Langkah-langkah untuk memohon visa ke USA: MUDAH!

This post is written in my mother tongue, Malay.

Fuuh, berbaloinya ke USA!

Fuhh, berbaloinya ke USA! Ini ialah Lake Tahoe, di Nevada, ala negeri yang ada Las Vegas tu.

Saya pasti ramai yang diluar sana kadangkala buntu dan masih tak faham cara-cara untuk mohon visa ke USA, dan juga ramai yang berharap visa rakyat Malaysia untuk ke USA akan dimansuhkan secepat mungkin. USA sekarang sedang sibuk memulihkan hubungan dengan Cuba dan itupun makan masa bertahun lamanya walaupun dua-dua negara ini sangat berdekatan. Maka perihal pemansuhan visa rakyat Malaysia ke USA mungkin makan masa 2 atau 3 tahun lagi sebelum solusi dicapai. Untuk itu, saya tuliskan yang paling ringkas untuk anda mohon visa ke USA. Saya jamin jikalau anda baca dan fahamkan dari pos saya ini, anda akan rasa mudah untuk mulakan proses permohonan.

Ringkasan cara-cara mohon tourist visa, B2 ke USA

Mula-mula, fahami:

1. Jenis visa yang anda perlu mohon

2. Harga jenis visa pilihan

3. Pembayaran dan cara bayar untuk proses permohonan visa

4. Maklumat dan cara isi borang DS-160 online

5. Masa menunggu untuk appointment 

6. Gambar pasport dan cap jari digital

Maklumat Umum Visa ke USA

1. Jenis visa untuk TOURIST ialah B2.

2. Harga sekarang ialah MYR576.00/USD160 seorang. Harga dalam RM berubah ikut nilai tukaran semasa, tapi harga tetap ialah USD160.

3. Cara bayar ialah melalui bank Standard Chartered. Sebelum ke bank untuk buat bayaran dan mendapatkan nombor akaun Virtual untuk isi borang online, pergi ke sini dan cetak(print). Lengkapkan borang deposit ini dan pergi ke mana-mana Standard Chartered untuk buat pembayaran. Nanti akan dapat Virtual Account Number untuk digunakan untuk buat “appointment online”. Simpan nombor ini.

Buat hanya SATU bayaran untuk setiap Virtual Account Number kerana bayaran tidak akan dikembalikan. Adalah penting untuk anda simpan nombor yang diberi, kerana ini juga ialah bukti pembayaran proses visa yang  diperlukan untuk membuat “appointment” kemudian nanti. 

Sebelum “schedule appointment online”, sila pastikan anda ada semua ini:

  • Pasport sah sekurang-kurangnya 6 bulan untuk keluar Malaysia(pasport merah). Kalau ada anak kecil gunakan pasport anda, pun wajib mohon untuk anak kecil itu. Visa TAK boleh dikongsi.
  • Resit bayaran permohonan visa dari Standard Chartered Bank
  • Confirmation page of DS-160 (baca yang seterusnya di bawah pasal DS-160, penting)
  • Alamat e-mail anda yang sah
  • Sedia dan bawa dokumen sokongan untuk temuduga dan proses aplikasi atas talian. Untuk B2 atau tourist visa, pemohon perlu sediakan bukti yang anda ada hubungan kuat dengan Malaysia dan anda akan pasti pulang semula ke Malaysia selepas selesai melancong di USA. Dokumen sokongan yang perlu ada untuk dibawa ke interview ialah resume/curriculum vitae, slip gaji terkini, surat pelepasan majikan, bil bayar kereta dan rumah, surat cuti sekolah anak-anak, dan sebagainya yang berkaitan. Hanya tunjuk dokumen sokongan bila ditanya oleh pegawai.
Gambar motivasi semasa mohon visa! Siapa yang tak nak tengok Grand Canyon ni?

Gambar motivasi semasa mohon visa! Siapa yang tak nak tengok Grand Canyon ni?

PENTING DAN DIBUAT SEBELUM “SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT”:

Borang DS-160 hendaklah diisi. Setiap pemohon satu borang, termasuk untuk anak kecil dan setiap anak-anak yang ikut sama dalam trip anda. Pergi ke sini untuk mulakan apply/isi borang DS-160.

1. Pilih KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA sebagai “applying location”. Jenis visa ialah tourist visa/B2 NON-IMMIGRANT.

