After a hectic hour and a half drive on treacherous roads we had arrived in Ubud. Located in central Bali surrounded by breathe taking temples, luscious greenery and an untold amount of rice paddies on multiple leveled steps Ubud has a lovely calm and quiet vibe. Coming from the more busy town of Seminyak it is a nice change. We only have a few days here but intend to make the most from our exquisite surroundings.
Standard procedure in Bali
As the driver slows up we arrive at our home for the next few days. Always a bit skeptical when we arrive at new accommodation, when you consider the price you pay you kind of always expect something very basic with a hard bed. Our visions where swiftly changed as we pulled up to a lovely temple like reception with statues of Vishnu and Ganesha. We was greeted by the friendliest of staff and a glass of Indonesian ice tea. After a short briefing and run down of the local area we was shown to our room.
After a little freshen up and wardrobe change we headed out to the nearest warung for our favorite nasi goreng. With full tummies we went to explore our surroundings where I made my first purchase. I have been waiting for the whole trip. A ukulele, and a very beautiful one at that. I made the decision to learn it while we are traveling around. As a young teen I learned (halfhearted) the guitar but as I grew older I let it slide and can safely say now I can barely play a riff, but its never to late. Considering back home I was going to purchase one for around £60 when the street vendor handed me a hand carved one with beautiful engravings for a mere 160 thousand rupees (£10) I was instantly sold. Walking away with a smile on my face Camilla then said; how are you going to manage with all your luggage and now this? But one doesn’t care and will deal with this when the time arrives, for now I was happy. With this we headed home and our fist night was concluded.
Now here we are, it’s mid morning and we are getting ready for our first full day of exploring beautiful Ubud. First thing on the agenda is the monkey sanctuary, for those who do not know about this little gem it is a sacred sanctuary and temple persevered by locals based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana. This is one of the philosophies in Hinduism. It is broken down like this. Tri meaning three, Hita which means happiness and Karana which means the cause or manner thus when put together meaning “Three ways to reach spiritual and physical well being. It all does sound very nice but for the more simpler/sophisticated mind there are lots of monkey that will jump on you and you can touch.
After our spiritual and monkey calling our plans are all open they will probably consist of food and more temples. This concludes this mornings tales will see you all this evening and to all my people in England good morning we will be thinking of you while you board the busy underground for the morning rush hour 🙂 bye.
It has been nearly 2 months since my last post, I feel like I let myself down a little. This comes with a reasonable excuse. I have been enjoying life! Since my last post we have taken 9 flights, traveled across America, survived a hurricane, slept in an airport, met the friendliest native people in Fiji BULA! Spent the day on a private island in the middle of the south pacific, treated ourselves in Brisbane eating Nandos and other home treats, linked up with friends in Miami and Bali, had a villa with a swimming pool in our living room and survived riding a moped on treacherous roads in Bali.
I don’t know where to start so what I am going to do is write many different blog posts from previous day and post previous blogs that I failed to upload just to catch up on where we are. I will also try and upload current posts to keep it relevant. So consider this post an apology to people like Duane and the Facebook gang, Family members who daily ask for updates, all my Doddinghurst family (quick congrats to Javis and his mrs on their baby boy!) and to everyone else who was reading. We are now currently in Bali, Seminyak to be exact for a few days, we will then travel to Ubud later on to Gili Trawangan and our last stop Jakarta. So click the links and see some pictures and hopefully the next post will keep you entertained and waiting for more. P and C
So I’ll admit I have a sweet tooth. I love chocolate, I love Pudim and I love cheesecake especially New York vanilla cheesecake. Now Camilla is Brazilian and that dish I mentioned called Pudim is a concoction that is made up from condensed milk, eggs and milk and it is delicious but, I’m sure it could easily cause diabetes if consumed daily. But I digress from today’s antics.
After another sweltering bus journey we again arrived at Manhattan. Today’s plan was to get an American sim, go to the top of the Empire State Building and my personal favorite get a cheesecake. With this plan in motion we headed into central and into a few phone shops. After browsing we decided that AT&T had the best deals so we went ahead and purchased a sim. Now over here they seem to have a different set up to England. Back home you can just get a sim of a few pound then top it up as you see fit. Over here it seemed they only had rolling contracts of which I had to choose between data, calls and texts or both. You wasn’t able to just get a sim and top us as you wish so we ended up paying $75 for 7gb which should last a month. Now back home considering I pay £50 a month and have unlimited everything this seemed a bit expensive but what could we do as we needed a sim. One thing that was exceptional though was the customer service. A friendly fellow called Rob was the one who sweet talked us into parting with our money, but the information he revealed was worth the money. He told us there is a legendary cheesecake shop called juniors just around the corner from Times Square. With this delightful information we said out thanks and left the store.
