Living An Island Life, Main Menu, My Bali Exploration, Nature Specials, The World Through My Eyes

6 Lessons from Nature to Inspire Our Daily Life

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The surf tour at Mermaids’ Beach, Great Ocean Road, Vic, Australia

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery; air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Thinking about what has been going on in my life, I would say that one of the best teachers to encourage me through the life journey, all the circumstances & twist paths is mostly the moment that took place in nature.

Went surfing in many wonderful spots around Bali and a few in Australia, went scuba diving in some spots around Indonesia, strolling the beaches in Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, went trekking with beautiful surroundings in Indonesia and Japan, all of them have left me feeling re-charged, happier, confident, balanced yet humble and tiny.

We all learn by exploring things on our own, reading stuff, receiving formal instructions from some experienced people and observing others. By interacting with others provides experiences that make us think, wonder, ask questions & grow.

But there is another powerful entity that can teach us how to live a more meaningful life. It’s the natural world. Not only to be able to observe and being amazed with what nature can offer to our eyes & soul, but it also can offer lessons for basic living about how to be calm and how to find balance during the life circumstances.

The problem these days is, since we have been occupied a lot with regular jobs that take most of our time and leave us tired & just wanted to do nothing for the rest of the free time, technology & pursuit things in the material world, we have forgotten that the world is out there to teach us.

We apparently don’t spend as much time outdoors as previous generations did. According to one of the surveys that I’ve read from theguardian.com , three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside, lack of green spaces and the lure of digital technology is leading youngsters to lead enclosed lives.

Here are some lessons I have observed from spending a lot of time outdoors;

Lesson #1 : We are very tiny & living in an unpredictable world. So let’s be humble. 

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Location: Rinca Island, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

When we reach the top of the hills or mountains, we notice that we are so tiny on this earth and the world is so big. Knowing that we can not do anything when natural disaster occurs as mother earth is very powerful. I have also learnt that not all questions have an answer. Anything could happen anytime, anywhere to anyone.

There are new challenges awaiting us around every single corner. All we can do is keep moving forward and do our best in every situation that occurs.

Lesson #2: We can’t control the situation but we can control ourselves and pick which ones to allow to get inside us. We learn how patience & persistence lead us to a better life.

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Location: Old Man’s Beach, Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

During surfing, we can not stop the waves from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf. When we are impatient & want everything to happen fast, we decide to surf the random wave which comes first. We might be able to ride it but it won’t be amazing, won’t be that smooth and it may leaves us feel disappointed and get tired at the end.

On the other hand, if we are trying to be patient, keep paddling persistently and wait until one of the best waves come, it will give us a different result. We may wait a little longer and when it finally comes, we paddle hard, catch it and there you go! Ride it out, it’s all yours and leaves you pleased and satisfied at the end. Sounds familiar with the real world? Yes I bet 🙂 We learn to persist, be patient & focus in order to reach our desire and final goal.

Lesson #3: Nothing stays the same/ Nothing is permanent yet embrace the changes.

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Location: Man-made Underwater Temples, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

I can correlate the real life with scuba diving activity. Why I choose to relate it with my scuba diving sesh? Well, I have learnt about unpredictable life during these sessions. Let’s take a look from the simplest case, I have gone diving to the same spots like twice or three times. Yes, it shows the same corals, same situations but different fishes and different look of the sea plants.

I couldn’t predict what fishes I was going to meet, will they be good looking? worth seeing? I might meet my favorite fishes such as clownfish, butterflyfish, sunfish, surgeonfish, lionfish, shark and so on. I also might won’t see them all but I may witness another fishes which offer the better look that I can’t even imagine before. And the worst scenario, I won’t see anything at all but just some regular small fishes.

Same as life, when we want something and putting our mind into it, we hope for the best, do our best and let the universe handle the rest. We nevertheless need to prepare and be ready to accept the worst case that may occurs. And also we often experience things which better than our original plans/ expectations.

So don’t worry that some days in your life might seem all over the place, you’ve tried this and that but nothing concrete to see yet as the result. That you feel uncertain between careers, relationship, future and everything. Nothing is permanent neither problems in your life as you will find the answer along the way. It’s the model given us by nature. Drink it down, gulp it up, ride it out! Things will get better eventually as long you don’t stop trying and keep the faith.

Lesson #4: Sense of direction.

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Island hopping in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

It is very easy to get lost in the beautiful outdoors. Nature will teach you to hold the clear images in your mind & keep track of where you are going. An example, we need to remember the sign, such as plants or building, right at the spot we enter the ocean to surf or to swim so we know where we will head back to the shore. As we know, once we enter the ocean, the strong current may drag us to another spot without we notice it. If that happens, we won’t be worry as we know where we come from.

Same as life, we need to be totally aware about who we are and where we come from. Once the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind or anything that may come near us, we don’t get easily influenced/ changed by the outside force as we know the way back to where we came from.

