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Island life with Bianca Buitendag


Our latest campaign shoot took us to the shores of Rote Island, hovering off the coast of Indonesia. With the promise of surf only a boat ride away and some of the most breathtaking sunsets we have ever witnessed, Rote was full of surprises.

We tasked Bianca (a true creative soul) with capturing the experience, not only in pictures, but in her own words. Read her Rote Island reflections below -

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

Relief. Almost like the instant the wheels leave the runway. A peek through the oval frame confirms the sensation; large grey blocks become puzzle pieces, linking streets, suburbs, states and eventually borderless land with every metre further in flight and height.

Gaining height above the earth’s surface does something to your spirit. It is released from conformity.

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

Swerving from side to side, the red bus contains a team of wonderers, gazing out the window to seize a still frame among the spectrum of houses speeding passed. Hair tickling the side of my neck as the wind channels from the outside, I listen to the driver tapping his steering wheel to the timelessness of rusty rock n roll.

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

In this vehicle I am an observer of a friendship so intertwined, that they even converse in silence. Kelia, Monyca and Bruna are witnesses of each other’s lives and investors of love in many others. Instead of diverting my attention to the splendour that surrounds, every exclamation of laughter from the back seat takes primacy. The four of us are on our way to Rote Island, after a restless plane trip to a town in Indonesia whose name I can barely pronounce.

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

What would you measure this experience by? Another stamp in the passport? A kilometre covered as the shadows of the trees fall on the road ahead and mark its distance? A story to tell, a photo to take, a post to show case?

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

I measure this not by distance, but by the depth of sincerity in the eyes that look back at me. And I’m staring into eyes like wildflowers. Having been around the globe, clockwise and the opposite, this friendship stretches beyond conventionality. Their personalities blend like primary colors, mixing into the shades of an entire rainbow.

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

I expected to be blown away by the serenity of scenery, but it was their sincerity and sensitivity that left me hopeful. Hopeful that substance does not come from a travel plan nor is it reserved to an exclusive number of individuals with a specific status, it is available to the person with enough courage to make eye contact, grab a coffee, and let another into their life. Friendship – a flickering flame of felicity.

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

Island life with Bianca Buitendag

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Tagged in Surf