The Art of Flip-Thinking – Transforming problems into opportunities

Villa Nangka - Best Place to Stay On Gili Air

These are uncertain times, to say the least — priorities are shifting daily as a global health emergency is being dealt with on a global scale. They say embrace your problems, use the energy to create something new.

I’m very impressed to see how so many entrepreneurs are staying connected to their customers & guests in a variety of ways, including creating entirely new services, shifting how they deliver products, replacing in-person appointments with video conferences, and more. It’s so inspiring to see so many interesting and creative solutions coming to light.

Exploring New Ideas

I also didn’t want to dwell on how bad things are, so I started exploring ideas. What to do with a small boutique hotel on a tropical island which is on lockdown?

I started to think about my passions. I absolutely love eating food. Any kind of food. Most of the time when I’m eating I’m already thinking about my next meal. And on most days my last thought before I fall asleep is what I should eat for breakfast tomorrow. But what I love even more than eating food is eating food in the company of great people.

About Our Special Family Diners

After the earthquake, to make sure we stayed connected with each other, I started organizing family diners. Once every 10 days, I would cook for our little island family and we eat all together in Villa Nangka. I’m definitely not a chef and I have to admit cooking for 20 people in an improvised kitchen in the field was quite a challenge, but I did it with pleasure.

I cherish the moments where we’re all at the table. Exchanging stories, asking each other for advice, making jokes, singing songs and laughing, a lot of laughing.

Thinking back about those long special nights, I suddenly knew what to do; weekly special themed diner for a small group of people in a homey setting. I started spreading the word and the first edition was sold out in 1 day!

Why I Love Having My Own Business

This is exactly what I love about having my own business when you come up with a good idea you can immediately get started. I love being in action mode. As soon as I get a new idea, I hit the ground running faster than Usain Bolt being chased by a cheetah. No need to have long meetings with different departments to discuss various strategies and make endless budget calculations. Just go!

Makan Monday!

So here we are, a few days away from our first Makan Monday (makan means food in Indonesian). Wish me luck! And if you have any ideas for a theme for the next Makan Monday, I would love to hear from you!

Love Rose

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How One Word Can Change Someone’s Entire Day

Compliment Challenge

We all have those days where even getting out of bed seems like an effort, you feel physically exhausted, emotionally drained and you probably have woken up with zero motivation to start your day. Today was such a day for me. But it all changed by receiving this one single message via Airbnb:

Hi Rose & Andreas,

I just stumbled upon your profile while looking for a place to stay in Germany and what can I say … I am absolutely impressed. This place looks even more beautiful than it has before and all those little details make me remember every happy hour we spent under the Nangka tree.

I think of you both nearly every day, the love and magic you shared with us and the way you made us instantly feel at home is still outstanding. I can’t imagine all the things you have probably been through in the last couple of months but I have to say that I have never met anyone as believing in their dreams as you do!

You didn’t give up. And you didn’t just build a new place to rent out, you created a sacred and loving place for people to feel safe and at home, you have a great talent for making this place look and feel so peaceful and magical I can’t tell you how special you and your team are for me.

I still carry your business card with me wherever I go, it has been with me for over two years now and I am not planning on leaving it behind. It says: “What day is it? >It’s today, my favorite day.<” and it lifts me out of every bad mood and every bad day I have, because it reminds me of how sacred every single day actually is.

Thank you again, Rose and Andreas, for providing this world with your energy and love and for sharing your place with anyone who needs a little relaxation. Especially with the Corona virus everyone needs this kind of hope and support.

We send you lots of love and hugs from Germany and are looking forward to seeing you again and to meeting your little one in the future. Stay safe and healthy!

All the best,
Falko and Sarah ♡

When I finished reading the message I had tears in my eyes… I was seen. I was heard. I was recognized. I was acknowledged. This beautiful message was exactly what I needed on this ‘bad’ day.

It Should Come As No Surprise

Think about the last time somebody said something nice to you, out of the blue. Stop, close your eyes, and recall that moment. Perhaps it was a loved one. Perhaps it was a colleague. Perhaps it was a perfect stranger. Regardless of who offered those kind words, it likely inspired a transformational shift in how you were feeling, even if just a little bit.

