Vancouver #2: Sunset Talk

Summer Break Journal #8
Vancouver, 25 May 2016

I definitely think I have a “sunset bugs”, how could I never get bored of you even though I always see you in my whole life?

“The sunset from this Stanley Park is just so beautiful. I think this time I can agree on British Columbia tagline as the best place on Earth.”

“You know what, I just realize that you were right. Its so beautiful and I never really realize it as I see it everyday.” JJ, a friend of mine who already live 3 years in Vancouver now catching up with me and we were walking through the seawall of Stanley Park

Me and JJ having a great Ramen dinner before strolling around Stanley Park for sunset

“Wow, you hear that sound? That’s a 9pm cannon ball shot from that corner in Stanley Park. Everyday 9pm, you can just sit here and listen to that sound of Vancouver as they put in this booklet.” I show her the tourism booklet that I just read.

“This is actually my first time hearing that! This is a perfect timing and moment.”

“Ah, this make me remember of a discussion with a friend about time and moment. Do you know that its not easily happen when the moment and timing can go hand in hand? Sometime the moment is perfect but time is a bitch as How I Met Your Mother movie said.”

“Hahaha. Thats a good saying. Thats true actually. This is make me really happy. This simple thing right now, sitting by watching the beautiful sunset in Stanley Park.”

Reunited with JJ again!

“I could not agree more. Life is about now. The now moment. And we are having it right now in the sunset time with the cannon ball sound. Talking about our life and how we are living it to the fullest. I am happy I can meet you again, JJ.”

“Me too! This make me learn to more appreciate little things in life. The routine in life sometime kill you and make you forget to appreciate small things.”

“And now the sunset gone.. we will never see the same sunset again as the moment we have right now. I think that is how life work too. You can never repeat the moment as it is. That is why when we have time and moment work together very well, we have to live it to the fullest. Right?”

“I could not agree more.” 

Still the same sunset view at Stanley Park seawall


“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” — Le Petite Prince –. Photo taken with Fujifilm X-T10 from the rooftop of a building viewing Stanley Park seawall at night around 10 or 11pm



Kelowna-Vancouver #1: Sunrise Talk

Summer Break Journal #7
Vancouver, 25 May 2016

Inuksuk: human-made stone landmark or cairn used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland. (Wikipedia). I capture this on Stanley Park, Vancouver. 


I sleep late around 1.30 am to finish packing after shower. The next day on May 25, I am leaving Canada and heading to Seattle. I remember last time I was doing Seattle-Vancouver return trip on November 2014 after Jolkona Catalyst event. Now, I come back to Seattle for Jolkona Catalyst 2016, not as a participant but as an alumnae and I will answering some interview questions in the opening remarks of this year’s showcase.

Its not everyday I can wake up early but I feel like I want to wake up early and having the conversation so without alarm, I surprisingly awake at 5.30 am. I caught my friend’s dad doing yoga and then the conversation started after that.

“I read your blog again after 2 years did not read it. I am surprise that you write something about life narrower, life simpler. In your age, you can have that thinking as what I believe in my age (61), I totally agree with that saying, Dini.” 

“Ah, I am really glad that you agree on that. Meaning that what I am thinking might be right since you have been through all of this in life.”

“Yes, I can see that you changed now. But actually its not change, we are evolving as a human being. And as a human being, what kind of life we actually want, the expectation in life, keep it simple and narrow. Thats what the secret of happiness. People become stressful in this part of the world, feeling lonely, just because they cannot reach their own expectation.”


Biking along Stanley Park. Finally finish the park! Could not finish it by walking on my first visit in Vancouver at 2014


“I have question though. What about ambition? Do we still need to have that? I feel less-ambitious lately and just want to life as it is without having so many things to dream of. Is it bad that I have this feeling in this age, not even 30?”

“You do still need ambition. Without ambition, how can you get a job – travel – helping people – do what you wanna do. That’s ambition. The way to say it, I remember back in my country I saw a plane and something pop up in my mind, I was thinking that we should fly as high like the plane but its okay if we fall in the trees.”

“Ah, isn’t it like the saying, ‘Shoot the moon – if you fall, you will fall among the stars’?

“Oh yes, you were right. Its exactly what it is. You can have that ambition but be careful of expectation. Its okay to not getting it because you will get other thing as a replacement. So, have ambition, especially you still young and have a big dream, go for it. But remember, the root is keeping your life simpler inside your heart and mind.”

Granville Island Public Market

“Do you also agree that keeping relationship with the other is more about quality than quantity?”

