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

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.

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

 

What is Ranch Bucket Brands?

As many of you already know, I work for this awesome company called Ranch Bucket Brands! It is a company based out of Colorado, where I was born and raised and I absolutely love everything they stand for and what I get to do for my job. Our founder, Brian, originally developed this idea through his passion for photography. His impeccable photography is the focus of all of our products. In my opinion, this gives all of the hats a unique and personal touch. All of our products are homemade, ecofriendly, and can be custom made! My favorite aspect of the brand though is that it is travel inspired. This is what initially drew me to the product because traveling for me, is the best gift that life can offer and to get to do it through my work shows how fortunate I have been through this company. The hats are all made with all repurposed materials and are organic. In today’s day in age we take advantage of everything that we are provided with, not taking a moment to consider how it might be harming our earth. I personally have seen the detrimental effects human kind can have on the environment, specifically watching it occur here in Australia at the Great Barrier Reef, only a few hours from me. Ranch Bucket hats are just one more way we can give back to the environment while still giving to ourselves. Best of both worlds! Another inspiring thing about our company is our mantra. Our mantra is “to encourage people to get outside, get creative, and look great while doing it.” I feel we do quite a good job of this with our brand and our worldly outlook. When it comes down to it though, the main reason I love our brand is the story behind them. Not one is the same, they are individual and unique just like every human being is. They are so easy to wear and there is not a certain type of person that can where them, it is universal. The same hats I wear out with a trendy outfit or just to the grocery store, are the same hats my boyfriend will throw on to go to the beach (he is always stealing my hats). I just thought it was important that as I continue to blog to y’all that you got a little window view into why I joined this rockin’ company! If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below or message me privately, and I will leave a link to the Ranch Bucket Brands website as well just in case you want to check them out or make a purchase!

Xoxo

-Gabi

www.ranchbucket.com
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10 Reasons I Advocate for, and Am Myself, Traveling Alone

10 Reasons I Advocate for, and Am Myself, Traveling Alone
  • Grow Your Confidence

With no one else around, now you have to be the one to ask that stranger for directions. This is such a sure way to become self-reliant and grow into yourself.

  • Pace

You can move at your own pace. Spend the amount of time you want somewhere or on something. This is a guarantee that you will not get bored with your travels and your sightseeing.

  • Find Yourself

Cheesy… I know but it is true. How are you ever going to know how you act and think without constant influences that have existed throughout your entire life. (This is also the reason I moved away from home for college)

  • Affordable

I understand that traveling is expensive, but when you’re flying solo traveling can be cheaper! There are solo traveling deals all over the place, so I suggest doing research and focusing on being flexible. Since you are traveling alone, you only have one person’s opinion to consider and flexibility can lead to more deals as well.

https://solotravelerworld.com/30-cheap-travel-tricks/

  • Money

Going hand in hand with #4 – when you are young you do not have the money to travel, but when you are older and have the money, you lack the time and ability to enjoy the destinations to the fullest extent.

 

  • The Friendship

It forces you to meet new people you might not have met if you were traveling with a friend or family member. It is so much scarier traveling alone, when you are with someone you rely on them, confide in them, and unfortunately remain in your own bubble not really letting new people or experiences in. When you travel alone it pushes you out of your comfort zone which I think is essential in life to grow and to meet others. The friends you make along the way can be friendships that will last a lifetime and who knows maybe you can learn something from them too.

  • Lack of Judgment

You are presented the opportunity to do things without a voice of reason, (i.e. family or friends telling you no) you become unapologetically free to say and do as you please with no fear of judgement from others.

  • Distancing yourself

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, a cheesy but true statement. If you are not growing fonder, then it probably is not a valuable asset to your life. The people that mean the most will not disappear from your life because you take this time for yourself.

  • Speed

You have no one tagging along that you have to beg to get up early or push to do that wild thing you want to try. Along with pace, you set your own speed, and there is no one to force to keep up.

  • Lessons

Even if you find out you hate being alone, at least now you are aware of what you really want out of this blessing of a world we have been given.

 

I diverge on this final note, from one of my favorite TV shows, “We do not get unlimited chances to have the things we want, and this I know, nothing is worse than missing an opportunity that could change your life.”  Addison Montgomery Greys Anatomy.

Hello Australia

Hello Australia

Late post, but I wrote this from the airport the other day on the start of my journey out to Australia. I have safely landed and am settling in quite nicely!

Today I left for Australia. At first it felt like any normal day, it did not seem very real just yet that I was leaving my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my country, and my Dutch Bros (if you know, you know) behind for six months. My parents came down to see me off, and the quality time was amusing and special as always. My dad is quite the character, that’s for sure. It was extremely hard to say goodbye to everyone, from my friends to my boyfriend. My friends, the ones still left in our college town for the summer said their final goodbyes after a relaxing night at my apartment watching the bachelorette – because we are a total clique – and eating all of my yogurt covered pretzels. Most of my goodbyes were done in May, but I have to say some particularly hard ones were my boyfriend and the friends that have made an effort to check in on me and actually show interest in my new big life move. I never cease to be amazed and humbled by how people come out of the wood works in our lives and surprise us on every level with their compassion and love through the simplest of things. I really do have to thank a few people for all of their love and support. For my friends, Peyton, I need to thank her for making me feel like I was important enough to celebrate my leaving and reminding me that I would be missed when I was already gone. Brena, my hometown friend for being my countdown buddy. She has been checking in with how I feel about everything for the last two weeks and never fails to remind me that I am going to have the time of my life and should be nothing but excited. Now, my boyfriend.  For loving me and supporting me despite my abandonment of him for around half a year, the countless Australia tips since he has already been there, and for being as excited as I am if not more. America, I am excited to go, I hope you are in better shape when I come back, but I will not travel places without being proud of where I come from because I really have had some of the best experiences and opportunities life has to offer in my home. Lastly my parents, coming all that way to say goodbye, supporting the dream… and funding it. I will never be too old to watch them wait until they cannot see me anymore as they wave vigorously until I cross behind that final threshold at the airport.

… so here we go.