2. Panduan isi borang DS-160 ada di sini. Baca dengan teliti sebelum meneruskan isi borang DS-160.

3. Pastikan anda siap imbas(scan) gambar pasport semua pemohon dalam keluarga untuk dimuat naik ketika isi borang ini.

4. Semasa isi DS-160, sila sediakan maklumat “Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States”, atau tarikh lawatan terakhir anda ke USA dalam 5 tahun lalu, jika pernah ke USA. Dan anda juga akan ditanya apakah pengalaman anda travel ke luar negara dalam masa 5 tahun yang lalu.

Samada anda “schedule appointment” di sini atau menghubungi ini, anda perlu ada Virtual Account number untuk teruskan dengan “appointment scheduling” yang didapati setelah membuat pembayaran di bank Standard Chartered.

Bila dah isi borang, dan dah selesai bayar, boleh jadualkan temujanji (schedule appointment) untuk temuduga di pejabat kedutaan di Jalan Tun Razak. Jadualkan temuduga anda di sini.

UNTUK KEKOSONGAN TARIKH SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT:

Slot kosong untuk temuduga ialah berdasarkan jumlah pemohon yang “queue” lepas isi borang online. Kadangkala kekosongan untuk temuduga hanya akan ada dalam 2-3 minggu selepas anda isi borang, maksudnya ramai yang memohon dan ramai juga yang sudah memilih tarikh temuduga terdekat. Jika bernasib baik, anda boleh pilih masa keesokan harinya selepas isi borang, maksudnya makin cepat anda ke temuduga, makin cepat dapat visa, jika diluluskan.

Akhir sekali,

PERINGATAN!

Jangan beli tiket dahulu selagi belum dapat visa. Selalu mohon visa dahulu sebelum beli tiket. Bila visa tak diluluskan, kedutaan Amerika takkan pulangkan duit visa USD160 yang anda dah bayar tadi dan juga takkan bayar balik duit tiket kapal terbang yang anda dah beli. Melainkan anda tak kisah syarikat penerbangan “refund” separuh atau alih destinasi, risiko ini anda tanggung sendiri. Surat appointment untuk interview juga bukan jaminan dapat visa. Visa hanya dapat selepas temuduga, kalau diluluskan akan dapat dalam masa 3(TIGA) hari bekerja. Dinasihatkan untuk buat semua langkah di atas pada hari Isnin, supaya visa juga dapat dalam minggu yang sama, itupun jikalau tidak ada masalah sistem online kedutaan Amerika.

Waktu temuduga, kalaupun anda dah beli tiket(saya tak galakkan, mereka pun tak galakkan), jangan disebut kepada pegawai kedutaan. Bila dia tanya apa kita nak buat di USA dan ke mana kita nak pergi dalam US dan bila rancang untuk pulang ke Malaysia, siapkan ITINERARI, tunjukkan pada mereka bila ditanya. Tiket kapal terbang BUKAN bukti anda akan pergi dan pulang. Jangan dengar cakap orang yang dah beli tiket dan tunjuk tiket sebagai bukti, kerana yang berjaya dapat visa lepas beli/tunjuk tiket itu ialah atas nasib baik masing-masing. Ini ialah nasihat berdasarkan pengalaman saya bercakap dan berurusan dengan pegawai kedutaan Amerika di KL sendiri, bukan sekali dua tapi banyak kali. Kalau anda ke kedutaan juga akan terlihat notis di mana pembelian tiket terlebih dahulu adalah sangat tidak dianjurkan.

Waktu temuduga, wajib bawa CONFIRMATION PAGE OF DS-160 yang dah diisi dan ditandatangani secara elektronik dan juga nombor APPLICATION ID. Bertenang di saat temuduga, kerana mereka juga manusia, dan tak perlu begitu fasih cakap Bahasa Inggeris pun boleh dapat visa. Dan pegawai kedutaan suka pemohon yang berkeyakinan tinggi dan nampak tahu apa yang patut dilakukan dan telah awal bersedia dan buat kajian sebelum datang ke temuduga. Kalau ikut cerita saya di Facebook saya, anda boleh bentangkan pada pegawai ke mana anda ingin pergi bila di USA.

