The Earthquake

So apparently there was an earthquake.

How I missed it I don’t know, but somehow- I missed it. Didn’t feel a thing.

It was a 6.1 in Mainland Bali and a 5.3 over here, which is insane to me because I managed to ‘experience’ an earthquake and I didn’t even realise.

Perhaps it was the fact that I was on a scooter at the exact same time and the roads are not the smoothest, but somehow I managed to miss an entire earthquake. When I got to breakfast, everyone was chatting like normal, but when the first activity started, my group kept making the joke ‘Alexa, play Earthquake by Tiny Tempah’. That’s when they told me there was one.

It’s crazy to think that I was on an Island, and had -2 days before- been 100km away from the epicentre of the Earthquake, which originated only 100km from Denpasar, where I stayed for 2 nights.

This Earthquake, on a more serious note, has destroyed houses, injured many and killed 1 known person. Please keep an eye out on the news for any more information, and if you want to read up on this earthquake, it made the UK news- cleverly titled ‘The Earthquake’. I have also copied that title.

Homesickness: it’s going to hit

After 3 full days in Bali, today I got smacked in the face with homesickness. I knew it was going to happen eventually, but I thought it would be through the first 2 days wherein was by myself. Those days were fine! It was amazing to just walk around.

Instead, it’s today- the 1st full day on my turtle course- that I felt it. I went and had breakfast on the beach. I sat with some Americans. After that was the introduction orientation day. That’s when it hits me like a ton of bricks.

I missed my family. I missed my dogs. I missed my bed. I missed home.

After texting my family, telling them I wanted to come home, my mum told me my dad felt the exact same when they went to Australia- and regrets coming back. Although it’s not the same as there were two of them, and I’m just me- I realised I could do it. I’ll rent a scooter or a taxi to take me places, make friends, see Nusa Penida

There was a girl I met on the boat over called Grace who is absolutely lovely! She’s staying in a hostel nearby but is leaving tomorrow. However, we have made plans to visit the Gili Islands over the weekend, so I get to look forward to that!

I guess what I’m trying to tell myself and write down here is it gets better. Homesickness will come and go. I still miss home- a lot- but I’m going to try to not have that get to me. I’m by myself in a foreign country. Of course that is going to be scary- for anyone. As a 17 year old, it’s terrifying, and I let that get to me. However, I am going to try as hard as I can to prevent that from happening again.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TO UBUD

Ubud: the cultural city of Bali. With loads to do and see, it can be difficult to pick what to do. Despite all this, if you have a plan then you can see all your wanted sights in a day.

Here are a few things I wish I’d known

  1. A taxi there is so cheap. Transport in Bali is so cheap, but with the currency exchange it doesn’t seem it. The taxi for the whole day for me was 600,000 IDR- which is about £35! This taxi picked me up from my hotel. took me to all my destinations, waited for me there and then drove me so the way back to my hotel. The tour was around 8 hours, and I got all of that for 30 odd quid.
  2. People will hound you. You walk down a street and every single shop is somebody trying to sell you something. You can haggle with the price- however once you buy something from one person, everyone will think of you as an easy target. Just be wary
  3. The Sacred Monkey Sanctuary has a charge on entry. Now, I know this might seem obvious to some, but I thought that as it was in the jungle and people lived alongside them, it would be free to enter. Wrong. It’s 80,000 IDR (around £5) to enter. Once you’re in though it’s absolutely beautiful and the monkeys just mind their own business
  4. While the Monkey Forest is beautiful, it has absolutely nothing on the rice terraces. The beauty of those was unreal. It’s just lines of fresh, banners everywhere, there are wind chimes- it’s just heaven. Bonus: it’s free to enter.
  5. You have to pay to visit temples. I went to the Holy Spring Temple, and when I got there I was shocked to realised it had a 50,000 IDR charge (£3). while this is still super cheap, my meal was cheaper and I just found out slightly odd to pay to go in and pray. Despite this, it’s beautiful.
  6. As I mentioned above- the food is so cheap!! In fact, everything is so cheap, you can get so much. For lunch, I went to a restaurant on the rice terraces and got Pad Thai and a Mojito- which overall came up to 75,000 IDR (just less then £5!) For a view that stunning and such amazing food, you can’t help but feel as if you’re in paradise

Anyway, for me, these were the things I wish I’d known, so if this helps one person travelling, I’m happy.

