Sometimes in life, difficulties can become opportunities. In our case we were stranded in a beautiful country without any tourists staying at our resort and no diving. Something that is hard, especially when our life is normally all about diving, seven days a week. After a while and not one knowing how long the pandemic would last, we started with learning Bahasa, gardening, exercising and snorkelling the reefs around the island. After a few months we knew every fish and critter on the reef by name, our garden full of tropical flowers, reached the diamond league in Duolingo and thus we felt it was time to look beyond our island bubble in which we lived.
Looking on the map of Indonesia, we were excited to find out that we, in North Sulawesi are conveniently located between Komodo and Raja Ampat. Two world class dive and travel destinations that had long been on the wish list. Travelling seemed a bit of a challenge at first since there are new regulations in place. But over time it became easier and easier. Nowadays a PCR test can be done anywhere relatively cheap and fast. Indonesia is probably one of the best connected countries in the world with daily domestic flights to almost any destination. And flights are reasonably prices with several operators to choose from. So we left our dive center and garden behind for an adventure. Dive and travel the islands of Komodo, Flores and Alor.
We will tell you more about these destinations in another blog but for now, what amazed us most is the enormous diversity traveling from west to east. The people, their history and languages, the nature and marine life are truly inspiring. Since we do not travel light, crossing Flores by motor bike was not an option. Instead we travelled between destinations with local drivers and finding guides on the spot.
Local guides are great because they are a source of knowledge when you are visiting local villages. We love taking photos and videos and we do not want to disrespect any locals by being the ignorant tourist who needs his picture. Instead our guide introduced us when meeting the villagers that were happy showing their way of life and telling their stories. Since the locals see very few travellers nowadays they were excited to hear about our stories too.
After each time we visited a new destination, we would spend a few weeks at home in Siladen Island, where we had the time to edit our photos and create short video clips of our recent adventures. It also gave us the time to reflect on what we had experienced and seen. With time on our hands and plenty of online courses to choose from, we soon started to master our image making and editing skills. However we also realized that the more we learned, the more there was we didn’t yet master. But that’s the beauty of photography and film. It is an art form that allows you to grow and create indefinitely. And being in Indonesia with all its diversity we know there are many stories to tell. It was in this spirit that Travel2Sea was born, when we realized that every picture is a story worth sharing.
So over time we came to realize that the current pandemic allowed us to travel, to experience and be creative with what we love doing. Creating images “above and below”. We might not have had this opportunity if we were not in the current situation. So sometimes in life you have to make the most of a troubled situation and turn it into an opportunity.
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By Travel2Sea.com (March 9th, 2021)
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