Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bali Life

There's not too many updates from over here in beautiful Bali - life is just super chill.  Plus we sweat too much to have the motivation to move a lot.  We've been lounging at the beach, attempting to cook the local cuisine and pool hopping between villas. I turned the big 2-8 this week and I couldn't think of a more beautiful place to celebrate.  By celebrate I mean sip a coconut, get a pedicure thanks to my NY friends, and have a few beers at sunset.  A far cry from the birthday celebrations of my earlier twenties.

I thought I'd include a few things I've learned about Bali since there's a 90% chance I'll be moving here some day.  If I can convince my brother to buy me a house... #WhatIsABudget

Bali is one of 17,560 islands of the Indonesian Archipelago and is named "The Island of the Gods."  If you could see all the beautiful temples here you'd get it.  I think my favorite fact is that siblings don't have the same last name - this could've saved me years of being "Todd's sister" if we had this tradition in the states.  Parents wait at least three months to choose a name based on their looks, circumstance, or traits they'd like the child to have.  Sorry Mom & Dad it's too late now...

I've currently dropped my beautiful villa with a pool for a more conveniently located "New York Style Apartment."  Location is everything if you can't drive a scooter.  Supposedly they're easy to drive but not when you keep mixing up the gas and the break.  We have 300ft ceilings, 3 bedrooms, a huge terrace, and live on top of a gelato shop.  Clearly whoever named this apartment has never been to NYC.  We also have a fat little apartment dog named Marli who likes to sleep in bed with us.  Life really couldn't get better over here.  Now onto the past weeks activities..

Excuse the snapchat photo. Yes I know "home" is spelled wrong.  My
last roommate's last name is Hom and she taught me how to roll these
little veggie spring rolls.  If you want your mind to be blown by how
creative she is stalk her instagram (she's famous) @homsweethom.

A stunning sunset on Kuta beach.  Kuta is my least favorite
part of the island so far.  It's very touristy (there's a
Hardrock AND starbucks there) and you can't walk the
beach without getting hassled.  But the sunset looked like
this so it was worth the trip.

This is me and my baby sea turtle.  Sea turtles happen to be my
spirit animal so when we found out 205 had hatched and needed
guiding to the ocean we jumped at the opportunity.  Sea turtles
need help in these areas because tourists can crush the nests and
the lights from cars and buildings can confuse them.  Sea
turtles follow the moonbeams to the water so when they're
hatched in a busy area they need a little guidance.

One day I decided to not use google maps.  Turns out I might have gotten my
Dad's sense of directions.  We ended up about 3 kilometers from home (no clue
how far that is in miles) and had to semi hitch hike home.  BUT we saw this
gorgeous temple on the beach so I'll call it even.

We kicked off birthday weekend with a ladies lunch at this adorable
cafe that was next to a spa where we received a traditional
Balinese princess' spa treatment.  Ask details at your own risk...

This is how I spent my birthday. Roasting up a good tan and sipping on a
coconut.  The company I'm wearing - Nalu - donates money and uniforms to
children around the world.  In some cities on this half of the world kids aren't
allowed to go to school past a certain age without a uniform which some
families can't afford.  These kids are more likely to be sold into labor
trafficking.  It's a pretty cool company and they have a shop just down the road.
They also do free global shipping so if you're looking to buy yourself a
birthday gift check them out!

And one more gorgeous sunset for you.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bali is a BABE

I realize I've said this almost every month but - I'm moving to Bali.  It is literally the most beautiful place on earth.  One minute you're walking past a little temple, then you're in a rice patty and then you're on the beach.  I don't even care that all I do is sweat (must be losing some weight by default right) and that my hair will never be straight again. On top of being beautiful, this place is a veggie heaven.  I've eaten vegan for the last week without having to even think about it.

The view from our hallway upstairs. This
pool is in our living room and saves us from
the humidity every day.

And this is our kitchen - all open air so we share it with a few pet geckos.

This is our little living room area where we set up and work
most days.

A little lunch spot we found on the water - great food and even
better views. Surfers are always at this beach so there's always
entertainment. And eye candy ;-)

It's hard to see here but - if you were to see clearly you'd see that Grace Jones herself
was here in Bali.  My roommate took me as an early birthday gift (hint hint family) to a beach
club in the town next door called Seminyak.  She slayed. The end. 
Fresh coconuts on the beach. They cost about
 $.50 and are a great hangover helper.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Breakfast in Europe, Lunch in the Middle East, Dinner in Asia

We've officially finished our Europe leg and due to catching the Bubonic Plague (or something equally as debilitating in my opinion) I didn't get much more done after Oktoberfest.  We had a final boat day to hop to a few of our last islands and headed to off to Asia.  

Hard to believe that we're onto our last leg of Remote Year all I can hope is that the next four months drags in comparison to the first eight.  This month half of the group is staying in Kuala Lumpur and the other half of us will be heading to Bali later this week.  Not too many photos or updates other than that because - jet lag is REAL when you go half way around the world in one weekend. The only thing I learned from this travel day was - Qatar looks awesome and I need to re-visit the Middle East next year (deep breaths Mom, just the safe cities). 

