Borobodur, Indonesia – one of the most serene places I’ve ever visited. Home to an ancient complex of Buddhist and Hindu temples at the base of Mount Merapi (which is an active volcano), it draws locals and foreigners alike for its spectacular views across the countryside, but for me, I will always remember the serenity.

I don’t wake up at 3 a.m. for a lot of things, but I’m sure glad I woke up to make the little trip to the temple, up its steps to the top in time for the sunrise at 5:30 a.m. The changing colors of the sky are magnificent, reminding you that indeed, a new day lies ahead, and when you do finally see the circumference of the sun peek over the mountains, you would be grateful to be a part of dawn.

And then you get back down to the ground and get some coffee. It is pretty early in the morning, after all.


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