Off I Go…

5 waysto say-2

Growing up as a suburb kid in a very small city, where traffic light was nowhere to be found and computer was something that I fancied the most back then, the thoughts of travelling somewhere outside my country seemed to be out of my reach. Even at the age of 14, I properly learned how to operate a computer for the first time, and that was when I moved to big city, Jakarta.

When I was 12 years old, long before ‘Eat Pray Love’ even existed, I had this bigger picture inside my head where I wandered the world on my own. I remember telling my 12 year-old self that one day I had to make it happen. But even saying that under my breath made me very scared. I mean, what was I supposed to do? I only spoke my mother tongue, so how the hell was I going to be able to wander the world? Then, I found this old saying ‘If your dream doesn’t scare you, they are just not big enough’ and I thought ‘Ahhh, this dream is possible. Because it scares the crap out of me!’. The next day, I decided to learn English on my own and never stop since then. Even up until today, it has been an ongoing process for me and I enjoy every single step of it.

I grew up as a kid who was not used to being spoiled and asking anything from my parents, so it was kind of sad that when I was 20, not many countries I have ever been to because I was so sure that one day I would be able to afford my own trip, not from my mom`s pocket.

In 2010, I was destined to watch this soul-searching themed movie called ‘Eat Pray Love’. When I was watching the movie, I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to do what this lady named Elizabeth Gilbert had done to her life, traveling alone and embracing life with its highs and lows. Walking out of the theater, I never felt more sure than ever that that kind of experience was what I needed in my life. At least once in my entire life.

Years on, the dream of wandering the world had a bit subsided, I got so caught up with job and my so called ‘comfort zone’ until….. I hit my rock bottom in 2015. My world seemed to have turned upside down. I couldn’t curse at anybody but myself; to have relied so much on my own expectation, which in the end, hurt me the most; to have met the wrong people and trusted the wrong person simultaneously and so on and so forth (too many to be mentioned). So, I was severely hurt emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, so to speak.

Then, I recalled the memory of Mrs. Gilbert`s journey which led me to book my first solo trip to Bali as a part of my self-healing journey (check out the story here: Bali: The Beauty of The Island of Gods). I informed my boss about my plan a week before I was on leave, and told him that I was unable to reach, my work wasn’t left unfinished though. I gave short notice to my family about where I was heading, literally 30 mins before the flight took off. I switched off the phone and I didn’t switch it back on again the minute I got to Bali. And it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made thus far. The experience has touched the core of my humility in a sense that there is this intangible power that is much bigger than myself, that you seem so powerless no matter how hard you want certain things to happen in your way, but it wont happen unless this intangible power says so. So, the whole Bali experience might not have been a well thought out decision but it has been such a humbling journey to have gone through for sure.

Coming back to Jakarta, I felt re-energized. I give so much credit to myself for having let me have the remarkable journey of my own. I have learned to be thankful for the incredible gifts that life has bestowed upon me. As an old saying goes ‘Some people who come into your life are meant to be either a blessing or a lesson’ but who wants to be a lesson of their presence in someone`s life? You`ve got to hurt someone in order to be that lesson, right? And who wants to be like that? Duh!

I am a firm believer that when the wrong people have left your life, good things start happening. And its so true! So, I would like to take a moment to express something to these wrong people who have put me to be where I am right now, to have made me make the best decisions in my life. Because of you, I got out of my ‘comfort zone’. Because of you, I made my long lost dream come true. Because of you, I realized how far off course I was. Because of you, I have matured through my hardship. And this is me showing my attitude of gratitude, NOT TO YOU SADLY, but to what has happened in my life.

The first time I decided to do my solo travelling, I found it very therapeutic and I have become addicted to it. My first solo trip to Bali has led me to some other destinations and it has never stopped since then.