Our final "ladies day" of Europe was a boat trip to the blue
lagoon and a few other small islands. Photo's don't really
show just how blue and clear the water was.  But you can
Try google, they're usually pretty reliable.
We had a fancy beach side Sunday brunch - because when you live out of
a suitcase for 9 months you just make an excuse to dress up once in awhile.
Finally, we soaked in one last stunning Croatian sunset.  Asia you have some
big shoes to fill on the sunset front.

After countless hours flying, laying over,
snacking, drinking, scouting out lounges,
and playing settlers of catan travel edition,
we made it to MALAYSIA.  Our fearless
leader Dave made it back to us after a
brief stint home in Australia.  Fun fact:
even if Dave had been on all 90 hours of
flights, he'd still have this much energy.

And now, I'm in Malaysia for another 18 hours.  So far all I've learned is
Asian food is incredible, I won't have straight hair for at least 4 months, and I
sweat a lot more than I ever thought possible. Hoping that leads to weight loss.

See ya in Bali! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2 Weeks Spent....Surviving

If you're curious about the title of this post, it's because for the past two weekends I've literally just been attempting to survive.  Two weekends ago we decided to go Canyoning down the Cetina river.  We were asked if we wanted the extreme version or the standard version, and since we've never done this before we went for the obvious choice of extreme.  This is after almost four months of no hiking or outdoor activities since arriving to Europe.  Athleticism of South America was traded for cheep booze and luxury here in Europe.  After four hours in freezing water, I safely made it to dry land and in time for football Sunday (GO PATS)! Video footage of our adventure is available here thanks to fellow remote Jeff (won't work on mobile).

Then, this past weekend I survived a weekend of European style fun - Oktoberfest.  I've never consumed more beer or cheese in my life, but I've made it this long after without a heart attack so I think I'm in the clear.  There have been three cities I think I could ever live in for an extended period of time (or just longer than the month I'm currently averaging) and Munich is one of them.  The city is so beautiful (so are the men) and the German's do NOT mess around.  German efficiency is something I can get on board with.

Before we get to pictures...a few more videos of interest (again these won't work on mobile):
Footage from our Yacht Weekend courtesy of the Nomad Drone
Footage from Machu Picchu Hike day One
Footage from Machu Picchu Hike day Two Courtesy of our personal YouTuber TJ Lee.   Follow her @CupOfTJ for beautiful pics & videos.

The crew we went Canyoning with.  Going in a large group assures that if
the current is too strong and you miss the exit someone is always there to
pull you back in by your pony tail (thanks Dustin). 

I let it slide that this man made the mistake of touching my knee caps because
repelling down a cliff is pretty terrifying. Even when you have a man this
handsome holding your life in his hands.
Now this is what I signed up for. A leisurely float with my significant otter.

We made a quick trip back to Dubrovnik before flying out to Munich.  I ended up
getting sick (again) so the only real activity I managed to participate in was
the cable cars to the top of the hill which gives this view of
Old Dubrovnik - more commonly known as King's Landing.

And finally, OKTOBERFEST! After a 3 hour wait in the freezing rain we
got into the tents where I met up with two of mine and my brother's
friends who live in Munich.  They arrived after our wait in the
pouring rain and before I was too drunk to remember them. Clearly, not their
first rodeo.

In case you haven't caught on, we never do anything with less than 26 of
our closest friends.  This is after we finally got some beer (tents opened at 9
but no beer until 12) on day one.  This is in the Schottenhamel tent where the
ceremonial tapping of the keg happens by the Mayor.

Day two I met back up with Tom and Marie for brunch at the Hoffbrauhaus and
Marie brought me this lebkuchen (gingerbread necklace) as a gift.  You
DO NOT eat these. No matter how drunk you are. PS. how cute is Marie?
You should see her dirndl (dresses we're wearing).  They're GORGEOUS.
Will definitely be arriving early next year to get some real authentic ones like

This is the HB from the outside.  Did I mention Germany is super cute?
More impressive than these stunning cobblestone streets were the women
who managed to wear heels in the rain on them.
We spent Sunday in the Hoffbrau Tent which was a lot
rowdier than the Schottenhamel tent.  People hop on the
tables to chug a beer and if you don't do it fast enough
you get food thrown at you and boo'd down..  This was
my attempt to carry the beers like the servers.  They have
to carry at least 10 1L beers at a time to work there. I
managed 5 half beers.  If anything will get me in
the gym it's my new goal to be an Oktoberfest bartender. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Split is LIT

We've been in Split, Croatia for a little over a week now and it's been one hell of a week.  I landed at the airport to my parents waiting for me at customs and in true Remote Year fashion headed straight to the bar.  OK we made a quick pit-stop at my new apartment which is the nicest one I've had to date - then went to the beach bar.  I'm a 30 second walk to the workspace and as soon as I walk out my front door I see the beach.  I also some how scored a NYC theme'd apartment to make me feel really at home. Below are some of the pictures of our explorations during week one!