Now I was on a mission. Camilla on the other hand isn’t a cheesecake fanatic so instead of going straight to juniors I was diverted in Macy’s department store to float around and look at all the lovely items that we couldn’t buy. But it is the famous Macy’s so I wasn’t fussed and knew that at some point today we was going to devour a New York cheesecake in New York. Upon exit of Macy’s I noticed a footlocker across the street, as a trainer lover and living in England deprived of all the amazing trainers and sizes America had to offer, the decision was made and we entered. There was something different about this store though, there was a certain buzz about it, but it’s New York so it seemed normal. We floated around for a while with me wishing I could buy them all and ship them home but of course that was out of the question so we headed towards the exit. We then noticed there was a crowd of people with cameras poised all looking in one direction so being ever so curious we asked what was going down. To our surprise the fastest man on earth Usain Bolt was in footlocker doing signings! Amazing luck ay! We joined the crowd waiting for a glimpse of the legend himself and it didn’t take long. He was in a closed off room checking out some trainers, we only had to wait a few minutes for him to pop out and make his exit we had our cameras ready. So we managed to get a small clip I put the link in here if you want to check it out p.s. yes he looked at me.
After all that excitement we headed out and towards the Empire State building, while we was on route we met the people who sell the tickets outside and they had some tantalizing offers. So offers got chose and it was decided that instead of going today we wold go tomorrow but not to the Empire State but to the Statue of Liberty and The New World Trade Center. With tickets purchased we finally made our way to Juniors bakery. After a short high paced walk we had made it, I was like a child in a sweet shop. Now back home I would buy whole cheesecake and slowly munch my way through half with a satisfied grin on my face, so over here when I had to buy a slice I was a little disappointed but that frown was quickly turned upside down. The cake was amazing and to make it worse it was so rich and tasty it was hard to even finish a slice but of course we both finished them.
For sure after that we felt very fat indeed but we was both so pleased with this fat feeling we didn’t care. Junior’s we will be back! After this delicious desert we headed towards Times Square to soak up some of the amazing atmosphere/ sit down and let that cheesecake digest. As always the place was alive so we found a spot and perched our greedy self’s. Eventually we decided to make our journey home. Feeling full of desert my never satisfied tummy wanted more food but the food situation was slowly getting to me, all this city seems to offer is pizza slices, burgers and McDonald’s. I needed a Nandos or some rice and meat, however when i informed my lovely girlfriend Camilla she looked at me in shock called me fat and she made the decision that we was going home. Tomorrow i would make it my mission to find some rice and meat.
So if you like what you read come and follow our journey on Instagram and YouTube. Also check out all our previous posts. Until the next one.
Our first morning in New York. After an amazing jet lagged sleep we woke up bright and fresh. Any other couple would have gotten ready and headed straight to the main attractions right? Well us on the other hand searched google maps for the nearest Walmart and headed straight for that. Over the years I have heard so much talk about American supermarkets and how big and great the food is so it is only right I check it out. Boy we was in for a treat. If you love food as much as I do then this is supermarket heaven. They sell everything in normal and large potions. Food and treats I have only dreamed about tasting over the years from being teased by seeing them in movies or hearing about them in music. To finally be in Walmart picking up a gallon of koolaid, well I couldn’t be any happier. Honestly it’s amazing. Imagine the largest box of cereal we get back in the UK, now that is the average size box over here. Lucky Charms to Froot Loops, the cereal we all wish we had back home. It’s true all the portions are built for hungry people with appetites that matches Adam Richman. But hey who’s complaining? After traipsing around Walmart for a while like two children in a sweet shop we finally made up our minds, paid and headed home to tuck into the delicious bags of goodies we had just purchased.
After this delightful trip to Walmart we headed home ate and prepared ourselves for the day. With no main plan for the day we headed into Manhattan to begin our journey. Upon arrival to this busy, amazing town still the only thing on my mind was New York Cheesecake, but with hour to find this delicious delicacy we headed to times square.
