Our First Honeymoon to Bali (May 19 – 24, 2014)

Badugul Bali - Armetra & Poppy Honeymoon

Love doesn’t make the world go round.
Love is what makes the ride worthwile..

Well, it’s been quite very loooong time since I wrote on my own website. I think, I stopped writing since I’ve got married (and then having baby as well). Little ‘bit busy (and little ‘bit lazy too) and perhaps also less motivation to write something. Beside, with very fast development of social media nowadays, it made personal blog story became little ‘bit redundance. However, hobby is still a hobby, it’s not something that I can loose entirely. And, after several long night tried to convince myself to write again, then here it is, I’m finalizing the last draft posting that I haven’t yet completed, before I went “hibernate for writing” in the last two years.

This event have already happened almost two years ago. After our wedding ceremony, few weeks later we went honeymoon to Bali. Bali is the most famous island for tourism destination in Indonesia. The main thing for honeymoon is that, we hope going for honeymoon can give us the memory that will last a lifetime, the kind of trip that definitely has to be special, beyond our own wildest dream. And at that time, I was thinking Bali would be the best place to do it. But, the honest truth is, any place to go for honeymoon will do, as long as I’ll go with my beloved wife. 🙂

In order to get a very joyful experience, we decided to take itinerary from one of the best independent agent from Bali, found by my wife through her friends. We took 6 Day & 5 Night Honeymoon Package. The package include all food, Breakfast at our Villa, Lunch at famous restaurant with signature dish, and also Romantic Dinner at various beach & restaurants. The package also include private transport (car) with dedicated Driver that also act as our guide (and also photographer for sure).

Since this is the honeymoon package, surely it have all romantic experience. Dinner at the beach? Check. Romantic sunset view? Check. Romantic Cruise? Check. Enjoying the view? Check. Snorkeling? Check, and so on. And surely, every morning, there is a driver that will pick us, and took us for touring around Bali. It’s really good experience to actually enjoying time without the unnecessary stress to find transport and the like.

Day 1 – Arrival, Check-In, and Romantic Dinner at Jimbaran Beach

On the first day, We arrived in Bali on the morning around 10.00 am, and they welcomed us with bouquet as well. No harass, no rush, just a friendly welcome that made our mind felt relax and set the holiday mood perfectly.

Armetra-Poppy-Arrival-in-Bali-kedatangan-kami-disambut-dengan-kalungan-bunga

From the airport, then we continue to check-in to our private villa. We chose a private Villa with private swimming pool inside of our room. The villa and room is quite, very comfortable, and of course having romantic atmosphere, where we can really enjoy our honeymoon time, far from any “noise”, no social media, Just be happy and enjoying the togetherness.

This is our room pick, Astana Kunti Villa – Honeymoon Suite:

Armetra-Poppy-honeymoon-Bali-astana-kunti-honeymoon-suite-villa

Then after check-in, we took a rest. well rested f, at night (near sunset time), the agent that we hired, took us to Jimbaran beach for our first Romantic Dinner and to enjoy the sunset view at the same time. The joyful experience, that made us feel like “King & Queen”. The restaurant staff welcomed us, and set-up the table and everything at the beach itself.

Romantic Dinner Jimbaran Beach Bali

After a lovely dinner, then we went back to our Villa room, well rested and to be ready for the next day tour.

Day 2 – Tanjung Benoa Snorkeling and Uluwatu Tour

The second day, this was the day for Watersport experience at the beach. So, after breakfast, we went to Tanjung Benoa beach. It’s almost one hour drive from our Villa to Tanjung Benoa, located in the southeast of the island and very close to Nusa Dua. This beach is famous for Watersport activities in Bali due to having a calm wave compare to other beach in Bali. There are various Waterpsort available here, such as Jet Ski, Parasailing, Seawalker and Flying Fish, etc. We took most all available activities, and since we’re local (Indonesian), the price is quite cheaper. The agent who provide Watersport activities at Tanjung Benoa will charge higher price for foreign people.

Our best moment, surely when we decide to take “Sea Walking” activities, and they have the staff that will take video for us during our adventure below the sea. Check out the video:

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Our Wedding Ceremony – The Second Day (May 11, 2014)

Our Wedding - Once in Lifetime

I still remember the moment when I first saw her.
I couldn’t stop staring at her.

There was something about her eyes and her smile,
that took me to a different place.
I wasn’t sure what was happening to me,
but I knew it felt exciting and scary at the same time.
It was like coming “home”, only to no home I’d ever known.

As the time passes, and we started to know each other,
it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up,
they meant we were supposed to be together,
and as stupid as it sound, I always believe it….

