From my heart in Jakarta

As much as I love my newly fresh blog that I am collaborating with my twin cousins, I still miss having it on my own. This blog is still my baby and although it may not be as nice as the new one, I still think of this blog throughout.  So, today I finally decided to keep this blog alive as my personal posts.

It has been about 4 months since my Hiatus post. Obviously, many things happened in between. First, I moved back to my Indonesia. After 10 years of being a Delawarerian, I decided it's time to go home to motherland reuniting with my family and home. Second, I went on a lifetime Europe trip with my cousin. Third, new years is around the corner! Where did 2012 go? Seriously.

But to tell you the truth, I'm very excited to end this year. I don't think this year has been a great year for me in general. I'm anxious to start the new 2013 with new adventures and hopefully awesomeness.

Living in Jakarta has its own ups and downs. It is truly a huge roller coaster to the extreme. At times I feel like I'm on top of the world, other times I feel like in a shit hole somewhere in the ghetto street of the city both mentally and physically speaking. It's hard to describe, but my mood swings have been tested on to the extreme.

Independence? You can forget all that. Living back with your parents under one roof is nothing to be independent to. Carpooling and sharing a car with your parents is another level of a dependency. Their extreme worrisome and curiosity of your life sometime took its toll on me. That one-arm private space that you crave for becomes a luxury.

On the positive side, I have zero bills to pay. what? yes!

In the past 4 months, I had so many reverse culture shocks, re-exploring my own home in a set of different eyes, best friends got married, dealing with uncomfortableness in so many different levels, seeing weird things on a daily basis, dealing with a non-standard "everything", new place new policy, car accidents, and the hardest part would be breaking my own rules. *sigh

Expectations need to be immensely managed, otherwise, disappointment is your best friend.  No promises, no expectations - a life of hakuna matata.

The best part of this process is reconnecting with old friends. Those friends you left behind 10 years ago, you begin to know who is your real friends and who is not. As for new friends, this is still questionable. I'll leave it at that for now. For what is worth, family always comes first. Always.

Are you ready for the new years?

Tiger Island (Pulau Macan)

When it comes to the thought of Jakarta, it can be easily described with “skyscrapers”, “traffic jams”, “pollution”, “dust”, and “dirty”. No pun intended, I am only stating the obvious. I was so amazed when I arrived to Tiger Island, while it is still technically part of Jakarta, it is yet so much of the opposite from what I just described above.

Tiger Island (Pulau Macan) is one of the smaller islands in part of the Thousands Island (Kepulauan Seribu) area.  We took a small speedboat on a Saturday morning from the Ancol Marina for about 1 hour 30 minutes ride to the island. The speedboat is able to take roughly 30 guests on the larger side. Our group at the time was only 21 guests excluding the boat crew.

Once we hit the 1-hour boat ride, I can start seeing the crystal clear blue ocean – more like a turquois color on the shallower part and onyx blue on the deeper part of the ocean. The line was prominent. The water is so clear that I can see the coral reefs and fishes down below from the boat. I thought I was in heaven.


When we arrived we were greeted by a buffet of food for breakfast. The lady-cook really knows what she is doing. Out of the whole 1 night stay in the island we had five amazing meals.  Everyone I know took seconds on their plate. We cannot stop complementing the lady-cook whenever she comes out from her kitchen to check up on the food.

Before I get into the lodging part, I do have to mention that Tiger Island is an eco-friendly island. One, they generate their own power from solar, and two, you will see many written notices on bathrooms to conserve/save water - Take quick showers and close the tap while shampooing or soaping. The room itself is not like a typical hotel brick-on-brick type of building. It’s a cottage-shack made out of raw woods and bamboos from the trees of the island. There is no proper wall to separate the “room”. Lastly do not even think about AC.

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We took the larger place called “Sunset Hut”. The shack itself can take 8 people, but we were there only for party of 5. There were 1 queen bed (for 2 people) and 4 single beds (for 4 people). There was still space available to add 2 more single beds for the 7th and 8th persons if we have more people. They provide us with 2 standing electric fans, a speaker stereo to plugin your iPod for your favorite music, and a water dispenser for drinks.

I also have to mention one thing about the bathroom situation. I believe our shack is the only one that has our own private bathroom right next to our shack. The other rooms/shack will have to use the shared-bathroom outside – there are about 6 shared- bathrooms throughout this small island. So if you have issues with the bathroom situation, you might have to take the Sunset Hut to get a private bathroom

Enough about the amenities, I want to get back to the sparkling blue water right in front of our shack.

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The deck right in front of our shack has a stairs that allows us to get into the water. We were in the water all day, swimming, kayaking and snorkeling. The water is warm that we could be there all day without getting wrinkles. The island provides all the water equipment for free. The beautiful ocean is in the horizon and by the late afternoon you were given this marshmallow-y sunset view right from your deck. One word: Amazing.

