When 19-time travelers Adelia and Charles N. set off on their Java & Bali adventure earlier this year, they had no idea they’d wind up as honored guests at a local wedding. But travel can surprise us in the most wonderful ways sometimes—and those unexpected moments are often the ones that end up having the biggest impact. If you have a story about your own travel surprises, please share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Adelia & Charles N., 19-time travelers from Huntington Beach, CA
We were driving in Bali from south to north—a long day’s journey on winding roads. As we were passing through a village, we noticed cars and motorbikes parked and a crowd gathered under a tent. They were all finely dressed, and we caught a glimpse of a bride and groom. Our guide, Josh, and our local guide stopped the bus. After asking permission, we all proceeded into the tent where a wedding celebration was taking place. Although we were not dressed for the occasion, we were welcomed with open arms.
Food, drink, and music galore; people in fine dress despite the tropical heat—that’s a good description of the crowded scene, as the family, friends, and village mates joined in. We were hugged and greeted as special guests from overseas. We were each individually greeted by the parents, the celebrants, and the extended family. Authentic smiles were on their faces, as it seemed to be a special honor for them to have us as guests at their wedding! They had the photographer take individual pictures of each of us with the couple and the family.
Having just had lunch, we each partook in the various juices available and had some ice cream before getting back on the bus, letting them go on with their festivities.
I believe we were all touched deeply by the special welcome and the outpouring of hospitality we were shown.
Have you experienced an unexpected travel moment like Adelia and Charles’s? Please send your story to email@example.com. And you can make your own cherished memories on OAT’s Java & Bali: Indonesia's Mystical Islands adventure.