So, right now is 2017? Wow! Time really goes really fast! I thought that before I get busy with routines in 2017, it will be better to write what I have been through during 2016. So that when I old, I can look back and going deep to my old memories again through this note ^^
#1. I climbed a mountain!!
My parent is an over-worried type that can’t permit their only daughter to climb mountain. So, I said to my parent that I have trip to West Java with my university friends and we will just spend time in the city. While the truth is I climbed the mountain. Haha. Well, though after I went home, I said the truth and my parent just let it go.
I climbed Papandayan Mountain for hours. I became tired as there was no sign of the mountain peak. I felt like giving up. But, since my friends were there and we supported each other, I kept on climbing for 6 hours. When we reached the peak, all the exhaustions were gone, substituted with happiness and gratefulness. I do hope I can climb a mountain again someday. Because climbing a mountain is not about reach the peak but about knowing myself better.
#2. For the first time, I went abroad!!
I went to Singapore in early 2016. At that time, I worked in Korean company in Batam so I went to Singapore by ship. I still remember how mesmerized I was because of the high-tech and incredibly well structured and planned of the MRT system since until now Indonesia does not have that (well, at least now the MRT is in under construction). I felt like there is underground city below Singapore! Other than that, I really love how I coincidentally met with my Korean boss and his family for twice!! Though we didn’t make any promise. It was like fate. Haha.
#3. I got Swedish Institute Scholarship!!
In 2016, I applied for 2 scholarships: LPDP (scholarship from Indonesia government) and SI scholarship. The announcement of LPDP came first and I was rejected. I remember that after I knew I was rejected, I can’t sleep at night and I cried when I told my parent. I frustrated for like a week and I questioned my own capacity, whether I can achieve anything in life. Naturally, I didn’t expect anything from SI scholarship. I thought “Even I can’t beat myself to get LPDP scholarship then how can I get SI scholarship in which the competition is much higher?”. Then, suddenly at 8 April (maybe 2-3 weeks after rejection from LPDP), I got an email with title “Congratulations!” from Swedish embassy. I 100% believed it was a spam email. I opened it out of curiosity and it turned out that I got the SI scholarship!!! I can’t hold back my tears and I got goosebumps. I re-read the email many times to make sure that it was right. After 100% sure, I called my parent and they were really happy. They said to me that I have to be more grateful to Allah SWT. That night, it was really unbelievable to me. That night, with that announcement, everything in my future just change.
#4. I went to Europe (specifically stay in Sweden)
I always have a dream to touch a snow. This is because my father told me that I am the only one in the family who never touch snow. But, I never thought that I will landed and stayed in Sweden, a Scandinavian country in the northern Europe, one of the coldest country in Europe. I experienced snow canon in November 2016 where the snow was piled up as high as a car. This is the country where the temperature can drop to -20 degree Celsius. But, I enjoyed living in Sweden very much. This country is one of safest and cleanest country in the world. And, this is the country where most Europeans would rather live in as it has the best quality of life in the world (you can see from the research shown in the table below). Though Swede are quiet and calm people, they are really welcome to international people with no racism. From Sweden, I got opportunity to have trip to Lithuania and Riga too ^^
#5. I explored Islam historical building in Spain
Not like my other friends who have list of countries that they must visit or things that they have to do during their stay in Europe, I don’t have a list like that. I just go along with my friend’s choice because wherever I will go and whatever I will do, I have never go there done it before. Then, my friends and I made plan to go to Spain with track of Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Malaga, Cordoba, and Seville for 12 days. Then, this trip turned out to be the most memorable trip in my life. This was the first time I had trip in backpacking style in which I stayed in hostel. This was the first time I took night bus and spend night in the station. This was the first time I feel like I am in the lowest point of my life due to exhaustion but I can still go on because I have friends beside me. Above it all, I saw with my own eyes, the frozen art of Islamic buildings that built approximately 1400 years ago, but still stand tall until now. This journey intrigues my desire to learn more about Islam.
In conclusion, 2016 was really a great year. I felt like Allah SWT is too nice to me with all of these events: I could do many things, have many real friends, I went to many places, experienced new things, and got scholarship. I promise myself I have to do better in 2017 so that I can utilize myself to contribute to others 🙂