2015 has definitely been another great and adventurous year of my life!
Beginning every new year, it’s always nice to look back for the past one to remember everything that we’ve been through that makes us stronger, better, and wiser.
In this post, I would like to leave a mark for 15 most memorable things that happened to me in the year of ’15:
- Resigning from a prestigious job… without having a new job offer yet! [JAN 2015]
I’m not sure if this is actually something I should be proud about, haha.
Basically, I decided to resign after working for (only) 4 months in my last working place in Bali because Jutet (read: boyfriend) and I had a plan to move somewhere else. This “somewhere else” was actually an undecided plan between Tabanan (still in Bali) or Bangkok (now this is not Bali).
Okay, I’m not totally being honest here. The main reason I resigned from the company was because I wanted to finally take a break for a while after years and years of working!
FYI, in case you don’t know, I have started working since 2006, in my second year of high school.
My first job was a part-time radio announcer in Magelang, a small town in Central Java — exactly the same kind of job my mom first had when she was even in junior high school.
So, I cannot deny: I enjoyed my 3-month-break-from-work A LOT!
- Traveling to Japan. [JAN 2015]
Japan has been one of my dream destinations since I was a kid. Ask my mom, she would tell you how much I loved Sailor Moon. I even still keep my tailor-made Sailor Moon costume until now!
But no, I didn’t go to Japan because of Sailor Moon. I love Japanese food, and I’ve heard so many great things about the country, and I wanted to visit some of my old friends (that I met during a study/volunteering program in Cambodia) in Tokyo.
I can say that my 2015 Japan Trip has been the best trip of my life so far! I got to spend one lovely week with Jutet — who’s been absolutely adventurous, cool, funny, and caring during the whole trip! One thing to always be fascinated about: We tried chicken sashimi in an izakaya there. Yes, CHICKEN SASHIMI.
- Seeing SNOW for the first time in my life. [JAN 2015]
If you are from a cold-weathered-country, you will never understand how weird it is for people from tropical countries like me to experience snow for the first time:
It was kind of DREAMY yet CREEPY at the same time.
I technically saw it first in Nagaoka, a city in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I remember it was around 7AM when my bus from Kyoto arrived at the terminal where we hopped off to then take a train to reach Yuzawa.
The snow there was not that much, but I couldn’t stop looking at it and touching it. It was actually like a bunch of ice that I normally found in my freezer!
And then, I saw a lot more on the way to Yuzawa, and especially after arriving there.
It was literally snowing when I got there, and I remember so well, we had to go through a road with about 3 meter of snow walls on both sides of it. It kinda freaked me out, dude.
But it didn’t take so long for me to finally fall in love with the snow. I stripped down naked and enjoyed outdoor onsen for 2 hours. I couldn’t feel my ears – but that felt awesome!
- Taking the risk of moving to a city that I’ve never been before… with my boyfriend. [FEB 2015]
Normally, I wouldn’t do that. I would prefer having visited the city first for holiday, then decide whether I feel like living there or not. Just like what I did when I left Jakarta, where I was born and raised. Before I moved to Magelang, Yogyakarta, and then Bali, I have visited the 3 places like “thousand” times before.
This time was different. I took the chance and breakaway to Bangkok — #tsaaahhh.
Okay, not that dramatic, but I have never been to Bangkok before moving here in the end of February 2015.
I’ve been to most of ASEAN countries, including Thailand (Phuket and Phi Phi Island), but yeah, I’ve just never been here.
Some friends and family members were worried of my decision that time since Jutet and I are not married yet, and it wasn’t sure what I was going to do in the new city, and bla bla bla… but hey, I totally don’t regret it now.
Bangkok has been a great place so far. It has interesting blend of culture, and it’s a city where lots of people from around the world trying to find their “luck” 🙂
- Getting the chance to live and work abroad, also for the first time in my life! [MAR 2015]
Still related to experience no. 4, but here I just want to emphasize that it is actually a total different thing when you just visit another country for holiday, compared to when you go there to live and settle (at least for a while). Even it’s just a country that is not so far from your home country, with not much difference in terms of weather and culture.
Note: In my case, it’s totally a different language, though. Hahaha.
