Enjoying The Island Life at Kanawa and Angel Island with Travel Society

The sun was scorching hot and it seemed like there was not a single breeze to be found. The urge to jump into the war was strong. It was our last day living on board. The whole trip with Travel Society had been remarkably fun and adventurous. We were only hours away before going back to the city of Labuan Bajo.

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Kanawa was first to be explored. Like all the other beautiful islands in Labuan Bajo, it offers pink sands and turquoise water with beautiful reefs and starfishes. The only thing that makes this island different is the laid back vibe that I got because it has plenty of cozy beach chairs and canopies. The other members of my traveling crew were excited to dive into the water and explore the underwater world. Probably in the hope to encounter Nemo. Or, maybe Ariel? I’m not sure.

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I was not feeling well, so I decided to skip this one (half-heartedly) and chose to enjoy a can of cold soda water. There was a bit of FOMO when I sat down and watching other people playing in the water. Thank God, redemption came to me in March and allowed me to visit Kanawa Island for the second time. Of course this time I managed to snorkel.

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Angel Island was next. Again, while the others chose to swim and play with the waves. I was content with only laying on my back, and taking a nap. It was probably one of the best short naps that I ever had with my back on the pink sands, my ears were filled with the sounds of nature, and my face was constantly teased by the wind.

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Mixed feelings was unavoidable as we departed from Angel Island because I knew reality was ready to welcome me back.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

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Sunset On A Hill, Exploring Gili Lawa Darat with Travel Society

It’s been a while I know. Not gonna blame my busy schedules this time, because in the past, no matter how busy I was, I would still manage to find time to write something. So what’s the excuse now? Nothin. I think I simply lost the excitement and passion in crafting a worth-reading post for you.

Hence, the absence.
Hence, the lack of posts.

Is it normal to get dull in what was once a sharp area in your life?
Is it normal to lose it along the way?

As a creative person, I know it is very possible. So what to do if that happens to you? If doing something that you once claimed as an ultimate passion became a boring routine?

You pause. You stop for a while. And then you force yourself to continue after you had the rest that you needed. Because deep inside, you know it’s still in there. Somewhere. You just need time to find it again.

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Anyway, enough with the self-contemplating mode. Through this post, I’m gonna continue the series of Labuan Bajo exploration that I had with Travel Society. The trip covered a lot of things, from hiking to hilltops to swimming in the turquoise oceans, from greeting a manta to meeting a komodo, from sunrise-watching to sunset-hunting. Yeap, the trip to Labuan Bajo did offer plenty of interesting activities.

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While sunrise-watching had to be done from the top of Padar Island, which was marvellously breath-taking, sunset-hunting awaits you from the top of Gili Lawa Darat. The entrance of Komodo National Park was made out of two islands facing each other with the blue oceans between them, literally creating a natural gateway. Gili Lawa Darat is one of the islands, with golden savannah, and plenty of hills with different heights to watch the sunset.

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I was completely tired, because it was our third day living on board. My energy was already spent on hiking, trekking, walking, swimming, snorkeling, you name it. By the time I got there I felt like I had no energy left to climb another great height. So I settled for the lowest hill in Gili Lawa Darat, which required only 10 minutes of trekking. It was so easy and it was breezy. You can encounter plenty of deers every now and then during the hike.

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I couldn’t describe in details the whole experience of watching the sunset at Gili Lawa Darat. All I could remember was sitting comfortably on the sand, enjoying the wind, staring at the gleaming ocean and thinking about nothing. It was priceless indeed to have a moment like that, being out in the open air instead of being stuck in a traffic and chasing deadlines. Gili Lawa Darat is the best spot to unwind and rest, thank you Travel Society for taking me there.

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Cheers to next post!

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

Taka Makassar: Swimming In A Private Pool With Travel Society

At first, I was confused when the tour guide from Travel Society told me that the next spot on our itinerary was Taka Makassar. The only Makassar I know is located in South Sulawesi, which is still far up to the north side of Labuan Bajo. Are they the same thing? Apparently not. This one is way smaller, even smaller than a soccer field.

Yeap, you can easily take a walk and finish circling the sandbed island within 10 minutes or less I guess. There was no hut, no tress, nothing. This particular beauty offers you a place to unwind, do nothing and just enjoy serenity. Taka Makassar is best for swimming and snorkeling, although you can’t expect to see too many fishes here since its surrounded with shallow water.