Until one fine day, an opportunity came to me. An opportunity that enables me to treasure more my life by living as a total stranger somewhere, I took it without any doubt, because this is what I have been wanting since ages ago. In this new place, I would have no friends, no family, no place that I can call home yet, no nothing. So, technically this would be my first time to start everything from scratch which is supposedly as exciting as it sounds, errr…. doesn’t it? No comfort guaranteed but something to enrich life awaits. Well, I`m just sure I`ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

If you have checked out my Bali story, where I share my remarkable story about how my first trip to Bali has changed the way I see my life, then I am going to tell you that as soon as I got back from Bali, I submitted my resignation letter. When I quit the job, some of my close friends thought I must have been out of my mind. Letting go of the job would probably make me regret the decision my whole life, well at least its what they thought. But what I thought was… I couldn’t just let the chance slip through my grasp. I think I would regret my life more if I didn’t take the chance.

When people question my decision just because I would spend some years in my life not pursuing my career or whatever my job would be if I was not a banker, I`d say ‘Don’t!’. Do not ever question my decision because I believe every single thing in life has a price to pay. I might miss out my chances to better jobs or positions, but you who question my life, you who spend most of your time pursuing you career, might miss out the chances to see what I see, to experience what I experience.

No judging here. I am just saying.

Its like what they said, ‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at, change.’ We just have different definitions of happiness, I guess. And the good news about happiness is you don’t need any validation and approval from others to be happy about what you do. You just do it.

I don’t know where this decision is going to take me in my future life, I don’t know what life has in store for me either, but what I do know now is that I am ready to embark on my new journey, to experience life at its best.

I still cant believe this is happening in my life right now. When I graduated from college, I thought I would spend years doing and pursuing job that I SUPPOSEDLY loved because I was this ambitious fresh grad student who saw life in black and white. But I think life has catapulted to different path where I really let nature take its course, but hey… come hell or high water, life is fleeting, if the odds are stacked against me then I`ll come home and start to figure things out. But at least once in my lifetime, I can pass on the story to my grandchildren that as long as dream is free, why bother having small dreams? Have big dreams because one day they do come true, and what you can do now is to be careful what you wish for.

I still have a lot in my bucket list so I am just hoping I can make other dreams come true, hopefully before I become too old to do so. At last but not least, I am proud to say that I am about to do such a big favor that my 20 year-old self will thank me later. So, stay tuned for my next posts where I will share things that I discover throughout my journey.

Wish me luck! ❤


La La Land Review: Impressive!


First of all, I know it’s a bit late to make a review on this movie, but what can I do? I just finished watching one of the greatest musical movies ever made in the history of Hollywood.

Here`s a short story why I finally gave it a go to watch this one;

Every year when the awards season is right around the corner, we always get the heads up on movies, actors, and actresses that get nominated for the awards. During this year`s awards season, La La Land gets great hype about being one of the top contenders to win many awards.

Since I am not such a huge fan of musical movies, I remember watching the trailer around September 2016 and thinking that I wouldn’t be interested in watching the movie.

Weeks passed by, I still insisted that I was not going to watch the movie, but then the movie started being the most talked about movie this year and sweeping award after award it got nominated for.

So, I decided to give the movie the benefit of my doubt.

Suprisingly, I enjoyed every single minute of the movie.

Right after the closing credits came up on the screen, it was my first time being in awe of great musical movie. I was impressed by everything that the movie had to offer. Great storyline, fantastic songs, entertaining dancing moves, so on.

The storyline is pretty simple yet unexpectedly moving, about this aspiring actress named Mia (Emma Stone) who has endlessly heartbreaking auditions and has big dream to be a big actress one day, meets the jazz pianist named Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who also struggles with his dream to have his own jazz club. Both initially hate each other and start falling for each other as they share the same struggles as artists and big passion for their dreams. I think the message of this movie is something most people can relate to, even I can relate to it. Put aside the romance parts, to see what Mia and Sebastian have to go through in order to make their dreams come true is the true beauty that this movie has left in my heart.

The ending of the movie, to me, is pretty saddening though (SPOILER ALERT!) where they do not end up being a couple. 5 years later after achieving great success with each other`s dreams, where Sebastian finally has his own jazz club named Seb`s, as Mia suggested to him when they were still together, and Mia has become a well-known actress, Mia ends up marrying a guy whom she has a daughter with, while Sebastian is pretty damn hot single.

Now I know why this movie has been getting big buzz for being the best movie of the year, and I can`t agree more!

Even after getting home, I was still taken aback by how hard I fell for this movie. Scene after scene were still playing inside my head, let alone when the soundtracks started playing on my Apple music.

