Review: Bali Indonesia

Review: Bali Indonesia

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” (St. Augustine).  Bali was a great edition to my list of travel destinations for this year. Bali is only a six-hour flight from my home in Gold Coast, Australia. Although not a walk in the park flight, it is a whole lot better than trying to fly from back home in the United States and cheaper. That first step off the plane was hot, humid, and sticky. My roommates and I went in late September and the weather was not unbearable but quite tolerable. My suggestion in the future would be to visit Bali slightly earlier than this, such as in late August or early September for the best beach day weather.

Bali was a new step in life for me being my first visit to an Asian country. There were some challenges I faced my first time in this location which was to be expected. There was of course a language barrier. I know absolutely zero Balinese. I suggest before visiting you make an effort to learn some simple words such as yes, no, and thank you. They are always useful and just like any other nation, the Balinese people are delighted when even an attempt is made at communication. The next challenge was haggling, especially with taxi drivers. Everyone is attempting to rip you off when it comes to taxis. I suggest trying to only use Bluebird taxi service or prearranged drivers. It makes travel plans easier in the long run and you feel a lot safer too. The airport possessed the worst hagglers of all, and once you push past that part the rest is smooth sailing. On our trip we faced some natural problems, specifically Bali’s iconic Mount Agung. While we were in Bali, Mount Agung was on a high-level alert for eruption. Although my time ran smoothly, this did cause problems with locations I longed to visit and caused us to leave a day early out of fear of canceled or delayed flights due to ash concerns. The difficult thing about volcanoes is that there is no way to actually predict when an eruption is going to occur. Three weeks later I am writing this, and Mount Agung is still steaming with no eruption in sight.

Bali is one of the more touristy Asian countries. This is a good thing in my opinion for people having their first Asian country experience, making the experience a little less culturally shocking. Asia is so different than other parts of the world and Bali is a good transition in preparation to travel to less touristy places within the continent.

My suggestions on what to do and where to stay are as follow: We stayed at an Airbnb in the middle of Seminyak. Seminyak was a great location close to beaches and in the heart of the city. Airbnb’s are so cheap in Bali – we stayed at a lovely one called Villa Baci. The owner is Australian and she was more than accommodating. The place felt like a private, five-star resort that possessed its own pool, a kitchen, and three bedrooms with king beds. Get as many massages as you can! We often had them come to the villa at the end of the day which was lovely to do from home. These ranged in price from $10-20 which in my mind is unreal! Shop until you drop. There are so many unique things and places to shop for such a good price. Another warning I have is that some of us in the group did get sick. Bali belly is common, and although we do not know if that is what we had, we assume whatever bug we caught was from non-imported ice or non-filtered water. Do not hesitate to ask everywhere you eat about these issues or I promise you will regret it.

I think Bali was my favorite trip to date. It was the most fun due to the great people I was with, my best friends, and the Balinese are really such kind and compassionate people. They want your business, they want to help you, and they love learning about you and answering any of your questions. A week is plenty of time for people who are just wishing to shop, eat, and hit the beach resorts.  If you desire to do more you might want to extend for a little longer than a week since this country has so much to offer.

XX

Gabi

Ranch Bucket: How it Fits

I really wanted to highlight today how Ranch Bucket as a brand, a company, and product has fit in with my travels and my personal style. Without this job that I love so much, I feel like I would not have half the courage that I have gained through their support and also the inspiration I have provided by the company. Also, we have such an inspiring mantra that I now try to live every day. So, without further adou, here are my reasons why Ranch Bucket fits into my lifestyle.

-I Wear the Product

It is not just something that is part of my company but I stand by it as a customer. I am always wearing a hat, I have my computer and water bottle stickers, and I love the idea that I can always present new ideas.

-The Challenge

The job itself keeps challenging me to do new and adventurous things. I always attempt new things for that great hat picture, or work is inspiring me to get out of the bed in the morning and go explore some nature. It is a driver in how I want to continue to live my life.

