Bali, Blue and Bruises

1st October

I arrived in Bali on the evening of 1st October feeling absolutely terrified to walk through customs after filling out the landing card on the plane, and knowing that I had not managed to find the luggage wrapping service in Kuala Lumpur airport.

I have heard one to many horror stories about airport security putting drugs in the bags of passengers, and while my bag had locks all over it I also knew that security could break into the locks and put whatever they wanted in there.

So no I was not trying to smuggle drugs into the country but I was terrified that someone will have put something in my bag and customs would find it think it was mine and then sentence me to death. It was a very tense moment for me. Haha

But I got to passport check and paid the fee for the 30 day visa so I could get it extended for another 30 days, and then walked through security without getting checked but with my heart pounding.

Thankfully I am not going to die today!

When I got out of customs I walked into the arrivals hall and was surrounded by so many drivers holding signs, I have never seen anything like it! I had to walk up and down the rows of men twice before finding my driver holding a piece of paper saying ‘SAMI BEE’. I ran over to him and smiled and told him that it was me, so he pointed around the corner where I was to meet him.

I met him and we walked to his car in the parking lot and began driving to the hostel I was staying at called Funky Monkey in Kuta. On the way to the hostel he kept asking me if I was married and if I had a boyfriend, I kept telling him no and that I didn’t want one, but he didn’t understand why.

I tried to explain to him that I am very happy on my own at the moment and it gives me the freedom to do what I want when I want and I have to answer to no one, he still didn’t understand this and tried asking me to marry him to which I politely declined.

we arrived in Kuta and drove down many little streets that could only fit one car just about and he told me it was a two way street, how on earth do people drive two ways down this road?

But we got there in the end and I checked into my hostel which I was pleasantly surprised I was on the bottom floor and had a pool right outside my door.

When I walked into the room there was another girl in there called Melanie who had also just checked in, so we decided to sit out by the pool and have a chat, everyone else seemed to return from the bars just a few minutes later and started swimming, which I thought was good as it was around 1am and I thought most hostels had a closing time for swimming, obviously not this one. After an hour or so chatting we both went to bed around 2am.

2nd October

Me and Melanie woke up and decided to spend the day together, so we got ourselves ready and went out for a walk and then ended up in a little café for breakfast where I had a smoothie bowl which was delicious, it was just a smoothie in a bowl but they added chopped up fruit and muesli to the top of it, it really was nice.

We walked through the little streets of poppies 1 and 2 and then headed to the beach, which was so overcrowded with people sunbathing and surfing but also will lots of people trying to sell you things. We decided to sit down at one of the places selling drinks and ordered a couple of coconuts to drink. While we were sat there we had a constant flow of people coming over to us asking if we wanted to either have a massage, have our nails done, have our hair done, or buy bracelets. It was quite annoying to be honest. We did decide to buy some bracelets and the very pushy woman kept on at us until we did, but she tried charging us around 100k just for one. But I eventually got her down to 30k for 2. – Everyone just wants to rip you off here.

After that we decided to go back to the hostel and have a swim in the pool, then I got ready to meet Blue after she finished work. Melanie couldn’t come with me as she was waiting on her suitcase to turn up at the hostel (the airline she was with left it in Singapore!) but the two other girls in my room came with me to meet blue up in Seminyak at a cool beach bar with beanbags.

We got there and ordered a drink and then blue came to meet us, it was so nice to see her after a whole year, but as soon as we saw each other it just felt completely normal and like we hadn’t been apart.

We ordered some food and some cocktails and sat there reminiscing for a while, before ordering a grab back to the hostel, although that took forever. I can’t believe how bad ordering taxis are here.

You either get a normal taxi and get completely ripped off or you use an app to order a driver, either go jek, grab or uber and then they cancel on you or just takes forever to find one, so it ended up taking us around 2 hours just to get back to the hostel.

