The idea behind this post is actually came from the people, friends that I met on the road. You know, many backpackers doing South East Asia trip, including Indonesia. When I asked them where they wanna go in Indonesia, 90% answered Bali.  Although I got mix reactions of how some people against Bali merely because it's too "touristy", they said, I personally think it is a right decision for them to visit Bali, even though there are a lot more to see in Indonesia. However, as a first comer in Indonesia, Bali is the right choice for you because:

Day 7: Milford Sound - Glenorchy

Okay, the last township as I said was Te Anau. There’s nothing in Milford Sound except parking area, pier, and a cafĂ©. That’s why some people join package tour from Queenstown or Te Anau. There are three ways to experience Milford Sound. Flying, which is ridiculously expensive for me, a big no obviously, kayaking, surprisingly pretty expensive as well, and cruising, which would be my last choice. I booked the most basic cruise experience with Jucy Cruise for $40. Another affordable cruise company is Go Orange

Tour started at 8 a.m. Since we still have 55 km to travel from Cascade Creek, we set one and a half hour earlier driving through another windier road with sharper turn. I could only speed up to 60-80 km/h in average. The sky was terribly grey and rain started to pour, what a shame cause unquestionably the view was amazing but we just couldn’t see in that misty morning. I tried to cheer myself up without expecting too much, “Milford Sound looks amazing as well even in rainy days, that’s what I read!”, I convinced my friends.

Glacier on the way to Milford Sound
The boat looks similar like the one I boarded during whale-watching in Sydney. Restaurant-alike seating, convenient toilet, and a bench with breakfast prepared for the trip. View decks were along the sides, front, and upper deck. Three of us had our raincoat and camera ready and rushed to upper deck. It’s true that Milford Sound is special on rainy day. The rain creates some new waterfalls, flowing down from the cliff, another magical sight. There’s this moment when the boat moved deeper under the waterfall and those who stood on the deck got showered, splashed, and flooded by the water. Super fun!

Overall, not under the best weather condition, we could’ve seen better view of Milford Sound, those towering peaks, regardless it’s still memorable for me. From Milford Sound we drove back to Te Anau, had a quick stop at Chasm Fall then drove straight to Queenstown however all the holiday parks were booked out. Plan’s changed!

Chasm Fall
Mrs Woollys Campsite ($15pp)

Not so big campground but it feels fresh and homey. It was late when we arrived and everything's fully booked. Fortunately, the kind lady allowed us to set up our tent on a free space near the park. Facilities were great, laundry, kitchen, paid shower +$2.

Day 8: Glenorchy - Queenstown

It’s not exactly a change of plan, we just swapped the order, Glenorchy first then Queenstown. Doesn’t make any difference, we had to pass Queenstown anyway to get to Glenorchy.I fell in love on my first sight. This is my kind of retirement place that I longed-for, peaceful and surrounded by nature. We headed to the wharf for a refreshing morning walk. Then we did the walkway next to it, a nice short walk with mountains exposed, ah, we met a swarm of black swans! We drove 20 minutes away to see Lord of the Ring movie set then headed to Queenstown.
If Glenorchy sounds like an ideal retirement place for me, then Queenstown would be the place that I wanna settle down right now. Situated next to Lake Wakatipu and home to mountain ranges, The Remarkable, Queenstown is the city where adventure begins. What I like more about Queenstown is the fact that it’s a big city but no skyscraper at all! It looks more like a holiday town with motels, cafes, and shops. Many activities can be done here; sailing, paragliding, mountain biking, hiking, and loads.  Try Fergburger if you happen to be in town, famous for its gourmet burger and people line up like crazy!

Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park ($25 pp)

Just few minutes walk to downtown, good facilities. It was peak season so it's super busy, in fact it's the only holiday park that's not fully-booked on that day. Big, but not enough space between campers. Big kitchen, laundry, shower +$2 for 7 minutes on peak season. Not the best stay and best deal compares to other holiday parks.
Day 9: Ben Lomond Track

I would consider Ben Lomond as the most difficult one day hike that I’ve done during my entire hike in New Zealand. It took us 8 hours to complete but the view was definitely rewarding.  First we passed through the pine-tree forest till we got a bit lost near the waterfall. Then, we were in an open area and constantly ascending under the heat. 

Half way to the saddle, I could see Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and Remarkable Range. I couldn’t stop turning back and marveling the view. The later it was, the more people doing the hike even kids younger than me showed big enthusiasm hiking this not so easy track. Up to the saddle, clearly better view from what we've seen before. Eventually on the other side, there's another range of mountain, the Southern Alps.

View of Remarkable
View of Southern Alps on the other side
The real "track" was just about to begin, enough warming up. Another hour to go to the summit. From the saddle I could tell how torturous the hike would be. The incline was so steep, looking at it would only discourage myself. Slowly but sure I climbed up the rocks. Once in a while I took a break tried to catch my breath. Finally all of us made it up to the summit, what an effort!

Day 10: Queenstown - Wanaka

The scenic drive from Queenstown to Wanaka was quite interesting with brownish hills along the way. That afternoon we did nothing much. Visited the lonely tree but for me it’s a bit overrated.  I wasn’t really amazed by Lake Wanaka especially after Tekapo and Pukaki.

Albert Town Camping Ground ($10pp)

A decent campsite not too far from Lake Wanaka, pretty relaxing. Flush toilet available.

To be continued..

