Indonesia

10 Things I Learned While Travelling the World

I’ve been back in Canada for a little less than a month now and have had some time to decompress and to think about my trip.  At first, I thought I hadn’t really changed at all during my travels, but it actually has in a million tiny ways.  I’d like to share that with you now:

10. The Journey is the Thing

My trip had no specific goal, other than to relax, enjoy and experience the world that was far away from home.  This turned out to a great way to travel and, for me, to not focus on the result, but to really take the journey for what it was – an adventure into the unknown.

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9. We are all the Same

I included this in my last list, but I want to say it again.  I love people, and the truest realization I had again while I was overseas is that we are all, at our most basic level, very similar.  We just want to be happy; to have enough food to eat, a roof over our heads, some people who love us and a purpose in life that brings us joy.  I saw all kinds of people living in many different ways as I worked though six countries, but they all have this in common. We are all part of one big human family, and it doesn’t matter where you are from or what you are doing with your life, some things are the same within all of us.

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8. Travel is as Easy and as Hard as you Want it To Be

PATIENCE.  This one virtue has eluded me my whole life, and nothing cures the need for control than a less than smooth travel experience.  I learned about the essence of the journey in my search for patience as I met setbacks and mishaps along the road.   I learned how to be more adaptable, to let things slide, and to only care about the most important things along the way.

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7. Roll with the Waves

This one is a good follow-up to #8.  When I rolled with the upsets along the way, the journey got even more interesting: I saw some things I would otherwise have missed, or had a completely new experiences I wasn’t expecting to have.  By saying “Yes!” I got into more trouble, saw more unexpected things, and had more impromptu adventures than if I had stuck to a strict schedule and followed it the whole way along.

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6. Pay Attention

I learned that there is beauty in the details.  That every city is an intricate mess that somehow works in its own unique way.  That the road less traveled sometimes results in a washed out car or monkeys attacking your windshield.  To stop and save the kittens, get lost on a bike and get found again, and that fun can be found in every airport, bus station, or boat ride.  By paying true attention to my surroundings, I was also able to glimpse into the local life of the people, and have real experiences from the country I was visiting.  That, to me, is priceless.

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5. Embrace the Inner Hippie

I’m normally a goal-oriented, round the clock, by the book kind of person.  To escape that mentality for a while and embrace my inner beach bum was an enlightening experience.  I had whole days with no plans and nothing to do, vague ideas of where the day would take me, and days where I just went with the flow.  That rarely happens in my “real” life in Canada, and it was refreshing to break out of the bubble of who I think I am and step into the sandals of my inner Hippie Goddess.  She is someone I want to know better, and a side of me that I won’t soon forget now that we’ve been re-aquainted!

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4. Trust the Kindness of Strangers

In my travels I stayed with family friends, friends of friends, new friends and people I didn’t even know at all. I was welcomed into countless homes with open arms, to people eager to share in my travel journey and get to know me.  I feel SO blessed to now have friends from all over the world, and want to thank each and every one of you for your hospitality and help in exploring all these new places 🙂 If you ever travel, and someone recommends that you stay with a friend or you have family/friends to stay with overseas, DO IT! It will completely change your perspective on the country you are visiting, because you get to see it through the eyes of a local.  A thousand thank-you’s again to all those who put me up while I was abroad!  You are welcome to return the favour here in Canada anytime!

3. Comfort Zones are Boring

I did something new and crazy in every country I went to: Surfing in Indonesia, Parasailing in Philippines, and even Skydiving in New Zealand.  Get out of your comfort zone and try some new and crazy stuff.  It will enrich your travel experience and add a whole new level of fun.  Besides, that’s what travel is for: new experiences and adventures! It doesn’t matter how scared you are – do something wild and crazy!  eat that cricket off a Bangkok bug cart!  Take the jet boat ride through the canyon!  Throw yourself out of a plane! These things are the highlights of my travels as I look back on them now, the times I challenged myself and really went for it.

