Hoi An, Vietnam was one of those places that we heard so much about from so many people…. after we were on our way there! I guess we didn’t spread the nets very far asking for personal travel recommendations, but as soon as we announced that we were headed to Hoi An on social media, we had several friends tell us it was their favorite city they’d ever visited. And in the end, it truly was magical. We were there three days and two nights– during our whirlwind trip of Vietnam, south to north– and we spent one day dedicated to exploring and photo documenting the town.
I really wanted to attach some more personal thoughts and memories to this post, but it’s been such a long time coming that I have decided to move ahead and publish the photos at least. I can’t believe it was a year ago that we were wandering these streets, enamored by these sights and sounds, and eating that delicious food. A year!
However, I do have a whole other post of Hoi An by night– I couldn’t fit it all in one– so I will be sure to brainstorm with Tyler all our best memories and recommendations for this city. It’s quite a tourist hot spot, but for good reason. And the kitsch does actually add to the charm. And if you ever get sick of tourists, heading by a market for a half hour break usually works too!
First glance at the famous lanterns
Typical street views
And of course, ending the day with a delicious dinner… although this time, it was India in Vietnam!
Stay tuned for part two!
Hello long lost friends and family! We’ve been MIA from the blog for many months now, and it’s been a good time of transitioning back to the States and catching up with people in real life. However, as we set out to begin Year 3 of our plans, we thought it was time for one of our announcement videos.
When we began this journey years ago, we said we would like to travel for 3-5 years, living in each place for one year. We anticipated that our final year would perhaps be a more nomadic, full time type of travel. As you all know, plans change. That’s why we like to hold ours loosely! We ended up doing our full time travel year this past year, during Year 2. And we will veer off course again a bit for Year 3, as it’s less about travel but more about a short term commitment to a job and community we love. Still a one year plan, but as we get closer and closer to our self-imposed deadline for “settling down”, some of our priorities and ideas have changed.
While you’re reading this post, we are probably thousands of feet in the air, in transit back to the United States.
We can’t quite believe that this year is over. I’ve been claiming all kinds of last days for about a month now, maybe in a desperate attempt to soften the eventual blow. But today is the day that the heavy words are finally, literally true.
It’s the last day of our year of travel.
Our year of traveling the world full-time… is over.
Sometimes, it’s hard to accept that there are opportunities and experiences in life that only come once. We want to believe the possibilities are endless, but it just isn’t so. While there are endless possibilities on the table, you have to pick up only one (or two) and faithfully carry those for that season. Tyler and I are so grateful that we took the leap to travel longterm this year, and we are even more grateful that we were in a place to do so. But very soon, the window of opportunity for this kind of adventure will close. We will begin careers and growing a family. We’ll have new priorities– albeit, ones we’ll have chosen– that just won’t allow us to juggle longterm travel at the same time.
Thinking about that is hard. It’s sad.
It’s the last day of our year of travel.
And it’s so bittersweet.
As always, our quick guide to Amed, Bali is listed at the bottom of the post, with recommendations on where to eat, stay,
shop, and play.
When we picture Bali now, Amed is the place that comes to mind. Secluded, sunny, and plenty of ocean views. This was our third stop in Bali and by far the best. We stayed here a short three days and can’t wait til the day we return! Our activity level would rise and fall with the sun each day, we spent long hours out on the motorbike exploring, and we even spent an afternoon chasing fish and marveling at a sunken ship just a few meters off the coastline.
One of the best things about our stay in Amed was the tranquility and beauty of our small resort. We’d just picked it on a whim, but we felt so lucky when we arrived. Although not right on the ocean, you can catch fantastic views from each of the small bungalows perched on the hill. We loved the thatched roofs and spacious balconies. And the two pools on site were perfect for cooling off without the hassle of getting down to the salty ocean.
Ubud was an excellent introduction to Bali life. Read on for stories from our stay, or skip to after the photos for a quick guide to the city.
Bali was never on our list of places to visit this year, but once we realized it was a possibility, we couldn’t pass it up. This island is a dream destination for so many people… and for good reason, we found out!
We started our whirlwind tour of this Indonesian island in Kuta, near the airport on the west coast. To be honest, we had a terrible first impression and ended up being glad it was only a one night stay at the start. Our next stop was Ubud, where so many of our Malaysian friends had given us recommendations and rave reviews.
Ubud turned out to be a step in the right direction for our travel style. Instead of crazy partiers and streets packed full of pushy vendors, we were able to relax in a hippie’s paradise. After all the greasy– albeit delicious– Malaysian food we’d been gorging on for three months, I was more than ready for the classic fresh and vegan style of Ubud! We also found that the tourist traps were still traps, but they had a little more local charm. It seemed that the kitschy vendor stalls fit in a bit better against the old stone walls and along the tiny winding streets.
A few months ago, I had a small medical scare. I thought my armpits were melting.
Yes, you read that right. We were trekking along in the half-tamed jungle– aka a Malaysian city park– and I told Tyler, with some alarm, that my arms felt as if they were gliding past each other, as if the joints were somehow especially lubricated with a slick, slick sweat. I know this may be veering severely into TMI territory for some of you, but once you live somewhere where the average daily temperature is well above 100F, you kind of accept sweaty topics as par for the course.
So back to the medical scare. It took me quite a bit of time to really figure out what was happening, as I had never before experienced an armpit-melting-sensation. But after a few particularly “slidy” jaunts out to the park, it suddenly hit me, in my very own lightbulb moment. I was wearing a new deodorant! And it was “all natural”! Which meant it had lots of baking soda! And when you add water– or in this case buckets of sweat– to baking soda… it gets slick!