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Surfing at Kuta Beach, Indonesia

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Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, is extremely touristy and crowded. The beach is teeming with locals and tourists, who are relaxing on the beach or most likely surfing.

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When we arrived at Kuta beach, we immediately decided to take a surfing lesson. Our surfing instructor taught us the basics of surfing and handed us both a surfboard.

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So, with my surfboard in hand, I walked into the water not knowing how this experience would turn out. I had no idea if I would like surfing, but I had to try. I was in the water for an hour, before I decided I was done with surfing.

Let me say it loud and clear, surfing is hard, extremely hard. It was exhausting for me to even stand on my surfboard in order to ride the waves. At one point, the wave, which was at least a 1.5 meters high, totally took me under. For a short moment, which actually felt really long and slow to me, I was struggling to surface after being hit by my surfboard in the head. It was scary.

Instead of feeling frustrated with trying to surf, I decided to exchange my surfboard for a bodyboard. In no time, I was riding the waves and having an awesome time. It was so much easier and a lot more fun with the bodyboard.

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From this experience, I learned that surfing isn’t for me. However, I do still have a deep appreciation and admiration for all those surfers, who can ride the waves so gracefully.

Dolphin Watching at Lovina Beach in Indonesia

I am not an early bird, I like sleeping. If I have to get up before sunrise, there definitely better be a good reason. Getting up before sunrise to watch dolphins swim in the sea, that definitely makes the list.

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Lovina beach, which is located in the northern part of Bali, Indonesia, is an excellent place for dolphin watching. When we went on the tour, we managed to see at least 10 to 20 dolphins. I have seen a few dolphins in aquariums and at Marineland in Canada. I have always felt uncomfortable seeing these animals confined to such small place spaces, when their natural habitat should be the vast oceans. Thus, it was a delight to see schools of dolphins swimming and jumping together with great freedom in the sea.

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The number of dolphins a tourist might encounter while doing a dolphin watching tour, will obviously vary depending on the day and your luck. We were fortunate enough to spot several dolphins and thus felt extremely lucky. Watch this video and see the dolphins for yourself too!

To Braid or Not to Braid?

Traveling isn’t only about visiting the most wonderful sites in the world or meeting new people, it is also about trying new things for yourself. The story I am about to tell you today, begins in Jerusalem, Israel. About 3 months into our one-year World Trip, I met this very nice Canadian girl, who convinced me of the value and convenience of having braided hair while traveling. Not having to style your hair everyday because it would already be neat and tidy sounded very pleasing to me. I had made up my mind, and at the first opportunity I would braid my hair.

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About 5 months later, while I was in Thailand, the opportunity arose. I spent the next 2 hours, sitting at Khao san road, a famous tourist street in central Bangkok, getting my hair braided. I was extremely excited, since this was the first time in my life I would be getting braids.

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In Indonesia in particular, for some reason the locals really loved my braids. I was very surprised by all the compliments.

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Believe it or not, I kept the braids for almost 2 months! When our World Trip ended in Malaysia, I decided it was time to take out the braids. Over the weeks, the braids had gotten pretty tangled and I hate to admit it but my hair had become very dry too. The nightmare was about to begin. I remember sitting in my room in Kuala Lumpur trying very hard to undo my braids. But, it was a disaster, my hair was so tangled at the back. I really did not want to cut my hair short, so despite my frustration, I was determined to untangle those ugly knots. It took the whole day with Jason’s help to finally untangle my hair.

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The next day, I headed to the hairdresser inside the Petronas Twin Towers, and got a nice haircut. I felt refreshed. What did I learn? As much as braids can be convenient during traveling, the price you have to pay afterwards is just so high.

Climbing an Active Volcano: Mount Bromo, Indonesia

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Everyone in our tour group got up super early to see the sunrise at Indonesia’s famous Mount Bromo. However, we decided we wanted to avoid the crowds, and have this active volcano for ourselves. So around early morning, we leisurely found our way to this natural wonder. Upon reaching the site, I remember thinking, “Wow this is beautiful!”

This was the first time ever that we had stepped foot and climbed an active volcano. When we reached the top we could see the sulfur gas bubbling and escaping from the interior of the crater. The smell was extremely strong and not very pleasant. But we managed to escape from the smell, found a decent place to rest and admire the landscape from the top of the volcano. It was another great and adventurous experience!

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These last two photos show the view of the surrounding landscape from the top of Mount Bromo.