Dreamchasers 2019: To Asia with Love
a trip by Bev and Stan
From: January 1st 2019
Until: May 3rd 2019
One year ago, in the weeks before we departed for our Dreamchasers trip in January 2018, we listened to numerous predictions of Mount Agung's impending eminent volcanic eruption on the island of Bali, Indonesia, 40 kilometres from where we live for two months every year. We travelled to Indonesia anyway, and were fortunate to experience neither volcanic eruptions nor earthquakes during our two month stay. Since we left Indonesia in May 2018, the island of Gilli Trawangan, which we cherish and visit every year, experienced a major earthquake in August, causing substantial damage to 60% of the island's structures. Two other Indonesian islands we visit regularly, Lombok and Sulawesi, also experienced devastating earthquakes that claimed many lives, in addition to destruction of property, in the summer of 2018. On December 22, the island of Java experienced a deadly tsunami claiming hundreds of lives.
Yet, as I have mentioned previously, travel is an adventure which, by definition, involves taking chances, taking risks, and being willing to step out of one’s comfort zones in pursuit of experiences: wisely, carefully, not blindly, or naively, but not fearfully. As a friend stated to me recently “ one can also die in one’s own bed”. I could also reference the familiar adage that “ you can get hit by a bus anytime you walk out on the street”. Accordingly, we do not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with fear. Instead, we follow our itineraries with awareness, caution, and open hearts, ready to accept challenges, while carrying as well the hope that we do not find ourselves in the path of tragedy.
And it is indeed a challenge of another sort to return to places we have already been without expectations, as we are admittedly returning now to many familiar places because of the relationships we have established, and the friendships we have created there. Often we are drawn to visiting our "extended family" around the world as much as we are drawn to finding interesting places to visit, although the two often coincide. Our motivations for travel have changed from wanting to see as much as possible, to becoming more deeply involved with communities in which we spend extended periods of time. One is not better than the other, it is simply an evolution. But it is with a bit of wonder that we begin each new trip: wonder about how this trip can remain fresh and interesting, while at the same time often being quite familiar. Yet each year we have an abundance of learning discoveries, along with endless opportunities to appreciate the daily miracles to be found when simply appreciating living in the moment, so concerns that the adventures will become stale or predictable remain unfounded. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to view this travel blog as a collection of travel experiences, rather than simply a collection of reports on exotic travel destinations. In any case, that is how it invariably has been unfolding.
We do still make it a point of going somewhere every year that we have not been before. This year's new destinations will include diving Sail Rock and visiting a new island marine park in Southern Thailand, perhaps exploring some of Northern Thailand, and possibly visiting the Bodur Bodur Temple on the island of Java, an Indonesian island we have not yet visited. And thus we return once more, as we have so many times before, to our Sanga, for growth and inspiration: To Asia with Love.
Thank you for your continued interest in our travels.
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