Now I have lived in London all my life so I kinda thought I knew what busy and rush hour was. I was so wrong. This place was alive with people. Everywhere we looked there was something going on, street performers to local vendors, massive animated billboards and even Spiderman himself is willing to take a picture with you. The place was alive. We was in awe, soaking up the atmosphere left right and center. It was then Camilla suggested we head over to Central Park to see the other side to this amazing city. After a long straight walk past many blocks we made it, and it seemed as if we was in a different city. Yes it was still busy with tourists and commuters alike but there was a different vibe here. A tranquility and slower pace. As we entered I noticed a no smoking sign. Neither of us smoke so it had no affect on us, but to be walking around a lovely park without the constant smell of cigarettes in your face i thought is a lovely touch that adds to the whole opposite vibe this park has to the busy center. It’s like a getaway from all the noise and hustle of central Manhattan. One thing we didn’t expect was the sheer size of the park. It is massive. What felt like hours and miles walked turned out to be not even half the park, but that didn’t matter as the weather and environment was keeping us more than entertained just walking around.
Who’s walking who?
After what seemed like hours of relaxed walking it came to our attention we was actually rather tired, it had seems the park had got us. We needed to find a spot for us to rest our weary legs, with this we headed back towards times square. This proved easier said than done, again the cheer size of this place had beaten us. If we knew where we was going a push bike might have been an option, but we had no idea and the roads seemed treacherous. After more weary walking we had made it and found a lovely shop that made fresh smoothies and delicious looking sandwiches. Once we was refueled we headed out again into the busy streets of New York, this time though I had an idea of where I wanted to go. Flight Club a sneaker heads dream. Back in London Jordan’s and other trainers are very hard to find especially in the larger sizes and as I am a larger fellow nowhere ever has my size. This was trainer heaven, everything had my size and even bigger! I had never seen such a variety of colorful and rare trainers. This is when my amazing girlfriend hit me with the home truth. It is our first day we have six months to go am i really going to be wearing a pair of $200 Jordan’s in Fiji? Now of course I would was the answer I wanted to say but the sad truth was that it was the opposite. so with teary eyes I promised the trainer I will come back another time just to shop, and with this we left.
The day was coming to an end. Two worn out travelers wandering around on our last legs, but indefinitely we soldiered on. We stumbled across a sign that incited us. 99 cent pizza who doesn’t want a slice?
You know it was well worth eating, the slice was delicious and for that price we will be back. If you would like to try it out I have the address here so go and enjoy. 151 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017.
As the day was coming to an end we decided to head back to times square and relax before our journey home. One thing that i have never seen before is naked women with only body paint on standing around waiting for people to take pictures with them for a small fee, this was a first for me. The thing was that they seemed to all have a person taking a picture with them. People make money with ingenious ideas. So the day was coming to an end, we was both exhausted from the amount of walking and ground we had covered, but there.s always time for on more picture. So here is our last pic of the day. Enjoy it. And if this is your first time reading see how we started our journey here Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram as well.
Today is the day. Our first step to living out our dream. It started out with a broken, nervous sleep the night before, waking up to a house with no milk for cereal (which is never a good start). Then came the checking and double checking of the backpack that i’m almost certain I have over packed, but, you can never have too many t shirts or trainers. Zipped it up padlocked it and put aside by the door patiently waiting to be picked up and taken across the world. This is when the over excitement and butterflies set in. My head swirling around pondering if we had made the right decision? What job am I going to do when I get back? currently taking the biggest step in my life so far, that’s when the butterflies stopped and certainty set in. I knew I was doing the right thing and was fully committed to making this amazing journey work. The time had arrived, I had to meet the amazing girlfriend at the station. I was greeted by big smiles and an even bigger backpack, you have to understand shes only 5ft 3″ she could literally fit in her bag but she held it strong and happy that the time had actually come around where she is wearing it, meaning we are off! We opted out of getting a taxi to the airport realizing that we are going to have to start pinching pennies and cut out the little western world so called luxuries out, anyway the train was hassle free and took half the time and way over half the price.
So we finally made it to the airport both with grins competing with the Cheshire Cat covering our faces as we head over to check in. I checked in hassle free, but, Camilla has an extraordinary surname which is 3 names long and it was that point we was informed our travel agent had only put her last one so when it came to her checking in we was unable to as it didn’t match her passport. Our hearts literally sunk deep down and that grin was swiftly wiped off our faces. All we was thinking is we haven’t even left the country and we have our first obstacle. For us both to get the flight her name had to be changed so really it wasn’t that big of an issue, it was then we was told because our travel agent booked our flights they would have to make the changes. Now an hour passed that felt more like 3, and the only thing running through our minds is that we are not going to make this flight. So this is what we was being told.
Option 1) we could buy a new ticket for way over a thousand pound.
Option 2) get another flight on another day for cheaper.
Option 3) wait to see if our agent could fix the problem.
