Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 4 October 2012 • Opinion
A few months ago, I trotted from the mountain top all the way to the deep blue sea within a week. I roamed the crater of Bromo, met my first ‘dukuns’ or roughly translated to witchdoctors, froze my butt off, found a sand desert and green hills in one setting, ate great food, road tripped, visited Peucang (one of my long dream destination), and swam like there was no tomorrow over and over again. During these 6 days, I was re-shocked (if that’s even the right word to express what I felt) of what Indonesia has to offer. I felt like I was going to puke a pineapple because I can’t express how much I admire this country. It’s an endless list of destinations and really beautiful ones too. As a local, I’m blessed and cursed at the same time.
Did I mention that I now have a new tan?
But to be honest, the best thing about this 6 day trip was meeting a whole bunch of new people. And not just ordinary people, some of them are people that I’ve admired for their online writings. They’re Indonesian bloggers and travel writers, and they are my idols. I wasn’t in a meet-the-fans gathering nor press conference, I just happened to meet them on my journeys and traveled with them. Because travelers are usually the most down to earth and humorist bunch, I was accepted like a friend. Not only did I get to talk to them in person, I got to see how they travel and have intimate settings over coffee. They’re really nice people.
I don’t usually drop names but in this case, let me mention a few of these people whose work I admire. Naming from the Ayos (from my Surabaya trip) and Dwi Putri, from Hifatlobrain.net, Nuran Wibisono, the-travelist.com guys, Yunaidi Joepeot an upcoming travel writer and photographer, Barry Kusuma a photographer well known for his photos on the road, and the ultimate Indonesian travel blogger herself, Trinity the ‘Naked’ Traveler. Then there’s the Explore Solo guys, who explore more than just Solo. On the side, I’ve also met Travel Junkie ID and Liburan Lokal. I think I forgot some names, that goes to show I met so many of them.
Just like my wide ranged trip, I met all kinds of writers who have different stands on traveling and travel writing. It was interesting to see who stands on what side and how their stance can contradict other writers. In each discussion I’ve had with these idols of mine, I’ve listened and try to grasp what they believe in. I confess, I stated my opinion in each conversation but I doubt that a rookie like me can say anything to change the ‘dynamics’ that’s been going on.
I’m torn about the fact that the people I admire are not on the same side, as much as I’m very glad. Contradiction means there’s discussion, and with discussion that means there’s life. Causalities is inevitable. But it means there’s different style of writing, a rich source of views, and more people talking about traveling. This might not be something new, but it’s an eye opener for me about the ‘traveling world’ in Indonesia.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about these travel writers is, don’t be fooled by their melancholic facade! It’s all lies!!! Muhaha! They’re all ‘ember bocor’ or leaking buckets, a term Indonesians use for people who are a bundle of ridiculous humor and fun, that would ache your stomachs out. I love them all! They’re what Indonesian traveling is about and I still look up to each and everyone one of them for whatever they believe.