Kunjungan Mama (part 3)

Oke jangan bosen yaa baca cerita kunjungan Mama hehehe. Rasanya pengen cerita yang lengkap gitu, baru deh lanjut cerita2 yang lain. Anyway, di post ketiga ini saya mau ceritain soal road trip kami ke San Francisco.

Jadi, waktu tempuh perjalanan dari Los Angeles ke San Francisco kalau naik mobil itu sekitar 6,5 jam. Tadinya saya dan R sempet bingung, mau naik pesawat (mahal), naik bus (mikir repot di SF nya gak ada mobil karena kali ini kita bawa mama), atau bawa mobil aja dari LA. Akhirnya kami memutuskan untuk bawa mobil supaya seru, dan dihitung2 juga biayanya sama aja kalau kita naik bus plus transportasi di SFnya.

Kami berangkat hari Minggu sore sekitar jam 6, itu juga mampir dulu makan malam dan sempet berhenti beberapa kali untuk beli kopi, isi bensin, jajan, dan sebagainya hehe. Perjalanan ke SF lumayan ngebosenin, karena malam hari kali ya, nggak ada pemandangan yang bisa dilihat dan sepanjang jalan kosongggg melompong. Soalnya kami pakai rute paling cepat, padahal sih sebenarnya ada rute yang lebih indah pemandangannya tapi lebih lama waktu tempuhnya, yaitu lewat Pacific Coast Highway (inget lagunya nggak?). Kami sampai di SF sekitar jam 3 pagi. Langsung istirahat karena jam 10 pagi nya langsung diajak saudara kami yang kebetulan tinggal di SF untuk jalan2 ke Monterey.

Monterey itu kota kecil di pinggir pantai yang jaraknya sekitar 2 jam dari SF. Monterey seru banget, kotanya cantik, banyak yang bisa dilihat, sayang karena kami perginya rame2 jadi agak susah berhenti2 sesuai keinginan, jadi saya mau banget balik lagi suatu hari apalagi kalau lagi panas πŸ™‚

Setelah seharian di Monterey bareng keluarga, kami menghabiskan waktu di kota SF nya selama 2 hari 1 malam. Hari pertama saya ajak mama ke Pier 39 dan Ghirardelli Square. Dari Ghirardelli Square kami naik SF tram lanjut ke Union Square. Tram ini cukup terkenal di SF, dan biasanya selalu antri. Tapi kalau kamu naik dari Ghirardelli Square, antriannya nggak separah itu kok! Harga sekali jalan $7, cukup mahal sih untuk ukuran transportasi umum, tapi boleh juga dicoba untuk atraksi wisata mumpung lagi di SF πŸ™‚

Hari terakhir sebelum pulang kami sempat ajak Mama lihat Golden Gate Bridge karena ya memang nggak lengkap ke SF tanpa lihat jembatan ini, ya nggak sihh… dan kali ini karena kami naik mobil sendiri, jadi bisa lihat jembatannya dari Marin Headlands yang letaknya diatas bukit, jadi pemandangannya lebih keren! Kalau memang kamu ke SF dan ada mobil sendiri, coba deh lihat Golden Gate Bridge nya dari Vista Point/Marin Headlands daripada dari visitors centernya. Musti bayar tol sih, tapi pemandangannya worth it kok!

Setelah itu, kami mampir juga ke Lands End. Ini sesuai namanya bener2 kayak di ujung dunia deh. Tapi pemandangannya juga bagus banget! Sayangnya lagi mendung ya (tapi di SF emang hampir selalu mendung kan… kalo mau cerah ya ke LA hehehehe :P), tapi pemandangannya, suasananya, bener2 menarik. Kalau nggak pakai mobil sendiri, transportasi umum kesana agak susah karena ya letaknya emang jauh dari mana2, jadi kalau kamu ke SF dan ada mobil sendiri, wajib banget ke Lands End!

