I have been a professional writer for five years.

Gastronomy, lifestyle, travel, sustainability, culture, and history are some of the themes that I have worked with in the past. I love getting involves with individuals, companies, organizations, and communities with stories to tell.

Words, sentences, stories... these are my passion. I love to take new challenges in writing for various format and media. I create contents for websites, blogs, and communication materials.

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The European Epic Journey of My Dream

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. After so many dreaming which each took a different form and place; after so many pleas, threat and disturbing annoyance to those member of my family (pretty pretty please with ice cream and whipped cream on top of it?????? *battling hardly long and uncurled eyelashes*) capable of funding this “It” trip, I made it. The European Epic Journey of My Dream.

Epic? Well, it is. This is by far a GRAND scale trip for me. Where I come from (Indonesia), euro is way up in the sky and rupiah (yes, that is what we call our currency) is scraping somewhere in the lowest level of Dante’s version of economic hell. I haven’t mention the HOURS in the plane. Or the ticket price. Or the inconvenient truth that July means summer (whatever summer means these days) and summer means Europe are hijacked by mob of tourists. It is some sort of miracle that I could gather enough money and time to go there.

So I arranged the trip. First, the Schengen request to enter Europe via Germany which fortunetely not as insane and horrendous process as what Indonesian (or people from the rest of the world, for that matter) has to face to enter the soil of U.S.A. Bugger. Like seeing the white rock formation of Hollywood worth waking up at 3 a.m and standing in a long line all day without conviction that Uncle Sam’s Little Helper would grant your wish to see the Land of Hope and Glory. The Deutsche Botschaft gave us one month in Europe (with of course letter of invitation from a family of mine in Germany. I wonder what people should do if they don’t have any invitation OR if they have “familiar household” names like Ahmad, Amir and some sort OR they wear veil? Hmmm…). One month to live up the European Epic Journey of My Dream which I have been planning for (almost) my whole life.

If you happen to be a tourist, you can skip this part. Do go on if you are a traveler, which I think is what I am. Hours of back-breaking research on internet and skimming the Holy Bible of limited fund traveler (Lonely Planet Europe on Shoestring: Stay longer, pay less) later, I feel ready. Not. The whole world seems to utter my deepest concerns (starting with “what if” and the list goes on and on about what could go wrong) which I tried to bury inside. Yes, there is always a chance that I would be kidnapped by a group of terrorist for ransom (although I’m quite sure they are after the blonde-blue-eyed-tourists rather than oriental backpacker from Third World Country. Like my country could pay their ransom. Duh!). And yes, there could be terrorist attack, someone could spike my martini and rape me, I could get lost and blah blah. I replied simply with this beautiful quote I “stole” from someone, somewhere in a long forgotten website (Thank you stranger!)

“People who have never travelled and tell you it's difficult or dangerous are like nuns who tell you that sex is not enjoyable."

Anyway, one of the website I accidentaly found, told me about one main event which took place in Netherland (which of course I must visit. I wanted to see with my own eyes what kind of repulsive land that pushed their folks to crossed few oceans just so they could drink coffee in which lead to three and a half centuries of colonialization). The North Sea Jazz. I let out a squeal of excitement, enough to made my dog stared at me in amazement. Yes, ladies and gentleman. The one event every jazzophile around the world dying to see. More shriek came out after I found out Chick Corea would be there with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Steely Dan, Amy Winehouse, Wynton Marshallis, The Ornette Coleman, Elvis Costello and… I wouldn’t want to make you jealous by continuing the list so I better stop. What could be more sweet than that? Perfect timing, perfect setting. So Netherland was ticked.

Paris also ticked. The museums, the cafes, the chic Parisian. The je ne sais quoi. I was robbed (my uncle, to tell the fact) in the metro years ago in Paris. It sure was not romantic. I also happened to be young and everything back then was not illuminated. I received my cultural enlightment while studying in university and this time I would not blink while in Paris. Not even in the metro. Not especially in the metro.

Germany.Ticked. I have an uncle and aunt in Cologne who has kindly gave me the invitation so of course I must visit them. More reason: beers (plenty of beers. Woohoo!), bratwurst, Berlin (the architectures!) and meeting up with friends.

Switzerland. Hmmm…we’ll see. Applied for the Visa tou’ since I was afraid if comes the time where I pass the border with Eurail train, my Schengen wouldn’t be enough to keep me out of jail.

Italy. So very ticked. The pasta and pizza only would be enough to lure me there. Tuscany was on the sub-ticked. Rome, for sure.

My wanderlust made me wrote Portugese, Spain and Greek.
My accumulated saving made me wonder and shudder.
And so came the day on June where I would be leaving the familiar Soekarno-Hatta “International” Airport to my first transit stop, Changi.

Next blog: FLYING PART

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