5 adrenaline rushes I’ll never forget

Hanggliding in Jutland

I tried this last autumn, and it was so scary to hang under a tiny ‘skelet’ made out of steel, and just trust the man underneath me to bring me safely down to the ground. But the feeling while flying around in the air was absolutely amazing and I can only recommend everybody to do it. Apart from that, it’s also very cheap, compared to some of the other things on this list.

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Being pulled up into the air before flying around

Adrenaline: 7 out of 10
Cost: 5 out of 10

Bungy jump

I did this in Queenstown in New Zealand, and probably not under the best conditions. To make a long story short I’d been given intevenuse antibiotics the previous 3 days and was on hard medication, but I wanted to do it so bad, that it didn’t stop me. I did around 50 meters, and the feeling of the free fall towards the ground was so scary! No words can describe the few second free fall – your mind and body are convinced that you’re about to die, but then the string catches you. It was crazy, but fun!

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400 metres above Queenstown and from where I jumped :O

Adrenaline: 9.5 out of 10
Cost: 8 out of 10

Skydive

This was also in New Zealand but closer to the East coast and Christchurch. My friend and I drove out to a field and went into a hall. We’d pre-order the dive, but we didn’t really know what to expect – but we did not expect what met us! When we went into the big hall we were met by Bob Marley music and the kindest and most down-to-earth persons you could imagine! Everybody were so kind and 1-2-3 we were in a small plane above the ground. The dive itself was the most amazing thing I’ve ever tried! I loved it so much! The fall and the rush that comes with it when you’re getting closer and closer to the ground in a free fall, but also the time after the parachute is out and you just glide through the wind and look down.

Adrenaline: 10 out of 10
Cost: 10 out of 10

Cave, wreck and shark dive

So I have a diver’s certificate. I can’t really use it that much because of a lot of problems with my ears. But when I travel to exotic places like Fiji, Bali and Australia I just can’t help myself. Some of the most spectacular dives I’ve done was a cave and shark dive on Fiji – with 4 meter long bull sharks (known for being very agressive.. which I didn’t know before after the dive :O ) and biiig caves! There were so many sharks and my oxygen tank even broke while down there, but my body didn’t realize it before we were back on the surface and suddenly it all hit me! It had been so scary but so mesmerizing at the same time.

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Coming out of the ‘coral’ cave in Fiji

Adrenaline: 10 out of 10
Cost: 5 out of 10

Climb a mountain next to an about-to-erupt volcano

Read about the amazing but dangerous journey here 🙂

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Why become a volunteer?

In Denmark it is very common to go to Africa and do some voluntary work in your gab year (or to go to the Middle Eastern parts of Asia). I’ve always said that I would become a volunteer when I got old, and just travel while I was young. But in the recent years I’ve found out, how selfish it is to say like that. And after I did voluntary work myself, I found out how big of a gift doing voluntary work is.

I did voluntary work in a small village called Penestanan on Bali. I went there by myself and the organisation I was going to work for was Green Lion. For two months I was going to teach English half an hours drive outside of Penestanan. It was primarily children between the age of 4 and 12 I was teaching.

How I lived
I stayed with a local family in Penestanan. In Bali people live in so-called compounds with several ‘houses’ inside an area. The family lived in some of the houses and I live with some volunteers in the other houses. In Penestanan there were several compounds housing volunteers. All the meals were eaten at another location in Penestanan, and it was so nice to get together.

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Hannah and me with some of our lovely children

What I learned
I really don’t know where to start! I learned so much during the 2 months in Penestanan. So I’ll make a little list 😉

  1. I learned about the Balinese culture and the Balinese people. I gained so much respect for their way of living life – especially how much family means. Furthermore they’re always very helpful and happy, and even though the language barrier was big, they always tried to understand.
  2. To help other people is probably one of the greatest feelings in the world. I really appreciated the happiness we brought to the children by teaching them. The children were always so happy to see us, and the gratitude towards us from the parents, were so life-giving! Even though there were tough days where everything was difficult, it was a major gift in the end to actually see some progress with some of the children ❤
  3. I can do it! It was my first time traveling alone and to be honest I was so scared. But at the same time I was really looking forward to traveling around on Bali and to teach English. The trip made me later realize that I crossed so many barriers, and helped me gain a lot of faith in myself.

