The Indonesia Equation

Kate and I + 4 different cities on 3 islands ÷ 13 days in Indonesia… factor in the remarkably different vibes of each spot, millions of colorful penis-shaped bottle openers, each city’s unique fusion of religious features derived from Hinduism and Islam, and there you have our exhilarating Indonesia equation. Our first pre calculated destination was…

#1: Ubud on the Island of Bali.

 ↑Ubud has all the necessary items for a peaceful life. ♥

↓Balinese Hinduism is the main religion, and it’s embedded into everyday life.

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↑↓We watched several rituals being performed on the day of the Ngrupuk (New Years Eve) Festival.

 ↓That evening, we witnessed the wild and fast-paced festival full of angry Ogah Ogah monsters. Read more about Ogah Ogahs!

Ubud in 3 words: culture. organic. heavenly. Read more about Ubud! We spent 4 nights at Gerhana Sari 2, then flew to…

#2: Yogyakarta on the Island of Java. 

↑↓I made a lifelong travel dream come true when we visited the Temple of Borobudur!

↓We were peddled all over Yogya in these little bike contraptions. But everyone needs a nap sometimes, right?

↓We just happened to be in Yogya during an election day! I understood from a young Indonesian lady that there are over 12 parties, and each party has its own voting day. On this particular day, hundreds of motorcyclists in red revved their engines and rumbled through the streets.

 ↓We went on a spiritual tour with these cool dudes who taught us a lot about Javanese spirituality and wisdom. We mediated like there was no tomorrow.

Yogyakarta in 3 words: quirky. spiritual. artsy. Read more about my experiences in Yogyakarta! We spent 4 nights at Merapi Merbabu, then flew back to Bali to visit….

#3: Kuta on the Island of Bali. 

↑I found Kuta to be disturbingly devoid of culture, quality food, and positive vibes in general. It was difficult to find stores that were not home to big Western corporations; I was Hurley-d into a spiral of disappointment.

↓However, I took my first surf lesson in Kuta, where the waves are just perfect for beginners; I even rode a few, and I LOVED it! But as I paddled out, my hands kept getting stuck in chip bags and other trash in the ocean. Gross.

↓Kate and I squeezed in several early morning surf sessions!

Kuta in 3 words: overrated. characterless. contemptible. (and ew was used frequently.) We stayed at Tanaya Hostel for 2 nights before taking a boat to….

#4: Senggigi on the island of Lombok.

 ↑We took our fair share of walks along the beach and caught a few more waves.

↓We spend a great deal of time in a little cabana, which so happens to be the perfect spot to have a strawberry milkshake and a massage.

↓We were also very taken with handstands and yoga moves on the beach.

Sengiggi in 3 words: relaxed. simple. beach-y. We stayed at Sunset House for 3 nights before coming back to Kuta for 1 night (it’s close to the airport), and then we flew back to Bangkok the next day.

I thoroughly enjoyed 3 out of 4 cities on our trip. Not bad.

I can do nothing but rave when I talk about Indonesia in general. If I find myself in a midlife crisis, I could definitely pull an Elizabeth Gilbert and spend a few months sashaying through Ubud, or even Yogyakarta. Senggigi was a great place to end our trip; however, I didn’t felt like there wasn’t much to set it apart from other beachy towns in Southeast Asia. As for Kuta? I hope to never return to that hellhole of Westernization.

As always, I wish I could have stayed longer, but this was a perfect amount of time for us to dive into the different cultures on the islands and meet some incredible people.

↑The coconut man in Ubud taught us about all the uses of coconuts, and he even showed us how he climbs up the tree to get the coconuts!

↓Ari in Yogya made me cry when he so impressively articulated where I was at in my life.

The people we met brought Indonesia to life. Almost every local we came across had a big smile for us and a story that gave us more insight into life Indonesia.

 ↓We stayed in amazing guesthouses and hostels for very reasonable prices, and we ate so much delicious, healthy, vegetarian Indonesian food.

Lets continue with the Indonesia equation…  I love most countries I have visited, which means Indonesia has approximately 1/16th of my heart (or maybe a little bit more). Spanning 3 tectonic plates, Indonesia has over 17,500 islands, minus the 3 islands I visited = I barely made a dent in Indonesia; therefore, I’d better keep traveling…. ♥

 

Tell me, What other spots in Indonesia are travel worthy?