You are so much more than just “pretty”

i want to apologize to all the women

i have called pretty

before i’ve called them intelligent or brave

i am sorry i made it sound as though

something as simple as what you’re born with

is the most  you have to be proud of when your spirit has crushed mountains

from now on i will say things like

you are resilient or you are extraordinary

not because i don’t think you’re pretty

but because you are so much more than that

-rupi kaur


Dedicated for all the women out there.

Selamat Hari Kartini.


2017 was the year.

This was the year i didn’t see coming—the one that shook me out of complacency. When i learned to stop being compliant, to demand what was rightfully mine, refuse to settle for anything less than i deserve.

This was the year that came with a gentle tap on the shoulder, reminding me of who i was and what i could be, if only i’d just open my arms and let the light in, stop over-thinking and start living. Give myself permission to fall as long as i got back up again.

-Lang Leav

With only two days to welcome 2018, i am writing this in my room at 2 am, thinking what have i done during the year. Then suddenly i start to question myself. Am i proud of who i am now?

I started the year 2017 with worries and hopes and prayers and waits. I was waiting for Bina Antarbudaya’s announcement of my AFS placement. Then exactly on my birthday, i got an email that said i was placed in Finland.

Next few months i spent with doing AFS paperworks. Which was a lot. And i had to longer my passport (it was really frustrating), then a Finnish resident permit that took about a month, do medical checkups and so on. With all the hectic going, i still have school to be cared about.

On 17th August 2017, I was reaaally excited to leave. I couldn’t wait for this day to come. I didn’t even cry at the airport when i left my family. Which was weird, because i expected a lot of tears coming out. But no, not a single tear came out of my eye.

Here i am, spending my 17th year of my life in a totally different country, far away from home, building another life in Finland. It’s been roughly 4 months. I’m almost halfway! Wow, time flies.

Back then, i used to think like, “exchange students are so cool, i want to be like them, presenting Indonesia and bla bla bla” but now i’m here, i just feel like it’s my normal life, you know? It’s so weird. But it’s a good kind of weird because it means that i’m already settled. Well, at least that’s what i think.

So if you ask me, am i proud of who i am now? The answer is: yes, and no. Yes, i am proud that i could make it this far, but no, i am not satisfied yet. Being here makes me realize that i know literally nothing about this world. I had deep conversations with different kinds of people and it often made me surprised and there will always be new things.

And I am grateful.

Warna-warni Musim Gugur

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
― William Cullen Bryant

Kembali ke bulan Agustus lalu pas gue pertama sampe di Finlandia, matahari terbit sangat sangat awal, dan adzan subuh itu sekitar jam 2 pagi. Tapi makin kesini matahari terbit makin terlambat setiap harinya. Bahkan sekarang jam 8 pagi itu masih gelap gulita, dan jam 4 sore udah mulai gelap. Bayangin deh sekarang jam 5 sore itu berasa jam 10 malem. Gelap banget.

Pertama masuk musim gugur, kira-kira awal September, kelihatan banget warna pepohonan berubah. Pemandangan daun dari warna hijau berubah jadi oren atau kuning, bahkan ada juga yang jadi warna merah. And i’m still amazed by how mother nature changed colors by itself. It was super incredible to see it.

Di musim gugur ini sering juga terdengar suara khas burung-burung yang terbang bermigrasi ke selatan, dengan formasi terbang mereka yang unik. Sayangnya gue gak pernah kedapetan foto burung migrasi. 😦

Nah jadi, beginilah kira-kira pemandangan sehari-hari gue di 2 minggu pertama musim gugur:

Continue reading “Warna-warni Musim Gugur”

Gimana Finland?

“How’s Finland?”

Pertanyaan yang gue dapet hampir tiap hari sejak datang kesini.

Dan hal pertama yang ada di pikiran gue pasti… dingin. But when i think about it, there’s actually a whole lot more than that!

Pertama-tama, kalian harus tau faktanya Finlandia adalah negara yang penduduknya paling jarang dibandingkan dengan negara lain di European Union, dengan hanya 16 penduduk per km². Bayangin aja di Indonesia gue tinggal di Bekasi yang kalian tau macetnya kayak apa. Nah disini gue tinggal di kota kecil banget namanya Perho, bahkan McD pun disini gak ada, musti keluar kota dulu.

Jadi disini tuh sepi, tentram dan damai. Saking damainya, gak ada polisi di kota gue. Kok bisa? Iya, bisa. Kalo ada hal darurat, harus telepon kantor polisi terdekat, jauhnya kira-kira 1 jam naik mobil. Lumayan sih, ya.

But anyways, walaupun disini sepi sama orang, tapi rameeeee banget sama pohon. Serius gak boong gue, pohon dimana-mana. Bahkan orang bilang: “You can have a 14 hours driving trip and all the sceneries you see are trees.” Gak heran sih kenapa udara disini bersih banget. Saking bersihnya, upil gue disini warna putih, gak pernah sekalipun warna coklat kayak biasanya di Indonesia, AHHAHAH.

Continue reading “Gimana Finland?”

My First Month in Finland

– Tervetuloa Suomeen! –

On the 17th day of August 2017, i left my family, my friends, my school, and my life behind to experience a completely different life in Finland. It has been my dream since i was in middle school to study abroad. And here i am! After all the struggles, tears, and months of waiting, i traveled 10.270 kilometres away from home and finally had a chance to actually living my dream.

Now it’s been a month since i left Indonesia, and it is weird how time flies so fast. It only feels like last week when i got off the plane and walked on this land of a thousand lakes for the first time.

I am living a completely different life here, and i’m still trying to figure out how things in here work, and what this and that are. I would say that literally all of them, they are so new to me. I didn’t know that a lot of things could surprise me, and i’m eager to figure out many more surprises this beautiful country has to offer.

The weather, school, people, food, culture and MANY other differences. But the biggest challenge is: yep, definitely the language. I am completely blind to what people are saying and i just nod and smile when they talk in Finnish, especially when i’m at the dining table. It is sad that i can’t join in the conversation because i have no idea what they’re talking about…

Continue reading “My First Month in Finland”

A piece of advice

Destroy the idea that you can only be a certain thing if you’re good at it. If you make art because you love it, you’re an artist. If writing is your passion, you’re a writer. If you love making music, you’re a musician. Same goes for everything else. Don’t feel like you’re not good enough to do anything. Keep doing what you love and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The paragraph you read above was not made by me. I found it on the internet and it was so well said i had to post it.

Keep your head up, your tiara is falling.

Love, from 10270 kms away.

Why Do You Hike?

Many people wonder, ‘Why do you guys hike? It’s super tiring.’

And my answer is, yes, we will suffer. From foot aches and back pain. Burnt skin, cracked lips, dry hair, and many. But we will also experience the deepest of joys. The togetherness, being that cold together makes every hug that you get from your mates counts. The warmth of the sunlight after a long cold night. Seeing the pretty stars and city lights while enjoying some hot chocolate. The feeling after we reached the peak of the mountain and then cried. The taste of food that we proudly made, then eat it together from the same plate. But even the simplest thing can make us feel grateful, like seeing the edelweiss flowers bloom. or meeting other hikers and said hello to each other and get encouraged.

At the end of the day, all the suffering will be worth it. And believe me, you will crave for more hiking trips.😉🌹
17 may 2017 – 8.45 pm

I Was Dying

First i was dying to finish high school and start college.

And then i was dying to finish college and start working.

And then i was dying to marry and have children.

And then i was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so i could return to work.

And then i was dying to retire.

And now i am dying… and suddenly i realize i forgot to live.

– Anonymous

Submitted by Nicole Zablocki