Everyone we meet is shocked that our trip to Bali - halfway around the world - consisted of only 7-8 days. I was also doubting it at first. Is it worth a sixteen hour trip each way, jet lag and exhaustion that comes with it, to spend “just a week” away?
Now we are leaving, and I can say without a doubt - yes.
The short time pushed us to appreciate, value and be mindful in every moment. We spent every morning greeting the sun that rose from the ocean at 6 in the morning (or at midnight back in Rotterdam). In the beginning, this meant only around 3-5 hours of sleep a night... but the beauty of a quiet morning fueled better than any hour of sleep could.

The experience of new cultures, people, environments, cities and nature can energize like nothing else in this world. It feeds the soul. So if you ever find yourself with an hour, a day or even lucky enough with “just a week” where you can experience something new - go ahead without a doubt. It is always worth it.
I have been so lucky to experience many places in Asia. Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong... the richness of these cultures is indescribable. But this time, it feels immensely special.
Every moment in Indonesia I feel so happy and grateful - for the beauty of the green plantations, for the water, for the sun, for the turtles, birds and squirrels, for the countless holy traditions seen on every corner of the street, in front of every door step and inside every car. People here are a beautiful example of simple happiness - the importance of being kind to each other, the value of hard work, a smile and a “good morning”. Hell, even stray dogs here are happy, spending their days on the beaches enjoying the simple joy of each other’s company.
I don’t know if this time it feels so special, because cancelled trains and missed flights meant that we almost didn’t make it? No, it is much bigger than that. No picture can tell the story of the sounds, smells, traditions and beautiful culture. it is a feeling and lessons that I hope I will carry for the rest of my life.