Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

I went on a soul searching trip to the Bahamas, but that doesn’t mean that I spent the whole time with my head stuck in a journal on the beach! Prior to my trip, I made a whole itinerary of adventures, museums, and restaurants I wanted to try. I’m a nerd like that, I like knowing exactly what I’m doing with my time on a vacation so I can see all the things I want to see and know where they are. Although I didn’t strictly adhere to it, as I met new people, I stayed pretty on point with it.

The island itself is so beautiful. The water, the sand, all the colorful homes are eye catching and gorgeous. The people and the culture are so sweet and friendly. I love that everybody says good morning, day, and night to each other. I rode the bus a lot from my AirBnB, so I got to see more than just the tourist areas. I love the school uniforms the kids wear. They’re so cute. I saw so many different natural hairstyles and braids. I’ve got some serious hair inspiration to try out now that I’m home.

BonefishPond National Park
Chloe and BJ

The best experiences? I absolutely loved going kayaking at Bonefish Pond National Park. My guide taught me all about history and the ecosystems, how the island is reliant on them, and about the effects of global warming. I got to hold a jellyfish and a sea cucumber while getting a great arm workout. It was my first time kayaking, but it won’t be the last. I loved it! It’s going to be my new hobby when I get back to Orlando (and find some water that doesn’t have gators or snakes in it).

I loved Junkanoo Beach, and made time to go there almost every day. It’s a popular spot for cruise folks to hang out. It got pretty crowded, but I didn’t mind. I met the sweetest little beach puppy Chloe and her owner BJ there, did the Wobble, and took some sweet photos. The staff also took care of me after seeing me there a lot. I got a lot of free stuff, which was super kind of them. I made sure I tipped well, even though the gratuities were already included, because they kept doing me solids.

Conch Salad

The Fish Fry is an area that locals and tourists alike hang out. I swear the best (and least expensive) food was over there. I had conch (said like conk, not conCH) salad and fresh coconut water and meat just about every day. Conch salad is basically ceviche, but with conch meat (say that out loud LOL) instead of fish or shrimp. Conch is a mollusk that lives in that pretty shell pictured below. Too bad for it, that it’s absolutely delicious. From what I was told, it’s packed full of good vitamins and minerals. It’s the super fruit of seafood. It was AMAZING.

The waterfall next to Queen’s staircase

I visited Queen’s Staircase, Fort Fincastle, and Pompey Museum. The museum was housed in a building that actually used to be the place that slaves were auctioned off during the height of the slave trade in the Bahamas. I learned more about the history of the TransAtlantic slave trade, as well as found out about Domestic Work slavery, something I had no knowledge about. There is a wonderful organization called Free The Slaves that’s dedicated to educating the world about human trafficking and techniques used to pull people into it. I recommend reading more about them!

I was invited on a boat ride with my new Canadian friends, Kay and Sydney. We went snorkeling in some cold water, but it was amazing! The coral reefs were full of life. I saw lots of brain coral, which is my favorite kind. We swam with sea turtles, a dream come true. They were just minding their business eating sea grass while we all were freaking out underwater following them. It may or may not be audible in the underwater video I took, but I cried a little bit. It’s something I’ll never forget. It was like living in a documentary for a few hours. There was a shark in the water with us. I thought the Captain was joking and trying to scare us by saying, “Stay close to the boat,” until I got back on the boat. He had a speargun and was focused on one particular area that we were snorkeling near. Wellp, now I can cross swimming with sharks off my bucket list, too.

We became turtley enough for the turtle club!

The girls and I went out dancing and did karaoke Friday night. It was such a good time. We sang Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and danced terribly together at a smaller bar at the beach. These older ladies had gotten off work and they were trying to teach us how to twerk, it was hysterical. None of us could do it, no matter how hard we tried. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages. It was some good clean fun. We met a big group of people at Senor Frogs, which small world, we had met them at the beach when we all flocked to puppy Chloe. Everyone was tipsy and having a blast. I loved it!

The experiences that were so-so? I might have appeared cool as a sea cucumber, but getting followed around by pushy thirsty dudes was fucking terrifying. I went on this trip to find myself, not to get kidnapped! Thankfully, a lot of couples or groups were very cool about letting me tag along with them or even intervening on my behalf. This trip has reinforced the fact that there are so many wonderful people in the world.

I also thought the Atlantis Resort was cool, but it was expensive. I’m not ballin’ like that yet, so I thought $20 for a glass of wine was a bit much. But the aquarium and marina were places I wouldn’t miss if you have the chance to go. The aquarium is free after 7 p.m. On my first night, I went with a couple from my AirBnB, and also met up with a guy named Bryan I had met earlier at the Fish Fry. He found the sharks and stingray tanks, and we played hide-n-seek in the aquarium. We were running around in the dark laughing hysterically. It was really fun. The second time I went to Atlantis, I saw my very first super yacht up close. It was a ridiculous floating mansion.

