There are two places so far that have stolen a piece of my heart, one is Edinburgh and the other Gili Trawangan. Two completely different places with starkly varying temperatures and terrain From this I can only infer that I love the mountains and beaches alike.
Gili T is this small island in Indonesia which you can cover in an hour on a bicycle and still spend more than a week here. It has two neighboring islands called Gili meno and Gili air, each about a fifteen to twenty-minute boat ride away from the other and very easily accessible for 10-15k IDR (50-75 INR). Gili is such a cute little place where automobiles aren’t even allowed so you still see horse carts and bicycles as the main mode of transport.
I had my first scuba diving experience here and it was undoubtedly the best part of my trip. Here I am, a non-swimmer who’s been so scared of the water that I can literally count the number of times I went into the ocean during my two years in Goa, and I’m talking about scuba diving. Despite this, I spent about 50 minutes in the water and came up with more than half a tank of air. My instructor Steve says that’s because he was doing all the swimming for me but I like to think that it was due to my ability to remain calm and breathe normally :D.
Indonesia has a few active volcanoes one of which decided to erupt the morning that I decided to go diving. This caused quite a big earthquake and a tsunami in the Sunda Strait. This is pretty far away from Bali and Gili so there wasn’t an issue here but there was an earthquake in Gili too that morning. So the panic began long before I even went into the water. A big shout out to Steve from Uber Scuba who did a great job of convincing me that even if a tsunami did come, I would be better off underwater.
First things first, scuba gear makes breathing very uncomfortable since it blocks off your nose. However, it’s the only way to go underwater so you need to just bite the bullet on this one (or in this case bite the regulator to breathe :P). If you can manage to breathe through your mouth for about 45 mins without panicking underwater you’re good to go.