Travel to Bali Indonesia

Back in 2012 I traveled to nine countries in Asia. I’m starting to share all my adventures under the travel section. Want a cheap and beautiful destination? Head to Laos. Still trying to save up to travel? Here are a few tips! Also, several images from Bali are for sale digitally here.

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Happy Monday! Last week, I shared a Seasoned View of Bali because exactly four years ago that’s where my little feet landed. What a magical week! Before going to Bali, I balked at the idea. I had thought of Bali as one huge resort. That’s just the vibe I got from the few times I heard about it. Well, I was hella wrong. Yes, there’s a couple overcrowded and commercialized areas on the southern tip of Bali, but other than that the island is my definition of paradise.  I only had a week to explore Bali, so I headed straight for the heart of it, Ubud, and what I experienced captivated me. I haven’t stopped thinking about Bali since.  I can’t wait to go back and explore the entire island (especially the northern parts) by motorbike. One day, one day, these are what my daydreams are made of…

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Why I Fell in Love with Laos After Only Five Days

If you are curious about exactly where I went in Laos and how it all went down, here’s a detailed (might I say too detailed) account of my trip in 2012.
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Laos! A country most people have never heard of or at least could not place on a map. The same was true for me before I lived and worked in Thailand. Once I found myself in southeast Asia, I became aquatinted with small countries that surrounded me as I hoped to explore each of them. Laos had always intrigued me because I heard so very little about it.  I must admit, I did very little research before heading to Laos, which is how I go about most trips (for better or worse), but nothing I read hinted at exactly how beautiful, calm, sleepy, and kind Laos can be to travelers.

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Gifts for the Adventurer

I’ve traveled plenty, most times with the wrong gear, but when it’s right, I’ve never felt more comfortable and relaxed in an unknown environment.  Today I’m sharing my most beloved travel companions, in the way of gear, so you can scope out a great present for the adventurer in your life.  All these items are highly practical and while they may be on the expensive side, they’ll last for half a decade or more.  If you want your wanderer to think of you while they’re abroad, scope out one of these premium gifts and have them travel in comfort and style.  I’ve traveled without most of these items at least once, but never again, never again.

gifts for travelers


lightweightdown A quality, packable down jacket. I was absolutely unprepared and frozen in this photo (and for the next few days) taken in Halong Bay, Vietnam.  On my recent trip to Nepal, I made sure to pack a down jacket and it’s a good thing, because I wore it for a week straight on the Annapurna Circuit.

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How To: Survive an International Flight

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Some folks really dread flying.  Usually it’s because of the jet lag and awful airplane food and while those things do stink you can still survive a fourteen hour flight with a smile.  I know because I’ve experienced three extremely long flights to Asia all coming in at different levels on the comfort scale.  If you’re prepping for a holiday overseas, here are a few tips that should make your time in the air a bit more enjoyable. Although, even I couldn’t prepare for the time I woke up with a baby sleeping on my tray table. Even so, here’s how to best survive an international flight and walk away with a smile.

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Traffic in Kathmandu, Nepal

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If you have ever traveled internationally, you know there are certain aspects of life you will observe time and time again.  You’ll notice the way Europeans dress differently than Americans even though they all tend to wear pants and tops of similar brands.  You’ll certainly notice how Hindu and Buddhist populated countries dress more conservatively and almost always cover their shoulders and knees.  You’ll probably eat out while abroad and you’ll admire the way Vietnamese people can sit on furniture made for preschoolers and still look comfortable or how Indians eat with their right hands only.  You’ll also walk around abroad and you’ll notice how easy it is to shop and walk in countries with pedestrian zones. You’ll wish America (or your home country) adopted a few more car-free areas in your city too.  You’ll also notice how hard it is to cross the street safely in some countries, especially if the traffic moves in the opposite direction than what you’re used to.

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To say crossing the street in Kathmandu, Nepal is difficult, is an understatement.  First off, there are no traffic lights or at least none that I have observed in the city center so you won’t see any flashing walk symbols.  The main streets are very wide too and there are certainly no lines painted on them.  If there are crosswalks painted, it’s almost irrelevant because of the lack of traffic lights.  It’s almost impossible to interpret which lane has the right away, when cars will be turning into the intersection, and at what point will the wall of traffic lurch forward.

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Happy Saturday June Bugs!

liveseasoned_summer15_hair-1-9Wowza. Can’t believe it’s already the first Saturday in June. Summer is here! I mean, not officially, but feel that sun, drink that iced coffee, am I right?!  I woke up feeling a little bit bummed this morning and I realized it’s because I would rather be at the beach! I don’t want to be home. I don’t want to be doing work. I don’t want to be cleaning my house. I WANT TO BE AT THE BEACH! After pouring myself a large iced coffee and talking myself off my I don’t wanna do this, I don’t wanna do that ledge, I decided to put on my new bathing suit and do a little bit of daydreaming down memory lane.

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Travel, travel, travel: always on the brain.