JIKA VISA ANDA DILULUSKAN:

Yay! Anda boleh track pasport anda di sini dan jika ianya sudah sedia dengan visa ditampal di dalam, anda boleh dapatkan semula pasport anda di alamat ini:

No. 39, Lot 77159, Lorong Jala 14/ks 10, Telok Gong 42000, Port Klang, Selangor.  

Horseshoe Bend ini menanti anda di Utah, USA!

Horseshoe Bend ini menanti anda di Utah, USA!

Kedengaran sukar bukan? Kalau anda baca langkah mudah yang dah saya ringkaskan di atas, tidaklah sukar sebenarnya. Jujur saya katakan. Juga, sangatlah berbaloi menempuh pengalaman ini, kerana USA ialah sebuah negara yang amat cantik. Sesiapa mengikuti cerita perjalanan saya dan melihat semua gambar yang saya ambil, anda pasti tahu sedikit sebanyak dan tentunya teruja untuk ke USA! Keterujaan juga sumber motivasi yang besar!

Selamat maju jaya, jangan mudah putus asa!

“Is it safe for me to travel by myself when I have to?”

 

While in Bonneville Salt Flats.

While in Bonneville Salt Flats.

A question we heard the most. If we traveled back in time when there were no internet and gadgets, how do you think these people did it? That’s right, by going to these places and confirmed the fact themselves.

Thanks to internet, it is easier to find out about things you never knew about. But still, people who never traveled are scared of the world out there, and I found them always in state of “needing to be reassured that it is okay to travel alone”, over and over again. How do you think those travelers got that far? They ventured, they took risks and, experiences they had gained while being on the road had turned them from scared to brave. We all had our first times. We all had our first scary bus rides. We all had that time when we missed our international train and flight. Getting your first times by getting started in everything; they matter. That’s how you build courage. Nobody was born brave, it is acquired.Here are why I think you shouldn’t be scared to travel, especially by yourself or even with others.
1. Utilize the internet and phone in your hand; research, research and research.

Use Google, it’s free! Type in things you are curious about. Magically, things you want to know about places will show up! Read and comprehend, take notes and keep them close to you. Take only good advices, make the bad ones lessons. There are tons of information available online, use them. If you still want to ask advices from others, at least come prepared. I dislike it when people come to me ZERO, expecting me to shower them with everything, A to Z. Don’t be this lazy and heavily relying on others!

2. The world is not that big. 

Everywhere you go, almost certainly you’ll find things that are connected to your country. Almost instantly you’ll feel less of a stranger in a foreign land when they told you they have met lots of Malaysians traveling to their country, some of them can even speak Malay! A little advice: Choose wisely of where to go on your first trip. Don’t make a war zone as your first. Commone sense, if you chose to start bad, you’ll feel bad. You’ll also feel that the world is a scary place while it is not.

3. You are not really alone out there. 

You know some people chose to feel lonely when they are alone by not trying to make friends and using the excuse “locals are not that friendly or I found other travelers are selfish.” You later realized that the problem is you. Don’t lie when all the time you get out there, you’ll meet thousands of new people on the street who also want to make friends with you! Strike a conversation, don’t be too shy to ask someone to take pictures of you. Next thing you know, you guys are best buds! That’s my case in 100% of the time. Am I magically friendly or pretty? I am not, I just open my mouth and start talking!

4. It’s not that dangerous.

Beware of advices from people who never actually been to Thailand when they told you going there could kill you. Never trust this kind of perception, especially when they also never made research about the place! Unless that one place is obviously dangerous like a war zone, then you should take cautions. I dislike when one person write an unfair list about how not safe one place is after spending ONLY 3 days there. How dare you to trick everyone into believing it at first place?

5. Know how to stay safe.

We heard of people getting pickpocketed in Paris, being ripped off by tuk-tuk drivers in Bangkok, and having to pay for a supposedly free shoeshining on streets of Istanbul. Practice precautions when you are alone or with friends by not making fast decisions when you do not want to get ripped off. Don’t wear flashy clothing and showing your expensive camera and that you have money to afford things. Modesty could save you. Don’t take offers that sound too easy and cheap. Take them into careful considerations. You want to have fun and also save money, but when making fast decision without carefully thinking it through, your dream trip can go down the drain.
Extra point,

6. Women, trust your instict. That’s all that I can say.


Alone or not, traveling, when you do it right, it’ll benefit you and others in ways you could never imagine.

