Wulandari is an associate in Maverick, who has been working for more than two years. She has been handling clients from different industries, including Microsoft and Bridestory. In December 2016, she took her Personal Development Fund to visit United Kingdom, the country that she has been dreaming of. This is her journey.
UK has been in my travel bucket list for a long time and this year I finally had the chance to visit, not only London, but also other cities in the United Kingdom and Scotland. This was like a dream come true for me, and what made me even more excited was that I also got support from my office for this trip! (Yes, how cool is that!).
This year was the first time I became eligible to take my Personal Development Fund (PDF). For those who don’t know yet, PDF is one of my favorite programs from Maverick, which offers fund for employees who have completed a year of service, to learn new things and develop themselves through activities such as travelling to new places, learning how to bake a cake or even joining a Japanese language class.
I started my trip with a very long flight from Jakarta to Edinburgh and a few stopovers in Singapore and London. It was one of the most tiring flight ever but I knew it’s going to be worth it as I heard good things about Edinburgh before. I went to prove it the next day.
I stayed at the central part of the city called the Royal Mile, which is also part of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The Old Town is still dominated by a medieval fortress, a labyrinth of cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards, all amazingly well preserved and steeped in the city’s history. The first day here, I decided to explore the city, visited the Camera Obscura museum and walked up to Edinburgh castle. You can see beautiful sceneries from the castle including both Old Town and the neo-classical New Town which were constructed between 1767 and 1890. Unfortunately, the castle was closed when I arrived so I spent an hour to take pictures around the castle and enjoyed the view.
I know it’s kind of weird, but I’m always fascinated by stories about UFOs and mythical creatures. So when I knew there was a 1-day trip to Loch Ness, I didn’t think twice; I took a bus on the next day at 7 in the morning. Although this was a fast-paced trip, the beautiful scenery of the Scottish Highlands was extremely breathtaking. I spent 2 hours visiting the Urquhart Castle and took a monster-spotting cruise on Loch Ness. Loch is a Scottish word for lake and Loch Ness is the largest lake in Scotland. It is famous for the alleged sightings of a mythical creature called Loch Ness Monster or also known as Nessie. Well, I didn’t see any monster at the end of the day but I was surely beyond happy.
My journey did not stop there. The next day I took a train to Liverpool, the city where the biggest band on the planet (a.k.a The Beatles) was born. People said that a UK trip is not complete if you do not watch a Premier League match live. Me and my cousins are not the biggest Liverpool fans but since we were there, we decided to go to Anfield stadium to see a match between Liverpool and Swansea City. Too bad Liverpool lost the game but at least now we knew how it feels to watch a football match in a super-freezing weather. I also had the chance to visit The Beatles Story museum, the world’s largest permanent exhibition purely devoted to the lives and times of The Beatles.
The third city that I visited was Oxford. It was such a pretty little city and also a popular movie location for Harry Potter. I visited the Christ Church College, where they shot the hallway scenes of Hogwarts and it also had this huge dining room that inspired The Great Hall of Hogwarts. Fun fact: Lewis Carroll, the writer of Alice in Wonderland, also used to be one of the staff members there.
I spent the rest of my trip in London and I really enjoyed every single day of it. The place where I stayed was only 10-minutes’ walk from the famous Abbey Road crossing and I visited several famous landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, the Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park. Two weeks was surely not enough, but the trip has given me a lot of valuable knowledge and great new experiences. I feel grateful to be part of Maverick that made this kind of trip possible!