Week #34 – Finding Home in Kuta, Lombok
If you could go on a world tour, what would you imagine it to be like? When we first started to consider the potential of leaving of lives behind to travel the world for a year, I imagine a slow paced, leisurely adventure. I imagined spending one-month in one location getting to know a country and it’s people deeply, along with creating memorable relationships along the way. I wanted to understand what it would be like to live in a place.
Flash forward 7-months later and we have for the most part stuck to our 1 month 1 country goal. We passed through both the “off” and “beaten” paths. We have seen some of the most beautiful places in the world which include secluded islands in the Philippines and an underwater paradise in Indonesia. We try to get to know the people as best as possible – getting a glimpse local life where ever and whenever we can. Pierre definitely puts me to shame as he is an expert at picking up languages. In Thailand, he could read better than I could! Yet still, I miss a certain aspect of life that I had while living in Brooklyn, NYC. I missed going to the same deli every morning to grab my $1 coffee and cake. I missed the familiar faces of my yoga instructors at the gym. I missed the walk to the office, the Brooklyn Bridge, the waterfront. I missed the everyday things I used to do as a part of my routine. Until now.
We spent the past two-weeks in Kuta, Lombok. This is the first time during our trip, besides our time in Thailand with my family, where we had enough time to truly get to know a place. Our goal was to use this time to plan for 2nd half of our world tour and catch up content creation and strategy for our project going forward. We were not here to go, see, and do – and it was this mentality that made the difference. At our homestay, we started to feel like family. The same familiar face would serve us breakfast every morning. We were around brothers, uncles, wives, and babies. During our stay, we watched the family build a new outdoor dining area from the ground up. It is quite impressive to see how they put up the straw roof!
In town, we established our “go to” spots. We ate at the same local warung every day. Agib and his wife served a mean plate of Nasi Campur for less than $0.80 USD (10,000 IDR). He shared with us the history of his warung and stories about development in Kuta. Much has changed over the years. For dinner, our go to spot was a cart on the street with a few benches on the street. It was one of the healthiest and delicious meals we had in Indonesia for $1.44 USD (20,000 IDR). We had our local smoothie lady. She had the best smoothies in town for $1.08 USD (15,000 IDR). Her smoothies rivaled the trendier spots in town which served the same drink for 2x and sometimes 3x the price. She would look forward to our visit every night!
We made friends with Anton, one of the only yoga instructors in Lombok who is actually from Lombok. (You’ll find many foreign instructors). Anton has a true gift and can move in ways that yogi’s who have been studying for 10-15 years can move. His story is even more special as he has only been practicing for one-year after self-teaching with YouTube videos. You can read more about his story here.
I got to know my favorite spots for taking a dip in the Ocean, Mawun. The sand is so nice and the water is deep enough near the shore that you can take a dip no matter what the tide level may be.
When we left, we said our goodbyes to the people who had become a part of our daily routine while in Kuta, Lombok and promised to see them again during our next visit. The truth is, I’m not sure if these people will still be there the next time we will come. So much is changing, so much developing in Lombok at the current moment. I hope this will not change the kindness of the people, the interactions they have with the people who visit.
For all the reasons above, Kuta, Lombok has been my favorite place to visit during our entire world trip. Thanks for giving me some sort of routine in a time full of constant changes.