How was my daily life
On a normal day I would get up and go to breakfast in another part of Penestanan with my roomie Hannah. We taught together, so after breakfast we went to a house in the rice fields, where we prepare the lesson for the day. On the first day of the week we normally set at plan for the whole week. But it was very rare that we were actually able to follow it. Sometimes the schools were closed for no reason, and we weren’t told before head. On other times there were a lot of new children, and some of the old didn’t come. Some would come back weeks later, other wouldn’t. We always had to be prepared to teach on every single level of English, because we never really knew who would be in school on that specific day. After the preparation, we would eat lunch with some other volunteers. The Green Lion organization also had volunteers building kindergardens and doing environmental work. So at the meals we always talked to a lot of other volunteers, and it was so interesting to hear about their work. Then, after lunch, we got to our pick-up place and were driven to the village were the school was located. We were 4-7 volunteers at each school, and then two persons from the Green Lion. They were supposed to help us with translating to the children, but most of them didn’t speak English themself. So that often caused a lot of frustration.
After teaching for 3-4.5 hours we were picked up and brought back to Penestanan. We often had some hours to relax in the afternoon and the we had dinner with all the other volunteers in the evening.
Sometimes we went to a nearby city called Ubud to go out, and other times we just relaxed with movie nights and walks in the rice fields or trips to night markets.

In the weekends we went to swimming pools or on day or weekend trips around Bali 🙂

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View over the rice fields only a few minutes away from our compound

Would I do it again?
Ab-so-lutely and anytime!

Jerusalem vs Tel Aviv

A few months ago I visited Israel and Palestine. I travelled with a group as a part of a journalistic course on a Danish school. We talked to a lot of interesting people and even though we were only there for one week, it felt like an eternity because we experience so many thought provoking and amazing things!

One of the things that really hit me when we were down there was the contrast between the religions, the people, the cities, the.. I could write forever about all the different contrasts. But I’ve chosen to tell you about two cities that shows a lot of the different contrasts – Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Before we left Denmark we were told that Jerusalem was a city characterized by the heavy, religious history that is connected to the city. Tel Aviv on the other hand was told to be “like any European capital. Imagine Barcelona but in the Middle East”. On one hand it was true, but on the other hand both cities had so much more to offer, than at least what I expected.

Food

In Jerusalem we spent a lot of time in the Arabian parts. Even though there were Jewish settlements in some parts we felt like being in the middle of – oh well – the Middle East. Around every corner there was another shop selling fallaffels, shish kebab and delicious sweets. A smell of harsh tobacco drifted through the air as we walked the streets. And I promise – the food was so delicious. The falafel were so fluffy and full of taste, and the kebabs were filled with all kinds of good stuff. Cabbage, herbs and all kinds of delicious sauces. As a lover of everything spicy and hot, I fell head over heels in love with the food in Jerusalem. But Jerusalem also has some Jewish quarters and Israelian quarters. They also have some great restaurants, but they are more european. Except for the Jewish Orthodox areas. Here, everything is of course kosher.

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The most amazing falaffel in Jerusalem

In Tel Aviv it’s a bit different. It’s much more like being in a European capital. The restaurants and the prices at the restaurants are like any Northern part of Europe. Still, the food was really good, but just a bit boring. Some might find the a okay, but when I travel I would like to ‘taste’ in which part of the world I am because I think that food is such a big part of a country’s culture. But all of this does not do anything about the fact, that we had some pretty decent food in Tel Aviv.

Religion

In Jerusalem we saw the Western Wall. We heard the stories about the Western Wall. It was amazing but also very thought-provoking. After walking around in the Arabic parts of the city for a whole day, we saw the Jews in their characteristic dressing. They walking towards the wall from all over town. It was mesmerizing to watch. The following day we went to a part of Jerusalem, where only Orthodox Jews normally are. People told their children to close their eyes when passing us, and a lot even walked to the other side of the road – just to avoid walking past us. It was so weird to witness after being in the Arabic parts where everybody welcomed us no matter where we went. No matter where we went in Jerusalem we were reminded about religion in some way. Even in the Arabic parts were the Via Dolorosa cuts through.

