An extended stopover to explore Dubai…

I had an overnight flight from Adelaide directly to Dubai which meant I arrived in the very early hours of the morning.  A full day ahead of checking out this new city..

Cruising down Sheikh Zayed Road

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From Africa to Asia..

My flight to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was via Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.  I had a seven-hour stop over but had plenty of movies to watch and they even supplied dinner for free!!  Easy as (and for the price I got the flight for, I could not complain at all).

My first impressions of going out for a walk around KL – wow, I was definitely not in Africa anymore.  I could not believe the amount of white people and in particular, how much skin they were showing!!  There were people everywhere and a whole lot of touristy souvenirs.  This was such a different atmosphere than what I had been used to for the past five months and I was not at ease with it.  People were just waving money around like it was nothing.  The flashy malls and department stores overwhelmed me and the fact that it was Christmas-time meant the jingles and decorations were everywhere.  It was all a bit too much for me.

Street markets in Kuala Lumpur..
Street markets in Kuala Lumpur..

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A day of wandering in Singapore..

I had a full day in Singapore on my way home from India and wow could you notice the difference. Coming from India to one of the world’s most ‘cleanest’ cities was a bit of a shock for me, I missed the chaos of India already.

Singapore was nice for a day – I walked around, a lot, and noticed pretty much all the shops were the same just in different shopping complexes. I did go on the Singapore Flyer which gave me a good view of the city and ate some yummy food. Continue reading “A day of wandering in Singapore..”

My first trip alone, but I was never alone..

For my 21st birthday I decided to go to India but I could not tell you why India. I don’t know myself but it proved life changing and I still hold India close to my heart.

As it was my first overseas trip going ‘solo’, I booked a ‘basix’ tour with Intrepid Travel. Because it was ‘basix’ it meant all our means of transport was by the local transport, no air conditioned buses. Amazing. This was a highlight and made for some of my favourite memories. We travelled by cycle rickshaw, motor rickshaw, local buses, trains, overnight trains and a few taxis.

I flew into Delhi and had a couple of days before my tour started. I was alone and in India. I finally got the courage to leave my hotel room on the first day to change some money and head to Connaught Place. Continue reading “My first trip alone, but I was never alone..”

A trip away with friends ..

We were 20 years old so it seemed about right to book a trip overseas. I went back to Bali with my (then) boyfriend and a few friends. It’s such an easy place to go overseas from Australia.

Again, the smell and humidity hit me as soon as I stepped out of the airport – I knew I was back.

We stayed at The Losari Hotel & Villas in Kuta which is off of Jl. Padma. The Losari was a good distance away from the hustle and bustle but still walking distance as it was on the border of the, much quieter, Legian. This hotel suited us just fine, it had a small pool, which we didn’t really spend much time in as we were out at the beaches most of the time, and a yummy breakfast.

As is standard in Bali, we hired scooters. Doing this opened up a whole range of possibilities and each day we zoomed around from surf beach to surf beach. Each scooter carried two of us with the surfboards strapped to the side of the scooter.

Walking down to Uluwatu Beach
Walking down to Uluwatu Beach

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A family affair in Indonesia..

As majority of Australians do, we went to Bali. It was me, my parents and my younger brother and sister (8 and 6 years old at the time). I was about 12 years old and for our first trip ‘overseas’ as a family. It was 2002, the year of the Bali Bombings.

The first impressions of a foreign country still sit with me – the smell as soon as you stepped outside of the airport hit you straight in the face. I can still smell the mixture of stale sweat and hot air.

We stayed at The Jayakarta Hotel which (as kids, we made note of this) had about five different pools – paradise! The hotel was opposite Legian beach where as soon as you step out of the hotel you get the calls from the local Balinese selling their goods from the beach.

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