Lesson #5: There is a season and a right timing in everything.

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Location: Yarra Valley Winery, Victoria, Australia during Autumn

Nature never gives up to teach us there is a season and the right timing in everything. Sometimes in our life we want some certain things to happen fast right now. It is hard to wait a little longer for the outcome of our actions that we’ve been making and we expect results immediately.

But the really good things in life are not like our morning instant coffee! They take time, patience, persistence and efforts. In mother nature’s natural cycles, hot & light summer is followed by the chill & colorful changes autumn and cold of winter is followed by the blossoming beauty of spring. There is a season and a reason for everything in life.

If we did not have the cold winter, the wheat wouldn’t be able to grow strong. The seeds planted beneath the soil lie waiting patiently to flourish in the right season. By following the example of mother nature’s timing, we increase our own capacity to be patient. All good things come with time. There is the right and special time in our own life for every moment and achievement. Start the action and don’t stop believing!

Lesson #6: Love is all around us & every ending can often be beautiful.

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Location: Bingin Beach, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

When you wake up in the morning, go outside with a sense of appreciation for all you have been blessed with, take a walk, practice quieting the mind, focusing on your breath and really pausing to smell the ocean, stop by the stunning rice fields, if a bird catches your eyes, stop and enjoy the connection with the animal, experience the depth & the calm of the blue ocean, feel the wind blows the chilling breeze on our face and you will realise there is so much beauty & so much love all around us, even from the simple things in our environment.

By simply taking the time to appreciate nature, we will learn to love the world around us. When we allow ourselves to feel love for life itself, it opens up our heart to loving ourselves and others as well.

Even though the outdoors is not always a comfortable place, but when you can find a deeper comfort that comes from inside you, you’ll be able to feel home even in the rough wilderness. And at the end of the day, when the stunning sunset shows up during golden hours to leave us feeling amazed & grateful, it teaches us that every ending can often be beautiful.

So, the conclusion is, nature is my best teacher of life when I pay attention to it carefully. Just try to do the same and see how it slowly changes your life..

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My Bali Exploration, Nature Specials

Road Trip to Unspoilt Beauty in the North Shore of Bali

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

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It has been almost four years I live on this magnificent island and it’s actually the first time I’ve gone to Lovina, North Bali. The idea just randomly came into my mind during Galungan & Kuningan celebration holiday as I think I’ve been to most of the places & most of the attraction spots on this island except Lovina beach.

Lovina beach is well known for its dolphin attraction. It’s located in the north Bali and it’s a very quite area. Unlike Seminyak, Legian, Kuta, Ubud or Uluwatu and so on which offer many entertainments for the visitors these days. In Lovina, most of the people come for a visit to see the dolphin attraction in the morning. Besides that, only couple of restaurants, traditional markets and accommodations. We decided to stay there for one night to experience the area apart from the dolphin attraction itself.

Usually, tourists will get into the boat, go to the middle of the ocean and watch some groups of dolphins swimming and jumping freely in the morning. Lovina took us about more less 3h by a car from Seminyak area. Since at that time we planned to do a road trip and took the trip more enjoyable by having brunch at Ubud first, that’s why the journey took longer with the different/ further route.

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It doesn’t matter where you are going, it’s who you have beside you. That’s absolutely true. I have my mum & one of my good friends, Beverly, with me 🙂 Best travel companion ever!

We went to Karsa Cafe for the brunch. It’s a lovely cafe set by the rice field with soothing ambiance at Campuhan Ridge Walk – Ubud which offers various Indonesian and Western dishes.

I am actually so thankful to technology these days, especially to Waze, the navigation app on my phone that I depend on wherever I travel far and it has always been taking me to the right direction with some interesting uncommon shortcut at times.

With zero idea about the road and where Waze leads us to the fastest & closest distance to Lovina from Ubud, we’ve pretty much witnessed plenty of interesting things along the way. Yes, we were amazed and enjoyed it!

There are so many soothing greeny fruits plantations along the way with the street which mostly decorated by penjor – The tall & curved bamboo pole decorated with coconut leaves with an offering at the base. It is one of the media used by Hindus in Bali as part of almost every important ceremony like that time, Galungan celebration.

 

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block

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Lawrence Block is actually right. We stumbled upon this Kintamani volcano view from a far in the middle of the way. We stopped by for some times and enjoyed the moment here. We were actually glad to have gone to Ubud first eventho the road took longer at the end. If we didn’t come from Ubud, we wouldn’t have witnessed this majestic view!

This volcano referred to as Kintamani volcano or Mount Batur as a whole, a popular sightseeing destination in Bali’s central highlands. The magnificent views of the 13sqm Batur caldera lake is the main attraction (1,500 above sea level) and it is surrounded by the captivating Mount Batur range. Very interesting spot to visit!

