“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”

Kali Ketiga Melancong Ke Pulau Pinang

Sejak akhir 2015 lalu, terhitung sudah tiga kali saya mengunjungi Pulau Pinang (Penang), negara bagian di semenanjung barat laut Malaysia. Awalnya sekadar mengikuti suami yang melakukan penelitian di kota ini. Tapi lambat laun, saya pun mulai menyukai Penang dan menganggapnya sebagai rumah singgah yang kesekian (mana-mana dianggap rumah pokoknya, dasar nomaden! 😆😆).

Salah satu hal yang membuat saya menyukai kota ini adalah perasaan bahwa waktu terasa terbekukan di Penang. Menjelajahi pusat kota ini seperti masuk dalam salah satu adegan film Warkop DKI “Jodoh Bisa Diatur” yang saya tonton berulang-ulang semasa kecil. Satu episode yang menceritakan bagaimana Dono, Kasino, Indro datang ke Malaysia untuk mencari kekasih hati Dono dan anaknya, yang bernama Rios atau si Montok. Film ini terekam kuat di benak saya karena satu kalimat: “Itu bukan Rios, itu anak kingkong”. 😅😅 (Yang nak bernostalgia dengan film itu sila datang di mari. 😄) Continue reading “Kali Ketiga Melancong Ke Pulau Pinang”

Visiting Singapore in a Tight Budget

There’s a lot of things to do in Singapore actually. But, in the most expensive city in the world, things often come with the price (literally) 😅. So, if you want to visit Singapore in a friendly budget, here are some tips and recommended spots you can visit for free based on my personal experiences 😁:

1. Merlion and surrounds

20914580_10159310716225094_783356096808568801_nTake a mandatory photo in front of the most famous landmark in Singapore, then go for a stroll to the Cavenagh bridge. You can enjoy the view of Marina Bay, Singapore Flyer, bronze sculptures, and colorful buildings at Boat Quay, along the way. Reward yourself with a slice of traditional Singaporean ice cream when you arrived at the bridge. Just remember to choose the local brand one (not that famous red love shape brand, if you know what I mean) as it is tastier and lot cheaper 😉 . Talking from my experience, the location for local brand seller’s near Cavenagh bridge is at the other side of the river or the north bank. 

Continue reading “Visiting Singapore in a Tight Budget”

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?”