It would be an absolute travesty to travel to Bali and not visit the Monkey Forest and Temple in Ubud. It is everything you expect and more… This beautiful temple in the forest is on a river and there are monkeys everywhere you look. Bananas are available for purchase throughout the temple to feed the monkeys, but beware, they may seem cute, however, they can be quite vicious. Make sure to hang on to your cameras, phones and definitely do not wear your sunglasses on your head, as they will be quickly snatched. Overall, the monkeys are playful and friendly, though I did witness several people get bitten – though no blood was shed.
One of my favourite things I have done throughout my time in Bali thus far has been the sunrise hike of Mount Batur. Mount Batur is a volcano located close to Ubud that most recently erupted in 2000. We were late arriving at the base to begin our trek, so a leisurely 2.5-3 hour hike to watch the sunrise turned into a race up a steep 5, 600+ feet to make it in time. This is a must see for anyone traveling to Bali, it is undeniably worth the myriad of emotions you will feel throughout the journey. To make your hike go as smoothly as possible, here are my suggestions:
- Bring a warm sweater as it is quite cold for the first third of the way up as generally people start their climb around 3:30am
- Bring a large water bottle as well as food for when you reach the summit, I personally needed a snack around 5:30am – though there will be both food and beverage for sale by locals who do the hike every morning
- Wear comfortable athletic shoes with good grip – bear in mind that a large portion of your hike will be through lava stone
- Make sure you’re camera battery is fully charged and has plenty of memory – the view is exquisite
- If you have the option of hiking to the 3rd peak after sunrise, it is definitely worth the extra trek
- Bring sunglasses for the walk back down and be sure to have plenty of water left – once the sun rises the heat becomes pretty intense
Here are some photos from my hike:
As some of you may know, I have been living in Bali for the past 3 months. It has been an interesting time thus far, to say the least, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for what’s coming up!
So this morning I was particularly frustrated with the content that was on my Facebook feed. I found that many of my “friends” were posting ignorant status updates that were derogatory in nature. As much as I agree that you should be able to express yourself freely through whatever outlet it may be, I believe that you should do so in way that is not putting down others. Within less that 5 minutes of scrolling through my feed, I found posts spanning from racist to homophobic and beyond. So I have decided to apply a new approach to my Social Media: instead of hiding someone’s content from my feed, I will simply “unfriend” them, because I no longer want to be associated with such behavior.
When I updated my status to inform people of my new procedure, my younger sister commented “There’s the passive aggressive sister I know and love. I do the same <3″. And she is absolutely right, I do have a tendency to handle situations in a passive aggressive manner. That being said, this has seemed to work quite well for me thus far, and I don’t plan on changing my ways any time soon!
You are in control of the content you see, at least for the most part, on your Social Media accounts. So I plea to you, follow internet lovers, please do not enable this sort of activity.
I don’t think I’ll ever find the words to say what you mean to me. If there is something we can all learn from Nate, it’s to live your life without fear of judgement and without regrets. Nate marched to the beat of his own drum. I always admired his magnetic energy and his unparalleled ability to bring people together. The world lost an incredible person today. I am so blessed to have had so many amazing memories with @natejamesblack. No one can ever take the place you hold in all of our hearts.
It’s a new year, which means resolutions. Most vow to quit smoking, get back into shape or focus on their jobs. I however, have never been one for new years resolutions. I don’t need an excuse like the change in the calendar year as motivation. In fact, I started getting back into my fitness regimen in December… That being said, this year is a little different. After many long years ( and I really mean LONG), I will finally be finishing my degree at Ryerson in April. This means that I will no longer be tethered to the city of Toronto, or to Canada for that matter and the world will finally be my oyster.
So here are my goals for 2015:
1. Travel. As often and as far as possible. Turn down no opportunity to see the world and experience new cultures.
2. Put Myself First. Now this might seem redundant, however, in my life I often find myself worrying too much about pleasing others and not enough about what I want. This may come as a surprise to those familiar with my no bull shit personality, but any close friend of mine would tell you that I would give up everything and anything I have to help them.
3. Give Fewer Fucks. This is something I have been working on over the last few years, caring less and living more. Being less concerned about how I am being perceived by others, worrying less about the “what ifs?” and focusing more (way more), on the “why nots?”.
Today I am particularly grateful for my siblings. I have always known that my family dynamic isn’t like most. The 5 of us share a bond that extends far past genetic ties. When I first moved to Toronto just over 6 years ago, I couldn’t wait to get out of Montreal and out of my parents’ house. My sister, Michelle, was only 12 at the time and my brother, Brett, was spending his 11th grade in boarding. I never could have imagined that so many years later, I would be lucky enough to have Brett living in TO and that I would have managed to create an amazing friendship with Michelle despite the distance and age gap. We get so caught up in the hustle of daily life that we sometimes forget what really matters. School might be stressful, work might not be going well, my love life might be lacking – to say the least, but at the end of the day it’s comforting to know that there are people who love me unconditionally and who will be there waiting for me at whatever finish line I cross.
I love you both to the moon and back…