Official day 2 on Gili air and I'm in lervvvv! Both mornings I've rolled out of bed, scuffled to the beach with my eyes half open and watched the sunrise. Sitting on a fallen tree with my toes in the sand, I looked to either side of me to see locals and tourists alike mosey to the shoreline to watch this daily miracle. No sound of voices, but chirps of birds and waves lapping the shore fill the air. Both mornings a local man sat to my right (I went back to the same fallen tree that I now refer to as MY sunrise tree) and this morning he looked over to me and grinned a toothless smile. I beam back in acknowledgement and we both turn our faces towards the illuminated outline of the mountains of the island, Lombok, just across the water.
This pocket of land that I've found myself in, part by chance, part by choice, is a perfect mix of all the places on the planet I adore. It has the swag of Latin America, the spirituality of India, the spicy clean taste of Thailand, and the ease of the Caribbean. There is a calming vibe that forces a softening of the shoulders and smile on your face, but enough bustle to motivate you to jump in the water with a snorkel or ride your bike around the island. There is an element of organization that I shall refer to as "island order"-- what needs to be done will be, but no one is getting their panties in a twist. The spiritual vibe is as breathtaking as the sunrise--as I taught a yoga class yesterday evening, the local mosque had a call to prayer over a speaker that reaches the whole island. As I lulled my students into savasana playing a menagerie of Tibetan singing bowls, there was also a mesmerizing prayer from the mosque humming in the background. Locals greet you as you pass by with genuine smiles and will eagerly try to get to know you without intent on selling you something. There are bars with bean bag chairs on the beach so you can sip a beer as you watch the sunset over the water. Nightlife lures you to a pleasant evening buzz chatting with other wanderers and expats but doesn't leave you with a morning after of lost shoes and a raging headache. The water is crystal clear, and after a morning meditation and teaching a class, I ride my bike to the shore, slap on my snorkel and mermaid the afternoon away. Today I had the pleasure of swimming with two sea turtles-- and the local guy I met just after (Melody is his name) deemed my experience as quite lucky. The sea turtle conversation somehow lead to me teaching Melody triangle and warrior yoga poses, and then him teaching me some Bahasa Indonesian (I'm think I'm going to make this a thing!) I couldn't have landed in a better place than Gili Air--sand, spirituality, sunrise, sunset, snorkeling, sea turtles, swings above the water (did i mention that?!) and it's summer all the time-- I do believe I'm home.