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Bicara Finansial

13th May 2018 - 6 min read

Kemarin-kemarin ini saya secara tidak sengaja menemukan instagram independent financial advisor company bernama Jouska.id yang ternyata sudah banyak sekali difollow oleh orang-orang. Menarik sekali isi-isinya yang meliput sekitaran, tabungan, investasi, gaya hidup modern, hedonism dimana semuanya berkesinambungan. Yang menarik buat saya adalah banyaknya cerita mengenai orang-orang yang terlilit hutang dan bagaimana orang-orang yang selalu merasa kekurangan seiring bertambahnya pemasukan mereka.

Menurut saya (padahal nggak ada yang nanya hehe), semuanya kembali lagi pada prioritas. Different personality, different priority, indeed. Semua pengeluaran yang kita keluarkan adalah pilihan, termasuk kewajiban membayar cicilan selama keputusan membeli di awal adalah keputusan kita sendiri. Untuk saya, aset adalah beban, saat bicara aset termasuk mobil, rumah, dan sebagainya. Aset juga tidak selalu baik. Menurut saya adalah penting untuk set goals dan priority di awal kemana uang akan dialokasikan. Sama seperti hidup, saat kita tidak mempunya goal dan impian, maka hidup akan berjalan berdasarkan aliran yang berjalan disekitar kita. Ibarat kayu di sungai, kita ngikut aja dan saat sadar, kayu itu sudah berada di mulut air terjun dan akan berlanjut ke laut. Intinya, kita punya power untuk memiliki kontrol akan hidup kita yang harus kita gunakan. Same with money, if you don’t have goal and idea on what to use your money for, you’ll be controlled by money before you know it. 

I used to be the person who relates money with greed. Itulah kenapa saya sempat sangat idealis dan hampir menghentikan karir saya saat ini karena saya merasa kesel dengan diri saya sendiri untuk bekerja di corporate in which I think I know I don’t belong to. While in fact, money should have no positive or negative connotation. Money is just a number, and that is the way our society function. First and foremost, change your money mindset. Money is empowering, it helps me to make me who I am. Saya akan tetap mengejar mimpi saya diluar dunia korporasi, but I can’t deny that it helped me to get me where I am now. Sepertinya uang di bank saya tidak banyak, tapi looking back, I have actually done quite some. Experiences I can’t count on, not materialistic things that fades away. Nggak ada yang salah dengan memiliki impian material, tapi kita harus tau dan bisa mengukur apa itu cukup? Karena saat kita selalu mengikutinya, tidak akan pernah ada kata cukup.

Let’s face it! Everything we do and we decide, there is always money involvement around it. Kita boleh justifikasi bahwa uang nggak membeli kebahagiaan dan uang adalah root of all evil. Masalahnya bukan di uangnya sendiri, tapi gimana kita pakainya yang determines its true value. Kalau kita bisa menggunakan uang secara bijaksana, we can do a lot of things with it, bantu keluarga, temen, sosial, dan banyak hal baik lainnya. Fondasi dalam finansial itu adalah SPENDING, bukan investing atau saving. Dan saya setuju banget akan hal itu.

Saya bukan expertise (obviously), tapi kepercayaan dan prioritas saya mengimbangi keputusan-keputusan saya dalam menggunakan uang. Beberapa teman saya bertanya, gimana caranya bisa sering travel, pasti uangnya banyak. It’s not about that. But I sacrifice other things in order to gain something I think it’s more important. Saya nggak sering makan diluar, saya nggak belanja sembarangan, saya pake sistem weekly groceries instead of buying when needed. Karena realitanya adalah, I am no billioanire. I need to spend my money wisely. Saat temen-temen pergi keluar nongkrong tiap hari, selain karena it’s not really my style, but hey if you accumulate how much money will be spent monthly for that, you might want to think twice. I do go out from time to time, but I also invite people over to my place where I cook for them. It’s nicer untuk menjamu orang, it’s cheaper, and you gain more close engagement with your relatives or whoever it is. Win-win right?

Realistis dalam mengeluarkan uang juga adalah salah satu hal penting yang harus ditanamkan di kepala kita. Jangan membeli sesuatu diluar dari kapasitas kita. Dan jangan membeli sesuatu yang nantinya akan menjerumuskan kita, seperti mobil seharga milyaran contohnya sedangkan pemasukan tidak sepadan dengan gaya hidup ini.

Tabungan adalah angka fix yang harus dialokasikan, sama seperti zakat. Bukan mengalokasikan saat sudah tersisa.

Satu hal yang saya notice, di Indonesia semuanya soal life style, if you don’t look rich you will be ignored in a nice place, if you do not wear something cool you will that look get tatapan dan komen nyinyir dari orang disekeliling. Perlakuan orang akan berubah saat kita naik kendaraan tertentu dan pakai tas tertentu, dan disitu gengsi kita akan diuji. Tapi disitulah value kita sebagai manusia juga akan diuji.. Do not do or buy something you know you do not want or need. Never buy something because all the others have it. Don’t we want to be different? Do not let the society defines you by your look, let them define you by your value and knowledge. At the end of the day, saya percaya kok orang-orang yang stick around adalah orang-orang yang satu frekuensi. Jadi menjadi diri sendiri adalah juga cara untuk memfilter pertemanan.

Money is important but it’s more important to understand that we have all the power to control the money, before we get controlled by the money.

Self growth Thoughts

How to slow down the time

11th February 2018 - 7 min read

Where did the time go?? Time flies by so quickly! Oh my God, it’s already February! 

Questions and words I have told to myself. And yes, it is indeed already MID OF February.

