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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Trekking at Kelor Island and Snorkeling at Manjarite with Travel Society!

Before I started babbling about how beautiful Labuan Bajo is, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts lately because my workload have been crazy for the past month. Finding time to actually blog was a rarity for me, even up until now. But here I am trying to fill you up on what’s hype and worth trying in your twenty something!

So, if you’ve read my first two posts about my trip to Bajo with Travel Society, those two were only giving you like 20% of the details. Hence, I’d share more in few other upcoming posts. As a starter, here’s a blog post about the first two islands that we visited in Labuan Bajo!

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It took only about 30 minutes from Labuan Bajo to Kelor Island. The minute I saw the white sandy beach, I immediately wanted to jump off of the boat. I kept on reminding myself not to forget wearing my trekking sandals, because the last time I didn’t wear sandals in Belitung, I got injured pretty bad.

The hike to the top of Kelor Island was a total challenging, particularly because it was noon and the sun was like right above our head. I could feel my skin burnt while trying to keep my balance during climbing the steep hill. However, as I’ve said in my former posts the view from high places is always worth the climb!

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Just like in Rinjani, I was one of the fastest in the group, even when I haven’t been exercising for like months. Perhaps is the impatience in me, or perhaps it’s just that I have long legs – I don’t know – but I managed to get to the top before the rest of the pack. So when some of them have finally arrived, I was already deciding going back down and play at the beach.

Again, climbing down a hill is always harder and tougher than going up. The sandy floors were a little bit slippery. I was so nervous that I might lost my balance and fell. Minutes later, I was already on the beach. Unbuttoning my shirt and dived right into the super clear turquoise-ish water. It felt so refreshing after burning few calories going up and down that hill in the middle of a hot sunny day!

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A little bit tips, if you are happen to visit this beautiful island in the future, make sure you are wearing proper clothes and comfy sandals or trekking shoes. Anyways, after Kelor our guide took us to Manjarite Island (about an hour away from Labuan Bajo). Everyone changed into their swimming suits and started to swim in the sea enjoying the beautiful underwater world.

Sigh. Writing about this only makes me this home-sick feeling towards traveling and being out in the open space.

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Postcards From Labuan Bajo: A Birthday Trip With Travel Society!

I still remember last year strolling around several Instagram accounts, hoppin from one photo to another, and stumblin upon many photos of the beautiful Labuan Bajo. That was when I decided to intentionally find more infos on how to travel to this part of Indonesia. Particularly as I was craving for a good holiday day on the beach, yet was so bored with Bali. I was keen to explore more hidden gems of this country.

Travel Society was like that thirst-quencher in the middle of a sunny day. Our convo begun with warm greetings and ended up in a collaboration as they invited me to join one of their sailing trips to Bajo! If you are looking for an affordable travel experience to Labuan Bajo and some other places in Indonesia, yet with comfortable place to stay and friendly guides to accompany you, Travel Society should be on your call list.

They have regular dates every year for an open trip to Bajo that you can check on their Instagram account. Out of the dates they provide, I picked the one in September not knowing that it fell right on my 30th birthday!

Celebrating your birthday with a new experience was definitely a great idea. As for me, I celebrated it with a living on a boat for 3 days and 2 nights, visiting 9 islands (Kelor, Manjarite, Rinca, Padar, Namo, Taka Makassar, Gili Lawa, Kanawa, and Bidadari) in total, trekking several hills to watch sunrise and sunset, snorkeling to find manta, getting up close and personal with the Komodo dragon, laying on a pink beach, and swimming in a clear turquoise sea. Well, I got a pretty bad sunburnt as a birthday gift, but it was definitely worth the experience!

I’ll share more about these trip, but for now, please enjoy my postcard series from Labuan Bajo!

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First island in the itinerary, Pulau Kelor

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Menjangan (deer), which is the Komodo dragon’s lunch menu.

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Enjoying the sailing trip a little bit too much.

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Fishermen ready to go to work.

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A convo at golden hour.

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That beautiful hue of gold behind a hill.

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Sunrise watching from the top of Padar Island.

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One of the best islands, Taka Makassar, which pretty much reminds me of Maldive.

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Floating hotels at Gili Lawa.

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Resting to catch a breath.

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Sand-dipped toes on Bidadari Island.

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I was so tempted to say “Dracarys” LOL!

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Sunset at Labuan Bajo.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)