The last time I wrote, I left you in Mandalay and it feels like so much time has passed and so much has happened since then. I am well into month 6 on the road already, yet I am still recapping the end of month 4. The days and weeks have begun to blur into one another and it feels like time is passing far too quickly. But back to month 4. Here we go…
We arrived in Bangkok tired, sick and ready to be in more of a developed city + country. It’s funny to look back on my travels in 2011 and remember how completely and utterly terrified I was of Bangkok then. I remember arriving in Bangkok from Greece and being so tired from jet lag, yet not allowing myself to sleep in the taxi from the airport to the hotel because of fear that I would be taken.
I remember hardly leaving the hotel for 5 days because I felt overwhelmed every time that I did. I remember leaving Khao San Road and Ryan and I feeling like we had triumphed over Bangkok! I remember arriving back in Bangkok after 6 weeks in SE Asia and still feeling scared to walk the streets alone when Ryan was sick. I remember arriving in Australia and feeling so relieved to be out of Asia.
This time felt so much different. Myanmar was an amazing experience, but it felt like Bangkok did nearly 6 years ago; overwhelming, busy, exhausting. And arriving back in Bangkok felt like Australia did 6 years ago; the breath of fresh air I was craving.
We arrived at our AirBnb near Rama 9 mall in the city center of Bangkok and immediately began settling back into real life. Myanmar had been this weird 2 weeks of not working, but still working, and both Ryan and I felt like our lives were in disarray. We spent time organizing our planners, getting projects in order, catching up on sleep, healing our bodies back to health, and doing laundry.
We hadn’t taken our big bags to Myanmar so it was nice to reacquainted with a wider variety of clothing, and to wash the clothes that we had been re-wearing over and over again. There was a pool and a gym at our AirBnb so I went for daily swims and work outs, and quickly settled back into my routine.
We had a kitchen to make breakfast, we made a stop to our nearest grocery store to stock up on some of our favorite snacks, and we paid visits to Starbucks and the food court in the mall. It’s safe to say that we fell back into the rhythm of “real life” quite quickly.
One of the highlights of being back in Bangkok was luxury movies! We were staying within walking distance of the mall, so we went to 2 movies in the week that we spent in Bangkok. We also paid a visit to Khao San Road for old times sake. I’m not sure if it’s the me who has changed or the road, but it felt much less crazy. Perhaps it was a combination.
This got to me thinking about the evolution of travel, and how, much like the evolution of life, I’ve changed and what I want out of my travels has changed. It was weird to walk the same street that I walked 6 years ago and feel completely comfortable, when before I had been so scared. We went for pad thai at a small vendor right near the Rikka Inn where we stayed last time around, and I took it all in, thinking about how different things are now. How much I’ve experienced in 6 years, the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done.
We wandered the Khao San area for a while, taking it all in, before making our way back to our AirBnb, thinking about how it was strange to be in the exact same place, yet to feel like it was totally different.
On our last day in Bangkok, we met up with a fellow travel blogger that we connected with in Manila for lunch, before heading to the rooftop bar, Vertigo + Moon Bar, at the Banyan Hotel. We sipped ridiculously expensive cocktails looking at the skyline of Bangkok reflecting on our week and debating whether or not we want to live in Bangkok (we think no, in case you’re wondering).
Our flight to Bali the next morning was ridiculously early (6am early), so we made our way to the airport at around 4am. Neither of us had gotten for than 3-4 hours of sleep so by the time we reached Bali, it was time for a nap.
We started our 1+ months in Bali with a visit to Canggu, the tiny surf town just north of Seminyak where I did my YTT nearly 2 years ago. We stayed down the street from Serenity, where I did my training, and I got to show Ryan around. It was really fun to be back in the place that was an integral part in my life changes over the last few years and to re-visit my favorite restaurants, yoga studio and the beach at Canggu.
I was surprised to see how much busier the town has gotten over the last few years and the new development that’s popping up all over the place. Apparently other people are falling just as in love with Canggu as I did!
After 2 days in Canggu, we made our way to Ubud in central Bali where we would be spending the next month. We had booked an AirBnb that cost us $500 CDN for the month only about 10-15 minutes on foot to the Yoga Barn and the coworking space that we planned to get memberships at.
We arrived in the afternoon to our new home and were pleasantly surprised to find that our guesthouse only had 2 rooms. We were in the upstairs room of the 2 room guesthouse that was on a local family’s home.
We spent our first day getting acquainted with the area, and once again, I showed Ryan my favorite places from the last time I was in Ubud, which pretty much consisted of the Yoga Barn and Kafe, a healthy GF, veg friendly restaurant on the main street.
Within our first few days in Ubud it was pretty clear that we were going to be happy there. The coworking space, Hubud, is located across from monkey forest, near to many amazing restaurants. It has the best wifi in town, a cute little cafe with the unreal raw brownies, and the cutest little upstairs attic where I’ve spent nearly every day for almost 2 months now. It’s only 5 mins from Yoga Barn so it’s been convenient for us to establish a regular yoga practice, a work routine, and to still live a pretty relaxed life in Bali.
Next up, I’ll recap the rest of our 2 month stay in Bali, so stay tuned!