Plan Your Trip

[Day 2 of New Years Countdown]

Hey Humans!

You might be wondering “Where should I visit in 2016?” “I want to go somewhere, but what’s a nice place?”. Well you’ve come to the right place. I will help you plan your upcoming trip you’ve always dreamed of! Maybe.

Disclaimer: I love going to places more of the nature side, and I’ve mostly only traveled different sides of my own country Indonesia, Australia, Bangkok, and Singapore. But I will help you in any way!Collage.jpg

The most important thing before aiming your budget is when and how long you’re going. Are you going on a high season? Are you going for a week? When you’ve figured this out, your budget usually adapts to it. Note that everything on a high season is much more expensive and full!

Now you’ve figured when and how, it’s time to figure out whereWhere do you want to go? Is the timing right enough where you want to go? I mean, if you’re only going on a trip for a few days, but it takes you a 16 hour flight including a whole lot of jet lag, think again. You’re not even over the jet lag, then you’re out again, wasting 1/3 of the time of your trip on a plane. I might be exaggerating, but you get the point. So, find somewhere that suits your time.

So, let’s figure out on what kind of place you’d like to visit and why. Here is where your budget play a big role. Are you there for the nature, tradition, history, artifacts, or royal? What kind of place are you staying in; hotel, hostel, villa, camp? I’ll give you an example of going to Bali, which has many great views and artifacts. But there are also many stays like hotels and villas near the beach, rice field, villages, city. It just depends on what you like most.

Last but not least, with who you want to go? This involves with your budget. When you’re out with your friends you can at least divide some costs. If you’re backpacking alone you might want to find someone who lives where you’re going. My brother uses couchsurfing for that, and he’s very satisfied.

Maybe you know about everything I’ve said, but I really want to point out some small things to you. To where ever you’re going, figure out on how you’re going to places. Is your budget enough for that? Then what kind environment and traditions they have. Just search it up, it’s a lot of fun.

I’d love to give you advice on where to visit, but my advice can only go to people who wants to travel to Indonesia. I’m fortunate enough to have travel a lot of places around Indonesia. View my posts on Indonesia (here).

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

Make The Best of Your Holidays

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[Day 6 of New Years Countdown]

Hey Humans!
Selfies, selfies, selfies… Instagram is full of them at this time of the year. People would almost do anything to make the best of their selfies, but what about the trip itself? You don’t have to try too hard to make the best selfies if the trip itself is good. So what makes the best of your holidays?

Not every ‘best holidays’ means going on a trip, but for this I will be talking about best holidays out.

  1. Look at what’s in front of you. Stop updating statuses, uploading photos, checking what other people are doing. But look at the beauty around you. Why check other people’s life while you get to have your own. See the small details of what’s happening around you, then you also have a story to tell.
  2. Enjoy the ride. The ride is what makes the trip so unforgettable. I know it may take a lot of money, a lot of butt aching rides, and sometimes the service is ridiculously disappointing. Well you’ve got to do something to get somewhere, just enjoy the ride! You chose to go because you wanted to have fun.
  3. Be kind. You’re going to someone else’s hometown.. Be kind to the people around. They’re nice enough to let tourists come look around. And also be kind to other tourists! They are there for the same reasons as you are. And last is to be kind to your travel partner. Although you have your differences, just face the fact that you won’t survive without them.
  4. Not everything goes according to plan. My advice to you is don’t plan too much. It’s better to be surprised rather than failing the plan and you’d be disappointed. But when a plan does fail or you got lost, don’t be mad yet! You never know if it turned out to be the best mistake of the trip!!

Sometimes the detour makes the best views. – Mom

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

My Getaway Place

[18/30]

Hey Humans!

I would totally do anything for a vacation, ASAP! I’m so tired with the demands of uni stuff. Well that’s life right? Wanna be somewhere, do something. But we all have that point where we just want to do nothing although we have a ton of stuff to do. Right now I’d want to runaway to my fave places. Let me list it down for you..

