Gili Trawangan Island is one of the 3 islands that are part of the collective Gili Islands of Lombok. It has a 5 mile circumference and no paved roads or motor vehicles. Its warm water, white sand beaches and spectacular sunsets paired with booming nightlife attracts tourists from all over the world. The best way to get around is by walking (I lived the hippie dream and was barefoot walking nearly the whole time) , but there are also bikes and ornate horse carriages with more bells than Santa’s sleigh.
The stray cats on the island were plentiful and much more attractive than Jakarta’s golem zombie city cats. They spend their days at restaurants preying on the affections of every cat video watching, meow mix singing tourist sucker. I am slightly ashamed to say I am one of the a fore mentioned, thus, we ended up adopting a small kitten at our villa whom we affectionately named Kechil (small). We awoke every morning to frantic mews for attention, and our days of relaxing on the beach or in the pool would start. Kitten under my arm we went to the villa cafe for breakfast, and afterwards would recline on the outdoor sofa with our temporary souvenir.
After getting fitted for masks and flippers, we took a tour on a tarp covered panga boat around the 3 islands for a snorkeling excursion. The coral reefs around Gili Meno were abundantly full of life rivaling that of Finding Nemo. With my two land legs strapped into artificial fins, clenching in my jaw an apparatus that made the sound of my breathing like Darth Vader, the only audible thing above the sound of the small wakes of the open ocean.
I observed in awe fish of every hue and form surrounding the reef like a 5 year old with her first fish tank. I dove countless times to feel closer to the spectacular display. It wasn’t long before we spotted sea turtles. One grazed on sea grass shearing the greenery of the reef with it’s spotted beak. Another soared gracefully through the water on spotted wings. The drop off of the coral reef was a sheer cliff. Illogically, I felt my palms tingle with fear of heights as if I would be sucked down the drain of this big blue bath tub if I ventured past the comfortable edge of the reef beneath my body. The day left me with a cliched, yet nonetheless powerful sense of wonder and the feeling of one’s own smallness on this earth as well as a hunger to return to the blue soon.