As I’m writing this back in Jakarta, my head is still pulsing from the last boat ride in Labuan Bajo… Yes, for the past 3 days, I’ve had the incredible chance to have my dreams of stepping on Labuan Bajo amazingly materialized with the accompaniment of 1000 Guru.
Founded in 2012, 1000 Guru or A Thousand Teachers is both a non-profit and a passionate community of young souls that care about education and the millions of children in remote and challenging regions who deserve it. And sometimes, they squeeze some traveling in between! My good friend from college, Farah, encouraged me to come and my wanderlusting self absolutely didn’t want to miss that opportunity. In the end, a staggering 70 people went aboard this trip.
During the morning of the flight, I woke up both dazed from a 3-hour sleep and giddy because I knew this wasn’t just any trip. It was going to be one so close to my heart, especially since we were going to give back to these children so entitled to this basic right, to children whom even under the most limited circumstances, still found a way to smile and push through the day.
So, within just minutes at the airport, we found ourselves filling that waiting room with excited chatters and I could easily simplify that all childhood dreams really were coming true. I mean, Labuan Bajo is a launching point to the Komodo Islands – named after these gentle but fierce reptile inhabitants we used to only see in textbooks, on TV and cartoons to which our adult (ish) selves were finally going to see. How could you not be far from ecstatic?
After an hour’s delay and quite a rushed and overpriced airport lunch in Bali, there we were. It was like a first date. I didn’t know what to expect, but boy was I utterly compelled by Labuan Bajo’s (Labuan directly translates to a harbor or port) beauty. Heck, I thought I landed in Rio de Janiero. People and guidebooks have stated that there isn’t exactly much of this dusty fishing town could offer, but I say that they’re completely wrong. With left-side glance along that winding road is a direct view of the port and islands so spectacular that I thought I found myself in Rio! Besides that, there were hipster cafes, little markets, numerous diving centres that are so scarce here in Jakarta. I wouldn’t mind spending days just walking around, feeding myself, explore, sleep late, wake up to the beach on repeat.
I was in love.
More to come.