Packing 101

Packing can be a stressful part of getting ready for your holiday or trip. You always seem to forget something essential and underpack or completely overdo it and bring 12 tops for a 3 day trip- just in case you need three outfit changes a day.

On here, I am going to list a few of my essentials and must-brings with me. Feel free to add any of your must-haves and share your experiences in the comments!

HAND LUGGAGE:

  • Passport and Boarding information

-Always try and keep everything together in a case of some sort so you always know where they are.

  • Electronics and Cables

-This could include phone chargers, camera batteries, headphones and a powerpack.

  • Snacks

-You can never have too many snacks

  • Some form of entertainment

-Use your travel time to catch up with some reading, doodle in a mini book, write a short story, or even write an account of your journey so far (kind of like I’m doing now)

  • Toiletries

-For flights, it’s always a good idea to bring some essential toiletries, like deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, and moisturizer.

  • Gum or some sort of mint/ sweet to suck on during take-off and landing.

-so your ears don’t pop and hurt

  • Water bottle

-This is always a great idea, as you won’t have to buy plastic bottles throughout your holiday, which in turn saves the environment!

LUGGAGE

  • Clothes appropriate for the weather

-Look at the weather forecast prior to your trip and pack clothes according to this. Don’t pack heavy jumpers just in case when the forecast is showing 35°C.

-I would always recommend to pack a few extra clothes for the days you are away. If you are going away for a week, it’s probably best if you bring around 5 tops, even if you know there is a washing machine where you are heading. Always be prepared

-When thinking about shoes to take, always try to take into consideration what you are planning on doing. If you want an action-packed holiday, it’s probably best if you don’t just bring strappy heels. Try and bring 2 or 3 pairs of shoes so you are prepared for where the trip takes you.

  • Sunscreen

-Wherever you are going, whatever season, try to bring sunscreen. UVA and UVB rays can affect your skin in any weather or condition, so to stay as protected as possible- bring SPF.

  • Toiletries

-This is anything above 100ml. Take some shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, razor and any extras you could need in here

  • Towels

-Try and bring two, as small and compact as possible- one for the pool or the beach, one for the shower

  • Anything extra

-This includes anything- from snacks to plastic bags to keep dirty laundry in. If you think you might need it, think carefully if you want it or if you- more importantly- need it.

General Advice.

  • Try and use a padlock to avoid anyone breaking into any of your belongings- but be aware that it might not prevent people from trying.
  • Anything of great value- bring in your hand luggage with you

-You should have this with you at all times so you can keep an eye on your things. This could be cameras or laptops.

  • Stay calm!

-If things go wrong- DON’T FREAK OUT! Just take a couple of breaths and be as flexible as you can. Try not to let little things bother you and hence ruin your trip.

  • ENJOY!

-You’re travelling! It’s an amazing experience and opportunity for you and you should be spending the time you have enjoying your holiday, don’t sweat the small stuff.

As an avid traveler, I have to think about what I use whenever travelling. I’m known to be an overpacker, so writing a list of what I don’t necessarily need to bring next time, or what I definitely need to remember is always a really good plan.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you pack, as chances are the country will have most of what you need, and the whole point of a holiday is to get away from routine- so if you forget something little, just try to remember for next time and don’t fret over it.

Bali

11th July 2019

The day I leave quiet old Dorchester and head to bustling Bali! Travelling alone at 17 is nerve-wracking, I’ll tell you that much! I haven’t stopped shaking since I said goodbye to my mum at security.

Currently waiting at the gate and I’m feeling queezy. Filled with both excitement and nervousness, I don’t quite know what exactly I’m thinking.

All I know is that this is going to be an experience and a half and I can’t wait.