Traveled in 27 December 2016-26 January 2017

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Being able to travel New Zealand is another achievement for me in 2016. This beloved country fills my bucket-list for so long until I finally ticked it off. As a mountain-junkie I've been dreaming endlessly to present myself and now, here I am! I'll share my one month itinerary in New Zealand, both south and north island. Enjoy!

Whenever I had conversations with travelers in Australia, none of them would NOT mention about Red Center, about the experience driving in the outback. Classic story, huh? What's so cool about it? Well, it's true that the iconic face in the outback which is Uluru has been used in magazine, advertisement, calendar all over the world. People would immediately recognize this red giant stone. Again, what's so cool about it?

Choosing Sydney as my base in Australia is by far the most righteous decision that I made. Some might not  agree but I have strong argument on why Sydney is a great city to live in. Yes, Sydney is a metropolitan city. It's busy, dynamic, just like another big cities. You can find any good restaurants, Asian, Italian, French, cool cafes for brunch, nice shopping area, crazy nightlife, and many more. If CBD is too busy for you, don't worry. Sydney has many nice suburbs to live.

Have you ever felt when you're traveling and moving too much, you continually felt exhausted thus you just wanted to stay, collecting back your soul before you're ready to disembark on another journey. Frankly, that's how I feel at this moment. It's funny while some people desperately need a break from their life by having vacation, I need a break from my traveling. 

I knew that Tasmania would quench my desire after a long pause traveling-mode that I've been craving for, certainly not a disappointment. There's a sense of pureness, adventure, and laid-back feeling that lured me to love this part of Australia. The only thing that I couldn't adjust myself to was the cold, which is understandable as it's close enough to Antarctic Circle. Do you know with forty percent of the island protected in parks and reserves, Tasmania is one of the cleanest places on Earth? Here are my favorite places in Tasmania:

If you’re following my Instagram, lately, I’ve been intensively posting pictures, hashtag Australia, which I would only do when I travel. True, for the last one month of my stay in Australia I decided to travel. I felt that I should see more of the country rather than just eat, sleep, and work in Sydney for the past ten months. I’m sick of work, and I really need to be back on the road so badly, whatever, I’m coming for you Straya!

It all started from a small conversation between me and my colleague. Another chill morning in the coffee shop that I worked at when we had so much free time to chit chat. She was so enthusiastic telling her story about what she had done on the weekend, doing whale watching tour. When she mentioned the price was only $40, I soon lost my interest until I thought about it again, hey, that wasn't too bad.

Hey, how is it going? I might have to punish myself for abandoning my blog for quite a while. Life's been busy and really exhausting. I don't really have time for myself, even when I have, I'd rather just lay down on my bed and do nothing. I tried several times to write on something cause I've been doing stuffs, but again, I can't be bother "squeezing" my brain, I apologize for that.

Kuala Lumpur is close enough to my heart that I would call it as my second home. The fact that it's a neighbouring country to Indonesia, and the fact that it's just 30-minutes on sky from my hometown, it's not an unfamiliar place for me at all. I've been flying back and forth since I was a kid.

When I was a little girl, my mom would ask me on Sunday, "Hey, do you wanna come with me to the market?" I was like, "Hell no!" Yea, market was a nightmare for me, especially when I was around that age, fifteen year ago? (Damn, I feel old now). 

"Have you heard of Vivid? That's when the whole Sydney is glowing."

I love how my colleague described Vivid to me. The images of the whole buildings beaming with colorful light suddenly popped up in my head, it must be really exciting. I've long known about Vivid since my fellow blogger friend posted some breathtaking photos of the no-longer white Opera House. I never really see myself walking around world-famous harbor, Circular Quay, watching the most-talked Opera House changing its color. "Well, I cannot miss this show while I'm here in Sydney." I told myself. 

After my six months here in Sydney working and dealing with different types of people, I get to observe how 'Sydneysiders' behave, also their habit. Well, probably not for all of them, generally. Here, I found out some interesting things about them.

One of the top destination where often people go around Sydney other than Sydney Opera House or Bondi Beach is Blue Mountain. Many would expect the mountain is blue, at least there's something blue around this mountain, but in reality it wasn't. It was explained that it was so named because of the mist and the haze look blue in distance. Isn't it all mountain look blue from distance?

I just got my visa and moving to Australia soon. What should I do next? 

Some of you might have the same question as I did. Moving to a country means you need to start over and prepare everything from the most basic things. It's normal to worry about stuffs like this, but as you go through everything, it's not as hard as you think. These five points might be able to give you insight:

Hello, I supposed to write about this on early December but apparently, I'm too busy (well, you know that's an excuse, haha). Can't believe we're on the tip of 2015! Lots of things going on for me, both expected and unexpected. I am now residing for a while to a new country that I haven't touched yet, Australia, something new for me. I know it's gonna be fun and I'm really excited for it!

Seeing animals in their real habitat living wild and free without cages or fences trapping them is a vary experience compares to a zoo visit. There's a different sensation when you meet them face to face. The biggest concern when we try to approach them wildly is the possibility of not seeing them. The fact that their natural instinct to human being, and the fact that they scatter deep inside the jungle. 
Photo by Alex Strohl
Home can be defined as a place where we were born, a place where we grow up, or a place where we live permanently. A home is not just a house, not just a building. It has more meaning than that. When you leave your home for a long time, you will miss everything about it, the streets around, the atmosphere, the food, and the people. It leaves us not only impressions but a memory that always be missed.