Indonesia Archives - Away Lands
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Video – Away East

We are so, so excited to share this video from our trip to Thailand and Bali and the launch of AwayLands! This is a dream and a project that we’ve been working on for almost a year, and it’s almost overwhelming to see the work we’ve put in come to a final product. This is our launching point, and from here, there’s nowhere to go but everywhere.

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Better than Bali – Nusa Lembongan

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The very last stop on our Thailand/Indonesia tour was Nusa Lembongan, the little island just off the coast of Bali. It only took a 30 (absolutely terrifying) minute boat ride from the overpopulated beaches to get to this little oasis, and I’m so, so happy we chose to check it out. Unlike the sea of people and cars and hawkers on Bali, Lembongan was the type of island I seek out: quiet, rural, somewhat undeveloped, with the ability to hop on a bike and just drive from end to end with ease. We spent our last two days of our Asian tour riding the scooter on dirt roads, checking out the new beach clubs, and hopping a dive boat to see some of the most incredible underwater life I’ve ever seen.

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New Year’s Eve in Seminyak, Bali

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The first stop we made as soon as we arrived in Bali was Seminyak beach – naturally – I’d heard that these sunsets were legendary. We came back the next night to watch the sun go down for the last time in 2015 while running through the waves. Growing up in California, the sun always set over the ocean, and I’ve always had this greatly romanticized vision of swimming as the sun goes down. The way the water reflects the low sun is one thing I have never gotten over. At home, there was rarely a warm enough day to actually swim until darkness. But the bathwater ocean here felt like a fantasy come to life.

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Into the Jungle of Ubud

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Driving up out of Seminyak and into the mountains just felt like exhaling. Beach Bali is wild, and after so many years in New York, I never expect cities to overwhelming me, but this one definitely did. The cars, motorbikes, vendors, crowds, corrupt policemen, incense, boutiques, restaurants, and tour stands were dizzying and endless. Of all the places we travelled to on this trip, this is the one I think I am least likely to return to.

But not Ubud.

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Sunrise at the top of a Volcano

 

AwayLands-MtBatur98 While on the beach in Thailand, we met an older, British couple who was telling us about their lifetime of adventures together (See: goals). After telling them that we were heading to Bali, they told us that the one thing we had to do was trek to the top of Mt. Batur to see the sunrise. Being a lover of all forms of activities, I jumped at the idea, and we booked a tour while at the airport. Our guide picked us up from our hotel in Ubud at 2:30am (!) to drive the 90 minutes up through the windy northern Bali roads to the trailhead.

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Tirta Empul – Bali’s Water Temple

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I’m constantly torn on whether or not to see the big sites or not. It feels like you can’t go to a city or an island and not see in person the places you’ve always known of, the famous places or monuments of the world. But so does everyone, so as we’ve all experienced, when you make it to these famous sites, there’s guides, there’s tour busses, there’s vendors trying to get you to buy what you just saw on a tee-shirt.

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