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Back in March 2011 I had the opportunity to meet my sister and her American family that I had not meet for about a decade. They gave me, my mom, and my other sister and her boy a paid trip to Bali. We stayed for about 6 days at this villa in Canggu. Clearly, I have a lot to write about the trip, but I want to focus on an experience that I had while I was at Canggu.

One afternoon, we decided that we would have lunch by the beach. It was the Echo Beach, and it was walking distance from the villa. The lunch was nice, I had a good Tuna Salad and tasted other dishes that we ordered. But the lunch wasn’t the best part of the afternoon. I brought my camera to the restaurant, and before our food was served I took some photos around the beach. I snapped some pictures of crabs when I walked up a cliff.

After lunch, I separated myself from my family for a walk down the beach. To my luck, the tide was low and that enabled me to walk further down the beach, stepping on the algaes and the corals. I also explored the bottom of the cliffs where I found something both disgusting and astonishing: sea urchin. I was thrilled that I got to see that creature in person, but I also felt kinda itchy just looking at them.

I was strolling down the beach, walking not above sand but on water and corals, wearing a slippery pair of sandals with both camera and BlackBerry on my hands. The sun was scorching and I had no hat on. I probably had sunscreen on but it really didn’t matter because I was so captivated by the scenery and the experience.

I took lots of photos, I explored all the cliffs, climbed to their top when possible, basically just trying to get lost in this new sensation and make the most out of the few minutes that I had before the tide goes back up or I pass out from the heat. It all paid off, I had one of the best times during that trip and in my entire life. It felt so good to get in touch with and intoxicated by the nature.

Everything that I photographed at the beach—the reef, the cliff, the algae, the beach—it wasn’t as good as what I’ve seen on documentary and on Google, but everything felt so precious. The experience at the beach, and some other encounter with Nature that I had during the time spent in Bali, gave me a whole new appreciation and love for the nature.

I have always cared for nature and green initiatives—I still don’t litter, I use recycled paper when possible, and If I were to purchase a car I would still consider a hybrid (except that something like Toyota Prius is damn expensive in Indonesia)—but after the trip I felt like I finally get why green initiatives mattered.

Maybe a personal experience like what I had is what it takes for others to get on board with living a “greener” life. That is understandable: you can’t value something that is alien to you. Now I’m just glad that I made the decision to walk down the Echo Beach. I’m just glad that I was still that kid who wondered about the nature and the unknown. I just hope that I won’t ever lose that.

– Taws up! –