My two favorite scenes are the one with Mia and Sebastian dance together after they accidentally run into each other at a party, with a gorgeous purple-ish night view of LA. The other one is when they fight on their dinner date, when Sebastian surprises Mia with a dinner date at their home then they get into a fight where Mia questions his commitment with his new band and his real dream.

And the only thing that lacks in this movie, I think, where we don’t get to witness much of Mia`s piece of work with her acting skill in theatre, while the parts of Sebastian with his great talent as jazz pianist are shown a lot in the movie.

I just cant picture better actors to play the roles other than this hottest on-screen couple. I don’t think I would have the same vibe if it was Miles Teller and Emma Watson, who initially were set to star the movie, to play Sebastian and Mia roles. As much as I am happy to see Andrew Garfield with Emma Stone together, I wouldn’t complain at all if one day this perfect on-screen couple became a real one because their chemistry is that good in this movie or the previous movies they starred in together, but their performance is beyond stellar this time. At least to me.

But I think, the only person whom I have my biggest crush on is actually the man behind this great production, Damien Chazelle. His charisma and talents are the few factors that made me go watch this movie. His first movie that I remember watching is Whiplash, but I didn’t get the same excitement and great impression from the movie like La La Land gives me. The more I get to know him, the more blown away I become with this talented human being. With his background as a jazz drummer and his passion as a director, I just think he is super genius to be able to combine the thing he loves with the thing he is so passionate about and turn them into such a huge masterpiece.

With the huge success at 74th Golden Globes weeks ago where this movie swept every award it was nominated for, they broke new records for most Golden Globes won by a movie, surpassed One Flew Over the Cuckoo`s Nest and Midnight Express, let alone Damien Chazelle who marked new record as the youngest director who ever won Golden Globe for Best Director.

I am so psyched about the upcoming Academy Awards Nominations for this movie, I am just hoping it can once again surpass the previous records. If this movie can get 14 nominations, then it would be the 3rd movie to get that many nominations after All About Eve and Titanic, and what`s better is if they can win all the nominations, then they will, hands down, beat The Lord of The Rings ` records for the highest clean sweep with 11 Oscar wins, not to mention it will also beat West Side Story with 10 Oscar wins for musical movie.

I just cant wait!

But I was wrong….


They said,

Time creates memory.

Pain, you should not be worried.

Mistakes happen, so do not be sorry.


You said,

Time and distance make us apart.

Its been eight years because you`ve done your math.


You said,

Do not make plans over uncertainty.

And your words have no ambiguity.


I said,

We can meet in Winchester.

But it`d better be in Shanghai Grand Theatre.


I said,

Its been ten years because you lost your count.

And no effort is all what you want.


We said,

Lets put it to an end.

Because there is nothing left to mend.



Bali: The Beauty of The Island of Gods


Some of my close friends know that Bali has been my second home for almost a year now. Since my first solo travelling last year to this city, it feels like I never get bored of coming back to this Island of Gods.

I have found back myself here after many turmoils that had happened last year. I have experienced things that to some extent are undescribeable. My initial plan was to actually experience whats so called ‘self-discovery’ or ‘healing process’ or ‘self-fulfilling journey’ or some other terms that others may call. I was just curious about why this Island has attracted so many soul searchers around the world to just make this city simply their sanctuary, to find peace and tranquility. So, when the turmoils hit my life, I decided to give it a go. Then, I mesmerized.

On this post, I would like to share with all of you some of my favourite places during my time in this island, either I have explored them myself or with my friends:

  1. Bali Silent Retreat

I feel like a match made in heaven with this place. Its just like fate has brought us together. This place was an eye-opening experience to things that I never thought I could have ever done before.

When I booked my first solo trip here, I really had no idea what I signed up for myself, turned out this place has become everything to me; the experience that I am so excited about to share with as many people as possible, the place that introduced me to yoga and meditation for the first time, the place where I have met lots of amazing and wonderful souls, and on top of that this place has shown me what a true happiness is all about.

I came back to Jakarta knowing that I had to put my happiness above everything else, which led me to have quit my job now.

