Well hello!

I am back in Germany, was greeted last weekend by very warm and sunny days here in Kaiserslautern and currently living with some of the most positive and nicest people I've ever met here. There's sooo much to be thankful for! :)

This time I left home with lots of hope and positive feeling, and hopefully it will stay so for a long, long time..
Also I have to admit that I've struggled so hard for the last 8 months or so and it feels kinda nice to finally be able to relax (a little bit, just a little bit) before things go crazy again.

"Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure." - Irving Wallace

Rara xx

Hi, hello, how are you guys doing?
So today's post is gonna be one of those rambling/random thought posts since life has been really crazy these days. I never really talked about this on the blog or any social medias, but I've spent this whole year preparing for my study abroad. Wait, this might sound good for those of you who don't know me, but it's been really exhausting taking care of everything by myself. What's so bad about studying abroad? You can go to a lot of new places, meet people, travel, have a promising job after graduating, etc, etc...

First of all, you need to know that there are tons of stuff to prepare before you're going to apply. Tons of documents, translations, e-mails, and that costs not a small amount of money too. But I don't want to talk about it in details. Mainly, it's a looong and exhausting process since I don't have that much money to pay people to do things for me. And it wouldn't be good for me too since I also have to do it all by myself when I live there.

There's been many difficulties and challenges throughout the year, but I somehow managed to deal with it, thanks to friends and family who helped me. The first couple of times I encountered some problems, I went easily into stress mode. I was afraid, over-thinking and worried if it doesn't work out. Up until a couple of days ago, when I realized my visa might not be ready in time. This means I wouldn't be able to take the test needed to go to college since there's only one date for the examination. I was devastated and worrying about all the efforts I've given and how long I've been waiting for this. So many thoughts were swimming in my head, I blamed the embassy, I blamed myself, I blamed the system, I was trapped with my own fears of failing and letting people down but then I realized that it doesn't bring anything good just to blame anyone.

The only thing I can do is to make peace with myself and accept whatever is going to happen. I've given everything I could, and if it doesn't work out, maybe it's just not meant for me. Maybe there's a whole other plan waiting for me, even if it means I must wait another year to go to college. I'm so glad that in tough times, you can always tell who would stay and support you through thick and thin and who wouldn't. If plan A doesn't work, then make a plan B. I'm supposed to leave in less than a week and I still haven't got my visa, I haven't booked a ticket nor packed my things. Maybe I should start packing today, just in case ;-) So, yes, I've learnt that you just need to let some things go if it doesn't work like you want it to be and you have no power over it. Sometimes what lays in front of you is a thousand times better than what you really want but you just couldn't see it yet. Now my heart feels much lighter than before, I sometimes meditate just to clear my mind up a little bit, even if it's only for 10 minutes.

If you're having the same problem like me, if anything doesn't work out like you wanted it to be -whether it's relationship/school/life in general- know that the hard times will always pass and you'll thank yourself that you decided to forgive yourself and let it go.

My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me is never meant for me. - Imam Shafi'i.

Rara xx

Hi there! This post is definitely gonna be one of my favorite because I was finally able to have a proper holiday, with my favorite people, doing one of my favorite things; road trip! It was bit of a bummer that not all 7 of us could go but we had tremendous amount of fun with loads of laughter, sore feet, camp food, monkeys and back aches from sitting too long. But hey, that's what we signed up for, right?

So I went to Jember, East Java with my 4 best friends and my brother, in search of adventure and beach camping. Turned out this place has a lot to offer but we only managed to get to 2 of the beautiful beaches and built our camp by the sea that night. After 5 hours of car karaoke, we finally arrived. The first beach that we went to was Puger. It's still super clean and we were the only visitors at that time apart from 2 other people so we got the beach for ourselves! This is the kind of beach that you'd find in Bali, but with no crowds, all the disgusting trashes and overpriced touristic stuff. We stayed there until the sun sets, break our fast and then we drove to the next beach: Papuma.

