Jessica is an Indonesian writer and translator from Jakarta. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Bristol in the UK, and an M.A. in Publishing at University College, London. Her debut poetry collection, Moon Petals, was published and launched at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in 2017, and her poems have featured in publications such as the leading Southeast Asian journal Anak Sastra and the Bristol Poetry Anthology. In 2018 she translated the non-fiction book on traditional Indonesian textiles, Nusawastra Silang Budaya. More recently, she has created the sci-fi comic series ROSANA!, set in the culturally diverse world of the Indonesian archipelago.
When travelling in Indonesia, be mindful of the cultural nuances between different regions in Indonesia. This might be in terms of dress, mannerisms, or even what to expect in your surroundings when it comes to your travel experience. Be open to asking people about less-known places or things to do in the city you’re in - there are usually local events, eateries or markets around that your average travel website or guide might not know about.
My family and I traveled to Rinca Island to see the Komodos once and got caught in the ashes of a distant, but large volcanic eruption. Our boat was the last to arrive on the island before the island was closed. We returned to Labuan Bajo shortly after, covered in ash, and everyone was grateful that it wasn’t getting any bigger. Still, it took about two days for the skies to return back to normal. I believe that was my very first trip to Flores and certainly one I’ll never forget.