Calgary-Canmore-Banff: Into the Wilderness

Summer Break Journal #2
On the road, 19 May 2016

Longhorn Sheep just chilling out! Taken with Fujifilm X-T10

“Guys, I want a photo in the middle of the road on the rockies, its been one of my dream since we were in Halifax.” Suddenly I open the conversation in our road trip car, Scott’s hip-hop music has been occupied his car the whole ride and I started to enjoy his kind of music.

“Do you have $10 Canadian with you, Dini?”

“Why is that?”

“Look at the photo in that money, we will pass that view in a second. You can have the photo in that street, its one of the Rockies landmark. With the train rail, the beautiful lake and Rockies surrounding.”

View at $10 Canadian Dollar money. Taken with Fujifilm X-T10

And not only that I am getting the photo in the middle of the Rockies road, we got a bonus by witnessing longhorn sheep enjoying the sunny afternoon in front of the lake. There are main wild animals in the Rockies that people might encounter if we were lucky: longhorn sheep, moose, caribou, deer, back bear, grizzly bear, mountain goat.

One of beautiful stop between Canmore and Banff
Our new friend just showing up. Taken with Fujifilm X-T10

I witness one of it in our second day of the road trip.

Canadian Rockies are the place where human, wild animals, and nature can live together. I am feeling back to the past centuries. Welcome to the wilderness culture..

Mountain goats showing up at the hill in Banff
Panorama view between Canmore and Banff
Lake Minewanka, Banff National Park
Into the wilderness with our car.. 
Another pose on the road! 


Boston-Calgary: Finish Strong after Life Marathon

Summer Break Journal #1
United Airlines, 16 May 2016



My life has been like a marathon these past few days. Hop on to one occasion to another without even having time to switch clothes or taking shower. In a second everything can change quickly and in the night, it always ended up being too tired to stay awake as what I usually do.

Its been so long I did not feel the kind of life like this. It make me realize how I am being someone different these past few months after moving to Boston. My life has been more relax, in a good space, and always having time for myself and some close people in my life. I realize that one of the key is maybe not always saying YES to everything. Do not always be a “yes person” is currently one of my attempt of life.

Taken at the starting road of The Hoodoos at Drumheller, Calgary. Shoot with Fujifilm X-T10

Here’s to another road trip of the year, I am going back to “my second homeland” again in the North part of the world, this time to the west part of Canada. Place that I’ve been wanting to see for so long, The Canadian Rockies.. here we come! Hope we are all finish strong from our life marathon lately & start the journey into the wilderness, without so much connection to the digital and internet life.. having a real connection with human being and nature. The kind of wander that I always love.


Hoodoos at Drumheller, Calgary – state where most of the Dinosaurs used to live. Shoot with Fujifilm X-T10


E v o l u s i


Ketika cara kamu melihat dunia berbeda, ketertarikanmu terhadap sesuatu terkadang akan berubah. Akan ada pemikiran baru yang menuntun bawah sadarmu menemukan hal-hal yang sebelumnya mungkin tidak pernah menarikmu, masuk ke dalam urutan pertama dalam otakmu. Menjadi hal pertama yang kamu pikirkan ketika kamu terjaga di malam hari atau membuka mata di kala bangun pagi. Sebaliknya, hal yang dulunya pernah sangat memikatmu, terkadang berubah menjadi sesuatu yang tidak lagi menarik, tak jua menjadi prioritas dalam hidupmu. Selamat datang di siklus kehidupan yang selalu berputar dan sejatinya manusia itu akan selalu ber-evolusi jika ingin terus tumbuh dan berkembang.

Saat itu terjadi, akan susah menjelaskannya kepada manusia-manusia yang mengenalmu sedari dulu dengan pemikiran dan caramu melihat dunia sebelumnya. Jangan takut untuk kehilangan mereka-mereka yang kau kenal dengan pemikiran lamamu, yang benar-benar mengenalmu tidak akan pergi. Mereka lah yang bisa kau andalkan dalam hidupmu, jangan sia-siakan, jaga mereka baik-baik.

Jangan takut untuk ber-evolusi. Menemukan dirimu seutuhnya.

*Inspirasi di kala bersepeda pagi ini

Tentang Berlari

Hari ini pertama kalinya aku berlari dengan Nike+ Running Club (NRC) Boston bersama beberapa kawan di Boston yang memang suka lari. Akhirnya bertemu dengan Coach Ally yang sebelumnya ketemu dan ngobrol tidak sengaja di Instagram. Kami berlari dari jam 6.34 PM hingga sekitar satu jam kemudian dan karena di jam pulang kantor, kita jadi perhatian banyak orang yang kita lewati. “Runners is in da house!!!” teriak salah seorang fans Celtics di depan TD Garden yang sangat penuh fans Celtics karena sedang ada game.