-The People

Not only are the people I work with great, but this product has a way of attracting people that are just good-hearted genuine people looking for a good time and a wild adventure. The hat attracts the people to itself, it is not a hard sell.

-Keeps Me Grounded

The mantra we live by keeps in perspective what the important things are. It also benefits our world and our environments in such strenuous times where I feel our world is sometimes falling apart. I like to think that I might be making a tiny little difference by focusing and backing a repurposed and organic product.

-It Embodies My Personality

I feel that I am a lot like the personality of the product. Relaxed, but always looking for the next envelope to push. The unique style of the hats with their original photography show that easy going can be fresh new and fun too.

Xx

Gabi

Ranch Bucket Website

Things I Have Learned in Australia

Always say yes, whether that be to a new experience, a trip, an event, or a party, always say yes. Who knows when the opportunity will knock again and do you really want to miss that opportunity to go somewhere, see something, meet someone all just because you decided Netflix and your bed were the better option that day? Money comes and goes, experiences do not.

Be friendly, this should be a given, you never know who you are meeting but this is especially important when in a foreign country. Get to know the people of the area, and be genuine with them. Some of the best people I have met I would have never come across if I had not gone up and just introduced myself. Go for it. When you make friends with the locals you gain new opportunities and knowledge which is priceless. (Shout-out to my dear friend Travis and his endless help and knowledge about my Whit Sundays trip. Also, the countless rides back from the grocery store when I did not want to do that dreaded walk.)

Choose travel over the party. If given the chance to get away for the weekend to a new place compared to going to the latest club, this should be an easy call, choose travel. There are clubs and bars and parties in every place you will go in life, but there is not a new culture or scenery within your usual Thursday night club.

Don’t forget to let loose. You still need to let loose every now and then. Dance your little heart out at that club, get up and sing karaoke, run on the beach until you are out of breath. You need to have fun and let go of the travel agenda every so often or traveling becomes a chore or a race to see how much you can see, and let’s face it, races are no fun.

Always go to the beach. See every coastline, every ocean, every shore, it will calm your soul and bring you answers in your life you did not even know you were looking for.

People will make fun of you for being American. Take it lightly and do not get to worked up about it, laugh along with them even if it bothers you. No country is perfect and although they are poking fun at you, I am sure there is something you could tease them about with their country. Be the bigger person and let it go.

America is not the end all be all. The world does not revolve around you because you are an American. So do not act like it does. Prove the dang stereotype wrong and do not subject yourself to the cliché American tourist appearance.

Try the interesting food places, by which I mean the places that are not chain restaurants and not that Instagram brunch place you found on the discover page. The best thing I have eaten here in Australia is from a little Moroccan food stand. I am now known as a regular of at least once a week, and all I get is dang cheese fries and a hot dog. I have never been so satisfied. I can only suggest you do not do this in third world countries as a safety precaution.

You don’t miss home, you miss the people. I do not miss 100-degree weather, I do not miss the desert, I do not miss the American lifestyle or the grocery store I used to shop at. I miss my mom when I get sick or when I am not sure how long to cook the chicken for. I miss my dad when it is the middle of the day in my country and midnight back home and I want to ask him a philosophical question. I miss my boyfriend when I am looking at the prettiest sunsets in the world, or doing my next wild adventure and all I want is his hand to hold so he can feel the excitement radiating off my body. I miss my friends when I see them having fun back home without me, realizing no one elses life paused when I took off. You don’t miss where you come from you miss who you came from.

Love the opportunity and the life you have been given. If you are traveling, whether it close to home or far far away, remember you are fortunate, you are blessed, and never forget to appreciate that.

