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The Art of Making Mistakes

The Art of Making Mistakes

I am not sure if we just got to confident or started to relax a bit, but either way we made some mistakes on the Indonesian and Australian legs of this trip. We were with our friend, Lauren, for these legs of the trip and naturally we brought our A-Game to show off what experienced travelers we have become. Some mistakes were not so bad and others could have turned out really terrible.

In an effort not to just talk about the awesome parts about traveling, I give you the mistakes we made (in the course of two weeks).

Mistake 1: Paying for two hotels for one night.

We booked a place on Gili Air for our first 6 nights in Indonesia before Lauren arrived. We realized on the way to Indonesia that we could not catch a boat in time to get to the island that day. We really should have looked into that before we were on our way to the airport. We had to pay for a night of accommodations in Gili Air since we could not cancel and had to find another place to stay near the airport in Kuta Beach (which was a mistake in itself).


Mistake 2: No cash on an island.

We forgot to get cash out before heading to Nusa Lembongan where there is 1 ATM on the entire island. The ATM was out of cash and Lauren had to spot us some cash. Not a big deal, but we know better than to show up on a tiny island with no money.

Snorkel stands way out number ATMs

Mistake 3: We forgot to get Australian Visas!

On our last day in Indonesia we realized we had forgotten to get our electronic travel certificates (ETAs) around 1:30 pm. We had a flight out at 10 pm that same day to Sydney. The three of us applied for our ETAs and two of us got approved immediately. Scott was the unlucky one that had to have his application reviewed by a person. They say that happens a lot and to wait 12 hours before contacting them about the status of his visa (they usually approve it in that time span). Problem was that our flight was in 7 hours and they would not let him on the plane without the ETA. So naturally we panic.

We take a taxi to the nearest Australian visa office. It is essentially the DMV of visas for Indonesian people. They could not help us, but we sat there waiting to talk to someone because we were grasping at straws. Suddenly Scott gets an email saying his visa was approved. Crisis avoided! We left the visa office feeling incredibly lucky that we all got to go to Australia.


Mistake 4: Not reading the fine print of baggage policies on budget airlines.

We arrive to the airport with just under 2 hours until our flight. That should have been plenty of time, but the line to check-in took so long to get through. We were flying Jetstar (the equivalent of the Spirit Airlines of Australia). The limit was 7 kg each for a carry on bag. Usually nobody cares, but we had the world’s greatest rule follower checking our bags. We were overweight and had to check them.img_1558

Jetstar is similar to Spirit Airlines (or Frontier) where you have to purchase your checked bag in advance to check-in at the counter or else they charge you around 5 times as much. We obviously did not know any of this. The clerk said he would be nice and we could carry on 2 bags and just check 1. He said it was $120 each. We clarified many times….this is 120,000 IDR, right? Yes, yes. IDR. Indonesian Dollars. Okay. Why don’t we just check all three if it is only going to cost us $27 to check all of the bags…that would be worth it!

We are taken to another guy to pay the fee. As he takes the credit card he mentions $320 Australian Dollars. WAIT A MINUTE. STOP. They were going to charge us $270 USD to check three bags. We ran back to the clerk and he seemed very angry we had misunderstood him. In our defense, his English wasn’t great and we would have never agreed to pay that much. In a last ditch effort to save our wallets we talked them into letting us go with the original plan he suggested to only check one bag and we paid our $90 (begrudgingly)…Jetstar won this time.

Our bags really aren’t THAT big.

Mistake 5: Not arriving at the airport 3 hours early.

I mean, who would have known? This luggage debacle and check-in took so long that we got through customs with not a lot of time to spare. We looked at all the boards and NONE of them had our flight showing. It had not been updated for hours. We run through the airport and finally find our flight on the board…the status was the dreaded “Final Call” so we sprinted to our flight. We almost missed our flight and we were at the airport almost 2 hours early. I hate being late at airports. I just don’t do it.

That is the story how Scott and Shelby became those people that arrive at airports 3-4 hours early from now on (kidding…maybe).

So there you have it — the mistakes we made in Indonesia and Australia. It doesn’t matter how much you travel or how much you have your shit together…there is always the potential to screw something up 🙂

Happy New Year!