Sometimes we think that to make a difference we have to do something big. But just the opposite is true. It’s in all of our little actions that determine the state of the world. We need to realize our words have great power and an effect on people’s life. We should start giving compliments to those who inspire us, no matter how big or small that inspiration might be. We should make kindness part of your lifestyle.

So let’s start a compliment revolution by giving out (at least) one compliment a day. Who’s in?

Love Rose

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How To Support A Small Business During Covid-19

How To Support Small Businesses During Covid-19

I’m tired, and I’m cranky, and quite frankly, I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve got nothing left. No energy, no ideas, not one thing left to give. I’m scared. I’m worried. It all seems too weird, and my mind tries to convince there’s nothing I can do to make a difference.

Like most people, we also had to close our business. For the second time! The first time was in August 2018, after a 7.0 earthquake destroyed our dream in less than a minute. But we never gave up (although I have to admit it was very tempting on some days). ‘Step by step, one foot in front of the other’ became our mantra, and after 1 year of hard work, we reopened the doors of our little paradise.

I Understand That You Are Confused & Scared, So Am I

And then something happened in the world that most of us could have never even imagined. A virus started spreading rapidly across the world, affecting more than 177 countries and putting more than a third of the planet’s population under some form of restrictions (as of 28 March 2020 according to BBC News).

Every day we wake up with new cancellations and refund requests. And it’s okay, I understand that everyone is scared at the moment and that you shouldn’t travel for a while. But I would like to ask you, before you ask for a refund from a small business like ours, please consider postponing your trip instead of canceling.

Do your research and track the situation, but consider taking a beat before overhauling your plans.The situation keeps changing every day, making it impossible to know which parts of the world will be impacted several months from now.

It’s Not Only About Us

I’m so proud and grateful to see that my government is looking after her people and is offering businesses a whole range of options to keep their business alive. Unfortunately we live on a tropical island in Indonesia where businesses don’t get any help from the government and we have to figure out ourselves how to get through this mess.

When our business is running, we are employing 13 staff and with their salaries, they are not only supporting themselves but also their families. With tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart, I sat down with all of them a few days ago and delivered the message that soon we are not able to pay most of their salaries.

I never felt more like a failure in my life. We’ve been through so much together and even during the one year that we were closed, due to the earthquake, we always managed to support them. Now we have to send most of them home with their last paycheck for many months, not knowing when we will see them again.

Love is easy when things are easy, but it’s best when we continue to create it in the center of chaos

I would like to ask you, if you find a tiny space in all this madness—a little slither of light shining through the cracks—to be good to someone, please grab onto it with both hands and throw it wide open. Make someone’s day better. Do the nice thing. Help wherever you can. Give where you have extra, whether it’s money, food, or hope. And please, consider your options before requesting a refund.

The world needs so much right now, but above all else, it needs you and me stepping up to the plate and taking a swing at spreading kindness with every little bit of strength we have.

With love and an elbow high five from Gili Air,

Rose

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# DAY 321 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Spacious 2bedroom Designer Villa On Gili Air Made From Bamboo

We did it! I’m not sure how, but between moving back and forward to Bali, welcoming our little girl Charlie into the world, doing our first steps in the magical world of parenthood, we re-opened the doors of our little paradise. It was an absolute crazy journey and we would have never made it without the support of our staff, friends, family and sometimes even total strangers.

A big thank you to all of you who were on our side during this crazy rollercoaster ride. From sending messages, to bringing food, from joining me at my doctors’ appointments, to help me with packing my hospital bag, from helping us with cleaning the villa’s, to holding me when I was crying because I thought we would never make it.

Keep having faith

As with every big building project, we had a lot of setbacks. Deadlines that were not met and promises that were not kept became part of our daily life. More than once, I fell asleep crying and wondering how we would ever make it. There were countless days were tiny nuclear bombs went off in the corners of my head. Where I had to take a deep breath and tell myself to keep faith. In one year we took down our house and villa’s, redesigned a new resort, rebuild our dream while a new life was growing in my belly.