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2. Theres No Place like Home

Canada is an amazing country. I learned this while I was abroad through other travellers stories about my home country, that it is a well-loved place in the world and worth exploring in its own right.  Talking about it with others made me realize how much I love being a Canadian and how lucky I am to call this place my home.  I never really appreciated it until I left for a long time and realized what a phenomenal place it is.

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1. I am SO lucky

The fact that I was able to pull off this trip still boggles my mind.  There was so much planning involved – a years worth of time and effort went into it, and now that I’m back I can see what a privileged position I hold as a citizen of Canada.  I have enough food to eat, a roof over my head, and friends and family who love and care about me.  The rest is just gravy!  Upon returning I went to my bathroom and turned on the tap, thinking back to all the times I didn’t have access to fresh water on my travels. Something as simple as turning on the tap can take on new meaning after travelling: it represents all that we take for granted, being from a first world country were every comfort is provided for.  I feel that, now, I am able to name how lucky I truly am.

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Well. That’s it!  I’m sure I will update this blog again in the future as life takes me on more travels, but for now I am happy to have landed back in Canada, ready to take on the world 🙂

xo

D

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Surfing in Kuta

Even though this was only about a week ago, it seems like AGES!  So much has happened, Im already in another country and in the midst of new adventures, but lets pretend I’ve been faithfully blogging all along, shall we? 🙂

We bussed it back to Kuta from Ubud in Bali, and found our beautiful hotel, AP Inn, was under construction – hmmmm. Oh well. we decided to stay anyways. After a long, hot bus journey a trip to the pool was in order and we settled into our rooftop pool chill quite nicely, I even bought a “takeout” lunch from a local warung (food stall) and had a delicious lunch by the pool.  For dinner we had Pizza Hut, and I had a new experience there – corn on my pizza.  Yuck. Lol.
The next day was pretty lazy as well, with some more poolside action and a visit to the Bali Dynasty resort to hang out with our friends the Thompsons, who were in Kuta and invited us to their gorgeous resort for some volleyball and happy hour drinks!  We had a wonderful afternoon with them and invited them to come and party with us at Skygarden that night.  The younger ones took us up on the offer and we met up with them for FREE DRINKS.  I may have had one (twelve) too many cause the next day I had my first official Bali hangover. ughhhhhh. Oh and guess what we had planned? Surfing! Ughnghghgghhhhh.
Luckily our surfer dude was way late and I had time to nap all morning, so by the time we finally hit the waves I was feeling much much better! Our instructor Ewan was a great teacher, and we both managed to get up on our boards and hit the waves, it was thrilling!  I can officially say I am a surfer now – lol.
The next day Chelsea and I shopped and shopped and shopped until we were literally out of Indonesian Rupiah, we had waited until our last day to clean out our $$ supply and all the shops, too!  I bought a gorgeous dress for myself and a bunch of presents as well.  We boarded our flight to Manila, it was a super long, roundabout trip. But hey – it’s all part of the experience, right??
xoxo
D
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How We Saved a Kitten in Ubud

