Explore Solo – Let’s Travel and Document It!

Submitted by viravira on 24 May 2013   •  Opinion

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Travel blogging has gotten us to places and events we never really imagined, and introduced us to people we didn’t think we would be friends with. Let alone attending a birthday party 512 km away! But for Explore Solo, we did. In the midst of work, a bit stressful wedding preparation and blog homework, I went to Solo, Central Java,on behalf of Indohoy, replacing for Mumun who was on a 10-day trip to Sumbawa. I was so excited to see the Explore Solo and Hifatlobrain guys! The vibe that these guys bring is different than most of our friends in Jakarta. Maybe it’s the culture, references, even slang words.

4 of Explore Solo warriorsThe crazy kids of Hifatlobrain from Surabaya. Don't let the calmness here fool you..

Explore Solo is now a toddler, a Trouble Three year-old. But as a community, they’re exactly the opposite of what you’d call a trouble. They’re reliably knowledgeable when it comes to cultures, especially Solo’s. Their trip organization business is going well, the group grew from 2 to 7 people now, in general they are getting stronger.

Explore Solo 3rd birthday - hosts & guests

The 3rd birthday is celebrated by a talk show on travel documenting at Kafe Tiga Tjeret, followed by a photography trip around Solo – which sadly I couldn’t follow because I had to go back to Jakarta ASAP. Ayos from Hifatlobrain.net and I were there as talk show guests. We basically shared about our experiences and hopes in blogging on travel and everything that relates to it.

The event was opened with a speech from Pak Widi, the head of tourism board of Solo, and the mayor of the city was invited as well, but couldn’t make it. I know, right? It sounds like a really uberly extremely important event. It was and we were the guests. Unfortunately, it rained cats and dogs all through the event, which was probably the reason why some invitees couldn’t come. We, on the panel, had to scream when talking on a microphone so the attendees could hear us. I hope they did.

Taufiq leading the panel, audience, Yusuf chatting with Agustinus

Agustinus Wibowo, a prominent travel writer, whose inspiring travel and life story has been told in his books, was also present and shared a bit about his views on traveling and travel documentation. So did the guy from Backpacker Community (oh no! I forgot his name!), who came straight from his Mount Rinjani hike and Triuntoro from travelbuck.net who shared about data documentation as well as persistently promoting his blogs and Twitter account. LOL..

In brief, we all have our own objectives and ways of documenting travels. Some intersect, some go in totally different ways. The guys from Backpacker Community likes to focus on stories of the “forgotten people”, like the porters on mountains. Ayos likes to travel to nearly unheard-of places, learns about the lives there and blogs about it…well, when he likes to. As for us Indohoy, I think we’re the most shallow one.. LOL. I admit we’re not as deep as the others. Starting our website with sharing practical information as our objective, we slowly and happily evolve our writings to a bit more human side sometimes. But all in all, I think it’s the diversity in travel documentation that makes us rich in information, and that we are free to determine our paths no matter what we’ve read and heard.

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