Surprise Factor

Life is really full of surprises with a very common plot like: “if things didn’t work like that then life wouldn’t be like this”. That’s how I met my new friend from Spain.

Anyway, I’ve been staying in Ubud for more than a week. It’s a very great place here! Bali is vast, I know, and the most popular region is in the south because of the beaches. However, I think Kuta and its surrounding are too mainstream and since I hadn’t visited Ubud, I wanted to try. The other reasons that made me want to stay longer here:

  • Ubud is located near the center of the land of Bali, so it won’t take me so far to visit other places.
  • Ubud is rich in culture and well-known by its calmness and peacefulness. So many yoga practitioners go here. I have been such a busy woman in all my life; everything was too hectic, so was my mind. Ubud would be a perfect place then.
  • I’ve got a friend here. Yay! Monica was the one who inspired me in last December and I was so happy to see her here. She was so kind for hosting for a week.

And guess what?? I got a part-time job here! Lol! I have been helping Monica to paint menu board for gelato shops. It really helps me to survive since everything in the tourism spots in Ubud are pricey T^T Lucky to have you Monica!!

One day, I thought I would continue working with her, which I actually originally wanted to do. Suddenly she said we had to postpone and I lost my reason to live that day. Joking Lol. I’ve been having good times in Ubud and forgot I should explore new places here. I opened the map and decided to go to Lake Beratan then. In map it looked soooo far from Ubud that I thought I should sleep there or something but then I opened Google map and it was just 48km away wtf  -.-

I slapped my face and got ready quickly. Let’s go to Lake Beratan!!

The view along the way was AWESOME! So green, so traditional, the weather was cloudy and somehow it was perfect! I passed Sangeh, a place which is known for the naughty monkeys and oh! I saw monkeys on the street as well. Not far from Sangeh, there was a wide and long bridge and the scenery below was great. I stopped my motorcycle to enjoy the scenery and take some selfies. Not far from where I parked my motorcycle, someone also stopped by and enjoyed the scenery. I took selfie when I was still having my helmet+hat+plasticbag+masker on.

Like this. Good thing I didn’t wear sunglasses too that day

 

HAHAHAH! He looked at me and smiled asking something about selfie. I was so embarrassed, I must have been seen so weird that way lol! He smiled a lot yet he didn’t take any pictures. I just knew later that he lost his phone in the sea. I didn’t know if I was so centil kegatelan or kind, I asked him if he was okay to be photographed by me and send the pics via email later. He agreed and we talked a lot ever since. His name was Jose.

 

 

Jose was a very nice and warm guy. We didn’t have awkward conversation; in fact, everything was fun when I talked to him. He was heading to Lovina and I told him I wanted to visit Lake Beratan. I asked if he wanted to tag along (seriously, I think I was kecentilan haha) and he said yes because it’s on the same way to Lovina. Then we drove another 20km to Lake Beratan like alayers lol. We chatted while we were riding, we rode side by side as if the road was ours hahaha. Good thing road in Bali isn’t crowded but sometimes cars from behind rang the klaxon.

The scenery from Sangeh to Lake Beratan was great! Yes I say this again. The road goes up and up and it was sooo cold. Too bad I didn’t bring my jacket :’( Not long after that I saw a very vast lake and it was beautiful! Just as expected, Lake Beratan was crowded; so many tourists come there. No wonder la. It’s such a beautiful place.

 

Pura Ulun Danu

 

We had to pay Rp 20.000 for local and Rp 50.000 for foreigners. I hope Jose like it there (seemed he did). I was happy I didn’t have to enjoy the scenery alone but too bad I wasn’t focused in taking good pictures. Some are blurred! WTH! @!$^&*#%##

 

BLURRED -.-

 

I SAID BLURRED -.-

It was the first time for me to go somewhere with bule for quite a long duration of time so that’s why this experience is something new to me.

 

Teehee

 

We talked for hours and I can tell that he was such an amazing guy. Jose has traveled more than 10 countries and I really enjoyed listening to his crazy experiences. What a guy with full of spirit. He is also passionate in making electronic music. Here is the detail.

 

www.warmibiza.com

Time to part! He had to continue his journey to Lovina before the day gets dark. This is the funny part! As Indonesian, shaking hand is an automatic gesture to part with someone you consider not close yet. But since he was Spanish and he had western style, he opened his arms and I bengong and thought for a sec and then we finally hugged lol! He was grateful to meet me and helped him to be his GPS lol. He kissed my cheek and I was like awww. Okay no baper because it’s normal to them. It was so new to me and somehow I was so proud. What a strange way of thinking lol. Bye Jose! Till we meet again!