How not to be a good traveler

Even a traveler who is constantly on the road makes mistakes sometimes. Mistakes are avoidable if you know exactly what not to do. Note that #2 is definitely unforgiving, so don’t ever try to.

We can never be perfect, but we definitely can try not to pick wrong choices.

1. Underestimating what you are getting into and what you actually are prepared for

In my case, I had underestimated Yosemite National Park, when I thought I can just go there without planning on which part of the park I should go, to see places I wanted to see. I had no idea that all those things are so far away from where we started. It was already 2pm on that day and we made our move from a place that was 4 hours away from all the attractions in Yosemite which is in the valley. On the map, those places look so near, I even underestimated that. Improper planning leads to unnecessary drive and exhaustion. I totaled an excruciating 8 hours of tiresome drive, for 3 minutes of just this photo, and putting my partner’s life at risk.

As a result, I only got to see this spot for 3 minutes because the sun was going down. Was it worthy? We still had 3 hours on the road to our final destination that day, including driving in the dark on dangerous, winding road. I got nothing but this photo and yes I was so mad at myself. I definitely learnt my lessons.

As a result, I only got to see this spot for 3 minutes because the sun was going down. Was it worthy? We still had 3 hours on the road to our final destination that day, including driving in the dark on dangerous, winding road. I got nothing but this photo and yes I was so mad at myself. I admit, I definitely learnt my lessons.

Other things you might be doing while traveling, like going to the zoo, museum, souvenirs shopping or going for a stroll on a beach don’t necessarily require concrete planning. Never ever venture out there not having any idea of what you are getting into. It might costs you your life.

2. Offending everyone by not respecting rules, customs and traditions

In the light of recent earthquake in Sabah, my home state that kills at least 16 climbers, just weeks after a group of tourist climbers posing naked on top of the mountain, also 2 tourists who got arrested and later deported for showing their rears at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, everyone of us here wants or at least thought of being THAT cool traveler, doing things differently than the others, competing to become trendsetters thus becoming popular without realizing that you are dragging unassuming people along with you. There’s nothing wrong in being different but what you do is a reflection of who you are. It is true that earthquakes in Sabah or Nepal weren’t caused by those irresponsible acts. No matter what the reasons are, locals in Sabah are angry because these supposed more-civilized nations & experienced travelers should’ve forehandedly studied cultures of the places they’re going to and that most definitely include thoroughly understanding traditions, respecting the differences in rules and not hesitating to follow the customs. Not a second you are allowed to think that the rules of one foreign place aren’t applied to you just because you’re just visiting. Just visiting is also not an excuse to misbehave. You may get naked in your own backyard because that’s your space, then what makes you think that you should get naked in other’s backyard? Oh, it’s just a mountain and that’s just another temple, no big deal, right? If you think it is okay to just get naked, showing parts of your body that you aren’t supposed to and offending millions of people, you are definitely on your way to become a NOT good traveler. You should see that coming, people do really get what they deserve, especially if they’ve done something offensive and punishable by law.

NAKED TOURISM IS NOT FOR ALL PLACES IN THE WORLD. -Photo courtesy of The Star

NAKED TOURISM IS NOT FOR ALL PLACES IN THE WORLD. What seems cool to you might be offensive to others.
-Photo courtesy of The Star

3. Relying too much on online resources

Not all itineraries made by others will suit you and your travel needs. That is why it is important to construct your own. One’s experience at one place might be different than another. This would actually leads to disappointment, when you didn’t get what you expected to get at first place. Before spending my summer 2 years ago in Venice, Italy, I’ve read lots of wonderful things about Venice and so I just went there, winging it, thinking I too will be having great times like others but in the end, I was disappointed. I didn’t get the experience that I wanted in Venice, because I was relying too much on whatever information I read online without further research. Laziness cannot be forgiven. If you put extra efforts into it, you’ll get more of good things, not only for you but also beneficial to others.

