So thankful!

I can’t even describe how much this whole trip has benefited me. I had no idea how much I needed this. I have learnt so much about myself and life. Going into this I was extremely nervous, I had no idea what I was doing, what was going to happen, if I was going to be by myself the whole time. But I so happy with the way everything turned out. I met so many amazing people and had so many experiences that really opened my eyes.

First of all, I am so grateful to be from Canada and the island. We are very lucky. It’s safe, clean, and so beautiful.

I am so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life. Going away really helps you realize those that are important.

I also realized that there are things I life that really do not matter in the long run. At this point in my life I would rather see the world than own a bunch of expensive things.

I would not change one thing about my trip. Even the not so great things like bed bugs, scooter crashes, getting lost on solo scooter missions… It’s all part of the adventure and taught me a bunch of lessons.

Ah, I am so happy I did this and I can’t wait for the next adventure. Travel bug is in full effect!

Much love to everyone who I have met along the way and to everyone back home who supported me on this amazing adventure! xo

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So thankful!

New Zealand

Long time no write, again. I decided to go to New Zealand from Bali which was super last minute. Joe (who I had met in Bali) was there and suggested I come meet him. I have wanted to go to NZ for ages and this seemed like the perfect time to go.

I flew from Denpasar, Bali to Sydney, Australia then from Sydney I landed in Auckland, NZ where I was greeted by Joe at the airport. I feel bad because I didn’t expect to see him there and I was so out of it and tired, was happy to see him though!

First thoughts on New Zealand; very similar to Canada, super clean, so green, and the people were extremely kind!

We spent the first few nights in Auckland at a hostel called Base. Being in Auckland was the first time I felt homesick, their city really reminded me of Victoria and I hadn’t really seen any Christmas decorations or anything until I got there. Auckland was a cool city though, pretty small but super clean and there were some cool shops. Joe and his friend Tom who I was also traveling with were buying a car in the city so we could start our road trip. The picked up the purple Mitsubishi Lagnum and we were on the road to explore the North Island of NZ. Before hitting the road we had to pick up a bunch of camping supplies, the boys bought tents, air beds, cooking gear, and we all bought pillows, sleeping bags, and some snacks to get us started.

Our first stop on the North Island was a town called Piha. Was a small town where the boys did a bit of surfing and we did our first free camp near the beach. After Piha we were off to Raglan which was one of my favorite places we stopped. It’s like a glorified Tofino. The water in Raglan was so blue and the trees and wildlife were so green, so lovely. The boys were hoping for a surf there but unfortunately there were no waves. That’s okay, we explored the town and had a fun night out.

To be honest the rest of the stops on the North Island are a bit of a blur. We had some hits and some misses for sure though. Oh, and the car broke down so we were stuck in a town called Waikato ( I think) for a few days, was nice to just chill and relax though as it felt like we were running around like crazy until then. While we were in Waikato we did the Tongario Alpine Crossing hike/walk. 19km of walking and hiking around an active volcano. We didn’t have the best weather for this adventure it was super foggy and started raining on our way down. It was still so cool though, and it totally killed us we were so beat after and were sore for a couple days. I’m really glad we did that trek though.

The next town we went to we got to do some dark water rafting through caves that were lit up by glow worms. This was also super fun. We got kitted up in the thickest wetsuits, jackets, boots, and strapped our helmets on. I was kind of nervous because I am pretty claustrophobic but I decided to continue facing my fears. The water was FREEZING but it was so worth it to float down rivers in caves, looking up at the tops of the caves was amazing, looked like you were staring at stars but it was just hundreds of glow worms.

I spent a lot of time in the back seat of the car gazing out the window at the beautiful scenery. Also had some good laughs with the boys, I think they think I am the biggest idiot (which I am) haha.

We didn’t do too much more on the North Island mostly just explored and did our camping – but we were soon off to the South Island which I was super stoked about. I really wish I had more time to explore the South Island because I was in love with the small part of the island that I was able to explore. I only had 3 days on the South Island because I had to be in Queenstown to catch my flight on the 17th. Queenstown was amazing though, reminded me of a miniature Whistler! I for sure want to go back and explore of the South Island.

This blog post seems all over the place mostly because I think I wanted to just enjoy my last couple weeks of traveling which I definitely did. Camping with some amazing guys from the UK in some of the most beautiful areas of New Zealand was a perfect way to end it all. So happy to have met Joe in Indo and to have explored NZ with him and Tom! So many tears were shed saying goodbye to the two of them and sitting in the airport reminiscing on how amazing this whole trip has been!

xx

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Landing in Auckland, NZ

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Raglan, NZ

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The gang on our hike!

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Had to throw this one in. Tom caught me in my natural element (eating all the food scraps) haha they really got to know the real me.

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My backseat view

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One of our free campsites where we were attacked by insane flies.

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Some beach laughs

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This was my seat in the car.

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My last night in NZ. Campsite was on point.

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My airport home.

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Back in the sky. Currently in Melbourne, AUS. Two more stops (Bali and Taipei) and I’ll be back home.

New Zealand

Mt. Batur

Long time no blog post. A lot has happened since my last post so I will be catching up over the next few days.

Let’s start with Mt. Batur. One of the coolest things I have ever done. Had an awesome crew (Caylene, Emma, Andrew, Jesmond, Rich, Dre, and I).

Mount Batur (Gunung Batur) is an active volcano located at the center of two concentric calderas north west of Mount Agung, Bali, Indonesia. It is 1,717 meters above sea level and it’s pretty much the coolest.

Most people do this hike to see the sunrise, im sure you could just do it as a day time hike but we all wanted to see the sun come up. To see the sun come up we all had to wake up at 1:30am to be ready for our driver who was picking us up at 2:00am. The whole day leading up to this hike was slightly confusing as we knew we had to be up at 1:30am so we didn’t want to do too much. Our early morning drive consisted of napping and lots of laughs. The boys we were with are honestly some of the funniest dudes I have ever met. Non stop laughs, I love it!

