|After a Pig BBQ Feast (Schwary)|
“I felt so much, I felt like all of Indonesia was crashing down around me only to be left behind in a few short moments and all of my time, growth, understanding and expression of life that I shared with such a wonder people, in such a wonderful land was going to suddenly end at the airport, an airport no less in which I was en route.” - TheVicariousAdventure.com
|Mingling In The Market (Schwary)|
On the morning of January 5th, 2011, I woke up in the same fashion as any other normal day that starts off with a tidbit of early morning confusion, a rubbing of the eyes, an instant craving for a hot cup of coffee and a quick and conscious overview of what the dawn of the new day will bring.
|Coming To Terms That There Are No Terms (Schwary)|
Once completing those perfunctory chores mentioned above, it dawned on me that after one week shy of spending three months in the country of Indonesia and more specifically, two months on the island of Bali, all was going to abruptly end...today.
|At The Steps Of The Mother Temple (Schwary)|
Despite the fact that I simultaneously knew I was off to another once in a lifetime journey to Thailand, only to be followed by unexplored countries to the north that included Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam; I had become so familiar with Bali and the people of Indonesia that I felt as though I was almost leaving home. This country, on a multitude of levels fulfilled so many of my personal dreams of what I imagined the true travels of an adventurer to be. And specifically, the island of Bali was in many ways the Heaven on Earth that I had sought and found after for all these years. It was magical, actually heavenly, and this tiny spot on the map had and was going to leave an indelibly large mark on my soul that is going to last a lifetime.
|1 of 10 Photo Requests Ascending Volcano Bromo (Schwary)|
So there I was, January 5th, 2011, an airplane ticket to Thailand in my hand and I’m in the back of a taxi heading to the airport in Denpasar with my road warrior -baby girl, Marie, and I literally have tears in my eyes. Those tears unexpectedly gave way to the real thing accompanied with one of those childlike smiles indicating a wonderful mix of embarrassment, sadness and happiness that falls short of precise articulation. I felt so much, I felt like all of Indonesia was crashing down around me only to be left behind in a short moments and all of my time, growth, understanding and expression of life that I shared with such a wonder people, in such a wonderful land was going to suddenly end at the airport, an airport no less in which I was en route. Like I said before, I felt like I was leaving home.
|The Green Team...Hired! (Schwary)|
How I was brought to tears on January 5th, 2011, started back in 2010, on October 13th to be exact. Marie and I left behind the middle world of Southeast Asia and headed to the capital city of its most southernly counterpart, a capital called, Jakarta. Spending five days in Jakarta, getting to know the capital of a country that contains some of the most densely populated geography on the map proved essential in connecting many of the dots that exist in getting to know a country, a people, and a culture, perhaps the most diverse of its kind, in all of Asia. For the first time on our journey we ran head on into a people that suffered from shameless poverty. They won us over with their grace and joy for life that superseded their economic circumstances. We were baffled by the many smiles that proudly communicated, “Yes, we have nothing, but everything that matters”. To many a travelers, spending a entire five days in Jakarta would’ve been excessive, or even worse, unnecessary, but to us, every second proved worthwhile in coming close to understanding the people that populate the country outside the reaches of its capital. In all of the years I’ve traveled, I’ve always said, “In order to come close to understanding a country and its people, you must first attempt to understand its capital”. That understanding once again was worth its weight in gold. Looking back, if we had simply landed at the airport we flew out of, in the paradise of Bali, we would’ve never know the full depths of hell to appreciate the true bliss of heaven. It’s sort of like that trite expression regarding life that goes, “You gotta know black in order to know white”.
|Sharing a Good 'Ol Chew, Bali Style! (Schwary)|
With the capital of Indonesia metaphorically in our pocket, we boarded a twelve hour train ride that carried us across the heart of Java and dropped us off in its second largest city and cultural capital, a place at first difficult to pronounce, called, Yogyakarta.
To be continued...