How to lead a photo walk

~ light after dark ~ sunset at Harbour View in Manila, The Philippines ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
We travel for different reasons and end up with different results. To me, the most important part is the people I meet along the way.

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.
~Dalai Lama

Or both: meaningful friends on meaningful days.

As I experienced in the last couple of years after meeting a group of people in some South East Asian cities. I was blessed to meet meaningful friends and I learned a lot from them which made the journey full of meaningful moments. As a result, I flew home after each journey with a big smile!

Then it was time to put those learned lessons into practice.

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What I learned from the Monarchies on Java

~ a postcard from Java ~ ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
In the light of celebrating both the World Heritage Day (April 18, 2015) and the Indonesian Kartini Day (April 21, 2015), I would like to share some visits I had to the Monarchies or ‘Sultanates’ on Java island, Indonesia.

One of the things I love about Indonesia is the diverse cultural landscapes I can find in each province I am privileged to visit. They add different flavors into the mix which never fail to fascinate me!

All those things combined make visiting places I had previously learned from books and history lessons back at school far from dull! In fact, being able to finally add images of places and people into those lessons is really exciting. When the time came for my visits to these ‘kingdoms’ on Java, I packed my bag with all the travel necessities and extra amount of curiosity. I was eager to learn more about the past and all its history.

The past, however, was not the part where I got my lessons from.

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Return to Innocence

~ return to innocence ~ ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
As someone who lives in a country that is an archipelago, flying is the main access when travel time is short. Having a hometown at the northernmost part of the country shortened the means of transport list as well! Add those with the rest of the journeys to go in a year? Sitting on the plane can be an art of itself!

Despite the risks and dramas which sometimes occur on the plane (why is getting off the plane in order of row is so difficult for people to fathom?!!), it is possible to keep everything in tact throughout the journey. Most especially when we know the reason we are on that plane at the first place.

How to make it counts, though?

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A Tale of Three Islands

~ simply be there ~ ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” — James Michener

As many people who have been reading my blogs all these times must have noticed, I took some times off blogging. The main reason is, I have so many things to do in the real life. The other reason is the fact that I asked some professionals who have been reading blogs for some years to review this blog of mine. More about this second reason will be shared in the next blog. For now, I want to share why I started this blog with the quote above. Because after traveling to three islands in the beginning of October 2011, Penang – Singapore – Bali, I am reminded of what I learned back in March 2011 when I went to Medan – Penang – Lake Toba for the first time.

That a tourist and a traveler are not the same!
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A long and winding road

~ framed ~ ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
Now what?

That is the first question in my head when the new things (and people) started coming into my life. It took time for me to get used to each and everyone of them. Needless to say, it’s been challenging.

Change, after all, is not always an easy thing.

To accept them is one thing, to make the most out of them is another. In fact, it almost felt like I was paying an old debt. I mean, I had been praying for them and once I had them, I’d better knew exactly what to do! Let me choose one example – my internet connection. I lived with a super lame connection for years. I’m glad I survived but for sure, life would be so much better with a good one. However, getting a better one doesn’t make life easier.

If anything, it makes life even more challenging.
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365 days journey

~ right by the sea ~ ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
Is 365 days a year enough?

Having learned by sharing on-line this long, I finally bumped into a group of people who are so positive, I couldn’t help but being transformed by their energy.

They help me realizing that life has its ups and downs but it is not a wise choice to be grumpy and keep on complaining about this and that.

How are they doing it? By taking one picture each day of the year – Polaroid pictures – and share it on-line with the story on a blog post. It looks like a simple but very challenging commitment to do that all year long. I do like the reason behind it though.

The main point is to be grateful!
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On Thanksgiving

~ counting my blessings ~ ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
What a Thanksgiving season we have here!

No, you didn’t read it wrongly. Our Thanksgiving is not celebrated on just one day. How is that? My hometown, Manado, is located inside one of the regencies in North Sulawesi province called Minahasa where people are mostly farmers. Rice farmers, to be precise.

That is why, the majority of people here are Minahasa people even though we have people from other parts of the province in town. As rice farmers, people wait for the rice harvest before celebrating Thanksgiving and it can happen more than one times in a year.

That is how we celebrate Thanksgiving more than once.
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