Mana Yang Lebih Baik? Traveling Mandiri atau Ikut Group Tour?

Cukup banyak orang yang bertanya sama gue… Mana yang lebih baik antara traveling mandiri (segala-galanya serba urus sendiri) dan ikut group tour (tinggal bayar dan terima beres saja)? 

Sebetulnya, pilihan untuk traveling itu tidak terbatas pada dua hal itu saja lho. Masih ada beberapa pilihan lainnya, dan masing-masing pilihan punya kelebihan dan kekurangannya tersendiri. Tinggal disesuaikan dengan keinginan, kebutuhan, dan budget kita saja.

Berikut ini 4 pilihan yang pernah gue coba sendiri lengkap dengan kelebihan dan kekurangannya masing-masing (gue urutkan mulai dari pilihan yang paling affordable). Kota atau provinsi yang gue sebutkan di bawah ini juga hanya terbatas pada destinasi yang pernah gue kunjungi sebelumnya. 

100% mandiri

Tiket pesawat, penginapan, itinerary, semuanya serba diurus sendiri. Sesampainya di kota tujuan, kita berkeliling menggunakan alat transportasi umum atau mengendarai kendaraan sewaan dengan bermodal Google map saja.

Kelebihan: Paling murah dan paling fleksibel jika dibandingkan pilihan lainnya. 

Kekurangan: Paling rawan stres (termasuk karena nyasar di jalan), paling menguras energi, dan paling menyita waktu untuk trip preparation.

Contoh kota yang ideal untuk pilihan ini: Singapura, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone, Seoul, Saigon, Athens. Kesamaannya? Sama-sama memiliki alat transportasi umum yang memadai.

Urus tiket pesawat dan hotel sendiri, lalu ikut group tour di negara tujuan

Biasanya, gue mengambil pilihan ini saat solo travel (supaya ada yang fotoin, hehehe), atau saat tur yang gue inginkan bersifat cruise trip atau island hopping. Secara sewa satu boat untuk kita sendiri itu sangat-sangat mahal, maka ikut group tour udah jadi pilihan yang paling masuk akal buat gue.

Kelebihan: Bebas nyasar! 

Kekurangan: Tetap tidak fleksibel secara semua group tour pasti sudah ada fixed itinerary-nya.

Contoh destinasi: Guilin, Phuket, Mykonos, Santorini, Belitung, Bali, Karimunjawa.

Ikut satu group tour sejak awal sampai akhir

Tipe tur yang sangat memanjakan pesertanya. Sampai urusan visa dan check-in di bandara juga bisa dibantu oleh penyelenggara tur. Pokoknya kita tinggal terima beres saja! Kita bahkan enggak usah pusing mau makan di mana (termasuk saat harus cari makanan halal). 

Kelebihan: Cocok buat keluarga dengan anak-anak (apalagi kalau ada lebih dari satu anak!) atau orang tua lanjut usia. Cocok juga buat traveler yang terlalu sibuk bekerja, atau ideal juga untuk solo traveler (supaya ada teman ngobrol). 

Kekurangan: Mahal (harga yang sama bisa dapat lebih banyak tempat jika kita pergi traveling mandiri), tidak fleksibel, dan biasanya, terpaksa ikut ke tempat belanja yang tidak kita inginkan.

Destinasi: Bisa di mana saja. Group tour yang pernah gue ikuti: Arab (Umrah plus side trips), Istanbul, Bangkok-Pattaya-Hua Hin, Belitung.

Urus tiket pesawat dan hotel sendiri, lalu sewa kendaraan di kota tujuan sepaket dengan supirnya

Biasanya, gue ambil option ini di pulau-pulau yang transportasi umumnya kurang memadai sedangkan lokasi pariwisatanya tersebar di beberapa titik yang berjauhan. 