4. Being a complainer that you are

Bad habits are hard to break. Sometimes when you travel, you have to leave them at home, whether you like it or not. Home means all the comforts you can get. Outside home, you forgot that foreign places aren’t designed for you. Then you started complaining about non-existing restaurants that serve rice and why that city must have at least one restaurant that serves your favorite food otherwise you won’t survive. You complain about the sidewalks that aren’t comfortable enough to walk on but locals seem to be walking fine on those. These, and tonnes of other complaints that you sometimes listed for your own amusement, later passing it to friends, simply making your own conclusions of how bad that particular country is and why your friends too, shouldn’t go there. Next time you travel, try not to complain. The purpose of traveling to foreign places is to experience different kind of living situations of others. If you just want the comfort, stay at home. Don’t even bother discovering new places.

So what do you think you did wrong during your last travel?

“My travel photos are awesome but why don’t I get many likes?”

So you have great travel photos that you want to share on your social media, for example, Instagram. You shared them on daily basis but they only have at most 20 likes and you’re wondering what’s wrong. You probably thought that at this point, your photos aren’t good enough for the viewers, while your photos are actually great. I mean actually GREAT. There is probably something wrong in the way you are sharing those photos.
Unless you don’t want likes or followers, you can ignore this post.

1. Knowing WHEN to upload.
Most people will scroll for photos online during snoozy working hours; lunch time, after lunch, in the car on the way back from work while getting stuck in traffic and at night before bed time, when the kids are already sleeping. It is kind of a big deal to upload your photos during these hours as these people will focus on uploaded photos rather than them uploading photos. That’s why knowing the right time is important. You don’t go uploading photos in the middle of the night, usually between 2am-5am, exceptionally, many youngsters usually are staying up till 1-2am. Depends on who your viewers are and where they come from, you should assess their patterns. Also, you have to consider time zones. Many of my viewers are from Malaysia, while I am living in the US, I have to upload photos and post updates at weird hours, which is nonetheless good and it is something that I had been doing for a while.

People will scroll down your feed everyday if you do these, do as I say.

2. Knowing what your viewers would be interested in and focus on that.
Some of us upload photos with descriptions of the places, while some of us upload photos with motivational thoughts. Depends on the viewers, some of them would love to actually know about places you’ve been to. As for me, my audience loves descriptive photos. My audience loves asking questions about these places and I figured it is the best for me to write the information down. It is also good for their and your future references. This is also another way for you to blog, almost micro-blogging, and if you use Instagram, it is actually a great platform to do it, easy.

3. Know the right hashtags to be used and don’t hesitate in using them correctly.
This would be unnecessary to some, consider using the right hashtags. Using the right hashtags not only brings traffic to your page, but also recognitions by already-established platforms. This is how I am reached by pages like Matador Networks and being featured couple of times because I use the right tag on my photos. Audience will probably gets annoyed if you used tags like #spamforspam or #likesforlikes on your fantastic photos, just because it doesn’t sound professional or that you are not into what you are doing, in this case, wanting people to know you have great travel photos and that you want to be recognized. Don’t be afraid to use tags like #travel, #beautifuldestinations and such, as long as the tags are legit and making sense.

Straighten the horizon!

Straighten the horizon!

4. Knowing that it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use, even if you have only phone camera, you can make it work.
I travel with my iPhone 5s and GoPro. Many people asked me what kind of camera I used since my photos are great according to them. Although you are using only your phone to take photos, you can apply the photography rules while capturing your shots. Like the “rule of third”, when you stand at the third end in your photo so you won’t be blocking the view and usually it is used to compare how grand the view is in terms of its scale to your body. Also, if you take landscape shots, remember to straighten them before uploading because that matters. Like I said, you don’t have to own fancy camera, as long as you know what to do and that you study the rules, you’ll soon be gaining hundreds of followers. I did it!

When the subject is so grand, try not to be in the middle of it.

When the subject is so grand, try not to be in the middle of it.

5. Knowing HOW to upload photos.
You went to the beach and probably captured 100 photos at the beach alone. It annoys people when you immediately upload all those photos and in sequence even! Give the beach photos a break by uploading photos from different events in between. Varying uploads works wonders! Even if you have to do a #throwback then be it. People love the mixtures, and with mixtures in uploads, your timeline will be colorful.

So, do you know what you did wrong now?

“So which one is your favorite country/state?”

