Around Bali

around bali, bali holiday

Rice Fields

around bali, bali fishing boats

Local Fishing Boats

around bali, Mount Agung, Gunung Agung

Gunung Agung (Mount Agung, active volcano)

Around bali

Celebrating Hinduism

around bali, bondalem market

Bondalem Morning Market

around bali, bondalem market

Bali was the unplanned vacation that turned into something wonderful.

We had originally planned on staying in Singapore for a week before traveling out to South Africa. Matt had been there a couple of times before (his father & step-mother lived there for a few years) and had mentioned several times that he thought I would love the country. What’s not to love with a benevolent dictatorship, right? About 4 days before we were scheduled to fly to Singapore the country experienced some of the worst haze and air quality, due to fire forest in Indonesia, in recent history. And even though we both wanted to stay we also knew that it may not have been the safety place to be (in terms of air. Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world).

Since our flights to Singapore were already booked (but thankfully not our accommodations, since we’re procrastinators like that) we began searching for other near close-by countries that we could fly to instead. We originally thought Thailand would be nice but it was a little out of our price range. So we ‘settled’ for a vacation in Bali, Indonesia. Poor us, right? And don’t worry – we were very far from the forest fires. 

After 24+ hours in the air (and another 12 in airports) we arrived in beautiful Bali. We decided to stay in a villa on the north side of the country, a 3 hour drive from the airport.

The drive was so wonderful.

It was wonderful for a number of reasons:
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7 Stages of Long Travel – The Journey to Africa

Flying directly to South Africa didn’t seem appealing to Matt and I so we decided to beak up the trip with a little vacation in Bali.

We probably should have looked at a map first because we ended up adding time (and literally hundreds of dollars in excess baggage fees) to our trip.

It took us more than 24 to get to Bali and then another 24+ hours to get to Cape Town after that. Yes, we were going to Bali for a vacation, followed by moving to Africa for 6 months (nbd, right?) but I got pretty cranky after switching planes for the 3rd time.  I found a pattern with my moods during the Los Angeles –> Bali, and Bali –> Cape Town flights- the 7 Stages of Long Travel:

1. Excitement.

journey to africa

“Let’s get moving!” You’re ready to go and start your big day(s) of travel. Bags are checked, carry-ons are stowed, and you’re ready to start your adventure! You might even cry a little from all the excitement.

2. Novelty.

journey to africa, pada qcamping singapore airport
kinetic rain singapore

Ah, cuteness overload!” Long travel trips mean multiple layovers. Be prepared to explore the airports and be overwhelmed by the cuteness of the novel things specific to each country. Like the adorable Panda Q stores in Shanghai or the weird camping setup, and mind-blowing kinetic rain in Singapore. You might even cry a little bit from all the intense cuteness.

3. Shock.

journey to africa

No vegetarian options on any flight?! I’ll starve!” Airplanes are uncomfortable. Especially when they smell like vomit for 12+ hours (true story). Bring snacks and entertainment to distract you. Better yet? Bring earplugs and an eye mask. You might even cry a little bit from the shock.
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Grand Canyon – South Kaibab Trail

check out my other Grand Canyon post

My favorite part of the trip was our hike on the South Kaibab Trail. The word Kaibab is a Paiute Indian word that means “mountain lying down”, or upside-down mountain. And as we climbed deeper into the canyon it was clear to see that the trail is appropriately named. While looking out over the ridge of the canyon was beautiful, it was absolutely incredible to actually walk down into the canyon.

Grand CanyonGrand CanyonGrand Canyon - South Kaibab Trail

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