I have fallen in love with this vast country over and over again. From the great underwater worlds of Raja Ampat and Manado, to wild jungles of Kalimantan and Sumatra – there is so much history to learn, traditions to absorb and landscapes to explore in Indonesia. I’ve been lucky enough to travel through this region many times over the last 10 years – the first time as a backpacker, and now as a part of my work. I’ve written about the wonderful city of Banda Aceh which has come on incredibly since the horrific tsunami of 2004. I took my Advanced Open Water scuba course in Sulawesi and have swum with turtles and sharks in her waters.
Since my first visit many years ago, I have seen the infrastructure, tourism, the scenery, sustainability and way of life here change and develop. But one thing remains the same. The welcoming smiles of the locals. These beautiful souls are fascinated to meet visitors, they make you feel at home, they show you their customs and smile at you like you’ve been friends forever. You can’t help but beam back at them.
Every time I leave, a piece of my heart stays in Indonesia. It is one of the most beautiful places this world has to offer.