Barely 10 years ago, during my first trip to Asia, I had to go to the Internet café in the cities that I visited, in order to get in touch with my friends and family and above all, to reassure my mother... Except for these small stops of more or less thirty minutes in front of a computer once or twice a week, the rest of the time was entirely devoted to the present moment. Yet not so far from us, I miss this time very much when I travel.
Today, it's a different story. Technology has developed infinitely and allows us to find ourselves in the far reaches of China while being in constant contact with our home lives. As a travel blogger, I must stay connected at least a minimum. However, there is no way I would get a SIM card when I arrive in a new country. At least I let chance put wifi on my way.
Last May, I landed in Padang, a chaotic city on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, in order to discover this part of the archipelago for more than 3 weeks. Barely an hour after landing, I was already on board a makeshift boat that would allow me to reach the Rimba Ecolodge. It was in a small, extremely simple wooden cabin that I spent the next few days. There are no roads to the ecolodge. It is the jungle that is directly behind the hotel's 5 bungalows. Needless to say, you feel quickly in LOST…
After only a few hours at Rimba, I already felt like I was slowly relaxing, reconnecting with myself and with the present moment. The constant need to be stimulated or distracted had vanished, I was, quite simply. Why would you want to distract yourself from heaven anyway? The 9 dogs that shared the beach with us became my best friends in an instant and the ants, devoting themselves to a long-term work, quietly offered me the best show there was.
Without the possibility to scroll social media feed down, every 2 minutes, our senses awaken, we listen better, we taste more intensely and we observe with more softness.
It was on a local bus, certainly older than me, that I arrived in the Harau Valley, the second destination of this trip in Sumatra. The sun was about to set behind the orange cliffs that line the valley. Walking towards my homestay, the tranquility of the place quickly charmed me and the lime green of the rice fields immediately convinced me, as I had done well to choose to stay there! As soon as I arrive, I learn once again that the hostel does not have wifi. So it will be 4 more days completely disconnected.
For me, the Harau Valley means rest and rimes with stress free. Riding my scooter, I discovered the region while being fully aware of everything around me and always with the feeling of being more and more Zen.
Western Sumatra, is clearly my own paradise. In fact, I even stopped an annoying habit when I disconnected, I no longer bite my nails…