Well, saved might now be the right word because Phil might very well have been euthanized by now, but I do feel better having rescued a kitten from sudden death on a busy alley road in Ubud. It was just about squished as Chelsea and I walked back to our guesthouse, and Chelsea said to me “isn’t that a kitten?” and we squee!ed at the littleness of it! Poor little guy had no momma in sight.  I moved him over to the side of the road, but he looked so pathetic that soon after we returned to our place, I said I gotta do something, so I went and bought some milk from the local quickeemart and scooped up the kitten on my way back.  As we chilled that night, Phil showed little to no signs of life, just chillin in my sarong like a lil villain. Yes, we named him Phil.  Big Phil was hanging out with us as we greeted our friends from Beach Travellers, who were in Ubud at the same time as us, and settled in for a rainy quiet night.
I found a place that might look after Phil by doing a little internet sleuthing, and facebook messaged Villa Kitty to see if they might have a place for Phil. The owner of this magical place, an expat named Elizabeth, said to bring him in, so the next morning we took a ten minute taxi ride to Villa Kitty, a cat hospital and kitty rescue clinic in Ubud, a sorely needed service in a country where wild dogs and cats are the norm and keeping pets as members of your household is not as popular.  When we got to the clinic, the vet told us Phil was ten days old, not three to four weeks as we originally had thought. I talked to Elizabeth on the phone, and she said that they may not be able to keep Phil alive as he couldn’t be given the attention he needed, given his early age. he needed to be bottle fed every two hours, and she just didn’t have the staff or resources to give him that attention.  I felt so bad, but leaving him there in the hospital staff’s capable hands was the best option at that point.  I said bye to Phil and told him not to throw up his food so they would keep him alive. I hope he listens!  I also gave a donation to this fabulous organization, it really fills a gap in whats needed in Bali in terms of animal welfare.
If you would like to learn more about Villa Kitty or donate to them, you can check out their facebook page here as well 🙂
Well, my karma meter is full at least. Poor Phil, Hope he had a good ten days, in any case!
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Top 5 Favorite Things to do in Ubud

Ubud has been a blast, there are tons of things to do in this quiet, ancient city.  It is an extremely old and spiritual place, the old mixes with the new in such a strange and interesting way.  I’ll break down some of my favorite things that I experienced here in Ubud, to give you a taste of my experiences here in this gorgeous place!

5. Shop

     The first thing we noticed upon arrival in Ubud were the SHOPS! Oh my lord it seemed like everything on earth was for sale.  Aside from the usual trinkets, there were tons of textiles (silk scarves, pashminas, dresses, sarongs), interesting artwork, organic bath products, silver jewelry, and more.  I had to seriously restrain myself cause I was on a budget, but I managed to get some good deals and even some presents that I now have to haul around for three months!! Oh well.  I couldn’t resist and you shouldn’t either.  Bargain hard here, there are lots of great deals in Ubud if you barter for them.
4. Spa Day!
     There are so many options for spas here in Ubud it literally makes ones head spin.  From the high-end daylong treatments that include cleansing, detox, colonics, facials and fruit juice baths, to the massages and manicures at the lower end places, there are enough spas here to go to one spa a day for two months and still not hit them all.  I got an hour-long head, back and shoulder massage for about 8 dollars, 75000 Rupiah, and it was unreal. The Balinese lady who massaged me was so tiny with the strongest hands, she gave me a good tough massage, just how I like it!  Aaaahhh.
I dont have any spa pics so I'll just post this pic of chelsea enjoying her pizza on the first night :D

I dont have any spa pics so I’ll just post this pic of chelsea enjoying her pizza on the first night 😀

3. Take in the Culture – check out all the ancient buildings and go on a photo tour
     As I mentioned earlier, Ubud is the cultural capital of Bali, and it’s not hard to see why.  Buildings from the eleventh century mingle with corner stores and supermarkets, scooters ride by with Balinese dancers in traditional dress scooting by to their performances, and beautiful art is displayed both in corners of markets and huge galleries as well.  I walked around in awe, snapping pics and reading about the history of this magical city, taking it all in.  The pictures don’t really do this place justice, but I will post them anyway.
 
