Live Simply

-Colombia-

        Here i am in the Medellin airport about to leave Colombia and travel to Ecuador and oh man, where do i begin (deep breathe)?  Lets start with the good bits. I made it to Colombia three weeks ago with a good friend of mine Michael and started my trip in Cartegena. Its a beach city on the north coast that has a beautiful part of its original old city still surrounded by thick concrete walls that were originally put up to protect it from enemies. It has beautiful beaches a short drive away from the city center and supposedly great night life. We were unlucky to experience that because the week we were there was in between a Ms. Colombia pageant and the youth finishing up school before their holiday break so it was pretty quiet. We still had a lot of fun and stayed with Michaels family in a nice house right out side the city. We spent our days touring the city, going to he beach and of course went to a very small volcano called El Totumo and had a mud bath! 

Six days later we headed to Bogota, the capital of Colombia for the last 4 days of Michaels trip and stayed at a pretty awesome hostel in oldest area in Bogota called La Candelaria. We spent most of our days touring around the city eating a lot of food and going to the Casinos. We played 20 cent roulette quite frequently just for fun. We probably spent a total of 4-5 hours doing that over four days haha. My favorite part of Bogota was the view from the top of a mountain that borders the city called Mount Monserrate. I have a few photos of these uploaded with this post, i wish i had more but some unfortunate events happened. 

Now ill tell you the unfortunate bit! It was our last day in Bogota and Michael was flying back home so i decided to move on to a different city.I woke up at 6 am I hopped into a cab with some new friends and was going to just go to the bus terminal and decide spontaneously there where to go. I decided to head to Medellin from there so i bought a ticket with the girls and got on the eight hour bus ride and started my journey. Let me pause for a second and give y’all some information about latin american culture. Everyone is ALWAYS late and the time they say its going to take has about a 20 percent of it actually being accurate. Planes  are always late, and even down the little things like friends going out (that part isn’t a big deal). Back to the story…14 hours later we arrive in Medellin at 10:30 pm. Yeah nearly DOUBLE the amount of time it was supposed to take. Also let me put out there that i  purposely woke up early to take a day bus just to stay safe and travel around during the day…yeah that planned was ruined and so that leads to the terrible part of this trip thus far. 

SO i get to the bus terminal with three friends now (we met another Australian on the bus) and we get a taxi to our hostel. At this point its some time around 11 pm. We get out of the car grab our bags and we ring the gate to let us into the premise of the hostel. Little did we know six Colombian men were waiting somewhere to run in behind us through the gate. We didn’t realize this at all until we were at the reception checking in. I handed the man behind the counter my passport and like the westerner i am,  addicted to my new iPhone 5 and the hopes of having a lot of new messages on my Facebook i pull out my phone and type in the WIFI password to the hostel. As i finish i looked up and one of the colombian men had a old school revolver out telling the receptionist to get every to sit down and start opening the safe to the hostel. The other five men had bolt cutters and in all hostels they have lockers provided so you can put your ‘important bag’ which holds things like your laptop, money, iPhones, important documents and anything else very valuable into the locker They began cutting about 30  locks on the lockers and taking everything out of them. Meanwhile i was the unfortunate one standing next to the gun man that was getting most of the harassment (yeah horrific experience). As i was saying before i had my phone out before i knew they were crooks so at some point during all off this the gun man realized i had a phone and pointed the gun at me and shouted “phone! phone!”. From all my learning experiences i learned just to give up anything someone like this wanted. I handed him my phone and then at this point (which for yalls perspective it took all of about 15 minutes to clear out the hostel of all valuable goods) they got the 10 or so of us out on the patio and told us to sit down and be quiet and “Relax!”. Ha yeah….relax. At this point they all bolted out of the hostel and that was the end of that terrifying moment. I was shook up pretty bad just because i was the unfortunate one next to the gun man being harassed the entire time at gun point, BUT we were all super fortunate no on got hurt. 