And so, here we are… Sit together on “pelaminan”…

So, let’s continue this story. Like I said, there are 3 main events on our wedding, the wedding vows (I wrote here), the first ceremony (I wrote here), and the last / final ceremony on the second day. The second day ceremony is like “main” day, the D-Day for all of our wedding ceremony, so to speak. This second day ceremony was held at my wife’s parent’s house.

The ceremony was actually receptions, and the sequence were actually simple. Me & my wife “basandiang” (sit together) on “pelaminan” (special decorated altar of minangkabau culture with long chair). Then, guests from family relatives, our parent’s friends, people from neighborhood, co-worker, and other invitations will come to celebrate with us, and greeted with various traditional-Minangkabau food. After guest finished eating, they will come near “pelaminan” stand to congratulate us, and of course taking photos with us to capture the moment. The ceremony will start at the morning, and it will be end at night.

Us & Our Parents

Captruring The Moment of Our Wedding Ceremony – Us & Our Parents

The Rich Culture of Minangkabau’s Wedding Ceremony

The special decoration of altar “pelaminan” shows the rich culture of minangkabau. When we sit on this “pelaminan”, it felt like we’ve been treated like “a king & a queen for one day”. It was dominated by gold color & red color that reflect for the feeling of glorious, happiness, and the sense of togetherness. It convey the message, that marriage is the window for the happiness.

Our Pelaminan - Minangkabau Wedding

Our Pelaminan Wedding – Minangkabau Culture

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Our Wedding Ceremony – The First Day (May 10, 2014)

Our Wedding Ceremony - First Day

Once in awhile,
Right in the middle of an ordinary life,
Love gives us a fairy tale…

What I’m feeling, I think, is joy…
I’ve felt that blinkered rush of happiness.
This might be one of those rare events that lasts,
one that’ll be remembered as months & years wind & ravel.
One of those sweet, significant moments,
that leaves a footprint in our mind…

It’s like I just wake up in the mornings,
and feel like I’ve just had the most incredible dream.
I’ve just dreamt my life…

The thing is, a photograph couldn’t ever tell its story.
It’s like something you have to live to understand.
Where things shift into focus for a moment,
and everything just makes sense….

Well, I know it’s like 2 months late post. But, like I said, I’ll make the post of our wedding story gradually, little by little. Because, sometimes to really being able to describe the big moment of our life with a carefully chosen words are still not enough to picturing those moments. It’s like something you have to experience it in order to understand it.

So, after Wedding Vows day, there will be wedding ceremony which will be held for 2 days. It’s a common thing in our culture, Minangkabau culture in West Sumatera, Indonesia. The first day, the ceremony will be mainly to be held at my parent’s house.

Going to My Wife’s House at Night After Wedding Vows

But, before wedding ceremony begin in the next day after wedding vows day, during at night, my family & relatives & our clan will take and accompany me to my wife’s parent’s house first. People from my clan would also bring the “rebana” (tambourine) group with me. (Note : “Rebana” / tambourine is one of classic music instrument used in Minangkabau culture).

Maanta Marapulai at Night After Wedding Vow

To be short, that night, when we arrived at my wife parent’s house, my wife family & relatives & their clan were welcomed us, and then after gathering and what not, Rebana group will play their music instrument as part of entertainment and also as part of showing respect to my wife parents & their relatives & their clan.

Barabano Maanta Marapulai

The value is that to acknowledge that my family have given me a blessing to move and live with the new family (my wife family) in a good will, and my wife family also welcoming me to be part of their family.

Wedding Ceremony at My Parent’s House

Then, in the morning, my wife family & relatives & their clan will bring & accompany me back to my parent’s house, where the first wedding ceremony will be held. This time, I’ve already official to be called Bride and Groom (in Minangkabau language, it’s called Anak Daro & Marakpulai).

Sebelum Berangkat ke Rumah Marapulai

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Wedding Vows (Ijab Qabul) on May 9, 2014

The May 9 2014 Day at Jami' Al-Syarif Mosque

This part of our lives,
this “once in a lifetime” part,
is called “Happiness”…

Starting from the day of Friday, May 9, 2014, will mark as the starting day on open-up the new chapter of our lives. This was the biggest moment of our life so far, a so called “the holly promise in front of God (Allah SWT)”.

May 9, 2014 is the day of our wedding vows which took place at Jami’ Al-Syarif Mosque of Sidang Koto Laweh, Tilatang Kamang, Agam, West Sumatera, Indonesia. Jami’ Al-Syarif mosque is also very near with my wife’s parent’s house.

Well, May 9, 2014 is the day when all pieces of puzzles finally falls right into its place, the day when two hearts sincerely commit to each other, the day when two families become one, the day that we both always have been dream of, the day when I finally able to call her the love of my life as “wife”, the day when she finally able to call me as “husband”, the most auspicious and blissful day of our lives, and the day that we’ll always remember on a lifetime.

I still remember that moment, saying out loud sincerely and genuinely of our “wedding vows”. In Indonesian language, it’s called “Akad Nikah”.

Ijab Qabul - Wedding VowsThe Wedding Vows (Ijab-Qabul)

Wedding vows word by me : “Saya terima menikahi anak kandung Bapak, Poppy Handayani, dengan maharnya satu cincin emas 5 gram, tunai, karena Allah SWT”.. The witness declare “sah” (legitimate) after that, and as such I’m officially married my wife. And thanks to God, I have to say the word of wedding vows only one time… 🙂

The Two Families Become One
Getting married doesn’t mean I only marrying her, it shall also mean to unite two families (my family and her family). For me this is one of the most interesting aspects of marriage though; two families, which in general circumstances would never even know each other before, are tied together for life.

Us and Our ParentsUs and Our Parents

Yes, seeing their child finally getting married surely to be one of the day that all parents look forward to. And for us, words will not able to express how much our gratitude for both of our parents. The two families become one. Thanks Moms and Dads, for everything.

Well, there are two big days in any love story, the day you meet the girl of your dreams and the day you marry her. Well, here we are, finally able to make reality on getting married, tying the knot, and commit to each other, the perfect ending to a perfect love story.

And in the end, all we can do is promise to love each other with everything we’ve got. Because love’s the best thing we do…

Our Wedding – The Once in a Lifetime…


Bismillah

And here we are…

Armetra & Poppy Weding Invitation

The “Once in a Lifetime”…

Destiny is a pretty big concept, when you think about it.
Where you are in life, how you got there,
what would have happened if one thing or another,
had been different..

We do understand that the reason for the time exist,
is so that everything doesn’t happen all at once.
Fate has a way of putting an important event in front of us…

And, if it’s up to us for reading the sign of destiny,
It was a million tiny little things that,
when we added them all up,
they meant we were, indeed, supposed to be together.

And, I knew it.
I knew it the very first time we met each other,
11 years ago…

It was like coming home,
only to no home I’d ever known…

We do realize that love doesn’t change.
Love doesn’t become untrue.
Love doesn’t fade, nor disappear…

Well, It’s funny looking back at those days,
Because, sometimes,
Life slows down just enough,
for all the pieces of puzzles,
fall right into its place…

This part of our lives,
this “once in a lifetime” part,
is called “Happiness”…

Fabiayyi âlâ’i Rabbikumâ tukadzdzi bân”…

Remember, a wise man once said,

Barney Best Quotes 2

So, we will be honored
at your presence to celebrate with us, 
on our wedding, the once in a lifetime…

The Rollercoaster Life – Part 2 (Reflection of 5 Years in Real Life)

roller-coaster of life

Is every moment of our lives built before we’re born?
Maybe…I don’t know for sure..
But in life, there’s always ups and downs..
And they make life worth living..
We’ve never realized how high we’ve gotten,
without the perspective of how low we had actually been…



So, let’s continue this story. The first part is here. Well, in the summary, the first year after my graduation was the phase on a transition from college life to real life. It mostly about trying hard to figuring out how to be grown-up man, and trying to figure out, not necessarily who I am, but how to be who I am.

And, like I said, I felt thankful to experience the assignment to Field/Site at the first year of my career, because I was forced to learn faster about engineering. And yes, not only about technical things, but also in regards to personal development, because I also involved to work with many types of worker (blue collar, white collar, client/company man engineer) and many different character of people.

The 2nd Year – Back to Square One

Well, after long struggling & lot of hassle, harsh reality, and sometimes bully (again, you can imagine, as fresh graduate engineer working at Field/Site on small company with very tight schedule of EPC project nature, working 7 days per week, for sure it’s tough), then I decided to leave this first company when project almost completed.

Besides that, the harsh reality about working on EPC Project with project contract-basis, there will be no certainty once project completed. I mean, once project completed, I have to find other project to work. It was good experience in terms of technical though, but of course, I need something better, something stable.

I needed the better things in terms of compensation, more established company, and more stability concerning my future career path & career growth. Therefore, it means I was back to square one, become unemployment again, and I have to find other job.

Okay, this time was the lowest point of my life. It took me around 3-4 months to get a new job. During those 4 months, actually it was harder to find good job compare to “my fresh grad time” one year before.

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Preparing Married Life for Living Overseas

Marriage to Live Abroad

“Love doesn’t make the world go round.
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile…”
(~ARM)

Well, the time is near, and I’m counting days now. I’m finally arrived at the crucial stage of my romance life. The exciting & thrilling part, so to speak. It’s like, my romance life have been moving forward (in a good & exciting way), from “the topic of the who, the how, or the when kind of stuff, to the phase of finalizing & starting to execute for marriage life preparation.

