How I Celebrated 2013

I had a lot of amazing travel stories and adventures in 2013. In this year, a series of hellos and goodbyes were said, new friends were made and new places were discovered. It has been a great year, one of my best in life and I would honestly replay the year over and over again if I could but I am optimistic for the coming year of 2014.

Here are some of my best celebrations of 2013:

Kissing Goodbye Romania

Many of you know I lived for several months in Romania. I started 2013 in Bucharest, one of the most interesting cities I have ever lived in. I made quite a lot of friends in this city and so it was sad for me to leave the country at the end of January.

Clear blue sky for the win!
Clear blue sky for the win!
Enjoying the Good Life in Italy

After Romania, I spent a good solid week to venture around Northern Italy: Alessandria, Turin and Milan. Being in Italy relaxed me and it was what I needed after my January exams. I loved being welcomed by a group of women talking with the famous Italian gestures, I adored walking through aisles and smelling pizza dough and I didn’t mind being spoilt by gelato.

The Superga Basilica
The Superga Basilica
Befriending Switzerland

As soon as I entered Zurich, I instantly knew I would love living here. By February I was in Swiss soil, enjoying the goodness Switzerland has to offer. Here too I found some amazing people where I would later spend time with them in the cold spring and lazy summer days. I visited new cities like Bern, Luzern and Lugano and also revisited an old favourite, Geneve.

Magnificent view of Lugano
Magnificent view of Lugano
Revisiting An Old Friend, France
The famous cable cars of Grenoble
The famous cable cars of Grenoble

I consider France as an old friend. I spent my first year of university in Nantes and I always have fond memories of France. This year I went to Grenoble with its amazing French Alps and also went back to Lyon twice and Paris on Valentine’s day (for non-Valentine purposes). I always find myself smiling whenever I’m back in France, there are familiarities such as the smell of delicious pastries that I miss.

Falling in Love with Portugal

Portugal, a new country this year where I spent roaming around with Jalan2Liburan. I fell I love with the country almost immediately. Lisbon and Porto, especially, took my breath away. The Portuguese spoke a language similar to Spanish but also with a hint of Romanian, which was maybe why I felt a little bit of connectivity with Romania in a strange way I couldn’t even explain. I felt like home in Portugal. 

Well, who wouldn't fall in love with this?!
Well, who wouldn’t fall in love with this?!
Lazing Around in Spain

 

Park Güell - being amazed by yet another artwork of Gaudi
Park Güell – being amazed by yet another artwork of Gaudi

Barcelona was where my friends and I decided to spend our last summer together. It was just as I expected, I wanted to laze around and I got it. I spent most of my days at the beach, then later on my friends would brush up a delicious meal and homemade cocktails then the day would end either at a tapas bar or at a beach club, dancing the night away. It was an amazing summer.

Hooked on Poland

Poland is one of those countries that I adore. This year I visited Warsaw and Krakow, two amazing cities where I spent most of my meal times chomping down the famous pierogi. If I could have my way, I would visit this country every single year. Each town is unique and always has a story that hook me.

Amazing Krakow
Amazing Krakow
Relaxing in Hungary
One of the picturesque small aisles
One of the picturesque small aisles

I spent a week in Budapest this year. It was a week full of relaxation, I visited many cafés, strolling next to the Danube river and took the most relaxing hot bath. Budapest is so huge that it has everything for everyone. I even took the liberty to visit a small town called Szentendre, 40 minutes from Budapest to be charmed by its Serbian-influenced churches and the many gorgeous small streets that took over the small town.

Transitioning in Singapore

Before heading home, I decided to spend some time in Singapore. Singapore was a great choice of country for transitioning after being in Europe. The country has amazing food, different cultures and a great transportation system – I always see Singapore as that Asian country with a zing of European style of life.

Kayaking in Pulau Ubin
Kayaking in Pulau Ubin
Home is Indonesia

Being truly home is bitter sweet. They always say that moving to a new country will make you culture shock, but the truth is the worst culture shock is when you are back home after living abroad. To get back to your past rhythm of life is difficult, you know you’ve changed, your friends may no longer understand you but home is home. I am still trying to readjust myself, it’s difficult and missing Europe is a constant part of my thought, but I’m getting there…eventually.

Rice fields = home
Rice fields = home
AWEd by Malaysia

In November, I attended AWE Asia 2013. It was an amazing event where I met some powerful women. It was also the event that got me thinking of the future and what I really wanted to do, to follow the so-called flow or to create my own wave of creativity. The event was held in Kuala Lumpur and I enjoyed every second I spent in this busy Malaysian capital.

Before sunset in Kuala Lumpur
Before sunset in Kuala Lumpur
Grateful to the World

I am grateful to be able to travel. 2013 has been an amazing year to experience warm friendships, witness breathtaking landscapes and enjoy the beauty the world has to offer.

I thank YOU for following me. Thank you for reading my posts, meeting me, laughing at my terrible jokes, sharing my tweets and connecting with me. Thank you for the friendship – how this blog created some new, amazing friendships is beyond me. I look forward to seeing some of you (again) in 2014!

I hope 2014 will be more awesome.

SPECIAL GIVEAWAY!

To welcome the New Year, I’d like to giveaway 5 vintage postcards of Indonesia in the olden days. I personally think it’s awesome. Leave your comment below and I will randomly select five winners on 10 January 2014!

