What with all the World Cup shenanigans and leaving parties, it’s been a busy few days.
All topped off by the fact that this beauty returned to me last night…
Housemates reunited ❤ (finally! – already told her she's never allowed to go away for longer than a few days ever again!!)
One of the first things everyone told me when I spontaneously that I was moving to Asia was ‘why?? You’re going to be a giant there!!’ This has never been more true than when I decided the other day that I needed to buy a new bikini before my upcoming stream of holidays!
I was slightly apprehensive about the task in hand but had confidence in H&M (I feel about H&M in Jakarta the same way I feel about a good Tesco store in the UK – if you can’t get it there then it’s probably not worth having!)
Now let me set the scene here – my body is probably at least 2x as long and my boobs twice the size of the average Indonesian woman, not to mention the fact that wearing anything that doesn’t cover practically every inch of your skin here is frowned upon.
I was surprised to see the selection (wish I’d taken a photo actually but I was not in blog mode!) but soon realised that there would only be a few suitable options – so I chose a few and headed off the the changing rooms… Well, there’s nothing like standing in an unflattering light in a selection of too tight swimwear (even though these were the biggest sizes they had) to make one feel like an elephant!
All apart from one were basically a tiny piece of material tied around my body which I am sure would probably not be suitable for a Baywatch run and jump in to the waves – so the decision was made for me. Of 20+ options in the only shop I had seen any swimwear (that didn’t have long sleeves) for sale in, one was suitable…
Moral of the story: sometimes the ‘it’s okay – Jakarta (or anywhere else) has shops and you will be able to buy things there’ is not actually totally accurate!!
So while my Mum was here visiting and we were in Lombok, we took a boat trip one day to visit the Gili Islands – a group of 3 small islands off the coast famous for their laid back culture, beautiful sandy beaches and amazing snorkelling.
I was also pretty excited as I will be returning there in a few weeks and wanted to do some research about the best island to stay on etc!
It took about an hour to get there from Senggigi but the boat ride was beautiful. Lombok is a varied island of jungle, mountains and sweeping coasts.
First up was Gili T – the infamous Asian backpacker destination. It was pretty much how I’d expected it – lots of bars and souvenir stores, and their fair share of young travellers. Nevertheless, it looked fun and we made a quick stop for a drink before exploring a little more.
The view from the cafe was amazing – we were literally right on the seafront!
Next stop was Gili Meno – the smallest and least inhabited island. It was completely different – not many people around at all. We found a quietly little spot and are pizza while watching the world (read: boats) go by.
I went for a little explore after lunch but unfortunately didn’t make it to the Turtle Sanctuary – because I didn’t actually know that it existed. Note to self: always read the Lonely Planet before visiting the location. We did see a turtle in the sea on the return journey but you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be checking out those cute babies on the beach when I return in a few weeks though.
We never actually made it to Gili Air die to the tides and not wanting our boat to get stranded but it also looked really fun – a happy medium between the backpacker madness of Trawangan and the laid back relaxation to Meno.
We did a little a snorkelling en route and saw some blue coral and amazing fish, but before I knew it we were heading back to Senggigi and the sun was setting on another amazing day.
The final destination on our family break was the beautiful island of Lombok.
Unfortunately our flight was delayed and we didn’t arrive until almost midnight, but when we woke up he next day it was well worth the hassle!
We’d opted to just stay in Sengiggi to save wasting time moving around – a decision which in hindsight I’m pretty happy with!
Our hotel was right on the beach – we could hear the waves from our front door! – so we divided our time between there and the amazing pool.
It was a pretty relaxing holiday!
By night we soaked up the atmosphere at the bar – listening to the local band and watching incredible sunset after incredible sunset!
What more can I say other than I was very very disappointed when it was time to leave?!
We also went on 2 day trips while we were in Lombok – one to the Gili Islands, and one to visit some waterfalls in the foothills of Mount Rinjani, but I will save those stories for another day, and for now leave you with some more holiday snaps…
One of my classes finished yesterday and I had meetings with some of the parents.
When asked what the students liked about the course there was a unanimous response – ‘the day we got to meet Miss Sophie’s mum!’
The first stop on the mother/daughter tour (after a few days in Jakarta for Mum to attend my classes and see my life here) was Jogjakarta – a city in Mid-Java. Everytime I ask my students ‘where should I definitely visit?’, Jogja is always up there.
It was a much more laid back place than Jakarta – just what the doctor ordered.
The hotel was amazing and we spend A LOT of time lounging next to the pool, interspersed with some shopping and exploring.
We visited the Sultan’s palace and saw some traditional Indonesian dance….
And made the trek to Borobudur, which was amazing. Watching the sunrise there with my Mum was incredible – seriously a once in a lifetime experience.
Jogja was fun – a nice change of pace from life in Jakarta – but it was time to leave before we knew it.
Next stop, Lombok!
I didn’t mean to abandon the blog completely while I was away, but what can I say? Too busy topping up my tan! It was amazing though and I will be writing about it very soon.
For now, I am back at work – the first day was a serious struggle! I was very much lacking in motivation a few weeks ago, so I hope the break has done me some good on that front – only time will tell I guess.
It was sad to say goodbye to my Mum yesterday – we have had a wonderful few weeks together, but I have I keep reminding myself that in 4 months I will be back in the UK – I’m sure the time will fly by.
Meanwhile, in Tuesday morning cheer up tactics, breakfast on the balcony with an episode of The Inbetweeners…. Day 2 – here I come!