And the big challenges are that, not only I have to prepare mentally or physically to marry the woman that I love, I even have to prepare & set-up the marriage life to live overseas for both of us. Big tasks are at the same time! So, I’m writing this post for every couple out there who lives abroad but is getting married at home, or planning a wedding from a distance. And not only wedding, but also “Life After Wedding” itself.

Supposed if you go to any wedding or marriage/love websites, or reading from magazine of book, I believe mostly they’re aimed at people getting married, or some section in regard to set-up marriage life after wedding, but definitely not for expats life. So, whether you’re male or female, young or older, planning a big event from the other side of the world (both in actual miles and cultural “distance”), have its own challenge.

As such, most of my energy & attention are very much focusing on this task nowadays. Although it’s kind of daunting, but I don’t let worry and stress overtake the joy I felt in preparing this. After all, this is the kind of thing for being in love, isn’t it?

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The Rollercoaster Life – Part 1 (Reflection of 5 Years in Real Life)

RollerCoaster Life

We can’t design our life like a building.
It doesn’t work that way.
Just take the leap, have faith to live it,
and it will design itself.
Well, It may become like a rollercoaster ride,
but we always have a choice,
to either scream or just enjoy the ride…

Well, life is really just going so fast. Somehow, I can hardly believe it. ‘Cause it felt like just yesterday that I graduate from college and being “thrown away” to a so called “Real Life”. And as this year kicking-off, I sort of forgot that it’s been more than five years since the day I got my first job, back in the end of 2008.

I think, this is surely a good time to reflect on what I’ve done for the past 5 years. Especially, I’m surprised at where I am at now, compared to five years ago. It may a long post, but personally, it’s worth my time to write & share it, as such I’ll write it on several part, and this post is the first part. As the saying goes, “It’s our experience that shape who we are”, right?

The Beginning

Back on October 2008, after recently-graduate, like any other recently-graduate, I was endlessly searching job, took job-test & job-interview in various companies, attended one job fair to another job fair, traveling from one city to another city. Starting from Bandung, and just in the space of two months, I went to visit several cities e.g Jakarta, Cikarang, Karawang, Bekasi, Depok, Cilegon, Pekanbaru, Duri, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, even to Balikpapan.

Sometimes, I went from one city to another (faraway city) just in space of 2 days time. Even, I experienced one time where I was trying to rest in mosque, because I didn’t have time to find affordable place at the city I had never visited before. The harsh reality I had face at the time was it that, after countless job tests and all had the same ending, “no concrete job contract/offering”.

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Feeling of Resistance and Patience

The Pursuit of Happyness Quotes

When we pursue our dreams in life,
at some point we will inevitably encounter resistance,
stumble upon challenges we don’t want to deal with.
However, happiness is not the absence of problems,
but the ability to deal with them,
because nothing is absolutely perfect, isn’t it?

(~ARM)

This month, I became familiar with little thing called “resistance” in my daily job life. It’s kind of like temperamental toddler in my head, screaming & repeating, “I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna!”. It happens when I know I should do something, and I know I can do it, and yet, I just don’t wanna. And to make it worse, I can’t also saying “not to do it” just like that, even when I kept thinking, I wasn’t supposed to do it.

And yes, this kind of feeling bring back the old memories of my early career days working in my country. I know, in today’s busy workplace, this feeling of resistance can be easily sucked and sap our mental energy.

To be honest, I never thought that I’ll experience again this feeling when I’m working overseas. I don’t know, maybe It wasn’t life that was the problem, maybe it was my unrealistic expectations were clashing with reality. I had created a picture in my head of how life should be and when unexpected problems arise, I didn’t cope.

Focus on Long-Term, Weighing It Against The Reward

Everyone wants a job they love. We all want to wake up excited to go to work, spend our days accomplishing goals we’re proud of, and come home feeling pleasantly fulfilled. Oh, and somewhere in there, we’d like a paycheck that provides us with a comfortable lifestyle and may one day put our kids through college. That’s the dream anyway.

The thing is, there’s a natural give and take in career life. Usually, whenever something is gained, something else is lost. A wise choices, we must weigh the risks against the potential rewards. Make predictions and assumptions, and remember that one is not better than the other, they simply have different consequences, and, at times, great leaps of faith.

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Happy 26th Birthday, My Dear..

Hello there, my dear..

(I’m sorry that I can’t be there with you at this very moment.
But hopefully, this video specially made for you, can make you smile)..

My Dear,
For these 11 years,
I realize that love doesn’t change..
Love doesn’t become untrue..
Love doesn’t fade, nor disappear..

The truest test of anything, is time, indeed..

But, sometimes,
Life slows down just enough,
for all the pieces of puzzles,
fall right into its place…

In the end, I just want to say,
Happy 26th Birthday…
All the best for you…

It’s not only your birthday that I celebrate,
but many wonderful moments and stories with you..

You make tomorrow worth the wait,
and yesterday worth remembering…