Monday, July 15, 2019

Huacachina, Peru

I’m going trekking for few days tomorrow morning so before I’m taking sometime off I thought I wanted to update the blog quickly. After spending around 10 days exploring Lima and Paracas, I was down with the flu for 3 days ( something that never happened to me before and obviously I hate being sick especially when you’re alone in foreign country ) so I decided to rest in Huacachina for 3 days. Thanks to Peru Hop for making my first trip in South America a lot easier than I thought. Not only I got discounts for accommodation and meals but also they organized most of my tours from vineyard visit to Nazca line to Ballestas island and sand boarding at Huacachina. But since I was unwell, I knew I had to slow down a bit and chose to join dune buggy tour. Funny I thought it was gonna be a chill, easy ride but our driver took us to what felt like a rollercoaster ride in Disney World. Me and few other travelers were screaming, laughing hysterically, holding each other hands and went completely silent as the sun went down. How lucky and blessed we are to be able visiting Peru and experiencing this magical moment in Huacachina. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

30 Flirty and Fabulous

Photo by: Julien Cavandoli

Sitting in a small cafe at Paracas - a beach resort town located around 5 hours away from Lima, Peru - the truth is I still can’t wrap my head around what had happened in my life the last 12 months. Okay maybe 10 years to be exact. This time last week I was in New York City celebrating my 30th birthday with my loved ones. Nothing too fancy or crazy, well since I’ve moved a lot from one place to another lately, I just wanted to slow down a bit. To do couple of my favourite things like watching broadway shows and picnic at Central Park. But most importantly, I want to take sometime to appreciate and reflect on how much I’ve grown over the last 10 years. And today I’m in Peru with a grateful heart, excited to visit Huacachina in the next few hours and slowly making my way to Machu Picchu. I’ve been dreaming about Peru for years and honestly so happy that I finally made it to South America. 

Yes, the past 10 years I’ve grown a lot. I’m grateful I’ve made the most of my twenties. Most of my dreams have come true. I’ve had soooo much fun, always surrounded by good people and just the fact life has been incredibly kind to give me opportunities that not everyone can have. I’ve seen and experienced things I never thought I could. I’ve met and learned from so many incredibly kind, inspiring people. From a 20-year-old Gyscha who left Jakarta with very little experience, little money, only a luggage full of dreams and faith somehow things would work out just fine. She was so brave, energetic, confident and fearless, something that I wish would stay with me forever. All she ever wanted was to be happy, to grow and to truly live. She moved to a new country alone, not knowing anyone but then she found true friends, family, love. She discovered so many passions, reinvented herself, witnessed her dreams come true. Along the journey, she also failed a lot. There are days when she just wanted to hide and cry and give up. Sometimes she’d wonder if anyone else fails as much as her and how do they get back on their feet. How some people can be so incredibly lucky to do meaningful things they love and be a part of exciting projects. She fell in and out of love too. She kissed so many frogs and ended up with so many disappointments and heartbreaks, but she learned her lessons and continue to love. In the end of the day, people come and go, but as long as she put self love and self worth first, she’d only continue to rise and shine.

In the next 10 years, I hope I’d be the same energetic-happy-healthy-positive-strong-bright-fearless-bold-curious-creative Gyscha. I know life doesn’t get any easier but on the hardest days where I’d hit the rock bottom, fail, or going through the worst - I hope I’d always find reasons to be more grateful, to be patient and positive, to smile, to love, to celebrate life. I hope life would give me strength, miracles, guidance, inspirations so I can keep going. I still want to see the world too. From Africa to Asia to Europe then North and South America, I can’t wait to see where life gonna take me next. Maybe someday I’d love to bring my future kids and husband traveling with me. Just like how my Mom used to take me on road trips when I was a kid and my curiosity about life and the world grew from there, I would love to do the same thing to my children. Travel has changed the way I live my life. Those of us who travel are a privileged few. Not only I get to find a bit of myself and my purpose in every place I’ve visited, but the more I travel, the more I realize how lucky and blessed we are to have access and opportunities to chase and live our dreams while so many people out there have to fight harder, sometimes can’t even dream. And I would love to give back more, to create meaningful things for others. In the next 10 years, I hope I’d still be able to live. To TRULY live. To go on wild adventures, to pole dance my heart and butt out, to laugh til my stomach hurts, to never stop growing, to come home to a place surrounded by my loved ones who always give me space, time and freedom to be myself. Inspire and motivate me to never stop growing and improving.

And finally not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for some special people in my life who support me, comfort me, uplift me, always been there for me from day one. People who opened up the doors for me, who gave me stage to shine, room to grow, opportunities. I am truly lucky to meet and learn from each one of you. I never thought I’d say this but yes it feels good to get older and learn more each day. To grow at my own pace and simply to live the kind of life I have always dreamed of. It’s just gonna get better from here…

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Siena, Italy

It’s been over 10 years since the last time I celebrated Eid al-Fitr with my loved ones in Indonesia, but I couldn’t be more happier to be back in Spain, enjoying the warm weather, plates of tapas and sangria. Wondering what Granada has in store for me.

Meanwhile, last week I was in Florence, Italy. I had no intention at all to visit Italy this year, but somehow life always has better plans for us. It turned out my one week in Italy exploring Lake Como - Bellagio - Milan - Florence - Siena - Rome was beyond perfect. I even got to reunite with good friends of mine in Milan after haven’t seen them for 5 years. Italy, of course, is always a good idea. Honestly nothing makes me happier than starting a day with a cup of espresso and good brioche crema. Even though you don’t really have any plans that day, not sure where to go, what to visit ( I’m a kind of traveler who do things very last minute, spontaneously), but I feel like nothing can go wrong as long as I have my espresso and brioche.

Funny enough, this time four years ago I visited Europe for the first time. We were in Florence for less than a day, and because at that time we moved around from one place to another non-stop, I just had no energy to explore Florence. Well, I am glad life gave me a second chance to revisit the beautiful Firenze. When the sky’s blue, the weather’s amazing. I can walk around town with my summer dress and camera in my hand. Florence stole my heart again, left me completely in awe with its beauty. But again, it’s not so hard to fall in love with Italy. Wherever you go, even just exploring little streets, you’ll find beauty, details, colors, ah of course good food.

One afternoon after lunch at Tratoria Za Za, I decided to walk towards Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station. I love taking random trains to cities I’ve never heard before. You know when you arrive at the train station and you’d look at the departure board then you’d take the next train and hop off at random cities. Obviously I never heard of Siena before, but the name sounds beautiful so when my train stopped at Siena, I decided to hop off and spend my entire afternoon exploring one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany.

Siena, not only beautiful and romantic, this little town filled my heart with so much joy, colors, love and history.