2. Bike through the Rice Paddies
     This bike trip was a total highlight. We were short on cash and didn’t want to pay for a full day tour around Ubud, so we rented bikes for a day for 3 bucks (30,000 Rupiah) and took off on a little adventure of our own.  We had asked at the tourist centre (which looks like a castle) where the best places to see some country side were, and they made a little itinerary for us.  We biked up a hilly plain, passing villages on the way, and even though it rained a bit in between sunny breaks, the rain was refreshing and fitting as we saw the beautiful rice paddies laid out neatly in the villages.  People are so friendly in Bali!  They called out hello from their doorsteps and driveways, asking us where we were going and what we wanted to see, or just shouted a friendly greeting and went about their day.  Awesome!  The whole trip took about two hours and there was lots of time to chill at our beautiful guesthouse pool later on in the day.
     My favourite place in Ubud, hands down, was the monkey temple forest just on the outskirts of Ubud.  It’s a functioning temple that has been in use since the 11th century, dedicated to the animal gods and to harmony with nature and all living things.  Inside it’s an oasis, the soaring trees and greenery mixing with the ancient statues and temples, with monkeys causing havoc all over the grounds as they played, ate bananas, groomed each other, and generally delighted the tourists with their antics.  They are so humanlike!  One greedy little monkey jerk took all my bananas, but then sat very close to me and I watched as he expertly unwrapped and ate every banana in the bunch, guarding his hoard against the other sneaky guys who were watching and waiting for a chance to steal them.  It was a great way to spend an afternoon, just chilling with these amazing animals and taking in the beauty of the forest and the temple.  I loved it!
These are only my top five experiences, there is so much more to do in Ubud, including yoga, cleanses, detoxing, day trips, volunteering opportunities, watching dances + performances, and much more. I may have to come back here when im older and wiser, with a lot more money in my pockets, cause this is definitely a place to experience twice in a lifetime!
xo
D
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How to Have a Perfect Day on the Gili Islands

Beach Life

Since all of our days have fallen into a rhythm here on the island, I thought I would write a brief instructional guide about how I live the island life.  It was great to take advantage of the perfect beachy days and explore what the island had to offer over our four nights here in the Gilis.

Side Note: Gili is the indonesian word for island, so pretty much every small island in indo is a Gili, but these Gili Meno, Gili Air and Gili Trawangan are three of the most well known.  If you want to go to the silent disco on your trip, go during Ramadan which starts in early July.
Step One:  Eat a delicious banana pancake and oj on the porch of your guesthouse after waking up whenever the heck you want and checking the wifi news from home.  Chat with the local owners of your guesthouse and teach them funny things to say to other english speaking tourists, like YOLO, LOL, etc.
 
Step Two: Head directly to the beach to sip iced ginger lemon honey teas and pass out on giant bean bag beach chairs at Gili Cafe. Listen to tunes, read, swim, frolic and tan until the midday heat is so unbearable that you seek cover for a) ice cream b)shopping or c) snorkelling. Your choice 🙂
 
Step Three: Find a sweet beach cafe right on the water to eat lunch.  Eat a delicious BLT, Tuna or Club sammy and people watch as humans from all over the world do exactly the same thing as you: Nothing.  Optional card game playing here, too.  
 
Step Four: Rent bikes for five bucks and bike around the island, checking out the sights (not much besides beautiful beach, resorts and ocean but still pretty sweet).  You can check out the whole ispand in a day, about an hours fast biking or a lazy afternoons worth of biking.  Take pics of sweet beach spots, cool cafes and have a delicious pineapple (watermelon, papaya, coconut) shake to quench your sweaty self.  Squee at the cute goats and Indonesian kids hanging out and take tons of pics.  
 
Step Five: Head home to shower up, and bike to the sunset spot to watch a sweet sunset while drinking Bintangs (beers), or grab a spot at the indian restaurant on some cushions by the beach and hit the shisha/have indian food while watching the rain roll in.

 

Step Six: will hopefully be optional for you as one night we got rained out while dinner happened and we had to walk home in a monsoon. Whoops!
 
Step Seven: Eat ice cream and waffles (does not apply if you took option A on step two, ya fatty) at a local cafe or have some bintangs and watch live music at any of the bars that slowly fill up with people, the crowd gets good at one or two places around eleven.
 