Kelebihan: Nyaman, bebas nyasar (kecuali jika kita salah pilih supir) tapi tetap fleksibel dalam hal pemilihan itinerary. Kita bahkan bisa berdiskusi dengan supir soal isi itinerary kita itu.

Kekurangan: Paling mahal.

Destinasi: Jeju, Meteora, Bali, Lombok, Johor Bahru, Phuket.

Sesekali, Coba Nilai Diri Sendiri dari Kacamata Orang Lain

Belum lama ini, diam-diam gue sibuk ‘menilai’ kehidupan beberapa orang di sekitar gue. Meski hanya berdasarkan pengetahuan terbatas gue tentang mereka, entah kenapa, gue bisa dengan jelas melihat bahwa mereka sedang melakukan kesalahan besar dalam hidup mereka. Memang belum pasti benar terjadi, tapi gue benar-benar yakin bahwa mereka hanya sedang pelan-pelan merusak masa depan mereka sendiri, baik itu dalam hal karier atau kehidupan pribadi.

Tidak lama kemudian, gantian gue yang berada dalam posisi sebaliknya. Beberapa orang menilai gue hanya sedang mengulang satu kesalahan yang sama. Gue berkeras bahwa mereka hanya berburuk sangka dan bahwa kali ini, keadaannya akan berbeda. Lalu apa yang terjadi? Orang-orang itu memang benar, gue hanya sedang melakukan kesalahan yang sama. 

Saat itulah gue menyadari… pemikiran keluarga dan saudara gue itu sebetulnya sangat-sangat sederhana. Tidak sulit untuk gue memahami sudut pandang mereka. What they said has really made a perfect sense. Tapi kenapa gue tetap berkeras dengan pendapat gue sendiri? Bisa macam-macam alasannya; beda orang bisa punya alasan yang berbeda. Tapi dalam kasus gue ini, satu-satunya hal yang seolah membutakan gue justru tidak lain harapan yang masih tersisa dalam hati gue ini.

Ada orang yang bertahan dengan pilihan mereka karena harapan, karena rasa takut, rasa cinta, dan hal-hal lain yang justru tampak salah di mata orang lain. Gue bukan tipe orang yang selalu mendengar semua perkataan orang lain, tapi kali ini gue menyadari, ada kalanya, tidak ada yang salah dari menilai diri kita, dan keputusan-keputusan yang kita buat, dari kacamata orang lain. Jika bertahan dengan keputusan yang gue  ambil tidak kunjung mendatangkan hasil yang positif, maka sudah waktunya untuk gue menilai kembali keputusan gue itu. Dan dalam hal ini, sudut pandang orang yang gue percaya bisa jadi salah satu masukan.

Kenapa?

Karena pendapat orang lain, terutama mereka yang sangat mengenal kita dengan baik, tidak tercampur aduk dengan perasaan pribadi. Mereka bisa melihat dengan lebih jernih, dengan sudut pandang yang lebih bijaksana dari diri kita sendiri. Gue harus ingat bahwa bisa jadi, terlalu lama tenggelam dalam kekeraskepalaan hanya akan membuat gue semakin jauh dari masa depan yang lebih baik untuk diri gue sendiri. 

Life is too short to be reckless. Be wise and make the most of our own life. 

Friendship Is…

Lately, I’ve been learning a lot of new definitons of friendship for life. It’s easy to have a friend to hang out with, but it’s never easy  to build a friendship to share our life with. That’s the only reason why the older you are, the less bestfriends you will have around.

Why do I say building a friendship is tough? 

Because friendship is accepting your friends’ imperfections and forgiving all their mistakes.

Friendship is being there for them even when you don’t feel like having anyone around.

Friendship is listening to the same stories over and over, about the people that perhaps you don’t know, and the topics that you’re not keen on.

Friendship is having each other’s back even when we feel that we disagree. 

Friendship is swallowing our desire to envy, to revenge, and to do all the bad things that we can think of.

And friendship is sticking up together even when we hate each other. 

