesuatu ke tante Made. Harganya juga sangat terjangkau, jauh dari komersialitasan jaman sekarang. Terasa sekali kehati-hatian dan ketulusan dari make up yang dibuat.
  5. Busana Akad putih: Ibu Daud  (5 stars) Bu Daud sukses sekali membuat busana yang pas dan cocok dengan ukuran saya walaupun saya tidak disana. Sekali fitting langsung pas 🙂 Alhamdulillah
  6. Busana Panggih hitam beludru: Tante Made dari Sanggar Mirapuri
  7. Fotografer: Poetoegraphy.com (reviewed in here)
  8. Videography: Paper Pic (reviewed in here)

Akad Nikah – Javanese Traditional Ceremony

Europe Iceland Love life Milestone Resolutions

Aurora Tips

12th February 2016 - 6 min read

Seeing aurora is the main purpose why I wanted to go to Iceland. Everything that has been written on my journal as a bucket list or resolution has a special place in my heart. This journey I planned with Damar couple of months ago as we shared the same dream: witnessing aurora with our bare eyes. It was even better when in between the day of buying the ticket and the departure day, we decided to date. Nice to know that my partner and I are in the same direction and has the same wish.

We are really lucky that in the 2nd day of our stay we can already witness the aurora even just a little. The tricky part of seeing aurora is that ones’ eyes have to be really sensitive and someone needs to really into it and keep on checking the forecast. Fortunately, we have Damar in our group 🙂 He is really concerned and did a lot of research until he could see where was the aurora even if it’s not that visible with our eyes. Aurora can be visible only in the darkness and around midnight and after. If it was not because of Damar, I am not sure we could have this wonderful experience. Although, there is of course Northern light tour in Iceland that will guide you in seeing the aurora, but we did not want that.

The aurora activity when we were there was only in level 2-4 out of 9. This is already good, the scientists who predict the aurora activity are very coutious about their predictions. Most of the year it never go up above 4. It was an incredible experience. Something that I will always remember, even thought it could not be captured by camera.

Here are some tips from Damar, at least how he prepared for it:

  • Check www.vedur.is  for the forecast, what you need to see from this is the aurora activity and the cloud coverage (see below). The one on the right is the aurora activity and the map is the cloud coverage. Bear in mind that the aurora activity shown here is per day. So we actually didn’t know whether the activity was 5 in early Sunday 01:00 AM or late night 11:00 PM. You can scroll below the map to see the cloud on your location within a  certain period of time. You can also see the moon phase, of course dead moon is better than a full moon. Full moon will hinder your sight of the aurora. We saw the biggest activity when it was level 4, we had no cloud above us, and it was on a dead moon. Although we also saw it when it was just level 2.Aurora forecast
  • He downloaded 2 apps in his iphone which basically do the same thing. They are called Aurora Forecast and Aurora (I downloaded the free version, it is enough). What these two apps provided but not the vedur.is is the exact aurora activity per 15 minutes for the next 1 hour. This was very convenient, we went out looking when the aurora activity is above 2 for the next hour.
  • This is perhaps the most important tip, just go out! The chance of you seeing the aurora is significantly higher outside than inside a house. We drove to somewhere where there are very little city lights if the aurora activity is above 2 and the sky is clear. Then just look north because the aurora should be there.
  • There is cctv outdoor (earth cam), where you can see from inside what the sky looks like outside. But it’s limited and no freedom to see the surroundings. Damar did not end up using this that much
  • Have your clothes ready in case you need to get out of the house to catch the aurora in the midnight
  • Prepare your camera, we used DSLR which capture more light so it’s more visible in the camera than with eyes. If you understand a little bit on how to use the DSLR camera, Damar used manual mode with high aperture of f4.5 and long exposure of 25 seconds, and of course a tripod to make your camera steady during those 25 seconds. I tried with my Iphone and it failed big time
  • Oh and you might want to plan something special for your loved one like how Damar did to me…….. Go on to the Aurora story

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Dreams Europe Iceland Love life Milestone Wedding Series

And under the Aurora he bended knee

12th February 2016 - 4 min read

It was the second day of our trip when Damar set up his tripod and camera outside to create a timelapse.  I was waiting and falling asleep on the couch while he was busy with his camera, so did his siblings.

