To GATE or not to GATE? That simple question about Fuqua’s Global Academic Travel Experience haunted me for days. I had an amazing time in South Africa with FCCP and definitely wanted to travel again before the start of summer internships. As a former Peace Corps volunteer, I missed backpacking and the spontaneity of a loosely planned trip, but I also wanted to travel with classmates. After much deliberation, my wife and I decided to build our own adventure…in Indonesia!
One of the many great things about Fuqua is the amazing international student body. My wife’s section-mate Ayu, a native Indonesian and self-proclaimed foodie, enthusiastically offered to show us her hometown and organize a food tour of Indonesia. Two more classmates decided to join and we left for the island of Java in Indonesia shortly after classes ended in May.
It was fantastic meeting Ayu’s family and experiencing Indonesia in her hometown of Yogyakarta. We explored nearby active volcanoes and ancient Buddhist temples (the famous Borobudur), went white water rafting, and somehow managed to eat five square meals every day. The best part was learning about Indonesia through the eyes of Ayu and her family.
After a fun and food-filled week in Yogyakarta, Team Fuqua went our separate ways. Julie and I left the bustle of Java and moved to Bali where we biked through picturesque rice paddies and visited Hindu temples around the island. Next we traveled via boat to the Gili Islands near the coast of Lombok. The tiny islands were so peaceful—no motorized vehicles are allowed and horses and carts dotted the few roads. We spent time on the beach, went snorkeling and scuba diving and relaxed under the equatorial sun. It was a perfect spot to recharge after a busy first school year.
It was then back to Java, and on our last night in Indonesia before heading home we organized a Fuqua Friday in Jakarta with incoming first-year students and alumni—proof that the Fuqua network extends all around the globe!
Building our own Indonesian adventure was a great way to travel with friends and get to know a classmates’ culture and country a bit better. Sometimes a GUTE—an Global Un-academic Travel Experience—is the perfect choice.