From picnic-dating to ‘flying’ a fighter jet, I crossed 6 more things off of my list this year.

In 2012, I published my 100-lista random list of 100 things I’d like to do or experience in life. Some of the things I listed down there had been on my wish-list since I was still a teenage girl, while some others had been jotted down quite recently. I revisit my 100-list every year-end to see how far I’ve come, how many things I’ve crossed off, and what are the next things I can pursue.

I also feel like I’ve changed a bit (or even a lot) throughout the years, and it’s only natural that the things that once excited me didn’t excite me any longer–or vice versa. So, each year, apart from leaving the crossed-off list intact, I also examine the rest of my list to see if I want to alter one wish for another.

Why I’m Keeping My 100-List.

I keep my 100-list because these random (and somewhat silly) things reminded me of how, as a child, I looked at the world every single day with wonder and amazement. Of how I imagined a future of my own, without thinking about what’s possible or what’s impossible. Of how I believed that wishes–no matter how odd, could actually come true.

Climbing a tree, for instance, is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little girl, and until today, I still haven’t crossed it off of my list. It is indeed such a childish and simple wish. However, seeing this particular wish has never failed to remind me of that childhood thirst: to wonder, to dream, to imagine, to experience something new, to venture to the unknown. (updated: I did it, I have crossed it off my list)!

The 6 Things I Crossed Off of My List in 2015:

Until today, I have crossed 42 things off of my list (58 more to go!), and these are some of the things I managed to cross off of my list in 2015 (in no particular order):

ONE: Learning how to ‘fly’ a fighter jet/helicopter.

I received a message from my ex-colleague one day: “Do you want to learn how to fly a fighter jet?” I didn’t even know why she had to ask! I have always been fascinated by helicopters and fighter jets even before I watched Top Gun, so when Eurofighter Typhoon set up a fighter-jet simulator at a military exhibition and invited an innocent civilian like me to try it out, of course, I said YES!

The fighter-jet simulator was actually there to be tested out by Indonesian Airforce’s fighter pilots, but on one sunny afternoon, I jumped into the simulator happily to learn how to fly a fighter jet. When we were about to start, the instructor asked me, “Have you ever flown this before?” and I replied with, “Oh yes, all the time!”

We looked at each other for a moment until he realized the absurdity of his question and we burst into laughter. And yes, it wasn’t easy to fly a fighter jet. I was so proud for being able to have a smooth take-off and get the jet balanced, but when I had to shoot other planes and check the altitude and everything else… *facepalm*

TWO: Learning how to give Thai massage.

I have always wanted to know how to give a proper massage. I think it would be lovely to help my loved ones relax after a long day by giving him/her a massage. In the end, it wasn’t really a Thai massage; but I took a 2-day massage class where the masseuses have combined Thai, Swedish, and Balinese traditional massage into a technique of their own.

“It’s important to know the right technique to do the massage,” said my instructor. “For instance, your body position must be correct, or else, after giving a massage, you’ll get back pain or shoulder pain. This is not the way to go. Yes, we are taking care of others, but we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost, too. Self-care is important.”

That message about self-care was so profound.

My instructor has worked there–as a masseuse, for more than 8 years. “I used to be a gardener at the owner’s house,” he told me as we went out for lunch together that day. “I mowed the lawn and threw away the garbage, those kinds of things. Until one day the owner called me and taught me how to do the basic massage, so I could massage him when he was tired. I started learning how to give a proper massage, and soon after, when some of his friends came over to the house, he would also ask me to give them a massage. They liked it, and along the way, I learned some more techniques and massage more people. When I had finished my training, I was recruited as a masseuse at the owner’s massage place, until today. Now I have learned English as well, to communicate better with the customers.”

THREE: Picnic-dating by the beach or in the park.

I almost did this at the end of 2014, when I was in Paris and a guy from Bordeaux asked me to have a picnic date with him by the Seine. “I’ll bring the wine,” he said. And he did. And we did have a picnic by the river. But I was there with my other two friends. So I hesitated for a while about crossing this one off from my list, and I decided not to cross it–yet.