This beach. Is. The. Bomb. We've wanted to go since a loooong time ago when we were still in school but the opportunity never came. So when we finally realized that we can't see each other that much anymore, we started to plan a trip together and this place is definitely worth it. Because it was already dark, we had to ask the locals the way to the beach and we drove through this little bumpy road with no lightings whatsoever hahaha
We arrived safely at the beach which obviously we couldn't see because it was dark and found the perfect spot to set up our tents. And I tell you what, the sky was... soooo breathtakingly beautiful with abundance of shining stars and the calming sound of the waves. I just felt so lucky. After our tents are done, we cooked dinner which ended up ridiculously acceptable hahahaha I wouldn't tell you our cooking story in details, but it involved saliva dripping down the noodles and other impossible things. But heck yes we survived.
So the next morning we woke up to a bunch of monkeys looking for food. They kind of raided the rest of our food from last night so it wasn't a big deal. It was funny though, we didn't know what was happening at first because those monkeys appeared out of nowhere and walking towards us suspiciously so we all hid in the tents and after a while we realized how ridiculous we were. I mean... hiding from monkeys? Seriously?!
It rained just a little bit that morning and we couldn't see the sea because of the thick fogs. A little disappointed, we hoped for a better weather, packed our stuff and stayed at the shore until the sun comes out again. Luckily, the sun did come out and the fogs were already gone after a few hours and we could finally see the beach and its stunning views. After attempting to build a sand castle and failing, we decided to play with the waves until around noon. Soaking wet, tired and happy, we cleaned ourselves up and headed home. Too bad it was over, but I'm pretty sure this is not the end of our adventures.

So I guess that's all for now. I'm so sad that my time with my loved ones are drastically limited, since we used to see each other everyday and now we barely meet throughout the year. But the best thing is, no matter how long I've been away, nothing's changed. They're still the goofballs I used to know and we can literally tell each other everything. Distance makes the hearts grow fonder, right? Till another time then!

Rara xx
Hello, gorgeous souls! How have you been doing? It's been awhile since I last wrote a travel post and I think it's time to talk about solo traveling! I am not in anyway a professional traveler so I'm basically just going to talk about my experiences and thoughts along the way.

I was incredibly lucky to be given the chance to visit some tiny bits of this beautiful world and I think it shows us that we're nothing compared to how vast this planet that we're living in. 5 years ago I was probably just laying in my bed, wondering if I will ever have the chance to set foot in another foreign country. Life is amazing in its own way, isn't it?
The reason I decided to travel alone was basically because I had this urge to explore and I couldn't do it if I was to wait someone who wanted to go with me. I also traveled in groups a couple of times and it was also really fun, but different kind of fun, if you know what I mean haha
On some trips I didn't go completely alone, and that's one of my tips if you're not feeling sure to go out there by yourself. What I did was; I tried to contact some friends I know who live in the city and ask if I could stay in their place and if they could accompany me exploring the city. Or if they can't do that, we would meet up somewhere and talk and maybe ask them some insider tips around the city so I wouldn't be completely lost in a foreign place. I've done that when I was in Hamburg, Ingolstadt, Munich, and Paris. Except in Amsterdam because it was a day-trip which means I didn't have to stay the night there, so I went alone.

Pros of traveling solo:

  • Time flexibility. You don't have to depend on someone or wait for your traveling partner. I personally don't like depending on someone to go somewhere else so I think that's one of the perks for me.
  • Deepening the connection with your instinct. While I was traveling around Europe last year, I didn't have a smartphone at that time. No internet and no Google Maps. I could only rely on paper maps and my instinct. So yes, I think the best advice is probably to trust your instinct. And your mouth is also an asset, in case you get lost and need to ask for directions :p
  • Meeting new people. Because you're on your own makes it easier for you to make new friends along the way. Make sure first that they're someone you can trust and not suspicious.
  • You can understand yourself better. Learn from experiences. Why did you get lost? Did you pay enough attention to the signs? Do you have any courage to ask that stranger the way to get back to the hotel? I considered myself a bit shy before, but after some solo trips I learned that there's a part of me that could change and be more curious, more courageous and more spontaneous.