  1. HOME. Period. I want to be at my home sweet home. A lot of times I miss home, and I miss it more right after I go back to my dorm. It’s just a nice safe feeling to be at home. Surrounded by the people you love, the atmosphere, and all the memories.
  2. BEACH. I’d want to go to any beach there is. I love the nice wind and the smell of salt water. It calms my nerves. I never get bored going to the beach. My favorite beach though? Cubadak Island was by far the best I’ve experienced. Want to know where that is, open my blog post in West Sumatra (link). And Gili Trawangan Island was also beautiful!
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    The amazing view infront of the Cubadak Bungalow.
  3. OCEAN. Well, not so far away from the beach. But to me it’s different, not all beach have the best view underwater. I love going snorkeling or diving, but I just don’t have much time for it. I’m honestly weird, because looking at fishes swimming and eating is somehow entertaining for me. I try to think like a fish when I look at them. My favorite ocean? The best diving spot I’ve been is Gorontalo, North Sulawesi. Amazing! Still very clean, beautiful, colorful, just very pretty. I will be sure to put up a blog post about this amazing place! Wait for it 😉
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    A great shot by my dad, me diving in Gorontalo.
  4. FOREST. I love the view of sunshine through trees. It makes me feel happy. Going to the forest is a wide variety of life. Free fresh air all around you. My favorite forest? By far my favorite is Meru Betiri National Park in East Java. I got the chance to experience many adventures with my family. We got to go through 3 rivers, got our car stuck in mud, see a lot of monkeys, and let free baby sea turtles into the ocean! It was an amazing experience and I’d do it all over again. See my adventure here!
    Car stuck
    Our stuck car, the locals helped us out.

It’s obvious enough that I love being in the nature. Where is your favorite place to go? I’d love to know, maybe I can visit someday?

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Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

Beauty of West Sumatra, Indonesia (6/7)

Hey Humans!

29 December 2011,

Today we’re checking out from Pangeran Beach Hotel, and we’re going to “Lembah Harau”. Lembah means valley, so we’re going to a valley. On the way to the valley, we stopped by at “Bukit Tinggi”, which is a famous city here in Padang. We saw a clock that the Dutch made when Indonesia was colonized, called “Jam Gadang”. Jam means clock in bahasa Indonesia. Look at the picture, and see if there is something weird on the clock.

Do you see it? Number 4 should be IV, but here its IIII.

There’s also these people that wear costumes, and people would ask to take pictures with them then they get money. In the picture below, they look very exhausted, it was really hot that day. There were plenty of other cartoon characters.

So after looking at the clock, we went shopping at the market. The markets here in Indonesia are unique. After stopping by in Bukit Tinggi, we went straight to the valley. As the sun started to set, we got to the valley. The view? Great! This valley was amazing! There’s 2 walls (nature walls) on each side of the road, when you scream on one end, your voice will echo. So here, we’re staying in “Echo Valley”, I think we all know why its called “Echo Valley”. Haha…

Sun set on the rice field, on the way to “Lembah Harau”
The surroundings of Echo Valley at night.

[This is a reblog of my writing back in 2012 on my tumblr page]

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

Beauty of West Sumatra, Indonesia (5/7)

Hey Humans!

28 December 2011,

Today we’re finally going to look around Padang. So this morning, a driver that we booked came to our hotel to pick us up. We planed to go to Solok today, it’s a really long drive from here.

When we got to the place, one thing I learned here and why actually tourists don’t want to come to Indonesia, we have to pay for everything! We pay for getting into places, parking, toilets, and then there’s beggars. Once you give money to the beggars, they ask for more. And the view? Great! But poor thing Indonesia don’t take care places for tourism, so this place was not a really great place to sit down and relax.

On the way home, I saw something really scary. So there’s this person, umm… Sitting on top of the bridge of a railway. just look at the picture. (Sorry it’s kind of blurry)

See the red circle? Yep, that’s him. How did he get up there?

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

Beauty of West Sumatra, Indonesia (4/7)

Hey Humans!