I found this question difficult to be answered accordingly. Although to date I only was in 20 countries, I love every country that I went to. I dubbed Thailand as my second home after the USA(not counting Malaysia because it is already in my blood) because I’ve had lived in Thailand long enough to understand the culture and know it like the back of my hand. I love Bangkok specifically, if any of you had been in either Bangkok or New York City, you can relate. And therefore New York City is my favorite and preferred city to live in because it’s like Bangkok, only bigger! As for the rest, I loved all 34 states in the US that I recently explored with my permanent traveling partner. I only have 16 states more to go and I am sure I will love them too.

NYC=Bangkok=awesome! 


When I am not in the US, I will park myself in Bangkok or be in Bali, Indonesia. I’ve been to Bali 4 times to date and although it is not a favorite getaway island to some, Bali to me is a great place to undergo emotional therapy. “What? Kuta is like the worst place on Earth!” That 18,000 Indonesian Rupiah early-morning-dolphins-sighting ride in Northern Bali is awesome, do you know that? As someone who doesn’t drink or party, I have successfully made the best out of all famous party spots in South East Asia that I’ve been to. You know you’re THE traveler when you are enjoying what you’re doing regardless the condition or hype of the places! I can’t help you if you are THAT picky traveler.

 Bali is pretty cool for your soul.

I guess that’s why it’s hard for me to choose, because all these places that I’ve had been to are so significant to me. I met the nicest people while in Romania, I’ve had the best home-cooked meal in Italy, I’ve experienced the best horseback riding in the US, I’ve had the best underwater experience in Indonesia. This is how I answer this question! Next time you ask me, it’ll still be the same. I love the whole world!

 Montana’s countryside with horses.

I am in love with Earth and for as long as I live, I will try not to stop loving this planet and everything in it, except Venice in the summer and Paris metro.

So, do you have any favorite country/state?

Catatan Hari Pekerja

This note is written in my native language, my mother tongue, Malay.

Catatan selepas berjalan jauh. Maaf sebab panjang. Tapi ini ialah ringkasan kisah hidup aku yang tak ramai orang tahu, kerana aku rasa aku bijak menyembunyikan kesusahan.


Bismillah.

Waktu kecil, aku hidup dalam kemiskinan. Aku kena pergi pintu ke pintu menjual jeruk dan jajanan, seawal umur 7 tahun. Muka memang tebal. Pergi sekolah pun aku berjual. Sampai kena tahan cikgu disiplin gara-gara sorang kawan aku tu pergi senyap-senyap report kat cikgu. Rasa nak marah, tapi aku cuma boleh menangis. Ibu kata “Kalau kawan buli kau jangan buli balik, buang masa, kan kau budak pandai?”. Aku menangis, sebab bila tak menjual, maka takda duit. Balik rumah bila bakul masih penuh, aku menangis.  Waktu aku membesar, ikan kembung seekor bahagi 5 orang. Pergi sekolah, jarang aku membeli di kantin. Ibu selalu bekalkan nasi goreng. Dulu aku dikhabarkan bahawa kalau aku tak belajar rajin-rajin, maka kami sekeluarga akan terus hidup dalam keadaan begitu. Makanya ramai kawan sekolah dari darjah 1-6 “benci” kat aku sebab aku tak pernah dapat nombor lain kecuali nombor 1! Budak-budak Sekolah Kebangsaan Kem Tentera Sandakan batch 1994-1999 boleh confirmkan fakta ni. Jadi budak pandai dulu merupakan motivasi bagi aku untuk keluar dari kemiskinan. Susahnya hidup waktu itu aku takkan lupakan. Ada sekali sekala aku tertinggal bas sekolah, aku akan menangis sepuasnya minta ayah hantar pergi sekolah guna kereta. Disebabkan waktu tu kami takda kereta, aku muram seharian dia rumah memikirkan ruginya sehari tak datang sekolah, tak dapat belajar benda baru dari cikgu. Ya, itulah definisi sekolah buat aku. Bila orang ingat aku lahir memang dah kaya dan aku tak layak hidup senang sekarang, orang orang itu memang salah!