I came back to Jakarta knowing that each and everyone whom I had met there just left some footprints in my heart. One soul that has taught me the meaning of little happiness, one soul that has taught me that everyone has their own battle and the least thing you can do is judge less, and one soul that has taught me that it is okay to not be okay because sometimes living this life isn’t about who is the best but who is the kindest, because at the end of the day, love conquers everything. So, what is more important than love itself?

As what this place is called, during your stay here, you are required to be in complete silence day in and day out, because the sprit of being at this place is to make you get connected with yourself all over again, well at least that’s what has worked for me.

I remember asking some friends what brought them to this place which I found interesting, which also makes me realize how funny this life works, how someone`s story becomes new thing you treasure in your life;

  1. A Dutch woman slept next to my bed came to this place as it was her birthday gift from her closest friends, and we clicked right away the minute I said hi to her. On our last day, she wrote a very encouraging letter for me expressing how grateful she is for having talked to me, but little did she know, she is the one who has changed my life on so many levels. I cant recall whether or not I let her know about this.
  2. An Italian lady came to this place as part of her journey travelling the world. She quit the job after she thought she had saved enough money to afford her trip and she had been travelling for 7 months when I met her.
  3. The Half Dutch-Half Indonesian guy, who suffered aneurysm which caused him to be half blind, was on his journey to track down his family history. His mother happens to be an Indonesian woman and has a house somewhere in Malang, but before he got to be in Malang, he decided to explore some other parts of Indonesia, which led him to be in Bali. We spent a day together in Seminyak and I got to help him get to Malang by bus, which he had some trouble communicating with local people beforehand because of the language barrier.
  4. I met The Irish Trio who were so funny, talkative, and a bit hard to be in complete silence because they kept whispering to each other in an area where they were not allowed to talk, and made them a bit grumpy when people threw them a ‘shut up’ look. But I had fun with them! In the midst of cricket and gecko sound, we had to share beers on New Year`s Eve after one of them sneaked out to buy some Bintangs.

I got to do my first yoga and meditation sessions here (not to mention my first experience doing walking meditation). They have this octagon tent where yoga and meditation sessions take place, they also have a labyrinth for walking meditation.


The octagon tent (photo credit:


The Labyrinth (photo credit:

Main lodge where you can do anything but talk. The view from the main lodge is stunning, with 360 degree view of mountains and paddy fields.


Main lodge area (photo credit:


Main lodge area (photo credit:


I tried to capture the view from main lodge using my polaroid camera

I also got to be a complete vegan during my stay here. Whats great about their dish is the ingredients of their dishes are fresh from their own garden. And before I came here, I had read reviews from some guests saying that the food is to die for, AND ITS TRUE!

Also, not to mention their staff that are super helpful and friendly. They welcome you like a new family member.

I have fallen so much in love with this place and I have left my heart there!

  1. Kubu Bali Baik

For those of you who are so eager to experience the greatest creature of nature that Ubud has to offer. Look no further!

This villa gives you the view to die for!

The first time I got to this place, I was the only guest since this villa is a brand new one.

Great stay and amazing hospitality!

I also got to know the owner himself personally and he is such a kind-hearted guy.

This place is still on top of my short escape list, since I get anything that I expect from ubud at this place. I`ll let the picture do all the talking, I guess.


View from my room (photo credit: Natalia Wy)

  1. Nusa Lembongan

My first ever snorkeling experience in the middle of gigantic sea of Nusa Lembongan.

I still found it very surreal that I got to have my first underwater experience. The thing that I only used to watch on television, I got to experience them myself. And life beneath the water is stunningly breathtaking.

I hope to come back here again sometime in the future, if only I have mastered my diving skill because truth to be told, my swimming skill is almost next to zero.

The great thing was that even though I am not that good at swimming, I didn’t drown at all. Well, thanks to the great tour guides and life jacket for sure!


  1. Pandawa Beach

We stopped by at this place for a while. There is nothing much I can tell you about this place since some buildings are still under construction.

When I got to this place, the memory of me visiting Dreamland 9 years ago just crossed my mind, because the place is almost the exact same thing.

Its super stunning though.


Extra photos from the hotel in Nusa Dua where we stayed in our last visit.


Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali (photo credit: Natalia Wy)


Nusa Dua Bali (photo credit: Natalia Wy; Model: S. Yvette Pramono)

Just so you know, I am NOT this crazy talented photographer nor am I a model with this killer body, so I`ll let you know the person behind all these great photos and the person captured on the photos.

