Hello 2012! A lot of exciting things are happening (not that the other years weren’t exciting!)…this year we are getting married! I have a few friends having babies and I’m so excited for them. We also have four friends getting married, I am the bridesmaid for one of them too! We’re definitely at that age where people are more settled and making big life changes!
We rang in 2012 in Bali, Indonesia with a few friends. It was essentially a “last minute” trip. One of <3’s best friends was like, hey, are you guys interested in sharing a villa in Bali for NYE? we were like, hmmm we are getting married soon, don’t know if that’s a good idea. then we got to thinking, well, why NOT? it’s not like we had any pressing wedding errands to do during those two weeks and we didn’t have any plans during the holidays. so we decided let’s do it, how often and how difficult is it to get a group of friends to travel overseas, right?? We also added on a side trip to Taipei, since EVA airlines flies through there first.
We spent 3 nights in Taipei. I really enjoyed Taipei. It’s like Tokyo/Seoul/HK but cheaper, and not as clean as Tokyo (but Tokyo is pristine, everywhere else looks dirty!). I would definitely want to go back to Taipei with a group of friends just to go shopping, eating and drinking. It’s reasonably priced and pretty easy to navigate due to their MRT. My favorite part was walking through the crowds of people at the night market! Next time I want to go to more night markets! The food wasn’t phenomenal but it’s a great way to see the different types of local cuisine available at cheap prices.
We spent 7 nights in Bali. Bali was OK. Indonesia is now the 23rd country I’ve visited in 9.5 years. I would have to say Bali ranked pretty down there. I think media definitely hyped up Bali by only showing the pretty parts, like the book and now movie Eat Pray Love. First off, I hated the book because I’m not one of those folks that need to “find myself” by going to some exotic location. Maybe to folks that have never seen poverty, aka always lived in a vanilla suburban area, this would be quite exciting and they would “find themselves” there? It’s quite evident Bali has a lot of poverty, it’s sad seeing tourists act condescending towards the locals, and it’s also annoying that the locals try to rip you off (which I get because every bit of USD is far more valuable to them than to us). It IS a pretty place, in certain parts. However, it IS a developing country. The infrastructure is terrible, obviously. If you have a villa, it’s not like you can step outside of your villa and walk to different things. I’m believe I’m more of a city girl, I like easy access to lots of local businesses. So cities that I’ve visited…like SF, NYC, Chicago, Taipei, HK, Seoul, Tokyo, Paris, London, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City appeal to me a lot because there’s sooo much to do and very convenient to get to. If you’re looking for a place to escape from the city bustle, then staying in a Villa is a great way to relax. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel super stressed on a regular basis (yet), we live very close to some decent beaches, and southern California has AMAZING weather in general, makes me think that living in so cal gives us easy access to “get away and relax” from the comforts of our own city! While traveling, I can only relax for one day to get over the jet lag and then I want to do-do-do! Granted you can hire a driver to take you to places, but I don’t mind doing the hard work of driving/walking/taking public transportation to get to wherever I need to! It was indeed fun to go explore and party with friends. Though you can have fun ANYWHERE if it’s with the right people! 🙂 I will try to post some pics later!
We haven’t even booked our honeymoon yet! We’re leaning towards Spain. I’ve visited Spain in 2003 and am OK with going again, I just want to see more than just Barcelona. First thing’s first, gotta get married! Things to remember, don’t slouch, smile, and say “i do!” 🙂
Update – I’m just going to add one photo from Bali the trip…we had a drink at the Pan Pacific resort while watching the sunset down at famous water temple, Tanah Lot. The resort had a nice lobby area, including this infinity pool: