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Speeding Up In Bali & Myanmar February 2016 In Review

Each month, I look back on the perfect and worst of my adventures, the money I spent, and the way it all stacks as much as previous months. It helps me maintain it all in perspective! To see my past month-to-month evaluations, click here.

Regardless that February was a day longer than it often is this yr, it still felt just like the month flew by! The rationale it felt fast was probably because I picked up my pace after a reasonably chill January. After a number of weeks testing Bali with my little brother, I sped up much more in Myanmar, the place I packed a lot of the nation’s highlights into two weeks. I’m pleased to be bouncing round a bit quicker, as a result of I gained’t misinform you – I fell right into a little bit of a rut in late January/early February.

Why? It was a mixture of having more time to mirror on all I’ve carried out since October, a bout of homesickness (my first ever), and making an attempt to determine how you can make this life everlasting, or if I actually need to be “on the road” 100% full time. That is partially why I didn’t write as many posts for the blog this month, because I’m still determining the place to focus my consideration as a freelancer. Whereas I’m so grateful that I get to journey in any respect and I’m still having numerous fun, I’ve started to understand I’ve not been touring with a lot of a function these days – and I need to change that.

But extra on that later. For now, take a look at the highlights and lowlights from February, with a breakdown of all the costs along the best way.


Nations Traveled To: 3 (Vietnam, Indonesia & Myanmar)

Locations Traveled To:

  • Vietnam: Hanoi
  • Indonesia: Bali (Sanur & Ubud)
  • Myanmar: Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Kalaw, & Inle Lake

Distance Traveled: 8861 km (5506 miles)

  • Aircraft: 7727 km (4801 miles) on four flights
  • Practice: 627 km (390 miles) on 1 practice
  • Bus: 277 km (173 miles) on 2 busses
  • Boat: 230 km (143 miles) on 1 boat
Inle Lake.

Inle Lake.


Complete Cash Spent: $3571 (up from $2619 last month)

This was a pricier month primarily because I did a small group tour with Intrepid in Myanmar, which I paid for much prematurely luckily. I had two massive leisure bills as properly that introduced the fee up, however they have been value it!

Accommodation: $825 (down from $868 last month)

I used to be capable of hold this value low, despite shelling out extra for higher rooms when my brother was with me, as a result of I spent every week at a incredible, quiet hostel outdoors Ubud in Bali that value me lower than $7 an evening! The dorm missed rice fields and was located subsequent to a a lot pricier yoga retreat where I used to be in a position to make use of the amenities for a small charge. I feel like I received the flamboyant yoga holiday for a fraction of the price! (When you’re heading that means, the hostel is known as Rama Sita House Stay.)

My view from my $7 a night hostel dorm just outside of Ubud. Not bad, eh?

My view from my $7 an evening hostel dorm just outdoors of Ubud. Not dangerous, eh?

Transportation Prices: $752 (up from $524 last month)

I’m nonetheless in awe of how low cost it is to fly around Asia on carriers like Air Asia and Jetstar. My costliest journey value was $197 from Bali to Yangon, by way of Kuala Lumpur, and I even booked final minute.

Additionally, this month I discovered SkyPicker, a new airline reserving software that cobbles together itineraries on finances airlines all over the world. In case you don’t thoughts arriving at a connecting city, getting your bag and rechecking it on a special airline, it can save you loads of cash. Plus they examine you in on your flights and ship your boarding passes for you! Soooooo nice.

Overnight train anyone?

Overnight practice anyone?

Food: $624 (up from $370 final month)

I beloved all of the Indonesian meals, nevertheless it was a slight step up in value from all a budget haven of Vietnam. I additionally treated my brother to a flowery meal at a seashore membership in Seminyak, which was totally value it!

Leisure: $1236 (up from $643 last month)

Flying in a scorching air balloon at sunrise over Bagan in Myanmar was among the best issues I’ve ever finished, so the $400 I shelled out for it was properly value it. Combine that with the day of diving I did in Bali and the group tour in Myanmar, my entertainment bills have been outrageously high this month.


Requirements: $132 (down from $215 final month)

Laundry, toiletries, ideas, blah blah blah. Right here’s a tip for saving cash on laundry whereas touring – ensure you find a place that fees by the kilo and never by merchandise. It makes an enormous difference!

NOT INCLUDED IN MY BUDGET: As all the time, my monthly bills….travel insurance coverage, medical insurance within the US, cell invoice, scholar loans, automotive insurance, and so on. These bills add as much as lower than $700 a month.



Favorite Place: Inle Lake, Myanmar

A glassy blue lake unfold out underneath distant mountains, fringed with a whole lot of traditional villages, Inle Lake deserves it’s “must-see” standing in Myanmar. Regardless of the touristy nature of sure elements of the lake (I’m taking a look at you, “fisherman” who solely fake to fish for vacationers as they depart Nuangshwe) there have been bits of it that felt like stepping again in time. Cruising alongside serene floating gardens and our canoe journey via one of many lesser-visited villages hanging on stilts over the lake have been highlights that come to mind.

Actual fisherman on Inle Lake.

Actual fisherman on Inle Lake.

Favourite Moment: Ballooning over Bagan, Myanmar.

I wrote a gushy (virtually embarrassingly so) publish about my experience flying in a scorching air balloon over the temples in Bagan. I gained’t apologize for my romantic language when talking about that morning – wanting back it nonetheless seems like a dream – but I perceive for those who don’t need to hear much more about how superb it was. As an alternative, take a look at my video from that magical morning. I feel it sums it up properly in 1:30!

Shittiest Second: Food poisoning…..twice.

