Category Archives: Travel

New York Minute

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Honestly, it feels so surreal that right now I’m typing up a post about my New York trip. As a generic Indonesian, I always felt like going to US is such an impossible thing to do. There are a lot of horror stories when it comes to obtaining US visa. Fortunately, mine was quite breezy (if you don’t count my stupidity of not bringing passport on my first interview). And now I feel like there are a lot more places that I can visit. Because visa application doesn’t feel unreachable anymore.

I won’t be typing up my experience day by day because it will be so boring and I have a very very very short memory, so I don’t really recall all of the things that I did. But here are the highlights of the trip:

  • Meet up with my childhood friend. I have promised her that I would visit her in the States for years and it finally happened!
  • Visiting museum of natural history. I spent 5 hours in there all by myself and the only reason why I left is because I got cold! I really want to go back and read everything.
  • Walked from start to finish on the high line bridge. What a beautiful concept! And seeing this concrete jungle from the bridge was very relaxing.
  • Breakfast at the cafe where they shot You’ve Got Mail.
  • Crossing Brooklyn bridge in the rain (I count it as a positive thing).
  • Seeing a very cool breakdance performance in Times Square.
  • Korean BBQ in Korea town.
  • Reading at a bookstore cafe in Chelsea, feeling like a local.
  • RAMEN BURGER!
  • And many more that I can’t remember.

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New York, I’m coming back for you. To see more of your beauty. Good thing my visa is valid for 5 years!

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Osprey Fairpoint 40L Review

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When I did my trip to Thailand and Malaysia for my birthday, I decided to bring a backpack instead of a luggage. One is because I had a connecting flight from Bangkok to Phuket with different aircrafts. Meaning if I were to have my bag checked, I have to take it from the conveyor belt and re-check it for the next flight. Two, there were a lot of walking with the bag. And having a rolling suitcase wasn’t sound appealing to me.

Before purchasing the Osprey Fairpoint, I initially bought a backpack from Quechua (I don’t remember which exactly). The price was cheaper and it was easier to get for me. However, the size was just too big. I believe I chose the 50L one. I fear of stuffing it to the max and it will exceed the allowed weight for carry on. Also when I compare to the Osprey one, the Osprey one is much more comfortable worn.

The main reason why I go for Fairpoint 40L is because this pack is carry-on accepted. As long as you don’t bring too much so that it exceeds the weight allowance. It’s also front-loading backpack. Meaning, it can open up just like a suitcase. I really hate top loading backpack if I want to use it as my suitcase replacement. Those are the two most important aspects that I look for before purchasing a travel pack.

The hip belt is also a very great feature. I found this helps a lot to distribute the weight so I can carry my pack longer without having shoulder pain. Also it’s very padded which makes it comfortable and doesn’t dig into my hip. Unfortunately, there’s no zipper on the hip belt that I can use to store my phone or passport for easy access.

This pack can also turn into a duffel if you’d like. There’s a special flap to cover the shoulder straps when you don’t want to use it as a backpack. And it’s also came with a separate cross body strap. So when you want to check it in your shoulder straps can be tucked away safely to not get caught in anything.

So to make it easier to read,

Pros:

  • Carry-on acceptable
  • Front loading pack
  • Adjustable hip belt
  • Shoulder straps can be zipped away

When it comes to things that I don’t really like about this pack, I have a few. One is the size. Although it’s supposedly not a large pack, I feel like it’s still big on my back. I look like a teenage mutant ninja turtle when I have it on. Oh I forgot to mention that mine is the S/M version of the two (there’s one that’s M/L). Which means it’s 38L instead of 40L. So it should look better for my 163cm figure than the bigger version. But still, I look like a turtle. Not a very pretty look.

As I mentioned previously, there’s no pocket on the hip belt. Although is not a deal breaker, I wouldn’t mind to have it. A lot of people mentioned that the mesh pockets on the front are too tight to fit water bottles in. To me, I don’t care about that because I hate carrying water bottles outside like that even if they fit. So you decide if it’s a con or you also don’t care.

