About Jeff Samson
I first visited Bali almost twenty five years ago, and immediately fell in love with the little section of East Bali around the Water Palace in Tirtagangga, right in the middle of our Bali Coast 2 Coast hike! I’ve tramped around this area literally hundreds of times over the years. There certainly have been some changes, but away from the main road this region is still largely the same as it was decades ago. It is home to a unique indigenous culture centered around the three major prongs of traditional Balinese life; family, religion, and agriculture.
Fifteen years ago I married Ni Luh Astuti, a girl from this same part of Bali and whose parents’ house we pass on our hike. From my wife, my beautiful eight year old daughter Sarah, and the rest of my Balinese extended family, I have slowly been able to grasp at least a little about what it means to be a local here, and how that meaning might be changing under increasing encroachment from the “modern” world. I have also become fairly fluent in day- to- day Indonesian and picked up a basic smattering of Balinese. Although Luh (Lauren) and I have traveled around a bit, having lived and worked in the US, India, China and Malaysia, Bali has always felt like our home. Six years ago we finally completed our house in Bali, located (as you might have guessed) smack dab in the center of Bali Coast 2 Coast. So it seems fair to say that we’ll be hiking in my own back yard, and I am certain that along the way you will see the very best of East Bali, which by many accounts remains the most scenic and culturally authentic part of Bali.
I have done some point to point, long distance hiking over the years including crossing Scotland on the Southern Upland Way and traversing the Pyrennes from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean on the Spanish GR 10. These are classic waymarked, independent hikes largely through rural, farmed and forested areas, but always within walking distance of the next night’s accommodation, a good meal and couple of cold beers. Hikes like these were my model for Bali Coast 2 Coast, and although our journey is only a weeks’ duration, I am confident that it is every bit as splendid and adventurous as some of the world’s most famous footpaths.
I currently work as an IB History, Business and Economics teacher at the International School of Kuala Lumpur. However, since most of the hikes in our inaugural year are scheduled during school holidays, both Kenny and I together will be able to lead most of our groups. In the near future I hope to retire from teaching and fully devote myself to life in Bali and improving and expanding Bali Coast 2 Coast. So come join us and find your path in Bali.
About Kenny Peavy
I’ve lived and worked in South East Asia for more than 14 years. I love exploring Nature and trying to figure out how things work. No matter how much time I spend outside I’m always learning and experiencing something new.
I truly believe we all need to get outside to explore Nature and play as often as we can. I’ve dedicated my life and my career to getting folks of all ages outdoors to connect with themselves and with the natural world. Our trip, Bali Coast 2 Coast will do just that!
For the past 18 years I’ve worked as a classroom science teacher, expedition leader and Naturalist in the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
In 2012, I rode a bamboo bike from Thailand to Bali for 6-weeks to raise awareness for sustainability in South East Asia and in 2014 I circumnavigated Phuket Island in a kayak to shed light on marine conservation issues.
Last year I became certified as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) and expanded my knowledge and skills in first aid, CPR and emergency situations.
Over the years I have been incredibly fortunate to be recognized for my work in education, writing and music.
In 2001, I was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program for my efforts in training citizens in stream water quality monitoring.
In 2003, I was awarded a Ford Motor Company Eco-Grant to serve as founder and first chairman of the Malaysian Nature Guides to implement a volunteer amateur Nature guiding program in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As a result, the Malaysian Nature Society named me Volunteer of the Year in 2004 for my work with the Malaysian Nature Guides.
In 2008 my first book As if the Earth Matters, co-authored with Thom Henley, was recommended by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA Recommends!) as an outstanding resource for environmental education.
Then in 2010, when I was a singer and guitar player for The Benchmarx we won the Voize Independent Music Award for the MOST ELECTRIFYING-EXCITING-EXHILARATING LIVE ACT in Malaysia.
Currently, I live in East Bali and love exploring the rice fields and mountains I now call home.
You can learn more about me and other work I do in environmental education, conservation and sustainability here,
I’ll look forward to seeing you on the trail during at Bali Coast 2 Coast and helping you find your path along the way!