Me and blue then decided that we would go out for drinks, so we went walking trying to find some bars that were still open with some good music, eventually we found a bar and went and ordered some drinks. We ended up meeting 2 Australian guys who seemed really nice, we went with them to a bar over the road which had live music on and had some more drinks in there and the one guy joined the band playing his Harmonica which was quite funny.

After the bar we decided that we wanted to carry on drinking and the guys suggested going to the beach…..I was a little worried about doing that as I have heard so many bad things happening on that beach but of course we decided to go. We went and got some beer and jumped on the back of their scooters and headed to the beach, Blue and one of the guys went swimming in the sea while I stayed on the beach with the other guy…..then things just got weird!! Firstly the guy I was with decided to start getting creepy towards me and I told him that I wasn’t interested but he clearly didn’t understand that so kept trying it on with me. Then people kept coming over and talking in Indonesian so I didn’t understand what was happening…..anyway long story short Blues phone got taken out of her bag from one of these people and I felt awful because I was supposed to be looking after the stuff but I was a little distracted at the time as I felt pretty nervous about all these people coming over including the police and trying to deal with this bloody idiot trying to touch me up and not understanding the word NO!

Blue finally came out of the water and then she realised her phone had been taken which she was pretty pissed off about obviously, the creepy guy that was trying to touch me up decided to leave which was good, and the guy that had gone in the sea with blue gave us a lift back to her apartment and had a few drinks with us before going home.

Drama drama drama on the first night of seeing each other in a year hey!! Lordy!!

3rd – 18th October

After all the drama with the phone being stolen we had a pretty chilled day the next day as blue had a day off work, we grabbed some food and headed down to the beach for some drinks while watching the sunset which was nice.

The next few weeks I stayed with blue in her apartment and I was getting my visa extended at the immigration office which takes about 10 days, I did a lot of catching up on game of thrones and then when blue had days off we would go to a beach club to chill.

We went to one called potato head which was really nice, it was expensive but was a really nice day although we had never felt as fat and pale in our whole lives being there with all the beautiful women around. Haha. but we drank cocktails, had some nice food and lazed in the infinity pool with a bar in the middle, until we got a day bed a decided to laze around on there drinking prosseco and watching the sunset.

And sometimes in the evening we would go and sit by the Nirmala supermarket with some of the people Blue works with for a couple of cheap drinks.

I had decided that I was going to go up to Ubud to spend some time there and do a work away program on a farm, so I did some research on that and found someone called Chakra to go and stay with which sounded really good.

Two nights before I left Blue had a work party  to go to which she invited me to go along with her, it was really good to begin with as there was free food and drink and lots of it. They had some good music on and everyone was having a really nice time until around midnight, when blues old manager Richard decided to start acting like a dickhead towards blue, telling her that she would never make any money as she is a woman and that she’s useless etc.

I obviously wasn’t going to let someone talk to my friend like that so I asked him who he thought he was and he then proceeded to start insulting me too. He was just being such a pathetic twat, I laughed at him and ended up saying he looked like a fat pedo! (low blow yes I know but he totally does) he then says to me that he gets lots of women and I then said that highly doubted that and that he probably bought his wife….well as soon as I said that he jumped at me and grabbed me by the face, I just laughed at him because I had obviously touched a nerve there guess he must have bought his wife after all hey! And then he started to hit me, and I got head-butted.

Lots of people jumped up to try and get him off me, blue had come over to help too but he ended up punching her too! What a lovely man! After all the drama we left the party and went back home ready to go out but it was so late that nowhere was open – thank god! So we ended up passing out instead.

When we woke up the next day we couldn’t believe what had actually happened the night before with all the craziness and blue was really upset about it all. Thankfully she got a message from the manager of her department asking her if she was alright and to tell him what happened, which she did.

We then decided to go out for breakfast at Grocer and Grind and then head over to Cookie’s apartment to chill with him for the day and steal his pool which was great.