One last thing, the placement of the laptop compartment is on the front of the pack instead of closer to your back. People say it’s annoying to have it on the front for balance compare to having it on the back. I have no personal experience to add to the discussion. So I should have just shut up and not mention this at all, I know.

Now TL;DR of the cons:

  • Too bulky for my body (163cm & 50kg)
  • No hip belt pocket
  • Mesh pockets don’t fit water bottles
  • Laptop compartment placement

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This is how I look with the backpack on. Granted it was way too full. I bought two new pairs of shoes, which I shouldn’t have. Also I brought a full face snorkel mask which took up about 30% of the bag width.

So there you have it, I finally found the motivation to type up a review of the Osprey Fairpoint 40L from my experience. Not gonna lie, I sometimes browse to look for replacement. But for now there’s no urgent need to shell out >€100 for a new backpack that I don’t use everyday.

So how about you? Do you prefer suitcase or backpack for travel?

Marrakesh Trip Day 2

Disclaimer, this post will be pictures heavy because for once I actually remember to take a lot of pictures during my vacation.

First things first, meet my friends!

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We took this picture on our first stop to take pictures of the scenery of our Sahara trip. There were a lot of cacti and the view was so breathtaking. We left pretty early to it was still quite chilly (in a good way).

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Everything is red here! Marrakesh has a nickname of “Red City” because at some point, the buildings were constructed by red sandstone.

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We passed Col du Tichka on our way to Ouarzazate, which is a city where we’re going to have lunch. Ouarzazate is located right between High Atlas and Anti Atlas of Atlas mountain of course.

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Picture above is Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou. My guide said this is the place where they shot the movie Gladiator, Asterix and Obelix, as well as Babel. From here we visited Ouarzazate to have lunch. Unfortunately we didn´t visit the old Atlas Studio where they shot Game of Thrones. It would have been epic to have it on my camera.

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After Ouarzazate we pretty much driving non-stop until we arrived at the Sahara but we managed to stop once to take a picture in the middle of the road. Look at me with a boat load of cameras haha.

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That’s the tent next to the tent we were supposed to sleep in (spoiler alert: we ended up sleeping at the eating room because it was too hot to sleep in the tent). I of course was busy either taking a selfie or recording myself mumbling about how amazing the Sahara is.

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Once we arrived, we immediately took a camel ride for about an hour and then we ended the day with dinner and chit chatting with the guys who live there. I named my camel Coco by the way :)

Marrakesh Trip Day One

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My friends and I visited Marrakesh, Morocco from 1st of June until 4th of June.

We flew from Eindhoven at 2pm. This was the first time I had to queue so long in Eindhoven airport. It was until the revolving doors! Also the first time I had to go through immigration when flying from Eindhoven. But it’s to be expected I guess, since I was traveling to other continent.

The flight was a nightmare. My seat was taken by a kid whom nobody claimed. And there was a young girl who screamed and cried the whole plane ride. Note to self: buy noise cancelling headphones.

Marrakesh has a beautiful airport. It’s so new, clean, and modern. Oh, I also acquired another stamp in my passport! Too bad, the passport will expire in 2019. I don’t think I will be able to finish all the pages.

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We checked in at the riad and booked our tours for the upcoming days. We were greeted by very delicious mint tea.

Then we headed down to the market square and went into the souk. My friend answered to practically anyone. Dangerous move there. We also kinda got lost in the souk but found our way back ultimately by tracing back where we came from.

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When we were back at the market square, we had dinner at one of the terraces. I chose chicken tagine with some potatoes and olives. It was very tasty despite being a tad too salty.

The guy at the terrace insisted that I haven’t given him my 100 dirham note although I am 100% sure that I have. I persisted and he caved, his goodwill came to his senses so he decided not to scam me.

After iftar, the square was filled with people having dinner. Also a lot of people were heading towards Mosque of Ibn Yusuf to have their tarawih prayer together.

We called it a night around 9 to ready ourselves for our sahara trip tomorrow.

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