Rasanya baru kemarin nunggu sampe jam 12 buat tahun baruan. Tiba-tiba sekarang sudah hampir Maret ajah. Terlalu sering saya membiarkan waktu berlalu begitu saja. Saya sempet baca-baca soal persepsi waktu, mungkin ini saatnya untuk mengulang dan mengingatkan saya sendiri soal sains dan persepsi waktu. Let’s slow down the time a bit. 

Rentang umur rata-rata manusia di dunia itu sekitar 70 tahun, tapi beberapa orang bisa (merasa) hidup lebih lama dari orang lain. Bukan dari segi fisik, tapi di dalam pikiran. Saya pernah baca, “if our experience of time passing were reliable, we wouldn’t need to check our clocks and watches so often” yang maksudnya kalau waktu bisa diandalkan, harusnya kita nggak perlu lagi sering-sering memerhatikan jam tangan kita. Adding another perspective banget!!. Jadi, waktu itu relatif/subyektif yang memberi kita kesempatan untuk memanipulasinya.

Time is perceived by our brains. Otak kita terus memproses informasi yang ada di sekitar kita, apa yang kita lihat, dengar, cium, sentuh. Intinya, otak kita membutuhkan waktu lebih lama untuk memproses hal baruJadi saat kita melakukan hal yang sama setiap hari, maka otak akan memprosesnya lebih cepat dan tidak sedetail itu karena sudah terbiasa. Contoh gampangnya, setiap hari saya harus check in – check out di transportasi publik, karena ini hal yang selalu saya lakukan, kadang saya lupa sudah swipe atau belum. Karena saat saya melakukannyaotak saya udah nggak perlu effort untuk memproses. Kesimpulannya, saat kita melakukan kebiasaan setiap hari, waktu akan terasa lebih singkat dan kita nggak akan dapat mengingat detailnya dengan jelas. Kayak autopilot gitu loh otaknya. Pernah nggak ngerasa saat ke tempat baru, waktu berangkat lebih kerasa lama daripada waktu baliknya? Yep! That is it.

Saat kita buat pengalaman baru, otak akan ‘kaget’ dan membutuhkan waktu lebih lama untuk memproses momen dan juga mengolahnya secara lebih rinci. Pengalaman baru ini akan berkesan dan terasa lebih lama dari segi waktu. Ada perbedaan dari seseorang yang hari-harinya diisi dengan pekerjaan di tempat yang berbeda-beda dan yang setiap hari ke kantor. Mungkin ini salah satunya kenapa saya masih ngerasa waktu berjalan dengan cepat walaupun sebisa mungkin saya berusaha untuk berkegiatan di waktu off kantor saya.

Knowing this, if you want to savor your time and slow it down, basically you just have to expose your brain to new things and do not forget to be present:

1. Be present  – pay more attention

Salah satu hal yang paling efektif untuk slowing down the time adalah be present and pay attention. Cepet atau enggaknya waktu tergantung dengan seberapa banyak dan what kind of attention we pay to the experience. Notice what’s happening by being more mindful, dengan lebih mindful kita juga akan lebih membuat keputusan-keputusan yang lebih bijaksana untuk menggunakan waktu kita.

2. Meditate or solemnly pray

Meditasi dan atau berdoa/sholat secara khusuk itu bisa ngebantu untuk lebih mindful. Saat kita mindful melakukan sesuatu, waktu akan berjalan semakin pelan. Pun jadi semakin aware dan observe apa yang terjadi di sekitar kita.

3. Count your gratitude every single day

If you can’t slow down the time during the day, slow down the time by writing your gratitude every single day. Saat sudah kebiasa untuk nulis gratitude journal, during the day otak kita akan terbiasa untuk menghitung dan point out, this will go to my gratitude journal! Itu secara nggak langsung bikin kita untuk lebih pay attention dengan apa yang sedang terjadi.

4. Focus on what you want and make a conscious decision

Put yourself first, otherwise before you know it your surroundings will drag you and use up your time. Menurut saya, this is one of the ways to love ourselves. “Love it enough to set boundaries, your time and energy are precious, you get to choose how to use it”.

5. Expose with NEW THINGS

Add new things and be outside of our comfort zone nggak hanya slowing down the time tapi juga memberi banyak benefit ke kehidupan kita. Untuk mencoba sesuatu yang baru kita harus menggunakan courage, otomatis semakin lama kita akan semakin terbiasa untuk berani mengambil new challenge. Selain itu nyobain sesuatu yang baru juga akan membuka opportunity untuk menemui hal-hal yang kita suka.. tanpa mencoba kita nggak akan pernah tau kita suka akan sesuatu atau nggak. Juga jadi nggak bosen dan kita pun berkembang sebagai individu.

 – Learn new thingsZero waste, konsep minimalis, main instrumen, dance, bikin craft, bikin keramik, bikin kosmetik sendiri, dll

 – Try new things: Bikin menu masakan baru, makan buah atau sayur yang belum pernah coba sebelumnya, dll

 – Visit new places: Nggak harus muluk-muluk ke negara lain, bisa coba ke kota lain atau ngelewatin jalan yang nggak biasa kita lewatin sebelumnya. Trust me, you’ll always manage to find something beautiful! 

 – Meet new people: Saya selalu merasa struggle dengan ini karena pada dasarnya saya introvert, tapi saya menganut konsep ‘fake it till you feel it’ dan saya percaya bahwa apa yang kita kerjakan akan meng-influence apa yang kita rasakan. That’s how we attract positivity, well and new people in this case. Saya juga percaya berkenalan dengan orang baru akan selalu memberi ‘take out‘ ke kehidupan kita untuk dipelajari. Sekarang saya sudah jauh lebih santai untuk berkenalan dengan orang baru daripada 4 tahun yang lalu. Practice makes better 🙂

 – Be spontaneous

So let’s not take time for granted and live a more interesting and full life!!!!!!!

