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An Afternoon in Lombok

I am sitting in a blue restaurant overlooking Senggigi Beach on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The water is bright teal as it hits the sand, and a darker blue farther out in the ocean where fishermen bob around waiting for life at the end of their lines.

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Sitting at a small table as close to the sea as I can, I order a local Bintang beer along with some seafood samosas. Soon the buzz of my beachside beer kicks in. All of life’s meaning washes over me in waves not unlike those just a few feet away.

It’s amazing that moment when the sun, a warm breeze, and a bit of cold beer come together to create that special feeling (tipsiness, clearly… But also serenity, calm). Why is it everyone says it’s so hard? Life. Living. Happiness. In this moment, I have everything that I really need.

On a (relatively) tiny Indonesian island where I wander with nothing more than a sarong in my pack and some Rupia in my pockets, my only wants are a bit of shade and something cold to sip. My entertainment? A few giggly beachside masseuses clustered around a cruise-ship passenger, fighting over this old man’s hairy feet. I laugh and watch their act play out on the sand in front of me.

I savor my sweaty glass of beer and let the wind dry out my salty hair while closing my eyes, trying to cement this moment in memory for future stress-filled times.

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Out of all the places where water meets sand on this little blue planet, I have spent another afternoon watching the life of a shoreside pass by. I leave with a belly full of garlicky seafood satay, and I’m off again strolling the streets of Senggigi and haggling with vendors for flowery sundresses and flowy beach pants. Perfectly content, satiated in more ways than one. Wending my way around markets with just my backpack and my own curiosity keeping me grounded.

I have to head back to the pier soon, where awaits my “home” onboard an ostentatious cruise ship. Back on a bus to Lembar pier with a bottle of Bintang for the road.

I wonder why it is I feel like I always need so much more once I go back to having so much more.

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