In Tel Aviv it is the contrary. When you walk the streets you barely remember that you’re less than 100 kilometers away from one of the biggest religious conflicts in modern day history, if you ask me. It is like being in Barcelona. The streets, the shops, the restaurants, the nightclubs. You wouldn’t think this was a country given to a religious group. Because in Tel Aviv you have to look very deep to find religion. Of course there are still synagogs around the city, but nothing that you really notice.

Sexuality

Jerusalem is a religious city from the bone. The conflict in the city is partly because of religion. The people in the city has a very strong opinion about religion. Religion permeates everything and everybody. So your sexuality is not something you talk about or show. If you’re not straight, you most likely will not be living in Jerusalem out of fear. Even though Jerusalem has had its own Pride every year since 2002, an accident in 2005 scared a lot of LGBT people. An ultra Orthodox Jew stabbed multiple persons in the pride with a knife, and after 10 years in prison, he went to the Pride in Jerusalem again, and stabbed more people. Even though he has a life sentence know, the LGBT people in Jerusalem are very aware of the strong religious beliefs in the city.

In Tel Aviv it is the contrary. They have the biggest pride in the Middle East and Asia. And the city and city council is fully supporting it. It is a celebration all over town, and a lot of LGBT people from all over Israel is living in Tel Aviv because of the open mindset against LGBT people. It is something Tel Aviv is very proud of, and as an example of how the city shows it, they painted some of the streets and pathways the colors of the rainbow flag in the days before the pride.

Even though the two cities are so different, I really enjoyed being in both and one thing is sure: I’m going back to visit both in the future!

A short guide to Bali, Indonesia

I went there for two months last summer, and it was the best of times. First of all – I worked as a volunteer English teacher, and it was amazing, but also very hard. But it helped me gain some understanding of the people on Bali and the culture.

Me enjoying a fresh coconut in Penestanan

No matter where you go on Bali the people are so nice and warm. Of course there will always be exceptions, but most of them are so sweet and helpful. I lived in a small village close to the bigger city Ubud in the middle of Bali. It’s a perfect area to stay in. First of all you are in the middle of everything, and you can drive almost everywhere on a scooter (if you dare!) or with a local driver (remember to settle a price before deciding which driver to use).  Second, the area is not as filled with tourists and tourist traps as the southern parts of the island. Finally, it’s a very beautiful area and they have a lot of yoga retreats and one-day-yoga places if you’re up for some zen (don’t go to the famous Yoga barn – unless you want to use too much money on something you can get much cheaper only a kilometer from there at Intuitive Flow).


Two great things to do: coffee tasting and cooking class

Bali is filled with beautiful nature, and even though many people tend not to visit the northern parts of the island, this is a big mistake! The nature is a bit different, not filled with tourists all over and very extraordinary. And if you like diving, you can dive with dolphins in the North!


Rice fields a short drive from Ubud

I would recommend you to go there for a minimum of two weeks. I stayed for two months, but also worked a lot, so if you’re only there for holiday, two weeks would do (but you’d wish you stayed longer, when you leave 😉 ). Maybe stay in 2-4 different places on the island, or set for one base and then take some weekend- and day trips from there. It’s very cheap to use drivers and the scooters are cheap to rent. But be careful! On the bigger roads and bigger cities, the police only target tourists and give them looots and lots of fines! And you can do nothing about it, except for trying to talk your way out of it.

I finished of my trip with a hike on the island Lombok, and I am so grateful for that! It was one of the most amazing but also toughest hikes of my life! You can read more about it in my post here 🙂


The nightly food market

Furthermore I went to Gili Trawangan for a week. There are three Gili islands and Gili T is the party island. It was nice, but I was sick some of the days, so I couldn’t really enjoy it. But I still met some awesome people from all around the world, went diving and enjoyed the beach. But beware, Gili T is much more expensive than Bali. So if you’re on a budget, you need to by some food and snacks on the mainland before heading there – and the you need to visit the nightly foodmarket! It’s cheap and the food there is unbelievably good – and then you can get almost everything!

