Today I completed my first semester at the school where I have been working as an English support teacher. I bid farewell to my 29 students yesterday and today I sat through 29 parent-teacher conferences. I feel good about my first 3 1/2 months here so now it’s time to celebrate with a three-week holiday—if with a bit of trepidation.
Tomorrow I embark on a 20-day adventure through Java and Bali. I fly out of Pekanbaru and will land in Jakarta mid-afternoon on Saturday. From there I will catch the night train and head to Yogyakarta, located in Central Java. I’m especially excited to see the Buddhist monument, Borobudur, and the Hindu temple, Prambanan. Since I’ll be couchsurfing, I think I will get to see a lot and experience a lot with the help of my hostess.
I’m a little nervous about the Java portion of the trip though. I don’t know if it’s because I have no one else traveling with me (though I flew solo for parts of my French and Spanish adventures this spring) or if it’s just because I have zero experience in traveling Indo alone. I’ve basically had my hand held everywhere I’ve gone in this country. No matter, I’ve had a nervous knot in my tummy for two days now. I suppose that’s okay though, I am armed with my Bahasa Indonesia/English dictionary, my notes from the three Bahasa classes that I have had this month and lots of phone numbers of Indonesian friends who should be able to help me in a pinch. Oh…and my Indonesia Lonely Planet.
The next stop will be Bromo and Ijen to see the volcanoes and sulfur crater. I’m seriously looking forward to seeing the volcanoes and hiking around in the brisk air of the mountains for a bit. I hope my body can still handle temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, seeing as it can get down to 30F there!
The remainder of my travels will be in Bali. I have booked 10 days at a yoga hostel in Canggu which is about 15km from the tourist center of the island, Kuta, and the shopping/bar scene of Seminyak. I hope to have a good balance between my morning yoga classes, afternoons of exploring and relaxing and evenings of indulging in the local food and drink offerings. It’s also where I’ll be spending Christmas and New Year’s so hopefully I’ll meet some people to celebrate with—I’m cool with having a “bule” Christmas, just not a “blue” Christmas please!
I’m also looking forward to a little R’n’R on the surfing beach, a beach that happens to be 150m away from my hostel (yes!). My tension headaches hit full-force over the last two weeks and so I can say, without hesitation, that the time away from the school will be good for me.
The final two days of the journey will take me to one of the island’s major arts villages, Ubud. I’m really excited about cycling alongside rice paddies and exploring the local dance and arts culture. I don’t know if I’m staying in a hostel or couchsurfing in Ubud though—waiting to hear back from a few possible couchsurfing options—which is really what I want since I love meeting new people! I hope they don’t think I’m some chick with a midlife crisis though…apparently Ubud is the village where the “Bali” home of the Julie Roberts character in “Eat, Pray Love” was located.
All in all, I feel better today than I have for most of this week. Also, after reading about the Indo adventures of the avantourists I feel like maybe my trip isn’t such an undertaking. The two Estonian ladies who write the blog have bolstered my confidence a bit. These gals are incredible and their travels through Indonesia thus far are truly inspiring. I look forward to sharing in their continued anthropologic adventures in the future. (Also, thanks for following my blog ladies!)