A New Zealand man who was declared missing in Bali after failing to return from a holiday has been found in Thailand. Thirty-two-year-old Joshua Goudswaard, from the Waikato, is said to have travelled to Bali, Indonesia on an impromptu trip with a woman he met on popular dating app Tinder.
But now his friend Aaron Smith, who has been providing updates on the latest developments concerning Mr Goudswaard’s whereabouts, says he’s now been found in a completely different country, playing the drums on a beach.
Police have verified the news, with a spokeswoman saying, “We can confirm that he is no longer a missing person”.
Kiwi blogger Trippin’ Through Life had posted a photo of Mr Goudswaard on her Facebook account a few days ago, and a US tourist who followed her soon spotted him and told her about their meeting.
“Thanks to Trippin’ Through Life and Brett Frischer, Josh was found in Thailand and I quote, ‘Ya it was him. He’s running around learning to play his hang drum. I told him his last name and he looked surprised. I’ll make sure he realises how big this has become’.
“A huge thank you to you all for caring! You can be sure he’ll be getting a good kick in the arse.” Mr Smith told Newshub that he believed his friend “just needed a break from it all”. He said Mr Goudswaard had been working seven days a week for the last eight months.
Trippin’ Through Life said the US tourist who spotted him had to make it clear to him that his disappearance had made international headlines.
“Josh had said he would contact someone and the guy got the feeling Josh didn’t get the picture of how big this had become,” she wrote. “Mmmmmm….. I can understand how one could get caught up wandering about on a beautiful beach and lose track of time and forget to tell anyone where he is.”
Mr Smith said his friend had only directly contacted his mother so far.
According to a post on social media, Mr Goudswaard met a girl named Anita on Tinder and they departed for Bali at the end of October. He was expected back in the country on November 5, and Mr Smith said he hadn’t been in touch with any friends or family since October 30.
Image by Aaron Smith on Facebook