Review: Noosa National Park

Review: Noosa National Park

Review: Noosa National Park

The Fairy pools

Anyone who gets the chance to spend some time in Queensland should take a bit of time to venture up to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. I have done a review of Byron before, and I like to think these two go hand in hand. Although I enjoyed the shopping in Byron more, and Byron is a little more hippie and laid back, I would say Noosa is a more classic or upscale version of Byron Bay. I absolutely loved this quaint little beach town. Per usual, I have nothing but high regards for all the places I ate at. They had a plethora of places to eat with live music, which I am absolutely head over heels in love with. My favorite part of this weekend getaway though was the beach, the national park, and the fairy pools. The beaches were close to flawless and the national park was very unique. The park essentially took you on a bush walk throughout the head of the coastline. It was sand for the majority of the walk which made it kind of tricky to walk on after a while, but a good exercise none the less. If you go when it is quiet you can see koalas in their natural habitat which is incredible, and we even saw a gila monster. Drum roll please… my favorite part… the fairy pools! I felt like I was in a dream, first off let me say I have no idea why they are called fairy pools when in my opinion if we are talking about mythical creatures, these things are made for mermaids. The color of the water was unreal, crystal clear, and relatively warm. What I found to be the coolest part of the fairy pools was the ability to see all of the marine life within them. They were so colourful and alive. Little fish swam around everywhere, darting back and forth and sea urchins clung to the sides of the rocks; I even saw something that resembled a sea tarantula. These pools were not too hard to get to just a little climb and they were not unbearably crowded. We went early enough that we had an hour or so of them all to ourselves before our party was crashed by more tourists. We hung out there for quite a few hours; it was even an impeccable tanning spot.

IF I had to rate all of my adventures so far, there would have to be two different scales:

a beauty aspect/breathtaking…

Whit Sundays, Queensland

Noosa Sunshine Coast

Burleigh Heads

Mount Warning, New South Wales

Springbrook National Park

Byron Bay, New South Wales

Gold Coast, Queensland

 

Favorite trip/activity

Byron Bay, New South Wales

Australia Zoo

Whit Sundays Queensland

Burleigh Heads

Springbrook National Park

Noosa Sunshine Coast

Gold Coast Queensland

Mount Warning New South Wales

 

If y’all have any questions let me know and I’ll leave some links to different activities and national parks I have done below along with the link to my Byron Bay post!

Xx

Gabi

 

http://www.australiazoo.com.au/  (They do student discounts)

https://ranchbucket.blog/2017/07/10/review-of-byron-bay/

https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/burleigh-head/

https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/springbrook/

http://www.mtwarningrainforestpark.com/the-experience

 

 

 

 

Whit Sundays Review

Whit Sundays Review

Wow! It has been a whirlwind of a month. I have now been living in Australia for two months and I feel like I have seen, experienced, and fell in love with more people and friends than I have in my twenty years of life. I have so many stories and journeys to share with y’all, but my most recent trip was to the iconic Whit Sundays! I promise you just about any picture you have ever seen of Australia or the Great Barrier Reef, it is in Whit Sundays. I will be attaching some on the blog too though for your own view pleasure. This trip was absolutely incredible, but if given the chance to redo it, there are definitely some things I would do differently. Hopefully one day I get the chance to do it better but until then here are some of my warnings for fellow travelers.

We stayed in Airlie Beach at X-Base Airlie Beach Hostel on the mainland. I have a growing love for hostels, mainly because many of them do private rooms of six. They are super cheap, clean and then I get to stay in the same room as all of my roommates when we travel together. X-Base was especially nice since it had a bathroom attached the room for us instead of the normal hostels I have experienced like the one we stayed in during the Byron Bay trip where it was a community one and across the hall. Now Airlie is a cute, but very small town. There was not much to do there besides restaurants. We did have a phenomenal meal though and many superb brunches. This is the first thing I wish I got a do over on; I wish we had stayed on one of Whit Sunday’s Islands instead of on the mainland where there is more opportunities and a vacation vibe. Hamilton is one of the islands we visited during the day. It was absolutely breathtaking, had incredible food and shopping, and was made up of a ton of little resorts with swim up pool bars and beautiful beaches. I have a sorority sister who works on Hamilton Island since graduating, she works at one of the resorts and is having a blast. If anyone were ever to have any questions about staying on Hamilton Island I can put you in contact with her just message me or comment below! The absolute highlight of the trip though was our cruise to White Haven Beach, which is designated as a national park. Some cool facts about White Haven…

  • 98% silica (this is known to ruin your electronics so be careful)
  • Does not retain heat so the sand is never hot
  • The sand is basically powder
  • The most photographed beach in Australia
  • Can only be accessed by boat or helicopter

I have to say, it was one of the most ethereal places I have ever experienced and I would most certainly visit again and again. I don’t use this term lightly, it was magical.

