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The Travelling Gent

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There may be more famous or more dashing men in this country at the moment. But one that’s synonymous with good looks as well as countless adventures? We talked to Richard Kyle about his love of travelling as well as his boundless admiration for Bail’s own micro paradise. The Nusas.

Photographer: Hendra Kusuma
Stylist: Rut Caroline

Location: Four Season Jakarta

His features are just staggeringly unmissable: tall, deep eyes, chiselled jawbone — his smile will melt anybody’s heart. And obviously he has a well maintained figure to complement all that. But, pair that points of aesthetics to another list that consists of smooth 12 year old whiskey, exciting adventures and untouched exotic locations, then you get the whole picture of who Richard Kyle is. A presenter of a television program that takes the viewers on adventurous travels all around Indonesia. He’s been everywhere in this archipelago; from the rocky beauties of Belitung in Sumatra, secluded wonders of Buton island in Sulawesi, untouched plains of Bima in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara, to trail biking on the highlands of Central Java. 

But we also know that that’s just his job. Or is it? “No way! What you see on TV (what I said, what was recorded, etc.) is surely my job — but the rest, especially the travelling part, is just me living the best moments of my life,” Richard declined the perception hard. An Indo-Anglo mix by blood but Indonesian by heart, Richard claims that he will always look for more destinations all over this nation’s 17,000 islands. He’s more than eager to explore new places, be it high mountains, deep caves, hypnotic blue ocean, lush forest, vast mesmerising plains — anywhere as long as it’s far from the city. His adrenaline demands that his travelling spots to be more challenging and adventurous than before. But what he loves the most is actually meeting new people that have totally different lives than him. “I love making new friends along my travels, and by that also learning about cultures that I’ve never seen or experience before — and Indonesia has thousands of them,” he explained. This comes from an open mind for other traditions which also enlighten the desire to try everything at least once. “Other than it answers your curiosity, you’ll have the best experience and memories this way.” 

So it’s just natural when we asked him about the three sisters of Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida, his eyes just lit up with ecstasy, recollecting about his times visiting them. “I’ve scuba dived on the off-coasts of all three. But if I have to choose, I probably have to say Penida,” he said of the largest of the trio. Richard liked Penida the best because it offers the most complete set of adventures in one visit. With mostly dirtpaths instead of decent roads connecting corners of the island, the adventure here begins from the moment you start your motorcycle. “I wish I can bring my motorcycle here just for that bumpy ride part of Penida exploration. Should be really fun!”, he added. After that comes the one thing that most Penida visitors dread: the hiking. Peculiarly Richard immensely enjoys this. “It’s challenging to hike along the cliffs, but the end prize is always worthwhile. Those pristine coastlines are simply divine to see, man,” says the guy who, again much to our surprise, prefers comfortable and durable rubber sandals than clunky shoes to do this particularly hard activity.” Lastly of course the diving sites, completing the whole Richard Kyle’s Nusa Penida travel trifecta. “Nusa Penida is quite out of this world for me. I will definitely cross there everytime I’m in Bali.” When asked the usual closing question of what will be next for Richard Kyle, he answered

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