27 December 2011,

Too sad, this is our last day in Cubadak Island and we had to leave at 10 am. We went straight to packing, breakfast, and said goodbye to the people on the island; especially Dominique, Nanni, and Marco. Then we got on a boat where there were 3 other families on the boat too. So, that was the end of our trip in Cubadak Island….. Will be missed.

DurianBut, our trip in Padang isn’t over yet. Our next stay is; Pangeran Beach Hotel. On the way, we got some durian. I’m not a huge fan of durian, so I didn’t eat any. My brother and dad really liked it, they said it was sweet and good, even my mom who usually don’t eat durian said it was good.

We got to the hotel, it’s a 4 star hotel, but I gotta say, it’s just like all those other standard hotels. But there’s a gym, and a swimming pool right next to the beach. You can’t swim on the beach though, ‘cause the tide is big here.

Since we’re hungry, we got lunch. We’re in Padang! And we haven’t exactly ate real traditional Padang food! So we went on a public transportation (here we call it “angkot”) to a restaurant.

At night, we went to a kind of seafood restaurant right next to a beach. I ate shrimp, didn’t eat fish because I don’t really like fishes. I also got itchy because of my allergies (I really don’t know what I’m allergic to).

A view from our hotel window. Padang is well-known for the pointy roof tops.
Dinner is served, Bon Appetit!

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

Beauty of West Sumatra, Indonesia (3/7)

Hey Humans

26 December 2011,

My second morning and guess what?! I went scuba diving. It was my first try, so I was a bit scared, and gosh it was so heavy. Marco was the instructor who taught me and my brother to dive. he taught the basics like how to remove and put water in the mask, and worst of all but very important, we had to get the regulator (the thing we use for breathing) off our mouth then let it go, then there’s these steps to get the regulator (fast and easy with no stress or panic) back on.

There’s this rule I remember, what we have to do and never forget this, NEVER HOLD YOUR BREATH. It was fun, but every time he deflate my BC/BCD (Buoyancy Compensator/Buoyancy Control Device) I would freak out, but it was fun once I got in the water. Since we can’t talk underwater, we did some sign language.

How I love looking at fishes and corals so near and clear. It’s much clearer to dive than just snorkeling. Me and my brother had some problems with our ears, so once we go deeper, our ears would hurt. My brother got up first cause he can’t go deeper than me, he just got a cold. And I couldn’t go untill 5m, I’ll work on it the next time I dive. Since my dad could dive, he’s gonna teach me soon, I hope. I want to get a diving certificate.

Getting started to dive, we’re Swimming backwards.
Casually peeking underwater

So as I promised, I wanted to go up the hill again. And yes, I did! A bit of the trek was different, I think its because it was raining last night. Some trees fell down and a it was a little muddy. But when I got up, the view? Very great! It was worth a climb. A quote that I know “Life’s a climb, but the view is great” – Hannah Montana The Movie.

The View from above

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

Beauty of West Sumatra, Indonesia (Day 2/7)

Hey Humans!

25 December 2011,

Since we’re staying in Cubadak Island for 3 nights, this is just our first morning. Today, we’re just going snorkeling. I wanted to see more corals and fishes, so I went a little further today. We also went canoeing, and I went on the paddle board; it was so much fun. After all the fun, we had lunch. Like I said before, the cuisine is fantastic here!

Did I mention there’s a hill? So there’s this hill, and there’s a track to go up there, we thought it would be fun to go up, but gosh it was so steep. But trust me the track was not all bad! There were also nice grasses along the track. It was almost 5pm when we started to go, in the middle of the track I started to worry it’d rain and it’s getting dark, so half way I gave up and went back down the hill with my mom. My brother and dad still went up. I really did regret not going up the hill, so I had to get back up the next day.

Oh right, since today is the 25th of December, its Christmas!! Merry Christmas!!

[This is a reblog of my writing back in 2012 on my tumblr page]

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

The track to the hill
Canoe
My brother happily canoeing
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The view from our bungalow

Beauty of West Sumatra, Indonesia (Day 1/7)

Hey Humans!