1 hour later, he got hysterical when he discovered his camera caught the aurora passing by the sky. He knew that in midnight it would appear again. He got me all excited in my exhaustion and sleepiness. It was 23.00 pm.

I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, cleaned up and changed to pajamas, got ready to sleep. Couple of minutes after, Damar was coming and half screaming saying that the Aurora appeared again and asked me to change and get ready to go out. I was super lazy, but then I remembered why I came to Iceland, this might be the only chance. So I quickly wore my socks and winter gears. We tried to wake Damar’s siblings but they did not move, so we took the car and went out to the quite field, just 5 mins from our stay.

The aurora was there, not that strong but I could see a little bit of the lights. I knew it was not a normal cloud or sky. It was the spectacular show of the earth, it was THE aurora. While Damar was busy setting up his tripod and camera, I was busy admiring the sky. He set the timer and came to me, we took picture together facing the aurora. What a dream comes true!!

He went to the camera and set the timer again while I was still busy facing the sky. He came next to me…. and all of the sudden, there he was bending on his knee…………………… I looked at his face, he was looking at me with his usual loving sight, haltingly making his promise to me through his beautiful speech. I could not say anything, but cried.

Did not see that coming..

And the questions came, he asked ‘will you marry me?’. I said firmly ‘YES’.

And yes, we are engaged. We are getting married. This year.

I am very grateful that I am going to marry a man of my dream. Someone who never is selfish, care about my opinion, and ultimately about my dreams. He apparently planned this for quite a while. The ring he chose was also something that I always wanted, 3 stones vintage art deco ring from 30-40s. I am one lucky woman 🙂

The happiness is beyond measure. Alhamdulillah…

It’s the start of our journey. I cannot wait to start the life with him.

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Dreams Milestone Self growth

Malam Pergantian tahun 2015 ke 2016

2nd January 2016 - 5 min read

Akhirnya sampai juga di penghujung tahun 2015. Rasanya waktu berjalan begitu cepat. Kata Einsten, waktu itu relatif dan sepertinya kecepatan itu tergantung seperti apa kita menikmati perjalanannya.

Malam tahun baru kali ini aku habiskan bersama keluarga, mumpung mbak Fany lagi dateng dari Scotland. Kami sekeluarga makan malam di tempat mba Indah dan keluarga. Alhamdulillah, dikelilingi orang-orang baik yang suka ngasih makan cuma-cuma haha dan paling penting sebenernya masih punya orang-orang dekat untuk berbagi kebahagiaan merayakan pergantian tahun. Sederhana tapi bermakna.. Sudah beberapa kali aku merayakan diluar, dingin-dingin kehujanan dan bingung pulang haha. Di Belanda, kebanyakan orang merayakan pergantian tahun dengan pesta di club atau di rumah sambil minum-minum. Besok paginya, jalan langsung sepi karena hampir semuanya masih hangover di kasur mereka masing-masing 😛 Kali ini aku cuma ingin merasakan hangatnya selimut kamar dan keluarga di sekitar.

Biasanya firework paling besar ada di Rotterdam. Satu-satunya firework yang di organisir pemerintah. Dulu waktu aku pertama kali ngerayain NYE di Belanda 2009, ramenya bukan main di daerah Erasmus Bridge, bahkan ada DJ segala. Tapi semakin tahun, acaranya diperkecil karena anggaran pemerintah yang dipotong.