Vintage postcards giveaway!
Vintage postcards giveaway!
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38 Comment

  1. I agree with you, the worst culture shock is when you return to your own hometown after being away for a while. Glad to hear you’re having a rather smooth landing, Aggy. 🙂

    1. Thanks 🙂 It was hard for me in the beginning but I travelled around and so it got easier.

  2. what an amazing journey gy 🙂
    I also love 2013, in this year, I met you and others gorgeous travelers out there 😀
    I visited some countries in Asia and some provinces in Indonesia 😀
    I got a lot of experiences this year :))

    1. Aaa Meiii, it was great meeting you earlier this month and wow looks like 2013 was also a great year for you 😉

  3. Wishing you all the best and more amazing journey in 2014, Gy :*

    1. Woohoo! Thanks dear Deb, the same goes to you, hope a journey together perhaps 😉

  4. Erinintyani Shabrina says: Reply

    I’m totally agree with your statement “They always say that moving to a new country will make you culture shock, but the truth is the worst culture shock is when you are back home after living abroad.” I hope your chance to feel alive in foreing country can transmitted at me someday (I want live in France or other blue continent countries for a year or more!) Wishing you hv wonderful journey again in 2014 (maybe traveling together) 🙂

    1. Thank you! I hope you get the chance to live in Europe one day, it’s truly a great continent. Look out for the chance to travel together in 2014! 😉

  5. Traveling in Italy sounds like the perfect way to relax after exams! Although if I were you I would probably not be able to concentrate on my exams/ papers since my mind would be so busy thinking about Italy LOL.
    Attending AWE looks like a very interesting experience 🙂
    Hope you’ll have an even more awesome year ahead! Happy new year!

    1. Thanks Halida! Happy New Year too 🙂 Italy was a spontaneous decision after the exams as I knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate if I planned! AWE was amazing, you are welcome to come next year 😉

  6. Ah Lovely journey dear Aggy,

    As the New Year approaches, May next year bring new happiness, new goals, new achievements and a lot of new inspirations on your life. Wishing you an year fully loaded with happiness.

    1. Thank you so much kak Nat for your wonderful wishes! I wish you also the same – a prosperous New Year!

  7. I actually didn’t realise you’d been to so many countries this year! That’s awesome! And I’m really glad you’ve had such a good year 🙂

    1. I didn’t realise either and then I wrote this post and was wow-ed 😉
      Thanks Carl, hope you also have a fab New Year!

  8. Sweetie, that has been an amazing year to you. Great travel adventures and you have no idea how happy I’m to hear you have visited Poland and fell in love with pierogi. Wishing you an amazing 2014!

    1. I’m a little obssesed with your country Agness 😉 I hope you have an amazing New Year too – hope we can finally see each other in 2014!

  9. Perjalanannya selama 2013 sangat menarik mbak, terutama yang sudah diposting di blog ini. Semoga ditahun 2014 lebih banyak perjalanan yang menginspirasi.

    1. Terima kasih Eko! Amiiiinn semoga di 2014 perjalanannya juga ga kalah seru yah 🙂

  10. Wow bgt gy. you definitely enjoyed your journey ya gy. Hope you have a great great journey too in 2014.

    Happy new year

    1. Thanks Bob! Hope you have a great New Year too! 🙂

  11. What an awesome year!
    And yeah… once again, I’m very happy you’ve fallen in love with Portugal! 😉
    Cheers to another year full of adventures in new beautiful places!

    1. Thank you Zara! It’s hard not to fall in love with your country really! Wishing you a wonderful 2014 too 🙂

  12. Amazing moments, Gy…
    Seneng bisa ketemu dirimu tahun lalu, share cerita travel, curcol #ehh.
    Just keep travelling and blogging, be happy wherever you are and be yourself *wink

    1. Thanks Halim, it was great to meet you several times too! Must do it again in 2014 🙂 I also hope the new year brings a lot of happiness for you too!

  13. Wow, I’ve never realized that u spent most of 2013 in Europe, and u had a really great time there!! 🙂

    Btw, that cable cars in Grenoble looks cute. It’s just like small-rounded-capsule but yet unique 😉

    I wish you will have an amazing 2014, Aggy!

    PS: that last photo of you is just like your signature photo! 😛

    1. That cable car in Grenoble is really something, one of my highlight of 2013! I also wish you an amazing 2014 woop woop!

  14. First saw this blog and feel wonder of this. This blog is so cute, kak. 🙂
    Hehehe, by the way have been go to South America, like Brazil?

    1. Hi Zaenal, nice to see you here 🙂
      Thanks for you compliment! I haven’t been to South America but it’s on my list. Brazil is one country I’d like to visit in the future!

  15. I guess the reason why Portuguese reminded you of Spanish and Romanian is the fact that they all — along with French and Italian — belong to the same language family. 2013 was indeed such a great year for you, Aggy. Wish you an even greater year ahead!

    1. Yes that’s true, they are from the same family of languages. People tell me Portuguese is very similar to Spanish but infact I heard more Romanian than Spanish – and memories of Romania is always welcome 🙂
      Thanks a lot Bama, I also wish you an amazing year filled with lots of great adventures!

  16. Hi Aggy,
    I am Simon, from Malaysia. Dropping by for the first time:)

    As a Malaysian, i am glad that you enjoyed every moment during your stay in KL. I hope you will come again soon:)

    Simon Lee

    1. Hi Simon! So glad you dropped by my blog! I had a really great time in KL. I will surely be back in you beautiful country soon 🙂

  17. Mauuuu postcardnya (´⌣`ʃƪ)
    Ђёe..ђёe..ђёe..ђёe..
    Envy bgd deh liat blog ini >.<

    1. Jangan di-envy donk Ratri 🙂
      Yey, semoga dapet ya postcardnya, ditunggu pengumumannya!

  18. Wah, pengalaman yang menyenangkan …

    Salam kenal,

    1. Salam kenal juga!

  19. I thought the last picture u taken in Bali … 🙂 ouh Malaysia .. Nice rice field and good picture

    Greetings from Bali Island

    By Itha

    1. Hi Itha, the ricefield picture is in Bali 😉

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