We then got very hungry so we went to a really nice restaurant and ordered pizza and omg they did roast potatoes…..oh how I have missed roast potatoes haha. The food was amazing but I started feeling really bad when we got there, my head was pounding and I felt really dizzy and sick, think the blows to the head from the night before were starting to catch up to me now.

We went back to blues and she then got told that Richard had lost his job which was great news! Thank god for that, which should mean blue will enjoy herself a lot more now.

In the morning blue went off to work and I packed up all my stuff and got a grab up to Ubud to start my volunteering with Chakra as my Visa had come through.

And that was the first couple of weeks….drama filled hey haha.

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One Year of Solo Travel

It seems so strange to me to think that I left my home a year ago now, when I look back It feels like it was just yesterday and then at the same time it feels like I have always been travelling.

So much has happened in this first year, I have done a lot with the time I have had, but I feel like I have also changed as a person.

I have gone through every emotion that there is from feeling incredibly high to incredibly low, it is a hard thing to leave home and all the people I know and love behind but it’s also amazingly rewarding.

I have seen and done some absolutely wonderful things and as I mentioned before I have changed as a person to the girl crying as I was boarding the plane at the beginning of this big adventure of mine.

One of the main reasons I wanted to leave was because I wanted to become a better version of myself and all the great things I had heard about travelling made me wonder if this was the way to do that and I think I was right.

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I am in no way perfect and nor will I ever be but I have definitely grown and improved on my weaknesses in the past year, when you are a solo traveller you are forced to be in the unknown and out of your comfort zone and that in itself is the best way to figure out who you truly are.

At the beginning of the year I didn’t like what I found, I was very emotional and self-conscious and I felt like I was not a nice person to some of the people I met especially when I had been drinking (isn’t that always when we are at our worst hey! Damn you alcohol)

Since then I have fallen for the lies of people I thought were true to me and felt heartbroken, I have cried because I miss my home and the people I love and also felt like I wanted to go home at times. However even though I have had a lot of time on this first year feeling these things I am actually happy for them because I feel stronger than when I left.

I didn’t have anyone to turn to like I would at home to hug me and tell me everything was going to be alright, I only had myself and the places that I was in to try and figure all these feelings out myself, and from having to do that it has made me feel like I am definitely stronger as a person and know my worth.

The great thing about all of this is that in one year I already feel like I am on the right path and I have gained so much knowledge about myself and the way I want to be treated and also treat others, which means that with each year I travel this will improve far more than It ever did while I was at home.

So that was my main reason for going travelling but I obviously had more than self-awareness and improvement as my goals.

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I wanted to see the world and experience the beauty that it holds, overcome fears and also become an adult.

In the past year I have travelled down the east coast of Australia, I have tried a few jobs, done sky dives, scuba dives, drove many different vehicles, purchased my very first vehicle, fell in love with the little boy I was an Au pair for (Dan), met some absolutely amazing people and seen some of the most beautiful places in the world.

(a few of my favorite pics from the past year….click to make bigger)

I have overcome some of the things in my past and I feel like I have finally become an adult.

It is such an amazing feeling for me to have to feel like I have come so far since leaving home and I am feeling very happy and proud of myself, and the thing that makes me feel even better than all of that is that I know its not over yet, I still have more places to see, more people to meet and most importantly I have much more to learn about myself and the type of person I am and want to be.

So cliché hey! Haha

So……I wonder what the next year of travelling will bring me? It will be a different year as my brother will be joining me. 🙂

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A few days in Penang

25th – 29th September

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon where I got the train to KL central from there I got another train up to Penang.  The train journey was around 4 hours however it was delayed by an hour so I arrived to Penang late, when the train arrived into Penang I had to run to go to the ferry that I missed it by seconds, so I had to wait for the next one which was another hour.  The ferry took 15 minutes to get to Georgetown when I got there are ran down to front and I quickly ordered an uber to go to my hostel.  Luckily I arrived in the hostel just in time, everyone in the hostel was going out for drinks and luckily I caught them as they were turning the corner which meant I could check in, they also told me to come and meet them in a bar after I checked in, if I had been even 10 seconds later I wouldn’t have been able to check in and I would have had to sit around on the street until morning……  Thank fuck for that!