In the end Michaels mom who was born in Colombia caught wind of the whole incident and helped out tremendously. She had a friend come pick me up and i stayed with them for the week i was in Medellin. They are amazing people, all three of them about my age. They showed me around the entire week took me out and assured me that the incident was extremely unlucky and NEVER happens. Which is completely true. Since 2002 Colombia is a completely different country, its now very safe prior to 2002. This could of happened in my own city and anywhere in the USA. It was a very well planned heist. I grew to love this city its extremely beautiful and the scenery is breathtaking, its the best city in Colombia hands down.

All in all i love Colombia. The food is delicious, the people are so welcoming and the country it self is breathtaking. Aside from the incident that i am so lucky to be unharmed from everyone should consider taking a trip here.

I wish i had more photos but they are all gone :-( you can check out my Instagram though i uploaded a lot of good photos there (CoryT) For now on to the next country! 
 

-Wanderlust 5.0-        On Friday November 23rd a few days after my 26th birthday I’m off on another journey. Since my return back to the states in May I’ve been patiently counting down the days to be wanderlust again. This time around I’ve realized it wont be so much as a ‘Trip’ around the world because i could possibly be gone for two years but more of a nomadic lifestyle. After 5 months of traveling around South America ill be working in Australia for a few months bandaging up my bank account to continue on to Asia for an unknown period of time. Im planning on teaching english in Saigon, Vietnam for 3 months. Then continue around Asia for a few months after. Doing some work in Africa for a few months (specifically Ethiopia with some close friends). Then end my trip in Europe seeing dear friends.I usually have a rough idea and blueprint of where and what i want to do but no time frame at all. If i love a certain city or country ill just stay until i feel the time is right to move on. I usually travel this way but not as extreme as this next season in life will be. I always get asked the question “Why do you travel so much?” or “What inspired you to travel?”. Ive thought back to when i began to travel internationally in 2007 and tried to figure out what inspired me. What psychologically got me moving? One of my best friends was born in England and immigrated over to the states with his mom when he was a child. So sometime before 2007 he had some childhood friends come to Texas and they spent a month here. I became very close with them and decided id go to England to visit them and family in France while i was in Europe. Ever since then I’ve been so interested in cultures and how people live their lives. It humbles you. It broadens your mind to humanity and their beliefs, their way of life. We are extremely fortunate to live in the USA, a developed country. We have clean water and food to eat (period). You can get into detail why we are so fortunate but that is the most simplest of reasons. Many take that for granted. So it moves me. It drives me to gather all the knowledge and get plugged into the peoples lives around the world that i become friends with. I will eventually have some sort of foundation to do my share and give back. To help others less fortunate. To love on people and invest into their lives like i am doing now while traveling. Even if it is something very small that would only effect a dozen people it would make a difference. If we all did our share there would be less death.Anyhow I’m going to be blogging again with the intentions of posting about every 10 days. Sometimes i get wrapped up in the culture and don’t get to it but ill try my hardest to stay focused! I start in Colombia Friday in Cartagena by the ocean.Thanks for reading. I apologize for my terrible writing skills. :)  

-Wanderlust 5.0-

        On Friday November 23rd a few days after my 26th birthday I’m off on another journey. Since my return back to the states in May I’ve been patiently counting down the days to be wanderlust again. This time around I’ve realized it wont be so much as a ‘Trip’ around the world because i could possibly be gone for two years but more of a nomadic lifestyle.

After 5 months of traveling around South America ill be working in Australia for a few months bandaging up my bank account to continue on to Asia for an unknown period of time. Im planning on teaching english in Saigon, Vietnam for 3 months. Then continue around Asia for a few months after. Doing some work in Africa for a few months (specifically Ethiopia with some close friends). Then end my trip in Europe seeing dear friends.

I usually have a rough idea and blueprint of where and what i want to do but no time frame at all. If i love a certain city or country ill just stay until i feel the time is right to move on. I usually travel this way but not as extreme as this next season in life will be.

I always get asked the question “Why do you travel so much?” or “What inspired you to travel?”. Ive thought back to when i began to travel internationally in 2007 and tried to figure out what inspired me. What psychologically got me moving?