Karena terlalu terpesona sama Lands End, kami akhirnya pulang jam 8 malam dari SF… padahal tadinya mau lihat pemandangan sambil pulang, batal lagi deh. Perjalanan pulang lebih parah dari berangkat karena kami udah capek banget dan memang jalanannya luruuuuus aja tanpa ada pemandangan apa2. Kami harus stop berkali – kali untuk istirahat dan akhirnya sampai dirumah jam 4 pagi πŸ˜€

Pengalaman yang cukup seru road trip bareng Mama ke San Francisco, walaupun kalau boleh pilih mungkin besok2 road tripnya siang2 aja jangan malam hari supaya nggak terlalu capek hehe. Kalau kamu, kapan terakhir kali road trip?

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Kunjungan Mama (Part 2)

Seperti yang udah saya sempat ceritakan beberapa waktu lalu, kemarin ini saya kedatangan Mama dari Jakarta selama sebulan. Nggak sangka, sebulan tuh ternyata cepat banget berlalu. Tau2 Mama udah pulang lagi ke Jakarta, dan saya kembali ke aktivitas normal lagi….

Kemarin saya sempat tanya di Instagram, kira2 nulis blog tentang apa yaa.. terus ada beberapa jawaban yang bilang supaya nulis cerita selama Mama lagi disini. Kayaknya satu post bakal kepanjangan, jadi saya pisahkan postnya jadi beberapa bagian.

Kalau ditanya, ngapain aja selama Mama disini? jawabannya sih nggak ada yang terlalu spesial banget, seperti yang udah saya ceritain di post ini, minggu pertama giliran Mama ketemu orangtuanya R dengan bonus main salju, terus minggu kedua kami di rumah aja dan jalan2 sekitar daerah rumah saya, minggu ketiga kami ke San Francisco (cerita menyusul!) dan minggu keempat kami sempet ke Las Vegas sekalian mampir lagi ke rumah orangtua R untuk pamitan (cerita menyusul juga yaa). Yaampun, ga berasa kan sebulan itu?

Selama kami kebanyakan dirumah aja, waktu kami banyak dihabiskan dengan hal2 simpel seperti nemenin saya belanja groceries, masak bareng, jalan2 keliling area rumah bareng, sampai nonton TV bareng. Ini nih yang paling sering kami lakukan, apalagi kebetulan kami sama2 senang nonton TV series Amerika. Jadi, nonton apa aja kami kemarin?

The Passage – Ini drama sci-fi, ceritanya soal wabah virus yang menyebabkan manusia berubah jadi makhluk semacam vampir gitu. Mirip kayak The Walking Dead, tapi menariknya serial ini menceritakan awal virusnya berkembang, gimana manusia berusaha mencari obat buat virus tersebut, sampai muncul gadis “penyelamat” yang namanya Amy. Kami suka nonton ini, seru soalnya! Kalau kamu suka drama2 sci-fi Amerika, pasti suka juga deh.

Semua Serial Dokter2an – Hahaha dijadiin satu aja deh kategorinya. Habisnya, saya dan Mama suka banget nonton serial TV tentang dokter dan rumah sakit. Mulai Grey’s Anatomy, Good Doctor, New Amsterdam, sampai The Resident kami tonton semua. Dari ke-4 serial tersebut saya paling suka Good Doctor, dan paling biasa aja sama New Amsterdam. Tapi, R paling suka sama New Amsterdam jadi kadang2 dia suka ikut nonton juga bareng saya dan Mama kalau kebetulan New Amsterdam lagi tayang.