In regards of “working abroad”, I personally feel a difference within myself. I feel like, I’m bringing the name of my home country, and I have to be careful not to be a disaster in representing it. I can feel that I totally work harder, put more efforts to perform well, for the sake of my pride of being an Indonesian… and to show people from other countries that we, Indonesians, are professional and pleasant colleagues to work with.
Well, I sincerely hope I managed to give this image/impression, though. But really, you gotta be responsible in not defaming a good name of your native land 🙂
- Being part of HotelQuickly 🙂 [APR 2015]
HotelQuickly is the hottest last minute hotel booking app company in Asia Pacific, which has been mentioned on http://www.dailymail.co.uk as the greatest company in the world to work for.
I can’t describe how happy and proud I am to be a part of this start-up company. I remember I was browsing for jobs the whole first 2 weeks in Bangkok, and I found the vacancy for HotelQuickly in JobsDB Thailand.
I applied, got invited for an interview (with a very cool lady named Ms. Siwaporn Dan), and got the job offer!
I started in April 2015, and since then, I have been working (and going for 2 SUPER FUN OFF-SITES) with such talented people with 25+ nationalities who are absolutely passionate in what they’re doing. This diverse environment somehow reminds me of REALIA, a language school in Yogyakarta where I used to work there as a Bahasa Indonesia teacher for foreigners. I feel so lucky to be in this kind of multicultural company again.
And hey, if you haven’t downloaded our app, do it now on your iOS or Android device. For more information, please check our website: http://www.hotelquickly.com!
- Getting through the low phase of my relationship with my man. [MAY 2015]
A good friend of mine, Vaso Ralli from Greece, once said to me, “Relationship is not always about kisses and flowers. It is also about lots of shits and holes.” She herself has spent about 25 years together with her love of her life.
She was right. I will not share the details of what Jutet and I have been through in the past year in this post, as it is definitely our privacy. But I’m proud of us for being able to get through the storm and still be there for each other until now. He’s definitely more than just a “boyfriend” for me. He’s also a friend, a very good one. A shoulder to cry on. A big supporter of my dreams. A personal chef — #eh
If Jutet or his friends/family read this post, I just wanna say that he’s been an amazing guy and I’m so blessed to be the woman in his life. I hope for more happy years to come.
- Falling in love, strangely and hardly, with BEER – after my trip to Vietnam with my bestie, Maria. [MAY 2015]
I have been drinking beer long before 2015, but I feel that my love for it strongly arose after I went to Hanoi and Ha Long Bay with Maria last May. It was not even my first time in Vietnam. I went to the south part back in 2011, and spent 2 weeks visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, and Da Lat. I remember I was more into Da Lat wine that time, even though I did try the beers (I think).
Maybe because this time I went to the country with my bestie, who absolutely affected the whole thing, you know. Maria is a kind of person who brightens up my dark-mood-days, and I guess everything just feels better when I’m with her.
So we enjoyed the holiday by trying several brands of Vietnamese beer, and I just realized how much I like it since then. The trip was kind of like pulling out my repressed love to beer, and now I can say that it’s my second favorite drink (no.1 is still MILK – no matter what!).
- Getting promoted as a “Manager”. [AUG 2015]
I can’t deny that this is an achievement. A professional one.
When you are trusted to get this role in a company, it means that your hard and good work has been recognized, and you are expected to be and TO DO something more that the company thinks you CAN DO.
And definitely I did not get to this stage instantly. It needed process, and I’ve enjoyed the process.
To me, being a manager is not about being a “boss”.
It’s about being a person admitted skillful or experienced enough to manage something. It doesn’t have to be people, even though most of the time a manager does have a team below her supervision.
But it can also be about managing a certain group of special tasks to achieve the company’s goals.
In my case, as a Customer Relations Manager, I’m responsible in ensuring high satisfaction from customers who use our product, and also in improving the relationship between the customers and the brand by reaching out to them and getting to know their expectations about our product.
- Celebrating Indonesian Independence Day on the same day Bangkok Bomb happened. [AUG 2015]
Yes, Bangkok Bomb happened on 17 August 2015.
I was all excited about the date because Jutet was cooking Indonesian food for a little celebration in our condo for us and my 2 Indonesian colleagues: Allan and Majid.
