Indonesia has always had a pretty special place in my life. I moved to Bali when I was 12 and spent the next four years actively hating my life as an expat, only to miss it like mad when I came back to Australia.
Life is funny like that.
For the next few years, it became a bi-annual certainty, and I was ok with that. Flights were cheap, accommodation was frugal, the food was delicious, and my Indonesian language skills could always use the update.
But then something happened that kind of turned me off.
If you’re new here, you might not remember the last time I went to Bali. Actually, it was pretty cool. I climbed a volcano:
And then I got dengue fever:
Now let me be clear. Me climbing the mountain did not cause my dengue fever. What caused it was a single, yes that’s right a single, mosquito bite from a mozzie that was carrying around my worse nightmare. I languished in bed for weeks, feeling like I was going to die. Then (because the universe loves a bit of irony) I got charged for overstaying my Indonesian visa and admonished by the immigration official for my error. However, while the fatigue lasted for a few months, and my dengue fever diet was briefly (very briefly) rather welcomed, I was basically the same as I had always been.
But I was not eager to return to Indonesia.
As it happened there was no opportunity anyway. A few months after I came back from my first South East Asia trip with Dean, I moved to England where we lived for a year. On our way back to Australia we did stop at a few places, including Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, but Indonesia just didn’t make the list. After years of automatically opting for that country as a ‘safe’ option, I was ready to try new things.
Going Back To Indonesia
Now we’ve been in Australia for well over a year, mostly working and sorting out Dean’s visa. When I realised that it had been an entire year since our last holiday, I started looking at flights. Pretty quickly I found a return for Indonesia for both of us for around $350. It was too good to miss. Darwin is only 2.5 hours from Indonesia, closer than it is to most southern cities, so it’s no surprise really that those flights were cheapest. It might not have been the wild adventure we would have opted for in the past, but it was the break we really needed.
So tonight we’re jetting off to Bali for a few days of massages, good food and beach living. In between we’re taking a sidestep to Nusa Lembongan where I’m told there’s snorkelling, more beaches, and possibly some manta rays to be found. It’s peak season and I’m sure it’s going to be busy as all hell, but I am so ready to go. Plus it’s my 25th birthday, and I’ll be damned if I’m not spending that in a little Lembongan villa with salt in my hair and sand between my toes!