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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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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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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The Leap of Faith – New Year 2014

 

UAE Fireworks

“When I look towards our future,
you are always pictured there..
Because, for the two of us,
home isn’t a place. It is a person.
And this year, let’s take the leap of faith step,
and say “we are finally home”..

Two years ago, I remember when I was going out when new year of 2012. That day, I looked out into the sea of Anyer beach, some fireworks buzzing in, and I couldn’t lie that most of the thing I felt in my heart was fear. I knew, that day, the path ahead of my life would not be smooth, it will be rocky and I may even felt like quitting at times.

So, I felt the fear that my life will be heading out nowhere, the fear whether I’ll be able to pick-up pieces in my life and continue to move forward, despite the harsh truth of reality and uncertainty, that life always throw at me.

But, in contrary, that was also the moment that I knew to become more Self-Acceptance. You see, as the saying goes, sometimes, things need to fall apart, to make way for better things.The eggs are already broken, maybe. So, let’s make sure, I get a pretty good omelet out of it.. For slight moment, I felt peace in my hearts that time, truthfully.

Realistically, and practically, I only had one choice – not only to accept, but to embrace the flow of life. Everything happens the way they happen. The only way I can adjust psychologically is to embrace the unexpected, and look for the good.

And, to be honest, that was the day that everything amazing was actually started in my life. An amazing thing that was far and far beyond my original dreams.

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27 Years Old – The New Chapter of Adulthood

Your greatest achievements of life,
are moments in time when what you’re doing,
allows you to see how wonderful your life already is…
Of course, the truest test of anything, is time..
And, the new chapter of my life story,
is about to begin..

27 years old!! Hmmm… It is kind of an awkward age — I’m not young anymore but also not too old, or still before the looming 30. It’s inbetween. So, 27 just sounded like a good time for things to happen. That said, 27 is going to be a year where a lot of things come together, and a lot of the foundations laid down since I was 22, come to fruition.

Some people say that, time changes everything. I think, it’s completely NOT true. It’s doing things that changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were. Because, the thing is, life always gives you two options, either you choose to put action “living your life”, or you choose to be a passive audience to your own life.

So far, 27 has been the strangest combination of courage, confusión, uncertainty, and happiness. But I like it, I think it went pretty cool. I mean, for these 27 years, there’s always a “surprise”, a completely unexpected things that happen beyond my wildest dreams, both good things & bad things.

As what I’ve experienced on living in real life since 5 years ago, life can take me for a ride and then drop me down. But, it is how to rise from there, and take steps towards, taking a ride back again towards where I wanted to go, is all that matters.

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The Reality of Living Overseas – Part 2

Eventually, a new country starts to feel like home.
But, the only way to really know if it’s for you,
is just to go for it…!!!!
Just say, “why not?” Life is beautiful…
Make choice to live your own life..
Live out your dreams before they turn into regrets…
Because, if you want it bad enough, you will make it work…

(~ARM)

Well, it has been officially one year that I’ve been living & moving abroad. And, I want to continue my writing on this topic (You can see Part 1 here), just to reflect from my own experience on living overseas. Like I said before, what about the realities of living abroad – do my dreams match the reality?

Yes, I love living in another country, soaking up all it has to offer. I constantly tell myself that these are the adventure that I’ll love telling my kids someday, that I won’t remember the downs nearly as much as I remember the ups.

However, as I always understand about life, there’s no such thing as “perfect ten” in real life, so still there is “but” somewhere along the line. I mean, that expat life isn’t glamorous as most people often thought it seem.

It’s Still Real Life, Not Vacation

I think, some people can fall into a trap thinking that, moving abroad is a piece of cake like “a long-term vacation”. Well, let me tell you honestly, you couldn’t be more wrong..!!! It’s a daily battle where you’ve been forced to adapt, and make things in new country become familiar.

You see, living overseas is nothing like vacationing there. 1-2 weeks of vacationing doesn’t provide a perspective on daily realities of living in foreign country. Vacations are a break from our daily life, they are NOT our everyday life. We still have to work, and we cannot spend money like on vacation. We need to watch our expenses, which limits us on all the activities like when going vacation.

The first 2 weeks after moving to a new place are, indeed, like being on vacation. There is so much excitement about being somewhere new and just seeing all the new places, people, and things. There is so much things to see and explore. Everything just looked shiny and new and wonderful.

But once “the honeymoon of being in a beautiful new place” has worn off, the reality of day to day life often sets in. Unforeseen difficulties and feelings of unfamiliarity creep in. I no longer know where to buy certain products, where to meet other people, where to go for walks or fun, etc. Familiarity is what makes somewhere feel like home and the absence of it, can be daunting.

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Self-Acceptance Part 2

Your life, with all its ups & downs you’ve encountered,
has molded you to be the person you meant to be,
exactly what it needed to be..
If you have the courage to admit when you’re scared,
the ability to laugh even as you cry,
the nerve to speak up even if your voice is shaking,
the confidence to ask for help when you need it,
and the wisdom to take it when it’s offered,
then you have everything you need,
to be the better version of your today’s self.

(~Marc & Angel)

This is the main foundation which I’ve started since more than a year ago. I’ve written the first part regarding self-acceptance in here, where my first step is, to give-up the control, or letting go the the thing that I can’t control in my own life. Because, life doesn’t design like engineering. Now, I would like to continue it, the thing that I mostly did since last year.