Photo Credit            : Natalia Wy

Model                         : S. Yvette Pramono

PS: Go follow them on their IG (@natalia_wy and @yvesme), they have great posts and are very very talented. Don’t forget to follow mine for sure @mindahuang!



‘Gifted’ Movie Review


Let me be a movie clairvoyant this time. I am not a movie expert nor am I a movie journalist. I write this review just out of my excitement about Chris Evans` upcoming movie. Its called ‘Gifted’.

The minute I finished watching this movie trailer, I became so excited instantly to write one or two things about this one.

Here are some things I know so far:

  1. This movie is about an uncle raising his niece whose mother died (cause of death: still unknown). His niece happens to be a prodigy child who is a genius at math.
  2. Marc Webb directs this movie. For those of you who have not known who he is yet, he is the guy that brought you the delightful rom-com of (500) Days of Summer.
  3. Given the fact that (500) Days of Summer is still one of my favourite movies of all time, I also have my high hopes with ‘Gifted’.
  4. I am never disappointed in Chris Evans everytime he plays any roles in drama movies, including the one that he directed himself (Before We Go).
  5. One unimportant information, I think this is the movie that made him meet his current girlfriend now. One heart is definitely broken!

Anyway, lets see how good this movie can turn out to be. Hey, sometimes you can never go wrong with family themed drama, I guess.

I hope I am not wrong this time, since I was quite wrong with my previous review about ‘Fathers and Daughters” which I ranked average (as in 3/5) after watching the movie although IMDB gave 7.1/10 for this movie.

Watching movies is like tasting food to me. My review is not always spot on and would probably be different with others.

Any comments are welcomed.


Fun-tastic Beasts Review


As a huge fan of Harry Potter series, I surprisingly quite enjoyed the movie, giving the fact that I am actually not an animal person, so watching this movie gave me a bit of heebie jeebies, especially the part where Newt introduces his magical creatures. I was still excited to enjoy this movie though as it feels like I was drawn back into my wizarding world that used to exist when the Harry Potter era was still happening.

The story of this movie is about a British wizard named Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) who travels to New York City with his vintage suitcase contained lots of magical and wonderful creatures that he has collected from his journey around the world. The minute he arrives in NYC, he accidentally switches his suitcase with a baker/No-Maj (American term for Muggle) named Jacob Kowalski. Shocked by what Jacob finds inside the suitcase, he accidentally releases some of the creatures. And that`s where the journey begins, with him being alongside Newt to re-catch the creatures back into Newt`s magical suitcase. The story becomes more intriguing with both of them have to deal with people from MACUSA (The Magical Congress of the United States of America) and a battle with a rare yet horrifying creature named Obscurus.

I remembered my feeling as the movie was about to start, it was like I was so ready to be back to those old good days where being Hogwarts student was probably every child`s dream; with the magic wand, incredibly astonishing spells, and the ability of every witch to make everything seem posibble with just one wave of magic wand.

What made me more excited is the presence of Eddie Redmayne as the main actor. To me, he never fails to potray any character, like literally any character. My judgement would probably be a biased one since I love Eddie`s quirkiness in all of his movies.

One more thing that I am so pleased about this movie is the fact that the main actors and actresses who take part in this movie are the famous ones. Remember the first movie of Harry Potter where the main actors and actresses were purposely infamous people. A lot has changed with this one, I guess.

David Yates is once again back to directing this movie, with his experience to have directed couple of Harry Potter movies before.

One supporting actor that grabs my attention is Ezra Miller. His first movie that I watched was Trainwreck and The Stanford Prison Experiment (TSPE) afterwards. Though he also appeared on The Perks of Being A Wallflower, I haven’t watched the movie yet. Honestly, I was quite in an awe with his acting in TSPE where he plays as one of the students who is under an experiment conducted by a Standford psychology professor, the experiment itself is about testing the hypothesis that the personality traits of prisoners and guards are the chief cause of abusive behavior between them (Wikipedia).

I honestly cant wait for his next movies, to see if he could actually be the next big star. Who knows?

I would give this movie 4/5.