Lynn Fraser, the owner of The Well Belitung, fell in love with the island at the first sight.
She is now settled in Belitung, taking care of her business, and enjoying the beauty of the island. She has contributed to the tourism industry in Belitung by being the source of comfort for expat tourists and enhancing the local resources. This Canadian lady is also readying a big plan for her restaurant.
Hello, Lynn! We’d like to know more about you. Please introduce yourself.
I am a Canadian who’s been in Indonesia for five and a half years. Most of my life was spent in business, my last 15 years owning a mortgage brokerage company and providing financial fitness coaching. I have one married daughter and two granddaughters. Longevity is in my genes, my mom is still with us at 99 years old. All of my family live in Canada and the journey to Indonesia was done alone.
Describe expat life in Belitung. How has the island served you?
Let me just start with this: I love Belitung! No offence to Batam, but that is where I first landed in Indonesia and I didn’t think I would survive. This Canadian girl likes the outdoors and physical activity is an essential element of life. There was just no place to go in Batam. Then I found Belitung, I knew I would live. Snorkelling, hiking, and cycling are all easy to access and in a safe, beautiful environment. There’s no traffic and no crime; people leave their keys in their motors and the locals are super friendly and helpful. Yes, I love my island!
Please tell us about your journey from Canada until you arrived in Belitung and established The Well Restaurant Belitung.
I had done all that I had set out to do in my former business. In my early 40s, my life shifted focus and I went from living for myself to looking for a place to make a difference in the lives of others. My financial fitness business had changed the lives of many and I was ready for the next challenge.
I had heard about some folks that were doing great things through their resort in Indonesia. I was intrigued by their work and determined to explore. While still in Canada preparing for my move, I met a man that told me of his visit to Belitung and the promise he saw on the island. I needed to see for myself and wasn’t disappointed. After two and a half years of language learning in Batam, I was ready to make my move. Belitung was poised to explode with tourism having four new hotels and new roads built. It was listed in the top five for Indonesian tourism investment. But, in my opinion, there was a problem. The locals were not ready. Lacking the needed skills, they would be overlooked or exploited. I found my purpose. The Well exists to provide training and opportunity in the tourism industry for the people of Belitung.
In July 2021, we opened our doors. We set high standards for food quality, service, and environment. 13 amazing young men and women are ready to serve, committed to quality, and acting as role models in the community.
The first time you visited Belitung, what was your expectation? Did you already plan to open a restaurant there or have another plan?
I knew when I came here that I would do something in the tourism industry. My plans were all made pre-pandemic when tourism was starting to boom. Although the boom is more of a spark at this time, I’m confident that tourism will return in greater numbers over time.
Briefly tell us about The Well Restaurant Belitung. Please share something unique about the restaurant as well.
The Well is the only western café/restaurant in Belitung and we offer an air-conditioned environment. We aren’t here to compete with the locals but to provide an option that will draw travellers outside the walls of their hotels. Everything is made in-house from scratch, with only fresh ingredients.
What can holiday seekers do at the restaurant?
The Well Belitung has become a go-to spot for many travellers; always, clean, fresh, comfortable, and welcoming. Travel around Belitung can be challenging unless you hire a car and driver or guide. The Well has become a source of comfort and information, having built relationships with English-speaking guides that understand the needs and wants of expat tourists.
What is your favourite tourist spot in Belitung? Please also share some recommended spots to visit there.
This is an interesting environment to navigate. Most local tour companies promote a two-to-four-day excursion consisting of island hopping and a few other things. While island-hopping is a fun thing to do, once is enough. Personally, I like to do, not just watch and take pictures. There are a couple of really cool hiking places with some interesting history. One place has a cave that was used to hide from pirates in bygone days. Tanjung Tinggi beach with its spectacular granite rocks is a must-see and Batu Baginda is a fun hike.
What’s next for you, Lynn?
That’s a good question. Of course, I would love to see The Well grow enough to open the rooftop to enjoy the spectacular sunsets. Outside The Well, the next plan is to open a vocational training centre to broaden our impact to a wider audience.
How can our readers get in touch with you and The Well Restaurant Belitung?
That being said, I know how difficult it can be to find reliable travel information. So here is my personal WhatsApp +62813-7568-8189. I can’t guarantee always being available to respond but will do my best to answer your questions and make connections for you.