We spent our first day lounging at a beach club and sipping
a few cocktails by the water. This is about a 3 minute walk
from my apartment.
Day two we got a little culture in and stopped by Diocletan's palace.  Pictured
here is a portion of the castle that's in a bit rougher shape than the rest but
a great view of the bell tower.  Unless temperatures drop below 75 I'm not
climbing it.  You can also live inside the castle walls.  I wonder if rent is more
than NYC...
We made it back from our day of culture to take a little booze cruse to the
Remote Year welcome party.

If you haven't seen my instagram then  you might not know about my love of
sunsets.  This was the sunset at the welcome party where we had a BBQ,
drinks, and water sports.
Also as beautiful as the sunsets are the sunrises.  Don't ask how I made it til

We spent another day driving to Dubrovnik aka King's Landing for you GoT
fans.  The views along the route were stunning and filled with little seaside
This is the port of King's Landing. We spent about 1.5 hours walking along the
top of the wall that surrounds the castle.  You can also live within these castle
Things to love about Croatia : their rest stops on highways are wine tasting stops.
After we accidentally crossed 4 borders illegally, we decided to celebrate.

Dinner inside Diocletian's palace.  This place is a maze of
old apartments, businesses, shopping, and tiny little restaurants.

I also hosted family dinner at my apartment.  What's usually 10 of us from
my Buenos Aires apartment unit turned into about 40 at one point.  Shout out
to Dad for making delicious pasta that helped coat all the wine in our stomachs!

The last day here we went to Krka National Park which is
about an hour away from Split and filled with gorgeous blue
water and waterfalls.

These are the falls from the bottom where we swam but not for very long.
The water is SUPER rocky here. 

And finally we rounded out Labor Day Weekend by chartering a few boats
to take us island hopping for the day.  I was bummed my parents couldn't make
it but I think they'd had enough of partying with the crew.
After hopping around 4 islands on Saturday and a night in Hvar Saturday
night, we hit another 3 islands Sunday which included a blue cave..

Last awesome thing about Split: We have a blob. And sorry Dad but
you had the most graceful landing so your video is being featured.
Cannot figure out how to flip this video so just turn your head. It's
been a long weekend!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Serbia, Our Weirdest Stop Yet

We have about 4 days left in Serbia so this will probably be my only post from here.  Who would've guessed this place would keep me so busy?  Belgrade is a pretty awesome off the grid city which has been a nice change from all the tourist destinations we've had thus far.  It was the first time we got dropped in a city and didn't have to worry about fitting in all of the sights and museums in one month.  At least to me, we got here, moved in and just lived.

The food is shockingly good, it's the cheapest city we've been to by far, and aside from the fact that we're now in the Cyrillic alphabet and I can't tell anyone where I live - it's a clean and cool place to be.  Kind of has a 90's grungey feel that I really dig.  Also - the fashion is still in the 90's and makes for some serious people watching.  Jorts anyone?  At risk of actually saving some money in this cheap city, I made the last minute decision to hop to Montenegro for a long weekend and get away from everyone for a few days. I also had my brother's 2nd visit which always takes a few days to recover from.

Below are some of the pictures from the last few weeks.  On the line-up for this week: BBQ, escape room, going away party, and traveling to Croatia where I'll meet up with my parents for a week!

Sunset over the Sava river.  About one mile to the right is where the
Sava & Danube rivers connect.  Those boats across the river from our dinner
are all nightclubs that rage every night of the week.

This was where I spent a good chunk of my time in Montenegro, another small
Balkan country on the coastline.

Montenegro is BEAUTIFUL.  I've been told it looks a lot like Split, Croatia
which is where I head next weekend.  It's still off the grid as far as tourism
goes which makes for a nice relaxing weekend away. 

I took a little cruise around the coast and stopped in a few port towns.  This
Church called "Lady of the Rocks" is built in the middle of the water on
a man-made island made of rocks and sunken enemy ships.

This is part of the Belgrade fortress built by the Romans a LONG time ago.
It's right on the merger of the Sava and Danube rivers.  Most countries would
go way out of their way to protect something like this but being that Serbia
is super weird - they have a basketball court inside and a nightclub.
Ball is life. 

This is the view of the fort from the other side of the Sava.  A few of us spent
the afternoon at this club/pool called Hot Mess to wait out the heat. 

We also attended Belgrade Beer fest which is the largest in South East
Europe. Whatever that means. Spoiler alert family : Todd has a girlfriend
(pictured above). 

Better than beer fest was our discovery that there was an amusement
park just behind the vendors.  Cue drunken rainbow ride selfie. 

This past weekend we headed to the South of Serbia to explore this working
monastery (which is actually a convent so, as always I'm confused by

The tour also felt this massive waterfall was worth a stop.

The highlight of the trip was this massive cave we explored at the end
of the day.  The pictures don't do it justice and I can't say much about it
because our guide only knew the words stalagmite and stalagtite. 

Finally we had a little Sunday Funday at the local man-made lake
called Lake Ada.  Played some catch, had beers, and just laid out around
the water.