One of my best friends was born in England and immigrated over to the states with his mom when he was a child. So sometime before 2007 he had some childhood friends come to Texas and they spent a month here. I became very close with them and decided id go to England to visit them and family in France while i was in Europe. Ever since then I’ve been so interested in cultures and how people live their lives. It humbles you. It broadens your mind to humanity and their beliefs, their way of life. We are extremely fortunate to live in the USA, a developed country. We have clean water and food to eat (period). You can get into detail why we are so fortunate but that is the most simplest of reasons. Many take that for granted. 

So it moves me. It drives me to gather all the knowledge and get plugged into the peoples lives around the world that i become friends with. I will eventually have some sort of foundation to do my share and give back. To help others less fortunate. To love on people and invest into their lives like i am doing now while traveling. Even if it is something very small that would only effect a dozen people it would make a difference. If we all did our share there would be less death.

Anyhow I’m going to be blogging again with the intentions of posting about every 10 days. Sometimes i get wrapped up in the culture and don’t get to it but ill try my hardest to stay focused! I start in Colombia Friday in Cartagena by the ocean.

Thanks for reading. I apologize for my terrible writing skills. :)
 
 

-Ha Long Bay, Vietnam-

I took an amazing tour of Ha long Bay while i was in Hanoi and it was gorgeous. Ha Long Bay literally translates to “Descending Dragon Bay”. Its a world heritage site and i think should be one of the wonders of the world. 

Old local Vietnamese legend say that when Vietnam was just being developed into a country gods sent a family of dragons to protect it from invaders. Afterwards the dragons were delighted with the peaceful findings of the earth and decided to live in the bay. So thats where the name Ha Long bay (Bay of descending dragons) came from. There is a lot more fun details to the story but that is the basic jest of it. 

All the boats that take you around the bay are old ‘junk’ boats that the locals live on when they aren’t taking people around for tours. We started out the day visiting the floating village where (from random research) about 600 inhabitants live. I have one photo of a women who takes her small boat out and sells fruit to the tourist when they dock (i attached a photo to the blog of her ). Its amazing how these people live. They literally live in the bay on floating houses. They feed off the fish in the bay and I’m sure nowadays make money from  tourists buying fruit or fish.

The rest of the day was a lot of boating around the limestone islets. Around the time i went was just the beginning of rainy season and though it wasn’t raining there was an overcast. I think it made the ora of being there very eerie which with the legends of how the bay was made i thought it was the perfect setting for my trip.

All in all its definitely a place everyone should visit when you are in Vietnam. I didn’t realize how much Vietnam had to offer, from the beautiful beaches in Nha Trang, big cities of Saigon and Hanoi, and mountainous northern territories where there are endless rice paddy fields. I could be bias being half Vietnamese but all the travelers from many countries around the world agreed with me. 
 

-Life on a motorbike. Vietnam-

Traveling around Southeast Asia you see mainly motor bikes for transportation. In saying that they use them for literally EVERYTHING. Ive seen everything from five people on one scooter, to a guy carrying about an 8 foot tall pile of randomness around the city. Usually when I’m out and i see the majority of this I’m on the back of one as well so i was unlucky that i couldn’t get a lot of the photos i wanted because i couldn’t reach into my pocket quick enough to pull out my iPhone with out falling off the bike!

All the photos are taken in Vietnam and most of them in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon). I did some research because i was pretty sure i was spot on with the idea and i found arguably that its true. Per capita Vietnam has the most motor bikes per person. Its is overwhelming and also shocking how many motorbikes are there. The ‘awe’ factor that really hits is in Ho Chi Minh. If you have ever played Frogger its literally like that every time trying to cross any street. I loved it.

Ive posted these photos to show what all they use the motorbikes for and it is just the icing on the cake. Some might be a bite blurry because like i said i was moving on one as well so it was difficult.

Ive done terrible the last six weeks not posting a blog because i finally settled down in a city with close friends in Coventry, England. So just enjoying the fact that I’m not running around as much. But I’m posting three blogs in total this week! 

I hope everyone is doing well! 

-Free diving, Bali, Indonesia-

Ive blogged 3 times in the last hour just because i have amazing internet speed here at my Uncles place in Vietnam so these videos that i have been meaning to get up I can finally post!