Now… do you still think it’s easy to build?

It’s hard, that’s why it’s being said that friendship is actually a gift from us to ourselves. When we can push ourselves to be a decent friend to someone else, then we will also get a decent friend  for ourselves as a return.

It may take only months, but most of the times, you may need quite some years just to realize who your true best friends really are.

After so many ups and downs, I’m still believing that best friends forever is not a myth. I’m so glad and I’m so grateful that all these years, I trully know that I’m already on a right way.

Let’s Vote and Keep Indonesia United!

Pilkada Jakarta tahun ini, sesuai prediksi, udah jadi lebih menghebohkan daripada Pilpres Indonesia terakhir. “Kampanye” di mana-mana, permusuhan di mana-mana, saling menghina dan saling menyudutkan tanpa pandang bulu, belum lagi media massa plus hoax provokatif berebaran hampir tiap jam tiap harinya. Bukan cuma menghebohkan Jakarta, tapi sampai ke hampir semua kota lainnya di Indonesia!

Akibatnya? 

Putus tali silaturahmi. Nggak lagi saling tegur sapa. Atau yang sepele, unfriend di social media. Social media seolah berubah mejadi “the war zone”. Tentu tidak ada yang salah dari berbagi berita.. tapi seringkali, caption yang menyertai bisa terasa lebih panas membara daripada isi berita yang biasanya sudah cukup provokatif itu.

Bener deh. Gue pribadi tidak mengerti kenapa mesti sampai sebegitunya

Membela sesuatu yang kita yakini kebenarannya tidak mesti diiringi dengan balas menyerang kubu seberang. Balas menghina hanya akan membuat kita turun ke level yang sama dengan orang lebih dulu menghina pilihan kita itu.

Setidaknya buat gue, sangat tidak worth it kehilangan teman, sahabat, kolega, apalagi anggota keluarga hanya karena berbeda pilihan.

Kalo gue enggak mau berhubungan dengan pendukung no. 3, gue akan kehilangan banyak banget keluarga besar yang menemani gue puluhan tahun lamanya. 

Kalo gue enggak mau berteman dengan pendukung no. 2, gue akan kehilangan beberapa sahabat yang udah terbukti selalu siap membantu dalam masa-masa sulit gue.

Dan kalo gue enggak mau berteman dengan pendukung no. 1, gue akan kehilangan beberapa mantan rekan kerja yang pernah berkontribusi dalam membangun karier gue dulu.

Siapapun paslon yang kita dukung, bagaimanapun, tetap bukan mereka yang kelak akan mengulurkan tangan saat kita membutuhkan bantuan. Bukan mereka yang sudah menemani perjalanan hidup kita belasan atau puluhan tahun lamanya. Boleh mendukung, ikut berkampanye, tapi jangan berlebihan. Dan sekali lagi, boleh saja membela pilihan kita masing-masing, tapi tidak usah balas menghina apalagi dengan sesuatu yang belum terbukti kebenarannya. 

Don’t make all those provocators dancing on the chaos they make. Let’s vote and keep Indonesia united!

Families Come First

img_1573-1I used to think that I was not so much of family person. I was very into my career (and I still am!), my hobbies, and all the things to do with everything this life has to offer. But then at some point,  as many things happened, many people left and moved on with their very own life, I started to realize that at least, I’ll always have my families to come home.

Everytime I make mistakes, my families always find a way to forgive me.

Everytime I’m sick, my families will be the ones taking care of me.

Everytime I’m hurt, my families will always be on my corner no matter what.

Everytime I’m defeated, my families are there to support my back.

And everytime I’m winning, my families are genuinely celebrating my victories with me.

The real families won’t break my heart just because they envy me. They make time for me. They don’t walk away when things between us got ugly. When things are broken, we fix them together, we don’t throw them all away as if they meant nothing to each and everyone of us. We did fall apart, but we stick together, because what we chase is being a family; the real one, until our very last breath.