We had our first bookings on the 15th of August and despite of all our hard work and sleepless nights we didn’t manage to finish on time. Something which was really hard to accept for me. Luckily we had the best guests we could have ever wished for and without making any drama or fuss they offered to find another place to stay for 2 nights to give us time to finish rebuilding our dream. They returned two days later and gave us a bottle of Prosecco upon check in to congratulate us with us the re-opening of Villa Nangka. How amazing?!

Our first guests…

That same evening, when I sat down in our brand new kitchen, I looked around me, and tears of happiness were rolling down my cheeks. Here we were, our first guests, our lovely boys (who never left our side!), my Sunshine and our little Charlie. For more than one year our paradise was covered by a blanket of dust and sadness, but tonight there was life again!  

There is still a lot of work to be done, but we will take our time for that. The most important thing for now is that we are open again. Step by step we will bring back the magic and every day we will put in a bit more love in our hidden gem at the heart of Gili Air.

The hardest and most rewarding year of my life

The past year is been by far the hardest year of my life. But it’s also been the most rewarding. Going after what scares you is the bravest thing you can do. It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to have fears; it’s more than okay, actually. It’s normal! But what’s not okay is if you let these fears of yours stop you from pursuing anything you want in life. There’s always going to be something that scares you, but the thing is, you have to face that fear and do what you strive for anyways.

Do it even though you’re scared. Do it with your heart pounding and your voice trembling. Do it even though your hands are sweating and shaking. Because that is what makes you strong. Strength isn’t about the lack of fear or having nothing that scares you; strength is doing something even though it scares the hell out of you. Strength is looking your fears right in the eye and doing what you aspire to do anyhow. But going all the way despite the fear that fills you is where magic happens, where life changes and you start to flourish.

Love Rose

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# DAY 280 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Free conservation classes for the children of the Gili Islands

I’ve got some really exciting news to share with you! We hired two more teachers to teach the children of Gili Air about the magical world of conservation. This means we have now four teachers that visit the school every Saturday and more than 120 kids are part of our Club Harapan program. Isn’t that amazing?

120 kids that learn about the environment and get involved with conservation efforts. 120 kids that will inspire others by their actions. And when their turn comes, teach others.

Please show your support and make a donation towards our conservation classes. Visit us tomorrow at our monthly flea market between 4 PM and 6 PM at Oceans5Dive and leave your donation at our donation box. You can also support our conservation classes by buying one of our reusable bottles or bags or one of our awesome t-shirts. Remember, little by little, a little becomes a lot.

Love Rose

p.s. Did you know that every time the children attend a conservation class or join one of our other activities they receive a stamp? When they have a full membership card they will receive the PlasticFreeParadise kit which contains a bamboo straw, a reusable bag, and a reusable bottle.

I can tell you this: it’s an incredible feeling to give the children the tools to say ‘no’ to plastic.

# DAY 268 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Special offer hotel on Gili Air

A big shout out the Villa Nangka Crew! I can’t remember the last time when I saw all of them wearing a clean t-shirt ; – ) It makes me so proud, like if I’m walking on clouds and stardust at the same time.

These guys have been with us through thick and thin and are such an important part of our overall happiness. They are the ones who stood by us, who we spend almost all our time with, who made us laugh, who thought us things we didn’t know we needed to learn. hey helped us every single day to rebuild our dream. They became the current to our ocean. They are our family.

Love Rose

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# DAY 264 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Best place to stay on Gili Air

We are in the final phase of project CINLOC. There is still a lot of work to be done but in the far far distance, we can see the finish line. Just a few weeks more. I was thinking about the word determination last night. I strongly believe that success is achieved by ordinary people with extreme determination. So I decided to write a little post for all the people that wake up with determination.

This is for you – the people who want to make change because the world matters to them. The people who are determined to make an impact, the people who wake up every morning with a passion burning inside their chest. The people who want to make change because the world matters to them.

This is for you – for always wearing your heart on your sleeve and being unafraid to show the world who you are. For leaving your mark on the world with a face glowing with a smile. This is for you for never giving up on your dreams and for continuing to do the best you can despite any circumstances you face on a day-to-day basis.