We had rendang, karedok, and tahu telor for dinner, and we all wore red-and-white clothes (except for Jutet, he wore his batik shirt and looked totally like a School Principal!).
…and then this news about the bombing arrived.
I really felt furious and sad at the same time. There are still people out there who are heartless enough to do such thing. My heart and prayers go to all the victims that night, and of course to all other victims in the world who are still living in a war. I wish that soon everyone could live in a safe environment with no hatred and threats.
- Getting my visa application rejected, again, for the first time in my life. [SEP 2015]
To make a long story short, I bought return tickets for Melbourne already as I saw good deals from AirAsia.
I was so confident that I would get the Australian tourist visa as I already secured a 1-year-contract from my work place and condominium, so that’s why I bought the flight tickets right away — even though this was not a requirement to apply for the visa.
In the end, my visa application got rejected, and the reason was because the person in charge in the embassy was not convinced that I would come back to Thailand after arriving in Australia.
It kinda caused some trauma for me, haha. I really didn’t expect to get a refusal since I never experienced any visa application rejection before. PLUS, the visa application fee was not refunded. But well, I guess getting visa sometimes is just a matter of luck. This time, the Fortune Goddess was not with me, what can I do anyway…
However, I was a bit lucky because I could get the full refund for my departing ticket from Bangkok to Melbourne, because the flight was cancelled and postponed to the next day. For the return flight, it was operating as scheduled, so I could not claim for a full refund, but only the airport tax refund. Well well well, I’ll try again next time, Aussie!
- Being home never felt so “home” before. [SEP 2015]
Since my trip to Melbourne has been cancelled due to the visa application refusal, I got to spend more time in Bali.
The original plan was to spend 1 week in Melbourne and 1 week in Bali, but now I got 2 whole weeks in the beautiful island 🙂
It was such an amazing feeling to be back in my home country. I had missed the people and the food too much. Plus, I could see my beloved dogs again, Pumpkin Rose and Oreo Furball! 🙂
The vacation felt so special as I got to reunite with my family and my best friends at the same time. What could a girl ask for more?
Maybe it is a blessing in disguise to be rejected by the Australian embassy anyway. I was so grateful to be together with these lovelies — the people whom I trust and will always be there for me:
- Celebrating my second relationship anniversary with Jutet. [NOV 2015]
Our togetherness has reached the third year now. We celebrated our second anniversary at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Bangkok.
Jutet had kept the secret of his plan of taking me here — and he was totally having been saving up as well, haha!
What can I say… it was definitely one of the best dinners ever, and without any doubt the most expensive meal I’ve ever had in my WHOLE LIFE :p
- Reuniting with Eva Kocourková and Natali Sajić. [NOV 2015]
It has been 2 years since Eva (origin: Brno, Czech Republic) and Natali (origin: Zurich, Switzerland) stayed in my place during their backpacking trip! We are all members of Couchsurfing community, and I was hosting them in Bali.
So much had happened for the past 2 years. Eva went to New Zealand to experience a working holiday for several months, then went back to Europe, then went off for backpacking trip again around Asia. She even got to travel in India with her mom. On the other side, Natali flew off to South America after leaving Bali, and found the love of her life in Mexico through Couchsurfing as well: Carlos. She got married and changed her name to Natali Ayala Haro.
I’m so happy for both girls, and got even happier when they visited me for the second time… and this time in Bangkok! Their love of life, passion of traveling, and free spirit inspired me to follow their steps to also travel the world someday and I have promised them that our next meetup would be in their home countries!
- Last but not least, owning this domain: mishajohanna.com! [NOV 2015]
I have finally decided to purchase my own domain for my blog!
Hopefully this will motivate me to keep writing good stuff… and write more often, actually.
My aim is to write 1 post per week, but in reality I still find it hard to even write 1 post per month, haha!
Well, but I guess it’s just because I’ve been very busy for the whole December since it was a super peak period at work. Will try my best to be more active in blogging 🙂
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This blog will be the diary of my journey, and also the place where I can express my ideas and points of view about the world.
Feel free to suggest some topics that you want me to write, in case you think I could give some thoughtful opinion about something that you’re concerned about!
That’s all for now, guys… Thanks a lot for reading my 2015 Wrap Up and catch you later on my next post!
Have a fabulous year of 2016!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