Dulu lepas matrikulasi tahun 2005, aku berangan nak study overseas. Berangan dari kecil, kononnya nak study dekat London, nak bergambar pakai winter jacket belakang ada snow. Kesian kan bunyi? Aku tak ingat kat berapa orang kawan dah aku sibuk dulu ceritakan angan-angan aku. Dari kecil, bersungguh-sungguh aku pujuk ibu ayah, tapi sebab kurang mampu+kesempitan wang+buta cara, aku kuburkan impian nak study di negara orang dan angan-angan konon nak travel around Europe etc time cuti sem. Aku ada juga jalan-jalan sikit dalam Indonesia dan Thailand guna duit aku selama 2 tahun, habiskan pusing Malaysia, pergi tempat sama berkali-kali sebab murah, peritnya terasa sampai sekarang. Tahan kena kutuk sebab takda pekerjaan tetap, kerja entah apa-apa. Aku tahankan bertahun-tahun, tadah telinga kiri kanan orang mengata. Makanya setiap saat aku rasa nak marah kat orang-orang yang kutuk aku dulu, aku cepat-cepat redakan marah dan bila malam sebelum tidur, aku maafkan semua orang yang pernah sakiti aku. Dalam masa yang sama, bila-bila masa aku akan minta maaf kalau aku ada tersalah cakap atau tersalah laku, yang penting, buat. Rasa tak aman bila tak buat. Aku sedih agak lama tapi lepas tu aku akur dan redha. 

Tapi Allah tu Maha Adil, juga Maha Penyayang. Ya Rabb. Dia berikan aku rezeki dengan jalan lain, walaupun jalan itu sedikit panjang dan agak lama untuk sampai dekat aku. 2006 & 2012, aku dapat ijazah sarjana muda dan sarjana, semua dalam negara, tapi tahun 2013, Dia telah menemukan aku dengan seseorang yang membawa aku mengelilingi dunia, suamiku. Akhirnya, setelah 22 tahun berangan, dapat juga aku pegang snow, pakai winter jacket, dan semua yang aku angan-angankan dulu. Kawan aku kata, “Rezeki dan jodoh kau datang dalam masa yang sama!”. You know who you are.

Memang, aku takda kerja “fancy” gaji tinggi pangkat hebat yang boleh dibanggakan macam kawan-kawan lain walaupun aku ada master’s degree, aku tak pernah dengki dengan kawan-kawan. Aku percaya dengan janji Allah kepada orang yang bersabar, dan rezeki dari Dia itu datang dalam pelbagai bentuk yang tidak disangka-sangka. Ayah pesan “Kau rasa kau da banyak doa tapi belum makbul, kau kena selalu bersangka baik dengan Allah, bersangka baik juga dengan manusia. Kau tawakal lepas kau usaha, lepas tu doa banyak-banyak lagi. Jangan lupa, kalau nak berjaya, jangan pernah meminta-minta pada orang tapi minta pada Allah.”

Sebab tu aku kata, kalau tak tahan, agaknya da lama takda kat dunia ni. Aku rasa aku ni memang spesis degil dan kental, actually aku sangat jarang rasa tertekan melihat cara hidup orang lain dari dulu lagi, sebab aku tahu satu hari nanti, semua bahagian aku akan sampai dekat aku. 

Alhamdulillah, bila lihat orang lain senang, kata Alhamdulillah, bukan rasa dengki. Pernah tak terdetik dalam hati bila kita rasa dengki dengan rezeki orang lain, bahagian  kita boleh kena “delay” bila bila masa?
Alhamdulillah. Takda perkataan lain boleh ganti betapa bersyukurnya aku. Aku rasa cukup dan bahagia, akhirnya. Aku puas belajar hidup susah, menjual dari pintu ke pintu waktu membesar dan segala jenis yang boleh dibayangkan dan sekarang, aku boleh duduk dan senyum memikirkan pahitnya kami  sekeluarga dahulu yang telah terbayar sekarang. 

Semoga kita semua akan bertambah murah rezeki setiap hari. Ingat, bila lihat orang lain senang, kau ucap syukur. Kalau kau dengki, kau tahu akan akibatnya. 

  
Tutup mata dan bayangkan yang indah-indah.









People walking backwards in Tokyo, Japan!

This is the famous Shibuya Crossing in Shibuya, It will be a shame not to see Shibuya while visiting Tokyo. When the light turns green, people will be walking to every direction and the sight is pretty amazing! But my favorite place in Tokyo is definitely Asakusa which is in the north of Tokyo. I love the ancient vibe it gave me!

I used to say “I’ll never want to visit Japan!” And you should never say never!

The famous Shibuya Crossing!

The famous Shibuya Crossing!

The area near Senso-ji Temple.

The area near Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa.

