As we got off the plane in Lombok, we were confronted. We had landed in a third world country.
After meeting our driver for our transfer to Heaven on the Planet, we hopped into the mini-bus and started our one-and-a-half hour journey. We sat there in the bus with our jaws on the floor as we were faced with how differently people in Lombok, Indonesia live. Many people from Perth visit Bali. We’re not the touristy type, so it has never appealled to us, but the people of Lombok refer to Bali as the place where all the money is.
We drove past houses that were the size of my loungeroom with concrete floors, shops that were just roadside shacks and endless numbers of people sitting outside under pagodas, navigating rough bitumen and sometimes dirt roads, with scooters zooming past us.
Finally, we reached our destination: Heaven on the Planet (HOTP), an eco-resort in the south of Lombok, where we stayed for five nights.
We booked our trip at the last minute. The last twelve months have been full-on, so we needed to get away. Rosco wanted to go to HOTP for the surf, and a place that values it’s place in the environment (and serves vegan food!) appealed to me. In fitting with the theme, HOTP didn’t have any hot water and the place ran on generators that switched off at night, but heaven were the views, the beautiful staff, the food, the quiet and the peace. Heaven was only having five other guests in the place and having a communal table for meals where we had the opportunity to make friends and hear stories from others. It was good for the soul.
While Rosco went surfing a few times each day, I took the time to relax, read a book, have a massage, a swim. One of the kitchen staff also took me into the local village to see what it was like there.
Again, I was humbled by how differently people live there.
There was no water or electricity to the village. Suchi explained to me that everyone bathed in a dam each morning and saying the houses were modest was an understatement. I heard that the average salary for people in Lombok was about $10 per day.
But, they were all so happy. So unencumbered by the little things that get us down each day or the ‘problems’ we think plague us.
I came away grateful.
Grateful for simple things:
- The sun in the sky
- Blue water
- Fresh food
- Hot water
- Friends and family
I hope I can remember how privileged I felt back then, and remind myself often to smile at the little things in life because practicing gratitude often is good for the soul…
What are you grateful for? Have you ever had a moment when you’ve been brought back down to earth?
Robyn B xx