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Percayakah kamu dengan kebetulan?
Atau kamu menganggap kebetulan itu tidak ada?

Percayakah kamu bahwa segala yang terjadi dalam hidupmu itu,
sudah ada yang mengatur?

Bagaimana dengan kebetulan-kebetulan yang sering terjadi?
Hal sekecil apapun, yang apabila kamu ubah, akan berdampak besar dalam hidupmu?
Apabila kamu ikuti jalan itu, akan benar-benar menghasilkan takdir yang berbeda?

Bagaimana dengan pertanda?
Apakah pertanda itu dikirimkan oleh Tuhan – jika kamu percaya pada-Nya?
Atau dikirimkan oleh alam semesta, untuk membantumu menentukan jalan mana yang akan kamu ambil.

Kami menyebutnya S
Untuk setiap kebetulan yang terjadi,
Yang sesungguhnya kami percaya, itu terjadi bukan tanpa alasan

Coba telusuri jejak S yang ada dalam hidupmu,
Mungkin akan banyak S S yang bermunculan ketika kamu menyadarinya
Percayakah kamu?

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Kopi Mukidi & Kopi Posong: Humble Coffee Farmer and Roaster With A Big Vision from Tobacco City, Temanggung

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As a visitor, sometime its hard to tell, is it Sindoro or Sumbing Mountain?

My visit to Kopi Mukidi is not without a purpose. I decided to bring my backpack, hop on to the next nomad destination after Jakarta – Yogyakarta – Magelang to Temanggung, a small town that has two mountain: Sindoro and Sumbing, with the view of another 5 mountain summit: Andong, Merbabu, Merapi, Ungaran, Muria if you saw it from Posong area.

Luckily, I have an uncle from Parakan, Temanggung who live with my aunt and their three kids. I stay with them during my four days in Temanggung and they show me around as well as introduce me to their coffee related friends.

There is also “Temanggung Fair” when I come in Saturday and we visited the fair in Saturday night where my uncle want to show me the coffee exhibition in the fair. As predicted, I come to their home that night with bunch of coffee beans from different roaster and farmer: Arabica Prau from Rumah Kopi Temanggung, Arabica Sindoro from Sigandul coffee, Yellow caturra Sindoro from Kwadungan Coffee. Basically, the coffee beans in Temanggung are mostly from Sindoro and Sumbing mountain with the average high of of 1.200 – 1.600 mdpl. However, there are several coffee from Prau mountain as well.

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Kwadungan coffee products in Temanggung fair

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Kopi Posong: Between Two Heart, Sindoro and Sumbing

In the next day, my coffee trail discovery brought me to meet Mr. Tuhar, the owner of Kopi Posong KUB. Daya Sindoro from Tlahab village. His house located near Posong tourism destination which also famous after the movie “Filosofi Kopi”  . In fact, the movie use Mr. Tuhar’s coffee farm for the shooting, if you notice.

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The coffee package for the grinded coffee beans with Mr. Tuhas in the background
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The coffee package for the roasted beans
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He got featured in several newspaper because of what he is doing
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His house is to the left, going down..
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Posong view
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His coffee for sale!

“I used to be a tobacco farmer and then I convert some of the farm into coffee farm, started the plantation since 2010 and I got the support from the Government to get a roaster machine designed by Bandung Institute of Technology in 2015, and now I got invitations, take airplane for free, never because of planting tobacco, but coffee.”

Mr. Tuhar share his story on the changing life from being a tobacco farmer into become a coffee farmer. It was a very hard and challenging decision and even until now, there are still so many tobacco farmers that did not put the respect and trust on him. The culture of tobacco that has been around the city since hundred years ago make it so hard to convert farmer from planting tobacco into coffee.

“Farmer will never reach a great wealth if they still planting tobacco because its a big business with a lot of political issue inside, a lot of big player and domination. However, different with tobacco, coffee is different. As a farmer, I plant my own coffee, harvest it, process it into natural, full wash, semi washed, honey, wine (black – red – yellow), roast it with my own roaster, package it, and sell it. As a farmer, its still possible to do a coffee business from seed to cup and it is impossible to do a tobacco business from seed to cigarette.”

My discussion with Mr. Tuhar went far from talking about the tobacco industry until coffee industry. Even though its challenging, he still have the faith in coffee and do not care about what other people say about him. He believe that Temanggung can compete in the coffee industry worldwide, even Temanggung coffee beans already won several ward nationally and internationally.

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A giant coffee roaster for the village perspective inside Mr. Tuhar coffee lab

 

Kopi Mukidi: You Never Think There is a Coffeeshop Inside this! 

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Kopi Mukidi coffeehouse from outside
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Kopi Mukidi from inside, what a surprise!

My uncle and aunt introduce me to Mr. Tuhar and the next morning, they bring me to Mr. Mukidi! As you can see from the photos above, there is a big different from outside and inside. I will never think there is a hidden treasure inside this house. A very beautiful wooden design of coffee bar that Kopi Mukidi has.

