One year ago you could find me picturing what it would be like to be where I am now, the reality of our decision beginning to sink in. Of course, at the time, I could not truly fathom the reality of it.  

The fresh departure of long time friends has me contemplative and reflective and aching for more time with more precious people.

It had N feeling sad. After saying her goodbyes, she lay crying in bed and said to me, ‘why do people come, if it’s so hard to say goodbye to them?’

The pain of saying goodbye, although real and raw, is worth the joys and memories made while they are here. Each visit has been refreshing to spend time with some of the people that know us best. It is incredible for me to think that eight months after moving we have already welcomed five people in three visits. What a blessing! When we plotted out this most recent one soon after we finalized plans to move here, finding it hard to imagine such a long time apart from friends so integrated into our life, it seemed like a long way off. Yet now it’s come and gone and that could leave us feeling pretty down.

We look forward to more visitors in June and perhaps more after that and then a trip home in summer of 2020. Looking forward to reuniting is comforting and I could really dwell on the distance, but please don’t get me wrong; I simultaneously grieve the distance of our friends and family and love the adventures, trials and new friendships we are making. And we’re having plenty of all three!

But more about the visits…

From our home in Niagara, we are 11-12 hours ahead (depending on Daylight Savings). It can take 3-4 days to adjust and everyone is affected differently, but we’ve found that you need to push through the tiredness and get onto the new time zone as quickly as possible.

We bought our kids a bunk bed, so when visitors come, they stay in N’s room while our kids bunk together. 

One of my favourite things about having visitors is to show them around: our apartment, KCV (the little compound we live in), the school, the mall and the neighbourhood. This is where we do life now, a life different, in many ways, from what we knew before. You can only truly appreciate it once you have experienced it.

motoring around town

We have enjoyed favourite coffee shops, breakfast spots and gelato. We have gone for walks in our neighbourhood and braved the busy streets around to enjoy the hidden gem shops with their unique offerings.

Yavani Arts is a favourite little place. You can easily miss it if you don’t know it’s there. They boast products made in Lombok and sell items like pottery, jewelry, wooden bowls and trays made of rattan, toys, bags, wall decor, so much! And there’s always something new to see. You can always barter, especially if you’re getting a few things, but I think you can get better prices if you go directly to Lombok.

I’ve discovered higher end shops like Vie for Living that sells beautiful furniture as well as baskets of all shapes and sizes. I found a beautiful decorative piece I’ve been eyeing since moving here.

We also love the many, many coffee shops everywhere! I’ll take you to some that I’ve been to, like Goni, Mandira’s Garden, Maxx or Beau, but I’d love an excuse to try a new one too!

Then we can just enjoy the pool, and meals together. There is a spa on site and it often feels like a resort.

There is a lot to explore in our neighbourhood of Kemang and so much more to see in Jakarta and beyond! If you’re up for it, we’ll go exploring in the grand archipelago that is Indonesia. With my parents we went to Bogor and with our friends to Lombok, an island next to Bali. This summer we plan to explore more of Java with train trips to Bandung and Yogyakarta. 

We loved having our visitors! It’s difficult to completely stop doing life with your people and have to start fresh. I want so much to have them all with me and keep doing life with them, while also living this new life, but that’s not how it works.

Blessings don’t always come in bigger, better and more. Sometimes they come with pain, heartache and less. When we live with open hands we risk allowing God to take away some or all of the things he’s given. He may fill them with things we didn’t think we wanted but be assured, he will fill them up again with much better than we could imagine. 

2 thoughts on “Visitors

  1. Tammy Van Berkel

    Not gonna lie….this post is leaving me teary-eyed! Miss you guys so much, but I am forever grateful for the opportunity to visit and experience your new life! Love you all!!!


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