This was shot with a GoPro camera off the east coast of the Island of Bali. An old friend of mine Fabian was there the same time as i was and a new friend we met, Ted had the GoPro so we would take turns recording our free dive at the USS Liberty ship wreck. This time frame during my trip which is about a 4 day journey with these guys on motorbikes around the island was one of the most memorable moments. We had a blast seeing all the marine life and diving down around the ship.

When you watch the video dont forget to change the quality to 720 HD. You’ll enjoy it a lot more. 

-Pamplona, Spain, July 7, 2011-

Few photos from July 2011 in Pamplona, Spain. Photos were taken by Geoff Duncan. You can check out his blog at www.geodun.com 

-Running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. July 7, 2011

I was rummaging around my YouTube account yesterday and ran across this video that the Associated Press recorded of the opening day of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain 2011. I ran with the bulls that year and it was the most adrenaline filled activity I’ve ever done, and if you know me thats what i crave. Im an adrenaline junky. 

The opening day of the 2011 run i ran it sleep deprived while my best friend Geoff Duncan wanted to photograph it because he’s a professional photographer. It was definitely top 3 most memorable moments I’ve had on my adventures traveling the world and the only adrenaline fueled activity that i have done and thought to my self afterwards “That was really dumb and dangerous”. There is no exact count of how many people die each year but from the research I’ve done its an average of about 12. The day i ran i saw 1 man unconscious in the streets and then 1 man, I’m pretty sure, dead in the middle of the stadium that you finish off in at the end of the run. This is why i thought “That was really dumb and dangerous”.

So afterwards we ran into one of Geoffs friends…yes in Spain and his friend was from Dallas, small world. We headed back to his hotel room to rest because at that point i had not slept in 40 hours? I jumped in the shower and Geoff got online really quick and said “I wonder if the video is up for the news networks around the world to use and i wonder if we can find you?”….i literally said there is NO way thats going to happen with the amount of participants that run. Half way through my shower Geoff shouts “Dude! Dude! i found you!” i freaked out and jumped out of the shower and sure enough i was in the video. 

Its actually hilarious because i explained to him them exactly how i reacted when i heard screaming coming from behind me while running. I told every one i was running for my life and then heard the shouting and peaked over my shoulder and ‘shit my self’ (sorry mom) and moved to the side for just enough time to get back behind them and run into the ring. Its pretty funny in the video to watch because i throw my hands up and wave them around for that split second before i move to the side. Its hilarious.

You can see me at 1:26 of the YouTube video. That second it switches to a different camera and if you look at the exact middle of the video screen then go to the right slightly and then down you will see me. I have a shaved head and I’m the tradition outfit you would wear for the run (you’ll laugh when you see me poo my pants). I will post again after this with photos and you’ll see what i look like and be able to spot me in the video.

Heres a link to the why the running of the bull is held and the historic background of the race. I could type it out for you but I’m pretty sure someone else can explain it better :-) 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_of_the_Bulls

-Ko Tao, Thailand-

So i have failed miserably the last month to blog. Its only because I’ve been so engulfed in the Ethiopian culture and then when i arrived to Thailand i got a pretty bad sinus infection that left me in a haze for 4 days.

Anyhow i left the most hectic city I’ve been to in the 30 countries I’ve been to around the world Bangkok and headed south for the famous Thai islands that I’ve heard so much about. First stop is Ko Tao which I’ve heard to be easily the top 3 best ones. Its very local here and just the right amount of westernized civilization to make you feel very comfortable but also rural enough to really see the island Thai culture. 

The island is very tiny. I’ve rented a scooter and you can drive  the length of the island in 20 minutes maximum at a speed of about 30 mph? The beaches are so beautiful and there is so much marine life. Many different types of fish, bull sharks, and whale sharks. I haven’t seen any of the sharks yet but I’m so eager to see one. 

