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Updated: Jan 13, 2018

Gili Trawagan Island, Indonesia 

Teresa in Taiwan: "Let's go to Bali!"
Me in Ohio: "HA yeah, right."
Me: Finishes Master's Thesis, goes through a breakup, and is about to get shipped off to Army Basic Training.
Also Me: "I bought my plane ticket."

A 40-hour flight half way around the world for a week with my best friend on a tropical island, no regrets. Say yes to all opportunities to travel.

But, how can I afford this? 

You could have that second Starbucks drink today, or you could get Dunkin Donuts coffee for half the price or bring coffee from home. You could buy that newer car with the Bluetooth feature, or you could get an older used car. You could buy those extremely cute shoes at Dillards, or you could hit up Nordstrom's Rack or Poshmark. Sacrifice a little, in return for well, this. 

I've been working since I was fourteen years old. I got my first job cleaning cookie racks in that back of a Pastry Shop, scrubbing off goop, and sweating with bees flying around everywhere. I got paid in a $20 bill and a box of donuts for a couple of hours of work. After that, I worked my way up in the food industry; pastry shops, concession stands, dining halls, Korean restaurants, and catering. I actually enjoy working, and I work a lot. 

I also research and apply for a ton of scholarships and grants that have helped pay for most of my travels. In college, I got a grant to do an independent study in Chile. It paid for my plane ticket, and I just stayed with friends. Another grant paid for my apartment in Madrid when I had an un-paid internship there one summer. Just ask around. 

Gili Trawagan Island

Teresa and I met up in Bali, without any plans. She was busy teaching in Taiwan, and I was

busy defending my thesis in Ohio. We definitely could have planned better, but we found THIS gem! Pictures from Bali will have to wait. This post is about Gili. After a few minutes of googling stuff to do, I found a picture of this random swing in the ocean (see image), we got directions from the concierge at the hotel, packed a small bag, and off we went.

A five-hour trip; a taxi, a bus ride, and a boat later, Teresa had wind burn, and I was exhausted. All we had was a shitty map we had screen shot on our phones before we left, which really didn't help. Without a GPS, we walked and asked around for hours trying to find the Sugar Shack that Teresa had found on Turns out it was a new little hotel, so no one knew where it was. I don't even remember how we found it. But we did! It was $50/night for two people, so I paid $25/night for it! 

We rented bikes, $5/day, from our little hotel. I forgot to mention,

On Gili Trawagan Island, NO motorized vehicles are permitted. 

No motorcycles, no cars, no motorized bikes, nothing with a motor is allowed. So we got bikes and road around the entire island for the next 24 hours. 

Everything in Indonesia is pretty cheap. A private driver for the day in Bali is about $40/day. Just ask your hotel for recommendations and pricing. You can get a whole meal for under $10. Our breakfast at the Sugar Shack hotel in Gili was about $3. Once you buy the plane ticket to Indonesia, everything else is very affordable. 

That night, we were exhausted and decided to hang out at the Sugar Shack. Okay, it wasn't just that night, we didn't go out once in Indonesia because we are grandmas and like to go to bed early. But that night, we hung out at the pool WAY past my bedtime. We hung out with an Australian couple from Perth who were also staying there. Gili Trawagan seems to be a popular holiday location for Australians. The owner of the shack is also an Australian man who travels back and forth all the time. We would sleep outside by the pool. 

In the 24-hours we were on the island, Teresa learned to surf, went snorkeling, saw some sea turtles, and I got to see the swing in the ocean. And we got to take some pretty awesome pictures.

I'd say this place is heaven-on-earth. 

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