This is what I like when I travel (mostly when I travel alone), there is always possibility to have extraordinary adventure or simply meet new friends. And of course, don’t forget to cherish and maintain your friendship; that way, you will always have home wherever you go.

Anyway, I continued my trip to Lake Buyan, it’s located nearby. When I was on my way, I met many monkeys as well. It’s funny the monkey helps this old lady to make a living. She sells FEED-THE-MONKEYS package for Rp 10.000. You will get 4 small bananas and some peanuts.

 

 

 

Feeding time

 

What are you thinking bro?

 

Here’s the view of Lake Buyan

 

 

 

Nice view huh?

I originally wanted to visit Lake Tamblingan as well and I directed my motorcycle there. Actually it was already dark and I still needed about 2.5 hours to go back to Ubud. I kept riding but when I found out I need to do the trekking to get to Lake Tamblingan, I chose going home. Seriously, it was cold, dark, and getting quiet. Hahaha. This time, I followed my fear.
No worries laa.. The predecessor events were good already. I felt enough!

Love ya!

CRAZIEST THING I’VE EVER DONE

This conduct was done consciously and my safety was a perfect combination between right calculation and luck. Anyway, do you like the title? Made you curious huh? HAHA. Yes, I did that but it wasn’t something naughty or bad as you may think right now.

When I was still in my hometown, I have done a budgeting plan that could support my life for a month. I realized the most expensive cost was the accommodation: meals or places to stay. As I have told you in the previous posts that I have known Couchsurfing for quite a long time yet I never used it until recently. Anyway, did you know Couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing (CS) is a web where travelers can find hosts in certain places for certain period of time. This helps travelers to save more money instead of throwing it away to hotel or even dorms. Of course dorms or hotels offer privacy, silence, cleanliness, hospitality, and many more. But in this case, it depends on what you aim for. If you are going to stay in a certain place for several days and feel like want to save money, or if you like to interact with people, or if you are interested in knowing more everything about local, you can choose CS. On CS, you can read thru hosts’ the personal information, the property, and the references (comments or reviews from another people who have stayed there).  CS can be accessed via web or phone app. It seemed to be very convenient and I crazily wanted to try that.

In fact,  for me it was so hard to find hosts! I made about 4 requests to some female hosts and they didn’t give me any reply. Then I made another maneuver; requested to guys and hoped that maybe they could let me in (oh yeah this is female’s seducing power lol). I made 3 requests and NO ANSWER again! I wondered why T^T

But I completely understand la. If I were the host and someone with zero reference requested to stay, I might ignore her too. Haha. Eventually on a night prior my flight, I used another technique: scheduled the trip publicly so everyone in the destination area could see any request. Why didn’t I use that since beginning? -.- As expected, no one responded. Minutes before boarding, I used Agoda and found cheap hostel and I told myself ‘Ok la, good price, and maybe I can use CS later’.

When I have landed in Bali, I received a notification from CS. A host offered me to stay!! I was so excited that the app actually worked fine (I thought it wasn’t lol). I read thru the profile and I thought he was a good man. The references came mostly from women and seemed they stayed together with his family and I really wanted to do that too! He gave me his phone number and I called him right away.

He explained the situation that the place he offered me wasn’t the house where the family lived but a single room he rented. I thought hard at that time. I felt scared because there would be only two of us in the same room yet I was so excited to try this crazy idea, something that I haven’t done before! And I agreed to stay there after exploring Kuta and surrounding. He was the one who informed me about CS weekly meeting in Kuta and we met that night. He seemed to be a good and fun host!

After having fun for 2 days in the south, the day finally came! I met Bli Dewa (Bli is how you call older brother in Balinese) in the evening. He was as good as I expected. He even cooked me dinner. We had a very loooooong conversation. We talked about our families, dreams, jobs, things about Bali, we even talked about politics. He was very smart and open-minded. The way he told me about Balinese tradition especially caste and culture in marriage was impressive. He is self-employed and he earns money from developing and designing web. And guess what? He learned it by himself. No educational background!!

Sleeping time came and it was the most awkward moment! Good thing that Bli Dewa had king-sized bed so we didn’t have to sleep close to each other. We were sleeping in the edges and there was about 80cm space in the middle lol!

We parted in the morning because I had to continue my journey to Ubud. It was such a pleasant yet thrilling experience in my life. It was such an honor to witness and receive kindness from a complete stranger, something I want to see in my journey. As I have said in the first paragraph, luck played a big role of this experience. I was so lucky to meet Bli Dewa, he didn’t seduce me, didn’t do anything wrong to me. When we talked, he looked me in the eye, nowhere else. He flirted sometimes but he annoyingly told that it was a joke Lol. Will I do this again the future? Dunno. Perhaps I won’t do it again, because error and bad luck can happen anytime. It’s important to protect myself because I am a woman. Maybe I will try my hardest to find female hosts next time, or at least, stay with the whole family member.