A Million Little Things – Serial drama yang lumayan bikin mikir. Ceritanya tentang persahabatan 4 orang cowok dewasa, saya udah pernah ceritain di post ini sih. Kebetulan waktu nulis post tersebut saya baru mulai nonton, tapi lama2 kecantol juga hahaha.. eh taunya pas Mama disini, ternyata dia suka juga, jadi kami nonton deh tiap episodenya sampai kemarin season finale. Tenang aja, no spoiler! πŸ˜›

The Gifted – Ini juga udah saya bahas di post terdahulu. Mama ternyata suka banget nonton ini, nggak sangka lho. Sayangnya serial ini udah tamat dan katanyaaa nggak bakal lanjut lagi 😦

Kalo diitung – itung, banyak juga ya serial TV yang kami tonton bersama. Tuh kan, pantesan waktu berasa cepat banget, ternyata banyak abis nonton TV hahaha… walau simpel tapi seneng banget, Mama juga seneng karena bisa lebih update daripada nunggu episode terbaru di TV Indonesia. Yah, itung2 quality time sama Mama πŸ™‚

Jadi begitulah part one dari cerita saya menghabiskan waktu bersama Mama sebulan kemarin. Makasih ya udah baca, more stories later!

Home Away From Home

Another month, another “Stories from The West” post πŸ™‚ This month, Dixie and I are writing about finding “home” away from home.  In this post, I am sharing a reflection of what does home mean to me, now that I am settling down in my adopted country. I hope you have been enjoying our stories so far… and don’t forget to read Dixie’s post too! πŸ™‚

My first year in the US was all about firsts. First experiences, adjustments, and adapting to my newly adopted country. There were a lot of things I found outside of the ordinary, there were a lot of things I did not understand. Did I miss my home? I did, many times, although I didn’t know what exactly did I miss besides my family and friends. For a while, I kept comparing life here and there. When I bought my grocery, I screamed inside when I saw the price of tahu – my favorite. I am fortunate enough to live in Southern California (where Indonesian people is abundant), but I complained at the taste of bakso that I had in a local Indonesian restaurant here (nothing like the bakso that I had in Jakarta!)

To be honest it took me a while to realize that I need to stop converting US$ to Indonesian Rupiah (our income is in US$ and we spend it mostly in that currency too, so why bother converting to other currency?). I need to stop complaining about the taste of Indonesian food, and start counting my blessings that I can still find Indonesian groceries and food rather easily here. Most importantly, I need to stop looking back.

I told myself that I need to start calling this place home. For a while, I did not want to decorate our living space because we are still renting and we have a plan to move. I told myself that this is just temporary, so why bother decorating? But I finally realized that although temporary, I need to make this place home. I may not know what the future holds for us, but for now,  this is home. 

Home πŸ™‚

It’s the same as my situation here. I don’t know what the future holds, but Indonesia will always be a part of me. I can’t keep looking back to my life in Indonesia, instead, what I can do is adding bits and pieces of my life there to enrich my life here. I’m sure it will make my life here more meaningful! After all, this is one of the perks of being an immigrant – you get to have two homes wherever you go, both figurative and literal.

If you are an immigrant like myself, tell me, what does home mean to you, now that you are away from home? how do you find home in your new country? I’d love to hear your stories! πŸ™‚

Kunjungan Mama

Halo blogku yang sudah hampir berdebu! Hehe, mau cerita kalau saya lagi kedatangan mama dari Indonesia selama sebulan. Yay! Kedatangan mama ini emang agak mendadak. Sungguh tadinya saya dan R rencana mau jalan2 ke Boston karena nemu tiket murah buat bulan Februari ini… tapi mau beli tiket mikir 1000x soalnya takut kedinginan hahaha.

Terus sekitar awal bulan kemarin saya iseng liat2 tiket dari Indonesia, awalnya coba2 pas bulan September jadi biar mama bisa ulang tahun disini. Eh taunya tiket bulan Feb-Mar malah murah! Akhirnya kami sepakat buat beliin mama tiket Jakarta-LA untuk bulan Februari ini. Belinya dadakan, kami juga nggak ada rencana apa2, yang penting biar mama bisa kesini dan kami bisa menghabiskan waktu bersama. Alhamdulillah, sejauh ini semua lancar dan gak kerasa sudah setengah jalan mama disini.

Minggu pertama mama disini kami sempet bulak balik RS karena kebetulan ibu mertua ada jadwal operasi katarak. Semua berjalan lancar, dan mama juga akhirnya ketemu sama bapak-ibu mertua yang memang tinggal disini. Habis itu kami sempat jalan2 ke LA berduaan ketika R kerja, seru juga quality time bersama mama berduaan, jadi inget masa2 terakhir sebelum pindah kesini, kami hampir tiap hari berduaan terus pas ngurusin nikahan dan pindahan saya hehe.

