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  • Writer's pictureAcacia Gabriel

Following the White Rabbit in Indonesia



Off the coast of Bali there’s a group of islands called the Gilis. This name roughly translates to the “littles,” a fitting name for islands so small that you can bike around each of them in just a few hours. 


On Gili Air, the trees are covered with postings for different restaurants, cafes, bars, and homestays. On these islands, there aren’t clear street names or building numbers. The trees are the best way to find what you’re looking for. 


Among the signs, you’ll find an image nestled in among the others: a spray-painted picture of a white rabbit. 


The white rabbit signs are everywhere on the island, each with an arrow and a vague phrase. These signs are hidden in plain sight. A mysterious call to adventure. 



I had overlooked them until one of my last mornings. I was debating heading off to Lombok when a French guy in my hostel pointed out them out in an attempt to get me to stay. 


Once I saw the white rabbit, I couldn’t ignore it. It was winking at me from every tree and at every turn. His plan worked; I couldn’t leave without finding out what it meant. 


Before sunset, my friend CC and I headed off to follow the white rabbit. Gili Air is a comically small island, so we assumed it couldn’t be too far away. It didn’t take long to find the first sign which pointed us in one direction. We dutifully trotted along, walking down the dirt roads until we found the next white rabbit and changed directions. 


After a while, we were properly lost. At one point we wondered how we ended up in a field surrounded by cows, and we were forced to assume we walked too far once we hit the ocean. The white rabbits were subtle, nailed onto trees and camouflaged among groups of other colorful signs. You had to keep a sharp eye out, or you might miss a crucial direction.


We rushed to find the end before sunset, and -- in the haze of golden hour-- we found it. We stood at the edge, wondering if we should jump down the rabbit hole.




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