I quickly ran upstairs and got changed then headed back downstairs to the hostel bar where I met a girl called Brooke and another guy for a but I can’t remember his name, they were finishing their shift on the bar and heading out for drinks with the rest of them, so I said I would join them.

We went to a bar called the why not bar where I had a few beers, and then I started to feel tired it had been a long day so I headed back to the hostel jumped into my little pod and passed out.

When i woke up in the morning I decided that I would go out and look at all the street art, on the way out I gave my laundry two one of the people working there his name was Alex, he said it would be done in the next day, he is a liar and a twat……more on him later!

The street art was amazing, there were so much of it and all over the city, check some of it out.

The food was also amazing, and really cheap.

After I had walked around all the street art I jumped on the free hop on hop off bus called the CAT, which takes you around George town and I went to the Komtar tower, while I was on the bus I met a guy called Hanis who was from Penang but spoke really good English, he was really nice and helped me find my way to the tower as it was a bit difficult to find out how to get up there to begin with.

I didn’t stay out too long on the first day as I knew I was staying in a party hostel so I wanted to make sure I was ready for the evenings antics, so I went back to the hostel around 3pm and decided to have a bit of a chill out ready for the night.

It got to 8pm and I headed downstairs which was when our 2 free drinks began, it was a nice hostel, with a big area for everyone to chill in around the bar, we all sat at the table and were playing drinking games and chatting away, soon the two free drinks went so I paid for unlimited drinks all night for 35RM which is about £7 so not too bad really.

I met a girl called Laura who was staying in another hostel, and 2 others people in her hostel called Sophia and Eric, they were all really nice and they joined us on our table with the drinking games, then we went out back to the why not bar for some dancing and playing pool. By the time we got there I was absolutely fucked out my face and I felt like I was going to be sick!

Luckily Sophia was so lovely and went and got me some water and I sat down and just started drinking that, I eventually sobered up and re-joined the normal people haha, and dancing the night away. It was a good night!

The next day though was a complete write off…as usual! I’m getting so rubbish at all this drinking stuff! So mainly chilling in bed with game of thrones and the hostel cat, and the sofa downstairs, and trying to find out where the hell my laundry was only to find it still in the hostel and never been sent, fucking fat Alex didn’t even send it the prick! Grrrrr!!!!!! But it did finally get sorted after a lot of hassling everyone that worked there about it! And I ended the night with a pizza delivery! Delightful!

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After a long and lazy day and no drinking, I woke up nice and early the next day which was my last full day in Penang, I went and met Laura from the other night and we went on a tour of an old mansion called ‘the blue mansion’.

It was actually really interesting and I would definitely recommend people to pay a visit if they are in Georgetown, it was built a few hundred years ago by a very rich Chinese man and he had many wives and children but said that his children could not sell the house, only their grandchildren could once the last child was dead, so that they could grow up and realise what it means to earn your own money. They ended up losing all their money and rented out the rooms to people to live in and it became somewhere anyone lived, and they destroyed a lot of the house, but once the last child died the grandchildren sold it to someone who wanted to restore it and it took quite a few years and now it is a hotel and obviously a tourist attraction. It really was beautiful.

After the blue mansion we decided to go get some food, and on the way to the food we stumbled across a coffee shop called ‘Selfie Coffee’ which you could order an ice coffee and have your face printed on the top of it. It was absolutely hilarious and has to be the highlight of my time in Penang! I mean come on…..drinking your own face? How can it get better than that? Haha.

After spending a long time laughing at our selfie coffees, we decided to go and get some food and I tried the famous dish of Penang of fried oysters, which was sort of an oyster omelette. It was really nice but a little strange and I have to say I prefer my oysters raw, but still glad I tired it.

Once we had finished our food we decided to go get the ferry over to the train station as Laura was also heading to KL the next day and I told her about the train I was getting, so I said I would go with her to get the tickets.