Terus minggu kedua kami sempat muter2 Orange County, gak gimana2 sih tapi saya ajak mama ke tempat2 yg biasa saya datengin, kayak perpustakaan kota, restoran favorit, supermarket, ya intinya saya kasih liat tempat2 yang saya sering datangi sehari – hari.

Tapi selain itu kami juga sempet nginep di rumah mertua yang letaknya agak tinggi elevasinya. Semacam bukit gitu lah, masih di Southern California siih. Biasanya daerah rumah mertua ini emang lebih dingin daripada rumah saya yang letaknya lebih di pesisir. Musim dingin ini juga sempat beberapa kali turun salju, tapi namanya juga di California, saljunya tipis2.

Eh taunya pas kami disana kemarin, turun salju lumayan tebal lho! Wooohooow! Seru deh. Salju turun semalaman hingga sekitar jam 10 pagi. Pagi2 kami juga sempet ngerasain salju turun, jadi walaupun sebenernya bajunya nggak pas (soalnya ramalan cuaca bilang cuma 30% chance of snow), tapi bela2in deh keluar dan nikmatin salju turun. Kapan lagi kan πŸ™‚

Bener2 nggak nyangka bisa kedapetan salju, lumayan berkesan juga jadinya πŸ™‚ yang pasti sih saya senang sekali kedatangan mama untuk sementara. Semoga mama sehat terus jadi besok2 bisa datang lagi dan periode nya agak lamaan sedikit πŸ™‚

Selamat berakhir pekan ya teman2! πŸ™‚

More Than ‘Just’ a Burger

This is another post from the β€œStories from the West” project which I am doing withΒ Dixie. We will be writing 1 post each month with the same topic, to give you a glimpse of our lives as new immigrants in our respective countries. This month’s topic is “food” and I am sharing some stories about American food. Read Dixie’sΒ hereΒ and hope you’ll enjoy our stories!Β πŸ™‚

To be honest, American food did not appeal to me at first. Although I have visited the country a couple of times as a tourist, I barely ate American food except burgers. I mean I love burger and fries, but they seemed so…. ordinary compared to Asian food! πŸ˜› It took me a while after I moved here to be familiar with more types of American food, and here are some of which I’ve grown to love.

Biscuit and Gravy

A biscuit to me used to be what Americans call a cookie. You know, the crunchy sweet flour-based snack that sometimes comes with a variety of fillings, strawberry jam or vanilla icing. In America, a biscuit is a flour-based dish with a softer texture, similar to bread, mostly unsweetened and normally eaten for breakfast, or as a side dish for your meal. Confused? I was too!

I had my first bite of a biscuit when I was eating breakfast with the family in a classic American diner. I ordered American breakfast – described as eggs (your style), pancakes, hashbrown and sausage/bacon. What I didn’t realize is that the meal came with a side dish – biscuits or English muffin. Here’s what it looks like.

The gravy here is actually different than the brown gravy that I knew. The gravy is made of milk and has a more creamy texture than the brown gravy. Besides being served at breakfast, biscuit and gravy is also a perfect companion for a Southern-style fried chicken meal. Anyway, I’ve grown to love them so much that I can eat them anytime. πŸ˜›

Fried Chicken Meal

Speaking of fried chicken…. the first thing that I can think of is KFC. Yes, it is an American fast-food chain, but in Indonesia, I was so used to eating KFC with rice – it’s just the best. Here, fried chicken is commonly eaten with fries, biscuits (yes!), macaroni and cheese, corn, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. I mean, you can choose one, two or all side dishes mentioned… it’s your call :))

Image source: https://www.kfc.com

Barbeque

Barbeque is used to describe a kind of meat cooking technique, which is over a fire. This is surely my favorite American food, well I’m a meat eater so it’s only predictable πŸ˜› There are several barbeque styles, which vary by state. I am yet to try all kinds of barbeque style, but so far I love Texas bbq, especially the beef brisket. (In LA you need to try SLAB and if you were to visit San Diego, Phil’s BBQ is your go-to place).