Life Self growth Thoughts

My 10 commandements and Secret of Adulthood

8th January 2018 - 2 min read

I found this post again on my journal that I wrote 2 years ago. Thought to have it written down digitally as well. I blurry remember that a book has inspired me to write this. I think it’s ‘Happiness Project’

My Commandements

  1. Be Maurilla (Cheerful, sometimes quite when needed, rather introvert, positive, approachable and easy going, have faith in God and have a strong belief on herself)
  2. Renounce and enjoy – LET IT GO THINGS!
  3. DO IT NOW!
  4. Enjoy the process, the result is the second in the chain
  5. Do the right things and do it right, follow that gut of yours!!!
  6. Always LOVE, there is always love
  7. Fake it till you feel it. Just take chances in anything even though you think you are not ready. You’ll never be 100% ready. Action and feeling go together, feel because of the way we act.
  8. Identify the problem and focus on the solution
  9. Be better every single day
  10. Imagination beats brilliance

Secret of Adulthood

  • It is very easy to be heavy, hard to be light. It is easy to judge, hard to retrospect, easy to see and count bad things than good things. Always do the heavier.
  • I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul
  • It is OKAY to ask for help
  • You just CANT please everyone
  • People don’t notice your mistake as much as you do. You’re the worst judge in this life
  • Do not mind a mistake you make that won’t matter 5 years from now. Just chill!
  • It does not hurt or take effort to be nice
Self growth Thoughts

Ide untuk berefleksi dan merencanakan tahun 2018

25th December 2017 - 7 min read
Ide untuk berefleksi dan merencanakan tahun 2018

Saya suka banget sama yang namanya menulis dan berjurnal. Tidak hanya lewat tulisan di blog tapi lewat tulisan tangan di buku.  Semaju majunya teknologi, akan selalu ada alasan valid mengapa menulis dengan tangan di kertas lebih menstimulasi dan mengkoordinasikan bagian-bagian otak ketimbang lewat sarana lain. Daya ingat juga lebih terlatih dan yang nggak kalah pentingnya adalah manfaat calming dan soothing dari menulis. Sering banget kepala saya memberat akibat banyaknya pikir-pikiran yang nggak terdeteksi dengan baik. Menulis membantu untuk mengklarifikasi apa yang sebenarnya kita mau dan meringankan otak kita. Anyway, grab your book and get through these questions with me <3

Pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini selalu saya tanyakan ke diri saya sendiri di setiap akhir tahun untuk melihat ke belakang dan dengan itu bersiap untuk menyambut tahun baru. Saya percaya banget apa yang kita lakukan di masa lalu adalah manifestasi diri kita yang lebih baik di tahun-tahun selanjutnya. Tapi terkadang kita terlalu fokus ke hal-hal yang belum kita capai sedangkan sebenarnya banyak sekali hal-hal yang dapat membuat kita bersyukur. Jangan pernah berhenti bersyukur, karena bersyukur adalah magnet untuk memikat hal-hal baik lainnya, begitu pun sebaliknya. Dan jangan berhenti bermimpi karena mimpi adalah energi ekstra yang membuat kita termotivasi untuk bergerak dan hidup.

Cari tempat yang enak untuk duduk, pasang musik yang easy dan inspiring, buat teh atau minuman hangat, and let’s answer it out..

1. Apa highlight di tahun 2017?

Sebagai manusia, saya termasuk orang yang pelupa. Pelupa dalam hal apa saja termasuk dalam mengingat apa yang terjadi dalam kehidupan saya. Percaya atau nggak, waktu akan terasa sangat singkat saat kita tidak sadar apa dan bagaimana kita menggunakan waktu kita. Dengan menulis, kita jadi bisa membaca kembali bahwa banyak sekali kebaikan dan pencapaian yang kita alami. Dengan itu, kita pun akan bersyukur.

Highlight ini tidak harus sesuatu yang besar. Gunakan ini untuk fokus ke hal-hal positif yang terjadi dalam kehidupan kita. Satu ataupun dua, pasti ada. Literally any moment of joy and happiness you feel. Setelah melakukan ini, saya jadi ingin mengumpulkan highlight of the month. Dengan menulis, bahkan jurnaling per hari akan mudah untuk mengakumulasi all the precious memories we have. This will go in my 2018 goals 🙂 Ini sesuatu yang akan kita bawa dan ingat sepanjang hidup kita. Membiasakan menulis hal-hal positif dan baik akan meringankan beban otak kita untuk menjadi lebih organised.

2. Apa yang terjadi di 2017 yang paling kamu syukuri?

Just write, write and write things that make you grateful for this year. Literally apapun, as simple as the course of random people smiling at your everyday or be healthy and be able to breath freely every morning. Saya termasuk orang yang keep a gratitude journal dan berusaha untuk mempraktikannya sehari-sehari. Untuk menjawab pertanyaan kedua ini saya akan membuka buka jurnal yang dulu dan mengambil beberapa isinya. Tapi kalau tidak pun kita bisa mencoba mengingat-ingat dengan membuka album foto, instagram, facebook atau apapun yang bisa mengingatkan. Believe me, you will feel like the luckiest person on earth and you will end up with so much things that make you thankful and smile. Any down moment will not matter anymore 🙂

Selain itu semua orang pasti mengalami banyak challenges dan pelajaran. Yang bisa kita liat dari segi positifnya. Tulis apa yang kita bisa dapat dari pengalaman itu dan bagaimana tantangan itu membuat diri kita menjadi lebih baik. Gratitude has such an influence in our happiness.

