Dancing with Dragons


Indie Challenge Week 5: Asia
If you’ve never been to Asia, tell us about your dream trip in the region.


My dream trip to Asia would probably consist of, oh , the exact same trip I planned for 5 months before I found $200 tickets between Miami and Caracas and threw 5 months of travel-to-Asia research out the window; Completely Changing My Travel Plans,  to come to South America.


Map of Indonesia

My trip to Asia, that I had planned, included going to East Timor, seeing the Dani tribe of Indonesian Papua New Guinea (why, cause we have the same name), visiting Brunei (because no one really goes there) and Myanmar (because I’m not supposed to want to go there -which makes me want to go there more),  traveling across the Middle East (I really want to go to Damascus and Beirut), and visiting Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia (which I still really want to do).  I also really want to go to Bhutan (I mean, who doesn’t?  It’s just really expensive and I’m poor), and visiting the ‘STAN’ countries (see My Top 5 Fantasy Trips)


But what I would love to do the most, out of everything I had planned,

is visit Komodo National Park!  

Komodo National Park Sign.

I’ve never really been a normal girl.  As a child, I loved playing dress up in beautiful gown costumes, then climbing trees and playing in the swamp out back with bugs (while still wearing said gowns).  I was kind of a tomboy.  I still am.  I’m a high steel concert rigger, and the only girl in many places I work.   I was 8 , living near Boston, and HATED new Kids on the Block.  I jammed out to INXS.  (and still do). And I LOVED dinosaurs and any kind of reptile.

And I was obsessed with Komodo Dragons!

A grown up male Komodo Dragon, 3 meter long and about 120 kg in weight.

They are vicious, they hunt in packs, have mouths full of deadly bacteria that kill almost everything they bite, and I think they are some of the most gracious, beautiful, deadly creatures.

My dream trip to Asia, would be to go to Indonesia.  And if I could only do 1 thing while there, it would be to live on the islands of Komodo and Rinca with the people who work in Komodo National Park, for a week or 2 and just follow them around, photographing their jobs, there lives, and their work with the Komodo dragons.

Komodo National Park – 2 Dragons on Komodo Island playing in the water

I want to know what they do to help protect these modern day dinosaurs, what problems they encounter doing so, how these workers live, what jobs they each do in order to maintain the balance of these islands, the impact (good and bad)  tourism to Komodo National Park has, and; of course, I want to see and photograph actual Komodo dragons.

Close up of a komodo dragon. Detailed texture of the skin and depth of field.

I want to photograph, interview, and write extensively about every aspect of these worker’s lives and jobs, and of the lives and ecological impact of modern society on the Komodo dragons.

Komodo dragons amaze me.  I know they are deadly.  I find them rather a scary creature; yet beautiful and graceful in the way, and the speed they can move overland, the way they hunt, the patience they have, just waiting for their prey to succumb to their bite, and amazed at the intelligence of seemingly solitary creatures to combine together to lead their prey towards a pack of other dragons (or distract while other dragons sneak up on) and then ambush-attack.  We don’t usually think of reptiles, or any other non-primate creature as having the ability to work together to hunt. But Komodo dragons do exactly this.

Display of Komodo Dragons eating. NYC - AMNH - Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians - Komodo Dragon

Yes, I find this all quite beautiful and outstanding.

I would absolutely love to go to Indonesia to see what the workers do daily to help protect these beautiful creatures.  What dangers they have to deal with daily, what problems they encounter from outside sources (tourism, modernization, etc.), and what they find so thrilling, or rewarding that makes them work in this environment.

This is my dream trip to Asia.

Yes, I’d love to hang on the beaches in Bali or Thailand, visit the temples of southern India, visit coffee plantations of Sumatra (because Sumatran coffee beans are my favourite), see archeological remains in Java,

(…ok…a lot of the things id like to do in Asia all involve places in Indonesia…)

but if I could only do one thing, it would be to photograph and write about the lives of the workers of Komodo National Park.

Islands in Komodo National Park - from the air


This is part of Boots n All 2012 Indie Travel Challenge. I’m doing this in hopes of becoming a more consistent and better travel-blogger.  And maybe see some dragons.