Pies

Since I spent a year in England, when I think of Pies I think of savoury pie – chicken pie, beef pie, or shepherd’s pie. But here in America, when you hear people talk about pies, it’s usually the sweet one.

Think of apple pie, blueberry pie, key lime pie… and the list is endless because you can actually put any fruits/jam that you can think of! Pies are commonly eaten as a dessert, especially during a celebration, like Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you asked me, I still prefer savoury pie over sweet pie, but of course, I can’t say no to a warm apple pie! πŸ˜€

By now I have listed a couple of American foods that I like. Now if you ask me, so what do Americans eat on a daily basis? Actually, since I am living in California which is a melting pot of cultures, people here eat a lot of food from different countries – primarily Mexican and Asian food. However, if I were to answer that question only with American food, I think this should give you a good picture.

Breakfast

Like I mentioned above, a typical American breakfast that you can order in restaurants consists of eggs, sausage/bacon, hashbrown, pancakes, and a side dish of biscuit/toast/English muffin. Sounds a lot? Well, they said breakfast is the most important meal of the day! But actually, breakfast at home is not that fancy – We usually eat cereal, toast, or pancakes/waffles.

Lunch

Based on my observation so far, Americans don’t usually eat a lot during lunch. Sandwich is a common meal – I guess it’s quick and simple because most of us are busy during lunchtime. A typical sandwich that you make at home would have deli meat, cheese, and lettuce, eaten (mostly) cold or hot. I also see that most restaurants here offer lunch specials during lunchtime. It is basically a smaller portion of their main course menu, which comes at a lower price.

Image source: https://www.usda.gov

Dinner

Dinner is the time where families gather and eat together. This is where each household would serve a full meal. It is common to eat meat like steak or meatloaf, with salad and potatoes. Come to think of it again, a lot of American food that I see are influenced by other cultures. For example, mac and cheese is a dish that is influenced by Italian pasta, while Fajitas (also a common dinner menu) is influenced by Mexican food.

So… turns out that American food is more than just burgers and fries! πŸ˜€ Food here comes with a lot of influence from other cultures especially in a diverse state like California. But still, there are noticeable features that make American food unique. There is a lot of other American food that I am yet to try, especially local delicacies that vary by state. Now tell me, which of the food I mentioned above that you would like to try the most? πŸ™‚

10 Year Challenge

Akhir2 ini 10 year challenge lagi ramai yaa di media sosial. Nggak tau siapa yang mulai, awalnya sih saya liat beberapa foto di Instagram, lama2 nyampe juga ke Facebook, terus di Twitter juga rame pada ngomongin. Seru juga, saya pikir. Tapi saya nggak ikutan nge-post apa2, soalnya saya masih dalam semi-break dari Instagram (dan media sosial secara keseluruhan) sejak saya menyelesaikan proyek pribadi #ChristasFirstYear. Jadi saya pikir, ceritain di blog aja deh 10 year challenge nya!

2009

Tahun yang lumayan berkesan buat saya. Bisa dibilang 2009 ke 2010 adalah salah satu tahun terbaik karena….. saya lagi sekolah S2 di Inggris! Bener deh, sampai sekarang nggak bisa lupa sama tahun itu, masih keingat jelas hari – harinya.

Tahun 2009 itu usia saya 22 tahun. Di awal tahun, saya bekerja sebagai Account Executive di sebuah perusahaan advertising lokal. Pekerjaan pertama abis lulus S1. Disitu saya belajar banyak, bos nya pintar banget, teman2 nya asik, kerjanya capek banget, saya pernah pulang jam 8 pagi (!!!) dan masuk kantor lagi jam 3 sore sesudahnya. Saya sibuk banget, ampir nggak pernah ada dirumah. Kemudian saya juga sibuk mempersiapkan diri untuk rencana S2 di Inggris. Waktu itu saya udah di terima di kampus yang saya mau, tapi nilai IELTS nya masih kurang cuma di bagian writing. Akhirnya sekitar bulan April saya berhenti kerja, les khusus writing dan banyak2 latihan, tes IELTS lagi, dan berhasil! akhirnya memenuhi syarat.

