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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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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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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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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Dear My Future Wife..

Dear my future wife,

I feel like everything in my life has led me to you.
My choices, my heartbreaks, my regrets. Everything.
And when we’re together, my past seems worth it.
Because if I had done one thing differently,
I might have never met you…

It’s never been easy for me,
to find words that go along with your “rhyme”,
But this time there’s actually something on my mind,
So please forgive these brief awkward lines,
I just want to write something honest, for you…

My dear,
I want you to know and understand, that….
If you are going to fall in love with me,
It’s only fair that you know to who that you are falling in love with…

You are falling in love with my insecurities,
my constant worries of failure,
my scared feeling to be just ordinary,
my narcissism, my self-confidence, and my idiot self-ego,
which embarrassing sometimes…

You are falling in love with my immaturity,
And my constant need to feel to be appreciated,
and also my need to feel independent…

You are falling in love with my overactive reaction when watching sports game,
my constant obsession for internet,
my stupid blog and stupid writing that no one reads about…

You are falling in love with my unrealistic hopes and dreams,
which you know that I’ll never given-up,
because the fact that I seriously believe they could come true,
And my obsession with trying to figure out how to success…

You are falling in love with how I’m a hopeless romantic at heart,
enthusiast to watch romance movie & hearing love song,
my fiction fantasies of true love, despite my masculinist views…

You fall in love with my my illogical thought process,
And my tendency to act like a smart & wise guy…

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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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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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