We got all that sorted and then went back to our hostels to pack up ready to go in the morning, although I still couldn’t pack because my laundry still was not back, which they said that it would be that day! Getting very angry at all of this now, wish I hadn’t even bothered!

In the evening me and Brooke decided to go grab some food and then we met Laura and another couple of people from her hostel and went to a place called Red Garden which was a very strange experience, we sat in the middle of lots of little food carts and there was a stage where people were singing and getting sashes which I presume is if someone tipped them for their singing, and on the TV were lots of shows about animals, including slug sex, which if you have never seen it on a discovery channel I think you should go and search it right now, it is the strangest thing!! There were bulls running into crowds and even more strange animal shows.

It was an entertaining night, but an early one as me and Laura were leaving in the morning.

 

So when I wake up in the morning, I go downstairs to find out about my laundry and it is still not back, I speak to Alex – the dick head! And he tells me it will be back at midday. I tell him that I need it before because I need to pack and it was supposed to be back four days ago. He doesn’t seem to care. I ended up having an argument with him sort of because it was all his fucking fault! He was the one who took it off me and didn’t send it and now I may or may not get it back before I leave! Again he didn’t seem to care, so I told him to go fuck himself and walked away before I got even angrier.

Luckily it did turn up just in enough time for me to shove it in my case before having to leave.

I ordered an uber to pick me up and then went and picked Laura up and got dropped off at the ferry to take us over to the train station, as we arrived the stopped letting people on the ferry that was there so we had to wait for the next one, and we were starting to run late so we were worried we would miss our train.

While we were on the next ferry I decided to turn my case into a backpack which I haven’t used it as yet, and it was massive and really heavy. But I knew we needed to run as soon as we got there.

The ferry pulled up and the gates opened and off we ran to the train, the thought of running and the actual running with this bloody bag on are very different, I could hardly move my legs, but I had to do it! Upstairs and down stairs and along long bridges, it seemed to never end.

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But we got there eventually and almost as soon as we boarded the train it left station! Thank fuck yet again for that! I feel sorry for the old man and his family who were also on the ferry worried they were going to miss the train, I don’t think they got there in time!

Onto KL now for the next couple of days before heading to Bali.

I had a nice time in Penang but I’m annoyed I wasted a whole day in bed hungover when I could have gone to see more of it, but I guess that just gives me another reason to come back and visit the temple and some more of the museums doesn’t it!

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Open Water Scuba Dive Course, Sipadan Scuba

20th September

So I’m back on my own again now, dad just left me to board his plane back home and I am off to a hotel in the airport for the night until my flight tomorrow morning.

It feels so strange being back on my own again, not going to lie…..I’m feeling pretty nervous about it. It’s been a while since I’ve been on my own travelling really and all those silly thoughts come racing back into my head, like “what if no one likes me” , “what if I don’t meet anyone to spend my time with” , “what if people think I’m strange”

And then I have a bit of a breather and tell myself everything will be ok, If I meet people who don’t like me, chances are they are probably a dick and I won’t like them either! So it’s for the best!

If I don’t have anyone to go see things with then I will go on my own, and that way I can decide everything!

And if people think I’m strange then they are probably right! I mean I do own a cloak for goodness sake! Maybe I won’t lead with that but own the strangeness.

Anyways……back to what I did.

I went and stayed at air Asia tune in KLIA 2 which was nice, it was nothing special but did me for the night.

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21st -25th September

Then up in the morning for breakfast and then onto the plane to fly to TAWAU, which is on the island of Borneo. As we started coming into land I had a peak across the person next to me out the window and all I could see was green, it was incredible. So many trees!

I get picked up a by a little Malaysian man holding a sign with my name on as I had paid for an airport transfer with the scuba company I picked. He was really sweet and I sat in front with his on the bus as it was just me that he was picking up. He reminded me of the guy she meets in eat pray love, although he was from Bali not Malaysia.

