Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 13 March 2012 • Blog
It’s been a while since we got involved in this traveling genre. Wow… it’s been almost 3 years (has it been that long?), and we’ve met so many interesting people, both on the road or in the business. One of the people in the business is Maluku-local-Jakarta-labour, Achmad Alkatiri (Mad. That’s his nick, not his psychological state,… maybe!). Why him? He distinctly has the same vision as we do: there’s more to traveling Indonesia than Bali. So, we thought we’d meet the man in person, after meeting him online (yeah, it’s common to do this in Indonesia).
Mad caught our attention firstly because of his ambitious project the 365 Indonesia. The task is simple, to upload one beautiful picture of Indonesia each day for a whole year. It sounds simple but we know it’s not. Two photo blogs a week is hard enough for us, let alone every day for a whole year! So how is the project coming along? “I’m having problems,” he said. “I can’t access my blog and I haven’t been publishing anything since day 123. So I’ve been posting pictures on my Facebook to continue it, which I’ll eventually move to my blog after I get it fixed. Although I have disabled the comments, according to the stats I get a lot of visitors”. Bravo!
Since most of his photos are beautiful pictures of the coast, we concluded he’s a fan of the coast and the sea. “Not necessarily,” he said. “I’d love to try hiking and climbing mountains, but I just haven’t found the right companion to do it.” We’re smirking thinking we found somebody we can share travel costs if we do venture to mountaintop.
It’s only natural that we’d ask what his ultimate travel destination is. “Komodo National Park,” he answered. Honestly, we found the answer quite weird, coming from him, who’s been to a lot of uncommon travel destinations in Indonesia that’s more difficult to reach in terms of transportation. But this is what he said, “It’s amazing that this island can make the top nomination for the world’s 7 wonders. There’s no excuse for Indonesians not to visit and enjoy its beauty. But I just haven’t seemed to find the right time to go there. I was so close to going but an important business meeting just had to come up! Argh!” Okay, that makes sense. There will be a perfect time one day, Mad. *patting Mad on the back*
Currently Mad is working with www.wego.co.id, a branch website for Indonesia that helps people with travel arrangements on both flight tickets and hotel bookings. We had to ask: does full time work in your hobby actually diminish the sensation of it? “Actually it’s a lot of fun. As a Community Manager, I get to communicate with people that are great in the business. It’s only been 6 months but I’m totally good working like this. I have a calendar of Indonesia’s festivals and events in the office so I can keep track of things that I always have to find info about. I also have a team of experienced travel writers, from whom I can learn a lot.”
We had to ask if he had personal insights for those wanting to visit Indonesia. “People should visit Maluku”, that’s his first advice. He’s very proud of his home province. “You have to dive in the Indonesian seas, it’s so beautiful,” would be his second. Another advice will be to have an extra pocket of patience when dealing with Indonesia’s transportation system. Many of them are still tentative, depending on a lot of factors such as weather, traffic, etc.
Tual Beach is tempting, I know.
Last but certainly not least, there’s this one question that’s been kinda hovering in our heads. And since we don’t know how to answer it, we thought we’d ask Mad instead. So, Mad, what’s the meaning of life? He startled and said, “What? I dunnow. I’m confused! I’ve never thought of it or planned my life but I have a bucket list. I have to visit all the 33 provinces before I’m 25.” Ah shucks, we still haven’t found an answer.
All in all, it was a blast to pick the brains of a fellow Indonesian that shares the same faith: traveling and placing Indonesia (not only Bali) on the international tourism map. And now we’ll leave you with Mad and his friend Tama, playing our ‘prefer’ game (a game where you just have to choose which do you prefer, that we invented in our Sulawesi trip).
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