Step Eight: If you are feelin it, head over to the silent disco to listen to tunes in your wireless  headphones, dance up a storm and laugh as you all silently listen to the same music on your headphones. Option B on this step is to have some room chills and go to bed cause there is a rough day ahead of sun, sand and fun times!
So there you go, a rough guide to your day on Gilis. Feel free to share  your experiences of Gili below, there’s also snorkelling trips to be had, horseback riding, tons of spa options and the option to climb mount Rinjani on Lombok, but since I am on a budget I just decided to have more of a beach vacation for now and leave the mountain climbing for another day!
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Gili T – My New Favorite Place on Earth

I think I’ve found it….again.  Gili Trawangan is my newest in a long line of favorite destinations, and this time, I think its love!  Let me back up a little here – three days ago we took a two and a half hour ferry to the Gili Islands, three tiny beachy islands nestled close to the mountains in Lombok, an island province close to Bali.  We were going to stay in a hostel but decided against it, the cheap and cute guesthouses that dotted the island were too tempting for us.  We found the Pondok Twins Garden with a little help from our Scoot Cruises employee, the ride over here with them was awesome and I highly recommend it.

It was perfect!  A little guesthouse nestled in on a back street not far from the beach.  We settled in for four nights, and set off to explore this gorgeous little place.  We were amazed at the turquoise blue color of the ocean, and the view of distant mountains on Lombok.  After settling into a table at Gili Cafe, we ran into one of Chelsea’s friends that was, by coincidence, was staying on the island. Yes it’s that small!!
The sunset was our next destination, and after getting horribly lost in what we jokingly referred to as the “suburbs of Gili”, we emerged on the other side of the island, in time to watch the beautiful sunset and have a bintang.  That night we chilled with Chelsea’s friend Connor, and his two Canadian counterparts, Joey and Pete.  Since its Ramadan, the island is very quiet, and out of respect for the locals the nightlife is curtailed to a single silent disco, which we got to experience the next evening! We ate dinner at the night market, which was a super fun experience, trying all the local foods and finishing my meal off with a giant roasted corn on the cob mmmmm.
Our first full day in Gili was super beachy, I learned some bad news from home, my family had been affected by the flooding in Toronto from the storms that are going on there right now, and our basement was in 7ft of water!! There is a ton of damage, but as my mom said, “it’s just stuff” and they are all safe so apart from a massive clean up job they are ok!
We shopped the island that afternoon and literally shopped it out, finding nothing of interest to buy – all trinkets and overpriced beachwear. I did buy a sweet Balinese mask from a local artist though, who had his workshop and store  right beside my guesthouse. I felt kinda like i was getting an eye infection, but a smooth and painless trip to the Indonesian Dr on the island and some meds, later I was on the mend. It’s already cleared up! Yay! sickness one averted.
It looked like it was gonna rain so we strategically sat ourselves in a beach cafe to watch the rain and eat a late lunch.  Then it was time to meet up with the guys for shisha and people watching, until after the sun set and we moved onto the silent disco!!
The silent disco was my favorite experience on Gili so far, we all got these sweet remote headsets and were listening to the same tunes at the same time, filling the dance floor and the room with our off-key singing.  It was hilarious to briefly take the headphones off and look around at all the people dancing wildly, silently to the music!  We had such a good time!!
Gili is such a friendly, sunny place, full of unbelievably nice and accommodating people, there’s tons of families around as well as young people, the food is good, and the vibe is just right.
It’s good to know there’s a place like this on earth. It’s as close to heaven as I’ve ever been.
xo
D
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The Beach Lyfe in Nusa Lembongan

Oh, how relaxing the last two days have been. We were picked up from Kayun hostel and driven to the pier at Sanur in Bali after a quick stop at the Scoot Cruises water taxi ticket office.  Our boat left at 9:30 for Nusa Lembongan, an island off the coast of Bali, about a 40 minute boat ride away. We arrived in good time and good spirits, loaded up into a crowded cart (!) with an Aussie family who we would get to know over the next few days.  When we got to our place, called Star 2000 Bungalows, we thanked our lucky stars that BT had arranged such a sweet place for us to stay.  The beach was right in front of our place, there was an infinity pool and great food and wifi to be had! Woo!

