Bali Video

 

Bali is afternoon naps and beach walks. Infinity pools and lazy mornings. Strong coffee and fresh fruit. Late night pool swims and peanut sauce on veggies. It’s dodgy bathrooms, power outages and stylish bars during sunset. It’s saltwater in your hair and chlorine on your skin. The smell of sunscreen and mosquito repellent. Old ceiling fans and surfboards mounted on scooters. It’s palm trees and dark storm clouds rolling in over the ocean. It’s learning how to drive a motorbike and sand between your toes.
It’s everything I thought it would be and more.

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Bali

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About a week and a half into my trip I was up late, doubting myself, doubting my choices, doubting pretty much everything that made me end up in a hostel in Melaka with 3 friends. I was supposed to have a great time, supposed to enjoy every second of it and yet, something held me back.
A long talk with an old travel buddy and a spontaneous decision later I was the proud owner of plane tickets that would take me to Bali. It was only for a week and I, of course, doubted that decision too, right away, but nothing could have been more right.

Bali healed my soul in a way I could not have anticipated. I was finally able to let go of everything that weighed me down. Stress I took with me from back home, stress from pressuring myself into doing as much as I could, seeing as much as I could in the weeks prior. I was finally able to catch up on lost sleep, let my body rest, let my heart rejoice in old and new friendships, lazy mornings in bed, massages on cliffs and afternoons at the beach.
The air smelled like frangipani and incense, the people were gentle and polite, the food healthy and light, and my life was suddenly healthier than it had been in a long time.
If all of this was possible in a week, I’m excited to see what could happen when I go back (because that is certain) and stay for a longer period of time.
Bali has completely enchanted my heart, body, and soul.

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* All pictures featuring me taken by Krystin Ross.

Complete (back)packing list

Thailand, Malaysia, Singapur

 

My mum always said “in this day and age, everything you’ll need is your passport, some money and your phone.” She’s not entirely wrong, of course, but since I don’t plan on shopping for an entire new wardrobe and accessories, here’s a list of what I’m planing to take to Malaysia with me. It’s my first real backpacking trip and I’ve never really done a proper packing list so here we go (this might also be therapeutical for me and could show me to not always take so damn much!)

Let’s get started:

What I put in my carry-on:

Passport
Prints of hostel/flight reservations
Credit card
Debit Card
Cash

Phone (and charger)
MacBook (and charger)
Camera (without charger)

Chewing Gum
Small snacks (lately I tend to get a bit nauseaous on long haul flights and meals are never that appealing to me)
Book
Travelguide
Headphones
Pen and a small notebook

Scarf
Toothbrush and travel sized toothpaste
extra pair of underwear (I’ve learned from my lost luggage incident in Morocco!)

In my trekking backpack:

Locks (for lockers)

Travelsafe
Underwater Camera
Portable speakers
Various chargers
SD Cards

2 long, wide, cotton pants
1 pair of jeans (worn on the plane)
2 dresses
2 pair of shorts
5 T-shirts
2 long sleeved shirts
1 Cardigan (worn on the plane, I tend to freeze on planes and I know it can get cold on buses too!)
2 pair of socks
Underwear
1 bikini
1 pair of sneakers (worn on the plane)
1 pair of flip flops (for gross hostel showers)
1 pair of sandals

Earplugs
Toothpaste
Shampoo
Travel sized conditioner
Razor
Menstrual cup
Facewash
Lotion
Sunscreen
Deodorant
Bug spray

Wet toilet paper/baby wipes (has been a lifesaver many, many times!)

Lipbalm
Mascara
Lipstick
Hairties and clips/bobby pins
Hairbrush
Nailclippers and file
Sunglasses

Painkillers

1 travel towel

 

I’ve linked a couple of things that I’ve really enjoyed so far or are really handy to have on travels (foldable toothbrush, anyone?).
The Hansaplast earplugs are honestly the best I’ve ever had – and let me tell you, I’ve tried a lot of them.
The travel safe is actually rather bulky and heavy but something I got to have some peace of mind when it comes to my valuables. I’ll be taking my Laptop with me, as well as my DSLR, and while the camera will be wherever I am most of the time, my MacBook won’t. I’m not sure if there will be suitable lockers in every hostel so this is a compromise. If someone really wants to steal it, they’ll probably manage it but it will make stealing my stuff a bit harder and more inconvenient for the thief ;-)
I think this is a pretty conclusive list of what I’ll be taking with me to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
I’m aware that Malaysia is also a muslim country, so I have my usual long cotton pants with me, but since I’ve been told it’s more relaxed than most other muslim countries I’m hoping I’ll also be ok with shorts or knee-length dresses :)

Oh Nepal

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The news of the earthquake in Nepal have left me utterly heartbroken.
So many lives lost, so many ancient historic buildings and temples destroyed, so many homes in ruins. And so many villages not even accessed yet.
We are fortunate because so far, all of my relatives are safe. The same goes for close family friends. We’ve been in contact with them and the stories they’ve told are devastating.

My grandmother is afraid to go back inside, my uncle has been wandering the streets of Kathmandu and a close family friend who’s also a heart surgeon is almost constantly fighting ti save lives. People are being treated in hospital hallways, out in the open in front of hospital buildings and everywhere else where it’s needed.

Nepal is a country with a rich culture and history. The people are warm and friendly, welcoming to everyone and they need our help.
The infrastructure of the country is weak at the best of times so I cannot even imagine what it’s like now. The government barely said anything so far and neighbours are trying to safe neighbours sometimes with just their bare hands.

#prayfornepal seems like a popular hashtag and I’m thankful for it all but let me be clear: praying alone, being sad alone isn’t enough. Please consider donating whatever amount you can to help to a reliable charity of your choice.
Right now getting basic supplies, medicine, clean water and food and equipment to save people buried in the rubble is probably the top priority, but the rebuilding of the countr y will take a long time and for that too, ressources are needed. Please don’t forget that.

The New York Times has listed some charities here. Austrian readers can also donate to the Austrian Red Cross.

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ETA:
I forgot: Facebook has enabled the safety check, where people who are in the affected regions can mark themselves as safe and let their friends and families know that they are alright. Should you be looking for someone, the google person finder may be able to help you. And last but not least, viber has made calls to nepalese landlines free using viber out.

The Blog Wander

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I mentioned yesterday that I joined The Blog Wander, a network of like-minded young women who are brave enough to do what others told them they could not, or should not.
It is a fun, very inspiring project and I am thrilled to be a part of it!
You can head over and check out my introductory post. I will be posting there about once a month so a second blogpost will be up some time in April.
Fear not, regular posts will of course be up here as well :)

 

(The picture above is mine but the quote-edit has been done by The Blog Wander.)