Rute 6 miles sore ini

Rute 6 miles dimulai dari Nike store di Newburry Street lalu stretching di taman dekat Newburry dan mulai berlari menembus Boston Public Garden – Boston Common – melewati beberapa area Freedom Trail hingga akhirnya menuju daerah TD Garden dan Bunker Hill – kemudian kembali melewati Charles River, Beacon Street dan akhirnya sampai juga di Nike store.

Stretching before the run. Photo by Andrea

Ada sesuatu di dalam berlari yang membuatku sangat bahagia ketika melakukannya. Ketika berlari dengan lebih banyak orang, sejauh ini membuatku lebih bahagia. Berlari dengan musik, membuatku lebih bahagia lagi. Berhenti di tengah berlari dan diam sejenak melakukan meditasi 5-10 menit di tengah pepohonan Chesnut Hill Reservoir atau Dock Charles River, membuat damai itu terasa semakin ada.

Tidak bisa aku jelaskan dengan baik apa sesuatu yang membuatku bahagia, seperti apa yang aku pelajari dari kelas Zen Meditation pagi ini, tentang berlari, tidak bisa kamu jelaskan dengan orang lain. Tentang berlari, harus kamu rasakan sendiri lalu kamu akan mengerti apa itu.

Semoga aku tidak akan pernah kehilangan perasaan sesuatu tentang berlari ini. Merasa bahagia dengan hanya berlari, dimanapun kaki ini akan berpijak.

Some of running buddies tonight inside Nike Store as the start & finish. Taken by Lucy

Allowing Questions

Today is my last Zen Meditation class with Mark Houghton. In my opinion, the last 2 class (last week and today) is the best class. Last week, we were partnering with one of our friend and we have to take turn being the guide & person who close the eyes. I start to close my eyes and my guide will walk me to wherever he/she want to go, I cannot open my eyes. Just following and feel it. So my guide bring me across the street from our gym where the zen meditation located and walk to Amory Park. I can smell the freshness of the nature, dogs barking, people chatting, laughing and walking. Maybe they feel that we are so weird. Why there is one people closing the eye and the other guiding it. Or maybe they feel that one of us blind and one of us guiding. We don’t care what other think about us, we just enjoying the moment, being in the present.

I dip my feet into Charles River water with the glowing sunset around!

Today, we are doing the regular practice starting at noon (12.00) to do breathing continue with relaxation (and Mark read the story about life wisdom) then sitting meditation. After that, we do the activity in a group as usual. But this time, we do it together with the whole class. Mark ask us several question that we need to answer and instead of explaining the answer, we found out that its more important to attain it – experience it – and feel it together so that we are all to be in the same page and in the same feeling. I also learn this from the Cambridge Zen Center where they have Dharma Talk and when someone ask complicated questions, the Zen master just hit the floor with the one hand, “Katzz!” and we are all in the same room can feel and being in the same moment together. Mark did this practice today. He also bring cup of tea and ask question, “Is it a cup of tea or what?” and how do we answer that? We found out that to answer that is simply attain the cup of tea, drink it and feel it. That is the practice about zen and “before thinking”. Allowing our mind to attain the experience instead of trying to explain it with thinking or understanding.

In the end of the class, Mark give his last sentence, and to me, this is really true:

Naturally, as a human being, we tend to life narrower. As we grow older, we push out things that we do not like and narrow our life to only things that we like. If you ask an old man 70, 80, 90 years old.. their life become narrower. It does not matter what practice or religion that you have, whether you are christian – practicing yoga – practicing meditation – muslim – and other, but you have to hold into something that can help you to pull out things that make you overwhelmed and narrow it down.

So, it also not about answering the questions you have but allowing that questions to come into your mind and attain it, experience it.

The take out from my Zen meditation class this Spring semester is short:
I want to live simpler. Narrower. As I grow older.

Capture by Andrea (Fujifilm X-T10), Sunset talk at Charles River



Mahmoud & His “Backbay Fens Garden”

Today I join Michaela, a friend from Boston University (BU) who are doing reporting on “The Fens” or “Backbay Fens Garden”. She will do a photo reporting to support her friend article for campus magazine. Then, we turn this session into our first photo hunting session! Mick (her nickname) is using her Canon 70D and I am using my Fujifilm X-T10. I ask my friend Arlin (Indonesian studied at Berklee) who use Sony Alpha 7 II and Ann (classmate from Taiwan) who use her Canon EOS M3.