“I could not agree more. As you grow older, your circle will go smaller and you will see which one is your real friend. Its the quality that you invest in that relationship, not the quantity.”

“I am so glad that I have this chance to talk to you in the early morning before you head to work. Convince me that I am on the right track and I hope I can keep my life simpler. Thanks for the advice”

“No no. I am not giving you any advice. This come up from our chat and I believe our mind is like a monkey where you can go everywhere, talk about everything, allow that monkey to jump in your mind but learn how to master that monkey and ask him to sit sometime.”

I rarely have sunrise talk as I am not a morning person at all, once I have it, its become a great eye-opening for the rest of my life. 

Capturing a man who trying to take his moment on the Stanley Park beach



Golden-Kelowna: Leaving The Rockies

Summer Break Journal #6
Boston, 25 June 2016

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you will discover is yourself.” — Alan Alda —

Jasper-Yoho-Golden: What Nature Can Teach Us

Summer Break Journal #5
Boston, 14 June 2016

Jasper to Yoho, hello longhorn sheeps!!


Then we find a path, following our intuition to come in to find lunch spot


And we find this interesting plant on the way..


Finally there is a hidden gem inside this path, and there yo go our own rockies-made burrito lunch!
Golden is the edge of the national parks in The Canadian Rockies and leaving Jasper to Yoho and Golden meaning crossing the state of Alberta to British Columbia (BC). You can tell the different when you enter British Columbia by the trees nearby that are very rich and lush. Slowly as our car goes, we started to leave the mountaineering view of Rockies and replace by those giant green trees, waterfall, and all green surrounding.
Entering Yoho..
Kicking Horse River, Yoho National Park


Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park


Emerald Lake


“Beautiful British Columbia” or “British Columbia: The Best Place on Earth” are the tagline that you will find everywhere once you enter BC. Well, at some point, I think its not too much to have that tagline for BC.
We stop by at A&W to get our lunch before we going to our campsite in Mittenlake, Golden National Park. Nearby A&W, we encounter the only shop who close by who sell wood and we need to get some for campfire tonight. That’s where we met Jerry, an old man originally from here who open his own store selling all things camping stuff and souvenir of Golden.  Jerry was super nice giving us advice of camping in Golden, how to survive and what is the best thing to do when bears come to us.
Jerry store!
Let’s back to real map and not google map!
Mittenlake is off the beaten path campsite and we need to drive the car inside the forest out of no where and no signal. The boys in the car are starting to make a statement, “If I die here………….” while I am enjoying this nowhere. I feel like in the rural place in Indonesia.
Entering Mittenlake..
View near Mittenlake campsite
When we get there, we are directly setting up the tent and campfire. It started to rain slowly by the time it getting dark but we are still enjoying the rain with grill our sausage on top of the campfire and talk about life. We are even starting to plan the next camping trip somewhere sometime.
With a bit taste of rain
Magic color campfire, we got this from Jerry!
That night was one of the highlight of our road trip, one of the best night ever. As we go through this journey into wilderness, I realize how nature really teach us so many things. For me, it leaves me with a lot of feeling such as increasing your empathy with the other, surviving your life, try to live as simple as possible everyday, increase your sensing (and common sense!), simply finding peace and happiness, giving interesting perspective, creativity! especially when you have less, increase your curiosity + adventure + skill of observation, and the most important thing.. it teach us about being grateful, how thankful we are as a human being in this Earth.
Missing Nithya!
View of Mittenlake
Another view of Mittenlake from other side
In the next morning, we leave the campsite and drive again to Kelowna, leaving the Canadian Rockies and hitting the wineries town in Kelowna, British Columbia..
Leaving off the beaten path..

Lake Louis-Jasper: Journey to The North

Summer Break Journal #4
Boston, 8 May 2016
Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.00.49 AM
Calgary – Canmore – Banff – Lake Louise – Jasper – Yoho – Golden
I just got the chance to write this on my first day  in Boston after coming back from the 3 weeks road trip! This is also the second day of my 17 hours Ramadhan fasting, woo hoo!

All the Rockies are beautiful. No words can really describe how it is look like. The only way to feel it is by going there directly! However, between all the Rockies national parks.. if I can choose my most favorite, I think it would be Jasper! The falling in love in the first time starting when we were leaving Banff & Lake Louis and going into some of the point of interest stops on the way to Jasper town.

