From Islander to Highlander

Hi everyone! Okay, I know that the title is geographically incorrect but I think you know what I mean ;). My name is Kuntum Melati which means a bud of a jasmine in English. One interesting fact about me is that I don’t have family name. If you think that weird awesome, wait until you finish reading my story.

I am from Indonesia where we have more than 17,667 islands (some of them is inhabitant) and we are located in equator line so we take sunshine for granted. I was born there but I’ve been living in Costa Rica, the Philippines and Thailand. I can speak Spanish, Thai, Tagalog fluently every time I ordered food in a restaurant but lost in translation if you go further than that. But worry not, I know ‘I don’t understand’ in all of those languages, that’s #1 rule- fyi it does not read as ‘hashtag’-. I love learning new languages and new culture, I am taking French so if anyone want to help me to learn that would be great!

My first hiking trip in Nepal, craving for more!

I decided to move and study to Edinburgh, why? because of the weather!-says no one ever, sorry just kidding. I heard so many good things about the city and the university, plus it’s offer a great master degree course. The city is beautiful like it just pop up out of a story book. Another fact about me: it is my first time to live in a four seasons country, so if you see someone walking wearing two jackets, a blanket, and a duvet- that might be me.

Before coming here, I have been working in environmental organisation focusing on forest (mangrove is my fave!) and people. This is why I chose to study Msc Environment and Development, to learn how community can benefit from the environment without exploiting it. That sounds like an utopia concept? Maybe, but John Lennon said ‘you can say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one’ (well, at least there’s 16 of us in the cohort). To prove you how much I love to dream, (please) follow my ig: @tatum_daydreamer.

I left you with a picture of forest-dependent people from Papua, Indonesia. One of the most beautiful place that I’ve ever been. I hope to post more stories about my experience in the course and Scotland. Au revoir!


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