Vietnam days 1-2: beginnings in Hanoi + spontaneous trip decision

Hey hey! I wanted to shoot off a quick post before heading off for an exciting adventure. My first days in Vietnam have been a whirlwind, but I’m happy with how everything has been unfolding, as each event has led me to do one of the most spontaneous things I’ve done this year… Day 1: … More Vietnam days 1-2: beginnings in Hanoi + spontaneous trip decision

Malaysia days 7-12: beach life and local community in Langkawi Island + my 29th birthday!

My last days in Malaysia were just beautiful. After a week in Malaysia’s big cities, I headed to a beach island off of West Malaysia called Langkawi. It was also my birthday(!), and I wanted to choose a relaxing, scenic place to celebrate. Langkawi blew me away in so many ways. Mostly, the community there … More Malaysia days 7-12: beach life and local community in Langkawi Island + my 29th birthday!

Malaysia days 4-6: eating my way through culinary capital, Penang

Hey friends! It’s been another packed few days. After kicking off Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, I headed to Penang, an urban state and standalone island off of west Malaysia. Penang piqued my interest because it has both city and nature and is known as Malaysia’s “culinary capital.” The past 3 days have been filled with … More Malaysia days 4-6: eating my way through culinary capital, Penang

Malaysia days 1-3: sightseeing in modern Kuala Lumpur

Hello from Malaysia!! I’m starting off in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city. My first days have been packed with activity as I’ve crammed as much sightseeing as possible in two short days. Kuala Lumpur left a great impression and turned out to be a rare big Asian city I enjoyed. Get ready for a lot … More Malaysia days 1-3: sightseeing in modern Kuala Lumpur

Indonesia days 20-23: last days in Nias island + day trip to megalith ruins & swimming hole + trip reflection

My last Indonesia post! After a fabulous start to Nias Island, my last days here were the perfect mix of relaxing and activity as well as bonding with the awesome people I’ve met here. Day by day, I fell even more in love with the island and its community. By the end, I actually felt … More Indonesia days 20-23: last days in Nias island + day trip to megalith ruins & swimming hole + trip reflection

Indonesia days 17-19: authentic beach village life on Nias Island

Following my quiet, solo time at Lake Toba, I was ready for some beach time, so I headed to one of Sumatra’s beach islands on the west coast called Nias Island. There are a LOT of islands to choose from in Indonesia, and Nias isn’t usually on the backpacker trail radar. I ended up on … More Indonesia days 17-19: authentic beach village life on Nias Island

Indonesia days 13-16: scooter adventure around Samosir Island, Lake Toba (part 2)

Following my first 3 days at Lake Toba, I stayed another 3 days to round out the perfect lakeside retreat. These past few days were filled with more scootering around Samsosir Island (island within Lake Toba), learning more of local Batak living, and lots of relaxing by the lake. Day 13: scooter adventure day 3 … More Indonesia days 13-16: scooter adventure around Samosir Island, Lake Toba (part 2)

Indonesia days 10-12: scooter adventure around Samosir Island, Lake Toba (part 1)

What a wonderful few days it has been. I am currently blogging in Lake Toba, the largest lake in Indonesia and a key site for tourists coming to Sumatra. Lake Toba was one of those rare places that I immediately fell in love with from a photo, and I knew I HAD to come here … More Indonesia days 10-12: scooter adventure around Samosir Island, Lake Toba (part 1)

Indonesia days 7-9: Berastagi highlands + sunrise hike at Sibayak Volcano

After my jungle adventure in Bukit Lawang, I headed to Berastagi next, a town in the highlands further south in Sumatra. Berastagi is known as a stop-over town on the way to Lake Toba (a more popular site in Sumatra). It’s often skipped over by tourists, but since I had the time, I figured I … More Indonesia days 7-9: Berastagi highlands + sunrise hike at Sibayak Volcano

Indonesia days 1-3: beginnings in jungle village Bukit Lawang, Sumatra

And so begins the second chapter of my gap year travels. My first few days were filled with looong travel days and reaching a jungle village on Sumatra Island. I decided to spend my entire month in Sumatra because of its reputation for being an adventure-lover’s paradise and being more off-the-beaten-path. So far, I’ve been … More Indonesia days 1-3: beginnings in jungle village Bukit Lawang, Sumatra