The moment I stepped of the fast boat in the harbor of Gili Air, I felt that I had arrived in island paradise. Gone were the traffic and the noise of busy Seminyak, Bali. Here I found the slow, easy going laid back island life I had been longing for.

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The Gili’s are a group of islands just of the coast of Lombok, and they belong to the Lombok region. Not Bali, as many people think. All though Bali is mainly hindu, Lombok like the rest of Indonesia, is mainly muslim, which means the culture and religious elements are a little bit different here than in Bali, where most people travel from when they go to the Gili islands. In the middle of Gili Air is the Mosque, who calls out for prayer several times a day, which you quickly get used to (even the one at 5 am I stopped noticing after a couple of nights).

I had booked myself in for two full weeks in Gili Air, to completely let my shoulders down, relax and enjoy the slow life. My days passed by with laying on the beach, taking walks around the island, and snorkeling. Nothing more, nothing less. And that was exactly what I needed. Many places around the island they offer Half day snorkeling trips for only 100 000 IDR (60 NOK). It takes you around different great spots around the 3 Gili islands, and I saw no more than ten sea turtles. Amazing! I also saw the very poisonous black and white sea snake one other day snorkeling just off the beach. But they say they aren’t aggressive toward humans.

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Traveling solo can sometimes be a little bit lonely, but the friendly guys working in Legend Bar up north of the island always made me feel welcome, and treated me as their friend. And I also consider them my friends now.
Sisters or brothers are something people commonly call you in these parts, and it feels so nice. It gave me a feeling of belonging and being included. So I hope all my new brothers and sisters of Gili Air reads this, I’m going to miss you all.

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After two weeks I decided to check out the infamous party island Gili Trawangan before heading back to Bali. I was completely overwhelmed by the crowd and the noise arriving here, compared to the quiet of Gili Air. But I had booked myself into a very nice and charming homestay called Three Little Birds owned by Norwegian Yvonne which she runs with her husband Yandi. They really make you feel like part of their family. The second night everyone (the owners, staff, and the guests) shared an amazing Indonesian meal together in the yard, and it was absolutely delicious. Terima Kasih!

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And here’s a bunch of photos I took these last two weeks.

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Until next time!
– Charlotte

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