Running, Sunset, and Charles River

I can’t believe that I finally finish my graduate school at Boston University! Can you believe its been 2 years since I am leaving home in Indonesia to move to Boston? Time really flies when we have so much fun. Its a mix feeling when I have to leave the city in August 6th, 2017. I am so sad leaving the city that has been greatly influence my life in this past 2 years with all the memories, my apartment, great friends that become family, and a lot of fun things that I did in the city. I remember I spent my last week in Boston by exploring the city by walking from Cambridge to Boston, from home to downtown, from home to campus, Trader Joe’s, Brookline, Charles River, Yusuf Mosque, Chesnut Hill Reservoir, and many other favorite place in Boston.

However, I am also happy to finally going home and end a very long distance relationship with my boyfriend, getting closer (in terms of distance) with my best friend and family in Indonesia, and start doing something that I left in Indonesia.

To stay or leave Boston, has been my biggest question since the end of 2016. There are so many freedom and opportunity that I can pursue while I am in Boston yet there are people I love that I can see if I stay in Boston. There are also several best friend in Boston that I am so sad to leave them 😦 It’s been a very difficult decision until finally I decided to go home for a while.

But the next question is.. where is home? A definition of home become a wider perspective to me after I left my heart in so many places. During my stay in Boston, I have been able to visit my lovely people across Canada, my best friend in Puerto Rico and Peru, get an unforgettable experience in Tanzania, traveling across the U.S., even going back to Indonesia twice for conference and thesis research, and visiting my sister in Japan. These experience teach me to travel light and being a nomad if needed with my backpack. I have a 4 hours long conversation with Professor Barry two days before I left and he said, “I am pretty sure even though you are going back to Indonesia, you will be everywhere, Dini. Who knows you will be back in Boston again, doing some businesses or collaboration.”, and Fiona, my favorite staff in my Department hug me when I say goodbye and said, “You will be everywhere, I am sure you will not stay in one place forever.” .. that statement really make me think about myself. Am I a nomad? Maybe for now? Maybe I will settle later in the future when I find a place to settle? Again, the same question, where is home to me?

Me and Didi with the Coffee Farmers in Bajawa, Flores for our research in May 2017
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He did not attend my graduation in Boston but we have our early ceremony at Kelimutu National Park, Flores!

When I finally land in Indonesia and meet Didi and JP, I feel so happy. Nothing make me happier to be able to see lovely faces for the first time I go home to Indonesia. Then, we have lunch and I see Adrian, his present with JP make me miss Boston a lot — yes in my first day in Indonesia. But surely, to see Didi and then see my sister in that night, I feel home. From that day, I never really stop moving, being a nomad on the road by accompany JP to do his research in Lombok, going to Yogyakarta for another research and academic purpose, got an invitation from Kick Andy to represent Wanderlust Indonesia, went to Ujung Kulon for Wanderlust with Kick Andy team, accompany friends from Seattle who visit Indonesia for 2 weeks, and spent quality time with my lovely people in between.

Shooting for Kick Andy at Ujung Kulon
After Kick Andy show with Friends & Family of Wanderlust Indonesia

After 2 months leaving Boston, sometime I really miss some of things that I can get in Boston. One of the #1 thing I miss about Boston is my room in Boston! I miss the not-so-hot temperature in my room where I can relax and being alone, playing my record player / spotify, reading my book and drinking my coffee or tea. Being a nomad for 2 months make me miss that space a lot. I never really know that I will miss my room that much.

Hello 1472A! I miss you!

#2 – I miss my morning coffee routine! :(( Did you know that I broke my coffee grinder after I use it in Indonesia because it has a different voltage between US & Indonesia? I am so sad that I only have my manual grinder (which has a really bad grinding quality) and it will take longer to make a cup of coffee. Being a nomad and not having a portable coffeemaker such as cafflano make me really miss my morning routine in brewing my own coffee. Oh plus making a breakfast!

Missing this routine a lot 😦

#3 – Which related to breakfast, I miss cooking a lot. Not to mention, cooking with Kuniii, my lovely roommate in Boston. We have such a good time cooking together in our kitchen in Boston and I have to admit that not being able to have your own kitchen to cook your own food make me sad. Oh and I miss my groceries shopping routine to Trader Joe’s!!

Lovely roommate, Kuniiii!
and this kitchen!

#4 – I miss being active in outdoor that much! I miss my bike, being able to walk a lot in a decent street and nice temperature, running along Charles River or Chesnut Hill Reservoir, hiking in the weekend, camping, roadtrip, yoga & meditation, oh how I miss that a lot! How I miss the fresh air and being able to see clear sky and fresh water.

In our hiking & camping trip to Grand Canyon – Sedona – Antelope – Bryce – Zion

#5 – Surprisingly, I miss being a student! I love University, being in the classroom, having a discussion with friends & professor, doing some paper & presentation, being in the library, call me nerdy or what, but I really love being a student in Boston! Btw I will update you later about a profile video that my Department created to feature myself as one of the International student in Boston University (BU), it was so much fun! In the end of my study in BU, Professor Barry and Professor Samuel Mendlinger also nominate me to receive a Graduate Excellent Award from our Department and I am so humbled to receive this award.

From left to right: Prof. Greiman a.k.a Ginny, Prof. Steve, Prof. Barry
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With Melani, my best friend from Puerto Rico & her family
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With Prof. Samuel Mendlinger, our guru ini Tourism!
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Do I look happy? ^_^
Our field trip to Tanzania!

#6 – I miss the freedom and doing whatever you want without someone judging you or asking about your life, where are you from, what is your job or occasion, and dress casually. In Boston, I can even wear running gear to go everywhere or a sandal inside the classroom in the summer or hot weather! I remember every time I take Go-Jek or Uber in Indonesia, most of the driver always so curious about your life and asking questions such as: “where are you from”, “are you not working”, “are you a student”, “what are you doing here”, “are you married”, and other questions. I guess our society culture is just so curious to know about other people life and people do love to talk and making conversation.

#7 – Last but not least, I miss my companion in Boston! Group of Indonesian students & professional in Boston that turn into a family, group of classmates, oh how I miss them after spending 2 years with them! Hope everyone is doing good & we stay in touch!

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Best friends!!!
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Jepeee, I know Fall classroom will be difficult without me around you, right? :p

I guess that’s so far the list of what did I miss already from my Boston life and now, I have to come back to my other “home”, I don’t know for how long, and where life will bring me next. For now until the end of this year, I want to enjoy my time before starting something new next year, I was thinking also to write a book of my travel journey (any idea/comment? :D).

What I always believe until now is that happiness is a state of mind. It does not mean that after I leave Boston which make me so happy, I will lost my happiness. Happiness is inside ourself and hopefully I can take it wherever I move.

Thank you LPDP for the scholarship that make me able to stay for 2 years in Boston, and for everyone who is helping me in finishing my Master Degree in Boston University, you know who you are and your support means a lot to me! Love you all!

Welcome back to Indonesia, Dini! 

In a boat journey around Ujung Kulon National Park. August 2017

4 thoughts on “Gradschool Life #5 (End) – Leaving Boston, What Did I Miss The Most?

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