I started my visit by visiting the roaster inside his “coffee kitchen” where I found his wife, Mrs. Sumi, in the process of roasting Sindoro and Sumbing coffee.

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Left: his second trial on making his own roaster machine. Right: his current roaster machine designed and created in Temanggung

 

Mr. Mukidi is still brief his two girl barista since we came in the morning around 8am, they are about to start working in the cafe. After the briefing done, Mr. Mukidi come to join me in the kitchen and explaining about his own coffee roaster. He mention that he design this together with his friend who can make the machine and keep improving it until the third trial that he own right now. I thought he buy this machine somewhere and surprise when he told me he create this by himself and even sell it to the other for less than 10 million rupiah (<US$1,000)! He become famous because his profile appear in the famous comic book in Indonesia and he is the pioneer of Temanggung coffee farmer and roaster back then in 2012, before everyone thinking to process coffee.

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Mr. Mukidi explaining about how his machine works
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A view from his rooftop. He is developing a homestay in his second floor!

However, he has a big vision. His purpose is to not only selling coffee and making money. Beyond that, he would like to empower farmer to be independent economically, and reach wealthiness through coffee. He encourage a lot farmers to join him in planting coffee, do a well preparation for planting, harvesting, and post-harvesting process, even roasting, and opening up your own coffeeshop.

He gave me a short lecture based on his experience on the “economy of coffee”, on how farmer will get bigger income if they can process the coffee from seed to cup. The highest value of coffee is in the cup of consumer and he proof what he said by having his own coffeehouse.

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Mr. Mukidi is very humble – he does not have a big house, a lot of cars, or high position, but he surely has a big heart and big vision. I also see that he is very passionate in doing his job, really enjoy what he is doing. I told Mr. Mukidi, “We need more farmers like you, Mr. Mukidi. Keep spreading the virus!”

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Entering the avenue of Mr. Mukidi coffeehouse

In my encounter of my coffee trail with coffee enthusiast and farmer from the US, Canada, Japan, Peru, Puerto Rico, Tanzania, and now Indonesia, I got a lot of perspective in doing coffee businesses. It really depends on what is your vision. 

Do you want to make a lot of money, or you want to make the best quality of coffee, or making impact to the farmer? Do you want to do the whole business from seed to cup, or you want to focus on the farming, harvesting, post-harvesting, or roasting? or you want to create another coffee shop or coffee stall in the urban city? It will make a lot different in the process of doing the coffee business and setting up a strategy.

What do you think will interest you the most?

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Leaving Mr. Mukidi house, leaving Temanggung which make a mark in my heart for another inspiring coffee trail

 

Café Mayu — A Hidden Coffee Roaster in the middle of organic farm at Ollantaytambo, Peru

In a cute little old town and chill weather at Ollantaytambo, a village in the sacred valley of south Peru, we found a hidden gem called Café Mayu. It is located inside El-Albergue hotel nearby the train station of Peru Rail that will bring people to Machu Piccu. Fiorella, my Peruvian friend who brings me to Peru found this place for me since she knows how nerdy I am when it comes to coffee.

Café Mayu, a micro coffee roaster runs by a master roaster, Frank. Frank greets us in front of the hotel lobby and guides us inside the hotel and surprise! It was a huge farm behind this hotel with a scenic view of the mountain nearby. I will never thought this small hotel and coffee shop has a huge farm inside.

Frank runs this organic farm for almost 7 years now and it consist of local vegetables (brussel sprouts, beans, arugula, lettuces, chili, basil, and other), fruits, animals (pigs, cows), but no coffee. This farm was too high to grow coffee, he tried to grow coffee plant in a corner of his place but nothing comes up from that small tree, he decided to put it in a pot and just display it in the corner of his office.

 

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This place also creates nature or Eco School for primary or elementary school students and is open for everyone in the village. The school located in the middle of the farm and the kids will learn about organic farming, growing animals, how to practice an environmentally friendly lifestyle in their daily life, and also learning about the regular knowledge like a formal school such as English & Quechua language. They currently have 25 students in the school.

Frank walks us to his office, which is a two-stairs wooden building that he uses to save green beans. He mentions that currently he has 1,200 kg beans upstairs. He use the downstairs to process the coffee from hand-picked the green bean, roast the coffee with his customize roasting machine, package the roasted beans, and sell it to the market. He has one staff that handpicked the green bean when we were there. Interestingly, he also has a microbrewery factory nearby the coffee roaster and is able to brew beers. So yes, he drink both beer and coffee.

The farmers harvest the coffee together so they do not process it through single farming but they are working together on the one farm. The coffee in Peru grows in a very high altitude and can reach more than 2,000 above sea level. The types of the coffee bean are mostly Caturra, Typica & Bourbon. The harvest season for coffee farm in Peru is from May – July. Frank mention that he always has a good relationship with the farmers and Café Mayu only buy premium and fair-trade Cusco coffee, purchased directly through the farmers.

Frank customizes the coffee roaster machine from a German friend who starts roasting coffee in Peru. The machine connected directly with the software so he can control the same standard quality of roasting. He roast the coffee almost everyday and process it directly at this place, sell it through Café Mayu coffee shop and distribute the beans around Ollantaytambo and Cusco.

