The crew is great and so will the trip be, no matter what happens

Mid-break from school is about to come. Great. Finally. I want to travel. I need to travel. I know many people can relate to a little peer pressure to do awesome things during their exchange semester. The pressure is there whether you want it or not.

In social media you see these guys traveling to the Philippines, other guys are in Singapore or having a road trip in Lombok. And you’re sitting home thinking whether you should go eat or order a wet burrito with GoJek. I mean, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Quite the opposite. But you can’t help but feel sometimes like you should use every minute on this island wisely. Meaning: travel, experience, have fun…. All the time. But it’s not possible and it’s not fun either to do something all the time. The best days in Bali is when I just enjoy the weather and do absolutely nothing.

A man sitting at the end of a boat watching over the sea in Bali.
Keep the stress away by enjoying the weather and doing absolutely nothing! Photo by Benjamin / CC BY

But the mid break is coming and I really want to travel. It’s the only chance during the exchange to make longer trips. So the plan is: let’s escape the silent day to Gili. Then to the main island Lombok to surf. Then back to Bali. Rest for a few days. Still, I have one more week of my study break left. I need to do something.

This feeling can also be helpful because it pushes you to look up what cool options you have. I often would feel like surfing and chilling in Canggu but this might be my only chance to do this trip – ever. So let’s go. To the Komodo Island! Call and text my friends. In no time I have a random group and a rough travel plan. We’re good to go. Let’s fly to Flores for 5 days and see the Komodos. With the awesome musician and surfer couple Emma and Joska. The happiest and most extroverted Mexican you will ever meet, Ana-Sofia. The crew is great and so will the trip be, no matter what happens.

1st day

Ana-Sofia where are you, on the way to the airport or what? We are already here. Oh, you thought the flight is tomorrow? Cool, maybe you should hurry up! (I might have told her the wrong date earlier).

Read more: How to Find the Cheapest Flights to Asia?

I like flying. Especially short flights with astonishing landscapes. Flying inside of Indonesia is cheap, nice and easy. Highly recommended. We land in Labuan Bajo, check in to a hostel and take a look around. We book the famous komodo-tour that every single travel agency is willing to book for you. “We meet tomorrow 5:30 am in front of the agency and then go, ok?”. Excitement grows. The only place in the world where you can meet these huge ancient dinosaur geckos – komodos. I wanted to do this trip ever since I knew about them. Maybe we will never come back from the Komodo island.

Two boats are laying in the water near Komodo Island.
The Komodo island is a must see if you travel to Indonesia! Photo by Alex Block / CC BY

2nd day

We wake up early, go to the agency and hop on the boat. I always love the feeling when you are already on an adventure before the world wakes up. At first, we sail to Padar Island, the most photogenic little island I’ve ever visited. And Indonesia is full of these kinds of small islands. Around 17 000 islands, just pick one.

A student is standing in front of an overview of Padar Island.
Benjamin thinks Padar Island is one of the most photogenic islands. Photo by Benjamin / CC BY

After Padar we start the engine towards the Komodo island. We enter the island through a huge bridge. Walking the bridge while looking over the thick jungle full of more than 4000 Komodo lizards. The entry reminds me of Jurassic Park. No going back anymore. At first we see only little baby komodos chilling in the trees. They live in the trees until they are big enough – otherwise bigger komodos will eat them. We go further to the jungle and see some teenager komodos running in the bushes. Still not huge. We keep on walking while the tour guide is telling about Komodo’s living habits. Finally, we arrive in a big jungle plaza. I’m looking around and all of sudden I spot a human size Komodo chilling under the tree. Wow, they actually exist. I run closer and take around a million photos and just stare at them in awe. Don’t go too close the guide is telling me. The komodo’s bite will kill you. It wouldn’t be the first time someone dies here. I decide to stay a few meters away. After the jungle plaza we head back to the beach. I’m impressed with the komodos even though I expected to see some epic fights between the giant animals. I guess I’ve watched too many nature documentaries. Or movies.

