A lot of people have asked us why we fell in love with Indonesia. Well, you know those moments when you are where you are supposed to be and everything feels just right? We had that feeling for the whole four weeks we were in Indonesia and for the first time in eleven months, we felt not just great, but truly at home. The moment we arrived in Jakarta we knew. Even though Jakarta is a raw, dirty and grey city, we knew this country was magic.
We left Jakarta as soon as we could, this is not a city where you want to spend too many days. We took a train to Yogyakarta, where we planned to stay for five days, before flying to Bali. Traveling in Indonesia is easy. Everyone speaks a little bit of English and if they don’t, someone else will. And like everywhere, everyone appreciates it if you try to speak at least a little of the local language (I can say hello, thank you and milk (which is the cutest word: susu).
We didn’t know much about Yogyakarta, just that everyone we met told us to go there. Yogyakarta did not disappoint at all. What a great city. We stayed at the city center, close to the main street. This made it easy for us to explore the city on foot but because of the insane heat, we opted to take a becak (a sort of tuktuk) most of the time.
From Yogyakarta we took a plane to Bali. The promised land. Shangri-La. This is where the magic happens. More clichés. And they’re true. Bali and Lembongan Island are amazing places. We spent some time in Ubud, where we drank a lot of healthy juices. In Padangbai we went snorkeling for the first time and loved it. Why didn’t anyone tell us it was this great? We would have done it months ago. In Canggu we spent some time with friends from Holland who live on Bali now, and have an amazing homestay, with the best breakfast in Asia.
We felt sad leaving Indonesia. But not too sad because we know we will be coming back here. As soon as we can.
Have you ever fallen in love with a country?
Someone suggested I should write a mini-guide of Lembongan but I can’t. There is a lot to do on Lembongan Island. I just didn’t do any of it. I didn’t go cliff jumping, diving, snorkeling, fishing, stand up paddling, surfing, sailing, manta ray hugging or whatever else there is to do. We did scooter around the island one day, but that’s it. And that is very unlike me.
You see, I was never the type of girl to do nothing. It wasn’t that I couldn’t sit still, I just didn’t want to. I felt there was so much to explore, discover, see and do. So you would always find me walking around, planning adventures or when I still lived at my mum’s house, I would redecorate my room at least once every two weeks (which makes me the most creative person ever considering my room was just 4m x 2m).
When I moved to my first apartment, I was always busy making stuff for art school, longboarding, going out or wreaking havoc with my friend who lived across the hall. This one time, we sort of stole a bike. There was a bike outside of our apartment complex. It was locked and she needed a new bike. It didn’t seem to belong to someone, so we took it in the elevator up to our floor, bought a saw and made our neighbor saw the lock. Voila, new bike.
Right about the time my friend and I grew apart, I met Nick. Three weeks later Nick and I got a dog. Not long after that, I quit art school for reasons that are now unknown to me. I got a full-time job managing a health food store, working 40+ hours a week. During this time I also decided I wanted to be a hairdresser. Oh yeah and I tried having a social life. I’m amazed I didn’t have a burn out.
After quitting the health food store and getting a job as a hairdresser, we moved to a new city. And I got really busy exploring this new city. Are you still with me? My point is, I don’t do nothing. I like doing new things. I’ve always been an explorer. Doing nothing to me seems meaningless. Why sit still when I could be out doing stuff? You probably think I’m this super high energy person, which I’m not, at least not all the time. Trust me, my favorite thing to do is sleep. I just like doing something, anything.
Sitting at a beach doing nothing never seemed like my ideal holiday. The first time Nick made me do this was at Koh Phayam. The first day I couldn’t relax at all and constantly got up to walk, talk or look around. It took me more than a week to relax completely and accept that it was totally okay to spend a whole day doing nothing more than laying in the sun while reading, eating and swimming.
Unknowingly and unintentionally, Nick has created a monster. All I want to do now is hang around at the beach and read. It is one of my favorite things to do. The ten days we spent at Lembongan Island were filled with doing not much more than this. It’s amazing how incredibly fulfilling life can be when you take some time to read all the books you’ve wanted to read for ages.
What do you like to do? Anyone who shares my passion for sleep?
- Taking pictures of the bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan
- Walking across the bridge
- More bridge. I really liked this bridge
- Pig tied to a tree
- One of Lembongan’s many pretty beaches
- Getting a tour at Le Pirate
- Seaweed farming
- Afternoon scooter rides
We’re so sorry for being so quiet lately. Nick’s sister joined us for a few weeks and we felt we needed some family time.
Coming to Bali, we were looking for a quiet place to have some downtime and just relax. We ended up taking a boat across a super wild ocean to Nusa Lembongan where we spent an amazing ten days. We will tell you more about that in a few days! In the meanwhile, if you can go to Lembongan, do it and see for yourself.
So this is what has been going on. We are leaving Asia and flying to Vienna, Austria in 8 days! We can’t really believe it but it’s going to happen! One of the major goals of this journey has always been to find the perfect place to live. We have known for a while now that it isn’t Asia, so we’re flying to Europe and see what we might find there. We’re sad that we’re missing out on Australia and New Zealand and everyone (that means you, Assa) we were going to see there, but we’re also very excited about exploring our home continent more thoroughly than we have ever before.
Europe will be great. I know I’m super excited to eat normal bread again. But it sure will be weird to not be surrounded by Asian people. Lately I’ve been thinking Asia just isn’t the place to be for me right now. But that was before Indonesia. Indonesia made me fall in love with Asia all over again and reminded me of why we’re traveling. It has been weeks of amazing experiences, friendly people, good food and an overall feeling of bliss.
There are more blog posts coming up this week so we will talk again soon. Have a great day, enjoy whatever you’re doing, whomever you’re doing it with and smile.
Have you ever been to Europe? If so, what place do you think we should check out as a possible place to live?
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We really needed to catch up on work today, so we went to Anomali coffee in Plaza Indonesia at the Urban Food Court on level 5. This is not your usual Asian mall food court. I have never seen a food court that looks this well styled. It’s almost creepy how well everything fits together. The same goes for Anomali coffee, everything looks so great, almost too great. There is a marketing genius behind the food court and this coffee shop, there just has to be. The great thing about Anomali being inside of the food court is that you can buy any of the food court meals (which are cheap and quite tasty) and eat them at Anomali while you sip at your beautiful Indonesian, fresh brewed, coffee.
The staff knows their coffee very well,which I appreciate. They tell you about the acidity levels, origin, roast and more. They only serve Indonesian coffee and the beans come from all regions of the country. Nick really liked the coffee from Aceh. I only had tea today. Too much coffee tends to make me stressed, which I already was because…
While sitting at Anomali coffee we found out that our Indonesian visa is not extendable. Which means we have to leave Indonesia much sooner than expected. All of a sudden, there are a million decisions to be made. Where are we going, what will we be doing? Do we still want to travel as much as we do now? Or do we want to take this crazy house hunt to the next level? For those of you who don’t know this, one of the goals of this journey is to find the perfect place for us to live.
The next few weeks will be super exciting. While we decide what to do with our lives, we are going to hang around on the beach and drink cocktails.
Since we have only limited time in Indonesia we’re gonna need some help: Have you ever been in Indonesia? Where should we go? What should we do? And, do you know some nice places to have some coffee?
// pictures are all by Nick’s sister Marit, since I was too stressed to take any