Boots or flip-flops?

Since getting back from Malaysia, I’ve found my ideas about travel changing. For me, travel has always been about going places in sturdy footwear. About having your loins clad in the reassuring prickle of polypropylene long johns, and having your fingers forever rummaging in your – if you’ll excuse the expression – damp sack of scroggin. But Malaysia seems to have changed that.

I went there with several Australians, who – after being informed for the fifteenth time that ‘tramping’ is not a New Zealand term for romantic escapades with the homeless – gradually introduced me to their travel ethos. To them travel is about places where the sea has a glassy, windless sheen. It’s about humidity, floaty clothes and beers at sunset – it’s a whole different paradigm really – and it’s starting to grow on me.

One of the guys, Justin, has his head right in this space and has just started a joint venture for travellers in Indonesia. Justin publishes his own travel magazine – the excellent Get Lost – and has bought into a luxury surf cruising boat – on which I’m planning to tag along for a trip. If *cough!* I can find a magazine to place the story with, that is. (That’s a hint, publishers).

This is how the boat trips work.

You get picked up at the airport in Indonesia, board a renovated, twin-masted, traditional ‘Phinisi’ boat called Jiwa, then sail off around the Banyak, Telos and Mentawai islands for eleven days of surfing untouched breaks, snoozing, snorkelling, surfing, more surfing, snoozing, eating – and drinking beer at sunset.

Screw the long johns right? I may even leave the scroggin (or ‘trail-mix’ to you non-Kiwis) at home.

Anyway, magazine publishers – have a think about what a delightful feature this would make – then call me! And surfers – plus partners of surfers who are into lazing, snorkelling and eating – check out the photos, and see the website for details.

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