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A little bit further to the sea, however, if you’re lucky enough you might find some Manta rays and swim along with them. They are easy to find in this area due to the strong currents. If you are not a good swimmer don’t try jumping into the ocean without a safety vest or a companion because it’s dangerous. I wasn’t lucky, there was no single Manta to be found when I was there. But I was happy enough to just swim in this crystal-clear private pool with a seemingly endless blue sea around me.

Scroll down to see more photos from Taka Makassar.

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

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SUN-KISSED LAZY DAY AT PINK BEACH, FLORES – WITH TRAVEL SOCIETY!

As most of you (might) have noticed, I’ve been posting a series of my first encounter with the “oh-so-amazing” Labuan Bajo with Travel Society. What do you think so far? A lot of my friends and Instagram’s followers kept on giving me the same respond, which either:

“I literally want to visit Labuan Bajo soon after seeing your posts!”
or
“Is it really that beautiful?”

I mean, YES. My whole perception of the touristy spot in Indonesia changed from the moment I witnessed the untouched beauty with my own eyes. Especially, when I put my feet for the first time on the soft cotton-candy sands in Namo Island, Flores.

All the girls from my travel group was immediately fell head over heel with the pink beach. Camera was out, snapgram-ing was a necessity. The pink hue apparently was a result of erosion that happened to large numbers of pink coral that can be found in the sea of Flores. The tiny particles then got carried away onto the beautiful islands and created a pampering view.

We spent a good few hours just playing on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on the beach. It was definitely a good time indeed! Here’s some good photos from the Pink Beach!

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

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Sunrise Watching From The Top Of Padar Island with Travel Society

March has been so fun for me as it’s filled with plenty of traveling. I started out this month in Bali for a friend wedding. Few weeks later, I’m drafting this post from Juanda Airport, Surabaya (again, for a friend wedding.). And next week, guess what.. I’ll be flying back to Labuan Bajo for office outing!

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Dawn.

I’m so thrilled about this Bajo trip when the HR team in my office announced it a few weeks ago. I mean, who wouldn’t want to come back to Bajo? Those beautiful islands and priceless experience. If you haven’t been to Bajo, I highly recommend you to book your seat right now for an open trip with Travel Society. Seriously, my trip with them last September was beyond fun!

Particularly that sunrise-watching moment at Padar Island. The whole trip includes living on board for 3 days. Padar was the first place we visited on the second day. I remember waking up super early, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and started to climb up the Padar hills vigorously.

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Serenity.

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The View Was.. Put Any Word That Best Describe Beautiful To You.

I’ve witnessed sunrise before from the top of Rinjani, from the top of Bromo and Sikunir, and even from an apartment in Sydney. None of them provide an ocean view, unlike this one. The trekking was not difficult because they already made a clear path for you to go up. But at one point, as you reach the higher ground, it will become a bit steep and rocky, but still feasible to be done. At least, most of the people in my open trip group who were first-timers in trekking, managed to get on the top safe and sound.

Not a single word could nearly describe a sunrise-watching moment. Like I could throw in some beautiful words, it won’t mean a thing unless you’ve seen it yourself. I’m just gonna let the photos do the justice.

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Hello, Sun!

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Local Guide

I don’t care if you are the adventurous type or not, if you are into traveling or not, this particular activity should be on your bucket list, because it’s so worth-trying (time and penny included)!

If you’ve seen a sunrise before, or quite an avid sunrise-hunter, what’s your best experience? Who knows we might bump into each other on the top of any hill one day. 😉

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Sydney’s Exploration: A Small Alley, A Night Market, and Plenty of Sushi Kiosks

Sorry for the long absence. For the first time in forever, managing this blog and consistently creating content for The Perks of Being 20 become quite challenging. But here I am, trying my best to fight through!

Right now I’d like to write about this little alley, called Spice Alley, located in Kensington Street, Sydney. This particular alley is a home for 6 hawker-style eateries, decorated with artistically painted walls and glowing lanterns. You can find Singaporean dishes at Alex Lee Kitchen, Thai cuisines at Bang Luck Thai Street Food, Malaysian spices at Old Jim Kee, Cantonese street food at Hong Kong Diner, Japanese foods at Kyo-to and Vietnamese fares at Viet. Vogue magazine even recommend this place as one of the top 5 best date night places in Sydney.

