Orang Sumba Portrait Series

Notice life’s simple joys and tiny miracles

Last week one of my dreams visiting Sumba finally came true. It happened at the right time with the right people. I’ve been dreaming about this paradise since two years ago when I celebrated new year’s eve sailing around Komodo Islands. I remember I just landed in Labuan Bajo, my guide greeted me with a huge smile and it just felt so good to be home. To speak Bahasa Indonesia again, to see the kids running and laughing, to eat rice, tofu and sambal with my hands, to walk and have a conversation with local people. Ooh simple things in life. From that moment I promise to visit new places in Indonesia at least once a year. In the end of the day there’s no place, like home.

I am completely aware of how incredibly lucky and blessed I am to have seen and experienced so many things out there but spending some time at home, exploring Sumba even for a very short time was a very humbling experience. You don’t realise how far you come and how lucky you are to have access, space, time, opportunities to create and chase your dreams until you see the everyday life in Sumba. These beautiful people even though they don’t have a lot of things, but they look incredibly happy and enjoying life. They don’t mind to share food and laugh even if they only have so little meals for dinner. They would open the door and invite you as if you’re a part of their families. They’d also tell you to take pictures of them and smile sooo wide it warms your heart. As I pointed my camera, trying to capture the memory and their beautiful smiles - I ask myself how can I give back to the people who give me so much, to life who shows me miracles and surprises that sometimes I think I don’t deserve it. Perhaps the answer just be kind to one another, be grateful, do what you love - love what you do, never stop creating… I am grateful for my first time in Sumba, certainly won’t be the last.

If you haven’t heard of Sumba before, this island located in eastern Indonesia. You can fly to Waingapu or Tambolaka from Denpasar, Bali or Jakarta. It is highly recommended to join an open trip to Sumba organized by few travel companies that you can find on Instagram like Alam Indonesia, Kakaban Trip or Wondernesia.ID. With rates starting from USD300 for 4 days 3 nights or USD350 for 5 days 4 nights per person, you don’t have to worry about tour guide, transportation, meals, accommodations anymore, it’s all inclusive except you still need to purchase your own flight tickets to and from Sumba. What if you want to explore Sumba on your own? You can do that, but keep in mind Sumba is one of underdeveloped areas in Indonesia, so you can imagine raw nature, hard to get internet connection, people don’t really speak English so it’s highly recommended to travel with local people. Is it safe? OF COURSE! Get ready to fall in love with Sumba…

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