3. Apa yang ingin kita kembangkan di tahun 2018 dan bagaimana ?

Perubahan apa yang kita pengen lihat di diri kita dan bagaimana kita pengen ngelihat diri kita di penghujung 2018. It seems like further away but before we know it, tahun 2019 sudah di depan mata. Without it being very quick, let’s make goals for our selves. Where do we want to be dan gimana kita pengen ngeliat hidup di kita di segenap tahun 2018.

Biasanya saya tanya ke diri saya sendiri, dimana saya ingin melihat diri saya di penghujung tahun 2018. Dan dari situ saya menghitung mundur untuk menulis hal-hal yang harus saya lakukan atau yang harus saya kembangkan demi mencapai tempat dimana saya ingin berdiri di akhir tahun 2018. Di poin ini saya juga berafirmasi mau menjadi orang yang seperti apa contohnya: bold/berani, percaya diri, kuat, dsb.

4. Area mana yang kita mau fokuskan dan 2018 dan apa goalsnya di setiap area?

Tahun lalu saya menemukan struggle yang ternyata juga dialami oleh banyak orang. Struggle itu adalah ingin melakukan banyak sekali hal dalam satu waktu. Yang jadi masalah adalah keputusan untuk memulai dari mana. Karena melakukan semua dalam satu waktu juga tidak feasible. Seringnya terjadi adalah pada akhirnya tidak memulai darimana-mana karena it all seems too much. Dan itu sayang banget.

Doing things at once is not how life works no matter how hard we work on it. We have to sacrifice in one area in order to grow in another area. We have to do things once at a time. That is how we start. 

Tahun ini saya akan memberi timeline dan menulis area mana yang ingin saya kembangkan. Seperti kesehatan, spiritual atau kreatifitas. I want to be as specific as possible and set a deadline for it. Kemudian break it down to actionable steps. Take the baby step and work on it! Setelah kita achieve satu per satu goal, kita bisa mulai untuk mempraktekannya altogether dengan goal baru kita. Seperti menyirami tanaman yang sudah kita tanam sembari menanam tanaman baru. It will be fruitful at the end.

Let’s take action and be consistent. That’s what makes us different with other people. Idea and goal comes from anyone and everyone, but who actually takes action are only small percentage of it.

Selamat menulis dan bersiap siap untuk tahun baru.

Love,

 

Thoughts

Gorge du Verdon Side Note

7th November 2017 - 3 min read

In every trip I made, I learnt more and more about the importance of showing my gratitude towards the universe

Showing the gratitude by admiring it

Showing the gratitude by being kind to it

The nature has given us so much but we merely take

It might seem so selfish, because we don’t give

It’s okay not to give, but don’t harm

We ought not to take it for granted

For that I say gratitude, for that I say thank you

I feel that it is good to once in a while engage and be present in nature. It’s almost like a body call that is longing for earth fulfillment. It seems like it knows other options world has other than being trapped in concrete, walls, tiles and other worldly materials. It needs a relieve, it needs time to breath freely with no intervention of chaotic mind.

Get lost in nature and you’ll find yourself

Nature always successfully brings me back to myself. I am a believer of the connection between human and nature. It is a place I go when I feel like getting lost within me. I myself feel that I listen better in the middle of nature. When I feel distracted by all the worldly thoughts and could not concentrate, all I do is taking a deep breath and slowly but sure, I will start listening better to my surroundings, the bird chirping, the breeze, the leaf blown by wind. Next, I will listen better to myself. Next, I will only take the positivity and toss the negativity out of my mind. Next I will love myself better.

Engage with nature is a way to love myself.

Do it good..

When you are good to it, it will do good to you.

EARTHING

Have you heard about the concept? Earthing is taking the power of the earth through its electron to reduce inflammation and improve health. It connects the energy of the planet that is supposedly healthy for our souls and bodies. We all wear shoes with non-conductive (usually rubber) soles that insulate our bodies from the earth. Once in a while, be barefeet. Let those infinite supply of electrons in earth naturally flow between the earth and the body, reducing free radicals and eliminating any static electrical charge. It could cure everything from inflammation and arthritis to insomnia and depression. When I make time to go outside, I try my best to ‘earth’ or ‘ground’ with no medium in my feet. Just barefeet..

Once again, we take advantage from nature. Or I’d rather say, we engage with nature as for we are part of it.

Make a peace with it…

Life Quotes Self growth Thoughts

A message to my younger self

22nd June 2017 - 6 min read

I just looked at my college graduation pictures 4 years ago (thanks to Facebook). And suddenly my times flew back to my younger self. Today, if I was asked what would be a message for my younger, I would definitely give a bunch of advise. I often shook my head looking at some young women around. Then I realized I’d be no different than all of them if only the social media was as crazy as today. Probably people will roll their eyes at me seeing how dramatic I could had been.

Okay so here we go:

You are special and beautiful as you are

I had my moments, a lot of them, back from elementary school-high school, when I felt discomfort with my own skin. There were always issues with my physical appearance. My hair that was wavy and messy, my skin that was fairly dark, my height that was insufficient compared to the kids around my age. In my country, there was this standard of beauty. Ones have to have white skin, straight black long hair, and tall. I always wished that I was different and tried to change myself to be somebody else.

Growing up, I realized that being confident in my own skin will make me look beautiful anyway. And working in the inside is actually something that I can control while physical is something we were born with. There is nothing more attractive than a confident and kind-warm-hearted person. The moment I surrender and actually feel no longer different but unique/special than other people, it is when I attract other people more. When you accept yourself, you will find peace in life.