Terus saya inget juga soal jalan – jalan ke luar negeri pertama pakai uang sendiri. Waktu itu saya pergi ke Singapore nonton konser Coldplay. Seneng banget, dan trip yang itu kayaknya sih jadi bibit kecintaan saya buat traveling sampai sekarang, hehehe.

Nonton Coldplay

Di tengah tahun saya inget banget sempet stress banget – bangetan soalnya nungguin visa student yang nggak keluar2. Drama banget deh, sampai saya harus ubah tiket pesawat buat berangkat. Tau nggak, visa student saya keluar seminggu sebelum kelas mulai dan 1 hari sebelum tanggal berangkat saya! Saya inget banget begitu pegang paspor saya langsung nangis, emang ya bener kalau waktu Allah nggak pernah salah.

Terus sampai Inggris di bulan September, mulai sekolah, nah ini lain lagi dramanya – drama homesick, kangen pacar (pada saat itu) terus pake drama LDR, drama adaptasi sama sekolah… bener2 ya, namanya aksen Inggris itu susahnya setengah mati, saya inget pas awal kuliah saya harus rekam semua omongan dosen dan diputar ulang berkali2 di rumah sambil bikin catatan supaya saya ngerti.

Hari pertama sampai Inggris – Rambut potong pendek supaya nggak perlu ke Salon selama tinggal disitu πŸ˜›

Tapi lama2 kebiasa juga sih… dan saya suka banget sama sekolahnya. Saya suka semua pelajaran di kelas, bener2 sesuai minat dan saya semangat banget buat belajar. Sambil sekolah saya cari kerja paruh waktu dan dapat kerjaan di restoran Burger King, terus siaran di Radio PPI Dunia. Sibuk banget, sering begadang, tapi senengnya bukan main. Maklum, masih muda πŸ˜› Tahun 2009 ditutup dengan road trip keliling Inggris selama 10 hari bareng teman2 – salah satu trip terbaik seumur hidup πŸ™‚

2019

10 tahun kemudian, sekarang. Sama sekali nggak kepikiran 10 tahun yang lalu kalau saya bakal tinggal di Amerika. Lha wong dulu pacarnya beda, hahahaha (Ini nggak usah dibahas ya :P), mana kebayang bakal ketemu jodoh yang tinggalnya di Amerika. Sempet kepikiran sih mau tinggal di luar negeri, tapi kebayang nya ya di Inggris karena waktu itu kan kuliah disana. Tapi Amerika? mana kebayang hehehe.

Di usia 32 sekarang ini, hidup saya jauh lebih santai. Saya sedang meninggalkan dunia pekerjaan untuk sementara, dan menyibukkan diri dengan urusan rumah tangga dan juga kehidupan kota kecil. Sebenernya dibilang kecil banget juga nggak sih, soalnya tempat saya tinggal sekarang masih terhitung ramai kalo versi Amerika (45 menit dari kota Los Angeles), tapi kalau dibandingkan Jakarta yaaa jauh…. πŸ˜€

Saya masih pengen balik ke dunia kerja yang sibuk, walaupun nggak yakin bisa nggak ya begadang2 kayak 10 tahun yang lalu hehehe. Kayaknya nggak mau juga sih sampai begadang2 gitu. Mau balik kerja kantoran lagi, tapi gak mau terlalu ngoyo kayak dulu.

Saya masih suka jalan – jalan, masih suka nonton konser (Untungnya tinggal di tempat sekarang – banyak banget konser! YAY!), masih nggak bisa diem jadi walaupun lagi jadi ibu rumah tangga saya masih ngejalanin proyek2 pribadi kecil2an yang bikin saya sibuk dan semangat.