But I finally experienced my picnic-dating–in the park, not the beach–and it was in Vondelpark, Amsterdam. We went to Albert Heijn for some freshly-squeezed orange juice and a bag of Doritos; and I sat on the passenger’s seat of my date’s bicycle, clutching his waist as he rode it skilfully to the park. Turned out there was a culinary fair at Vondelpark that day, so we treated ourselves to some grilled sausages and seaweed burger before retreating to sit on a low-raised stone wall overlooking the pond, reading books.

What? Reading books? If that doesn’t sound like a romantic date to you, trust me: that for a bookworm such as myself, reading books with your date is always counted as a romantic thing to do!

FOUR: Learning Latin dances.

I love to dance. And I always think that Latin dances are sexy–the music and the beat are so dynamic, and the dancers are always looking so passionate and confident. I had trained myself some moves via YouTube videos every now and then, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to really ‘dance’ that way. So the last time I was in Bali, I took 2-hour private salsa lessons.

My teacher is a Balinese salsa dancer, Made Lasia. He was so good at explaining and demonstrating the steps–and I was surprised to know that in the first half of an hour I could dance salsa already!

Of course, I am still a beginner. Sometimes I still lost count of my steps as I dance, or couldn’t really grasp what my partner was trying to say when he lifted up my hand a certain way. But I’m learning! *baila, baila*

FIVE: Traveling across Indonesia and visiting all the big islands.

Finally! This is something I have always wanted to cross out of my list–and the opportunity came to me in mid-2015, when I got an assignment to cover the stories of various nonprofit organizations from Nias to Ambon, from Muna Island to Pontianak. I traveled non-stop for 3 months while working on interview transcripts and writing feature stories all the way, and it was really tiring. At the end of the trip, I didn’t feel like I want to go traveling again for at least 3 months (but, of course, I travel again in less than a month).

I have to admit, though, that I didn’t have that much time to go ‘sightseeing’ during my 3-month all-around Indonesia trip. So, we may need to erase the images about a relaxing time by the beach or a leisurely hike by the mountains. The schedule was so packed, and I spent my whole days following the activists on their field duty, but I didn’t regret it at all. In fact, it was a money-can’t-buy experience altogether; as I was exposed to inspiring stories and courageous people throughout–and it made me believe that Indonesia is going to be alright.

In some remote islands, villages, or forests all over the archipelago, there are actually some amazing people doing amazing things for their community. For their country. And this gives me hope.

SIX: Sleeping in the outdoors, underneath the sky.

Sawendui is the highlight of my traveling journey in 2015. To reach this hidden paradise, I needed to fly from Jakarta to Biak and then hopped into Saireri Paradise Foundation’s speedboat that would take me to Sawendui village in around 2.5 or 3.5 hours, depending upon the mercy of the sea.

There’s only one wooden hut by the beach in Sawendui–it’s a basic hut where the staffs of Saireri Paradise Foundation gather with the Sawendui people every day; either to have a briefing, a meeting, a communal lunch, or to throw an all-night-long musical fiesta. The foundation has worked together with the locals in Sawendui for some time to conserve Paradise birds and turtles around the area.

Yes, there are rooms inside the wooden hut and bathrooms, too. But the staff (one from Sumatera and the other one from Sulawesi) preferred to sleep in the outdoors–either by the beach or in the forest, and they didn’t understand why one would want to use the bathroom if one could jump into the pristine river inside the forest–that can be reached in 30 steps from the main hut.

I spent the days in Sawendui with my friend, Windy–and we did experience the lovely feeling of sleeping by the river inside a forest; to be woken up by sunshine and the cries of the birds and to fall asleep while listening to the serene crackle of the branches from the fire where the staff and the locals grilled some chicken, corns, and bananas close to midnight.

There was this one time when we came with the locals and the staff at night on their turtle patrol. We walked through the pitch-dark forest and then along the beach, the wave sounded so furious yet majestic, and the moon was our only source of light. When we were tired after walking for 2 hours, we decided to wait for the locals-on-patrol by the beach, and just slept there until they finished their patrol. The log is our pillow, the sand is our mattress, the sky is our roof. It was the closest moment I have with nature: and it felt so humbling to know that I am only a tiny dot in this Universe of Creation.


What about you? Do you have your 100-list, too? Are there some dreams or wishes from your childhood that are still close to your heart today?


