2018 Year In Review

I never wrote about my year in review before, but this year I feel like doing it. Not because a lot of people are doing it, but because I’d like to look back and reflect on what I have done, achieved, and learned this year. This will surely help me see how far I have come and where should I go next.


Got a new year present from my Santa, Fuji XE3 so I started taking pictures of my friends to test the camera. Manda also came to take pictures of Suza, our first muse. Later I took pictures of other friends as well. They were very happy with the results and so was I. 

Manda was directing Suza on her turn to take her pictures. It looked fun, but the water was biting cold.

Suza surprisingly was a natural in front of the camera. We got a lot of good poses from her that day.


My first snow experience in Kronberg im Taunus, a small city in Germany. I shared this experience with my flying partner Diana when we had Frankfurt two-day layover. We didn’t think that we would see snow that day, because the weather forecast just said that it would be windy and cold. And I was never lucky to see the snow until that day. It was a lot of fun playing with the snow!

Red noses and cheeks. No, we’re not the Christmas reindeers, we’re just Asians who can’t stand the cold weather even with layers of clothes.

Cold weather did not prevent us from taking pictures. Diana had a lot of ideas in her mind for so many new profile photos.

My most favorite photo from the first snow experience. I made it my “About Me” photo on this blog.


Got the chance to operate a VIP flight to Washington DC. Along with some fellow crew members, I was serving the entourage of Prince MBS who was having his first official state visit as a crown prince.

The aircraft that we brought for the VIP flight. If only the aircraft could talk, it would say a lot of things about what happened inflight, hahaha.

Some of the lucky crew chosen to operate that VIP flight (left to right): Marelli, Hazel, and me.

Toured London on a red big bus while enjoying pretty cakes and a cup of tea, again with Diana my flying partner. We were exhausted from that flight but it did not stop us from exploring London in the most British manner we could ever think of. Tea and cupcakes, anyone?

“Which one to eat first? But first, please take a good picture for my Instagram…”

My life motto: there’s always a room for dessert

Pretty little cupcakes that became history in our bellies.


The AMC cinema in Saudi Arabia was open to the public for the very first time.

I was enjoying a full-month vacation in Bali with my boyfriend. The first time ever for both of us to go to Bali and we had fun. We went slow and enjoyed each place we visited. One of the best trips I’ve ever had. 

At Klingking Beach in Nusa Penida. We didn’t go down because it’s quite dangerous.

My boyfriend took this photo of me and the local rice farmer named Kantun. I wish other visitors in the ricefield had the chance to talk to this humble and funny man, not just busy taking pictures for their Instagram pages.


Applied for Schengen visa from the Greece Consulate in Jeddah and got my visa within one day! I was so excited and looking forward to using the visa for traveling to European countries I haven’t visited before.

Yeay, finally got my Schengen Visa for the first time! Where should I go for summer days off?


Women driving ban was lifted and women all over Saudi rejoiced and celebrated this by sharing their driving experience on social media.

Went to Athens for the first time for solo traveling. I was supposed to do island-hopping and visit Santorini at least, but then I got sick that I had to remain in Athens. For the first time ever I also felt extreme loneliness when solo traveling. But despite what happened, I had one of the best food experiences in Athens. I ate gyros, souvlaki and the famous artisan gelato called Da Vinci.

Greece has two local foods that I love the most, Gyros and Souvlaki. I ate them every day I was there, tasty and yummy!

If you visit Athens, go to this famous artisan gelato shop and you will surely want to have some more. Highly recommended.

This very same month, I had fun during a two-day Munich layover and spent it with my longtime friend from university Ria Joy and also my Indonesian fellow crew, Mba Wulan. We went to the castle that inspired Disney’s castle logo.

Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle that inspired Disney’s castle logo. The interior was so beautiful and crafted to perfection. Too bad no visitors allowed to take pictures.

This is the kind of view that would inspire painters. Beautiful!

With Mba Wulan, a fellow Indonesian crew who, just like me, has problem of climbing and walking for too long. This must be age factor hahaha!


Back to enjoy Geneva after more than three years since I last visited the city. Had fun with Diana in the garden, saw the swans swimming towards us and enjoyed the ice cream by the harbor.

We asked one of the tourists to take our picture in front of this flower clock. We thought he was taking pictures carelessly until we saw the result. Wow, nice photo. Thank you, sir!

Diana was trying to take a better angle of me when suddenly these guys in pink were photobombing me! XD


This month I was interviewed for FC program but failed. Was disappointed for the results, because I knew some girls made it even without interview. But hey, now I think of it as a blessing in disguise. 