Allright, continue to our main destination, Lovina! It took us around 1.5hours from where we stood before. Once we reached Lovina, I did the massage *felt like heaven!*, booked our trip to see the dolphin in the morning (it’s IDR 100,000 nett/person for the boat and our captain). The boat is very small. It only fits for 4-5 people maximum.

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I & Beverly doing massage by the pool

We departed at 6am in the morning from the beach and we were pretty amazed with north Bali view. Very stunning! It was also because I’ve been seeing sunsets most of the time, so this time I’ve got the chance to witness the sunrise after a long time (I guess last time was during my trekking activity in Candidasa two years ago, oh well) so it’s kinda special.

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Sunrise!

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The dolphins!

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Boats, saltwater & sunshine!

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“Smell the sea, feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly.” -Van Morrison

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Me & mum. She’s always been afraid of the ocean but I was acting like I’ve forgotten about it 😀 So I am pretty happy that she has actually nailed it! Yay!!

Despite the fact that I was glad and amazed to see the dolphins, I was actually kinda sad too. I feel bad to the dolphins that they might feel insecure when some boats come closer by the time they appear to the surface. I do really hope that the dolphins will keep staying at the same spots next time I come again for the second visit.

If you are a nature enthusiast and need some different experiences whilst in Bali – apart from night outs, Michelin stars culinary experiences & entertainments, I think you should take some days to visit places like these. It’s worth it!

 

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The World Through My Eyes

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort – Jane Austen

Reminiscing my last trip to Jakarta, 4th – 10th of March 2014.. Visiting my parents, for my mom’s birthday, meeting my good old friends, visiting few new places.. 6 days of changes were good enough to refresh my mind..

But here is what happened behind that fun trip overall.. After I’ve got use to living alone most of the time since 2005, being totally independent, doing anything with the responsibilities all on my own, makes me a little bit difficult to had to stay with my parents again. Of course I do miss them so much but honestly some times it was just kinda irritating by being asked many stuff such as why I go out a lot with my friends (in fact I only went out with my friends for 2 times during my 6 days in Jakarta), why I didn’t spend all my time with my parents during my trip until being asked about my near future plans many times which left me nothing but high pressure and I have to face it no matter what..

I know I should be more understanding and more mature in facing it and actually yes I felt I was better in handling that situation compared to my previous visits. I keep imagining maybe one day if I had kids, I think I would do the same without I noticed it..Who knows.. As I realized that’s just because they really love you and worried so much about you without realizing it became the pressure for the kids..

At the end, I always keep in mind that parents, all over the world, only want what’s best for their kids and they work so hard for their children to reach their goals and dreams. And nobody loves you more than your parents do.. No matter how much your life partner loves you, nothing compared to parents’ love. It is true. And regardless how old you are, you will always be the kids on your parents’ eyes..

No matter how I love my life in Bali at the moment, I will keep visiting my parents regularly at least once a year. Yes we argue sometimes, especially I and my mom, but hey I think it is something normal as long we solve it and we are totally good after that. I think it only caused by the generation and culture gap but we know very well that we love each other.

During this trip, I was quite glad, since my dad became the commissioner in his company, he doesn’t need to go to the office everyday which makes him having more time to do his hobbies. His hobbies are pretty much unique. Last time he had lobster farms at home, then switched to created some mats by plants and now producing plants fertilizers.. What a unique family I have which I am really glad to have them as my parents.

Let me introduce you to my happy mom, my dad and my mermaid Ariel..

Let me introduce you to my happy mom, my dad and excuse me about my Ariel, the mermaid 😛

Completed family. Dad, Elder brother, mom and me back in 2010.

Meet the family. Dad, elder brother, Mom and me back in 2010.

Dad, Mom and me in 1993.

Dad, Mom and me in 1993.

Another picture of Dad, Mom and me, 17 years after the picture above :)

Another picture of Dad, Mom and me, 20 years after the picture above 🙂

On Friday night and Sunday afternoon I went out meeting with some close friends that I knew back in KL. We were pretty much knowing each other’s histories and now most of them are already back in Jakarta and working there.

Those were an exciting Friday night and a beautiful Sunday to meet all of them and I realize that we all have various directions of life and different fates now whereas couple of years ago we were all still the same..University students who lived in student apartments with the money pockets given by our parents to be spent smartly if we didn’t want to suffer at the end of the month. Haha..

Now, one is getting married in the middle of the year and is really happy, one has finally settled with a good boyfriend who is treating her well, ones are still searching for “the one”, one has already moved on from the ex, one is focusing so much on her career and doesn’t want to think about men at the moment, one is still worried with the religion issue with the boyfriend, one has chosen to be a strong single mom as it’s the best decision for her and I am really happy for having them 🙂

Good friends who are close in my heart.

Good friends who are close in my heart.

6 days seemed too short but it was already good enough since I also couldn’t leave my office longer than that.. Now I am glad for being back in Bali but honestly I still miss my parents and it is a normal feeling I guess..

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