Two Komodo Dragons are laying in the shadow under a tree.
Benjamin expected to see some epic fights but theywere just relaxing. Photo by Benjamin / CC BY

We leave the island and the komodos and head to the famous Pink beach. It’s not as pink as in the photos but well – it’s still a nice beach. We snorkel and chill a little bit. Just recovering from the meeting with the komodos. After that, we start the journey back to Labuan Bajo. On the way, we stop snorkeling in epic spots. And when I say epic I mean it. It’s impressive to see mantas pass under the boat but it’s the next level to be underwater while 2 times human size manta passes you from 1 meter away. We swim with the mantas. “SHARK, SHARK, COME BACK” – our guide is yelling at us surprisingly peacefully. I’m not sure if it’s just daily stuff for him to see people  get eaten by sharks or maybe it’s his way to tell it’s about the time to go home. I don’t see sharks anywhere but I won’t risk it either. Back to the boat and back to Labuan Bajo.

A girl is looking over the water while she is standing on a pink beach.
There are only seven pink beaches on the planet and this is one of them. Photo by Resa Cahya / CC BY

Labuan Bajo is surprisingly rich with different dishes and entertainment. Every single night something is happening. Movie theater or a local band playing some jazz tunes, you pick.

3rd day

On the 3rd day we decided to sleep long, eat good, check out waterfalls and come back early to enjoy a crispy Bintang while watching the sunset. Good decision. For the next day we want some more boat action so we booked a private boat for the whole day.

An beautifull sunset above the sea and mountains in Indonesia.
You will never stop getting stunned by the sunsets in Indonesia! Photo by Kired Agbayani / CC BY

4th day

Wake up. Buy some ice. Go to the boat. Fill the bucket with ice and refreshing drinks. Play some reggae tunes. Ready to go. I’ve already decided this day is going to be great. We were just basically cruising around the whole day and enjoying the view, music, weather and atmosphere. We decided to stop at a super tiny island straight from the photoshopped travel catalog. You could walk across the island in less than a minute. White sand, turquoise water and no one else. Yup, we’re gonna stay here. For the rest of the day. Jumping backflips from the boat, snorkeling, chilling at the lonely beach and just goofing around without any plans. Definition of a relaxing day. Definitely one of the best days of the semester. Next morning we fly back to Bali with burned skin and happy state of mind.

This trip was a proof that Indonesia truly is one of the most versatile and beautiful countries I’ve ever visited.

Click here to find out more about studying in Bali

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This article was written by our former Bali student Benjamin.

Latest in our blog


Bali Is The New Skateboarding Mecca – Meet Brady Scott

Bali is the epicenter of Indonesia´s skateboard scene! In recent years, Bali has become the epicenter of Indonesia’s skateboarding scene. The small island is no…

→ Read more


Watch Out For The Korean Wave!

The Korean wave is taking the world by storm! Watch out for the Korean wave! The catchy beats, colorful soap operas and gripping dramas are…

→ Read more


Bangkok From A Student’s Perspective – Meet Robin

“The exchange helps prove yourself, the way you work, and the way you study.” Bangkok is a city of contrasts – a place where every…

→ Read more


A Love Letter to Bangkok

The city of life will steal your heart! Hi there, Bangkok. … No, hold on, that’s not romantic enough, this is supposed to be a…

→ Read more


Māori – One Of the Most Captivating Cultures In the World!

Get to know the fascinating culture of the Māori! Have you ever encountered the Māori culture? You might have seen on the discovery channel men standing…

→ Read more


What to Expect When Moving to New Zealand

These are useful facts you need to know before arriving to New Zealand! You have chosen to study abroad in New Zealand and you are…

→ Read more


Why Study in Asia? Join Our Free Webinar on September 5th to Find Out!

Seize Your Future & Learn More About Study Abroad Opportunities in Asia This autumn we’re once again organizing a free webinar called Why & How To Study…

→ Read more


Kuala Lumpur – Attractions You Definitely Need to Explore!

Get the best out of your stay in Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur is the lively capital of Malaysia. The name ‘Kuala Lumpur’ literally means ‘muddy…

→ Read more

Get useful tips, inspiring stories and latest news straight to your inbox

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

We'll also send you a free 30+ page University Profiles Guide!
What do you want to receive?

Your information is safe with us. Unsubscribe any time.

Asia Exchange, Vuorikatu 3 L 3 33100 Tampere, Finland
Tel: +358 45 322 1230, Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm (GMT +2)
Privacy Policy

Site by Atomi