It is bitter-sweet that I am home after 2 weeks in Asia. I enjoyed taking time to tour both Singapore and Jakarta and experience the people and the cultures. It was a small taste of the trip that we are planning and it made me so excited about the adventure in front of us. However, it is quite hard to enjoy new places without the person you care the most for in the world. As a result I am happy to get to sleep in my own bed, kiss my wife, and pet Max (dog) and Roo (cat).
Overall, I loved the trip and it gave me an opportunity to explore new locations as if scouting movie locations. Each new location or sight I visited I asked myself the question “should we include this place on our adventure around the world?” The short answer is:
· Singapore: NO. I found Singapore very clean and absolutely up to all the praise it gets from people who visit. However, it seemed like “America Lite”. The entire focus seems to be on consumerism and shopping with every major brand of high-end retail located on Orchard. There are parts of the city I could see visiting again, but with so many amazing places on our list I am not sure there is enough to warrant spending more time here.
· Indonesia: Absolutely. Jakarta was a stark contrast to the week in Singapore. From the moment I got off the plane, and I viewed the large banner promising death to drug runners, it was obvious this was going to be a different experience. In my 4 days there I discovered a friendly and nationalistic people quick with a smile and a hello. Sure, there was more pollution in the air than any other place I have visited and their drivers seem intent on killing as many pedestrians in a day as possible. But I believe there is a lot that we can explore in Indonesia. In just 4 days I met eco-tourism experts,people willing to have us stay with them, and kind souls willing to offer guidance for our visit. There is no doubt that Indonesia will be on our list for our trip.
However, now it time to relax and spend some time with my wife. Then it is back to work tomorrow, jet lag and all.