Option 3 it was the other 2 were just a big slap in the face. low and behold our savior agent came to our rescue with the new amended ticket! Just like to shout out STA Travel for amending the ticket. So we finally checked in made it through security, ate (a tequila to calm the ticket stress) boarded the plane and hassle free.
For my first long haul flight it went rather smoothly. I thought i would be restless and frigidity, but it turned out I was sleep before it took off. Camilla on the other hand couldn’t sleep of find a comfy position, how unfortunate.
So here we are. New York! About to live the american dream, or try to at least 🙂 The customs process was one of the longest i have been through. So many questions being asked, finger prints being taken and pictures, but it went hassle free as well. So we had our route to the apartment planned out for us luckily by our very helpful Airbnb host. As we finally stepped out of the airport the humidity was the first thing we noticed and the general business of the whole are, but directly in front of us was the iconic yellow taxi which soon had me taking pictures acting like right tourist (of which w are). A coach took us direct to central Manhattan where we needed to get another coach to our apartment. One thing I realized right away was the sheer size of all the vehicles, nine out of ten vehicles where massive pick up trucks, a nice change to all the small fiesta and Prius we have in London. The anticipation to drive one with some 50 Cent blasting is building up.
It seemed is if the journey was never going to end. We had been up now for nearly 24 hours but all was coming to an end for our first day we had arrived at our new home. After a short introduction we was handed the keys and went off to our spacious room. Finally a bed and here we are knackered but happy to be home safe. Let the adventure begin! Oh and I promise when I get home tonight I will edit some videos and upload to YouTube.
17 days, that’s all we have left. Time has come creeping up on us so quickly we hardly noticed. 9 months ago we booked this and I remember my girlfriend getting that count down app and saying “Ahh its so far away”. And now its here. I work at Facebook doing building security and honestly its a lovely job, everybody is so welcoming and social, we have an amazing working environment offering an onslaught of free food, a games room and even sleeping pods! But now the only thing consuming my daily thoughts is my last shift 🙂 I will definitively miss working here and the amazing people I have met and worked with while I was here. This trip would not have been so smoothly and easily planned if it wasn’t for STA Travel they have a number of amazing routes to chose from that can be taylored for your perfect trip, so yeah shout out Alex.
We are aiming for a 6 month trip but…..I’m sure we would happily stay for as long as possible. Our first country on our adventure is America. We have a 8 hour flight to The Big Apple. Our first stop and my will power is already being tested. I could so easily spend all our money on clothes, trainers and fine dining, but i am sure the Mrs would probably slap me leave me and I would go home broke single with a suitcase full of clothes. So for now I will be happy just to be there soaking up the atmosphere with a bagel, a slice of cheesecake pondering gazing at the statue of liberty. For our time in America we are staying in Airbnb apartments. For those who haven’t heard of Airbnb this is a website offering short stay accommodation in peoples homes. You have the option of renting a room or an entire apartment. We have stayed in some great locations for a fraction of what a hotel would cost and the places are usually amazing. For us hostels were a no no as we need our space and hotels were a definite no. Airbnb offer such a variety of accommodation at amazing prices and give you the opportunity to live with a local who’s knowledge can be key to enjoying your time. It was our first choice and I highly recommend it . We will be staying in an area called Little Ferry so if you have any tips for us don’t be shy. We are in New York for 5 nights. Then its off to see the most powerful man in the world, Barack.
Dab On Em Planning
Washington D.C couldn’t be missed we will be staying here for 3 nights. We will be staying in North East Washington, they say it is not far from central and is a good location we will have to find out. Once we have finished here we are on to the next destination which is Miami!
Now for Miami we managed to rent our own flat which I cannot wait for as we will be staying on Miami beach for 8 nights (feeling like Scarface). The apartment looks amazing and from what I have heard about Miami the place is too. Now I’m sure most people will be wanting to go clubbing and partying but me, I’m more of a lay on the beach and hit the gym kinda guy so I will definitively be hitting up the famous Iron Addicts gym. I will be doing daily blogs and vlogs when out there so stay tuned! Again if you have any advice or tips on places we should go feel free to send me a message or leave a comment :). After spending some time in lovely Miami we are off to Denver.
Now Denver is somewhere I wanted to go because of a certain law they have legalised (I won’t say any more). We will be spending 3 nights in Denver just seeing what it has to offer. Again we will be staying Airbnb this time renting a room in someones house. One thing I must say is that all the people we will be staying with sound very friendly and accepting which is very welcoming. From here we head on to another destination. Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps.
