Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: travel

First Person, Present Tense

My Middle East trip had ended months ago and I still hadn’t had an inspiration to write about it — until two days ago.

This blog post is different than any other posts that I wrote. It is using first person, present tense. I’m not sure why I experimented in using this technique but I can say that it was really hard to do it. I’m not sure it’s good enough though!

Check it out: ME Trip: Arriving in Tehran

Date A Girl Who Travels

I accidentally found this post and I loved it. Let me quote some of the things she wrote:

A girl who travels has developed a deeper appreciation for life. She won’t judge you, or pressure you to do things you don’t want to do. She knows too much about the importance of identity and self-efficacy, and she will appreciate all the more if you won’t pretend to be who you’re not.

Is a girl who travels worth it? Yes, she is. So when you find her, keep her. Don’t lose her with your insecurities and doubts. Because when she says she loves you, she really does. After all, she’s seen so many things, met so many people, and if she had chosen you, better grab that opportunity and thank the gods that you were lucky enough she’s chosen you and not that bloke she met watching the sun rise in Angkor Wat, or while whitewater rafting in the Padas Gorge in Sabah.

Date a girl who travels. Make her feel safe, warm, and secure. Make her believe that no matter where she goes, and however long she’s gone, you’ll always be there for her, the one that she can call home.

Of course, not all girls who love to travel have those characteristics. But some do! 😛 LOL

Back to Reality

I’m back from my travel. Back to reality. There are so many things I want to write about my travel in Iran, Turkey, and Jordan, but I don’t have time to do it yet. I’m going to Jakarta in two days time. It was rather unexpected and unplanned, because my grandma was suddenly hospitalized. I had to change my plans and I’ve been busy with the preparation of my sudden move to Jakarta. Anyway…

My laptop is also broken & the internet is extremely slow here. This is the reason why I decided to slowdown my blogging activities.

Not sure when I’ll start blogging again, but I hope soon! I miss writing something here! I hope the next time I write again, there will be good news about my grandma. Amin.

The One that I Have Been Waiting For…

Insya Allah I will depart tomorrow to start my one month travel :). Hopefully I can get the visa on arrival! I don’t want my visa to be rejected anymore 🙁

Where am I going? For now, let me just show this picture as a hint:


Super excited! 🙂

Blessed Weekend

Red Sea


Obhur may not be as beautiful as Indonesian beach, but it is the only place here in Jeddah where we can rent a cottage and enjoy the beach. Most beaches in Jeddah have been used for private residences (thanks to the greedy royal family) and resorts, so they’re not open for public (and "free") — which is a pity. You need to pay in order to enjoy the beach.

Most people don’t mind paying to stay in a resort, of course. After all, this place is one of the very few places in Saudi Arabia where we can escape from all those restrictions, not only social, but also religious restrictions! The religious police will not go in, so we have our own taste of freedom, which is great :).

Apparently, the Filipino embassy rented the WHOLE resort next to ours for Christmas celebration. We planned to stay there previously, but we were turned away as it was already booked. But we could spot from our resort their Christmas tree. This was the second time in my life I saw a Christmas tree in Saudi Arabia. This was not just any Christmas tree. It’s a big one! The biggest one I saw in Saudi Arabia!!! LOL (look how excited I am!). There were even discos, karaoke, and live music. Men and women could mingle freely. I was amazed, but at the same time very pleased :D. I didn’t feel like in Saudi Arabia.

Anyway, about my weekend? It was a super great one! I feel so blessed to have my family — all five of us — in one place. We hadn’t had a family vacation with a full member for a long time. Alhamdulillah!

Here’s a silly picture of me and my siblings:

What were we doing?!

Old Passport

I just love it to have my passport’s page(s) filled with  stamps, leaving little or no empty space. These are the pages of my old passport, that almost caused me heart attack. This particular passport only contains 24 pages and it only has 5 empty pages left. Too bad I had to renew it, otherwise I could get the entire pages of the passport full of stamps 😉 hehehe.

