Gila Gili Islands

The sunrise over the mountains of Lombok

The Gili Islands suck you in.  The biggest of the the three, Trawangan, has the power to make the  line between reality and dreams hazy, while at the same time making you slowly forget that an outside world even exists. What is at first glance just another stretch of white sand, edged with turqouise water and sprinkled with souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants, turned out to be the most magical place I have ever visited..(And this is not soley because of the recreational shakes available in all the bars)…. Upon arrival I thought I would have enough of the island after 2 or 3 days;but this was not the case. After one week, I did not want to leave.

I will never forget my time in Gili.

I had the chance to meet other backpackers-lone travelers congregating as one. This always happens while traveling, but this group in particular had a special connection. We all agreed that even though we had only known each other for less than a week, it felt like we had been friends for years. It is strange, but I feel closer to these people than some of the people that I have known for years back home.

Every night we would go to Sama Sama,  listen to reggae, and dance the night away. Some nights we would stay up to watch the sunrise. One night in particular, we walked to an uninhabited part of the island. The stars were the brightest I have ever seen them in my life. In our own little spot, at the end of the world, in our own universe, we lit a bonfire and danced (thanks to Ben’s little guitar) and sang around it until the sun rose over the mountains of Lombok.  We would then gather at dusk to watch it sink back into oblivion…and then on to Sama Sama. This cylce repeated everyday and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. No cares in the world-just the beach, music, good company, Bintang, and Nasi Goreng (fried rice)  from the street vendors.

One night will always stick with me. We were having an impromtu guitar sing along in a cabana on the beach. Ben pulled out his guitar and Tyler started making up a song about a salamander named Charlie. We were all euphoric with laughter and then Tyler looked up and said “these are the moments we live for…the reasons we travel”.

So true.

But now, I am back in the grind…back to teaching in Surabaya. And despite being robbed in Bali, burned by a fire dancer, and having no money the whole vacation because my bank account decided it wasn’t in existence, I had the best holiday of my life.



  1. Sounds like the Happy Mushroom drink did its job – tee hee

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