Archives for posts with tag: Gili Trawangan

The countdown has started. David and I have just 9 days left before we get on a flight back to the States. My best bud Eliza left a few days ago to head back to NYC after a fun week snorkeling on Gili Trawangan and swimming and celebrating my birthday in Kuta, Lombok. And now David and I are hunkering down with our last dollars and preparing ourselves for our next culture shock. Home.

Eliza and I on the boat to Gili Trawangan

It has been an amazing and unforgettable 5 months.

I’ve started to make a list of the things I will miss.

Dodging potholes on the motorbike. The drive at night on the motorbike back home from Yeye’s in Uluwatu, looking up at the starry sky. Sweat. Banana juice. The smell of incense. Being barefoot. Calling out “cow” or “monkey” while driving. The sound of flip-flops. Nightly rain showers. The friendliness of the Balinese. The deafening sounds of nature. The ease of starting conversations with other travelers. The smell of satay sizzling on the street. Vivid colors everywhere. Smiling and highfiving children. Ants in my food. Hearing Indonesians sing Justin Bieber. The feeling and sounds of life everywhere – plants enveloping you and thousands of bugs crawling and flying, geckos scurrying, chickens clucking and roosters crowing, rust-colored cows, algae and mud covered water buffalo, dogs barking or sleeping, leggy goats.

David and Eliza on Gili Trawangan

It’s going to be weird going home. Real life. Ugh.

We successfully arrived to Gili Air, the 2nd largest out of three famous beach islands off of Lombok, Indonesia. Much of the draw of these islands is their relatively undeveloped and unspoiled nature. There are few permanent residents – from Gili Meno, population 300, to Gili Air, population 1800. Only bungalows with thatched roofs provide shelter to the arriving tourists who come in search of some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, and you must walk along the dirt pathways as there are no motorbikes or cars on the islands. Your own two feet or a horse cart must do all of the work.


We arrived just a day before the New Year and were told by locals on Lombok that the islands were incredibly packed for the holiday – some even told us that people were camping on the beaches of Gili Trawangan, the social hub of the Gilis. However, arriving to Gili Air we easily found a large, cheap room although most places were in fact full.

David, mom, and I spent our days on the beach, and the days where the clouds rolled in or we had rain (the rainy season ends in February despite the fact that the islands of the Indonesian archipelago vary greatly in climate) were spent cross-legged under the covered, beachfront berugas while playing cards and backgammon and sipping our fresh fruit smoothies or an ice cold Bintang.

David spent most of his time at Manta Dive getting his Advanced Open Water certification while my mom and I explored Gili Air, and spent a day peddling around Gili Trawangan on rickety bicycles researching places to stay in March when my best friend Eliza comes to visit.

Each night we would go to the Chill Out Bar, owned by a beautiful Indonesian woman named Suzie, and get 2-for-1 mojitos or side cars for happy hour, followed by the best vegetarian curry I have ever had. Our last night on the island, after my usual time spent at the Chill Out Bar, I joined David and the German genius Carolina for drinks. Carolina headed home soon after, tired after a long day/night of diving with Dav, but David and I continued our tradition of staying out too late on our last night in a place, this time before an early morning boat and car ride the next day. We went to Zipp Bar and met up with Sean from North Carolina, a young pilot currently living in Tokyo who I had met that day on the boat back to Gili Air from Gili Trawangan. We drank Bintangs with him and another David, an expat from Perth, Australia who is the owner of Zipp Bar. Being the only ones at the bar at this hour, we filled the night with laughter, sing-a-longs to the Rolling Stones, and me dancing behind the bar with the 23-year old Indonesian bartender with a fro and a shirt that read, “Don’t be Naughty.” David left late in the night to head home and pack, but since the owner was buying us beers at this point I didn’t want to give up a good thing, and ended up getting back to the room at sunrise – just enough time to take a nap before strapping on my gigantic backpack and getting on the boat back to Lombok.

(Lizie – David and I both can’t wait for March. You will love it here. Miss you sistalady!)