I think about traveling every. single. day. Sometimes it’s motivating, sometimes I feel bummed that I’m not off romping around and sometimes those thoughts encourage me to search for travel jobs and update my website.  Tonight I did the later and after working a couple twelve hour not-so-exciting days in a row, all I want is to live in a van and drive, drive, drive.  Instead I’ll post some photos – a few of these didn’t make the cut for my website.  Maybe they’ll give you the urge to get out there or maybe the lottery gods will read this post and my numbers will win tonight 😉



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Four Best Travel & Adventure Documentaries on Netflix

Sneak in some travel on the couch or at your desk by reading these travel guides: State College, Bangkok, & Haystock Rock, Oregon.

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Happy Monday chickadees! Are the birds chirping outside of your windows like they are mine? I truly hope so I had a relaxing weekend full of hikes, coffee, photos and putzin’ around the yard. I also lounged around and watched some Netflix. Sometimes I’m at a total loss as to what to watch, but this weekend I cozied right in with some adventure documentaries. In this post about saving money for a trip, I mentioned staying motivated by thinking of your future travels. I try to do this constantly by reading travel magazines, books (< freebies)  and guides. I also love looking at maps and globes (right now I have three globes, two big maps and a world map shower curtain) and watching adventure documentaries for inspiration motivation.

I have a few favorite travel and adventure documentaries that are streaming now on Netflix and I wanted to share them with you. I’ve watched a bunch of documentaries and movies, high and low budget, and these are my four favorites. I won’t give you any spoilers, but I’ll let you know why I enjoyed each film.  Also, I tend to always be doing something, even while watching TV. These films are listed in order from most to least multitaskability (Yes, I made that up. I think?) meaning you can probably multitask a little with the first and second suggestions, but watching every second is imperative as you move down the list.

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180° SOUTH –  watch the trailer

180° South follows Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Do the companies Patagonia and The North Face ring a bell? Yep. Chouinard and Tompkins are the founders and owners and are totally badass rock climbers and environmentalists (you’ll see how amazing they are in the film). Back in ’68 the pair drove a van down to Patagonia, but Jeff decides to travel by sea from Mexico and south along the west coast of Chile.

The film opens with Chouinard and Tompkins’ original home video footage and continues with Johnson’s. Johnson’s adventure south includes surfing, sailing and climbing and an extended stay on Easter Island. I won’t tell you much more, but you’ll never guess who Johnson meets up with in Patagonia…

Watch 180 south if you want to be uber inspired to save up for epic travels. If you’re an ultra planner take some tips from this documentary; you’ll see everything doesn’t always have to go as planned.


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Mile… Mile & A Half – watch the trailer

Mile… Mile & A Half is the story of five friends and their hike on the John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.). The documentary is shot by the group over the course of 25 days. The trail scenes are breathtaking.  Mile… Mile & A Half was created during a high snow year, which means the rivers were raging and the peaks completely covered with snow.

Mile… Mile & A Half immediately had my attention. I started backpacking around age eleven. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “about a mile… mile and a half.” It is the answer to every question. How far until lunch? How far to the vista? When do we get to the summit? Where is the swimming hole? Are we almost at the campsite? I loved living vicariously through the group. Mile… Mile and a Half actually got me on a John Muir reading kick. Speaking of kick – this project was partially funded by kickstarter.

Watch this movie when you’d rather be outside, but for some reason or another you’re stuck on the couch. I promise it will have you planning adventures ASAP.


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Happy People: A Year in the Taiga – watch the trailer

Happy People is a documentary depicting the life and work of animal trappers in Bakhtia, Russia. Bakhtia is a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, where daily life has changed little in over a century. This film is an amazing look at the ‘simple life’ which is complex in its own right. The documentary follows the trappers for over a year.

Happy People has subtitles so you’ll have to pay attention. As you should. Happy People gave me warm fuzzies even though it looked damn cold there. You’ll get to watch the trappers interact with their dogs and repair their tiny huts in the wilderness. We also get a glimpse of cultural traditions in the Taiga.

Watch this film when you really need to unwind. Watch it when life is a little too much or your routine is upsetting you a bit. Happy People helped me focus on simplifying


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SAMSARA – watch the trailer

I have to admit it took me a good half hour to get into Samsara. I didn’t know anything about the movie before I pressed play and I was kind of dumb founded for at least twenty minutes. Samsara is a non-verbal documentary. Yep, there is NO dialogue. It’s not all scenic, areal shots though, there are people, just no dialogue.

Samsara was filmed over a five-year period in twenty-five countries. According to the website, Samsara is one of only a handful of films shot on 70mm film in the past forty years. The filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, had previously created BARAKA another film, which they describe as a guided meditation on humanity. That phrase actually perfectly describes Samsara too. I’m excited to get my hands on a copy of Baraka.

Watch this film when you’re really in the mood to cozy up on the couch and enjoy an amazing sensory experience. Turn on, tune in, drop out friends.


*All photos taken from the movie trailers linked above.
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