Crossing the path with this new friend on our way to Jasper which we think its a Caribou!
We stop at some beautiful places like Peyto Lake (my favorite!), Atabascha waterfall, Sunwapta falls, Columbia Icefields, Emerald lake, and other during one day on the road to Jasper town.
Its kind of hard to get sunset view at Rockies but this one is one of the best day!
Stop #1, the lake after Saskatchewan glacier
Stop #2: Do a little run up to Peyto Lake


Stop #2: Peyto Lake, a magnificent glacier lake that amazed me a lot!
Wildflowers on the hike trail in Peyto Lake


Trying to figure our our way to Jasper and lost in the middle of this empty road
Meet another new friends: Longhorn sheep!


Stop #3: Columbia Icelfield Glacier
Stop #4: Sunwapta falls


Another favorite stop. Stop #5: Atabascha falls. Very artsy nature! 
So lucky to witness that rainbow in Atabascha fall!


Way down to another Atabascha view
Once we hit Jasper town, we were finally feel hungry and getting Chicken Wings that apparently become our most favorite food on the road! Jasper town is currently the Northest part of the world that I have ever been. I love Jasper from its name and its places that give me a peaceful feeling and that moment when you step in to new place and suddenly you said to yourself, “I can see myself here.” 
Stop #6: Oh, Jasper!


Biking in Jasper


Jasper downtown


Tourism Jasper doing really well in market & manage the destination, using the hashtag #MyJasper 
I also realize that after all the travel I did, I can totally falling in love easily with the highest place in that country where the weather is chill, people are mostly super nice, and view of mountains surrounding. I remember when I go to India, the place that I totally in love on the first sight is Dharamsala. Jasper kind of remind me with Dharamsala. Wae Rebo in Flores is also remind me how I love being in the high place who has that misty spirit and peaceful view.
Journey to the North.. 
Too bad we do not have time to stargazing in Jasper and witnessing the Northern light due to our limited travel time. I really wish one day I can come back to Jasper for a longer time, experience staying there for a while and explore the authentic beauty of this place in the day and the night.
Jasper, I am in love at the first sight and I hope our path crosses again🙂
The morning we have to say goodbye to Jasper and continue the journey.. 

Banff-Lake Louis: Encountering Brave Wanderer

Summer Break Journal #3
Lake Louis, 20 May 2016

The morning before we left Lake Louis

This morning I wake up from the female 4 bunkbed Hostel International in Lake Louis that cost $35 per person. In the beginning we wanted to camp in Lake Louis like we will do in Golden campsite but it still not safe enough for campers because of the bears. There are two ladies from Quebec City who I met last night about to leave. When I get down from my bed, there is another girl that I did not met last night since everyone already sleep when I come in to the room.

Her name is Becky and she is from London, UK. She bring her bike from London to fly over to Calgary and she bike from Calgary all the way to Lake Louis.

Tim Hortons that always filled up our morning when we hit the city! My favorite: Large coffee with two cream. 

“Wow, you really brave!” I mention
“I think I am crazy. Haha” Becky said to me

She will do the similar route like my trip from Calgary to Canadian Rockies (Canmore – Banff – Lake Louis – Jasper – Golden – Yoho) and go west to Vancouver and then going down to US West Coast from Seattle – Portland – San Fransisco – Los Angeles.

The turquoise color of Lake Louis

“And you going home after that?” I ask Becky

“I am not sure. Depends on the money and my energy and mood. I don’t have to come back for work or something since I work freelance.”


The half-way hike to Lake Agnes, watching Lake Louis from afar with my binocular. It so much more beautiful color from here. 
Almost there, Lake Agnes! And yes, they do still get snow up there
Finally this misty Lake Agnes!

I share my name card to Becky before we separate,

“Let me know if you happen to visit Boston or Indonesia!”
“I am sure I will visit Indonesia one day, it has been on my dream!”

I like spreading my name card to any interesting traveler/people I met on the road to stay in touch and who knows our path crosses again in the future. I remember I met 2 Germans traveler on the van from Siem Reap to Laos and it happen that we meet again in Indonesia after 1 month we meet in that van since they backpack through almost all South East Asia countries, Australia and NZ.

Anyway, what a spirit that Becky has! Biking cross country or just along the country has been my dream and maybe one day I have the gut to do that. On my way with my fellas from Lake Louis to Jasper, I saw a lady biking on the road with the same clothes Becky wear this morning. I open the window and scream out loud and wave my hand as our car pass by her,

“BECKYYYY!!! GOOD LUCKKKK!!!!” I was super excited

She is smiling widely as she run the pedal of her bike.
Hope our path crosses again, Becky. Such a brave wanderer.

I wasn’t get chance to photograph Becky on her bike but I found another bikers on the road!