Living on a beautiful island like Bali doesn’t mean that life is always a vacation. We get into routines, meet with friends, take classes, work, and study. I recently gave a piano concert at my house (so much fun!) and the kids are learning and creating much in homeschool. We enjoy our lives so much! But sometimes, it’s nice to leave it all behind and “do nothing” for a few days. And what better place to do nothing than where there’s almost nothing to do?
This time, we chose to head just east of Bali to the island of Lombok, and the neighboring Gili Islands, still part of Indonesia. Most people get from Bali to the Gili Islands by boat with a 1-3 hour ride. But because of our aversion to sea sickness and some horror stories we heard about the trip, we decided to fly to Lombok first, drive through it and then take a shorter boat ride to Gili Air, the nearest of the three Gili Islands. Our friends the Kings took the boat from Bali and were there waiting for us when we arrived. They had already picked out a hotel, next to a beautiful beach with crystal blue water and great snorkeling right off the shore.
Gili Air is extremely laid back. There are no cars or any motorized vehicles on the island. The roads are sandy paths mostly used for walking, but there is also the occasional horse carriage or bicycle.
Already a quiet island, we came in low season, so it was even more quiet. Despite this, there were several delicious restaurants to choose from with high quality food, most of them right on the beach. Scalliwag’s was one of our favorites.
We took some walks around the island, went on a glass bottom boat ride to Gili Meno (an even less populated island) and did some snorkeling nearby. The water was beautiful and clear. The fish were colorful and large. We even saw sea turtles! The coral was mostly covered in sand, however, and wasn’t very colorful.
I got some cool necklaces from these guys that make them out of coconuts.
Despite wanting to “do nothing” I did check my email and had some drama to deal with, but overall it was a very relaxing and wonderful trip where we had fun playing and connecting with our friends, clearing our heads of clutter, and enjoying our moments on this beautiful world.
On the way back to Bali, we stopped in Senggigi (a beach town in Lombok), Mataram (the biggest city in Lombok where we got Emily some new shoes and a swimsuit), and Kute/Kuta beach (a still somewhat rough and undiscovered beach town in the south of Lombok). The coastline north of Senggigi was particularly spectacular.
Note: Most of Lombok follows a metered taxi system which is inexpensive and efficient. However, there are transportation companies set up in the Bangsal port in the north and Kute in the south, to prevent taxis from taking passengers from those locations, so they can charge tourists more (sometimes 3-4 times more). In Bangsal, if you’re willing to walk another 300 meters away from the port, you can find metered taxis there.
We really enjoyed this trip and are looking forward to visiting more places in the future that remind us to pause, clear our minds, take a deep breath of fresh air, and know there is nothing that needs to be done today except enjoy the day. Enjoy more pictures from the trip below.