Look at all those fishes!

The taxis were a rip off, but I did find a driver that gave me great discounts halfway through the week. Prior to that, a ride from the Atlantis to my AirBnB was $25. When I tried to get a ride back from Atlantis that second night with two flight attendants, Annalise and Kay, we were charged $35 because we were three people. Here’s the kicker: we were all going the same place! I tried to argue the logic of it, but was met squarely with a, “That’s how it is.” I actually missed out on a couple of my planned adventures because the cabs were asking way too much. Not a big deal though, it just means I have to come back!

The throne!

MyAirBnB hosts were absolutely amazing. Since I went by myself, they went out of their way to make sure I was safe. My host was quick to tell me that she’s my Auntie Linda, and to call her immediately if I felt unsafe or if someone was following me. She provided a cell phone, drove me to a lot of places, and showed me the best areas to meet new people safely. It was so kind of them to watch out for me. Sometimes I forget how much kindness there is in the world, but there’s more than enough to go around.

Things that I recommend bringing?

  • T-Shirts (I always forget something important)
  • Quarters for the bus
  • A sweater (seriously, this saved me so many times)
  • Extra beach towels
  • External battery
  • Your own snorkel and fins

I found out on an AskReddit thread a while back that purchasing travel insurance is not only cheap, it could sometimes be the difference in life or death. Accidents happen, so I highly recommend it! It was only $95. I was really glad I bought it during the boat ride to see the turtles. Our Captain was trying to make up time, and I could’ve easily hurt myself with all the times we bounced around on the waves. I don’t think No Wake Zones are a thing in the Bahamas.

My week away was so so so worth it. I highly recommend going on a solo trip meant solely for your well-being and happiness if you ever have the opportunity. Find a place where you can get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and learn a thing or two about you! I’m going on another trip next month, I’m planning it out now!

Have you ever been to the Bahamas?
What was your favorite experience?
Leave a comment below!

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Gili Trawangwan

Jack and I spent a few days in Gili Trawangwan last November. It’s part of a small chain of islands, and while we were planning the trip, most blogs and YouTube videos said they were a must-see. We booked a cool looking AirBnB and said, “What the hell, why not?”

Just chillin’.

It was a bit of a process to get to our fast boat from Ubud, because of a small miscommunication hiccup. We had a really nice taxi driver that booked it to get us there. The fast boat was actually a fun ride. There was a movie showing below the deck, but we went up top to watch the scenery instead. I swear, the sun was on a new level in Indonesia. He was burned in like five to ten minutes.

We are absolutely lost in this photo.

When we got to the island, the Namaz Prayers were playing over loudspeakers. I’m pretty sure the majority of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, so there’s praying five times a day toward Mecca. We walked through the back alley ways and dirt roads absolutely lost trying to find our AirBnB. It was like being in a different world.

First observation once we got used to the loudspeakers? The roads weren’t asphalt. Next observation? No cars. Third observation? Watch out for the horse drawn carriages. They had bells attached to them, and we could always hear the hooves before they were anywhere close to us, but damn they were fast.

One horse power.

Our AirBnB was pretty sweet. It was this little hut, bungalow thing that had an outdoor shower. It also came with a furry friend. We named him Luca, and he helped us with breakfast every morning. I’m not a milk drinker, so I was only too happy to share with him.

Luca!

We biked or walked everywhere. There were a ton of bars, restaurants, and clubs right next to where the fast boat dropped us off. Jack wanted to explore, so I think we walked maybe a mile or two that first afternoon just to see what we could see. We got some burgers and took in our surroundings.

One things that was hilarious? There were signs everywhere saying “magic mushrooms”. I’m not exaggerating, just about every bar offered them in shakes or just by themselves. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen that before.

Mushrooms for sale

We did end up at a bar one night where we met the coolest people. Two were from Spain, another couple was from the U.K., and then there were two more guys from Texas and somewhere else. We all sat together, drank, and traded traveling stories. The bar owner came a chilled with us, too. We ended up on the beach looking at all the constellations. There were more stars than I’ve ever seen, because there was barely any light pollution.

The bar squad

We had such a wonderful time there. We actually ended up watching DeadPool 2 on the beach one night. We also heard the most amazing singer one night, and went dancing. I did have the unfortunate experience of having fake wine. It was gross. I guess if you don’t see the bartender open the bottle of wine, you’re not supposed to drink it. There’s some issue there with fake alcohol that I don’t really understand. But I do know what a Cabernet Sauvignon is supposed to take like… that was not it. The only properties it shared with wine, was well, the fact that it was red.