Indonesia Recap

Indonesia Recap

Indonesia is a country comprised of 17,000 islands. We barely scratched the surface in our visit there, but we loved our time exploring as much as we possibly could. Scott and I flew into Bali where we spent a day or two before taking a boat to a little island called Gili Air. It was much needed time to relax and to try and get over the virus I had caught in Korea. After a few days we headed back to Bali (Ubud in particular) to meet up with one of my best friends, Lauren. We spent 3 nights in Ubud drinking fresh juice and doing yoga before heading off to a new island, Nusa Lembogan.dsc_0804

Our time in Indonesia was a great mix of relaxation and adventure. I also think that it might be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and I am so thankful our travels took us to Indonesia. We found paradise!


Places Visited

Kuta Beach, Gili Air, Ubud, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan (we took our bicycles over to this smaller island for a day trip)


Things We Liked

Beautiful scenery, traveling with Lauren, surfing, seeing sea turtles (!), free breakfast everywhere, cheap, yoga, chill vibe, fresh juice, and biking. Also, the beach! The beaches were absolutely stunning.



Things We Disliked

Trash everywhere, Kuta Beach, difficult transportation, aggressive vendors, no sidewalks, living in luxury when people have so little, bugs that bite (especially when they like to bite just me), lack of ATMs on islands, and uncomfortable/potentially unsafe boat rides to the islands.



1. Surfs Up!

Scott, Lauren and I decided to give surfing a try…we are so glad we did as it is so fun! We took a lesson with Newbro Surf School and our instructor Robot taught us the basics while we were still on land. We took a boat out to the break in the waves and rode the waves for the next few hours. We were all able to get the hang of it and we had so much fun! We all need some more practice, but we would all gladly get on a board again.



2. All the Outdoor Activities

There was so much to do in Bali and the surrounding islands. In Gili Air, we went snorkeling where we saw beautiful reefs and even a sea turtle. We did a stand up paddle boarding tour at sunset. We met up with Lauren and the adventures just kept coming! We did yoga, we took a surf lesson, explored trails, and we went mountain biking a few times (a few of the times it was quite by accident, but awesome nonetheless).




3. The Islands

We really liked Bali. It is a large island and it isn’t necessarily easy to get around from place to place. We only hit the usual places tourists hit, Ubud and Kuta. I would have liked to see more of Bali, but for me I loved all the smaller islands we visited on our trip in Indonesia.


Gili Air is one of three islands that make up the Gili Islands (Gili Trawagaran is the largest, known for being a party island, Gili Meno is tiny and there is not much there, and Gili Air is supposed to be a perfect mix of these two islands…so Scott and I knew this was just where we wanted to be.) The only activities on the island are snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, diving, yoga, and walking around. The island was small enough where you could walk anywhere in about an hour and there were no motorized vehicles on the entire island. It was peaceful and was just what I was looking for at the time.


dsc_0502Nusa Lembongan was totally opposite of Gili Air, but in the best way possible. There was so much to do there and you could stay there for a while and never get bored. The island is much bigger than Gili Air and most people get around by motorbike. All of us decided the safer, and maybe more fun option would be to rent bikes and explore the island. Everywhere we would go there would be another beautiful place and it never got old.  We even rode our bikes over to Nusa Ceningan which is much smaller, but equally beautiful.




1. Getting Sick in Paradise

While I actually got sick in South Korea and traveled to Indonesia with a bad virus, I was sick for the first week of our time in Indonesia. Thankfully it was before Lauren arrived in Indonesia so I was able to rest and try to get completely better before she arrived, but really I would have preferred to have not been sick at all.

View from our room in Gili Air

2. Presidential Election

I am not getting political here, but I will say it was a tough day for us. I will just leave it at that.

The Stats

Total Number of Nights: 13

Languages: Bahasa Indonesian and Balinese

Currency: $1 USD = 13,375 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Number of Miles Traveled:  4,275 (including our flight from South Korea)

Number of Miles Walked:  83.8 miles (average of 6 miles per day)

Steps Taken:  180,246 steps (average of about 12,875 per day)

Transportation Used: boat, taxi, and van

Type of Accommodations: Hotel (3), guesthouse (1), plane — overnight flight (1)

Number of Beds: 5