118 Responses

  1. I have never kept a list but there are childhood romanticise ideas that I wanted to do. Things I have done: Travelling alone, sleeping outdoor in a hammock, stargazing on a beach by a bonfire, etc. Things that I haven’t done is staying a tree house, joining greenpeace, living in Japan, many more, hahaha. Flying a fighter jet is a great one to have on a list.

    1. Isn’t it lovely? (We shared the same list there: stargazing, sleeping outdoor, etc.!) I think even as adults, the things that attracted us when we were a child are still tugging at our sleeves every once and a while 😀 Remembering who we are as a child always gives me such a profound feeling of being ‘connected’ to my roots…

  2. Oh, wow, this article made me feel I was there with you sharing these experiences! The mention of the islands remind me of a book full of tales from that area. I was given this book when I was a child and I was amazed by the stories… dreamt about going there. For some reason it never occured to me to put it on my list. Actually, I just started to remember how many dreams I had when I was a kid! I left them all in my childhood, instead of bringing them with me to live them. You and your blog is a reminder to me now to dig and bring these dreams to the surface.

    1. Eva, that was so sweet of you for sharing this! *hugs* I really hope that you could make some of those childhood wishes come true! After all, they say, there’s a little child living inside of us all. I think it would be interesting to see what will happen to (the adult) us when that little child is happy and excited about the world once again! 😀

      1. Thanks 🙂 I believe in the child, too, in us! In the meantime, I found information on the book, it was written by Walter G. Picard and called Gadja, the elephant. Most of the tales are about Kantjil.

          1. Might be written in English or Dutch, not sure, the main characters are Dutch visitors in Indonesia who decides to go over to Nusa Barung to discover it but they are stuck there because of a storm. And there is a story about Celebesi (Sulawesi, too), how it got its name. Oh, I need to email my sister at home to search for this book and send it over to me!

  3. I am so gonna try this out. I am going to make a list first thing tomorrow. And it will also include learning how to fly fighter planes, that has been my dream and well i hope to fulfil it one day. 😀

  4. This is such a great idea! I always thought of doing a bucket list but I didn’t know where to start. This has inspired me to finally make this list! Im going to do this as a new years resolution! It even makes the idea of a bucket list more realistic to me now 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! I love combining the little things with the bigger things in my list–because it turned out that there are so many little things we want/can do that we put on hold while we’re chasing for the big things.

  5. This is a breathe of fresh air! Loved every minute reading this post. It sent me back to the memories of my childhood and all the zany ideas in my head. You know what? I don’t even know what I have already achieved or can cross out from my list ( to be more precise , the list in my head). Time to write the list down and cross it as I go. 🙂

    1. Cool! Yes, sometimes we forget to appreciate the smallest achievements we have in life, that’s why having small things on our list is just as important as having the ‘big things’ listed there 🙂 Good luck!!! ^^

  6. What an exciting life! I wonder if part of it comes from making lists like this – giving the permission to dream big – an exercising that ability! Thank you for this inspiring post. I can’t wait to read more.

    1. That is so true! Creating the list is just as exciting as trying to complete it! 🙂 And I also combined the ‘small things’ and the ‘big things’ in my list, so it keeps me reminded of the excitement of accomplishing even the smallest achievements in life! 🙂

  7. This is such a great idea!!! I might make a hundred list of my own – definitely going to include ‘living in Europe’ and ‘travelling South America’ on there 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  8. This is a grand idea! I absolutely love how keeping this list can help you look for excitement in every new day! Such a great read

    Meagan Kunisch

  9. Wow this is great! I am really impressed!
    When I was a child, I did a list like that, just for fun…after reading your post I will search for it, -or if I won’t find it, I will create a new list.
    Thank you so much for this inspiration 🙂

    1. Yaaay! I love remembering the things I dreamed of when I was a child, they were simple small things, but they made you happy! 🙂 A reminder for me that you can get lovely burst of happiness and excitement from the little things in everyday life–that we don’t really have to wait for the big things 😀 Good luck with your list, and have fun while working on it! *hugs*

  10. Love your list! I write such lists when I travel and I would find some lists in my diaries too. Maybe I should start a new one! You should try out volunteering abroad. Done that three times and it’s great!

