With the blanket of sleep still weighing heavily over me from the nights rest, I am slow to move out of my mosquito netted bed. The fresh morning light of the new day shines through the gaps of the woven elephant grass walls, and the sounds of a roaring tide from a distance. It is 7:30 am, I step outside to to the bamboo covered balcony to be greeted by the warmth of the morning sun and the gentile breeze of the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by beautiful rice fields and coconut hills, I walk down to the beach to join my fellow travellers for breakfast. In 30 minutes, I will start my weekend mission to learn how to surf on the beautiful stretch of dark brown pebbly beach called Medewi in Bali, Indonesia. I have a day and a half to learn how to surf, then I will be pressured by my surf guide, ready or not, to take on the 10 foot swell’s that Medewi is famous for at the last session.
A 2-hour airplane ride and 3-hour drive is all that separates Medewi and Indonesia capital Jakarta. The bustling city of 9.6 million with skyscrapers that reach out to the sun, has a booming economy, a great nightlife scene, epic traffic jams, and probably the best food I have ever had in my entire life. This is where I spend my weeks. The same can be said for most of people who live in Indonesia. However, come the weekend, those living in the city are quick to leave the concrete jungle. They head out to explore the following: countless beaches, 17,000 islands, and 150 active volcanoes. Not to mention, 60% of the islands are covered by forests, meaning some of the coolest animals in the world including tigers, rhinoceroses, organgutans, elephants, and the famous Indonesia dragon, which is the largest lizard in the world!
Indonesia is also blessed with some of the best food I have ever had the pleasure to eat. The local dishes vary in each and every city but I did not try anything that I did not enjoy! My personal favourites are different items covered in peanut sauce like siomay & satay, and topping, CCN’s World’s 50 Best Food, nasi goreng and rendang. The food is literally to die for, and if you are here for a short time, you better hope you are a good cook because these are definitely things you are going to want to make for your friends and family when you get home.
Indonesia is an amazing place to call home for a Canadian who loves the outdoors. You are never to far away from your next big adventure. If you are lucky enough to work in this country, you are in for quite a treat. From Epic Temples, rich history, food, and the diverse, vibrant and friendly locals, it is hard not to fall in love with such a beautiful country.
With only two weeks to enjoy all the beauty that Indonesia has to offer, my adventure lead me to the beaches and the personal challenge to learn how to surf in 48 hours. With three 2-3 hour surf sessions on the white water outside the surf camp, I felt ready to take on some real waves!
I take my final steps on solid ground and swim off into the deep to join the rest of the surfers. There are massive waves barreling down on all of us as we try to scope out our target. Surfing is all about timing, paddling as hard as you can and popping up quickly, all while keeping your balance on a polyurethane and fibreglass board. On this day, small little jelly fish were everywhere and you could not go anywhere without getting stung. Even with all this going on, I was determined to ride some waves and I finally got my shot. I turned my board to the direction of the beach and started to paddle as hard as I could. I feel the wave start to pick me up but I keep paddling to keep my momentum and at the right moment it is time to get up. I arch my back, lock my arms straight, and jump to my feet. It is a glorious moment with the wave at my back and cheers from my new friends around me, I glide towards to beach for my first time.
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This post is also available in: French