What you miss most once outside of Indonesia?

I lived in Indonesia for 3 consecutive years as a student. I left the place 2 and half years ago. I feel some sort of nostalgia with that beautiful "Garden of the World"... That place was so stunningly beautiful, raining every other day, spring 12 months of the year and particularly the native INDONESIANS were the sweetest people I have ever met and its becoming not bearable for me to remain outside that tropical paradise and I am planning to come back... I like the following food very much:  Bubur Ayam, Sate kambing, Nasi Padang, Roti  Unyel and Mie Aceh... May be as a student I could not visit very expensive restaurants...

I just would like to ask the experiences of others, particularly those who lived there for few years... Coz its difficult to unfold the true nature of a place by paying a short visit...

The expensive restaurants are fine, but the best food usually comes from street vendors.
I can see why you want to return; Indonesia is fantastic.

These days I very rarely travel outside of Indonesia.  There is no need, and most importantly, there is no desire.  Earlier on in my almost 18 years of full time living here, I used to regularly travel outside of Indonesia…most always as a necessity (visa renewals), or business. 

For any expat who has seriously adopted Indonesia, thus making it, home, what is most missed is of course, being home.  And, Indonesia is very easy to embrace as home.

Expats can of course never abdicate their cultural roots…the make up of who they are and where they come from.  And of course, expats can never be truly Indonesian, no matter how much they infuse themselves in the culture and way of life here.  And that includes those, who like myself, have taken on full Indonesian citizenship.

Interestingly enough, what I have noted over my many years of calling Indonesia home is that the vast majority of Indonesians who trans migrate, and become expats themselves...they are sooner or later, and invariably, home sick beyond any possible remedy than to return to Indonesia.  I have seen this first hand over and over again.  And, for expats here…once firmly in the mind set of embracing Indonesia as home, their commitment is permanent, and eternal for as long as they live.

So, for an expat who considers Indonesia home, what they miss is exactly the same as what an Indonesian misses when they are living or traveling abroad.  We, and they, miss it all…from the smell of the air, the sounds of the day, the embrace of family and friends, the beauty, the rich culture, the feeling of complete safety and harmony with our environment and the community where we live. 

In the famous words of Dorothy in the classic film, The Wizard of OZ, “there’s no place like home.”  Indeed, there isn’t, and once Indonesia is home…there is no other place on earth which can possibly satisfy the desires and the calling, of home.

My Interview with

Some of my Writings on Bali:

Much as I'll never be 100% Indonesian because of my roots, I'm been here long enough to be part of this great country, and it's part of me.

Indeed Fred, and those expats who move about every two or three years all over Asia…well, that kind of makes me think of The Temptations famous song, “Papa
Was a Rolling Stone” and in particular, the lyrics, “wherever he laid his hat was his home.”   ;)

Thank you much for these  very insightful comments... Your description of your experiences in Bali on are really interesting... I have been to Bali only for 4 days during my last year in Indonesia... I rented a motor bike and wondered around many parts of Bali including Ubud and asking people for helping me to reach the desired destinations... I felt completely safe and Bali is without any doubt is the "Jewel on the Crown of Indonesia"...  What a place to spend a life time on the Island of Bali... Ex Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru named Bali as "Morning of the World"...

Actually It is hard for me to explain why I miss that place so much... May be that's a mystery...

I don't really miss too much when I am outside Indonesia, because I usually leave in order to visit other interesting countries which are often equally as beautiful or fascinating. However, it is always nice to be home.

“I don't really miss too much when I am outside Indonesia, because I usually leave in order to visit other interesting countries which are often equally as beautiful or fascinating.”

That’s an interesting comment and perhaps it’s one that could lead to some interesting discussions…specifically, where else in Asia or SE Asia (or the West for that matter), that might be considered “equally beautifully or fascinating” than Indonesia.

Many expats I know are in the same position as myself…they could live anywhere in the world they want, and call that place home.  That they chose Indonesia says a whole lot IMHO, most especially so as they, like me, have visited most of the world, and yet have chosen Indonesia.

“Actually It is hard for me to explain why I miss that place so much... May be that's a mystery...”

Aly, as you are well aware, Bali is a magnet for some.  Think of the ancient Greeks and the calls of the Sirens enticing sailors to their island, and that would be a reasonable comparison.

I remember very well how after my first visit to Bali, and before I met the woman who would become my wife, my dreams and thoughts after returning to New York City were consumed by Bali.  I was compelled to return…in effect, it seemed to me that I had no other choice.

Perhaps what we’re really talking about is passion versus apathy.  And clearly, when it comes to expats, there is a decided difference between the two.   ;)

Aly...a million thanks for starting this thread.   :top:

"Perhaps what we’re really talking about is passion versus apathy.".... Dear Ubudian thanks for your beautiful remarks...  There is something very deep in those islands...  As you have well described that you were " compelled to return…in effect, it seemed to me that I had no other choice"...

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