Be grateful and always look at the positive

Each day I feel the benefit more and more by praising gratitude. When I was young, I easily got upset and questioned my self-worth just by simple things. Instead of focusing in the negativity and asking what was wrong with me, I’d tell my younger self to not to be self-centered. See the surrounding, open the eyes and be grateful of what you have. Not so many people have the privileges like you. Even being able to breath is a privilege. Every negative mind is a waste of living time. Gratitude makes you happier and it only attracts more and more things to be grateful for. I wish I had started writing down my gratitude journal since I was at school.

Everyday is a good day and validating yourself is also very essentials in order to have a positive mind. I always believe, what we want we will become. By affirming my very self, the brain will work along to achieve it.

Do not get attached to someone/something

I was a kind of girl who would jump from one relationship to another. If I could turn back the time, I would not change it differently. But I wish I had known better that those relationships were wasting my precious time. I guess it’s because I like the feeling to be ‘settled’ and that is really dangerous. That did not make me grow, period. I only wanted to spend times with my exes than doing something worthwhile for my own development. With each of my exes, I thought they would be the one that I invested so many things in them. In fact, I do think it’s much more important to keep up with yourself, to live life and collect as many networks as possible.

The attachment feeling urged me to put other people’s priority on top of me because I was afraid of losing them. Well, now I know that’s better than losing myself.

For the note of the something, we all live in materialistic way nowadays. Yet, the dependency to other things do not bring any goods to us. It gives you worry and the sense of not enough.

Be conscious of who you spend the time with

You are the average 5 people that you spend most of your time with. Make sure you are surrounded by people who lift you up, not bring you down. It certainly was difficult when I was teenager because I did not have any self secure. I kept on trying to have self-actualization from the external and that includes hang out with people I did not enjoy hanging out with. I did not know who I was and what kind of person I wanted to be like, but one thing for sure, you would feel it when you hang out with the right person.

You should not keep friends forever, it’s okay to eliminate them because you also grow as a person. That might sound selfish, but you have to be selfish for yourself. You only live half a second after all.

Never settle down

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr

And that is enough said.

Be independent and love yourself

All the above points have one simple result – A happier life. All those are manifestation of loving your self..

xxx

 

Hidup di Belanda Quotes Thoughts

Cheap weekend getaway

18th March 2017 - 6 min read

Since I am living in Europe, I aim to maximize Europe travel opportunity. Last year I (or now we, with my husband) did not really go in a weekend getaway that often as we were tight in a budget after wedding and homecoming. However this year, we want to start doing it for EU trip again (and some more).

I feel kind of privileged to be living in this continent as it is more accessible and cheaper to go to a lot of the ‘IT’ destinations. One does not have to be rich or working in order to travel, this is also for students. I regret a bit that I did not put travelling in one of my priorities when I was still a student.

That is one of the luxury of of living in the Netherlands is that I am at the heart of Europe.

Paris is just three hours and 20 minutes down the road on the Thalys. London is a 45 minute flight via Easyjet and Koln is also less than three hours away by ICE train.

Cheap weekend getaway should be earned by keeping eyes to the low carrier. Also by checking out what kind of destination options that you want to visit.

There are different low carriers in Europe that can take you to different countries. One of those that I recently used to Krakow, Poland is Ryan Air. The down side for me is, Ryan Air only flies from Eindhoven airport instead of Schiphol. The trip duration from where I live (Amsterdam) is around 1.5 hours which is not bad, but the train ticket is around 25 euro one way (without % discount). At the end, it is not that cheap anymore with extra 50 euros train going back and forth. But, don’t be sad! These days there are options to ride a train cheaply. That is through NS group ticket. Check out in here   And only with that, your time consuming journey will only be worth it.

The Netherlands has five major airports, so pick the one that is most convenient for you when you book your flight.

  1. Eindhoven
  2. Schiphol-Amsterdam
  3. Den Haag-Rotterdam
  4. Groningen
  5. Maastricht

Cheap weekend getaway Netherlands map airportSource: http://www.europe-airports.com/netherlands/

Some of the cheap ticket besides Ryan Air is easy jet, Transavia, Wow air,  Arke, Corendon, Smartwings. You can check out the skyscanner of low carrier, check it out here

Sometimes you can have a specific goal of destination, but sometimes just randomly browse around. Give no dates and no destinations.

I always check the national holiday far in advance to maximize the usage of my work days off. It can be one of the ways to anticipate the holiday. Travelling comes first!

Cheap weekend getaway does not necessarily mean a trip with airplane, but also a trip by bus or train. In the first years of living in Europe, first destination will be Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and France. These destinations are better to be reached by train or bus (for Germany and France it depends on which cities you want to go of course).

 

Cheap Weekend Getaway Europe Map

Source: youreuropemap.com

From my student time, I know it is rather difficult to match your schedule with your friends. And based on my experience, travel with too many people are annoying as opposed to pleasant. And I guess you want to get something from your stay and enjoy your short getaway. In that case, once you have a travel buddy, stick with him/her or if necessary, travel solo. Of course it depends on the security and situation of the places you want to go. When the country is expensive, you can also travel with more people because the sharing cost for car, petrol, or food will be cheaper than travelling solo. But make sure you travel with people who are easy and have same holiday style with you!! You do not want to end up spending unnecessary just because your friend insists to go for fancy dinner whilst casual is okay for you.

There is no reason not to travel when the destinations are in distance. Even some people who live far away make it to Europe, for us who have the privilege, it’s no excuse anymore.

