Islands of the Gods 

Intense. Inordinate. Intrepid. Irresistible. Indonesia affects your senses –and the soul – in every possible way. It’s a country of extremes and contradictions, that constantly surprises and shocks you. 

Indonesia and I have had a bit of a love-hate relationship from the start, but the more I am exposed to her, the more she grows on me, making me want to return again and again. Or maybe eventually not even leave at all… 

Straight after finishing my residency in my last GP-practice a few months ago, I jumped on a plane, chasing after a bucketlist of childhood dreams, but mostly chasing after waves. Being an archipelago of more than 170 islands, exposed to two giant open oceans on either side, there is no shortage of waves. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they are mostly intense: big, glassy, powerful and hollow. And inordinate: with so many spots to choose from, at such short distance from one another, it’s hard not to feel like a kid in a candy store. Long walls that you can carve, fun rippable beach breaks and hollow caverns that you can disappear into, Indonesia has it all. The Balinese call their island ‘ the island of the Gods’, but anyone who has spent some time exploring all the other islands, knows that God takes a liking to all of them… 

Unfortunately perfection comes at a price, and therefor requires an intrepid attitude: some waves require Lots of exploring , and sometimes even getting there can be a sheer adventure. Riding a scooter in Indonesia can be one of the most frightening things in the world, making you fear for your life and limbs. Tramping through the jungle on bare feet armed with a stick to chase away the snakes makes you feel more grounded than anything. Pollution can be overwhelming at times, above and below the surface, making you hate development and civilisation. The wipe-outs can be horrific, and the bottom, well… that’s just unforgiving. My scars are the living proof of all this, either as a result of charging, stupidity, or just lack of skill. But it’s a price I’m more than willing to pay. 

Indonesia has got me hooked, wanting me to taste more of her flavours, and indulge in all her treasures. Totally irresistible. 

In the next editions I’ll take you along on my previous and current adventures in Indonesia , sharing some personal experiences and hoping to share my passion for the ocean. 

Love, Sarah

– Sarah Specker Saar