Category Archives: Coffee Talk

The Most Popular 2016 Words

In Response to WordPress Discover Challenge:

And so, at the final day of 2016, the final sunrise, and soon going to be the final sunset, this is the recap of words in 5 most visited post in 2016.

Favorite Words 2016

My travel scene in 2016 has been amazing. It has seen my come back to Scuba Diving after 5 years of hiatus. The underwater world rejoice, and the Manta Ray spread their wings to greet me. And Bali is still awesome.

But nothing compares to our family trip to Turkey, the run across Bosphosurs bridge from Asia to Europe, the hot air balloon ride, and the first snow experience for me and my son.

Wishing another great travel year for 2017.

Paper Map

4 PM at the office, and I have this thought: How many traveler these days still using paper map to find direction?

Photo credit: “Explorer,” © 2011 Sakeeb Sabakka, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

I still remember, during the good old days, before Google Map, 3G, and GPS device, every time I arrived in new country, the first thing that I look for is free tourist map at the airport.  The map is my primary guidance to find places and public transport

Did I get lost? Yeah, for sure I did get lost. And what did I do? I ask around. And asked around created the interaction with local people. It is the old romance of traveling that is missing these days, interacting with locals.

Not only that. When you walk with paper map, your eyes won’t be fixed on the red pin that move as you move. You are forced to see your surroundings, and recognizing landmarks to match with the map. And while doing so, you might encounter some unplanned interesting stuff that can enrich your experience.

Once upon a time on my first trip to Bangkok, Thailand, I was exploring the city on foot. I bump into streetside stall with a lot of people lining up. I joined the queue, and it turns out to be the best street food in Bangkok that I’ve ever eat.

Photo Credit: Queue by Charles Haynes

Had I follow Google Map, I probably won’t ever bump into the street food. Either I’m taking a different shorter path, or my eyes is so fixated to follow the red pin that move.

This post is made in response to WordPress Discover: Analog

The Most Amazing Place in The World

If you ask someone of the most amazing place one has been travelling to, everyone will have different answer. Everyone will have their own best place, with different reason.

If you ask me, Bali would be my answer. it has beach, mountain, culture, underwater, nightlife, and within 1.5 hours flying from Jakarta. For that reason, I have been coming to Bali for 13 consecutive year.

Chasing Sunset at Dreamland

But, over time, I agree with Don Parrish’s favorite place. Don Parrish has been in 193 UN Member States. And, according the website, who divided the world into 875 parts, Don Parrish only has 32 places that he haven’t visit.

You can’t be comparative. You got to figure out what is special about every place. – Don Parrish

When asked which place he has been are the most amazing, he said that “It is a wrong thinking. You can’t be comparative. You got to figure out what is special about every place. Because the most important thing is not to shut down. If you can be alert, you will find it all over the world”

Well, there are some truth in there. If you keep comparing one place to the other, which one is better, and worse, compare a new place with your home town, it would be better to stay at home. There are nothing to gain from travelling if you keep looking the comfort of your home, or somewhere that you are convenient with.

But, it doesn’t hurt to have favourite. What do you think? Do you agree with Don Parrish? Or, do you have a favourite place? Please share in comment below.

About Traveling Solo

Traveling alone, or traveling solo, is not as scary as many traveler think. When planned and done properly, traveling solo can bring as much fun as traveling in small group, and definitely more fun than travelling with large tourist group.

Have you ever planned to eat Vietnamese Pho on the street side of Hanoi, only to give in to your travel group who prefer some western restaurant? Or dying to watch a musical performance at the romantic West Lake at Hang Zhou, China, only to arrive late because one of the person in the group overslept in what suppose to be a short nap time?

Traveling solo release you from the necessity to tolerate your travel partner. Even though when you depart, all of you might share the same interest towards the trip, each of you might develop different interest at the destination. Traveling solo give you the freedom to pursue your own travel interest at your own pace.

And traveling solo is far from alone. In my recent trip to Bali, I stopped at Seniman Coffee Ubud to escape the heat of Bali’s sun. I was having a good conversation with the Barista about coffee. We discussed about the rare light roast beans against more common medium and dark roast, about different taste of coffee from around Indonesia, and different brewing method.

In some other trip to Singapore, I stayed at backpacker dorm, where we shared a big room with 20 other traveler. I have a good chat with them at the common area of the hostel. Almost all of them came from different country, stayed in Singapore as stepping stone to the other part of the region. Others do plan to stay longer, and literally plan to run around the country.

On the other hand, traveling solo also give you space when you feel like not talking to anyone. You can sit alone, write, blog, or simply think about life in general, without someone interrupting because they feel obliged to talk to you. I mostly need my space in the morning, before dawn, during my breakfast. This is the time when I usually sort my thought for the day

I find that, the biggest challenge of traveling solo is when you need to go to the restroom in public space, with your big backpack. The restroom can be very small for you and your backpack, and dirty to put your bag on the floor. This are the time when I wish for a travel companion. To resolve this, I would usually look for a restaurant that is kind enough to watch my stuff. Of course, I would order some food from them later on.

Security is another concern. If something happens to you, noone will be able to help or tell your relatives of your whereabouts. Fortunately, as the world become more connected, it is more a problem in the past. Just make sure that you tell someone of your travel plan, and keep them posted of your whereabouts.

So, next time you feel like having a holiday, yet noone that is willing to go, book your ticket anyway, and have fun.

*Title image by Giuseppe Milo