Cons of traveling solo:

  • Loneliness. The biggest thing I have learned to deal with since I first came in Germany. It's inevitable, you will feel lonely at some point but it's not that horrible, trust me. Just find ways to embrace it. You're not going to be alone forever, just so you know.
  • You need better time management. Because you have no one to tell you to do this or that, move that ass and make schedule of things you want/must do in that place for the day or as long as you stay there.
  • I can't recall what else are the big cons of traveling solo but whatever it is, it's totally normal. Stuff happens. I got lost in the middle of the night in Paris trying to get back to my hotel. I had to walk the whole day around Amsterdam while fasting because I miscalculated the date of first Ramadan last year. I waited from 3am until 6am at the train station alone because I didn't know the first train that weekend came at 6am.
See? It's not always fun traveling alone, for sure. But you will be more grateful to be able to be there and your eyes will be more open to the big yet small world that is planet Earth.

"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." - Henry David Thoreau

Here's the thing. I didn't realize why I write at all until recently, I looked back and read my older posts and thought; I'm never good with expression. I'm not expressive nor know how to express/explain how I feel or what I think or how something happened. Through writing, I could make other people understand me better, kind of. I write to figure things out. I never really intended my blog posts or anything that I've ever written to be complimented. Even knowing that there's another person who cares enough to read something that I write made me wonder.

After I went (or attempted) to do an afternoon jog today, a thought appeared on my mind on the way home. Do I really matter to the people around me? My family? My friends? When I was away, did people actually think about me? Was I missed? Or did they feel nothing? Are they happy that I'm home? Am I a burden to them?

These questions keep coming and before I went into an existential crisis (well, an existential crisis is a bit too much, isn't it) I realized that it doesn't matter how the world see you. It's how you see the world that matters. It's how you treat people around you, giving as much as possible and never think about getting something back. Because when you start giving and doing something good, it all comes back to you. To us.

I'm a believer. I believe in God. Maybe there are people who believe in the Universe or cosmos or whatever their understanding of Greater Power. I believe that positive energy attracts positive energy and vice versa. And so far, I am blessed that I am surrounded by people who share the same vision, vibe, energy, whatever that is, with me. I didn't ask for every single one of them yet God gave me the most understanding, loving, supporting family and friends. So I shouldn't worry if people miss me or not. I feel really selfish worrying about what people think of or how they feel towards me. It's not that big of a deal after all. So here's to a more selfless future and more adventure!

Rara x
Hello hellooooo! How are you gorgeous soul doing?? I've been trying to get back on track since I haven't been feeling very good lately. And what do I do when I'm not feeling very good, you ask? I like to listen to some chillout music, make DIY face mask or scroll through my Instagram feed and sip a big cup of tea.
If you're like me, love music but very often get bored with your own playlist, then just head over to 8tracks or get the app on your phone and search any kind of playlist that you love! It's also user-friendly and give you weekly playlist recommendations.

So here are my 6 favorite playlists to listen to, click on the title and it'll bring you right away to the playlist.

1. Breathe in, breathe love
This is my very own playlist haha! It literally has 8 tracks in it with artists like Years & Years, James Bay, Augustana, etc. Perfect when you're on a road trip and just want to chill a bit, or just any time of the day really. Go give it a listen :)

2. The Best Chill-Out Playlist Ever
So this playlist is created by Ella Grace Denton, she's a gorgeous blogger, vegan personality and has inspired me a lot to do what I love to do. And indeed, this is one of the best chillout playlists ever!

3. funk you up  
A bit different from my usual playlists on 8tracks but there are days when you feel like dancing around the house and this playlist is the perfect one for it. It consists of more upbeat tracks and some of my favorite alternative bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco as well as Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars.

4. we were born sick
This playlist is so sick it gets platinum. Kinda indie-alternative-covers-remix playlist and the songs are just so gooood.

5. just fucking relax
When I feel like I need to relax, I just listen to this playlist, lay in bed and close my eyes. Because you can't resist a little bit of James Bay and the 1975, right?

6. morning
The perfect playlist for Sunday mornings when you just want to wake up slow, stay in bed for a while and make breakfast while dancing around. Happy happy happy me!

