On 27 May 2010, an Australian blogger and traveler commented on Blogger Indonesia of the Week’s Page thus:
I discovered your site for the first time today, and it’s very interesting to trawl through your past posts. I’m very interested in Indonesian culture, religion and people. I am a young Australian girl who moved to Indonesia at the end of last year and I have been blogging about my experience living in a small muslim fishing village in South West Java since I arrived. .. I’d love to be considered for your blogger of the week.
Unfortunately, the Blogger Indonesia of the Week’s feature has been inactive since then due to one or more reasons. Last night, when I thought to restart this program again, Sash’s blog came first to my mind.
The fact that she’s a cross-border and cross-culture traveler make her really suit the purpose behind the existence of this BOW feature: to introduce Indonesia and anything related to it to a broader world.
Shash has gone anywhere across continents you could only dream of: North America, England, France, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam. In 2010 she’s been living in Indonesia which was planned for 12 months. But at the end of her stay, she decided to carry on for another year. This is what she has to say:
17/12/2010: Back in Australia for Christmas, but no plans to remain on home soil. On Boxing Day 2010 I return to the village in Indonesia, the pull of Batukaras takes me home, like a magnet I am drawn to it… I don’t know for how long… I don’t know if forever. But for now, this chocolate beach surrounded by volcanoes is my home, another 12 months… another year of adventure.
What’s it that want her to stay longer for another year in Indonesia? Shah knows best. That’s said it reminds me of similar story of a British traveler who said to me back in 2006 thus:
I have been to all ASEAN countries. I stayed in each country as planned. Not for Indonesia. I planned living there for three months. It turns out I stay there for one year. The reason was I really love the warmth and easy-going Indonesian. I even planned to switch my citizenship to be Indonesian..
Does Sash have similar sweet experience with Indonesian people which motivate her to stay longer? Might be. In her latest post on March 4, 2011 she wrote:
…I am no longer just a traveler [in Indonesia], I’m no longer a temporary guest but its more real coming back here after Christmas at home… and in many ways its much scarier.
Commitment is always scary, leaving your comfort is terrifying… but isn’t that what we are all in this for? To feel alive… To truly feel alive. And even though I’m not always happy, I’m not always satisfied and I’m often trapped in a whirlwind of frustration, I can’t deny, I feel alive.
If she feels more alive in Indonesia than in her home country, we should warmly welcome her and wish her to live happily everafter here.
A Model of Good Blogging
Sash’s blog could also be a model of how a good blogging is all about: original content, blogging with passion and regularly updated.
There are people in Indonesia who are blogging in technical term but not in real sense i.e. they are called blogger only because they have website which are using such popular blogging platform as WordPress or blogspot. But the contents do not quite represent what blogging is.
Jennie S. Bev once complained to me why so many Indonesian bloggers are filling their blogs by copying other blog contents. I did not respond to her query back then. I thought then it’s ok for beginner. But now I think it’s time for Blogger Indonesia to be more dignified by not copy-pasting other’s blog content. It’s time for Indonesian bloggers to really write what they are good at and what they enjoy writing.
A good blog should start from original content.