The year 2009 was a great year indeed. I traveled to 8 different countries in one go! 🙂 I started with a road trip with some friends to Luxembourg, Strasbourg (France), Heidelberg and Köln (both in Germany). From Köln, I went to Düsseldorf to catch a flight to Jeddah. I had an almost 20 hours of transit in Dubai so I decided to explore Dubai (which — as expected — I didn’t really like. Dubai was not my thing). From Saudi Arabia, I flew to Indonesia, visited some friends in Singapore for a day, and stayed with my sister in KL for five boring days (it was an exam week for my sister. So I was there feeling rather bored. Nothing much to do). I came back to Europe through Paris, where I stayed there for 3 days. That was my first time visiting Paris. I love Versailles!!! 🙂

It was a crazy trip, to be honest. At the end of the trip, I was left with only 10 euro on my bank account! hahaha.



The Miracle of the Day

Across the sky

October 7th, 2011. 14:00 CET.

Finally, here I am. Flying across the sky. Feeling so grateful. Actually, grateful is an understatement. But I don’t even know what else to describe it. My heart is still racing, although it shows a sign of slowing down. My mind is occupied with many questions. Why was I so reckless?? Why didn’t I keep track of time? Why did I do it? Why? Why?

This was not the first time happening to me. I almost missed my flight when I forgot to bring my Saudi paper exit visa and I had to go back home to take it because of that. I almost missed my flight when there was a demonstration in KL (but then was told that the flight was delayed… sigh). I actually missed my flight to Brisbane when I was in Singapore because I was too busy browsing on the internet. I got a “panic attack” last year when I realized that I hadn’t printed my boarding pass few hours before my departure and all printers at the university failed to work.

For me, the experience that I have to go through less than 24 hours before departure is always frightening — including the one that I had recently.

Well, here’s the thing. A day before my departure, I checked all the travel documents that I needed. I had everything ready and printed. I put all of them in my shoulder bag. I even double checked everything to make sure that I was not dreaming. Long story short, I discovered that I had to bring my old passport with me as it had a stamp that was important. Where was my old passport? It’s still in the Indonesian embassy in Den Haag. This was at 3pm.

My passport was renewed on February this year and I forgot to take my old passport with me because I thought I didn’t need it. I was indeed wrong. So I called the embassy and asked them to kindly find my old passport. I was literally begging to them to search it for me. Although I was not pleased with how disorganized those past applications were kept, I was really grateful that they tried to find my passport between piles and piles of other old passports. They called me 2 hours after their working time was supposed to finish to let me know that they were still searching.

The next day was the day I departed. My flight was scheduled to depart at 12.40 but I still had the time to go to Den Haag in the morning. I took the 7.30 AM train to Den Haag. While waiting for the embassy to call me, I went to JoHo to apply for an ISIC card (yay! I got it now!). Finally, at 10.15 AM the embassy told me that they found my passport. I quickly rushed to the embassy to take it. I’m telling you, time is money. But alhamdulillah, I got the passport.

The main story did not end there. I began running into trouble when I took a bus to go back to the central station. My OV-chipkaart ran out of credits and I didn’t have any cash with me (I hardly bring cash). The bus didn’t have a refil machine so I had to get out of the bus on the next stop as the driver looked grumpy. I found an ATM nearby and quickly took some cash. Time was now 10:55 AM.

When I finally reached the central station, it was already around 11:10. I knew I was in a big trouble. But I was even more convinced that I would miss my flight when I found out that the next train to Schiphol was at 11.30!!! And I actually had to check in before 11.40!!! I was soooo screwed. I was panic. I prayed and prayed during my 30 minutes jouney to the airport that the flight would be delayed or there would be some kind of a miracle!

I thought about all of the what if situations that I could think of. If they didn’t allow me to check my bag in, I’d store it in a locker. If they didn’t allow me to board the plane, I would sleep in the airport to wait for the next flight. But before these situations would happen, I would make sure that my begging and desperate-looking skills were being used.