So those are 6 of my favorite playlists on 8tracks. Speaking of music, I found that my taste in music has shifted, though not completely. I used to listen to pop rock/alternative bands a lot (like All Time Low, 30 Seconds To Mars, Muse, even AC/DC and that kind of stuff). I still do listen to some of them, but just a few that I actually like and have it on my computer and phone. The rest is actually new to me, since I've been listening to chill, relaxing music and less upbeat ones. I think it also has something to do with the way I think now is different from... 2-3 years ago? Anyways, I hope you enjoy the playlists and I'll see you very soon in another post!

Rara xx

So you guys might have been wondering because in a lot of my previous posts, especially the ones with smoothie recipes, I used acai powder, moringa powder, chia seeds, etc etc. If you are not yet familiar with it, I'm gonna try to explain all about it in this post especially why they are called superfood and their benefits!

Superfood is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. I only got to know these guys since about a year ago, since it is so happening among healthy lifestyle enthusiasts and I also find it better (at least for me) than medicines and skincare with nasty chemicals that we normally buy in stores. They have the same benefits, only better! Here are some of the superfoods that I've been consuming:
  • Acai berries: This fruit is very similar to grape but a bit smaller, round, and has deep purple-black color. It's originally found in Brazilian Amazon and has high amount of anti-oxidant and flavonoids. It is commonly found in the market as frozen acai or in the form of powder. I personally like to add it in my smoothies as I like the little bit of tartness and it gives your smoothie really pretty purple color!
  • Moringa: The moringa tree is native to parts of Africa and Asia. Its leaves are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and minerals.It has a slightly nutty flavor and I like to blend it in my morning smoothies, mix it with any fruit and veggies that I have in the fridge. I instantly feel so much energized and my skin also cleared up after I routinely consumed it. No need for expensive skincare treatment!
  • Chia seeds: Chia seeds have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. It is rich in nutrients and antioxidant, and it also contains omega 3 fatty acids which fights bad cholesterol and can help reduce inflammation. This can be used in place of eggs in baking. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Cacao nibs and raw cacao powder: Raw cacao nibs and powder are high in antioxidants, flavonoid, and fiber. It also fights cardiovascular disease and improves mood. I like to sprinkle my cacao nibs over desserts and smoothies and you can use the cacao powder in anything in place of processed cocoa powder.
  • Lucuma powder: Lucuma tree is native to Peru, Ecuador, and Chile.It is high in fiber, protein, and calcium. In its native countries, lucuma is widely used as a flavoring and sweetener in desserts. It also provides iron, helps stimulate immune system and improve physical endurance.
Acai powder

Moringa powder

Chia seeds

Cacao nibs

Cacao powder

Lucuma powder

There also many other superfoods that I haven't tried like spirulina, bee pollen, chlorella, hemp seeds and maca, and wheatgrass. You can find all of the explanations here . And there are also some recipes that I shared on my blog using these super foods, like the Easy Green Smoothie and Acai Bowl.
So why not try incorporating these super foods in your diet and feel the benefits yourself?

Rara xx

Soooo since I haven't posted any travel posts for a while, I'm gonna do it now and... I'm gonna write this post in Bahasa! Sounds good? :D

Okay mungkin setelah dilihat-lihat liburan kemarin ga se-crazy itu tapi bisa dibilang cukup nekat dan spontan haha. That was a short 'getaway', memang udah pengen dari lama karena sahabat-sahabat SMA saya banyak banget yang kuliah di ITB dan minta saya main kesana jadilah pesen tiket kereta ekonomi ke Bandung tanggal 9 April. The good thing about economy class: murah, bisa ketemu orang banyak dan ga bakal bosen. Tapi yah kalau pegel-pegel sih udah resiko :p Overall perjalanan berangkatnya aja seru abis, karena bolak-balik disangkain orang Sunda jadi hampir selalu diajak ngomong bahasa Sunda di kereta padahal ga ngerti apa-apa hahaha

Nyampe Bandung sorenya langsung jalan ke Tebing Keraton, bareng sama 3 sahabat saya yang satunya jauh-jauh dateng dari Bintaro dan jalannya kesana.... oh my god parah banget rusaknya sampe capek padahal naik motor. Untungnya sih ga hujan karena bakal lebih bahaya kalo jalannya rusak plus licin. Tapi pemandangannya worth it kok, at least masih dapet sunset hehe baliknya lumayan berasa lebih cepet soalnya udah tau medan kali ya.