‘Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Unknown

Selamat jalan-jalan!
Be courageous! And have a low budget adventure!!!

xxx

Life Quotes Resolutions Self growth Thoughts

2016 Year Review

22nd January 2017 - 7 min read

It has nearly the end of the first month after the whole madness and fireworks celebration of the turning year, in fact we only have 11 more months to go this year. It is no secret that time passes quite rapidly. People say it does when we enjoy what we do. For me, it is both yes and no. Yes because at the moment we have difficulties, the day feels long and short when the other way around. No, because time feels super light speed when it has already passed no matter what you feel on each specific day in the past (exactly what I felt in the New Year’s eve ;)). What I am saying is, time flies anyway, the question is whether we want to look back and make it count or just pass it unconsciously. I think I want to look back and see what I have achieved last year. And as a matter of fact, to be able to achieve what you achieve, you don’t have to particularly enjoy it. Going out from the comfort zone is no enjoyable, but fruitful and we all will be glad eventually that we take risks.

When I thought about it in the New Year’s eve, I felt like I did not do or achieve a lot. But my gratitude journal, my blog, my travel trip has shown differently. I have to say, this is actually one of last year’s important life lesson We are the worse judge of ourselves. I sometimes think that the world or people are against me, that people do things towards me, but in fact they do things for themselves. Of course their actions sometimes make us feel like they’re intentionally targeting us but the reality is they aren’t thinking about you that much, you’re not that special that they would target every action directly toward you. Once I realized that it was easy to move on and focus on my own personal growth and not take everything so personally.

The end of last year, I decided to take the job back from where I was before I moved to TOMS. I had such a big conflict of interest, I was worried people would judge me, would look down on me and all possible thoughts that could possibly happen. It consumed me for quite a while and made me tired, until I realize the above lesson learn. People do not care much about me, they might talk about me, but it’s their concerns, not mine. After all, I felt amazing to be back. Nothing happened as I was worried about. At the end of the day, it’s all about ourselves and what is important for us as long as it is accompanied by relevant values and vision we believe in. And the result is a risk we decide to take.

Another life lesson is, travel and experiences are the best way to spend money . It is memorable and impactful. I did not travel that much last year, but when I saw some images back, I actually kind of did. That is exactly the reason why I always wanted to freeze the memory by keeping a digital album, video, blog and journal. Because I tend to forget things, not that it did not matter, but I just don’t keep up with the little details happened. While these little details are actually a source of gratitude. However, this year, I aim to travel more for the list of destination that has been long awaited. I am so enthusiastic about what life brings and to realize my dreams! I am ready to create a lot of momentum and memorize it.

Last year, I failed doing something that matter to me. A business that has been dear in my heart. I put a lot of things into it, but it just did not work. I think it was not as ready as I wanted it to be, and it is okay. I was upset at first as that was one of my biggest goal last year. However, I shortly realized that I had guts to start it, to do something that I have in my mind. And take chances are one of the most important things happened to me. I learnt from my  mistakes and by doing it I know what I have to anticipate along the way when I start doing it again. I learnt from experiences. I spent not a little money, but I am glad I did, because with it I found out what would not work and what might work.

Lastly, I need to celebrate that I married the man of my dream. Marriage life has not been nothing but pleasant. Yes we have not had our own house, yes we are still figuring out a lot in life, yet I am glad that I go through all this together with a man like Damar. We have hopefully a long time to enjoy the beauty of life together and study in the university of life.

TOAST for a year that has passed and welcome the new year with a long list of goals, vision, and dreams!!! I am so excited as I can be.

There are 2 type of time definition from Newton and Einstein. Newton said time is absolute, Einstein said time is relative. I chose to believe Einstein’s theory. I choose to create my time and its meaning… – MSI 

Europe France Life Thoughts

Weekend at Refugee Camp Grand Synthe, North of France

28th September 2016 - 14 min read

12 Sept 2016

I snuggled with Damar just 15 minutes before I wrote this post, I was very upset taking a closer look to the news of Calais strike today (after I received an email chain from TOMS carrier about the possibility of delayed goods due to the strike – says a person who works in a supply chain department :)). Freight drivers blockaded the main road leading to the port of Calais demanding French authorities to shut down a refugee camp or the ‘Jungle’. Drivers want to force the government to address what they say are increasingly violent roadside attacks and rising human and economic costs associated with stowaways trying to get to the U.K.

I was sad because I know I cannot do anything to make the situation any better. I cannot even picture the feeling of those cornered refugees. There might be some people who do some harms to other people, but the majority of them do not do it. All of them have nowhere to go and they certainly do not choose to be in this position. Calais has more than 2500 refugees who want to get the asylum to the UK, for the sake of having peace and to create a better life. Seems like they do not acknowledge what has been going on in the UK recently. But who can blame them, they do not want so much, they just want to live a normal life with open opportunities.

Anyway speaking of which, on the 26-28 of August, I was lucky and humbled to be able to get the chance to visit the refugee camp, not in Calais, but in Grand Synthe, also in the Northern part of France. Having witnessed it, Grand Synthe is relatively in much better condition than Calais. I was there in the occasion of TOMS’ Tomorrow’s Project. One of my TOMS colleague, Marie, who is French, and other 9 French women initiated a program called Le Recho (REfuge. CHaleur. Optimisme). This program is in the culinary area and the aim is to provide healthy food with full of nutrition. Most likely the food provided in such camp are fulfilling in terms quantity (such as rice, noodles, pasta piece of meat, small amount of veggies), but not quality.