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Bottom line, I was very satisfied with the whole trip. It was one night to remember and I cannot wait to go back, perhaps with more people. The more the merrier. :)

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For more info and pricing please go to

xoxo, Sari Soepono

Travelling Packing Tips

The holiday season is here and I'm sure that most of you have exciting travel plans ahead of you. Whether it's with friends or family, this is the time the year where people travel heavily. Coming from my recent trip, I thought I'd share some tips and tricks on packing tips. It has worked wonders for me and I hope it will be helpful for you too.

If i'd had the choice to travel, unless I'm going to a  beach/shore type of destination ( e.g. Bali, Miami, Hawaii), I'd prefer to travel during the Fall season. This is exactly what we did over our recent trip to Europe where we leave mid September and stayed throughout early October. This is best time to be outside where the air is nice and crisp without getting too cold.

Now here are several my general rules of thumb in packing:

1. Keep everything in neutral colors. This will make everything easily mixed and match. Neutral colors are blacks, browns, beiges, whites, and grays. I use this rule for clothes, shoes, and bags.

2. By keeping your outfits neutral, you can add color with different scarves. Pack a few to add a pop of color.

3. Bring comfortable shoes. Different people have their own level of comfort when it comes to shoes. Don't try to win style over comfort for this. Trust me.

4. Going to accessories, since we are keeping things simple and neutral, you can go a bit bold with jewelries. I usually don't bring my expensive jewelries when I travel and opt for costume jewelries. That way, if the worst case I lost them, it won't be a big deal. I like to bring different kinds of earrings because due to the outfits and scarves, you really can't see anything else (necklace, bracelets) other than your neck up.

5. Bring extra underwear. You just don't know.

6. Toiletries: apart from all the everyday skincare and makeup products you need, don't forget to bring your own shower cap. You will be surprised some hotels don't provide shower caps in their amenities. You don't want to be hassled to do your hair everyday do you?

7. Bring extra batteries and memory cards for your camera and don't forget the charger.

8. I always bring my travel hair dryer with me. It's small and foldable and yet big at 1895 watts. I have a thick big frizzy hair so, I can't use those wall hair dryer in the hotel bathroom that goes for 1000 watts. My hair just won't cooperate.

9. If you decided to bring any electronic equipment with you, make sure you bring the international adapters. Also, make sure your equipment is either dual-voltage, or matches the voltage of the place you are visiting. This is very important, otherwise that heavy thing you'll be carrying will be useless.

10. Have fun!!

If you go by my rules from point 1-4, your outfits would look something like this.









Happy Holidays and safe travels!

xoxo, Sari Soepono

Reminscing DWP 2012

I was contemplating whether to make a post out of this, but I thought this event was so awesome that I still have this euphoria for days.

dwp2 dwp3This was my first time going into a rave party in Indonesia. My last one was back in Miami for Ultra Fest few years ago. To my surprise, I had such a great time in DWP from the beginning to end and even through the heavy rain, the party was still going hard. This is exactly what I remembered in Miami. They rocked the crowd regardless rain or shine.

I was so excited to finally see one of my favorite musicians Late Night Alumni. I have been a big fan since their first single “Empty Street”. Only recently this year they started performing live to the audience. I remembered their first performance was early this year in Salt Lake City. Too bad that it took place during the week and I couldn’t go there to see it. I was able to redeem myself that night in front of the beautiful angelic voiced, Becky.

The other two favorites would be Calvin Harris and Avicii. They performed back to back at the same stage outdoor, and that’s when the heavy rain starts to go crazy. The thunder and lighting were like a disco ball on steroids up in the sky. But of course the rain didn’t stop us to stay in the field and dance away. Epic!



I can’t wait to see the lineup for the next Djakarta Warehouse Project 2013!

Click here for more info on Djakarta Warehouse Project, website and facebook.

xoxo, Sari Soepono

Bratislava - Slovakia

Bratislava. Which used to be known as Pressburg or Pozsony, is the capital city of Slovakia. When the turks invaded Hungary during the 1950s, they also moved the Hungarian capital from Budapest to Bratislava. After the World War I,it became part of the new Czechoslovakia. In 1919, Bratislava has been the capital of Slovakia  (do correct me if I'm wrong)

I went here from Prague, by bus, and when I got here, I wasn't on my best mood because our tour leader woke me up for a walk in the old town when I was on a super sleepy mode. This is why I didn't take a good shot of the famous Novy Most Bridge,  I regret it now.

During a walk into the old town, I saw a really interesting photography installation.


Afterwards I continued walking to the main square and had lunch (fish) in a local restaurant. I must say the city is not as grande as Prague, the people are more laidback, but the shops are full with interesting handicrafts. My cousin got busy with the handmade jewelry while others are busy with the embroidery .. me, I saw a shop full with chocolates. Stayed there before I started taking pics








x Santi Soepono x
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