The beautiful entrance of Senso-ji Temple with huge lantern behind me.

The beautiful entrance of Senso-ji Temple with huge lanterns behind me.

With status of legendary loyal dog in 20th century, Hachiko, near Shibuya subway entrance/exit, Hachiko.

With status of legendary loyal dog in 20th century, Hachiko, near Shibuya subway entrance/exit, Hachiko.

How to take on Tokyo in 15 hours is a little guide based on my recent layover in Tokyo en route to Los Angeles from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I can suggest other places to see in Tokyo while transiting if you are interested. Just hit me up!

What’s your favorite place in Japan?

What do I use to take my travel photos?

Answer:

My iPhone 5s and GoPro Hero 4 Black.

It will be a waste if you have a nice phone in your hands but you use them only to take selfies. Selfie-wise, I am not a fan, only sometimes when I have an awesome view behind me that I want to include in my selfie, which in that case, I usually use my GoPro.

I love traveling light, that includes not having to carry heavy SLR. Couple of years ago I have got my hands on it, but I never grow fond of it. Over the years with smartphones, I can now call myself an iPhone expert photographer.

Have you looked at what is in your hands right now? That expensive phone can finally do you good, you know.

Is this really from iPhone? Yes it is.

Is this really from iPhone? Yes it is.


Monument Valley

Monument Valley; The Mitten Buttes, with my iPhone.


Lipe.

Sunset in Koh Lipe, also with my iPhone.

Do good, and share it with friends and I am not talking about selfies.

“Yo, you gone for so long, you never miss home ah?”

Celebrated I turning perfect cube 23 weeks ago on the road in Texas, with beautiful cotton field. Can't get any cooler than this!

Celebrated I turning perfect cube 23 weeks ago on the road in Texas, with beautiful cotton field. Can’t get any cooler than this!

No. I don’t miss home. To be not fair, I only miss the foods and the warm water of pristine South East Asia’s beaches. Nowadays, friends and family back home are just one video call away. Sure you can always call or text them, but you can never text or call the foods! I just made perfect sense!

“But… why? And how come?”

You know, I treat every place I went to as my home. Therefore, I am at home everywhere. That explains the fact that I am selfishly don’t miss Malaysia. I am so comfortable living out here. You know it when you are also living a nomadic life. I was born a traveler, and confidently, when I was a kid, I grew up having my bags ready all the time. I sure had lived out of my backpack for months in Thailand and that was the most encouraging thing I’ve ever done for myself.

“How about Hari Raya? You also don’t go back?”

Yes, that one too. For so many years after the passings of my late grandpas+grandmas, my family celebrate Eid outside Malaysia. It is fun like that. You know, I once celebrated Raya in Germany, eating “nasi lemak sambal udang dan petai” and that was like the sweetest Raya ever? Exactly. I celebrated Raya overseas for so many years now, it is way funner than in Malaysia, to be honest.

I love being a traveler. Even now when I am permanently living in the USA, we are always on the move.

Life’s good.

That was a long hiatus.

I am now living in U.S.A..For past year, I got married and life is good. I am living abroad for 3 years now and I like it this way. Recently, I went on a big trip across USA to 34 states out of 50 and that was probably the most awesome thing I’ve done with my husband, my permanent globe-trotting partner. Here are some photos from the Big Trip.

Walking on salt at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

Walking on salt at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

With mountain with bears running on it behind me in Glacier National Park, Montana.

With mountain with bears running on it behind me in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Snow in the summer in South Dakota.

Snow in the summer in South Dakota.

The famous Devil's Tower in South Dakota.

The famous Devil’s Tower in South Dakota.

With striking geologic composits of Badland National Park, South Dakota.

With striking geologic composits of Badland National Park, South Dakota.

The wild prairie dog at Roberts Prairie Dog Town in Badlands National Park.

The wild prairie dog at Roberts Prairie Dog Town in Badlands National Park.

Cloud Gate or The Bean in Chicago, Illinois.

Cloud Gate or The Bean in Chicago, Illinois.

Niagara Falls with the view of Canada at sunset in Buffalo, New York.

Niagara Falls with the view of Canada at sunset in Buffalo, New York.

Sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park.

Sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park.

Summer beauty in Yosemite National Park, California.

Summer beauty in Yosemite National Park, California.

Where are you going next?