It’s not you, it’s me…

That’s what they always say. In reality, we’re just spending a boatload of time together. Possibly more than married couples do in a year or even a few years of marriage.

We are parting ways for a few weeks to do separate things and it’s okay! Jenny will be continuing down south through Vietnam and into Cambodia with our wonderful Swiss friends (from Halong Bay) and Kerry will be heading to Perth for some R&R.

You’ll hear from each of us separately for a bit, but there’s no need to panic. We’ll be back in each other’s arms soon enough (in the Philippines).

In the meantime, check out our YouTube channel where we constantly add random videos.

Cheers!

~ Kerry & Jenny

 

Hue, Vietnam

We left Hanoi for the final time on a Thursday night, cozily tucked in to the back of a sleeper bus. Our main mode of transportation throughout all of Vietnam were these buses. The first experience on a sleeper bus was to Sapa and it was not terrible, so we agreed to buy an “open bus” ticket for Vietnam. That meant we could travel between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with stops in Hue, Hoi An and Nha Trang, for $34 each. And we could stay in each stop for as long as we wanted.

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Similan Islands, Thailand Liveaboard

After getting scuba certified in January we started toying with the idea of doing a liveaboard during our RTW trip. Liveaboards involve living on a boat for a certain number of days and include a lot of diving trips in the time you are on board. We opted to try this out in the Similan Islands, a set of islands off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. We were told it was one of the most beautiful places to dive in Thailand and a great place to try a liveaboard since day trips to these dive sites are not plausible due to them being so far off the coast.

We spent 5D/4N on the Manta Queen 3 with about 30 other people. It was an amazing experience where we made some fantastic friends, found new travel companions and even met some other Texans! We were lucky enough to have a room to ourselves as a way to ease into our liveaboard lifestyle. We did 15 dives in 4 days (we had only 7 logged dives before this trip), improved our scuba skills, saw some unique and impressive sea life, completed our advanced open water certification and most importantly, had a lot of fun.

The crew of the Manta Queen 3 were beyond amazing. They fed us, spoiled us, kept us informed and entertained, made sure we were safe, helped us in and out of our gear, shared stories of their adventures and much more. Our guide, Joe, spent every dive showing us unique and intriguing things under water and also helped us get our advanced open water certification. Fellow Texans Devon and Brandon rounded out our dive group nicely and we really enjoyed spending time in (and out of) the water with them. Brandon came to us with a proposal towards the end of the trip – that we all go on a dive trip once a year – and we gladly accepted!

Luckily Jenny started feeling better at the start of this trip once her medicine kicked in and she was able to enjoy all of the dives on the trip without any issues! Such a relief!

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Bali, Indonesia 

We were so excited to finally reach our first destination in Southeast Asia! We flew into Bali and were greeted by humidity and heat, 2 things that we will need to get used to pronto, because there will be no relief from hot temps for a few months at least.

Awaiting our arrival at the airport was Michael, or Pak Jessi (he goes by both names). We had pre-arranged for him to be our driver because Jenny’s friends Ashley and Joe had met him while on vacation in Bali about 5 years ago and said he was fun and a great tour guide and personal driver. Jenny had messaged him on Facebook a couple of days before our arrival to hammer out the details of our flight into Denpasar. He even printed out a sign with our names on it so we could find him easily in the sea of drivers standing outside the airport terminal. We spotted him nearly immediately and were quickly on our way to an ATM to get cash in the local currency, Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), then onward to our hotel in Seminyak. We opted for a hotel here over a hostel because, well, they are pretty cheap. And we heard from multiple people in Perth (Australia) that the safer bet for Bali was a hotel….We trusted them because Bali is a very popular holiday location for people living in Perth due to the close location and easy 3 hour flight. We have deduced that Bali is to  Western Australians what Cancun is to Texans, an easy and fun party getaway town!

Enjoying some Bintangs with Michael

Here is a breakdown of what we did while in Bali:

Barong Dance
We were able to take in a traditional Balinese Barong Dance, which is essentially a play with 5 acts and live music. We learned that the Barong Play represents the eternal fight between good and evil spirits. The Barong (a mythological animal) is the good spirit and the Rangda (a mythological monster) is the evil one.


Uluwatu Temple
We heard that there were a few monkey temples in Bali to go to and Michael had suggested Uluwatu, which is a Balinese Temple on the coast with stunning views and lots of monkeys. He warned us not to wear our sunglasses inside and to clutch tightly to our belongings in the temple area, because while the monkeys are adorable, they are incredible thieves! We indeed watched people lose glasses, caps and even flip flops to the monkeys!! It was an extremely hot day, and we were required to wear satin sarongs to cover our legs which added to the sweltering heat. There were several sets of stairs leading to the temples (that tourists are not allowed in) and lookout points with views of the water crashing against the rock cliff…made it worth the heat!


Potato Head Beach Club
We had gotten a few recommendations from Aussies to hit up Potato Head for a day of relaxating by the pool and beach. We spent the day after Kerry’s birthday here as a birthday treat and it was quite luxurious and well worth the small splurge (mind you it was still much cheaper than any day at a beach club in the US would cost)! The service was impeccable and we got a bed right in front of the pool with the best views. We knew that we wanted to stay through sunset, as we heard that the views were killer from right on the beach, and to say it did not disappoint is an understatement. We took in one of the most gorgeous sunsets we have ever seen! We also had some great food and tried a new Balinese beer as well. We did not want to leave at the end of the day!


Last but certainly not least, we celebrated Kerry’s 33rd birthday here in beautiful Bali. It was a day (or two if we consider that we also celebrated her U.S. birthday) full of authentic Balinese experiences and some tasty food and beverages. We sat at dinner the night of Kerry’s birthday and had some great conversations about friends and family over Bingtang beers and some pretty darn good “Mexican” food. Our waitress and the other servers even sang Happy Birthday and Kerry blew out some candles on her birthday ice cream dessert. It was an unforgettable birthday. It is certainly not lost on us how lucky we are to get to spend this time enriching our lives and gaining life experiences that can only come from travel.

All in all, we have had an incredible time in Bali. We enjoyed many authentic Indonesian meals and have added a couple of new beers to the growing list of delicious local brews we’ve tried on our journey. We’re at a stage now that we are rarely planning and trying to just go with the flow instead. It’s making our trip much more flexible and adding to our laid back approach.

Cheers!
~Jenny & Kerry