Can you believe it’s almost October and I went to South Africa in April? It almost seems like yesterday I started my morning trek up Lion’s Head; eager to see the sun rise over all of Cape Town. My friend and I are pretty adventurous so when a lot of people (locals and the internet alike) recommended we should hike up Lion’s Head for the sunrise, we totally did it. We asked a lot of people if they thought it was safe for sunrise. Everyone was sure we would not get mugged. What nobody told us was that hiking in the US and hiking in South Africa are pretty different experiences. There were times I actually thought we might just plunge to our death, right there in Cape Town. We glanced at different blogs before attempting the hike, trying to figure out what time we should begin to make it before the sun came up. But here’s what I didn’t find.
I’m writing this post 1,100 miles away from Greenville. It’s a little surreal to finally share with you the *big* happenings in my life. Two years ago I’m not sure I would have ever thought I’d be leaving South Carolina any time in the near future. It had only been a few months since Daniel passed away. There are some parts of me that really thought I’d never be able to leave after that. But life is so incredibly weird and it has so many twists and turns… You can never really guess where you’ll end up.
I told you guys I wasn’t quite ready to talk about everything from South Africa yet… But I thought it would be fun to post about what we ate while we were there. Here’s a post fully dedicated to (most) of the food we ate while in South Africa. Try not to get too hungry reading it.
South Africa was a really special trip for me. I don’t quite have the words yet to tell you all about it so I thought I’d show you my favorite moments first.
I need to be honest with you guys about something. I love traveling but the opinions of other people can really drive me crazy sometimes. One of the things that bugs me the most are snide comments about how I can afford to travel (spoiler alert: I’ve got my *ish together). The second is when someone tells me “I would never go there unless I had at least two weeks, it’s just not worth the travel time”. I heard this for Hawaii, I heard this for Bali and I hear it for Europe all of the time. I try not to let it bother me because it’s not their life, it’s mine. My philosophy is simple. There will never be enough time and if you wait for it, you’ll never get there. So off I went for a long weekend in Florence, Italy.
I started off 2017 with low expectations. Actually, I can tell you I told myself as long as 2017 was “below average”, I would be fine with it. 2016 was so hard that even below average felt bearable. A year later, I’m happy to report that the year surpassed below average and I have 17 badass accomplishments from 2017 I want to share with you.
I think my most unexpected trip of 2017 was Havana. It’s not that Cuba wasn’t on my list of places to go (because everywhere is on my list). But it just didn’t seem feasible, so it was on the list, just not the TOP of the list. I knew I wanted to go to Asia in 2017 (I made it to Bali) but I had no idea I’d end up in Cuba. This trip was actually a family trip and we had two days in Havana via a cruise from Tampa.
If you don’t know much about South East Asia, you might not know that with the American dollar exchange rate, it’s a pretty cheap destination over all (other than the initial plane ticket). When I was searching for places to stay in Ubud, I found hostels that were only FIVE dollars a night. Yes, you read that right. But if I was going to fly 24+ hours to get to Bali, I wanted to stay somewhere a little nicer than $5 a night. So began the search of where to stay in Ubud on a budget.
If I had a dollar for how many times I got asked how I afford to travel I could probably fly around the world for free! I get it – travel seems expensive. It doesn’t have to be. I spent a week in Bali and only spent $1,000 including my flight. Want to know my secret for going to Bali on a budget?
If you’ve ever been thrown out of your comfort zone in another country, you know it’s not always an easy experience. When in Bali, we stayed in Ubud but knew we had to make it to the beach at least one day of our trip. The problem? The coast can be over an hour away from our hotel and there was no way we were going to drive that. Luckily, hiring a driver for the day in Bali is not only super easy but very inexpensive in comparison to the US. We hired a driver the morning of for a total of ten hours at only $40.00 for the whole day. Now that we had the driver, where did we end up? The Sundays Beach Club in Uluwatu for an easy beach day in Bali.