Oh iya jangan berharap saya kasih rekomen kafe atau mall yang oke di Bandung karena jujur aja saya bukan tipe yang bisa enjoy menghabiskan waktu di mall hehe. Okay mulai ke bagian yang seru. Hari Sabtunya kami berencana camping di Ranca Upas dan ternyata ga ada yang tau jalan atau pernah kesana. (How great is that -_-) Habis jalan-jalan sebentar ke beberapa art spaces di Dago Pakar akhirnya pada balik ke kosan sambil cari-cari rute ke Ranca Upas.... naik motor. Heck yea. Dan ternyata temen cewek saya yang bisa diajakin ikut camping ga bisa ikut. Alright mau gimana lagi. Jadinya kami berangkat sore menjelang maghrib berlima naik motor dan buset ternyata jalan alternatif yang dikasih app navigasi Waze itu lewat jalan kecil, sempit, belum diaspal ataupun kalo udah diaspal jalannya rusak, dan gelap haha yah mau gimana lagi sih emang ga bisa lewat tol karena naik motor. Tapi ga gini juga kali?! Udah masuk arah Soreang-Ciwidey udah mulai jalan besar, kalo di Malang mungkin mirip jalan di Pujon kal ya. Cuma berasanya waktu itu lamaaaaaa banget ga nyampe nyampe hahah. Total dari Bandung kota ke Ciwidey naik motor hampir 2 jam lah, jadi kami nyampe camping site jam 20.30. 
Wait, belum selesai sampe disitu.Karena ga bawa tenda, kami harus nyewa tenda disitu. Dijumlah jadi tiket masuk plus nyewa tenda 400 ribu and guess what? Uangnya kurang soalnya temen saya yang dua belum ambil duit di ATM :'D Terpaksa deh harus turun ambil duit di ATM terdekat naik motor lagi dingin-dingin dan malem-malem. Terdekat tuh kira-kira 15-20 menit dari camping site hahaha. Akhirnya setelah nunggu Adam dan Firman ngambil duit dan bangun tenda kami bisa istirahat sekitar jam 22.30! Finally bisa rebahan! 
Dan ternyata semua perjuangan ada imbalannya karena malem itu langitnya bagus bangeeett yang sayangnya ga sempet kejepret kamera yang proper hehe. Bintangnya bener-bener keliatan banyak dan bagus banget di langit plus bulannya terang banget! Star gazing never felt so good. Meskipun dingin banget (untuk ukuran orang Indonesia, yang mungkin kalo di Barat kayak malem malem pas spring) tapi seru abis deh.

Excitement kami berujung ga bisa tidur, akhirnya malah main kartu di tenda sampe teriak-teriak dan cerita-cerita sampe terpaksa tidur setelah sadar udah jam 3 pagi. Walaupun pada akhirnya pada kebangun jam 4 pagi karena kedinginan... haha. Sayangnya kami ga sempet jalan-jalan keliling camping site sampe dalem, karena udah harus balik sebelum dhuhur tapi petualangan kemaren bener-bener seru (plus nekat) :p

So, I'll see you guys soon!

Rara x
Hi there. This time I wanna share something that has been floating on my mind for awhile, regarding how the world is changing so rapidly and what we can do about it.
About a couple of years ago, I bought a book called 'Eating Animal' by Jonathan Safran Foer. I was about 15 when I read it and decided that I'm not going to eat meat and chicken anymore because it was gross, but I didn't really understand what does it actually have to do with doing something better for the environment.
Until last month, I found a vegan personality account on Instagram, Essena Oneill. I watched her videos on Youtube and watched a documentary called 'Cowspiracy' and after I watched it, I felt so angry and frustrated with how cruel this agribusiness industry actually works. I've been saving water, gas, electricity and reducing plastic use and it's almost nothing compared to how vast the destruction is made to keep the animal agriculture going.
In my last post I said that I'm not a vegan, but I am seriously considering to turn vegan. I'm not going to turn vegan in one day but I'm taking small steps to get there. People can say that I'm doing this because of the vegan trend or that I'm trying to lose weight or anything, but the most important thing is I know I'm doing this to save the environment and the planet that we're living in. There's also this satisfaction every time I do something that I know would bring something good for others, not just for me. So go ahead, find any justifications that you're still going to eat meat because it has nothing to do with global warming. I'm not asking other people to be vegan, but I really want them to consider the choices that we have to be a better person and be more empathetic. The facts are out there, and if we're not going to make a change, we're going to regret our actions in the next years after everything is too late.

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 % of green house gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportations.
  • Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2
  • Emissions for agriculture projected to increase 80% by 2050
  • Animal agriculture use ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons of water annually.
  • Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 20 square ft of forested land, 20 lbs of CO2 equivalent and one animal's life.
There you go! The choice is in our hands, whether we want to do something or just sit and watch as our planet being destroyed.

Moving on to a much lighter topic (hehe) there's a yummy green smoothie recipe for you. And anyway, if you guys ever wondered what acai, lucuma, chia seeds etc is, I'm going to make another post about these superfoods later! :)

What you need:
1 frozen banana, cut in chunks
1/2-1 frozen pineapple, cut in chunks
2 tsp of moringa powder
250 ml cold water

All you need to do is blend all the ingredients until smooth and enjoy!

I've been drinking this smoothie for the last 3 days every morning, and I already feel so energized. My parents are a bit sick right now, probably because of the season change, but I'm really grateful that I'm not, even feel so much better and fitter than before!

Hi awesome people!

So I've been meaning to write this post for quite a while, but didn't know how to start it. Since a lot of people have been asking me about my lifestyle and/or diet, I'm gonna say this: I am not a vegan. Although I am trying to put as much plant based meal as possible in my diet. The reason I'm doing this is because I want myself (my mind and body) to feel good and be healthy inside and out. I feel good because I know I'm doing something that make myself and the environment better. This barely has nothing to do with trying to lose weight or anything like that. Having slim figure is probably just the bonus of living a healthy and balanced life.

Talking about losing weight, I've struggled with body image, like, a lot. My body is pretty curvy, I don't have the figure of a model and since I was 13 or 14 people around me did say something about it even make fun of it even though I know they might not mean it, probably. I knew I wasn't fat. But for a 13-year-old girl, being told that you should lose some weight was really discouraging and had an impact on the self-esteem.

When I was a bit older, I was really sure that I should find a way to be more confident about myself. My body has nothing to do with what I'm capable of and how people see me. It wasn't easy, but I'm happy now that I can actually say that, because I know that a whole lot of people will judge you from how you look but there are also those who respect and care about you, your viewpoints and your ability despite your physical appearance. And the latter are the people who deserve your time and attention.

If you're not feeling good about yourself, do something about it. Find what makes you feel uncomfortable/not good and try to shift the negativity towards balance and positiveness. I didn't like how I felt about myself because I didn't give my body what it needed. I ate less natural and more processed food way more than I should have and didn't exercise much, I was afraid of feeling something that might make me feel "weak" (crying included). Trust me, crying is not a sign that you're weak. People who don't cry are not always tough!
I decided to change so that I can feel good about myself. I started to exercise, take yoga class, move my body more, eat healthier, think positively and be vulnerable. Now I'm not yet where I want to be with my emotional journey but I'm getting there and feel way better about myself!

"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line." - Lucille Ball

Rara x

Hi! <3

Who's ready for another delicious, easy and healthy smoothie recipe?! You barely need 5 minutes to make this one, perfect when you're feeling hungry between meals or just any time of the day, really.

Blend until smooth:
(For 1 serving)

1 frozen, ripe banana
6 strawberries
1 tablespoon of acai powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)
a dash of soy/almond/dairy milk
about 1 cup of cold water