You see, sometimes, we just cannot force life to go in the direction we want it to. Imagine allowing things to happen naturally, and things work out, and all we did was smile and watch. We don’t have to worry about shaping things, about controlling something that can’t be controlled. We don’t have to push, and fix leaks, and put out fires. We just let things work on their own. They happen, at the right moment, for the right reason.

The Art of “Give-Up”

For this year, what I’ve been trying to apply, is “the art of give-up”. The thing is, I’m simply allowing things happened and I watch my life story unfolded, little by little. Surprisingly, the more I stop “trying so hard to force things to happen”, the more they just seem to sort themselves out. The more I let things happen, the less time & less frustations I’ve experienced trying to make them happen.

So, here’s the thing that I “give-up” in the pursuit of self-acceptance:
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The Question That Change My Life..

There are times in life when you need to just settle for less,
There are also times in life when you know that you deserve more,
And you need a push & courage to make a big changes for real…
And sometimes,
that came when you honestly question yourself..

(~ARM)

I remember this kind of week last year, (you can read it here), at the time, I felt indeed, my life was out of balance. Although, I’m ready to just settle for the kind of life that I was living at the time, as part of Self-Acceptance to the reality of life, but I can’t help myself to just wondering that I need big changes.

Maybe, at that time, I was juggling a lot. I know, at the time, things are (mostly) on track, and I can see progress in the different areas my life on career, romance, and other things. Overall, it is working. Yet, inside I feel overwhelmed, and some days – just downright tired from juggling it all. I felt that I should be split into different pieces to give the right amount of attention that everyone is asking from me. Yes, I felt, that there is something missing.

Well, I’m sure that most of us go through this at some point in our lives. You know that feeling that something is not quite right? That something is missing in your life? Maybe, we don’t really understand what it is, but it scares us. So much that we’re willing to do almost anything to make it go away.

Then, I asked myself to be brave enough to sit still and really listen to myself. That night, the tiny voice inside my mind, a voice startles me, just as I began to slide into sleep. “Go, dream, seize this moment”, it says. On other side, my mind stirs and answers sleepily, “Why? I already know what’s out there isn’t worth it that much. I have everything I need right here. My mind is suddenly filled with a thousand concerns and a feeling of looming uncertainty wells within me like a slowly draining battery.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. I heard the sound of my alarm clock, and I couldn’t seem to remember how long it’s been. It seems more like a dream — someone else’s life, not my own. The quiet metronome of the clock reminds me of the creeping complacency that’s slowly shrouded my life, like a cancer gone undetected until it’s too late. “I wasn’t always like this. What happened?”

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The Reality of Living Overseas – Part 1

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life,
but my life has never been ordinary.
I’ve simply failed to notice how extraordinary it is.
Likewise, I never imagined that home,
might be something I would miss..”

Well, 10 months have passed since I came here to Abu Dhabi. And, as I become more and more settle into my new life in a new country as time passes, now it becomes less a question of how long I’ve been here, and more one of how long I’ve been gone from my home country.

I know, having overseas career is appealing for a lot of reasons. And, living in new country, even just going to the grocery store — when in an exciting new place within a new language — is a thrilling activity. And having to start from zero and rebuild everything, having to re-learn how to live and carry out every day activities, fundamentally excited me.

And at my home country, people that I used to know, nowadays just see me in a completely different way, and different level of respect. After all, it’s all about, very well, having dreams and hopes and aspirations however.

After all, being in my 20’s, I really want at this age to be the time in my life when I try new things. New jobs. Living in new cities. Meet a new people, with different culture, and different mindset.

But what about the realities of living abroad – do my dreams match the reality? From my own experience, my answer is “YES”, for the most part. However, as what always understand about life, there is no such thing as “perfect ten” in real life, so still there is “but” somewhere along the line.

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Embrace The Uncertainty Of Life

We can’t plan life precisely.
Because no matter how perfect our plan is,
life has a way to rearrange it.
However,
If you could see a movie of your life before you lived it,
would you want to live it?

Well, I’ve been involved on several Engineering Project on the company I’m working now. Just like any other Oil & Gas project that I’ve experienced, there is similar pattern that I know very well which always happen. It’s called the uncertainty moments, where I didn’t know what, when, and how the best solution of Engineering Design shall be applied for the specific problems or issues on the project.

I know, it’s the uncertainty that life is all about. But, to be honest, you see, I confess that I normally hate to be caught on the bad feeling in those uncertainty time. The most difficult part of uncertainty, at least for me, is the inability to plan and feel in control, until I know all the answer.

But maybe, it isn’t the uncertainty that bothers me, it’s my tendency to get lost in my feelings and thought about it. The feeling where I’ve made speculation and speculation, that leads me to start indulging fear, then I get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts.

But, It comes to my mind occasionally, “If I could see a movie of my life before I lived it, would I want to live it?” As for now, my direct answer will be definitely not. The thrill of living is that, I don’t know what’s coming. In other words, uncertainty is what makes my life fun. My sense is that, that uncertainty rescues me from boredom.

It’s like this, “If you could see each future step along the way, you’d never get the chance to be amazed at what you can do”, doesn’t it?

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