Sebagian besar dari tahun baruku, aku rayakan di luar rumah, bersama teman-teman atau di negara lain. Kali ini aku menikmati pergantian tahun, pukul 00.00 tepat di kasur kamar, sebelahan sama mbak Fany sambil nonton film dan menikmati firework besar diluar yang dinyalakan tetangga-tetangga atau warga sipil. Orang-orang yang mampu dan meluangkan waktunya untuk modal beli kembang api sendiri 😀

Banyak banget yang terjadi di tahun 2015 dan begitu juga pelajaran hidup yang bisa aku ambil. Alhamdulillah banyak resolusi-resolusiku yang berbuah menjadi atau hampir menjadi realita. Tapi ease requires a hardship, banyak juga kegagalan yang aku lewati yang akhirnya membentuk aku menjadi seorang perempuan yang tahu apa yang dimau dan juga lebih kuat.

Break up adalah highlight terburuk yang sama sekali nggak pernah aku sangka. Aku ngerasa gagal menjalankan komitmen yang sudah aku buat, bukan kepadanya, tapi lebih kepada diriku sendiri. Dan kegagalan ini, adalah awal dari perjalanan kami masing-masing yang aku yakin berakhir di tempat yang baik dan seharusnya. Perjalanan yang tanpa aku sangka-sangka membawa aku ke Damar… Dan itulah, highlight terbaik.. bertemu dia. Alhamdulillah. Kedengarannya kontradiktif yaaa.. tapi itulah hidup. Penuh dengan misteri. Mudah-mudahan rencana-rencana kami ke depan dimudahkan aaamiiin yarobbal alaamin.

Tahun 2015 adalah tahun yang istimewa karena setelah 5 tahun berturut-turut nggak kumpul satu keluarga komplit, akhirnya kita semua bisa berkumpul di Belanda, tanpa kurang suatu apapun. Aku bisa memenuhi travel destination yang aku tulis di awal tahun. Andalusia adalah salah satu yang paling berarti, lebih spesial karena aku bisa membawa kedua orangtua-ku dan kakak perempuanku menikmati sejarah Islam di sana berbarengan. Tempat-tempat tujuan yang aku tulis di jurnalku adalah Portugal, Luxembourg, South of Spain (Andalusia), French Riviera, Hungaria, Indonesia.. Semuanya tercapai. Bahkan ada beberapa yang nggak ada di listku yang bisa aku datangi. Gak henti-hentinya bersyukur dikasih kesempatan untuk melihat keindahan ciptanNya. Oh tapi ada satu yang belum sempat dikejar di 2015, pergi melihat Aurora di Iceland…. But I’ll get there in 2016 with my better half 🙂 Really looking forward to it. “Percaya pada mimpimu sendiri, karena kepercayaan itu sudah membawamu setengah jalan ke tujuanmu” – MSI

Di bawah ini meng-capture best nine foto-foto yang aku upload di instagram, yang artinya kurang lebih merupakan momen-momen terbaik selama satu tahun.

Dari kiri – kanan = 1. June: Di Amsterdamse Bosch, ngelihat ratusan pohon sakura yang lagi mekar 2. Desember: Akhirnya ngecat rambut setelah 24 tahun penasaran, it’s not so bad. Cat rambut untuk menyambut tahun yang baru 🙂 Kerjaan baru, rambut baru, semangat baru 3. September: Moments of being an aunt 4. December: Strolling a day before his birthday. Strolling in Amsterdam has never felt so good and romantic 5. April: Menikmati Venice-nya Belanda (Giethoorn) for my best friend’s farewell.  6. September: Imron reunion full team 7. 2014, throwback a great time in Lucerne, Switzerland 8. September: Di salah satu pintu di Malaga 9. Januari: Luxembourg trip with Enschede mates  whom by now are all back in Indonesia. 

 

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Aku percaya banget sama teori menuliskan mimpi-mimpi di catatan. Karena, nggak ada perasaan lebih menyenangkan daripada sukses mencoret rencana-rencana dan mimpi-mimpi itu. Sekali mencoret, beribu kali memotivasi untuk berani bermimpi lebih jauh dan memahami bahwa tidak ada yang tidak mungkin.

WELCOME 2016, I am ready to make my dreams this year come true 🙂