I obtained food poisoning in each Bali and then worse in Myanmar, lower than a month after a nasty bout of it in Vietnam back in January. I finally caved, admitting defeat of my “iron stomach” and taking the antibiotics I’ve had in my backpack for over a yr to knock out whatever had been plaguing me. It appeared to do the trick for now, however I do have India ahead, so I’m not gonna get too confident just but.

Funniest Second: The in a single day practice from Yangon to Bagan.

The next morning.

The skull-jarringly bumpy in a single day practice from Yangon to Bagan in Myanmar was definitely an journey, however it received us there in the long run, in order that’s all that counts right? Positive. However I still might have finished without the sparking ceiling fan. (Read all about it here.)

Weirdest Second: Attacking monkeys.

Bali’s Monkey Forest is an excellent fashionable place for visitors in Ubud, but I really want someone would have warned me that these monkeys aren’t precisely recognized for their hospitality. The 600+ monkeys that reside on this protected space may be cute, but additionally they wish to pounce on guests, unzip their backpacks, snatch meals out of their palms and search their pockets for extra. Walking by means of it was truly terrifying…..

Slightly terrified of the monkeys....

Slightly fearful of the monkeys….

Most Significant Moment: Spending every week with my brother in Bali.

It was so good to see a well-known face and hang around with my youthful brother Nick for every week in Bali after traveling solo for six weeks. My brother and I went snorkeling and kayaking, checked out the rice terraces outdoors Ubud and wandered the monkey forest in terror. We might have argued so much (as brothers and sisters do) but I feel we bonded simply as much on our first journey just the two of us. And plus, I also acquired to function my brother’s photographs in my first ever guest photographer edition of Sunday Snaps! (I feel he’s uber-talented, however I may be a bit biased…)


Coolest Individual I Met: Sarni, my 16-year-old guide on Mount Batur.

I assumed I was an over-achieving teenager, but Sarni put my 16-year-old self to shame. She leads five hour climbs to the prime of Mount Batur within the morning earlier than she goes to high school. She hopes to make use of the additional cash she earns to go to school sometime. Oh and if she wasn’t in ok form from her before-school job, she additionally plays soccer and basketball in the afternoons. What. a. badass.


Greatest Thing I Ate: Nasi Goreng in Bali

I had several variations of this basic Indonesian dish – spicy rice with a fried egg, sometimes served with some variation of hen with peanut sauce, shrimp and shrimp crackers – and every single one was scrumptious. And I’d never even heard of it earlier than I acquired to Bali! Simply wanting again at the photograph of my Nasi Goreng from Lilla Pantai in Sanur is making my mouth water….


Largest Accomplishment: Watching the Dawn from the top of Mount Batur, Bali.

Nothing feels better after a challenging uphill trudge in the dead of night than being rewarded with a jaw-dropping sunrise like this one. Examine that morning here, including the story of how some thieving monkeys stole my breakfast (the bastards).


My Favourite Photograph: My 7-year-old boat buddy at Inle Lake.


On our canoe trip to an area stilt village, our paddler introduced her daughter alongside and she or he sat in the entrance, helping her mom navigate. So cute!


  • Hikes: 2 (Mount Batur, Bali and Kalaw, Myanmar)
  • Dives: 2 (in Bali!)
  • Yoga Periods: 2 (Ubud, Bali)

Properly I managed to sneak in some yoga in Bali, which is sweet, however I might undoubtedly use a couple of more of my three favorite lively adventures subsequent month! And despite the fact that I only did a day of diving, what a day it was. Bali has incredible underwater life – simply take a look at this video I tossed together from the day:


Here’s what I learn this month:

  • Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling – I learn the 4th and fifth books within the last two months, so I made a decision to continue it…..because I really like HP, and I can by no means get enough.
  • Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling – Nicely I needed to end what I began, proper? #All the time
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – I’d been which means to read this guide, so I used to be thrilled to swap for it in a hostel in Hanoi. It gained the Pulitzer for Fiction a couple of years ago, and for good purpose. It’s an epic novel and a very properly written story a few kid named Theo who, because of a weird (and type of implausible) collection of occasions, steals a well-known painting and then later has his life turned the wrong way up due to it. I favored it, but it is long….virtually too long I feel. However should you’re into thrillers, literary fiction and art historical past, it’s value a read.


  • The Artwork of Considering Clearly by Rolf Dobelli – I know it sounds really complicated, but this guy explains why we expect the best way we do and how we will improve our potential to assume clearly using brief, easy-to-read stories illustrating the thought processes that we’ve developed as humans over hundreds of years and how they’re dangerous for us now within the trendy world. Superior ebook, I read it in just a few days.
  • The Promise of Pencil: How An Peculiar Individual Can Create Extraordinary Change by Adam Braun – This can be a implausible ebook for anyone who’s trying to make a difference on the earth, however isn’t positive where to start out. Adam is the man who began Pencils of Promise, a non-profit that builds faculties in impoverished areas all over the world. He was only in his mid-twenties when he started and the thought for it was sparked after a backpacking journey in Asia (howdy!) so this guide about how he obtained started actually resonated with me and got here at just the best time. I’ve now begun trying to change the main target of my travels to be extra purpose-driven – but more on that later. For now, learn this e-book!



I’m now in Bangkok, resetting for every week in my favourite massive metropolis in Asia and getting ready for my upcoming three weeks in India. I’m feeling apprehensive concerning the subsequent month, if I’m being trustworthy. I’m conflicted as a result of I’m keen to finish my travels in Asia and see my friends and family (I’m heading to the UK and US afterwards), however I even have been eager to go India for a very long time and I need to go into it with the best mindset. I hope it’s as implausible as I would like it to be!

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