There are people in the world that make everything a little bit brighter. For me, that’s my dear friend Romy Sent, who brings a little bit of sunshine everywhere she goes ☀️ We share the same love for Indonesia, for South East Asia in general, for good food (especially street food) and we both have dreams of moving to a warm and tropical country (or island, for that matter!). When Romy and I met, it turned out we had studied the same Bachelor study (Fashion & Branding) and both even traveled through Indonesia for three months and made an almost identical trip! It was no coincidence that our paths crossed and I’m very grateful to be able to call Romy my friend. Two years ago, Romy moved from Haarlem to Limburg, which is in the south of the Netherlands. Way less crowded and a lot more space than the space she had in Haarlem. And of course, access to a bigger variety of food with Limburg being so close to Belgium and Germany!
A new house is a perfect opportunity to redecorate for most people. But Romy, like me, likes to mix and match new items and vintage finds. She also loves to bring back souvenirs from her many travels and incorporates them into her interior. Her travel treasures are perfectly portrayed on her Instagram account @indoinlimbo and in her beautiful house, you’ll find photo prints of her travels to Lombok, handmade masks from Java and woven bamboo baskets from Bali.
Find out where Romy’s love for everything Indonesia stems from and how she tries to keep her travel memories alive.
“The stories of my grandparents made me curious and excited about this tropical paradise on the other side of the world.”
“I’ve always had this big fascination with my roots; growing up as a third generation Indo in Holland, I always felt that something was missing.
I grew up with nasi goreng and stampot, kue lapis and vlaai, always in between two cultures; the one from my Indo mom and the one of my Dutch dad. I’m a history fanatic and I love talking and learning everything about the past. Same goes for my family history. I loved the talks with my grandparents about living and growing up in Indonesia, the adventures in the jungle, the amazing foods and animals there, all the different colors. Things you couldn’t even imagine in the gray lowlands. The stories of my grandparents made me curious and excited about this tropical paradise on the other side of the world.
I made a pact with myself that I would go there as soon as I was able to, to learn more about my roots and about the country and its diversity.”
“Bali was always on top of my list, I guess because of its magical fame and paradise like appearance. In 2015 it was finally happening: I just graduated, booked a ticket to Denpasar and was going on my first big solo adventure for 3 months! I wanted to experience Bali differently, I didn’t want to party at Kuta or the likes, I wanted to emerge myself in their culture. I decided to start with 3 weeks of volunteering in central Bali. I helped primary school kids with learning English, while I learned everything about Balinese culture. I learned how their houses are completely different than ours; Balinese people live in a compound with their whole family. How rituals are an important part of their daily life, how they celebrate weddings, funerals and the new year. I was so impressed by the celebration of the Balinese New Year, where the villagers make impressive Ogoh Ogoh to scare away the bad spirits and the silent day called Nyepi that followed.
“I fell in love with the smiles, the colorful landscapes, the smells and of course the food. I felt at home instantly. After a month in Bali I traveled through Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Java and Sumatra. I learned more about my background, I made friends for life and I felt complete for the first time in my life. (I know this sounds dramatic, but I felt like this was the last piece of the puzzle that finally completed me when I was there.). After those three best months of my life I came back to a gray Holland, finally understanding what my grandpa was always talking about. The missing of colors, the warmth (not only the temperature), the positivity, the smiles. From that moment on I would always be on team #foreverhomesick. Since then I try to go to Indonesia or South East Asia every winter (to escape the worst cold and months without sunshine).”
“But as a traveler, traveling with only carry on luggage or a backpack bringing the bigger beautiful things isn’t really an option. That’s why I love my bali bliss items; Loraine handpicks everything with keeping Bali memories in mind. When I see the beautiful baskets in my interior it reminds me of the families I met in Bali and the beautiful ceremonies I witnessed there. The paddy hats remind me of the lush rice paddies I can dream about for hours.”
“I guess that’s what home means to me, a place where I can be reminded of the beautiful things in life”
“I don’t care about the newest interior trends or design furniture, a new couch could easily be a ticket to Bali in my opinion ? That’s why I only spend money on making new memories or on things that make me relive those amazing memories. I guess that’s what home means to me, a place where I can be reminded of the beautiful things in life, relive them and also share them with my favorite people.
This winter, I had the luxury of spending two months in Indonesia and Thailand and I felt absolutely heartbroken when I had to leave. Again, I feel like I left a piece of myself in another country and when I got into the plane back to Amsterdam, I promised myself that I wouldn’t wait a whole year to return. Then the Corona crisis started and everything changed. I have no idea when I’m able to return, but I’m very grateful that I’m safe and sound in my little tropical getaway in Limburg.”
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Photography by Romy Sent