There is a phase in traveling where the initial culture shock, vacation euphoria and momentum all wear off at once. As they say, the honeymoon is over and the harsh reality starts to set in. If you are in a place like Java, Indonesia this can be a bit jolting.
Anything resembling communication is fading, all manner of illnesses set in and, of course, it starts to rain. This is the third travel journal from Asia and we are in the adjustment phase.
Our multiple bus rides from Bali to central Java were at times uncomfortable, irritating, rip-offs and terrifying, and in one memorable case all of the above. Upon arrival in Yogyakarta all the stress of traveling quickly translated into disease and I was laid out in bed with a fever for 24 hours.
Fear not; I have recovered. With my improving health came a rosier outlook and perhaps even the end of a very rapid adjustment phase. We visited Borobudur, the worlds largest Buddist stupa, with renewed energy and interest. As an added bonus, we can all now say that we understand what it like to be hoarded by photo hungry paparazzi, having been mobbed by countless Muslim teens who were more interested in getting photos with us than the temple.
It is with a thicker skin and a more solid immune system that we are free to explore Asia with all the enthusiasm and euphoria of the honeymoon phase.