This one started like so many trips before. A discrepancy in flight time, an intoxicating night with wine and good company the night before. The adventure was ahead of me and the current plan was little more than meeting nine strangers on a boat in the Indian Ocean, five days later.
A miscalculation in surf potential and an overall lack of any research prior to my trip to Indonesia, all accounted for what took place next and in my head, a road map leading me exactly to where I was supposed to be.
By way of San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore I touched down in Jakarta, Indonesia, carrying a backpack filled with:
Fourty five copies of Joel Harper's children's book, "Sea Change,"
Six water purification units,
and an assortment of swim trunks, t-shirts and the always present assortment of miscellaneous stuff.
Arriving late in the night, I shuttled to a small hotel and drop off point for traveling surfers making their way to Sumatra. I dropped my bags, attempted to exercise the little Indonesian I learned on the plane and checked into my room.
Well rested and anxious to grab a surf the following morning, I rinsed the sleep from my eyes and headed down to the breakfast buffet. The room was alive with the buzz of traveling surfers. Australian accents, odd haircuts and unusually groomed facial hair, all signaled that I was in the right place.
As I logged into the hotel Wi-Fi and began searching for the nearest wave, I realized that I had totally blown it and was hours away from the surf! With my next flight scheduled four days later and my current location merely an airport hotel with above average breakfast snacks, I realized that I would need to make additional travel plans if there was going to be any surf in my near future.
With my laptop out and a cup of coffee in hand, the internet search began pulling up several options. However, each road leading to a potential surf paradise all had a big price tag attached. An extra flight, additional lodging, all screaming more $$$.
Another cup of coffee was consumed as pleasantries were exchanged, “Where are you traveling from mate? Flying out to Sumatra to get on a boat?” I responded with a smile and a little introduction into the conflict in travel that I had created. He found a little humor in my story and suggested that I hop on a short flight to Bali and spend a few days acclimating to Indonesia. “Should be a few waves coming that way if you’re lucky.”
That was all the information I needed. I finished my breakfast, headed back to my hotel room and booked a flight from Jakarta to Bali, departing three hours later. What came next was an experience of a lifetime!
A favorite quote that often speaks to me seemed to echo once again in my head. “The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong- that’s when adventure starts.” Yvon Chouinard, Founder Patagonia