A couple of months ago, I set out to explore the Indonesian island of Java. It’s been such a long time (or seems like it, anyway) since I’ve gotten the chance to immerse myself in a completely different culture, one that I am unfamiliar with and know little of, that I almost forgot the thrill of discovering a “new” place. Essentially, I arrived in Indonesia with little knowledge about the country, its people and their culture (other than ‘everyone goes to Bali’), and no idea what to expect. I was met with a wealth of history, an incredibly diverse society and rich cultural traditions, all of which were perpetuated by delightful locals.
As every detail fell perfectly into place, the trip, needless to say, exceeded all expectations.
After a long haul flight and two shorter ones, we landed in Surabaya, in East Java, to start off the journey. A good night’s sleep capped off the long travel time and off we were on our way the next morning. Working our way towards Central Java, we first stopped by the active volcano, Mount Bromo, which included a 3:30 am wake up call, a bumpy ride on top of a jeep and a hike to the crater.
The adventurous morning was followed with traveling to our next destination. We spent the night at a quaint 70’s-esque hotel overlooking a lake and I felt like I was in an old movie set. Arriving in the evening, we were the only ones staying there at the time, which was a little eerie, yet exemplified the simple, rustic lifestyle of the rural areas. My jet lagged sleep schedule was a blessing this time, as I awoke to be rewarded with a spectacular morning view. The sun was just making its rise, accompanied by the serene sound of nature for a tranquil start to the day.