The strangest thing I’ve seen on the island yet is these bird singing gambling areas. Basically they have these special breed of birds in cages and they are hung up on these close line type lines. I saw about 40 bird cages there and what the objective is to win is for the bird to sing a certain harmony. It sounds crazy and strange but i enjoyed it. I didn’t get the full rules and details of it because of the language barrier but i got the main parts. So they sing these certain harmonies and they get points for every harmony they sing and random people can gamble on who will win. Pretty cool.

I just wanted to update the blog really quick with some photos and a brief summary the past few weeks and the next few to come. Im visiting Ko Phan gan, and Ko Samui islands before i leave for vietnam next Wednesday so ill have more beautiful island photos to come!

-Addis Ababa, Ethiopia- 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ive been in Addis now for about two weeks and i have experienced a roller coaster ride of emotions. Ive met many passionate humanitarians, life long new friends, and a considerable amount of heartache to re-think the way i and westernized civilization live our lives. 

Ive been fortunate enough to arrive into a country that i have connections with people that are well known and have a large network of people that i have been able to meet. People like the right hand man for Blake Mycoskie (Founder of Toms), Ethiopian Lawyers, many humanitarians with non profit organizations, and equally exciting as the rest, local Ethiopians. With all that I’ve been able to learn a ton about their organizations and its planted seeds in my mind to incorporate a business or anything i do in the future with these organizations to help.

A few of the people I’ve met are involved or founders of companies that are changing women’s lives that have been prostitutes or former fuel wood carriers. They are providing a ‘second chance’ or better life for them by weaving scarves, making organic soap, or jewelry. Pam Simpson is one of them and a new friend  of mine that founded an organization called  Connected In Hope ( www.connectedinhope.org ) which is taking former fuel wood carriers that are women and changing their lives. In a very brief summary of what these women used to do and numerous women are still doing is waking up every day at three am to hike up a mountain called InToto to collect eucalyptus branches for fuel wood. They collect up to 80 lbs of the branches and put them on their backs bundled up and walk back down the mountain. Keep in mind these are women that are maybe weigh 120 lbs? When they reach the bottom the most they will make is equivalent to $1!!! They might do this maximum twice a day. I was with Pam all day  a few times and she took me up the mountain to see this with my own eyes. After we went up the mountain she took me to the compound where they make the scarves and sell them for 60 Birr (Ethiopian currency that 1 USD is 17 Birr). She has helped these women change their lives and provide better for their families as well as providing a better life for them

Another new friend is Kiely Concannon. She is a an employee of Mocha Club ( www.themochaclub.org ) that have other branches of companies such as FashionABLE ( www.livefashionable.com ). Which is also an organization that makes scarves and also organic soap and jewelry. They are taking prostitutes off the street and showing them a new life where they can provide for their family making different products that are sold around the world. 

Those are just a few people I’ve become close with and been fortunate enough to ride along with them on their daily agendas to their compounds. Ive also met a lot of local Ethiopians that i have played soccer with and listened to their stories and hardships of their life in an under developed country. Don’t take that the wrong way, they are just as happy with their lives and smile just as much as everyone else but they have very little.

Ive also seen a lot of poverty here that has hit me pretty hard. Children in corners of streets huddled together to keep warm under and piece of clothe in the night. Women, Men and children on the streets disabled or just homeless. There are a multitude of organizations here and in other underdeveloped countries around the world helping and changing peoples lives but not even close to the amount that their needs to be to help the world. 

Being here has made me re-think what id like to do in the future and incorporate organizations I’ve connected with to be able to help fund the change they are providing for these people. I encourage everyone to travel to a country like this to enjoy the culture, people, and to also come to the realization that the whole world is not in westernized civilization like most of us are in. They own maybe 10 belongings to their name and do not have clean water or three meals a day. Im also not saying go out and start huge non profit organization even though that would be amazing, but realize that even a little help like $7 to mocha club a month, purchasing a scarf or just donating money to an organization could change  many lives.


 

-Cairo, Egypt-

I had two days in total of layovers in Cairo and experienced the best of the seven wonders of the world that i have seen in my opinion. The pyramids are said to be 5,000 years old and the Sphinx even older at 7,000. I hired a private driver for the day and drove around all of Cairo (private driver was 271 egyptian pounds which is roughly $45 so not bad).