You are made of strength and determination, you will fail, but you will succeed so much more. The difference is you don’t let failure determine you, you let it motivate you to work harder and smarter. You let it make your ideas greater and you use it to be the best version of yourself you can be. You will conquer the world at your doorstep because you are so full of wisdom and inspiration.

This is a reminder that you are appreciated and without people like you the world would be crumbling beneath our feet, so thank you.

Love Rose

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# DAY 256 OF PROJECT CINLOC

Best Place To Stay On Gili Air

With proud, we present you a little sneak preview of the New Villa Nangka! We are not there yet but every day we are getting one step closer. The moment is now. It’s a powerful time. If we open ourselves to the moment, our opportunities are endless.

Let’s celebrate those new days, new beginnings and experiences that are coming our way. Let’s celebrate the people we haven’t met yet, the love we haven’t felt yet and the friends we haven’t had yet. Our future is a big adventure that starts now.

Love Rose

p.s. A big thank you to Monokroma Architect for creating these wonderful images of our future for us.

Brand New Villa On Gili Air in Indonesia
Bamboo Villa On Gili Air
Bamboo Villa Gili Islands - Indonesia
Best Place To Stay On Gili Air

# DAY 245 OF PROJECT CINLOC

two steps back, one step forward

Sometimes in life you need to take two steps back. But sometimes when I take two steps back, I feel like a failure. I feel like I’ve let myself down. I feel like project CINLOC will never be finished. But in these moments, I try to tell myself:

Dear Rose, when you take two steps back you should actually be proud of yourself. You should be happy you only lost a few paces. Most people who take two steps back throw up their hands and give up on themselves. Most people go from two steps back to ten steps back in an instant because they toss all their hard work away, assuming they don’t have what it takes to reach their end goal.

If you’re still trying, if you’re still putting effort into your goal, then you should be proud of your persistence, your dedication, your relentlessness.

Taking two steps back isn’t the end of the world

Your success is going to fluctuate over time. There are going to be moments when you are ahead of schedule and moments when you fall behind schedule. There are going to be moments when you surprise yourself by how much you’ve accomplished and moments when you are disappointed with yourself over how little you’ve accomplished.

During those small moments of success, you can’t get too cocky — and during those small moments of disappointment, you can’t be too hard on yourself. You have to have faith in yourself, even when it feels like all of your effort has been useless. You have to keep your motivation high, even when it feels like trying isn’t going to get you anywhere so you might as well give up.

Making slow, gradual progress is better than making no progress. Spending years working toward a goal is better than giving up on that goal completely.

You have to remember, just because it doesn’t look like your hard work has been paying off, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Even though you might not see a noticeable change, you’ve been growing. You’ve been learning. You could be tiptoeing toward your future without even realizing it.

Love Rose

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# DAY 236 OF PROJECT CINLOC

30 weeks pregnant on a tropical island

Every four weeks I go up a bra size…it’s worth being pregnant just for the breasts. Pregnancy is also a lot of other things. It is the gift of life.  It is a miracle.  It is exciting…to create a life.  To carry that life within your body for nine months.  To nurture it.  To feel it grow.  To create another human being. To carry a whole world inside you. It is incredible.

It is also horrifying.  It is dramatic.  It is bizarre.  Things happen… strange things.  Not nice things.  Things you don’t expect.  Things no one warns you about. 

Weeks are passing by like fast trains and I can’t believe I am already in my last trimester. We found a beautiful temporary house in Bali, close to the hospital and a doctor who is pro natural birth (which is quite difficult to find in Indonesia, as they can make way more money if you have a c section). I will move to Bali around the 1st of July while Andreas will stay in Gili to supervise the construction site. We both agreed: living in the same house around your due date is so 2018!

Getting pregnant has changed me

It changes me every single day. I’ve changed my outlook on life and my way of thinking, changed the way I breathe, the way I love and the way I receive love. I am not the same person I was a year ago. I’m not the same person I was yesterday. I wouldn’t even compare myself to the person I was this morning.

Things are more challenging but filled with so much more reward. Things are filled with so much love. And the capacity for love my heart has grows faster and more wild by the minute. I never thought it was possible to love like a wildfire. But here I am setting flame to everything around me.

Love Rose

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