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.

Journey home

Being home now feels strange. I have mixed feelings. I wanted to go home, I could have stayed there longer, I missed my family, I miss the friends I left in Africa. You see where this is going.
My travel home was emotional for a lot of reasons. Mostly, now that I’m home, I’m grateful that I got to go home (the joys of flying with staff tickets).

Reality is not setting in yet. I’d need to sort through my work dates, organise my uni schedule, run a thousand errands and so on. But for now, I’m just sorting through pictures and letting the memories wash over me. No, I have not yet truly arrived home.

 

This trip has been hard. It has been delightful and very educational. It taught me so much, it’s almost incomprehensible. I’ve laughed until I had tears streaming down my face, I took deep breaths, I let things go. I felt like crying, I was angry, I was elated. I embraced, I learnt how far I can go. I tried new things and taught old things.

This trip was everything.

 

Here are some highlights until I have fully sorted and edited my pictures:

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/ full gallop through the waves.
/ swimming with wild dolphins.
/ meeting new people.
/ Stone Town.
/ snorkeling at Prison Island in Zanzibar.

Swahili for beginners

I’m trying really hard to pick up some Swahili while I’m here but it’s proving to be a lot more difficult than I thought. It’s strange but it seems like my inner dyslexic is coming out even more with this language. I’ve picked up greetings, some numbers and the name of some dishes so far – but it’s not quite been a week so it’s okay. Still a lot of time to learn :)

This first week here hasn’t been very exciting so far. It was filled with running errands and getting basic things. Next week there’s a trip planned that involves Safari, the Kilimanjaro and sleeping in tents. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about all of this.

For the time being I’ll just leave a few pictures here, because yes, even in the quieter districts of Dar, it’s still kind of magical.

tansania2 117 [Above: Food at the funeral. | Below: Our house for the time being.]

tansania2 006 tansania2 036[Above: To get to the district where our house is you have to take the ferry from Downtown Dar es Salaam. | Below: Beach magic.]tansania2 068 tansania2 088[Above and Below: Met these two really awesome girls and we’re having a blast.]tansania2 108

Travel Stories: Thailand presentation!

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[Thailand 2004]

This is a friendly reminder that tomorrow (Thursday May 9th) I’ll hold a presentation on how to travel safely and smoothly through Thailand.
Please join us if you’re interested! More info here (you have to give prior notice).

Also, the presentation will be held in German. I thought maybe I should mention that ;)

The presentation will not substitute a travel guide but is more about giving background information about the country, mentality, religion. It tells our own travel stories, things we did that you probably shouldn’t do (like crash a funeral), stories to make you learn from our mistakes, stories about how to have fun but still be conscious about a different country and culture.

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[Thailand 2010]

 

Memories

Thailand 2010.

The best five weeks of my life.

/Drive to the orphanage.
/Talking to the kids after a fun English lesson.
/Evenings at the bar across the street.
/More teaching.
/Kids at the orphanage LOVED recording with my camera.
/Painting a classroom.

/At the local pool.
/Playtime with the kids at the orphanage.
/What do you do when the taxi you ordered doesn’t show up and it’s 2am? Right, you pile onto the pick up truck of the owner of the nightclub- even if there’s no way 17 people can really fit. And then? Then you start singing silly children’s songs. It’s moments like this – stupid and utterly reckless, when you feel most alive.
/Saying goodbye to friends was always hard.
/New adventures: on the way to Koh Samet!
/The bar where we spent most nights.

I was 18 when I left and I was hesitant at first but those five weeks soon turned out to be the best of my life. I’ve met people from all over the world and we became fast friends. We spent weekends away traveling the country, hiking up to waterfalls or partying to the early morning hours in Bangkok. We taught at orphanages and schools, ate fish flavoured ice cream and cooked pad-thai. We all had the time of our lives.