Can’t believe it has been a year. I remember the day I hugged my parents goodbye at Schiphol Airport. It feels like yesterday. So far I still don’t know when I will be back. Could be in a couple of months, but who knows. I’ll just see how I feel day by day and of course how my bank account looks 🙂
After my last update, I spend a few days on an awesome catamaran sailing the Whitsunday Island. I had such a great time! The Whitsundays are beautiful and the snorkel spots were great. I saw turtles and swam between hundreds of fish. By now I was travelling with two other travel mates in my car, because believe it or not, you can even sit with three people in the front of the car. Sleeping, on the other hand, is a bit difficult with three people, so one of us slept in a tent every day. I really enjoyed travelling with three people. Where you will always be with one person all day every day if you just travel with two, you have some back up if one of us has a bit of an off day, which of course happens as well when you travel.
We made it all the way up the East Coast until our last night in Cairns. After a good night of partying, we all went our own ways. I still had a week in Cairns before I would fly out, because the time had come. The end of my year-long visa in Australia. I had to leave the country and decided to book a flight to Bali for three weeks. I already knew I wanted to come back to Australia one more time. There are still parts I really would love to see before I go, such as Uluru and the West Coast. Besides, I just had my car and am definitely not ready to sell it yet. I love Bucky too much!
The week I had to spend in Cairns I spend Couchsurfing. Great decision, because otherwise, I would just have spent my time waiting. Instead, I went driving around on the back of a Harley, made bonfires on the beach while camping at the Daintree and ate fish and chips on an amazing beach. Not too bad if I say so myself.
Just before I left for Bali I was really excited to go to a new country again. So far I had always liked to get to a place new and different. Not this time. As soon as I arrived I wasn’t feeling comfortable at all. It is so different than where I have ever been before. Everything annoyed me.
The city I arrived on the first day was busy and nowhere near what I imagined Bali to be like. Everything annoyed me the first days. The taxi driver totally ripped me off as soon as I got off the plane, the hostel I arrived in was empty, everybody wanted me to buy their stuff or was making annoying comments (I think Indonesian people like tall Dutch girls or something?) and I don’t know why but I even got some anxiety which I never felt before during my travels. The fact that there was no one in the hostel I could connect with or could socialize or explore the area with didn’t make it any better. I just didn’t know where I wanted to go to and was even crazy scared to try out driving a scooter. Not really me, usually I just try it to see how it goes. I just go somewhere without a plan to see where I end up, but this time I really didn’t want to leave the hostel without exactly knowing where I would too. Really don’t know what happened to my brain at this point.
Luckily I heard that Charley (I just finished the East Coast trip with her) would come over to Bali a week later. I made a random decision to go to Lombok until she would arrive, so we could explore Bali together. Best decision ever.
It took me another day to get out of this weird brainwashed state, but luckily I had a really good day after that. I stayed in a homestay in Sengiggi, where I slept on the rooftop in a bamboo hut, on the floor. Driving a scooter in Indonesia basically is the cheapest and easiest way to get around. I still didn’t really dared to go myself, but the host of the hostel was kind enough to take me for a drive the entire day. He showed me two amazing waterfalls, we drove through real Indonesian life, small villages, school kids, rice fields, beautiful views, traditional celebratory ceremonies and we ended the day eating great food the Indonesian way at the beach during sunset. It was an amazing day, that totally got me back on my travelling feet again. I remembered what is so cool about exploring a new country, unfolding different cultures, living in unfamiliar surroundings.
I exactly knew what I wanted to do next. The hostel where I was in Sengiggi was not that social either and I really felt I needed some fun time and new friends and I wanted to surf again! I booked a hostel in Kuta Lombok on the other end of the island, the best thing I could have done really. The hostel I ended up was A-Ma-Zing. I had four awesome days, full of surfing, fun, card games, beer, sunsets and exploring on the scooter (yes, me driving it). We partied bare feet in surfers bars, let’s say it was magic J . Today I left the hostel again. It has been a while since I made such great friends in a hostel and actually I didn’t want to leave yet, but I know there is only more fun to come! Tomorrow I will meet up with Charley on Gili Trawangan, yeah! More excitement! Plus I can probably meet my new buddies again in Bali since they will be there around the same time as I am.
Totally happy again! I will let you’s know how that goes, but first I am gonna chill in my private room with some great music and catching up on some sleep.