Its funny our BU campus is close to this Fens but I never come down and explore it. The Fens is part of “The Emerald Necklace” which is the green belt around Boston consist of Backbay Fens, Jamaica Ponds, The riverway, Olmsted Park,  Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park, Parkways. You can find more about this cool program here:

Starting in 1878, Olmsted’s challenge in the Back Bay was to restore a stagnant saltwater marsh that flooded and threatened public health. Combining landscape architecture with sanitary engineering, Olmsted’s efforts transformed a foul-smelling tidal creek and swamp into a scenic pool within wooded banks; gaining interest from the meandering course of the water. Olmsted renamed the area the Back Bay Fens.

In 1910, the damming of the Charles River turned the Fens into a freshwater marsh. Over time, noted landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff added new features such as ball fields and the Kelleher Rose Garden employing the more formal landscape style popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Within the Fens, The Shattuck Visitor Center, originally designed by H. H. Richardson as a pump station to control water flow in the Back Bay Fens, now serves as the headquarters of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. You will also find the oldest remaining wartime “Victory Garden” planted by citizens in 1941 during World War II to provide much needed fruits and vegetables. Today it is a well-loved community garden. The World War II, Vietnam and Korean War Memorial, behind the Kelleher Rose Garden, is a favorite picnic site for area residents while the playground at Mother’s Rest attracts children from the neighborhood and beyond.






It turns out to be a very great photo hunting and walk to the Fens Gardens with the warm and lovely weather from 4-6pm. I love the changing of the season from winter to spring where we can witness flowers blooming, smell of the crisp of the wood chip along the side road, slowly the leafs are coming out with the different colors, and the day getting longer as the sunset will go down around 7.30 pm. Walking around The Fens give me a very simple happiness to spoiled my eyes with the beautiful flowers, plantations, rabbit around – my ears with the sound of the birds singing above us – my nose with the fresh smell from the garden – and my skin with the warm sun.

Then four of us wandering around taking photographs around the gardens. Good to know that four of us not a selfie kind of person, so we are busy capturing the nature around us, not ourself and the scenery lol.




“Assalamau’alaikum!” suddenly a man with his hat call me and with the his hand waving ask me to come to his garden. No, he did not sell anything in the garden, none of the people here sell things. I answer his greeting but still continue taking photo of cute rabbit in front of me. Mick is coming to see him and greet him.

“Dini, come here!” Mick ask me to come with her as this man started to say another greeting in Arabic

“Hey, nice garden. How long you work here?” I come to see him

“Well, I did not work here.  This is my garden.”


That was my first encounter with Mahmoud. He come from Egypt and been in Boston quite sometime. He used to teach Rowing at BU Boathouse along the Charles River 7 years ago and he is so welcoming. We spend the next 15 – 20 minutes talk with him and he bring us come in to his garden, very cute one and ask us to come again when the flowers already all blooming.

“Come here again because now it still not all blooming and I don’t have my soda or snack with me.” Mahmoud said with his smiling face, inviting us to hanging out in his garden again later.

“Yeah, I would love too! Im gonna be here in the summer. I will definitely come back and bring chips so we can enjoy the beautiful garden.” I said to him and the other girls are also agreeing to do the same. Before we left, Mahmoud said that he is a photographer as well (after notice that we are doing photo hunting here) and he want to have our photo in front of his garden and as a turn, we want to have his portrait photo in front of his garden:)

Mahmoud and his garden. Isn’t that cool how you can see Prudential Tower from here, its like this Fens Garden being the green belt for the Boston modern buildings

I love how people can be so nice to you even though you just met. Stranger that suddenly become your friend. Not everyone in Boston is like Mahmoud but I still feel like Boston has a lot of people that is so friendly and welcoming like him. Today, there is a spark in my heart, I am in love with this city when it gets warmer like this and there are a lot of people going out to appreciate the sun, and the nature is just starting showing its beauty again. This is my first Spring in Boston and I have a feeling that I am gonna love it and miss it:)

Mick – Me – Ann – Arlin in front of his garden. Photography by Mahmoud with Fuji X-T10
On our way from The Fens to “Neighborhoods Crepery” at Fenway, strolling around the blooming neighborhood.