24 December 2011,

We arrived in “Bandar Udara Internasional Minangkabau” (you could see in the picture, it’s not a really big airport). A driver from “Cubadak Island” was already waiting for me and my family. We went straight to the island, and got some “Keripik Sanjai” (which are chips from Padang) on the way. It took about 2-3 hours to get to the dock, so I had to chew something on the way. When we got to the dock, we hopped on a speed boat to the island where we were staying.

When I saw the ocean, the first thing I said to my mom “This is the best way to start a holiday”. The ocean was so beautiful and clean. Once I got to the island, it was nice, peaceful, quite, and once again; beautiful. The view was great (I highly recommend this place). Just in time, it was lunch time; so we got lunch. The cuisine here was great, it’s their specialty. I usually don’t eat much, but I can’t refuse the food here.

After lunch, we got to our bungalow and had a rest after a very long trip. Then, we went straight to the sea! Of course we went snorkeling, we couldn’t miss that, and my parents went canoeing.

The people here were very welcome and nice. A lot of people from other countries stay here, my family were the only Indonesians (other than the helpers around the island).

Cubadak’s view from left to right. On the right is the pier of Cubadak, it’s where people go snorkeling/diving and go on/off the boat.
Our 4 bed, 2 stories bungalow. Very nice and comfy.

[This is a reblog of my writing back in 2012 on my tumblr page]

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂

The Grateful Adventure

Hey Humans,

Just a few days ago I got myself on a train in Indonesia. I happen to go on at a rush hour. I have set my shoes on various situations, from the most comfortable to the worst. This may not be the ‘worst’ but this sure as hell ain’t comfortable either. FYI, I am writing this to share my experience, I am not here to exaggerate an event.

JpegFirst of all, I have never loved much of Indonesia’s transportation. It takes time to really understand where you’re going, and most of all they don’t maintain their transportation’s. Second, the amount of people is not equal to how much transportation available. Third, Indonesian citizens needs to learn to be patient and wait in line. I went on a train with hundreds of other people. At every station more and more people would come in but only a few people went out. It got to the point where I couldn’t even stand straight, my foot weren’t even supporting me. And it also got to the point where I couldn’t take more photos of the condition (haha very funny).

JpegBut why do I love having to experience this even though it’s so uncomfortable? Having a mind like mine, turning perspectives around lets me to realize a lot. I didn’t get mad, in fact I smile to people in the train (not that I’m some psychopath). I got to see various events and people. I saw a man in his working clothes, he’s a mechanic in a break shop. I’d have to be honest, he has a very sour scent of smell. But it got me thinking, he could’ve been working from morning to afternoon for the love of his family. Thinking that he might have a family back at home waiting for him to come home, and just welcome him for who he is not for his scent.

JpegThere was also a mother and her child near me. No one gave her a seat, and it was a very crowded train. The mother held on tight for her daughter. That right there is true love, love from a mother to daughter.

There was also a really nice guy, a very young gentleman. I saw a great personality in him when he showed respect to women. When a seat was empty he would show and let other women take the seat. When it was his stop he would say bye to his friend, but I could hear the friendly voice of his. Like he has no problem with the situations he has to go through, like maybe he has to get on this train everyday from work or school.

But one I will never forget is how people connect to each other. We didn’t want to fall down or squish into other people. But we knew we had no other choice but to be patient. A few would smile to each other, or laugh at how ridiculous this all is. But that’s life! We can’t stay mad at these situations, even though I know I HATE it. If you can’t change it, at least try to change your perspective. Think of it as something positive. I know that I learned to never underestimate something or someone. And we are not the only humans, so don’t think like you’re the center of the universe. Oh and don’t ever forget, if you were born in a fortunate family or you worked your butt off to be on top, you can never be on top without the people below supporting you! So be grateful for the smallest things in life, and every human beings.

Cya soon,

Syra 🙂