I arrived at the check-in counter at around 12.10pm. No one was there except one woman. Oh, thank God! At least I didn’t need to search all over the airport for the airline’s employee. She was of course surprised upon knowing that I wanted to check in. She called her boss and at the same time printing the boarding pass and the luggage tag. I was a bit relieved at that time, although I was not 100% sure that I would be able to fly on that day.

Few minutes later, she gave me the boarding pass and added, “We cannot guarantee anything that you are able to fly.” Oh gosh, here we go again. She told me to run to the gate, because someone had to talk to me. So I ran and ran. I didn’t have much energy to be honest. I used up all my energy by the time I was in Den Haag.

Thankfully, I reached the gate 15 minutes before it was closed. A man approached me, checked my details and necessary documents, while telling me, “Mam, you know the procedure! You should check in 1 hour before departure, NOT 30 minutes!!!” I told him that I was so sorry and it was indeed my fault. Any stories that I could tell him would be viewed as excuses so I didn’t tell him anything other than that. Few minutes later, I boarded the plane.

So here I am, thinking. Was that a miracle? Was that a result of me praying to Him, Allah SWT? I strongly believe it was. Prayer or Doa is a powerful thing. Don’t ever lose hope of Him. That’s the lesson I learned today.

Where am I going? Well, I will keep it as a mystery for now ;). I shall be back soon.

The Best of The Easter Road Trip

I haven’t had time to write about the trip. So, for now… I can only post some pictures with the captions. These are some of the best parts of the road trip, sorted by my most favorite ones 🙂

Switzerland: The Alps & The Lake

The roads to the Alps were still closed as it was still snowing heavily over there, so we had no choice other than to take the Gotthard tunnel, the third longest tunnel in the world. The Alps and the lake were so beautiful. Too bad most of the places in Switzerland are touristy and too crowded, compared to New Zealand… But the good thing about traveling with car was that, we got to avoid the tourists and got to "chase" the view of Alps and the lake… so breathtaking!

The Swiss Alps Switzerland Alpnachersee in Switzerland (near Luzern)



Couchsurfing at locals’ houses is by far my favorite part of any previous travels that I did! I got to learn and discover new things. It was memorable! My couchsurfing experience in Arzo, Switzerland was THE BEST one out of all! We got to stay at a super cozy 16th century apartment and got a chance to have a delicious vegetarian dinner and a breakfast prepared by our wonderful host! We couldn’t ask for a better host 🙂 She’s just the best!

We brought our own inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags :) With our French host in his beautiful house on the hill of Nice, FranceDelicious dinner prepared by our host in the village of Arzo, Switzerland Our Swiss host preparing for our breakfast. A very special one I have to say!

"The Great Wall of Switzerland"

We planned to go to Lugano in the Italian part of Switzerland, but our host recommended these castles in Bellinzona (there are three castles by the way), not too far from Lugano. So we decided to change our plan and went to Bellinzona instead! It was worth it 🙂

The Castles of Bellinzona

Italian Pizza

Our main aim of going to Italy was to EAT! We didn’t regret it at all! I ordered a seafood pizza (Frutti di Mare) and it was DELICIOUS, even more delicious than the Italian pizza at my favorite Pizza Café at UQ (Uni of Queensland).

Frutti di Mare

Côte d’Azur

The beach was beautiful, but the weather wasn’t that nice and the city was just too posh, full of wealthy tourists. It’s not my most favorite parts of the trip but it’s just refreshing to see the beach again!

Nice, France Monaco

Easter Road Trip 2011

I just got back from my road trip!

View Larger Map

Switzerland was breathtaking! The Alps and the lake were just so beautiful and refreshing. This was the country I had been longing to go since I was a kid and I was so glad I did it!

But New Zealand was still the best in terms of nature. Nothing can beat that beautiful country 🙂

Lisse Bike Tour

Tulip field & windmill!

Picnic :) 

This was my third and probably the last time to do a bike tour around Lisse. What I love the most about this bike tour was our picnic and my first discovery of a tulip field with a windmill background! I always saw it in the postcards or calendars but never in real life! I thought it was unreal and was photoshopped! But I was so satisfied that I finally found it 😉