“Are We There Yet?” Di Balik Perjalanan Seorang Traveler Mommy

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Let’s travel around the world, my baby!

Sebagai seorang traveler mommy, saya sudah mengajak anak saya traveling sejak ia masih di dalam kandungan. Mulai dari mengunjungi pernikahan ke Pekalongan, menjajal hidup sendiri di rimba raya Jakarta, hingga snorkeling di Karimun Jawa, semua pernah saya lakukan dalam rentang 9 bulan masa kehamilan. Saya beruntung, semua momen-momen itu berlalu dengan baik tanpa drama yang berarti. Meskipun, seperti yang sudah diingatkan ibu saya, akibat terlalu sering diajak jalan-jalan, anak saya terlahir sebagai anak yang susah diam, hobi jalan dan gampang bosan (haha!). Dan memang, pada akhirnya, ia berada dalam kondisi-kondisi yang mau tak mau membuatnya sering bepergian.

Traveling pertama saya dengan anak, saya lakukan ketika ia masih berusia 1,5 bulan. Itu kali pertama anak saya bepergian dengan pesawat. Waktu itu saya mules-mules membayangkan apakah anak saya akan baik-baik saja selama di perjalanan. Terutama di momen lepas landas dan pendaratan. Untungnya anak saya tertidur pulas selama penerbangan pendek Jogja-Jakarta tersebut. Segera setelah itu, kami bepergian lagi saat usianya 6 bulan (ke Perth). Lalu mengunjungi Sydney dan Adelaide saat dia belum genap satu tahun. Keliling negara bagian Australia saat dia berusia dua tahun. Berkemah di Dieng saat dia tiga tahun. Ke Kuala Lumpur, Singapura, Bandung, Bali dan lain-lain saat dia berusia 4-6 tahun. Pindahan ke Swedia saat berumur 6,5 tahun. Dan yang terbaru, melakukan perjalan ke beberapa negara di Eropa dan Asia Tenggara saat dia berumur 7 tahun. Dalam perjalanan-perjalanan tersebut, ada momen serupa yang selalu muncul. Saya menyebutnya, momen “Are We There Yet?” Continue reading ““Are We There Yet?” Di Balik Perjalanan Seorang Traveler Mommy”

Going Mainstream in the Netherlands

For most Indonesian, visiting the Netherlands is like an obligation. It’s in everyone’s list. And I’m no exception. Even when I started to think about pursuing masters degree overseas, the universities in the Netherlands were always be my priorities. I have no particular reason actually. I just want to go to the country that shares a long history with Indonesia. So long time ago I applied to some universities there and received Amsterdam Merit Scholarship from Universitet van Amsterdam (UvA). But, for some reasons, I turned down the offer and took the Australian Development Scholarship (now Australia Awards) instead. It was a difficult decision for me as UvA is one of the best universities in communication science. However, I realized that choosing Australia over the Netherlands, at that time, was the best option for me and my family. So I learnt to let it go and made a promise to myself that I’ll come visit the Netherlands one day, to see my former would-be university: UvA. Haha.

Finally, that promise turned into reality around a month ago, when I was visiting the Netherlands on mid August as part of our Euro-Asia summer trip. We went to the Netherlands from Paris by Thallys regional train and were lucky because our ticket was upgraded to the first class (yay!). The journey was smooth and lovely. We had a short transit in Rotterdam then stayed at my old friend’s apartment in Utrecht. Here are the glimpse from our Holland experience: Continue reading “Going Mainstream in the Netherlands”

What’s Not to Like in Paris?

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The everyone knows Eiffel Tower

When Zaki listed Paris as one of this year summer’s trip destinations, I was bit reluctant. Not because I don’t like Paris, (of course I like it! Visiting Shakespeare and Co had been in my bucket list since the first time I watched Before Sunset in fact) but I was worried because what Paris is known for: smelly metro, pickpocket, scammers, pricey stuffs and racism (especially after several terror attacks that happened in Europe lately 😥 ).

But he convinced me that we got to visit Paris anyway. Sooner or later. One day or another. It’s Paris after all. One of the most visited cities in the world. Rich of history, art and culture. The place where many important thinkers (and their important thoughts) were born. So, how can I say no?

Paris then became our destination after Venice. And because we had quite a drama (read more about it here) in Venice, we decided to slow things down a little bit in Paris. Besides, after spending time (and money!) in Milan and Venice, we needed to rearrange our budget as everything in Paris is not that cheap (the confession of budget travelers 😀 ). Continue reading “What’s Not to Like in Paris?”

Experiencing Venice Like No One Else

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Sunset in Venice

Our trip to Venice was really something. Not just because the city itself is so pretty at every corner, but also because we had lots of unforgettable experiences there. Both the happy and the upsetting ones :D.

 

We went to Venice by Trenitalia from Milan. The train departed from Milano Centrale and took less than three hours to get to Venezia St Lucia station. It was a pleasant journey though there was no wifi on board (deal with it millennial generation! 😀 ). When we arrived in Venezia St Lucia, we could feel the touristy ambience in an instant. It’s not really surprising as a report says, “More than 60,000 people descend on Venice each day,” (The Guardian). Not many Venetians live in Venice now. Even an article in the Forbes claims that the city is “underpopulated and overtouristed” since it has 54,500 resident only, but receives 30 million visitors a year. Reading these articles makes me feel guilty as a tourist. That’s why I always try my best to behave well and live like a local wherever I travel. Being a tourist is not an unlimited pass to do whatever you want just because you have paid. A tourist is a guest. And as a guest, we must respect the host. Just like that famous quote: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”

 

Continue reading “Experiencing Venice Like No One Else”

The Underrated Milan

Most travel reviews I read about Milan always suggest to skip this city when you travel to Italy. Even a friend of mine (who used to live in Italy) wasn’t really fond of my idea to visit Milan. Simply because, rumor says, it has not much to offer, especially for a non business traveller, like me.

But, as someone who was once a milanisti (a loyal supporter of AC Milan football club), I feel like visiting Milan is an obligation, haha, and to be honest, I’ve put it in my bucket list since I was a kid. So, there I went. Spending three nights and two days in a city which famous for its fashion, while I, myself, is the most unfashionable person I know. Such an irony 😂. Continue reading “The Underrated Milan”