However Couchsurfing is a great app to help you travel like a local. You can share knowledge and anything else. Locals are a good source to help you arrange your trip! Here are steps to use it!

You can start by typing your destination. List of possible hosts will appear.

 

Learn more about the host you are interested in. Please read thoroughly because some hosts even write keyword and you should type it when you make request. Some hosts are so detailed about dos and don’ts when hosting so make sure you know your host well from the profile.

In my case, I didn’t get any respond this way then this is how I did:

This function appears in your home. Create public trip.

 

Write details of the trip

 

Then your public request will be like this. Your request will be shown in the intended area only

After you finish staying at your host’s place, make sure you write a reference honestly. This will help other people to know their possible host more accurately.

Bli Dewa’s reference from me and others

 

And yay!! I got my very first reference from him! So happy!

Look at my profile, all not verified! There’s no way you could get accepted, you silly girl. lol.

Actually I didn’t realize that, I thought I have made sure my profile taken care well.

Anyway, on the home page, you can find this menu as well. Talk to others as much as you like.

 

or hangout

 

See? It’s fun right?? The website and the people are (or should be) safe. So far it’s safe so you don’t have to worry much but I say this again: your safety is the top priority. Calculate well and pray for good luck. However don’t let your fear limit your adventure. Embrace the unknown. Have fun!!

 

Love ya!

 

WHY I CHOOSE TO STAY IN BALI FOR A WHILE

I remember my cousin said going somewhere for a while helps you a lot, especially to find inspiration. She stayed in Bali for three weeks and also in Japan for the same period of time. She did it alone and I was in awe! She is such a brave woman even though she is 2 years younger than me. After that, I kept seeing posts especially on Facebook and Instagram that emphasized about the benefits of traveling: how traveling can change your life and helps you to know more about yourself. My heart was moved because of the latter reason; I want to know more about myself.

I’m going to be 27 years old soon yet I am far from the getting settled. I’m still trying to find my identity and what I want to focus on. From what I read, this kind of confusion is commonly happened in young adulthood, maybe you have heard of the term too; it’s quarter-life crisis. Some are lucky enough to endure and pass the crisis not far from their home while some has to take a journey.

Last December in 2016, I saw a friend’s post on Instagram and how living alone in somewhere far supports her happiness. She was in Bali too (and she still is). Bali is a good option, I think. The culture, the people, and the view (of course) are fascinating. So far, I got so many inspirations from talking with people, local or foreigner; because here I always find a reason to greet people: at the hostel or any where else by simply asking typical question from tourist to another tourists or from tourist to locals. Well no la, you can always get the kind of chance even in your hometown, it doesn’t have to be Bali. Haha.

When I saw my friend’s post, I could sense that it was the momentum and I submitted my resignation letter not long after lol. It was such a sudden thought and I even didn’t think about how my family would react. I kept talking to myself: ‘I have to do this.’ I’m lucky to have parents that accept me for who I am, they wait patiently for me and keep supporting me. I couldn’t ask for more. I love them that I want to be a whole person of I am by doing this.

I have to know where this path takes me to.

I’m sure the process, how scary it may seem, will lead me understanding myself better.

To any of you, who still seek for identity, please love yourself. Listen to your heart because it knows better about what you have to do. Maybe you don’t have to travel, but make a move! Do what your heart tells you to and don’t let your parents, family, or society define you. You are what you think you are. You deserve your love more than anyone else and believe me, self love isn’t selfish. It’s important. Do something that feed your soul then you will really really live. Never lose faith!

 

 

Love ya!

FIRST IMPRESSION OF SOLO TRAVELING TO BALI

This is the decision that I have made since last year when I felt so stuck with my job. I was planning to do bigger thing in somewhere further but meanwhile I’m spending my time here in Bali.  Did my family worry about me? Of course they did! To them I was like a girl with blurred vision or like a cloud floating in the sky, lol! But I was so confident that I could do this and soooo excited weeks before my departure. However, change will always scare you and the scariest moment is when it’s about to get started. I felt a serious butterfly in my stomach several days prior my leaving. My head full of thoughts like: What if I fail? What if I can’t survive? What if I don’t like the lonesomeness?

Thankfully, I got friends to talk with, parents and some of family members who supported my decision. I thank them for seeing me with an open mind and for understanding me that I need to pass this phase.

