In search of hidden mornings
WHEN LIVING A RELATIVELY STABLE LIFE IN AN ADVANCED CITY DIDN’T GIVE MARTIN TIRTA SATISFACTION, HE SEARCHED AND FOUND THAT THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE SIMPLY WAITING AROUND TO BE DISCOVERED
to travel to a part of Indonesia at least once a month, falling deeper in love with its greatest natural allures on every trip.
In 2010, Martin made a rather ludicrous decision to move to Bali, after finding out that many foreign tourists were starting to skip Bali because of its overexposed status. His goal was to go further, higher, and deeper than the other common tourist spots, and introduce his findings to those who were interested to learn and explore more. Crazy, maybe; because apart from the very cool agenda, Martin didn’t actually have a plan in terms of how and where to start. So he just began to search for the island’s hidden places, areas where no tourist ever reached. Since the southern part of the island is practically burnt out with hotels, restaurants, and cafes, Martin roamed the rest – the north, east, and west – and found out about astonishing places such as Sekumpul Waterfalls or Aling Aling Waterfalls, all the while studying about how tourism works in Bali.
Based on that learning and exploring experience, in 2013 Martin finally started NEWBali – the NEW stands for North, East, West. Martin and his team will take you trekking through rice fields, diving down a waterfall, climbing a rocky cliff, swimming in the water of a pristine untouched beach, or take you on a sunrise package that’s doesn’t involve driving up to Kintamani at 3am like most tour operators do. Other than guaranteeing you a hidden gem you’ve never heard before, they also intentionally construct their tours intricately different than the rest, making the experience not only captivating but also incredibly rare – something that somehow feels like a luxury when you’ve tried everything else in southern Bali. It’s not all about business and travel for Martin and NEWBali, though. He also expects those unchartered territories will get the attention they deserve via social media posts or travel blogs, which in time will make more people come and eventually contribute to the local community.
Clearly three years aren’t enough to open up paths to Bali’s most hidden secrets, but many people have started to