Traveled to Paris and Amsterdam on my days off.  I stayed in one of the coolest accommodation in the city called Zoku. Met my longtime blogger friend Ericka and explored the city markets, saw the sex workers in Red Light District, and tasted Heineken beer directly from the factory and original Dutch cheese in Zaanse Schans. 

My friend Ericka posing with the Gouda cheese replica in the factory.

Albert Heijn Supermarket Museum has this vintage bike with shopping basket that everybody loves to take pictures with.

This was the first view we saw when we arrived in Zaanse Schans.


Back in Paris and had my photos taken in front of the Eiffel Tower by a local photographer. I have visited Paris a lot of times during layover but I never had photos in front of that famous tower before. I was always the one taking pictures for my friends, this time it was different. If you want your pictures to be taken like this in Paris, you could check out the photographer’s Instagram gallery @parispics.

It’s a good profile photo, right? :p

I had a good time during the photoshoot. The photographer, Alex, was nice and friendly, he could get the best photos from someone so stiff in front of the camera like me.


Flyadeal, one of the low-cost carriers in the kingdom, announced that they are recruiting Saudi local females as flight attendants. I predicted this would happen two years ago,but a lot of my colleagues were laughing and said that it was impossible. Look who’s laughing now?

Traveled to Jogja with Diana. We planned to go to Bali, but for some circumstances we ended up in Jogja. I still remembered the day she was crying in Terminal 3 Soekarno – Hatta and repeatedly said sorry for not being able to catch the last flight to Bali. To me it was funny, but to her it was a disaster, hahaha.

Andong or delman is a traditional horse-driven carriage that everyone will see in Jogja. In Borobudur, people take andong to drive them to the nearest point before they started climbing the temple.


There is a Buddha statue inside one of the stupas that if you could touch it and say your wishes, they would come true. The last time I visited Borobudur, I touched the Buddha statue and said my wishes. They came true! Now the statue was guarded by local guardians to prevent visitors from damaging the sculpture.

We went to Kalibiru and I had nausea on our way going there. But once we arrived, I felt better and we climbed a little bit higher to get this picture taken.


Traveling to LA with my Indonesian close friends. It was a trip that we were dreaming about for quite a long time. Despite the many obstacles that we experienced (bidding for the right schedule, swapping flights to extend days off, having passport taken because Odot is applying for Japan visa, departing from different points because everybody was busy at that time, etc) we made it.

Never in my wildest mind that I thought I would go to LA one day. Let alone traveling there with my close friends. Life is always full of surprises.

We tried to copy the poses of The SImpson’s characters behind, but all we got was people staring at us like we’re crazy or something.

This picture was taken right before we did the Access Hollywood Tour. We saw celeb’s houses and famous houses as seen in movies that are located in Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive.

It was one of the most memorable trips we’ve ever had and I highly recommend you to travel with your girlfriends at least once every year to test your friendship.

Later this month, I decided to apply for Jakarta base. Although I love Riyadh base and all my fellow cabin crew friends here, I need to carry on my life and elevate it to the next level.


Got my Jakarta base transfer request approved and I’m so happy! So many things in my mind that I’d like to do once I’m there. But I gotta sort things out based on priorities, starting with finding where to stay in Jakarta.

Took a one day program called Sekolah Pasar Modal (Stock Exchange School) at Indonesian Stock Exchange and learned about stocks, investment and trading. This program was eye-opening and helped me to think about what I should do to reach financial freedom in the future.


Remembering the day my father passed away 12 years ago. Sometimes I miss him, especially when I have a hard day at work. I wish he knew what I have achieved so far, wish he knew that I loved him and will always carry good memories of him in my heart.

My dad (right) and his younger brother (left) when they were young and alive.

Enjoying Christmas lunch with my close friends, Suza, Manda, and Diana. It wasn’t the kind of Christmas party you would see in Hollywood movies, but it was perfect in a sense that I gathered with the people I cared about and we enjoyed each other’s company.

Cherishing two years of relationship with my boyfriend. I’m so lucky to have him in my life.

Writing this post and looking back at all the things that have happened and the people who chose to stay by my side, all I can think of is how blessed I am.  I’m grateful for the ups and downs of life and I can do anything as long as I have my friends and loved ones supporting me. 

I learned a lot of lessons this year and will continue to learn some more next year. It’s not about what’s going to happen next, but how I will react to things that will lead me to shape my future.  I’m welcoming 2019 with a positive mind and let’s see what’s going to happen. Thank 

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Written by dearmarintan

An Indonesian who enjoys coffee, books, and meaningful conversations. Currently interested in body language, communication, and human behavior.

Website: http://dearmarintan.com/

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