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“Do you have time to taste our coffee before your train to Machu Picchu?” Ask Frank, and of course we say yes. He then prepares the Santa Maria coffee for us with Syphon method. My friend quite impresses with how he makes the coffee and there are 5 of us in his lab at that morning so he prepares 5 cups for us. “If you like this one, I can bag the beans for you.” Said Frank in the end.

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We sip the coffee carefully and Frank asks how does it taste? We try to feel it and tell Frank how is it. We feel the nutty, caramel, molasses, and sweet. Even Frank feels the chicken soup taste after seconds you put it in your mouth. Everyone thinks he definitely make a joke about that.

If you are interested to visit Frank coffee roaster and the organic farm, you can visit him at Café Mayu Ollantaytambo before or after your train trip to Machu Picchu. The address is at Estación de Tren s/n, Av Ferrocarril, Ollantaytambo, Peru. You can also check their website at http://www.elalbergue.com/restaurant/cafe.html

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

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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?

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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.

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Shooting for Kick Andy at Ujung Kulon
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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.

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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!

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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!!

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Lovely roommate, Kuniiii!
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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.

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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.

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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? ^_^
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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! 

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

Gobind, Ikhlas, dan Sederhana

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Saya selalu suka perjalanan, baik itu di kereta, mobil, jalan kaki, sepeda, atau seperti saat ini di pesawat. Banyak kontemplasi atau proses pemikiran yang terjadi ketika saya di dalam perjalanan. Terlebih ketika kita di dalam pesawat tanpa koneksi internet, saya selalu bisa menghabiskan buku-buku yang selalu ingin saya baca atau menonton film yang selalu ingin saya tonton.

Kali ini, buku pertama dalam perjalanan 12 jam pertama ini adalah 99 Wisdom oleh Gobind Vasdev. Lucunya, saya dulu pernah ngefans banget sama Gobind waktu dia menjadi peserta di reality show di TV berjudul “Penghuni Terakhir”. Bahkan saya sampai sedih waktu Gobind kalah. Menurut saya waktu itu Gobind itu unik sekali, sederhana, idealis, baik hati, tidak terlalu ambisius dan apa adanya, dan sepertinya menurut pengalaman yang sudah terjadi, kaya gitu lah tipe laki-laki yang selalu bisa menarik hati saya.

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Buku ini tidak saya temukan tapi menemukan saya, melalui adik saya yang memberikan buku ini sebagai hadiah ulang tahun saya yang ke-27 kemarin, dititipkan lewat teman di Boston yang sedang pulang ke Indonesia. Dia pun menemukannya melalui temannya yang memberinya buku ini. Kebetulan kah? Sepertinya tidak. Sepertinya semuanya ada benang merahnya. Kenapa dulu saya bisa suka sekali dengan Gobind, dan setelah bertahun-tahun akhirnya dia datang kembali hari ini ketika saya menuntaskan buku yang menyentuh hati saya ini.

Buku ini rasanya menemukan diri saya di saat yang sangat tepat dan saya baca di saat yang tepat juga. Hampir 90% dari buku ini bercerita tentang menjadi ikhlas, berserah diri, mengalir saja, percaya pada-Nya, dan tidak mengejar sesuatu untuk mendapatkan kebahagiaan. Buku ini mengajarkan hal-hal sederhana yang susah untuk dipraktekkan melalui kejadian-kejadian kecil dalam hidup. Bahwa lawannya cinta adalah takut, bahwa untuk bisa bahagia kita harus bisa merelakan, menanggalkan keakuan, ingat bahwa kita tidak pernah kehilangan apa-apa karena kita tidak merasa memiliki apa-apa.

Buku ini mencoba berpikir kebalikan dari orang-orang kebanyakan yang ingin sukses dengan terus mengejar dan meraih ambisi yang diinginkan. Buku ini mengajak kita untuk menerapkan BERAS MERAH = BERserah, ikhlAS, MErelakan, dan pasRAH. Satu hal yang masih terus aku latih untuk bisa mencapai kesana.

Terimakasih, Gobind..

Emirates flight, May 2nd 2017

Loving and Hiking

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Loving you is like hiking the mountain
A lot of excitement, even before I start packing
Sometime stopping for a little break
But many times, I just wanna keep climbing
Unpredictable, unexpected, full of surprise

I learn a lot of things on the trek
I see so many things I never imagine before

I hear a lot of unspoken words, the sounds of Universe
The silence that teach me to be patience
I smell originality, like an honest smell of the ground to the Earth
I feel there is a brave in a fear, blessed and happy just living a simple life in the nature

Climbing a mountain is interesting experience
On how to keep being “mindful” in the “mind full” of thoughts
On how to keep the faith and follow your guts, even though so many times your body, mind, and soul always in a contrary
Until finally, walking down the mountain and going back home

It made me found myself better
Help me to think clearly about my life
Because loving you is a journey
That make me keep learning about life
And why we are here

Boston, 2016-2017