First thing in the morning on the list was the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx. I hired a camel when i got there to ride around the entire area of where it all is. Which by the way if you ever have the chance to ride a camel definitely do it. It was a surreal moment riding a camel around these structures that are 5,000-7,000 years old and there was NO one there for a few reasons. One being exactly the day i was there a year before was the the revolution in Egypt because they had a president that was basically terrible. Tourism crashed after that because everyone is now afraid to go. The other reason was it was off season. 

After i went to the  Khan El Khalili Bazaar. Its the oldest market in Egypt in the Islamic district. There i bought a ring that was was of Bedouin design with a turquoise stone. Bedouin, i was told, is a group of people that live in the desert. So i thought it was pretty cool and got it!

The rest of the day i soaked up as much of the culture as i could. We had shawarmas for a late lunch which is of turkish decent and you can find it everywhere in Europe but its one of my favorites! Also did a good amount of walking around the city and just checked out different shops, and picked my drivers brain about the culture, the revolution and anything else i could think of. I was more focused on the moments in Egypt and didn’t snap any quality photos or good amount of photos but hopefully you’ll like the few i have.

Ive been in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for six days now and I’m just now able to blog about my latest travels so Egypt was on the next. Ive already had a lot of life changing experiences and seen many things that are heartbreaking. Ill soon blog here about Addis and my travels outside of the city for you all to see.

-Singapore-

Made it to Singapore from Bali! Massive culture difference. Singapore is a westernized city that was colonized by England. So oddly enough the national language is English, Second is Mandarin. Singapore doesn’t have its own Singaporean culture it has literally everyones culture. I could walk down the street and see different culinary foods from all around the world. Japan, America’s, Europe, and all of the countries in Asia. I love it!!! A lot of you know food makes me very excited and happy so being in a country with the most culinary diversity I’ve ever been too and i believe i will ever go to because its so many different ones i was so excited. 

The city itself is so beautiful. It host a Formula 1 race, and  Its most famous for the Marina Bay Sands that was opened February 2011. Its a 57 story building that looks like it has a gigantic cruise ship set at the the top. Like a cruise ship as well it has a pool on the main deck! its unreal. The pool is 150 meters long and is an Infinity pool that looks over the city. It also has a casino, 2500 room hotel, and many retail stores.  Ive been to about 25 countries now in my traveling adventures and i think its the coolest building I’ve ever seen and been too. 

Singaporean people are very helpful and kind people. Which makes a country and million times better when the majority of the culture is accustomed to being that way (France….not so much. Ive spent like 2 months in France and have family there so I’m allowed to say that!).

Anyhow i spent most my days hanging out with my good friend Kane Rocha that i met in Sydney and he happened to be in SIngapore at the same time. We toured the city about 8 hours a day every day on foot. You could imagine how tired we were after the day was over.

Im now headed up north to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where i will just basically fly out to Egypt because i have a round trip ticket from KL so when i get back i will spend a few days there. I haven’t been able to blog as frequently as i want.  My goal is once a week but sometimes wifi is so terrible that the resolution of my photos and file size of my videos are too big to actually upload. Ill hopefully blog about Egypt and my first part of Ethiopia by Sunday!

-Bali, Indonesia-

A map, scooter, and two other friends that i met here in Bali were the only things we had starting off this trip around the island of Bali and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip.

I had landed in Bali not having any sleep for over 24 hours, forced to bribe a government official 200,000 rupiah to let me in, and NOT A CLUE where i was going. Finally after getting my bearings and realizing the immigration officer only wanted $20 bucks (which is about 200,000 rupiah) i made it to a hostel a good friend Fabian wanted me to meet him at about twenty minutes from the airport. When i got there we decided to go with a new friend Ted to rent some scooters and just jump on them and GO! We would drive a spontaneous route that would decide along the way and then sleep somewhere when we got there. Turned out to be a great decision. First stop we went to was Padangbai where we just had dinner and planned out he next day of activities and route. By the time we had gone to sleep i was up for about 40 hours and was EXHAUSTED.