At this point, I’ve started believing that we should really find a life partner who has a very strong bond with their own families. Staying close to families for decades is never an easy thing. We make mistakes and we make it up to each other, over and over again. If they manage to do that with their families, then most likely, when someday we are a part of their future families as their husband or wife, they will also be able to commit with us as a lifetime partner.

Put your families first, because at the end of the day, they are the only ones who will always wait for you to come back home.

When a Man’s Hero Instinct Goes Wrong

Spoiler alert! This post will tell you a little bit about the newest episodes of The Royals TV series.

I’m really upset with the last two episodes of The Royals season 3. Jasper; my favorite hot bodyguard in this TV show, decided to leave the princess just because of a threat from his own father all together with his insecurities of dating a royal. He did it to protect his girlfriend, for princess’ sake he said, but still, I would never decide to take that way if I were him.

I know that it’s just a drama, but I can totally relate to that kind of situation in the real life. Not that I’m a princess dating a bodyguard, it’s more about a man’s hero instinct that can go into a very wrong direction sometimes. And yes, this writing has something to do with my earlier post. You may want to read that one blog of mine before continuing to read this post.

Sometimes, men say that we deserve someone better. They say that they don’t deserve us. They say that what they do are for our own good. But the way we see it (at least, this is the way I see it), what they do is completely wrong.

Some men have to learn to believe that when we say we love you, we mean it with all our heart. And when we say that we love you, it also means that we can sincerely accept you just the way you are. You and every flaw that you have in you. So if you think that walking away from our lives is actually for our own good, well the truth is, it will only break our heart and leave us wondering what we did so wrong that you took off from us.

At this point, do you still think that what you did to us was a heroic decision?

When I really love somebody, lots and lots of bumpy roads with him is a lot better than one smooth ride without him by my side. Fighting this life with him side by side will take the same amount of efforts for me to move on and heal my heartbreak anyway. Yet somehow, many guys I met back in the past just couldn’t seem to get that. Initially I thought it was just me, but when I saw the same things also happen to some other girls, I started to question, “What’s wrong with (many) guys nowadays?”

Please no offense, guys. Any thoughts? Let me know!

When My Life’s Knocking Me Down

It’s been just one month, but 2017 has been surprisingly tough to me. Right when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, well it even went farther than I could ever imagine. I could cry, I could blame and hate myself, but I refuse to do all that.

I prefer to have a new hair cut and well-shaped brows. I get my nails done. I take out my old favorite handbag and go to work in style (even if it’s Saturday and I barely see anybody in the office). I watch my favorite TV shows, sing my favorite songs, I eat all that delicious foods (and I finally gain more weights, thank God!), I laugh and I surround myself with the people who bring out the very best in me.

I’ve went so far in my life and I’m not going to stop now. Life is too short to live in misery, and the hard times is the only time that I can prove myself that I am as good as I said I was. I’m not a little girl anymore, I can’t cry and run hugging my Mom everytime I stumble and fall. I won’t try to find an escape from my problems, I’ll be right here, in my place, to keep fighting and winning my war.

And did you know what I learned from all these recent events? I learned that having problems doesn’t necesserily mean that I can only mourn all the day and night! Having problems should never stop me from having fun. Not only it distracts me from all the chaos in my head, but also it helps me to be calm, think straight, and stay wise. It has really made the burdens feel even lighter on my shoulders!

Life as a grown up will never ever be the same as our life as a teenager, let alone a little child. No matter how good you are, how hard you have tried, s*** will still happen anyway. And no matter how kind and nice person that you are, some people will also still throw some kind of s*** right in your face.

Finally, what I’m excited right now is knowing that I will have a rainbow after all these storms. At some point, things will go back on track and I will be one step ahead as a better person by then. And one more thing, I know that after all of this pass, I’m going to have one more “success story” to tell and to be proud of.

Happy weekend and have a great one!