Nutrition is actually plays a very important role to combat depression in which could trigger sickness more easily. There is a monthly budget allocation from TOMS to any project that its employees have, and by the by it does not have to be a project from the employee directly but could also be a project from friends/family in your surrounding. I personally felt very privileged to have this kind of opportunity because as I know there are a lot of people who are willing to help and/or donate but does not have an easy access to. For me, this was just simply coming to my way.

I went with 5 other people consist with 2 Indonesian Women, 1 French Man, 1 French Woman, and 1 Dutch Man. We rented the car ourselves at Sixt in Amsterdam. We took half day from the office off (paid and not counted as a day off due to the voluntary activity – such a blessing!). It was Friday thus my manager did not mind at all for me to leave after lunch. We gathered at the rental car place and started driving from there. We were all a little bit anxious because of the safety that other colleagues, who was there a week before, have warned us prior the departure. I could have been bailed but I decided not to, I guess because as said earlier, this is such an opportunity to experience. I re-winded why I ended up where I am now. I wanted to do something more meaningful and close to feel more fulfilling by what I do everyday even though the impact might be small. And when what I do everyday gets me nearly to the extra philanthropist activity, I would not say No.

It took around 4-5 hours from point A to B. We arrived at 19.00 in Grand Synthe and went straight to the camp just to check in and have a quick look around. I was nervous because I did not know what or who I would encounter. When I entered the camp, I remember what they all said to not look at people’s face/eyes especially another gender for too long, do not take pictures, do not make that much noises, do not wear over exposed clothes. I did everything except looking at people’s eyes/face. I guess I would feel respected when people greet and look me in the face/eye. I believe, in this situation, smile does not do any harm but warming, the eyes tell that there are other people care about their beings.

There were a lot of guys, wait, to be honest, I only saw Men. Most women were asked by their spouse or family to stay inside the house. Some households can be very lucky to have stoves inside to cook. Those are sold around there, and only people with money can buy that kind of luxury. After the entrance, there was a power charge station where the guys used for charging, hangout, simply chat with others, or just to be alone, there was a small table where some refugees sold several items (food, tissues, snacks, etc), there was a small barbershop in the corner, and there is also a hotdog/snack place nearby. Grand Synthe refugee camp depends on the food 100% to the donations. Any food there is free expect the one that is run by refugees.

That 1st day went by so quickly. We were warned to be out from the camp before it got dark, because the darkness brings all the insecurity within. Those are the times when the smugglers do their job. By smugglers, I mean people who get refugees from the war countries in to France. These people also come from war countries, but they slightly are more lucky in terms of financial and sly in terms of using that privilege. They demand those refugees to pay a fortune to get them out of the country. Back in the past couple of months, they have to have 5000-8000 euro per person to get in to the boat with no guarantee they will arrive safe and sound. Nowadays, it is around 10000 euro. Those refugees are rather educated and rich in their home country, I cannot image what about other unfortunate people who do not have that amount of money in their saving.

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Our stay 🙂 More than perfect. We felt very safe.

It was a hard day….. I could not loosen up thinking how fortunate and how grateful I am born in a safe country with a family who love me whole-heartedly and now live in so much developed country where thousand of opportunities open. I just have sooooo much uncountable options.

The 2nd day started at 08.00. We stopped for a quick breakfast in the Brasserie nearby our stay and we drove straight to the kitchen. The kitchen was not inside the refugee camp as there was already people who run the kitchen there, who is the refugee themselves. We wanted to avoid any conflict possible, hence the rented kitchen. The kitchen was at the back of a theatre. I am not sure whether it was rented or donated, but surely the mayor is there everyday and help preparing the food. He is very warm-hearted and earned so much respect. He was the one who fought the government to create a proper neighborhood for refugees. It looked horrible, muddy, vulnerable back then, now much better (shown in the above pictures).

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Sarita, the other Indonesian from TOMS 😉

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Giom- the French guy, is ‘cooking’ 🙂

img_5999The food is all vegetarian – so much respect for the organizer! I was worried with the fact that most refugees are from Muslim country, that they would refuse non-halal food. But the doubt was answered clearly. We cooked until lunch time, the quality was undoubtedly high class. Especially because it was cooked with heart. Hopefully the love could be delivered through food. That day, the food was bulgur salad, sponge cake and banana. The hit was in the cake, it was finished in a split second, I guess because it was a luxury that they could not always get. They eat something to get through the day. We served the food and then ate together with all of them. And for the dinner, we cooked together with the refugees over there to involve them in the activity to avoid any power struggle. Because we did not want to dominate anyone, we were there to help.

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Left to right: Laurens (Dutch) – Nadia (fellow Indonesian) – Giom (French)

In between the time, we went to check out the women Centre. We brought some old kids clothes given by my colleagues’ friends to be donated to the women centre inside the camp. I checked on the wish list board, it filled with normal woman stuff, they need make up, tights, hair dye, literally, they do not want so much. I wish I had all the money in the world to bring all they want/need.

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What I have learnt from the trip:

  • You have to experience something yourself in order give judgement and put things into perspective
  • There are so many hatred out there, including the local themselves towards refugees. Do not hate things you do not know!
  • Those refugees are not bad people, they were once a normal people with normal life and opened opportunities like all of us, but their country happened to be in a war
  • The people that are in the refugees are not all victims from wars, there are also people from other countries who would like to get into the UK. I personally think, these kind of people need to be filtered and less prioritized
  • Language of love always works!
  • Most of the people there are Kurdish, some from Turkey, and Afghanistan. These different cultures could possibly spark a conflict between them
  • I learnt from those people that there is always HOPE. To have the privilege to not to be in a war country, to have  a lot options should NEVER be taken for granted. We should make the best out of our privileges. 

I am very glad to always be reminded again and again…. There is a reason for each human to be born in this world, one of those is to help one another.