The next morning we checked out the ‘Blue Lagoon’ there which was absolutely beautiful. The photo does no justice that i have posted. After we took a dirt road around some rural areas of the island to and saw a lot of villages. We made it to a spot on the map where it said a US navy ship named Liberty was sunk there and you could dive. We decided to just get some snorkels and goggles and free dive it. There were thousands of fish swimming around and coral had attached itself and grew from the ship. We spent a few hours there and hopped back on the scooters to head up north more where we would go to the top of a volcano (keep in mind we thought we would only see beaches so foolishly we wore only shorts and a t-shirt). We made it to the top where the biggest town was called Kintamani. At that point we realized we are on top of a massive volcano that actually has a smaller ACTIVE volcano inside of it. We found a place to stay that night and was approached by a local that evening they they would take us hiking up the volcano starting at 3:45 am to see the sun rise about 3 hours later. So we decided to go and headed off to bed for a few hours.

We rolled out of bed after a few minutes of the guide knocking on our door trying to wake us up and started our journey up the Volcano. Three hours later we made it up to the top to watch the sunrise. Soon after  they dug a hole near a point where the active volcano was releasing steam and we used the extremely hot steam to cook eggs and heat up bananas for breakfast. It was pretty freaking cool. We made our decent down after learning about the volcano and the random facts like it had irrupted every 5 years on average for the last 20 years and the last time it irrupted was over 10 years ago so they were way over due and it could irrupt at any moment (……yeah). We made it down the volcano safely and headed back down the whole volcano itself back to where we were staying where they had black sand beaches and relaxed the rest of the day.

The seven days after which has led up to today as i am blogging has been filled with a lot of beaches, nights out in the main tourist city Kuta, and a lot of relaxing. 

Bali is only 1 of what they estimate to be over 17,000 islands in Indonesia that is gorgeous. Filled with beautiful beaches and mountains. Its an island you can go get lost in but also stay in the very touristy parts where they have 5 star hotels and spas on every corner. 

-Bali-

In Bali a few friends and i decided to get scooters and just ride around the island, when it was night time we would pull over and find a place to sleep. We ended up going to the top of a massive volcano. The volcano actually had an active volcano inside of it and next to it was a lake. This sounds absolutely crazy and you’d think its a typo but its not. Anyhow we found some locals that take people up the volcano on a three hour trek to the top starting at about 3:45 am to make it to the top for the sunrise. So we decided to go on it and i just recorded random videos throughout the day to show you what we did. Keep in mind just like the photos the video was shot on my iPhone and i used an application through iTunes to piece together the footage. It isn’t the best quality but it gets the job done!

You don’t remember half of half of your life.

   Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyones new year is filled with happiness and success. It seems the older we get the faster time flies by. Kind of depressing really.

I read a book before by Donald Miller titled: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It was about his life and how he realized he wanted to live a meaningful life and making memorable moments because he was editing his own life and  saw that his life was not so meaningful. In one of the first few pages of the books he writes “You dont even remember half of half of your life.” Its true and so sad. The moments you remember are the ones that something brilliant happened, or exciting that made you remember that exact moment. I love the book and its something that i have always thought of before i read it and when i found his book it all made sense. I believe everyday should be an adventure and to do all the cliche quotes you read. Do one thing that scares you everyday, buy a plane ticket to somewhere you’ve never been, travel to an under developed country and help change the world, run a marathon, or just do something you’ve always dreamed of. Thats what i am doing really. Living a life that is different and not filled with material things. Dont get me wrong I love fast cars, nice places to live, and clothes, but its not a necessity. Traveling for me is something i love because of the cultures i get to experience around the world, the friends i make along the way,  how much my mind broadens and just the moments sitting down sharing meals with so many different nationalites  and its not something expensive at all. Traveling can be if you stay in luxury hotels and get the “all inclusive packages”. Backpacking isn’t. Taking trains, buses, cheap flights and just figuring you way around is very cheap. 

Anyhow i might of rabbled a bit but i just wanted to share a bit and encourage to get out and do something meaningful!

“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. 

But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either”  -Donald Miller


Hope everyone had an amazing holiday and a great new year to come!

-Cory-