Although I’ve been to Sydney three times, it was only until last year that I knew this place exist! It’s located very near to one of my favorite ice cream spot in Sydney, Anita Gelato. Thanks to my cousins, Omar and Berra, who took me here after our short exploration at the Wedding Cake Rock.

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Although I was extremely starving when I got there, I was a bit stuck deciding on what to eat. If you know me well, I’m the kind of person who could order a lot of foods for one meal. So having too many (food) options was never easy for me. After strolling around a few times, I decided to order from the Hong Kong diner, simply because I’ve been to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and I’ve eaten plenty of Japanese and Vietnamese foods in Indo.

I ordered the Beef Brisket Noodle and BBQ Pork Bun. As you can see from the photo below, they serve the beef brisket very generously! The broth was very comforting especially in the middle of Sydney’s winter breeze. Sadly, I was so gassy I could not finish them all, I even had to take home the buns. I’d definitely go back here during my next visit to Sydney, which I don’t know when.

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While I’m at it, I think it’d be harmless if I share to you another culinary spot that I really love to visit whenever I’m in Sydney. It’s the night market at Chinatown, which only happens every Friday night. If you are really hungry, you should pay a visit at this uber nice Chinese restaurant, Superbowl. But if you’re like me, who can’t resist buying a lot of different variety of foods at the same time, then you should enjoy the food stalls.

My first go to stall is the Emperor’s Puff. This one is to-die-for! I’ve never seen this stall without a long queue. It’s best to enjoy them during winter, because the puffs are always freshly baked. You’d love the warm vanilla filling inside the puff! The price is also very cheap as you can see in the photo below.

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My second must-have at the Chinatown Night Market is the pork bak kwa (barbecued pork jerky). I forgot how much it costs, but everything in this area is pretty much cheap so you wouldn’t mind spending a little bit more here to indulge your tastebuds and tummy.

After having those two, I just let my feet take me around the area, and let my eyes picked random stall that looks appetizing to me. Some of my highlights were the large potato stick, they are super crispy and savoury; and seafood takoyaki. By the time I finished my bowl of takoyaki I was already bloated, and most of the stalls were already closing down.

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Now, if you are an avid fan of sushi like me, you would love Sydney because in almost every mall or public place it’s easy to find a sushi kiosk. My favorites are Sushi Hub and Hero Sushi. I spent my last day in Sydney literally having Sushi all day, twice at the Westfield Paramatta, and one big closure at the Sydney airport while waiting for my flight. I’m definitely one happy kid when it comes to enjoying sushi in Sydney!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

LAST SATURDAY IN 2017: ONTHREE

Have you ever stopped doing something for only about a few weeks, but then when you wanted to start doing it again, it just felt like you’re starting from zero. That is me with this whole blogging thing.

The past three weeks had been one of the busiest days of my life, with my company having a merger, and I got my capacity stretched from every direction. And I was completely lost in the midst of it all. This blog was neglected. I even forgot when was the last time I visited my own blog. Not until today.

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Some of my favorite people: @saskiatingkir, @runmoreno, @jepherjepho, @didiantonius and @silvia_via

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We’ve been friends for more than 7 years, can you believe it?

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Is there anything in your life that has been shifting lately due to your changing season? What is it? And how do you deal with all the changes? Do you completely neglect some stuff? Or do you like try to balance it all, keeping the old stuff while making room for the new ones? Sorry for too much asking, I just couldn’t help the journalist side of me. Besides, I haven’t been writing for so long I literally couldn’t stop typing.

So welcome back to this blog. Hope you gained new wisdom, new lesson in living the twentysomething season. In the meantime, here are some photos of my last coffee time in 2017 at the newly opened coffee shop: ONTHREE (Senopati Suites, 3rd Floor).

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It’s a nice spacey place with big window pane, cozy sofas, and white-dominated interior, PLUS, it has quite a huge alfresco area with bean bags, and synthetic grass floors for smoking area. Somehow you would feel like you’re not in the midst of Jakarta’s high-polluted area. I forgot what I ordered, but it was tasted good. The coffee was nice, and they also have meals to fill up your hungry tummy. I would definitely come back to this place!

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Pajama Shirt by: Kloud Studio, Pants & White Tee: Topman

Write to you later,

 

HG. (@gersonhenry)