Once the driver gets you to the bottom of the mountain everyone gets handed a flash light and changes into warmer clothes. It was so cold up there and I loved it. So refreshing to breath in fresh mountain air again, I miss my clean island air (so thankful for it).

The hike begins quite slow and mellow and the trail is really easy which is nice because you only have a flashlight to see where you are going. Gradually the hike starts getting a bit harder and the loose volcanic rock ground is pretty slippery. We took a few breaks along the way to drink some water, catch our breath, and check out the views, it was still dark but you can see a tiny trail of people hiking up with their flashlights which looked pretty cool. About 3/4 up you stop at a little look out and you can see the sky is starting to brighten a bit and some colours are starting to show through. One last haul and we would be at the top. Arriving to the top of Mt. Batur was amazing, I don’t really have words for it. You just feel so strong and happy that you just hiked a huge active volcano and as you’re feeling all proud the most amazing sun rise starts to happen. You can see Lombok, Mt. Agung, the lush bali forest, ah it was amazing, I had some serious goosebumps from happiness and excitement up there. The boys also thought it would be fitting to throw on the lion king soundtrack as the sun was coming up which made the moment that much more epic. Bali is so beautiful!

We decided to take the “long way” down which consisted of us hiking along a small path over steaming volcanic rock. The views along this side of the mountain were just as amazing. It was also crazy to feel volcanic steam, it was SO hot! The long hike down was interesting though, we were all pretty beat. The boys were dancing and I was falling (classic Courtney, I think I’m part baby deer). There was one part that we had to run down and it was just a trail covered in loose dirt, it was hilarious, the boys had music blaring and go pros out, was pretty sketchy but I was too tired and laughing too much too care.

Once we all got to the bottom the exhaustion had sunk in. We had been up since 1:30am, started hiking a massive volcano at 3:00, and were down and finished by 10:00 am. What a way to start your morning, we all just wanted water, a shower, and breakfast in our mouths.

I would highly recommend Mt. Batur to anyone though, was incredible.

More on future trips, Balangan, and Gili T to come! xx

Start of our dark hike up.

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Sunrise

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Sunrise.

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Mt. Batur

Canggu and Ulu.

I am in love with Bali, I don’t ever want to leave. I am starting to get more comfortable here and have definitely been putting myself in situations that I would not have done back home. Such a good learning experience.

So, I arrived to Canggu the other day and met up with my friend jesmond. I must say, I’m not a huge fan of Canggu. It is much busier, the beaches aren’t as nice, and it just doesn’t have the same atmosphere that I was used to seeing the past week.

Met a really cool girl from Vancouver through Jesmond and she had run into her cousin here as well so there is now a little crew of Canadian girls. All 3 of us sort of have the same plans so we are going to share accommodation and venture around together. A couple days ago about 8 of us mobbed up to Uluwatu on scooters and it was awesome. I drove and doubled a girl on the back, which was a bit hectic but also kind of fun. We went to Padang Padang, Ulu’s, and then watched the sunset and had dinner at Balangan beach which was so nice (I will post photos below). After our beach adventures we had to mission back home in the dark which was kind of sketchy especially the long dirt road out of Balangan that has cows and so many dogs roaming around. We all made it back a-okay with a few close calls. Such a good day though.

The next day Jesmond and I headed back to Uluwatu, this time I drove myself and just followed him the way there. I just wanted to get one last run in at the beaches since I might not be back to Uluwatu until the end of my trip if I even do. We made it there so fast and it was super fun bombing around by myself on the scoot. I had a nice visit with a guy I met near the beginning of my trip from England, watched the sunset from my favorite spot, ate some tasty food, and watched the first storm that Bali has seen in awhile. I had to get back to Seminyak all on my own after visiting with Joe which I was super nervous about but he helped me figure it out and I only got lost a few times. Scootering back on my own was probably one of the scariest things I’ve done. Was totally out of my element, the streets were pretty busy, and I wasn’t 100% sure where I was going. But I’m so glad I did it and kind of proud of myself for putting myself in that situation. It was a good learning experience for my directionally challenged self. Was sad to say bye to Joe, he showed me around big time and we had a lot of fun exploring Ulu, super happy to have met him! We shall see how our bet turns out.

I am back in Seminyak and am so exhausted. There’s a big group of us travelling to Ubud tonight around midnight to hike up Mt. Batur for sunrise. Super excited but I definitely need a good nap before we head off. The hike will cost us 400,000Rp ($40.00) which includes the round trip drive, breakfast, and two tour guides. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Anyways, I am happy to have met some really cool people and am feeling stoked on life! I’m off for a nap before our sunrise hike.

xx

Joe and I. Bukit sunsets are my fave.
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Bukit sunsets with Joe.

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New friends.

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The crew on our scooter day.

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Balangan sunset.

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Canggu and Ulu.

Preparing for Indo. Eight Days.

Well, eight days left until I pack up and leave Canada for a month. I know a month isn’t a long time but I have never done this before so a month sounds insane! I am feeling excited, nervous, scared, and, anxious. I have tons to do before I go but I am feeling too overwhelmed to get it done. Doesn’t help that I haven’t been sleeping much because Youtube clips on Bali and online Lonely Planet sessions are distracting me. I know this will be an amazing experience but at the moment I am thinking “What am I even doing!?”. Anyways, I know this is going to be such a good thing for me and I am excited to start my adventure. So thankful for everyone who has been so supportive through this whole thing! You’re all a bunch of babes!

Stay tuned for more updates and photos!
xx

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Preparing for Indo. Eight Days.