I hope this is helpful, and you’re always welcome to ask me about anything 🙂

The best view comes after the hardest climb

I really like hiking. Even though I don’t do it as often as I would like to I really enjoy it when I go. I’ve done several tough one-day hikes but never more than that. But when I heard about the 3-day mountain climb to Mt Rinjani on Lombok in Indonesia I immediately felt tempted. The pictures looked beautiful and like something from my imagination. So I booked my 3-day hike and to be honest I didn’t think more about it before I was leaving Ubud to go to Lombok.

When I arrived in the very simple city of Sembulang it hit me that this might not ‘just’ be a 3-day hike. But I was up for the challenge – and I’m actually really glad I didn’t know what to expect, because I’m not sure I would’ve gone through with it then.

I could use page up and page down describing the feeling, the moods, the struggles etc. throughtout the whole climb. But I wont. What I will do is to tell you about all the great things and about the not-so great things that turned out great anyway.

Making it to the top of the campsite

The first day is tough because you basically hike and climb up for the whole day. But at the same time the nature around you changes all the time and same with the clouds on the mountain, so you got some amazing views when you look up!But be careful with looking up to much because especially the last part of the climb is difficult – uphill and sand and veeery easy to stumble and fall on. That being said it is all worth it when you get to the camp site which is in the middle of the clouds. It is truly amazing!

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The surprise of actually making it to the top of Mt Rinjani

I see myself as a person with a pretty strong willpower – if I want something I’m gonna get it or do it or whatever. But I did doubt myself on making it to the top. I started climbing at 3 in the morning, and the whole trip up what dark, exhausting and sweaty. Especially the last 40 minutes killed me. You climb in big, lose rocks and it is an udnerstatement to say that it was exhausting – it was completely draining and debilitating! When I sit here writing this I cannot believe that I actually made it. But I did – and just in time for the sunrise. The feeling of standing at the top was beyond words. I do not have anything to compare it to that would reach to size it.

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The starts and the ends

.. of the days. And by that I am simply talking about the amazing night sky filled with the clearest shining stars, the deep colours of the sunrise and the shadows on the mountainsides at sunset.

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When everything went wrong 

My guide got sick, so I did the last part of the Mt Rinjani hike alone, which went great. But the porter got really sick and couldn’t walk, which is more of a problem since he carries the food, tent etc. So instead of going to the 2nd crater opposite of Mt Rinjani my guide told me that we had to stay at the camping site one more night, but that he could take me to some hot springs and mineral lakes in the valley which we’d have had to cross to get to the other camping site. That sounded perfect for me, and off we went. On the way down to the valley you climb through the clouds – literally – and halfway down we stopped because of a loud, alarming sound. It sounded as if we were in the middle of the biggest thunder I’ve ever heard. And the deep, rolling sounds kept coming. After a minute or two (though it felt like more) we kept walking on. That was only until the next hill with a clear view. There we saw the darkest cloud, I’ve ever seen. It was a cloud of ash and the air smelled like gas – the small volcano at the big mineral lake had erupted. It was terrifying and mesmerizing at the same time. The guide told me that it would be a good idea to hurry back, since the ashes and gas could spread in the valley if the wind turned, so back up we went and on the way annoucing all the down-going hikers, guides and porters about what we’d seen, heard and smelled. Even though I never saw the hot springs, the experience was amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime thing I’ll never, ever forget!

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In the end I must say something very corny and clichée – it changed me. Not in a permanent way, but after living 6 weeks in another country, meeting a lot of wonderful people and thinking about a lot of new things, it helped me get my head around things.

“In the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” ~ Jack Kerouac

About Bali…

I’ve so far lived in Penestanan at Bali for a bit over a month and figured that I’d tell you a bit about a few of the ‘special moments’ you’ll have when you live somewhere instead of just travelling from place to place all the time.

THE PEOPLE

You get to know the people. Not every single person in the village but the people you interact with on a daily basis. For me that is first of all the family I live with. At Bali you live in big compounds with a whole family together – the family we live with just have a few more houses in their compund where us volunteers live. Especially the mother in the family, Made, the father Waryan and the two sons Waryan and Waryan hav made the stay extraordinary! They are the loveliest and most warming people I’ve met in a long time! Apart from that there are some of the guys working at the organisation who also lives in the village, who’s made the stay so great! We hang out with them, listen to them playing music and just have a great time throughout the day. Furthermore the owner of the local cafe Kopi Desa is a funny guy who’s doing movie nights and letting us pick the movies 😉 Apart from all of these lovely people the Balinese people is very helpful and smiling all the time and it is by far one of the most welcoming countries I’ve been to so far when it comes to the people living here.

