Resuming the travel summary of 2013, the nomadic year… Read part I here.
JULY… Timor-Leste- Gili islands
If you have to leave Bali for a few days, where do you go? Ummm… Timor-Leste? Why not… Practical information online about Timor-Leste is scarce, so I left without any expectations. That might be why I loved it so much. If not because I have a tendency towards raw and unknown places. I enjoyed the fact that it was a trip for “advanced” travellers , I had plenty of new experiences- like eating dog and I met some awesome people. Another destination on my top 10 best trips-list!
Douglas and I took a few days off to meet-up with friends from England vacationing in the Gili islands. I made it a point to visit all three of the islands so I could compare and decide which one to choose for future trips! Read about my findings here. We spent lazy days on the beach, eating freshly caught fish, drinking beers and snorkelling with turtles. It was the ideal lazy beach holiday.
I spent the last week of August in Sabah, Borneo. You might not believe it, but traveling around so much can get quite tiring. So I did what any burnt out traveler would do; I traveled lazily! I got massages, relaxed at white sand beaches, ate tonnes of fresh seafood, did mountain hikes, saw orang utans in the wild… Finally, I visited a refugee village on stilts, but that story deserves its own post. By the end of my stay in Kota Kinabalu, I had gotten quite a attached to the place. A place which seemed incredibly bland at first glance.
SEPTEMBER… The Philippines
I had a travel dream. It took me 13 years to make it happen, but at last… I went to the Philippines… and I was not disappointed. I spent most of my time there in Palawan. Every single day, my dear Douglas had to listen to me say: “Look at this!! How is this possible?? I can’t believe this beauty is real?!”
The Philippines are really close to my heart, not only because I loved everything about this flavourful country; the good, the bad and the ugly. But also because of my Pinoy friends who have shown me the true spirit of the Philipino community. If you’ve missed my posts resuming our vacation in Palawan, check out part I and part II.
Oh yes… and Manila is absolutely wacky!
OCTOBER… Home sweet home, Bali
Peace and quiet in Bali. For the first time in months I spent a full 4 weeks in the same spot. I used this time to explore the island further. I went on diving and snorkelling trips with friends in Lembongan and swam with graciously beautiful wild manta rays. I started practicing yoga and participated in a writing workshop during the Ubud writers festival. I woke up at the crack of dawn to visit Balinese temples minus the tourists. I wanted to learn Indonesian, so I enrolled in a class and finished the course. Now, I’m not fluent, but I can hold my head up high while having a basic conversation. I also know a fair amount of obscene words. What more do you need?
Once again I had to leave Indonesia. This time around, I visited South Vietnam on a quest to understand why so many visitors dislike it as a destination. Though I understand why, I only experienced rainbows, sparkles and chocolate covered kittens. I was taken aback by a fragrant cuisine that was new to me. Vietnamese food… WOW! Read about my trip here.
I’m writing you from Sulawesi, Indonesia where a couple of friends and I will be celebrating the end of a fantastic year and welcoming a new one. Hopefully a new year filled with laughter, friendship, love, adventure and realisation of goals and dreams. Those are my wishes or you.
Happy New Year, Everyone!
What was the travel highlight of your year?