A Guest Post From Richard Hale:

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? That’s the question I asked myself over 5 years ago when I was trying to figure out where I’d be traveling for my first vacation abroad.

Before this trip, I had traveled to 38 of the 50 states. Most of those trips were for business, but I began to enjoy traveling and seeing the country. Little did I know, a passion was brewing that would completely alter my life forever.

My wife and I shortened our list down to two locations, one being the Carribean and the other being Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia. We knew it would be cheaper to go to the Carribean, but we knew Indonesia would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We did ask the kids and after a hour of debate, we decided we’ll be going to the Indonesia Islands.

I still remember looking out the plane window and thinking to myself, “you made the right decision.” My first thoughts on Indonesia, “this is paradise.” Let me give you some facts about Indonesia and why there’s nowhere on Earth like it.

One of the most beautiful corals we saw.

Indonesia is a large country, covering around 9.8 million square feet of land and sea. In total, there’s over 17,000 islands in Indonesia. Due to this, traveling by water is a way of life here. This area is so remote, ancient tribes still occupy the islands.

I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a ton of fun to be had in Indonesia. It doesn’t matter if you’re going alone, with a spouse, friend or with the family as I did, the culture is rich with traditional flavors. From music or the nightlife to expeditions above and under the water, there’s plenty to enjoy for all ages.

My kids were 10 and 8 when we traveled to Bali, along with my wife of 16 years. We wanted to have fun together with the kids, so we chose to take a cruise on the Dewi Nusantara.

The Dewi Nusantara is a beautiful luxury yacht that has a full-beam master suite and 8 deluxe staterooms. We were joined by another family from the U.S. but still had plenty of room for everyone.

This is one of the cabins on the Dewi Nusantara.

While I chose the Dewi Nusantara for a number of reasons, the main reason was because they’re one of the most experienced dive crews in all of Indonesia. On top of that, their yacht is fully prepared for everyone to enjoy a diving experience they’ll never forget.

Our family adventure would take us to Raja Ampat, one of the most beautiful locations in eastern Indonesia. Raja Ampat is made up of 1,500 small islands, shoals and cays with 4 major islands, Waigeo, Misool, Salawati and Bantanta.

The kids enjoyed diving and seeing the coral gardens. Raja Ampat is home to over 540 different types of corals and more than 1,000 types of coral fish. The diversity is absolutely amazing and it makes for a one-of-a-kind experience. Raja Ampat has one of the world’s most diverse marine life populations. There’s plenty of dive locations on the coast in the U.S. but none of it compares to Raja Ampat.

The children also enjoyed going snorkeling in the shallow sky blue waters. Most of the waters the kids are use to are muddy rivers back in the states as we go fishing regularly. The crystal clear waters in Raja Ampat are breathtaking, just absolutely gorgeous. While we were snorkeling, we ran into pigmy seahorses that literally swim around your fingers! How cool is that? We were also able to see manta rays and wobbegongs too.

Diving the coral gardens

Out of the water, we were able to dine on the beaches, hike an active volcano and enjoyed the sunsets every night we were there. We also went hiking and trekking. The kids done voted, this was the best vacation by far and I believe I can safely say we all want to go back soon.

If you’ll be traveling abroad anytime soon or planning a family vacation, I couldn’t recommend Raja Ampat enough. There’s plenty of good times to be had above and below the water.

Richard Hale is a published author that writes about business, entrepreneurship and traveling. You can find some of his content at Indo Yachts.

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