Vagabonding Field Report: Finding paradise on the Gili Islands of Lombok
Cost/day: $35/day-room, Average $10 per meal
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen lately?
The cows! I don’t know why, but I just didn’t expect to see cows on such a small island. I mean you can walk around these islands in about 90 minutes, and when I saw my first one, I thought I’d been in the sun a little too long. There are also tons of cats on the Gili Islands. I think they are what give the Gili Islands such magical energy.
Describe a typical day:
The days are long and lazy. I based myself off of Gili Trawangan (but wished I had picked Gili Air). After a long morning walk on the beach, I usually caught a boat to either Gili Air or Gili Meno and enjoyed the peace and tranquility there. I walked around the islands talking to the local people, taking lots of pictures, enjoying the warm sea air, and just felt myself relax in a really deep way.
Describe an interesting conversation you had with a local:
I met an amazing artist names Botel. His joy for life was contagious. We talked about the beauty of the day, the present moment. The present moment was him enjoying his cup of coffee. We didn’t talk about the past or where I had come from. We just were. Mostly we sat and enjoyed the silence and each other’s presence.
What do you like about where you are? Dislike?
I love the stunning blue clearness of the water, the sparkling white sand, the “getting away from it all” feeling that I had. I loved eating fresh fish that they had caught everyday. I loved the intense joy that everyone on the islands seemed to have. People truly lived in the moment. I disliked the loud party scene on Gili Trawangan. When I went seven years ago, it was very chill. Open-air bars, couches in the moonlight, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix playing. Now it’s a big loud party scene. Next time, I will stay on Gili Air!
What new lesson did you learn?
The Gili islands reminded me that all we have is now. Being there brought me back to the moment. I didn’t think of the past or what would be happening in the future. I just was-in the moment.
Who knows? I am letting the moment guide me. Being spontaneous. Letting the wind and waves guide me. Right now, I’m heading over to the hammock.