We’re Andra and Richey originally from Toronto, Canada, but as of late we’ve been calling the road our home and living in Melbourne, Australia. Our photos were taken in one of our favorite places on earth: Indonesia. We visited Ubud, Seminyak and Uluwatu in Bali and the Gili Islands, which are a part of Lombok.
What prompted your travels?
We are currently on a two-year travel trip around the world! Though we had often talked about leaving home, we didn't really commit to the travels until a few months before leaving. We knew we wanted to travel...but we had our hesitations (should we just spend the money on a wedding/house/etc.). Finally, we decided that we would be happiest if we took the leap to travel, and once we realized this, there was no looking back. We started off in Europe last July and visited Italy and Romania followed by four months in South East Asia traveling around Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. Before this trip we took a number of shorter vacations together to the United States, Caribbean and Europe. All in all, we’ve visited 12 different countries together and there is no sign of us stopping our travels any time soon.
What was the purpose of your trip? What drew you there specifically?
Like all good trips, we had no real purpose other than to explore. Before heading to Bali we only planned on staying a few weeks or so, but within the first few hours of arriving we decided to extend our visa so we can stay for two months! Sometimes you just click with a place. It feels like there is nowhere else in the world you’re meant to be. That’s how it was with us when we got to Bali and we can honestly say we loved every single moment of our time there.
How did you plan your trip? Was it sporadic or something you worked towards?
In terms of planning, we just booked our flights and then decided everything else on the whim. We knew which places we wanted to visit...but no real "plan". No hotels booked, no methods of transport booked. Just figured it out as we went along. Even moving to Melbourne... we knew that we wanted to come to live in Australia for a year, but the truth is we had no idea of which part until about 2 weeks before coming. We always think its better to just go with the flow and let your intuition guide you to the places you're meant to be; that way you'll never be lost.
What was your experience like? How does the culture differ from Toronto?
In the West, we’re often used to keeping to ourselves very much. We dodge eye contact, avoid conversation and have suspicions of why a stranger is smiling at us. In Bali, community is everything. The Balinese people say “smile and you will live forever!” Everyone embraces you with an open heart. You can’t walk on the street without having almost every stranger shine a smile! Our experience while living there for two months has made us better people - definitely more open and more loving.
What recommendations do you have for future travelers?
As for recommendations to future travelers, Ubud was hands down our favorite town. If you’re a health conscious yogi that loves nature, you’ll definitely find it difficult not to leave a piece of your heart here. We spent a lot of time at the Yoga Barn (www.theyogabarn.com) taking up to three yoga/meditation classes per day!
Images Courtesy of Andra & Rich