Ini foto diri terbaru waktu dirayain ulangtahun sama teman2 disini πŸ™‚ karena baru bulan Januari, jadi belum banyak foto tahun ini!

Lucunya, sama seperti tahun 2009, sekarang saya juga lagi nunggu sesuatu yang menurut saya udah kelamaan dan saya mulai khawatir, nggak sabar. Dan karena saya nulis post ini saya jadi ingat lagi, kalau saya nggak perlu khawatir karena waktunya Allah nggak pernah salah.

Kalau kamu, gimana 10 year challenge nya? πŸ™‚

What to Expect In Your First Year Abroad

This is another post from the β€œStories from the West” project which I am doing with Dixie. We will be writing 1 post each month with the same topic, to give you a glimpse of our lives as new immigrants in our respective countries. This month’s topic is about β€œfirst experiences” and I am sharing a summary of my first year in the US. Read Dixie’s here and hope you’ll enjoy our stories!Β πŸ™‚

Just like that, my first year in the US has passed. Even so, I still remember my first day clearly. R and I were very tired from our long journey, but I was excited to start our lives together. I remember the crisp yet fresh winter air that I felt the moment I stepped foot outside the airport. At that moment, it felt so refreshing and it got me so excited. Adventure awaits! So I thought.

Anyway, you are welcome to see a glimpse of my first year abroad on Instagram with hashtag #ChristasFirstYear. For this post, I am going to share a few things that you may expect in your first year abroad – based solely on my own experience πŸ™‚ 

Home πŸ™‚

Discovering New Things About Yourself

When you move abroad, you are going out of your comfort zone, and you will discover new things about yourself. As for me, I discovered a new fondness of cooking! It took me a while to get some recipes right and just this holiday season I had the courage to cook for other people besides R πŸ™‚ To my surprise, it was a hit! At the moment I only have two things in my “repertoire” – kastengel (Dutch – Indonesian cheese cookies) and macaroni schotel, but now I’m more confident to try different recipes. I never thought I’d love cooking this much because my cooking used to be pure survival – I cook just so I don’t starve myself πŸ˜›

Homesickness

I’m sorry to say this to you, but homesickness is inevitable. I have experienced it and it was ugly. Funny enough, it didn’t happen right away. In fact, it happened to me after a good couple of months living here. I thought I managed to adapt well, I thought I was doing ok until it happened all of a sudden. It took me a while to realize that all this time I have been feeling bits of homesickness but I tried to push it away. Then boom! it hit me, and it hit me hard. If I could turn back time and speak to myself in the past, I would definitely say that I need to embrace whatever feelings I had – the good and the bad. Perhaps this way I would be able to deal with homesickness better. 

Friendship

In Indonesia, making new friends was easy for me. I have friends that I have known forever, I have friends at work, and I also have friends that I know from other friends ;). Here, making new friends is not as easy – I felt like I’m always gonna be the “new girl” because of my immigrant status. Even though R has close-knit friends that I love as well, I felt that I still need to make new friends, so I used to come to a lot of different Indonesian group meetings just to meet new friends, but I couldn’t seem to blend in. It took me a while to realize that I don’t need a lot of friends. I’m happy and content with our close-knit friends. They are family, and I know for sure that we got each other’s back πŸ™‚

Self – Love

Moving and navigating yourself through changes are not easy. Give yourself credit for taking that leap of faith and leave the comfort of your home country! The first year can be tough, but it can be exciting too. There will be a lot of firsts – like your first holiday season, first road trip, first this and first that. Things may be different for everyone – you might be thriving already, you might be still adjusting, you might find it easy to adapt, or you might still be struggling with all the change. Whatever your condition is, one thing that I know for sure is that you got to give yourself some loving. This will help you to make sense of your surroundings better and ease the adaptation process in your first year!

If you have lived abroad for more than one year, what was your first year like? Did you experience the things I mentioned above? I would love to read your stories in the comment box! πŸ™‚