Life Self growth Thoughts

Alasan mengapa saya travelling?

4th September 2016 - 5 min read

Post saya ini terinspirasi dari halaman Backpacker Dunia di facebook. Seneng dan bangga rasanya ada kumpulan orang-orang yang memotivasi dan termotivasi untuk melihat dunia luar. Memotivasi untuk orang-orang yang sudah punya cukup uang dan waktu untuk disisihkan dan termotivasi bagi yang belum dan sedang menabung  untuk selalu semangat mencapai tempat yang ingin dituju. Bapak saya bilang bahwa cara berpikirnya banyak sekali dirubah dengan kenyataan bahwa dia pernah mendapat beasiswa untuk kuliah di luar negeri selama  beberapa tahun. Jadilah, menjadi salah satu mimpinya untuk menyekolahkan anaknya diluar negeri. Yang alhamdulillah diberi jalan. Saya ini termasuk yang beruntung bisa membangun karakter saya diluar negeri sehingga saya tumbuh menjadi orang yang berpikiran terbuka dan menghargai perbedaan. Walaupun begitu, jika saya hanya berhenti disini dan tidak kemana-kemana, tidak akan cukup banyak saya belajar.

Semakin kesini, memang benar orang-orang indonesia semakin aware dengan travelling. Tapi sayangnya travelling masih sekedar dipandang sebagai perjalanan menuju tempat tujuan wisata dan sarana untuk bilang ‘oh saya sudah pernah kesana’. Foto selfie di depan lenmarc, jalan-jalan ke tempat yang mainstream, tinggal di hotel, pakai agen, pindah sana sini, jepret lagi, lalu pulang, selesai. Padahal sebenarnya pertanyaan untuk traveller adalah siapa yang kamu temui, dan bagaimana pengalaman itu merubah kamu sebagai individual.

Saya pernah ke negara yang bikin saya iri karena kelebihannya, kemakmurannya, sistem pendidikannya, sistem publik transportasi dan kesehatannya. Soal kekayaan, Indonesia nggak kurang-kurang dengan sumber daya alam yang dimiliki, tapi kenapa susah sekali menjadi makmur? kenapa sistem pendidikan nggak bener? banyak korupsi, dan sebagainya. Hal-hal seperti itu membuat  saya berkaca dan semakin semangat memperbaiki diri (karena memperbaiki negara dalam satu kedipan mata hampir nggak mungkin). Bayangkan jika semakin banyak orang travelling yang mengedepankan pembelajaran dan pengalaman, mungkin Indonesia akan menjadi berkembang dengan mengadopsi cara berpikir yang lebih maju.

Di sisi lain, saya juga merasakan gimana orang-orang Eropa sangat individualistik dan cenderung tidak peduli dengan sekitar. Juga gimana nggak gampangnya cari makanan karena jam-jam buka tertentu dan tidak adanya warung-warung kecil sembarangan di jalan. Gimana sepinya jalanan setelah jam 6 karena semua toko tutup. Disitu saya bersyukur banget jadi orang Indonesia.

Saat saya ke Andalusia, saya menemukan banyak sekali kekayaan di era islam beratus-ratus tahun lalu yang sengaja disembunyikan. Saya melihat agama saya kembali dari perspektif yang lain, bahwa islam bukan hanya melambangkan kekerasan dan ketradisionalan, tapi juga intelektualitas. Saya melihat secara langsung bagaimana buku-buku bertuliskan bahasa arab disimpan di dalam dinding karena agama islam harus dimusnahkan. Saya jadi punya cerita untuk teman-teman bule saya yang tidak tahu menahu akan hal ini. Saya bisa bilang bahwa saya menyaksikannya sendiri.

Travelling bener-bener ngajarin banyak hal-hal yang dulu tidak diajarkan di sekolah. Saat traveling saya belajar kemampuan kendali emosi, belajar mengapresiasi dan toleransi. The world is the true university, and when we’re travelling, we are learning. Saya jadi tahu bahwa humanity itu lebih ada dari yang kita pikir. Banyak sekali orang-orang baik di luar sana yang tulus ikhlas membantu tanpa berharap apa-apa. Saat saya di Lisbon, publik transportasi yang kami biasa pakai sedang strike tanpa kami tahu. Saya bingung setengah mati, tapi ada 1 orang yang baik hatinya yang mau menunjukkan bahkan mengantarkan ke tempat dimana kami bisa menemukan transportasi pengganti. Di Turki juga begitu, walaupun orang-orangnya tidak terlalu fasih berbahasa inggris, namun mereka berusaha keras untuk membantu bahkan nggak segan-segan mengantar ke tempat yang kami ingin tuju.

Travelling membuat saya lebih menghargai arti kata ‘rumah’ yang sebeneranya.

Travelling mengajarkan kita untuk menerima diri kita apa adanya dan untuk menemukan jati diri.

Travelling adalah pembuka mata, setiap perjalanan yang dilakukan ialah sebuah proses dan kesempatan unik untuk membuka mata selebar-lebarnya terhadap dunia serta kehidupan disekeliling saya. Saya belajar hal-hal kecil dari bagaimana sebuah kultur sehari-hari dari negara atau tempat yang berbeda. Hal ini mengajarkan saya dalam membangun opini pribadi, memberikan perspektif baru dan menjadikan saya tidak mudah percaya terhadap berita-berita yang media tampilkan.

Maka jika ada kesempatan, travelling-lah dan kembali dengan pelajaran-pelajaran berharga yang membuat kamu selalu ingin memperbaiki diri. Jika tidak ada kesempatan, bersabarlah dan terus mencari 🙂