People often ask me why I travel and as time goes by my answer to that question has evolved, from a simple desire to explore to something much deeper. The first time I left home it was to fulfill my thirst for adventure, to see somewhere new and experience a culture different from my own. During my service trip to Jamaica in 2009, I realized that meeting and interacting with the local people is an integral part of [my] travel. Now, after two years of living [and teaching] in a foreign country, countless Couchsurfing experiences, volunteering and exploring nearly 20 countries I’ve realized people really are at the core of it all.
About a year ago walking along the boardwalk in Puerto Princesa Philippines I made a ‘resolution’ that I wasn’t going to work a day of the year. Most people only make it a few days, weeks if they’re lucky, with their new years resolution but I’m happy to say I completed mine with flying colors. I spent the past year working my way through SE Asia, exploring a little bit of my own backyard, finally visiting New York and LA and once again returning to Asia. I managed to avoid having to earn a paycheck for the year, but eventually I started to feel a little worthless, therefor on this visit to Asia I’ve decided to do a bit more volunteer work and put my teaching skills to use.
Once again I found myself in a new country with minimal plans, no guidebook and a wide open agenda. What I did have though was arrangements to volunteer in Klaten with Rani and her friends, teaching English. I knew I wanted to visit the two major temple complexes, Prambanan and Borobudur, along with Mount Bromo in East Java, but the details of these were all yet to come together. As I anticipated plans were not necessary, shortly after I arrived in Klaten I was told I’d be visiting Prambanan the following day and we’d also all go visit Borobudur for sunrise on Saturday.
Well known as the parent to ever-famous Bali, this is a country that has so much more to offer. Similar to the Philippines the beauty is spread out over thousands of islands, which means you need time. Once you start exploring, trust me, you won't want to stop.