It took about an hour and a half to get to Semporna from the airport, and we mostly drove on roads between palm trees, and the man who picked me up (I feel so bad that I can’t remember his name!) and he was telling me that there are lots of palm trees because there are lots of companies making palm oil here.

When we got to the hotel I checked in and he then took me over the road to the scuba dive shop where I went and got my gear ready for the next day.

After all that was done I decided to go and have a look around, I ended up walking through a small alleyway market, I’m annoyed with myself because I didn’t take a photo but to be honest I felt a little nervous around there as everyone was staring at me.

Then I decided to go for food so I went to an Indian restaurant by my hotel and asked what was good and not spicy, the girl serving me saying something about banana so I just said yes and omg it was a taste sensation! It was like a banana pancake with some kind of sweet sauce, it was oh so good.

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After food I went back to the hotel watched one episode of game of thrones and passed out at around 5pm and didn’t wake up until 7am the next morning!

Day one of scuba baby! Woooppppppp

We went to an island called Subuan Island which was very small but extremely beautiful, and before I knew it I was setting up my equipment and getting into the water, it all happened so fast from getting to the shop and getting in the water, I was worried I wouldn’t understand what I needed to do when we were down there.

But I did and it all went well, I had to do things like flood my mask and empty it, and remove my suit underwater and put it back on.

Then after all the learning we moved into deeper water and did a quick repeat of what I learnt in the shallow water and then went on a ‘fun dive’ where we swam along looking at all the fish, I had forgotten to bring my underwater camera this time – DUH!

We also had lunch on the boat, which was really yummy!

After lunch we did a bit more learning and then another fun dive, where we got completely surrounded by a massive group of small fish, it was crazy! If only I had brought my bloody camera hey!!

Then it was time to head back to the hotel and I had a shower and spent about 40mins trying to comb all the knots out of my hair – damn you sea water! Just damn you to hell!!

Food, bed, game of thrones!

Day 2 of scuba

I got to the shop around 8am, had to get all my kit together and put it outside ready for the boat.

We were off to a different island today where there will be turtle’s baby!! Omg is my dream about to come true? Am I going to get to swim with turtles finally?

As soon as we got to the island that was it, kits on and into the water…..no messing around.

When we get down to the bottom we finish off the learning aspects of the course, seeing what it’s like to be out of air where they turn my air off and I breathe until there is no more air, not a nice feeling!

We do some emergency assents and try and get our buoyancy right which is actually really hard to do.

You have to try and control it with your breathing and your BCD, think I definitely need more practice in that department.

Then it was fun dive time and not long after we begin the fun dive we see some turtle’s! Omg yes yes yes yes yes!!!! I am so fucking happy right now!! I have finally swam with turtles! I love them so much.

Then lunch on the boat and back in the water again for more fun dives and more turtles and other fish, and I remembered my camera so got a bit on film.

Although I wish I had known about different diving filters, as a lot of It looks green the further we go down which apparently I need a red filter for deeper than about 6meters

And then that was it for day 2 of the course which was the last day. So we go back to the mainland and they give me the exam for me to do back at my hotel, so I go back and do that and then take myself for dinner. – Bed – game of thrones again haha.

Day 3

I had completed the course so I just needed to go and hand in my exam and pick up my certificate which I didn’t know I was going to need a photo for, if I had then I maybe would have tried to make myself look a little better haha.

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I was going to go on a jungle tour but it had started raining and by raining I mean like a monsoon so they said it wasn’t safe to go, which was fine, I didn’t mind as I needed to catch up with blog updating etc.

The next day it was time to leave to go back to KL to get the train up to Penang.

I had a great time on my scuba course with Sipadan Scuba, they were great and I felt like I definitely learnt a lot especially as most of the time It was a one on one session which I definitely benefit from having my instructors focus entirely on me – not that I like to be the centre of attention or anything haha.

But they get 5 Bee’s of approval from me.

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Here is my attempt at an underwater video without a diving filter haha

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