So what’s the plan, Stan?

So this year started with the second half of my Travelfish assignment and since then I really haven’t done too much right? Well, that’s sort of right.

I’ve actually been sick on and off for weeks and then I had to do a visa run to Malaysia after being back in Indonesia for a month. I have no idea where time went, but that first month back flew by. I was actually totally spent after my time in Laos and I just needed to rest, but we did a lot of meeting up with friends in Jakarta, did a trip to Dieng Plateau in Central Java and a bit of lounging around.

Not really sure what this is about, but Dieng is a strange place!
Not really sure what this is about, but Dieng is a strange place!

The trip to Malaysia was a bit of an eye-opener as we had a chance to nick up to Penang for the first time. I really loved Penang. The food there is fantastic, cheap and plentiful and the historical stuff to see is well-mapped out and easy to access. It’s a city that some of the tourism authorities in Indonesia could learn something from.

It's all about the food in Penang!
It’s all about the food in Penang!

We also just got back from the ASEAN Bloggers Festival in the Central Javan city of Solo where hundreds of bloggers from around the ASEAN region met up to talk about blogging issues. I have no idea how someone managed to get funding for this event, but all attendees were put up in reasonable hotels for three nights, had many of their meals paid for and also had their transportation costs covered. Whatever the case, it seems that the Indonesian government paid for it and for that we’re grateful. But we came away wondering what the Indonesian government gets out of it.

The food in Solo was pretty good - ketan hitam.
The food in Solo was pretty good – ketan hitam.

So what’s next?

Well, we’re off to the Indonesian island of Flores next month — it’s the island where you jump off to see Komodo dragons. We’re taking my mum along with us, so it will be interesting to see how we manage our different travelling styles. Needless to say that I think we will be upgrading our style a little. We’ll spend about 5 days on the islands at the western end of Flores where there is fantastic coral reefs, deserted islands and of course Komodo dragons. After that we’ll hire a car and head east across the island taking in such sites as the famous volcano of Kelimutu. Then we’ll head straight back to Bandung with absolutely no concrete plans. And it feels good!

We do want to head to Europe in the second half of this year primarily because I want to walk the Camino de Santiago – a month long walk across Spain. The other reason we want to go is because Susan has dreamed of Europe for a while now and we had originally agreed to go together when we first met. The main thing holding us back is trying to get a visa for Susan. Because of Susan’s country of birth, she has great difficulty getting into some countries. Well, it just means we will have to be more thorough with her visa application than otherwise would be the case in order to prove that she has no intention of working in Europe of overstaying her visa. That said, if the Europe thing fails, we’ll just probably head to Turkey or some other country that will accept her! Crazy right?

Anyway, that’s kind of what is coming up. Hopefully the Europe thing comes off!


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