After a couple of hours in our beach chairs, I walked along the beachfront both ways to check it out.  It’s gorgeous here!  I love how the island life mixes with the tourist life so naturally – the Balinese kids all play on the beaches, the seaweed farming goes on at low tide, and fishermen walk by with huge fish that we get to eat for dinner 🙂 We did absolutely nothing our first day here, just moved from the beach chair to the pool to the ocean and back again. After some Bintangs (beers) and pizza and a bit more exploring, Chelsea and I were wiped. So we hit the sack at….wait for it…7 pm!! Well, actually we laughed and talked and hung out in the room before sleeping, but we were fully out before 8:30 pm – old ladies!! No it was actually awesome – when was the last time you got a full 12 hours of sleep?? huh? huh?
Besides we wanted to be in tip-top shape for our snorkeling trip the next day. The Aussie family we had met were aboard as well, and we got to know them as we drove around the island to check out the manta-rays, the COOLEST sea life I have ever seen besides the lil Nemo fish i saw last year in Thailand in Ko Phi Phi.  They were huge and scary with these wide mouths and what looked almost like wings.  I was scared but assured they wouldn’t hurt us. And absolutely no safety instructions. Hrmm.
I started to feel sick in the huge ocean waves, and as soon as I got on the rocky boat – well – I barfed like a champ. Off the side of the boat.  There’s a first time for everything I guess 😦 wah.  I tried to snorkel and enjoy but after the second stop i just hung out on the boat since it was less wave-y in the next few stops.  It was cool to see the island but i was more concentrated on not puking again to really enjoy it. Bleh.
The afternoon got way better after that, I hired a Balinese guy to scooter me around the island so I could see what it was like.  This is one of my fav things to do when I get to a new place, to get my lay of the land and see whats around.  He didn’t disappoint – there was sweet beaches to check out and cool rock formations and temples in the jungle and rickety Indiana Jones-style suspension bridges to see, and even though my bum hurt from the bumpy roads, I was stoked to see and experience it all.
When I got back we did more sunning and swimming and then hit up the place next door to gawp at the Japanese tourists and eat the yummy food.  We joined the Thompsons in celebrating their son’s 19th birthday (HB, Cade!!) and ate cake and compared travel stories and stories about home.  We got convinced to hit up a party with them a short ride away, and off we went to Jibatu (sp?) for a sweet little beach jam, not too crazy but just the right place for a couple of beers and sandy beach fun.
And today?  We are off to even tinier islands for more beach-themed fun!
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A Near-Perfect Day in Paradise

Today was as near a perfect day as I could have imagined, a great start to our adventures with perfect weather and excellent friends.  After a great facetime chat with the fam, Chelsea and I hit the shops for a little ‘lucky” shopping in the morning.  Balinese people will give you great deals in the morning b/c they believe its good luck to make sales in the morning and will bring good business all day.  Then we met up with Cassidy and Nicole again to beach it up and get accosted by Balinese ladies who wanted to massage, pedicure, wax, and hassle the eff out of us.  I really like Kuta but it’s very touristy and crowded, people yelling at you from all over to come into their stores, get a massage, take a taxi – its hard to feel relaxed when someone is literally grabbing you and telling you to come into their store. Yargh.  We had a quick lunch and then carried on hassle-free poolside on the rooftop pool of our friends hotel. it was so perfect.  We even found time to do a little crossfit action, courtesy of Ravi, my new friend and all around cool BT guide.

After a quick hotel stop we went back out with our friends for a farewell dinner and had incredible Indonesian food.  The BT guides were so amazing to us, they helped us arrange our travel and figure out what to see and do while we’re here.  They have already made our Bali experience so memorable and fun, its been a pleasure to see old friends and get to know new ones.
What does tomorrow bring? Well, we journey off the beaten path and onwards to Nusa Lembongan and the Gili Islands!! we leave by speedboat tomorrow for some tiny islands and some more fun in the sun!
xoxo
D
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Bali, Beachtravellers Style!

