Indonesian student life: a trip to Sempu island

In this post, I would like to share my backpacker experience with my friends. When I was a University student, there was a long holiday after we have our semester exam. Me and my friends usually plan a backpacker trip for our holiday. In our 5th semester, we travelled to a remote island called Sempu Island. Sempu Island is located in the Southern part of Java Island. If you have watched ‘The Beach’ movie, yeah, some people said the view is just like Phi phi Island. Ok, the story begins…

First, since we are studying in Bandung, that is in West Java, so we have to go to Malang, that is in East Java, by train. We are in the economic class, since we are doing backpacker trip not a vacation holiday. It was a long trip; we get to Kertosono train station in 15 hours. From Kertosono cwe ontinued to Malang in 6 hours trip. The total is 21 hours trip to Malang from Bandung. We have still not reached the Island yet, we still have to ride to Sindang Biru before we cross into Sempu Island by fishing boat.

fishing boat


May 13, 2011 1 comment

Naming children: traditions in 13 different countries

How are children’s names chosen in your country? Do you follow ancient naming traditions or are modern names more popular? Do you pass names down through family generations or invent new ones?

We’ve had a lot of fun writing this post and the subject of how children are named in our various countries has inspired a lot of discussion within our team of contributors. So, read on to find out how children’s names are chosen in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the USA.

Have something to add? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


By Ana, regional contributor from Argentina.

There aren’t many clear-cut naming traditions in Argentina nowadays. In the past, first-born babies were named after their parents but now the focus is on distinctiveness. Parents choose names they like or that are fashionable. For example, when Argentinean-born Maxima Zorriegueta married Crown Prince Wilhelm-Alexander of the Netherlands, the name Maxima became very popular.


April 13, 2011 29 comments

Which part of Belgium takes mealtimes more seriously?

Test your cultural expertise with our weekly quiz question. This week’s question is from Belgium, which is divided into two main regions – Flanders (in the North) and Wallonia (in the South).

Eating patterns differ between the northern and the southern parts of Belgium. Which pays more attention to tradition and family in mealtime habits?

A. Flanders.
B. Wallonia.


April 7, 2011 4 comments

Nyepi Day in Bali: Still. Slow. Soft. Gentle. Easy.

As an American living in Bali, I sometimes wonder how incongruous my personality is with the Balinese way of doing things. Our son’s babysitter comes over sometimes at night to babysit when we go out. And you know what she does while she waits for us? She sits outside and looks out into the night. She’s perfectly happy sitting and being in her own thoughts. I have to fight the urge to hand her magazines and a TV remote control. Me, on the other hand, I’m a multi-tasker. I read books about how to do more with less time (and re-read them, frequently). I judge each day by how much I got out of it, whether it be work, fun, pleasure, happiness or accomplishment. That is just my nature.

Our family’s goal is to live all over the world and to really experience it, so we try, as best as possible, to maintain a “when in Rome” type attitude. In London, we ate steak and kidney pies and drank ales and spent lovely long afternoons at pubs talking about rugby and the weather; in Ipanema, Brazil, we cheered along to the football games and listened to bossa nova. But, when Nyepi Day – a day of silence which marks the start of the Balinese Year – came around in Bali we sort of hummed and ho’ed about what to do.


April 1, 2011 8 comments

What question do Indonesians ask travellers?

Test your cultural expertise with our weekly quiz question. This week’s question is from Indonesia.

When meeting travelers, Indonesians often tend to ask them:

A. Where are you going?
B. Where are you from?
C. What do you do?

Leave a comment to tell us what you think. And don’t forget to check back next Thursday for the answer.


March 31, 2011 Comments disabled

See the world whilst running a business

Carrie McKeegan and her husband started a business that allows them to travel the world. They are currently based in Bali, Indonesia. In this Q&A she tells us about leaving the corporate world, coping with internet blackouts and travelling with a toddler.

First, could you tell us something about yourself and your background? You’ve had the travel bug from an early age, right?

Hmmm… I am an ex-London, ex-general manager at Barclays who has always wanted to run my own business and see the world. I grew up in Mexico City and moved to New York when I was 10 years old, plus my parents travel a ton, so the travel bug runs in my family. And the more I see of the world, the more I want to see! My husband and I run a tax business that specializes in tax preparation for Americans who live abroad, which fortunately means that I get to do both (see the world and run my own business!)


February 21, 2011 1 comment