We began blogging four months ago and just this last week I was lucky enough to be invited on my first press trip to Indonesia, which included accommodation, food, and the opportunity to experience the best Indonesia has to offer.
TEXT BY JACKSON GROVES // IMAGES BY JACKSON GROVES
Indonesia press trip with the Indonesia Tourism Ministry
I just arrived back from my 12 day press trip through Indonesia. Wow what a whirlwind! We traveled to Jakarta, Bintan, Flores/Komodo and finally to Bali. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to hang out with such an awesome bunch of people and get treated to some of the best locations, activities, food and accommodation Indonesia has to offer.
Jessie was in Hanoi, Vietnam battling through some crazy weather while spending lots of time focusing on yoga and preparing for her upcoming teacher training in Thailand.
I will be writing a number of blog posts now that I have some time after my trip so I won’t go into detail about every moment of the trip. However, I will share with you on brief highlight of my trip:
Sailing from Labuan Bajo to Padar
We rented out 3 huge wooden sail boats and passed by hundreds of islands, stopping only to snorkel or visit floating villages. Our first stop was an early morning snorkel in the clearest water I have ever jumped into. Hundreds of fish and amazing coral formations entertained us for over an hour. We jumped back onto the boat and headed towards Mesa Village.
I had done some primary research about the village before arriving so I knew that it was inhabited by people who had been labeled sea gypsies, originally sailing over from Sulawesi. With the help of my translator and new friend Aria, we found one of the elders of the village and interviewed him about the culture, history and current state of the island. This island has no fresh water source. How do they survive? Stay tuned for my in depth article about Mesa Island and it’s people.
Back on the boat again for a three hour cruise to Padar Island. What is there? One of the most amazing hikes in the world. A short 20 minute hike gave us views of 7 beaches. We sat atop the hillside watching professional photographers from Fujifilm do a promo for a new camera line, all the while the sun setting, caressing the ridges with soft, passing light. This was one of the most beautiful moments of the trip for me.
As if this day couldn’t get any better we slept on bean bags underneath the stairs and visible milky way. I woke up as my skin began to burn from the morning sun and quickly got ready to jump off the boat… many times. Myself and another photographer who was from Sydney jumped from the main mast which was anywhere from 40-50ft. This 36 hour period goes close to the most amazing day and a half of my life!
We now have a week left of blogging and exploring in Hanoi before heading off on our next adventure to Thailand!
WEEKLY SPENDING (USD):
Accommodation: $ 175.00
Transport: $ 27
Total: $278.50 USD