I arrived in Bali on Friday and since I’m really on the tight budget I tried to find anything cheap! Cheap cheap cheap! Lol! Let me tell you the amazing things happened on my first day in Bali.

 

PLACE TO STAY

I have heard about Couchsurfing app from a long time yet I never really used it until a week before my leaving. Unfortunately it was so hard to find a host! I have tried to request to some possible hosts but no one responded. Just minutes before boarding, I finally used Agoda app. I swipe leeeeeft on the price range filter and tadaaaa! I found NAU HERE HOSTEL for only IDR 45k (before tax).

It’s located in Kuta Central Parking and I can say it’s a very nice place to stay! Not to mention the cheap price as well as great service that makes it worth staying, it’s also located in the perfect place. The hostel is around 15 km from Ngurah Rai International Airport and only needs mmm, not sure but maybe 10-15 mins driving with GoJek (I used Go Ride and the trip only cost IDR 21k). It’s not really close with bars area like in Legian but you can reach there by walking like around 20 mins. Good exercise tho.

What do you get?

  • A clean and nicely decorated capsule
  • Free wifi (not so strong)
  • Towel and blanket
  • Clean toilet and shower area
  • Breakfast included
  • Many books to read
  • Load-as-many-as-you-wish drinking water (IMPORTANT)

The sanitary area is also inside the bedroom. There are 14 capsules in the bedroom (This is the cheapest option) and there are 3 toilets and 3 bath areas so you don’t have to barge in when you are so kebelet lol. From my experience, even though the capsules were fully booked but the traffic in the bathroom wasn’t high. Lol!

Official pics taken from Agoda

 

FIRST PLACE TO VISIT

What else? Kuta Beach of course.

I think I was kinda bored to be in Kuta Beach because the last time I remember, the beach was dirty, too many people, too many transmigrates too. As I was heading there on foot, a stranger with motorcycle asked me if I wanted to hitchhike since he also headed to Kuta. He asked me using English and I was so confused at the first time. He laughed when he found out that I was Indonesian, he thought I was a Japanese, lol! Dude, have you ever seen Japanese girl with piggy nose like this??

He was Bang Toti, a Batak guy who quit medical school who is now become a surfing instructor and lifeguard in Kuta Beach. He accompanied me to watch the sunset and he was so kind to let me get 2 hour surfing lesson for a very cheap price. I’m sorry Bang Toti, I couldn’t make it, no budget to surf.

Anyway, this was the sunset view in Kuta that day. So great!

 

 

HANGOUT

A guy from Couchsurfing app informed me that there would be a weekly CS meeting in Kuta. I checked on the map and it was surprisingly near my hostel. I didn’t have any reason to say no tho. Before that, I had dinner in a small cafeteria; it sells Nasi Bali for only IDR 12k. Not sure the normal price but I think it was very cheap because I got many pork in it. Anyway, there were about 15 people attended the meeting. Most of them were Indonesian and some are foreigners from Holland, Malaysia, US, India, Canada and Mexico. We gathered with a long table and I thought it would be more formal but in fact, it was more like having conversations with small groups. I was the second attendant who first arrived; nobody was there except me and Nur, a girl from Central Java. Not long after that, a couple from Canada joined us and we started to have a very fun conversation. It’s very common for people who come from 4-season countries to spend 3 months in winter for holiday. I was confused about what happened to their job actually. If they have a formal job, there’s no way you can get day off for 3 months! One thing I forgot, they can make a living from casual job too. Plus, their currency helps them to survive longer in Asia, as well as in Indonesia.

What impressed me the most was our conversation with Javier, a Mexican guy who joined us later. Before visiting Bali, he traveled to Lampung to accomplish his ultimate reason to be in Indonesia: visit the exact opposite coordinate from where he was born. AMAZING RIGHT??? The concepts itself was already interesting, but believe me the whole story is soooo crazy because the destination is located in the sea, 4 km from the land which has no public road to access, plus it was a restricted palm-oil and sugarcane plantation area! He didn’t do that alone, he met destined companions, Bandar Lampung male teenagers which he will never forget. I was soooo impressed and amazed about how traveling can be so cool like this! He also shared information about how he earns money to support his traveling, something I’m so eager to try! It’s to be a community management staff, a.k.a social media engagement or virtual assistant. Digital area really helps us to work remotely! The only thing to do is to learn and be consistent. It may sound easy, but everything takes a lot of time and dedication.

Gavin, Annelie, Javier, and me. Don’t mind my round cheeks

It was so much fun to attend the meeting, I also had the chance to know some locals who really kind to help me find a job here or at least to share information about where to go in Bali. I can’t wait to walk further!

 

Love ya!