Viva Las Vegas
Las Vegas is another must visit place for us in our American journey. This time we have opted to stay in an hotel, surprisingly it wasn’t that expensive and came in the same price as an Airbnb. It will be a nice change as well to have the luxury of a hotel. Again my will power is going to be tested I will have to fight the urge and remember I am NOT Dan Bilzerian. We will be spending 3 nights in this amazing place. The anticipation to feel the intense heat of the Vegas desert is something I cannot wait for. So many “summers” spent in London wearing jackets it will be a lovely change to wear shorts for so long. Somewhere i want to visit is the Mayweather gym. As someone who’s into fitness and gym this is one place I can’t miss out on. I was planning to jog there, train then jog back to the hotel but I have been told the heat and humidity will kill me. We will see how my stamina really is and put it too the test. Our next stop in our American adventure will be our last. California to be more specific Los Angeles.
LA is another highly anticipated destinations. Myself I’m interested in 3 things….Golds gyms…Motocross and medicinal reasons. My girlfriend however whom I’m sure will have a different agenda that will include sunbathing, Hollywood and shops but in sure we will meet in the middle. We will be staying in Santa Monica in another Airbnb hosts house. This wraps up our busy scheduled month in America we are in LA for our last 7 days then we are on to in my eyes somewhere that sounds so exotic and far out that I never imagined I would be spending time there. Fiji.
Cloud 9 Fiji
Fiji looks like a heavenly island straight from a holiday magazine. I have been told that there is a floating bar in the middle of the crystal clear sea called Cloud 9 where you can spend days relaxing and diving, the local food is meant to be fresh and delicious accompanied by friendly, welcoming locals. Sound too good to be true? There could be one flaw. I have been told that there is a deadly Fijian sea snake that can kill but doesn’t attack. Thought it was too good, but that won’t stop me enjoying my time diving off boats and cliffs into the enticing clear waters. We are spending 14 nights on this beautiful slice of paradise in the South Pacific ocean, this for me this is when our real adventure begins. We chose to stay in a backpackers hostel ( I know i said no hostels but we have a private room) so we can soak up some atmosphere, meet people and hopefully hear tales of others amazing journeys. From living in London most shops you go into sell the over priced Fiji water so I am going to make it my mission to find a fresh water river and drink straight from it and taste it from the source. Once our time here is spent we then move on to our next destination of Indonesia more exact Bali.
From Bali on wards we have no timescale or specific routes planned. We will be going upwards though through South East Asia visiting Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines. This part of our journey I am going to find most enjoyable, forgetting days, trying exquisite local cuisine, meeting hundreds of new people and seeing some of the most amazing sights this world has to offer. I did say in my last post that I will start uploading videos so as of next week i will start vlogging via my YouTube channel
Exotic Island Hoping
So that is our route. With time still slowly creeping up on us all that’s left for us to do is buy some final bits and pack our back packs and get on the plane, so don’t forget to follow my Instagram to see all my latest pictures and if you like this so far gimme a like a follow 🙂 20-09-16.
This is it. One year of planning and now we are less that one month away!
Just under a year ago myself and my girlfriend made an unalterable decision to quit our jobs and try our luck at travelling, after a much umming and erring (on her side) we had finally got to the point of going to a travel agency to book our trip. My main goal was South East Asia as most travellers do, but, we ended up booking a round the world trip starting off in America and ending up in Asia. Now i am not from a travelled family. I only went on one holiday as a child and didn’t really go abroad until i turned 21 so to put it in other words i was gassed to be booking this dream trip.
It might seem very daunting and expensive to book but believe me I am far from wealthy and have managed to pay and plan (very careful planning) this trip ourselves. So our first stop, America. We decided that a month there was long enough we would visit a few states we wanted then onward with our journey. We choose New York why not, Washington see Barack, Miami obviously, Denver if you know you know, Vegas and LA of course. Spending a few days in each place. From LA the trip continues we to fly to Fiji then Bali, Singapore then finally South East Asia were we will travel around for as long as our bank will last! Hopefully we win the lottery or something :).
So now we are here the months of planning and the everyday excitement of counting down days, working extra shifts and its all finally about to pay off, less than 30 days until we leave. You know I’ve never felt this kinda inner happiness and peace knowing that soon i won’t be getting up at 5am to get on an overloaded sweltering underground train in busy London, instead I will be waking up to amazing views in places unknown to me waiting to be explored and life long memories made. they say the world is your oyster so i’m about to put my blue plastic one down and find the ones at the bottom of the sea. Come along for a journey from the hustle and bustle of city life to the tranquillity the world has to offer.
Follow my Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube soon the adventure begins.