The last week of February is a bit of a blur I was excited for the upcoming week and filled with nerves due to leaving my Sukhothai home for 2 months. I graded a lot and had to input those grades into a Thai system where Thailand universities can access them. The more frustrating part is that it was in THAI! I’m sorry but ‘a rai na?’ (what? in Thai). With going home everyday around 6pm -7pm so much was racing in my head. ‘Don’t forget this!’ ‘Don’t forget that!’ ‘What will happen if this!?’ ‘I don’t even know what to expect!’
Pictures from my last week @ Sukhothai till May:
Stress is a wee bit of an understatement. Then BAM! Saturday hit I was hopping on a bus to Bangkok to catch a flight to Bali!
Who: Crystal, Alyssa, Christine, Michele, & I!
Why: Vacation and celebrate us all completing our first semester as English Teacher in Thailand
When: February 28th to March 5th
Where: Ubud, Bali (Teba Guest House )
Legian, Bali (The Island Hotel Island Hostel)
- Hike up Mt. Bautur: an active Volcano that hasn’t erupted since the year 2000. We were picked up @ 2am our first official full day in Bali, taken to breakfast and started our hike around 4am. 3 miles up up up with a lot of different terrain. Once I got use to what I was walking on I was slipping and tripping over something new! It was well worth it and would do it again today if possible.
- A Bike tour: Saw rural Ubud and behind the scene streets. It was very hilly though so lets just say we also brought back glutes of steal to Thailand.
- Elephant cave “Gao Gajah”: in between out bike ride we stopped here which was built in the 9th century as a sanctuary.
- Mahi Mahi Tacos: BOMB . COM!
- Ulun Danu Bratan Temple (Tabanan, Bali) a 90 minute van ride from Ubud and the only place of ‘Must See’ before I went to Bali
- Tanah Lot Temple: a water temple heavily influenced by Hindu Mythology
- Legian Beach: Closer to the airport and on the west side of the Island
- Free Massage! When we checked into our second hotel/ hostel the consierge was quick to note ‘How tired we looked’ 1. We haven’t had lunch sir! 2. Rude! The Catch: He was trying to help us out by giving us free 1 hr massage vouchers okay you’re forgiven
- Seminyak Beach & Live Music: Another moment that gave me absolute chills, LIVE MUSIC. I love music and I find it a very important part of my life and always has. We were on the beach with a gorgeous view and the 2 gentlemen were playing all the right hits that I can sing along to. I feel bad because I may have zoned out my friends who were right beside me. I was entranced.
- Dinner @ a decent Mexican restaurant: This is as good as it gets outside of Mexico/ Mexican borders
Other notes about Bali: –These of course are highlights but we had many chill moments to just be in silence, take naps in coffee shops, eat all the ice cream I could find, and lucked out and found a really awesome Balinese authentic cuisine.
-Bali is 80% Hindu but Indonesia is 80% Muslim
-Ubud is much slower with an Eat, Pray, Love vibe to it, but it also has a lot of culture sitting at every corner and house. Seminyak has more western food and is a beach town
-Every house has a family temple, there are also clan temples, village temples, then public temples.
-Almost all roads are 2 way highways making it very long to get to places even if it’s an island, but the driving is much safer than in Thailand.
Now What? I’m living in Bangkok in the Sathorn area by Lumpini Park; a 15 minute walk to my 5 week internship location. I’m interning at the Fulbright office with many given tasks and personal tasks I want to fulfill by the time the 5 weeks are up. I’m slowly realizing that the one place that gave me anxiety (Bangkok) in November is now a place I’m slowly loving. This is my 4th time here and this will be my longest stay. Just 3 days and I’ve already explored a lot more than I had before. I’m doing it all alone and facing my fears of being girl vs. city. I’ve been a ‘small town girl’ with no success since I was antsy for more: Age 1-17. A ‘SanDiegan’ with huge success with how much I reference it as home: Age 18-21. Back to a ‘small town girl’ MUCH more rural than my hometown Calexico for the last 4 months in Sukhothai, Thailand and now I have 5 weeks to become a ‘City Gal.’ Challenge accepted!
Wish me luck with the gazillionth transition I’m going through this Thailand year!