The next adventure of our weekend was sailing… which was quite an ordeal and a story for another day, but stay tuned for it because I’m sure some of you will find humor in my misfortune.

Suggestions for travelers to Whit Sundays – stay on Hamilton Island, book the maximum time you can spend at White Haven Beach because half a day just does not feel like enough, if you are on Airlie beach mainland at all go to Hemingway’s for dinner. Get a table looking out at the boats during sunset, the food is phenomenal and dare I say it was the best meal of the year for me. The sun is super strong, bring lots of sunscreen and a hat, I tend to burn just a sliver of my forehead so the only reason I made it out alive this week was because of my Ranch Bucket hat that you all know I always have on me. Lastly, book some fun activity and be willing to splurge on this trip but… DO NOT GO SAILING. (This story is coming!)

 

Xoxo,

Gabi

Hostel: http://www.stayatbase.com/hostels/australia/airlie-beach/base-airlie-beach-resort

Cruise: http://www.hamiltonisland.com.au/whitehaven-beach/whitehaven-beach-half-day-cruise#vxG39JRKeCULdpYV.97

Restaurant: https://www.hemingwaysairliebeach.com.au/

The Last Note Counts

The Last Note Counts

Decided to share a little wisdom with my little online community today. Something I have learned in the past couple of years and continue to as I get older is the importance of ending on the proper note with people, even if it is a necessity to remove them from your life.

I have been working on this for years, and have only begun to really utilize the curative powers of this in the last year or two. Whether it is a person close to me or just a stranger passing through my life, I am attempting to mend wounds endured or end the negative encounters on a good note. No matter how messy it was getting there, when it comes down to it life has a funny way of making a full circle on us. Even if you do not see a future with a person, they still have the potential to make a reappearance in your life down the road. You never know who may pop back in, and if or when they do, you do not want bad blood over things that in the future will be trivial in the grand scheme of things. I know they may feel huge now, and your blood may be boiling or you do not want to buckle on your view, but that feeling of hugeness inside you now will always fade with time.

When I say, “end on a good note”, that does not mean you have to make amends. You do not have to apologize or compromise your morals for something that you want to continue to stand by, but just do not leave that bridge between you and the person burned. Take a breath, cool off and go back at least to make the amendments of resolution. Do not do it for their sake, but for you own. It truly makes you feel like the better person in a negative situation. Being able to resolve conflict or not holding a grudge, regardless of the other persons feelings, shows a sense of security in oneself and strength. When you do this, regardless of whether or not they have the maturity to leave matters aside to come to a good final note, you have now taken away their reason to speak poorly of you.

When you initiate a positive ending, the justification is gone for them to preach to others why they resent you. It does not reflect well on others to talk ill on you without a sense of real justification of a poor ending. Do not give anyone the power of turning you into something you do not want to be because of a falling out. Swallow an ounce of pride to just say, I am sorry we disagree, or I respect you as a human being, and even though you no longer see each other’s paths crossing again, wish them the best. When you end this way, MEAN IT. It should be sincere because you should want to end on a proper note. It is not compromising you your character and you are not losing the batter by doing so. I think this was the hardest part for me to understand, you are not admitting defeat by agreeing to disagree.

Remember this, we are all the same species. We are all just human beings, that are here for a short time. With that short time that you have, do you want to create a negative environment for people to associate you with, or one that reminds people that we do not all have to be in agreeance, but were all just trying to survive together and we should make it a little less difficult for one another.

Xoxo

-Gabi