  11. What a great idea 🙂 I’m going to start working on my 100 List TONIGHT! Y’all should check out sometime in the next week or two…I just might have a 100 List going up! 🙂

    1. Lovely, Kelly! Will definitely check your blog after this! You don’t have to create your 100 List in 1 night, though! You can stop at 20 or 30 and then add more the next year, and let the list grow with you 😀 Good luck! And have fun!

  12. Amazing post ?so refreshing..I do not have a list but I do want to visit as many cities in the world as possible and the list of those cities is loooong. Thnk you for sharing.

    1. Hey, you don’t have to create 100-List in one day, it’s something that you can work on for 5 – 6 years, so let’s say you’re adding 10 this year, another 10 next year, and so on. Creating 100-List in one day could be overwhelming! 😀 Start slowly and let your list grows with you! 🙂

  13. Hi , I liked the post. I wish I had you on my blog. Would it be discomfort ask you to take just pass there? I think I will like what you will see . I hope that my request is successful . Kisses and thanks for the vacant little time !

    1. Amazing project! I do keep a daily journal! I am planning to have a mindfulness journal as well in 2016, only to record the small things I see, hear, etc. throughout the day–things I usually missed out, such as the music I heard on the radio, the type of tea I was having that day, the flower I saw, sweet things someone told me, a dress I saw that I liked… etc. So no big things like thoughts or musings about something, but just a little book listing down the little things I stumbled upon throughout the day! 😀

  14. 100 kelihatannya terlalu ambisius untuk orang yang gak ambisius seperti aku han haha~

    3 kali mengunjungi Jepang dan bahkan sampai ke ujung pulaunya sudah melebihi ekspetasi masa remaja yang kelihatannya waktu itu tidak akan pernah terwujud.

    Mungkin akan ada panggilan untuk yang ke 4 kalinya ketika aku berpikir perjalanan jiwa tersebut sudah selesai ^^

    1. hahahahah. daftar 100-ku tidak semuanya hebat, kok. ada hal-hal kecil saja seperti ingin membayarkan bon untuk orang tak dikenal yang makan di meja sebelah 😀 jadi banyak juga hal-hal kecil yang sebenarnya bisa dilakukan tetapi belum (berani) dikerjakan 😀 dan buatku ini lebih jadi kegiatan yang fun saja, untuk mengingatkan diri agar selalu mencoba memperluas zona nyaman dari waktu ke waktu. kalau tak tercapai semua pun tak mengapa 😀

  15. I really love your post. I do have a list a long time ago before marriage consume my time and effort to do the list. But I have had one thing that I keep until now. I want to travel to Ireland. Its the only wish that I keep in mind for years. I wish a miracle can bring me to Ireland.

  16. Love the idea of checking the list each year. I created a similar list back in 2011 and ticked a few things off quite rapidly but the last 12-18months I haven’t don’t anything. Time to organise ticking a few off in 2016 I think.

  17. This is such an amazing idea, and you have so much dedication to this list. I love your ‘Can Do’ attitude, and how you’ve sought these experiences and opportunities for yourself. Both of your picnic dates sound incredible.
    I used to write small lists like this as a child, but I never stuck to them. It’s defiantly something I would love to begin doing again, I just felt as if the things I wrote as a child were a little bit to ambitious, like meet Selena Gomez, go to Japan, eat ice cream.. (well maybe not the last one, I’m just hungry). Would you have any tips on being this dedicated to your list?

    1. Hi! Love to hear about your experience with your list! for me, I combine the ‘small things’ and the ‘big things’. So there are some small things that can be done but I just haven’t done it probably because I’m shy or something 😀 Having these small things combined with some big things make me feel like the list is somewhat achievable 😀 I also revisit the list every year to see if I still want some of the things I listed down there. If I don’t feel like it or if I felt like I’ve grown out from that particular list, I deleted that list and changed it into something else. Say, you feel like meeting Selena Gomez no longer excites you–you can change it with something else that is ‘more you’ these days! 🙂 So feel free not to get stuck to all things from your previous years’ lists! 🙂 On being dedicated, actually I am not ‘that dedicated’–like I am not going somewhere on purpose just to complete my list. But I do read these lists from time to time, and sometimes, I just do something or being offered to do something, then I realised: hey, that’s on my list! Probably when I keep on reading that list, subconsciously those lists stuck in my head and then in many opportunities in life, I just see the opportunity to do it (if you understand what I mean) 😀 Having it published and shared with others help as well, because some friends may be able to help me making some of my wishes come true! 🙂 Good luck with your list! I think, just have fun working on it, and don’t get attached to it too much, just see it as something fun to do–don’t make it something to be stressed out about! 😀 Just enjoy it, if it’s no longer enjoyable, we need to find a way to make it fun again!

