This journal was written as a physical diary by me during my gap year. I am typing this up to share my gap year experience. At the beginning of travels I was 22. I travelled with a friend (Kieren) and anybody else involved will be introduced during the journal. For more details, check here.

For the Bali part of the trip, we decided to do Bali Intro 12-day adventure. Find more information here. This has changed slightly since 2017 and no longer goes to Kuta.

Check out the last instalment here.

Welcome to Part Three of my Gap Year Travel Journal! Today, we continue with the Balinese adventure!

10th October 2017

Happy Birthday Kat!*

Today we are leaving Gili T. We ended up waiting for an hour for the boat and it was so hot. I almost passed out! Definitely the hottest day yet.

2 hours on the boat to Bali (via Gili Air and Lombok) and I managed to have a nice nap!

(a) Leaving Gili T. (b) Boat ticket from Gili T to Padang Beach via Gili Air and Lombok. (c) Group photo on Gili T.

Getting off the boat was manic – people everywhere wanted you to get in taxis and buy their stuff. We eventually managed to get our bags and get in the shuttle bus. It took 1.5 hours to Ubud Cottage Inn in the centre of Ubud, our next destination.

We got a top floor room with a balcony and an unnecessarily large bathroom! The shower is soooo much better than the last place though!

Kieren and I went for a wander to Ubud market and I bought the prettiest sarong in the world!** In the evening we had a pretty good meal at Cinta Restaurant – I got surf and turf then banana cloud cake. Most expensive meal yet but still cheap compared to home!

Afterwards, we went back to our room and played Cards Against Humanity with Meg, Kat, Shep (Jay), Beth, Hannah and Sophie. I won by a mile with 7 black cards. Pretty brutal game though!

*a member of our Bali Intro group

**I lost this later in the year and never took a photo of it

11th October 2017

I got up early for early morning yoga at the most incredible yoga studio ever, The Yoga Barn. The room had a glass front overlooking a forest. We did Vinyasa flow yoga – it got pretty sweaty but I felt great afterwards! I fell asleep during meditation (as usual). We then went to Earth Vegan Cafe for lunch and I got a lovely smoothie bowl.

Monkey Forest Time! Apparently there are 600 monkeys in the forest! At first I was a bit nervous because of the last experience (here). However, these monkeys were actually a lot better and the babies were so cute!

We all chilled by the pool for a couple of hours. We also found a massive flying fox in one of the trees and apparently he’s called Charlie!

(a) Yoga Barn. (b) Monkey of Ubud Monkey Forest. (c) Charlie the flying fox. (d) Ticket to Ubud Monkey Forest.

For dinner, we went out and I got Indonesian sweet and sour chicken – yum!

Bed at 9pm tonight because tomorrow is Volcano Day! We have to get up very early… We also found a massive lizard chilling outside our room – it literally looked like a baby crocodile!

12th October 2017

1:25am – Time of alarm

1.45am – Meet the group

1.50am – Bus to Mount Batur

Today, we walked up Mount Batur with some cool tour guides. I actually really enjoyed it and didn’t find it too hard! We all had torches to see because it was pitch black. Once at the top, we watched the most beautiful sunrise ever. We also had a view of Mount Agung (which may be about to erupt*) and the huge volcano in Lombok. We were made boiled eggs and banana sandwiches from the heat of the volcano.

Walking down the volcano was a lot more difficult – I fell and grazed my knee (a common occurence, to be honest though).

(a) Group photo at the top of Mount Batur. (b) Me and Kieren watching the sunrise. (c) Sunrise at the top of Mount Batur. Overelooks Mount Agung, which was due to erupt. If you look closely you can actually see some of the smoke coming from the top of the volcano. (d) A drawing a did in the journal at the time.

For the rest of day, we all chilled by the pool – pretty sure I had a well-needed nap. We then had our final group dinner (as this is the last full day of our Bali Intro tour) and a shisha.

*there was a lot of activity going on in the volcano at the time and it did actually erupt 5 times in November 2017 (21st – 29th)

13th October 2017

I was going to do yoga again but I decided to have a lie in. I also decided to treat myself to two breakfasts…

  1. Fried egg with toast
  2. Pineapple pancakes

I packed all of my bags then we went for a final group lunch, although I was still full so just had a smoothie. Many people are leaving Bali straight away today to head home or travel elsewhere. However, there was a lot of us who had an extra night in Bali and as the tour was over, we all took a taxi back to Kuta where we’d booked into Ida Hotel. The rooms were cute bungalows with tiny doors (Kieren had to crouch*), and an adorable outdoor bathroom.

People who staying the extra night – Me, Kieren, Shep (Jay), Timon, Meg, Beth, Kat, Hannah (e.g. my favourite people from our Bali Intro group…). We walked along to Kuta Beach and went to an amazing beach bar called On the Juice. 2 for 1 cocktails, beanbags and the best view – I had the best time! We then headed to a bar on the main street of Kuta and continued drinking.

(a) + (b) Group photos taken at On the Juice bar, Kuta Beach. (c) Front door of our room at Ida Hotel, Kuta.

We got a taxi into Seminyak where we went to a cool Mexican themed bar. We tried to get into another club but the boys were wearing singlets* so we weren’t allowed in! We ended up just heading back to Kuta.

So, at this point we were somewhat drunk and Hannah decided she wanted a tattoo and actually went through with it! She got an outline of Bali on her hip, and was also sick in the tattoo parlour. Classic.

*Kieren is 6ft 5in


Check out the next instalment here (available 4th February 9am GMT).