The best of 2016.

A look back at some of my most popular posts in 2016.

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Until yesterday, I was without both my camera and laptop for three long days. I had to send them both for some TLC, and I regret to announce that only one of them came back to me.

My camera, that I often affectionately refer to as my baby, went through some sensor cleaning and is now back with me safely. Considering I never left my flat without it for the past one year or so, having it taken away from me for full seventy two hours did give me some separation anxiety.

My laptop, however, suffered from a much more unfortunate fate. I will let the picture below speak of what had happened.

whatsapp-image-2017-01-06-at-17-40-01
And of course it went beyond repair one day before a big deadline.

The cost of repairing it would almost be equivalent to buying a new one, so after fighting furiously for its life, I had to make one of the most difficult electronic decisions in my life: I had to let it go.

You may find me weird for having such a strong attachment to a piece of technology (let alone sharing my sentiments for the whole world to read), but that laptop has gone through so much with me.

It was one of the main reasons for the birth of this blog. I typed every single post (129 of them to be exact) of this so-called travel blog on that laptop – it practically gave me back my flair for writing. My mediocre pictures appeared twice as sharp and brilliant thanks to its screen resolution that was way ahead its time. It travelled with me to all the different countries that I have been to since the end of 2013 (there were a lot of them).

So it does feel extremely weird that I am now writing this very post on a new laptop that I had just purchased in a rush to fill in the gaps so I can continue applying for jobs during my winter break. For one I kept touching my screen to try and scroll down since my previous laptop came with that function (I was spoilt I know).

But in the words of G.K. Adams that I recently came across in the book “After You” by Jojo Moyes:

Sometimes in order to keep moving forward, not only must you take one step at a time, but you must be willing to look back occasionally and evaluate your past, no matter how painful it is.

As a tribute to the enabler of this blog, I have decided to use this post to look back at some of my most popular posts in 2016, all of them came to life thanks to my now defunct Lenovo Yoga Pro 2.

While I had expected some of them to appear on the list since I posted them on my personal Facebook page, needless to say, there were many surprises:

  1. Making the most of Devil’s Tears Bay, Nusa Lembongan.
    This came as a shock to me. I wrote this post in May 2015, and no one barely read it then. But its readership suddenly exploded in August 2016 for a reason that I still can’t fathom. Considering I didn’t even promote this post in any way, for it to come up the top means that either Nusa Lembongan suddenly became an extremely attractive tourist destination or people suddenly got my weird sense of humour of taking silly pictures with raging waves. Either way I’m happy.
    devilstearsbay8
  2. A crazy month that was December.
    This was my 2,216-word rant of what happened to me in December 2015 that received a lot of attention from my friends. To this day, I still can’t believe that I made it to 2016.
  3. ‘Chasing’ the Northern Lights.
    A write-up of my little adventure chasing the Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway. Popular because Northern Lights.
  4. My passport full of visas.
    Another surprise appearance of a low-key post that I wrote ages ago. A sudden spike in March 2016 in the number of people who are curious to see how different visas all over the world look like. For those of you who barely have the need to apply for visas to travel, I hate you. (And I want to be just like you).
  5. Montigo Resorts at Batam.
    This post has been consistently popular ever since I wrote it in May 2014. Supposedly a review of one of the luxurious resorts that I stayed in Batam, it instead revealed my loathing towards cockroaches (I even shuddered typing that word).
  6. Jakarta, through different eyes.
    Sometimes, the best way to appreciate your own hometown is when you have a group of friends from various different countries come and visit. The appreciation may or may not come in the form of savouring goat testicles.

    Flood
    And getting all your friends trapped in the flood.
  7. On being constantly on the move.
    A little reflection on my life after living in three different continents in one year.
  8. Hello, from Berkeley.
    A showcase of my hidden talent of writing parodies of popular songs to tell a story about my life. This time round: Hello from Adele.
    ucberkeley7
  9. Avocado coffee float by Macehat in Medan.
    Seriously, avocado lovers all over the world are missing out if they think that the fruit is best enjoyed in a savoury dish. When it comes to avocado dessert, Indonesia does it best.
  10. Whale watching in Tromsø.
    Another majestic adventure in Norway, this time round the biggest mammal in the world showed me what nature wonder really was.

Having reread through these posts and my very first post of this blog, I realised I have come a long way, in my writing and life in general. For one, I have lived in four different countries since, and my laptop was with me through it all. And also, that I actually cringed reading my first post – I can’t believe I thought it was good enough to be published.

So thank you my tangible beauty. You have definitely been the best of last year, and the years before ever since you came to my life. You will be missed.

Yoga Pro 2 OutsideYoga Pro 2 inside

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