The islands had kind of recovered from a huge earthquake before we got there. There were very few street lights unless we were near a resort or by bars and restaurants. Turns out riding bikes at night with only an iPhone to light the way is kind of thrilling, but I know the people that live there need power. I really hope the community is doing better by now. I was a little sad to get on the fast boat back to Ubud, because it seemed like the weekend flew by. It was so much fun!

Our fast boat back to Ubud

Bangkok

Jack and I also went to Bangkok after our trip to Bali.

We flew from Denpasar to Suvarnabhumi Airport at 1 a.m. We were exhausted by the time we got through Customs and everything else.

We got another AirBnB and ended up on the 42 floor in this amazing high rise condo! We had an insane view.

The view from our condo!

Our first stop there was a coffee tasting. Jack’s really into coffee. He can have several cups and take a nap. Me on the other hand… half a cup makes me feel like I could run to Mars. I think all in all, we might’ve drank two pots of coffee. He was kind of jittery, but I got really sick. I was so over caffeinated that I was not well for another day.

Floating River Market and Jack’s shoes
These poor elephants 🙁

We also went to the Floating River Market that was maybe an hour outside of Bangkok. That was… eh. We got on these boats with these suped up engines and went from stall to stall buying trinkets and stuff. A second part of the tour was going to see elephants. Jack thought it was a sanctuary, but nope. I was in tears when I saw this huge beautiful majestic animal chained and prodded with a bull hook. It was hard to participate in and we both were sad afterward.

A cool thing we visited was the Giant Leaning Buddha at Wat Pho. It was incredible! We did have to dress respectfully. I wore a long skirt and Jack wore pants. There were so many Buddhas. The temple was also filled with really playful cats.

It’s impossible to get this whole statue in a picture

Jack also picked going to see a Muy Thai fight. We ended up in this packed stadium watching dudes beat the crap out of each other with live music.

Checked off the
travel bucket list!

We did get the opportunity to hang out with our roommate Lucas and some of his team and a translator one night. We went to a packed club. Super packed. It was a wild gin soaked night. Very fun!

We liked Bali a lot more than Bangkok , just because we were a little overwhelmed in the city. It was like going to Manhattan but in Thailand. Here is the funniest part of our trip though. Ready?

Yep lmao. We were cracking up every time we saw it

Bali

In November of last year, my fiancé and I took a big trip to Bali for two weeks! It was such an amazing experience!

We chose to get an AirBnB in Ubud. We had a little pool, a really comfortable bed, and time to relax. Check out this pool and the view. We absolutely loved it there.

Our little villa and view.
I would go back in a heart beat.

Jack talked me into riding a scooter. He had to talk me into a lot of stuff, because naturally I’m scared of everything, and he’s not afraid of anything. I was terrified. It was one of those things where you just gotta hop on, put on your helmet, and hope like hell everybody knows what they’re doing. I’m not too keen on putting my life in other people’s hands, so I hated every second it.

Mount Batur, a sunrise, two sweaty adventurers

One day We climbed a volcano at 3 a.m. That was Jack’s idea, for sure, but I put on my game face and made it to the top. We made it up top to watch the sunrise, eat breakfast, and drink coffee. I was freezing, but the vapor from the lava was actually pretty nice.

The monkeys were so much stronger than they looked.

We visited the Sacred Monkey Forest which wasn’t too far from our AirBnB. I wore a bright yellow maxi dress which we found out was not a good idea. The monkeys liked pulling on my dress and climbing up it. Jack carried a water bottle around, and I guess the monkeys know they can drink from them. They actually try to rip them out of your hands when you’re not looking!

We also went to Gili Trawangwan to see what the “party island” was all about. That deserves a post by itself!

My idea for the vacations were nice dinners and going to a yoga practice. The not daredevil stuff that I was absolutely sure wouldn’t kill us. We also visited quite a few temples. I’m one of those history buffs. I have no idea what I’m looking at, but damn it if I’m not impressed.

That’s a luwak on his shoulder, poor thing

So luwaks like cat-monkey things, if I understood right. They eat coffee cherries, sort of digest them, then poop them out. And then people make coffee out of the cherries they dig out of the poop. Unfortunately they’re usually caged and not treated very well. That was kinda sad. These little furry cuties are nocturnal so that one in particular wasn’t too happy to be awake and put on tourists shoulders. I had just learned about luwaks, hence the hand wringing in the picture. I felt bad for him.

We also took a tour to a waterfall and rice paddy. Both were amazing. The rice paddy was one of the first instances of humans figuring out irrigation systems.

I love taking candid pictures of Jack.

Altogether Bali was such a great trip. I hope we get a chance to go back. I’d even brave the mopeds. Right after Bali, we adventured to Bangkok. See pictures and more in my next post.