Joannes Rhino: in a Search of a Place called ‘Home’

Hailing from Jakarta, Joannes Rhino’s journey is a tapestry woven with diverse experiences and a relentless pursuit of his passions. After completing his education at a local Catholic state school, he delved into the world of hospitality at Sahid University, specializing in Hotel Management. However, destiny had a different path in mind, leading him to embark on a career in banking with Citibank, where he navigated the intricate landscape until 2010.

During his tenure with Citibank, Rhino not only survived but thrived, earning a cascade of awards for his dedication to customer satisfaction. From Fast-track Trainee to Best-in-class Service Asia Pacific Region in 2010, Rhino’s professional zenith seemed tethered to his banking career. However, beneath the surface, a desire for creative expression lay dormant.

Amidst the routine of financial institutions, Rhino found solace in crafting words. He began writing a novel, and “Etzhara,” his debut, marked the inception of a literary journey. Published by Indonesia’s foremost traditional publisher, Gramedia, “Etzhara” catapulted Rhino into the spotlight, earning him recognition as one of the best young writers under thirty at the Khatulistiwa Literary Award in 2009.

Unleashing his confidence in writing, Rhino continued his literary odyssey with “Dream” in the same year, published by Dastan Books. The book’s success propelled him into literary stardom, opening doors to book signings, talk shows, and other literary engagements.

Yet, despite professional success and literary acclaim, Rhino sensed a void in his life. A chance encounter with Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” and Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” triggered a transformative epiphany. It was time to redefine success, and Rhino decided to pursue his dreams beyond the corporate world.

Declaring “I have to see the world!” Rhino bid adieu to his six years with Citibank at the age of 30. A journeyman at heart, he ventured to Bali in 2010, kickstarting a period of self-discovery. From working as a Holiday Consultant with The Karma Royal Group to volunteering in a school in Phuket, Thailand, Rhino sought his inner peace amid diverse experiences.

His journey wasn’t just geographical; it was a metamorphosis of the soul. In 2011, Rhino found himself working as a Junior Editor for The Bali Weekly, commencing his foray into the world of publishing. A dynamic career unfolded as he moved from one editorial role to another, leaving an indelible mark on each publication, from Zee Magazine to Kamar Desain Indonesia.

In March 2012, Rhino set his sights on Australia, embarking on a transformative hitchhiking adventure from Darwin to Perth. Living on a shoestring budget, working odd jobs, and volunteering, he lived a life different from the glamour of Jakarta. The experience enriched his perspective, providing fodder for his burgeoning literary career.

Despite facing rejection from Indonesian publishers, Rhino self-published two novels with a USA publisher, Createspace, elevating him to international author status. His journey continued with freelance gigs as a ghostwriter, copywriter, and scriptwriter.

Back in Bali, he became the Editor-in-Chief at Exquisite Publishing before assuming the role of Associate Editor at NOW! Bali Magazine. His four-year sojourn with NOW! Bali Magazine saw Rhino traverse the island, capturing its essence and stories.

In 2019, Rhino’s novel, “The Unseen Face,” achieved Amazon Best Seller status in Psychological Fiction, affirming his status as one of Indonesia’s best authors with global acclaim. Unconstrained by geographical boundaries, Rhino, now a Managing Editor at Bali News, and a founder of Travel Treasures Asia, continues his quest for a place he calls “home.” His nomadic spirit embodies a relentless pursuit of dreams and a commitment to unravel the narratives that life weaves.

Novel published by Joannes Rhino:

  • Etzhara (2004): Gramedia
  • Dream (2005): Dastan Books
  • Harapan Yang Terhempas (2007): Nulis Buku
  • Falling From The Sky – Volume 1 (2008): Createspace
  • As The Rest Come to My Heart (2011): Authorhouse
  • Aku, Dia & Kami (2011): Nulis Buku
  • The Unseen Face (2013): Createspace
  • As The Rest Heal My Heart (2018): Createspace
  • Weasel Out! (2021): Createspace


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