  What an amazing two days its been here! I feel like I’ve been here way longer than two days.  Our first day here started with an exploratory walk around our area, trying to get our bearings and get used to Kuta. After another delicious Starbucks (sorryyyyy we are easing into the whole Indo thing, at least we didn’t have Wendy’s!)  there was a very interesting tourist trap experience on Kuta beach.  We were given these punch cards by some friendly guys and after we opened them we were told we WON!! MONEY!! All we had to do to collect it was go check out a hotel and get a tour.  Ok. It sounded fishy but hey the hotel was in the nice southern area of Nusa Dua and we had just gotten there, so the free taxi ride sounded appealing and we wanted to look around Bali.  Then, when we got there after a shortish drive, we checked out the hotel and were told unfortunately there was no one to show us around just then.  So a 15 minute ride, 10 minute look around the hotel and crappy discount voucher “prize” was the worst that happened. Woo! Free taxi rides!!

Our next stop was to meet up with some girlfriends who had been with us on our Beachtravellers Thailand trip and had just finished the BT Bali tour and we were eager to hear how their trip was. We had lunch and caught up and saw their hostel, and awesomely enough, some more guides and friends who we knew from Thailand last year!! BT reunion!!  We all went to 66 beach in Seminyak together, and I did what I loved best – got on the back of a friends scooter and scooted through Kuta! It made me a happy girl, and I was even happier when I saw the beautiful beach with beanbag chairs and colorful umbrellas scattered around. We settled in for some good beers, pizza and catchup chats, and I got to know some more cool BT people, the Bali guide crew who are obv just as phenomenal as their Thailand counterparts.
We ate sate’s at a tiny Indonesian restaurant and partied the night away in Kuta. I finally got to try the fabled Extra Joss, an Indonesian powdered energy drink that foams up in your mouth – and gives you a killer buzz!  There also may have been 20 shots for 100,000 rupiah, about ten bucks. and then another round. And then? dancing at Skybar, a complex which has nine separate bars on four levels, basically a playland for the young, drunk and stupid. It was no fun at all 😉
Needless to say, it was a stumbly walk home. Hehe.
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The Long Road to Bali

Whew! We are finally in Bali after two and a half days of travel, four flights, and a whole lotta stopovers.  I left Manila in the morning after five restless hours in a very boring airport.  I was super restless on the flight to Jakarta, cause there was nothing for me to do – no book, and I’d already seen the movie that was playing 😦

Getting into Jakarta I was SO pumped to see Chelsea, and waited by her baggage carousel for her to get in from Taipei, her stopover point.  It was such a great reunion!  We hadn’t seen each other in a year since she lives on the other side of Canada, but it felt like no time had passed at all as we caught up and waited for her bag to appear.  The Jakarta airport was hot and confusing, but I love a challenge and soon we found a Starbucks (!), got iced coffees and found out where to catch the shuttle to the other terminal to catch our final flight.
The traffic!  Oh man the traffic was the worst thing I had ever seen in my life, literally inching along, people cutting each other off, motorbikes zooming around in the tiny gaps, and near misses at every turn. What should have been a two-minute ride turned into a twenty-minute crawl. Our choice to give Jakarta a miss was a good one, I think!
Our seven hour stopover was cool, though, I tried my first Indo dish (can’t remember the name but it was flat noodles and beef, mmm) and we got our AirAsia flights all sorted out as well, with a real human behind a desk – way easier than trying to figure it out from Canada.  We waited in the (very boring) terminal for EVER, made friends and traded travel stories with some Americans headed to Bali, and finally boarded our last slightly delirious flight to get to our final destination.  It is noteworthy to mention that our Asian seatmate was singing karaoke to himself, to our delight and awe.  We felt bad but totally had a case of the giggles over it!
BALI, BABY!!
We arrived, found a taxi and found our hostel, which is so gorgeous!! I booked it at the recommendation of another travel blogger and she did not disappoint.  It is perfect for us, centrally located, super clean with friendly staff.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a great place to stay in Kuta.
We crashed hard, in our lovely soft bed, and slept and slept and slept. Heaven!
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