Our Monthly Country itinerary is set! We’ve mentioned this a few times over the past couple months, but now we’ve made the adventure official: We have paid for our monthly homes for the rest of 2015!
Just for fun, here’s a little visual tour of where we’ll be traveling, displayed in weather…
Since we’re getting ready head out on another adventure in a little over a month, I figured it was time to finally finish this post I started back in October (you are correct, I’m the worst).
When we got back to Chiang Mai after our Borneo, Bali, and Ko Lanta trip, we said we would post about the latest travel lessons we learned. Obviously, that never happened. But now, as we’re gearing up to leave Thailand and become even more nomadic, moving from one country to another every month, it’s the perfect time to go back and remember what we learned and apply them to this next adventure.
So here we go, the 5 travel lessons learned from our SE Asia trip and how they can be applied to where we’re heading next:
1. AirAsia, while cheap, has really stupid rules.
In 2014, we lived in England, Hawaii, and Thailand, and we visited Switzerland, Malaysia, Laos, and Indonesia. For 2015, we’ve got even bigger travel plans. We have just officially BOOKED the first 5 months of travel! Eep! 😀
So here’s where the first half of 2015 will take us… Continue reading
For this Photo Friday post, I’m sharing what I think are the best 3 photos that I shot in the past year of traveling. Here you’ll find part 1 of 3.
In the photo above, a woman walks along a canal that brings water to the rice paddies at Jatiluwih, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Bali, Indonesia.
Our recent SE Asia trip was a ton of fun. One thing we focused on was making sure we got lots of quality beach time. We definitely succeed in that. After five beaches across three countries, we thought it would be fun to give out some awards to these beautiful beaches.
The RotR Awards are named after yours truly, Roses on the Road, for those of you who haven’t figured that out yet. To win a RotR Award is extremely prestigious. So prestigious, in fact, that no one ever has before. Think about that for a second — thousands of people have Oscars, Grammys, Nobel Peace Prizes, but not a single person, place, or thing has received a RotR. Talk about an exclusive club.
It’s time to change that. Today we will be handing out a lucky 13 RotR Awards. But first, let’s find out who’s in the running… Continue reading
You might have noticed that the photo at the top of our site changed last week, and because I know you were just dying to know where it was taken, I figured I’d share it here as one of my Photo Friday posts 🙂
This is a panorama shot taken on the west side of Gili Air, the lovely little Indonesian island where we spent a couple days lounging on the beach during our last vacation.
I liked Gili Air for a lot of reasons — soft sand, no big waves, tons of yummy restaurants — and the view from the shore was another pretty perk. Gili Air is only a 15 minute boat ride from the large island of Lombok, which means you get a nice view of the rolling blue mountains across the water.
For our last big vacation, we traveled through Malaysia, Indonesia, and southern Thailand, and during one leg of the trip, we met a friendly German guy who’d been on the road for months. Tanned skin, wild hair, he was the kind of guy who literally did not own shoes because he’d been living the island life for so long.
We got to talking and it turned out he was getting his dive master certification out on the Indonesian island of Gili Air…right where we were headed!
We told him we’d just been in Bali and that we decided to pass up visiting the bigger, party-island of Gili Trawangan (aka Gili T.) in favor of the less crowded Gili Air. With that, he said he immediately liked us. According to him, we adhered to his three step travel theory, which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since. He told us… Continue reading
After three perfect days in Bali, we trooped east to the next island in the Indonesian archipelago, Lombok. We had heard Lombok was how Bali used to be before it became over-touristed and devoid of the real and natural beauty that made it so popular in the first place. We can’t speak too much about Lombok as we were there for less than 24 hours, but we absolutely loved Bali, so I don’t think we’ll jump on the “skip-Bali-head-to-Lombok” bandwagon.
Heading to Lombok at all was a bit of a mistake for us. As seasoned travelers (ugh, I hate myself for saying that), having two time consuming and financially costly mistakes (you can read about the first one here) in one trip was a bit embarrassing, but to be cheesy, you live and you learn, right?
The reason we regret visiting Lombok is pretty simple: we just didn’t have enough time in Lombok to justify making a stop there. Instead, we should have just gone straight to Gili Air from Bali by boat because it’s cheaper, quicker, and easier.
Still, every mistake has a story. Our time in Lombok was no different… Continue reading
After four great days in Borneo, we boarded an AirAsia flight from Kota Kinabalu to Bali. The two and half hour flight was $91 a person and touched down in Bali just after 8 PM. The flight itself was spectacular — check out the photo Alexis shared in “Back in Chiang Mai!” In addition to the beautiful sunset, we also passed through a lightning storm for about an hour. It was really something to see.
Where to Stay
When we were planning the trip, we had a bit of a head start on where to stay in Bali. One of my writing gigs required me to write an article about Bali’s best beaches. Believe me, the fact that I was writing an article about a place I had never been to made me feel very jaded about the online blogging industry as a whole, but that’s a story for another day.
In any case, my research led to me conclude that the place we should head to is Jimbaran Beach. Since beach time was our number one goal, staying as close to the beach as possible was the objective. Filtering through my two favorite accommodation booking websites, Airbnb and Agoda, we found this place on Airbnb. There were pros and cons which I detailed in my review on the listing if you’re interested, but overall I’m glad we stayed there. For $20 a night, breakfast included, and a five minute walk to the beach, it was a great fit for us.
Other places I researched and wrote about and we subsequently looked into were Balangan Beach and Nusa Dua. Nusa Dua is on the east coast of the Bali’s southern peninsula and is supposedly much more quiet and less touristy than other places (including Jimbaran). This appealed to us, but we weren’t able to find cheap enough accommodation in Nusa Dua, so it was ruled out. We almost stayed at the Balangan Sea View Bungalow, but it, too, proved to be just a little too expensive. So we went with Jimbaran and.it.was.awesome.
Jimbaran Beach, Bali
When we announced our trip on the blog, I admitted that I was a little nervous about going to Bali. It’s always been a place I fantasized about, but almost everything I’ve ever read about the island made it pretty clear it’s been over-touristed and stripped of all its fantasy-inducing qualities.
Remember that side comment I made about writing online being phony? Well it’s true. Jimbaran Beach was amazing. Continue reading