  18. I am a person without plans. I have tried to make lists before of things I would like to do. Unfortunately, I forgot those lists and wherever I have written them. Your post pretty much nudged me to do it again. I guess one of the 100 would be “not to lose the list”. Thanks for thr great idea and for sharing it.

    1. hahahaha! 😀 yes, I totally I get it. I also wrote it down in my journals before but it was pretty hard to look at it all the time or revise it every now and then, that’s why I am storing my list online, so it will be easier for me to access it and keep up with it 😀 good luck with your list and have fun! 🙂

  19. Great job! What a satisfaction you have once you tick the boxes of your dreams. It gives you courage to add many mire,right? Your post is so inspiring since you get in action, you are just talking about,you do it for so many years. Congratulations! Keep up the good work!

  20. Hi! I am 58 and i had never thought of making a list like this. After reading this I now want to make my own list. I want to ask you something. When in your life you started making this list? Were you unhappy at that time? What really prompted you to make this list? Now that certain items are now off your list are you feeling more happy or more relieved? Thanks

    1. Hello! I published this list a few years ago, but some items on the list have actually originated from my childhood dreams and my teenage journals, I just put them all in my list. So it’s a growing list–the items there will change or alter as I grow older.

      What prompted me to make that list–I was actually looking at people’s bucket list that day; and I was thinking of making something like that–only I want to combine the small things (like climbing a tree) with some big things (traveling to South America), and just keep on building the list until it reached 100.

      I was not particularly unhappy when making the list–I just remembered that I was so busy developing and expanding myself professionally, I started missing expanding myself personally and wanting to get connected again to the things I dreamed of as a person, as an individual. I think that was why I created the list.

      Am I feeling happier or more relieved after I crossed off some items on the list? To be honest, I don’t really care about crossing everything off my list–in a sense that even if I don’t finish it, I’ll still feel happy 😀 Just by seeing the list, I can see what kind of person I aspire to be–and sometimes this is enough as a reminder for me to go to the directions I have always dreamed of. When I crossed off some things of my list, I see that as a bonus 🙂 Yes, I am happy when crossed off some things on my list–but that doesn’t mean I’ll be less happy if I didn’t. There are so many things that make me happy apart from crossing off the list! 😀

      You are asking great questions! :* Thanks so much! 🙂

  21. “This particular wish has never failed to remind me of that childhood thirst: to wonder, to dream, to imagine, to experience something new, to venture to the unknown.”

    Awesome! Keep it up!

  22. Pingback: Pulau Jawa
  23. Wow! I have always wanted a bucket list, but never really got down and wrote one. Now, when I look at the things that you’ve crossed off, the incessant need to have one springs up! These are beautiful things on your list that remind me how simple life can really be! Thank you for the wonderful post 🙂

If you made it this, far, please say 'hi'. It really means a lot to me! :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



We tend to shape our memories of them based on the limited time we spend with them—and our memories of them, over time, will be replaced with one single word, one single interaction, or one single feeling.
Beradadisini Love Letter to Self
I took up a personal journaling project this week: writing a love letter to myself before bed. I work on a thin A6-size handmade paper journal I got from a paper artist, Els. The journal is thin and small enough, so it doesn't overwhelm me. It feels like I am only going to work on a small project.
Standing up for yourself does not have to look aggressive. It does not have to feel like a fight. It's not always about convincing others or explaining yourself and your decisions with the hope that everyone else understands or accepts your choice.
Hanny illustrator
I am an Indonesian writer/artist/illustrator and stationery web shop owner (Cafe Analog) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.