Home Asia Halfway to Heaven: an Indonesia Update

Halfway to Heaven: an Indonesia Update

by Emma March 2, 2014 1 comment

Sometimes when you’re traveling in a developing country, you accept things you never would at home.

Like tap water that smells like sewage.

Wild dog fights outside your door.

Thieves sneaking in your neighbor’s window.

Sea snakes.

Impoverished children.

Beetles in your undies.

Ants in your food.

A leak in your roof.

You may even get to the point where you are relieved that the leak in your roof is just a rat relieving its self from your rafters, and not a real leak… because well, hey, I love roommates. And a leak would suck.

I’m nearing the halfway point of my Indonesia exploration. Leaving this country behind in just a short three months seems like a tragedy. In the midst of this trip I have learned to love rice more fervently than I have ever expected, mastered driving a motorbike, given up shampooing my hair, and pushed my edge surfing.

Many ask if I am happy living without the “comforts of home” and I cannot find an appropriate answer. Happiness and comfort are confusingly oriented in our minds. Many people are very comfortable and incredibly unhappy. Many people who are very happy aren’t necessarily comfortable. I’m now both happy and comfortable IN my happiness, in an unimaginable place.

I believe happiness is a form of acceptance of the present moment exactly as it is. No frills, no excuses, no expectations. Accepting who you are and where you are at that moment is true happiness. It is not a destination, or a journey, but a mindful awareness of your own self.


Sometimes, when you’re traveling in a developing country, you accept miraculous things as everyday truths that you never would at home.

Like  rolling reef break waves all to yourself.

Palm trees and sunsets.

Coconuts. More coconuts.

Sea turtles and dugongs (HAVE YOU SEEN A SEA COW?!).

A variety of animals crossing the road at any moment:

Goat, chicken, monkey, water buffalo, monitor lizard, dog, cat, drunken Australian.


And while you’re day dreaming [or writing about your day dreaming], be sure to wipe off the lizard shit you just accidentally smeared on your hands and keyboard.

Cheers to new highs and lows…

and cleaning up wherever my “roommate” goes.

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