A handwritten note from the Atlantic

A handwritten note from the Atlantic

Summer, 2017

It was a summer of green plateau and turquoise ocean when I had my first, and possibly last, Acadian crush. He was a married man with a pair of the clearest blue-hazel eyes I’d ever seen in a person, and dark curly hair with slight golden tips hidden underneath a grey hat that made him look much younger than he actually was.

Luca Gauthier and I ventured into the Acadian, boreal, and taiga forests of Cape Breton Highland that morning of July 13th. He brought an apple in his blue backpack, and a tiny container of almond, ham sandwich, and celery sticks that his wife had prepared for him. “How are you?” He asked me. “Great, can’t be more thrilled,” I said. “It’s my first time in the region and I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months.”

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A Decade Rewind

A Decade Rewind

Hi, there.

It’s been quite a hiatus, isn’t it? A year and a half of not being present here, where a lot had happened. Too much, almost.

With the year of 2019 – and basically, the whole decade – is coming to an end, I thought I could maybe write something just so that the blog does not skip a year. Plus, isn’t it basically the most perfect timing? A piece to recap what had been said and done or left otherwise, not only for the past 1.5 years, but also perhaps the whole decade altogether. Crowds on Twitter and Instagram have been doing it anyways, so I guess I might as well jump on the bandwagon.

And so here goes.

My search began on Facebook, so I definitely went a little too extra as usual. Google Photos and gazillion pictures from my external hard drive also brought back endless streams of memories. Spent several hours rambling through those photos, trying to salvage pictures that define each year, or at least resembling it. And it’s amazing how I could still remember much, if not most, of the feelings that I got from those events that were passing by.

Like the lightweight, neutral, and completely undisturbed feelings when celebrating one of my high school classmates’ birthday in a pizza place one afternoon, even though it was gloomy outside;

or the excitement when having a sleepover with my college girls, gossiping about the threads on the Secret app back when it was still the bomb (and available);

or the burdened, heavy mood when I woke up a bit too late sometime in November 2017, realizing that I still had one more year left to pull through before I could come back home.

What a decade it has been, with all those emotions, events, actions, faces, stories, memories, episodes.. And I have nothing but gratitude indeed.

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What you need to know before traveling to Cusco, Machu Picchu, and around in Peru

What you need to know before traveling to Cusco, Machu Picchu, and around in Peru

¡Hola!

I just got back from a trip that could be perfectly summarized as the most amazing and surreal week I’ve had this year. Undoubtedly. Imagine a 23-year-old girl from Indonesia who does not even speak Spanish traveling solo to South America for the first time.. Yup, that’s me!

Recollecting memories from the journey still got me as pumped as I was when I was just about to depart from Calgary Airport in Alberta, Canada to that other continent in the other side of the world. Hence while the memories are still vividly preserved, I have decided to write down the details about my trip to the beautiful country of Peru which could be the case of many of you: a non-Spanish speaker wishing to travel solo to witness the grandeur of Machu Picchu–on a budget. If that sounds familiar to yourself, keep going! I might just have the perfect story to share with you.

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Au Revoir, Chéticamp

Au Revoir, Chéticamp

The day I said farewell to Cape Breton Island, it was all gloomy and misty. I had made up my mind about the appalling hostel and second-thought that it was actually a comforting space to come home after the past five sunsets. I had tried to deal with the thought of never seeing Nate and Brianna again, the two people that helped me envision my best days in Cheticamp, and I had prepared myself for not crying on the train while reminiscing all the good, nice things happened in Cheticamp and around. I had even forgiven Zac for not being completely honest about what kind of holes I’d have trapped myself during my stay there, and decided to only write good things about the stay on his guest book and keep the rest with me. (Well, and you guys too since I actually wrote this post. I’m sorry Zac.)

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VIA Canada 150 Trip Part 8: Chéticamp, NS

VIA Canada 150 Trip Part 8: Chéticamp, NS

Out of all places I travelled to within this nearly one month trip, Chéticamp offers the most unexpected journey indeed. Many things didn’t actually go as I planned, but at the end of the day, I realized that those are all the facts that made this journey very remarkable. And still, that shifting plans do not change the fact that this small town located just outside the entrance of the Cape Breton National Park is such a charm worth uncovering; with its bluish scene of the limitless Atlantic Ocean and the sparkling drops of goldish sun rays touching it, wildflowers of all magnificent summer hues that separates the ocean with a secret pedestrian road that I stumbled upon by chance, and of course the majestic green highlands on the other side of the road, surrounding the town with such splendid background.

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VIA Canada 150 Trip Part 7: Cape Breton National Park (ii)

VIA Canada 150 Trip Part 7: Cape Breton National Park (ii)

Does a single hike suffice for representing the entire and infinite grandeur of the Cape Breton National Park? Heck no. Which is why after I did the hike with Nate, I signed up for a program offered by the Cape Breton National Park; the Sunset Skyline Hike. It is basically a hike around the dusk time to the most famous trail in the entire Cape Breton, the Skyline Trail, so that we can see glimpses of sunset from the top of the mountain. The thought of sitting on top of the highland plateau overlooking the fine shades of sunset submerging into the depth of the distant Atlantic Ocean convinced me that this is not something I want to miss. And I had never been so correct about a decision in my life.

But the highlight wasn’t really about the hike only. It was also the time that I met Brianna, another Cape Breton National Park interpreter who made me realize that Nova Scotians are probably indeed the nicest and kindest people I’ve met in my entire life.

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