PENESTANAN AFTER DARK

When we walk around Penestanan in the evening it’s often the same people sitting in the shops and on the corners who greets us. The sun goes down around 6 o’clock and the time around sunset is my absolut favorite time of the day. First of all because of the temperature – it’s so comfortable. Second of all the light. The light around sunset is so calming and beautiful! It makes you feel like your in a fairytale. And at last it’s when the locals start playing pingpong next to the taxi corner. You can always hear them shouting and clapping whenever you pass by.

THE SECRET PLACES

Sometimes you can be lucky enough to stumbl upon some small secret places in your neighbourhood. It can be an empty building filled with painting all over the walls (on the way to the Bintang supermarket). Or it can be a temple you didn’t know was there.
One evening I was walking back to the house with two of my friends and we suddenly hear what sounded like bells ringing near by. We’ve walked that way several time every day for the past month, so we where surprised to hear new sounds. We followed the sounds and found a big temple with around 20-25 women playing on bells and drums. It was amazing to listen to and to watch, and reminded me about that even though I feel like I know the village I live in I’m still a stranger in so many ways.

 

Bali’s beautiful East Coast 

Ubud is a perfect place to stay because it is almost in the Middle of Bali so you can do a lot of one-day trips or maybe weekend trips. At the same time there are a lot og attractions in the area around Ubud.

An idea for a one day trip is to go to the East Coast. It is a good idea to book a taxi a day in advance. But be prepared to bargain for your price and that you might have to find a new one if the pre-booked doesn’t show up.

Start out by going to the Pura Goa Lawah (Bat Cave temple). There are a lot of people because both tourists and Balinese people go  here. Remember your sarong and to cover your shoulders as well as to put your hair up. If you dont have a sarong you can rent one for 6,000 IDD.

From the ceremony at Pura Goa Lawah

The day I went to the Pura Goa Lawah was on a national holiday so I couldn’t get close to the cave itself because there was a ceremony. But you could still hear the bats and see the cave and the not-so big temple. And it was really nice to watch the ceremony and all the people praying in their beautiful and very colourful clothes.

After the Pura Goa Lawah cross the road and watch the beautiful black sand beach – a bit polluted on the right side but if you look left you’ll see a more pretty side of the black.

Black Sand Beach

If you feel like exploring and dont mind a long drive you can go to the  Putih Pura in the Northern parts of the East Coast. This is a small beach where you have to walk 1.5 km and on the way walk through a small temple. But the beach is picture-perfect!

If you’re not up for the long ride you can go to the Blue Lagoon Beach and enjoy the postcard view. There are a lot of good snorkel opportunities and if you feel up for it, or you can just relax on one of the small beaches in the area. DO be aware of the following: a lot of the beaches are quite small and you have to rent a chair.

In the evening when you drive back to Ubud, go for a stop in the city Gianyar and go to the famous night market! It is a street market that opens at approximately 5 o’clock in the evening. You can buy all kinds of food there but it might be a good idea to eat after or prior if you have a sensible stomach 😉

After the market return to Ubud and relax for the rest of the evening.

Exploring Ubud

I’m currently living in the small village Penestanan close to Ubud and yesterday I went to Ubud to get to know the biggest town in the area a bit better. I’ve made a suggestion for you – a timeplan for a day in Ubud 🙂

First of all if you are not staying in Ubud you will need to get there, and the traffic is just impossible to predict. You should book a cab a day before you are leaving and bargain about the price! If you are going other places than just Ubud it might be a good idea to book a cab for the whole day – I booked a big one for 400.000 for a whole day together with 6 others. This might give you an idea about how much you should expect to pay.

There are a lot of things to see in Ubud, but because of the Eat Pray Love movie and book, which takes place in Ubud, the town has become quite ‘touristic’. So take you precautions and don’t underestimate the sneaky salesmen on the markets trying to make you pay overprice for everything.

Anyways you should start out by heading towards the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. In the afternoon there will be a lot of tourists there and it will be so hot! Apart from the monkey running around everywhere looking cute (and being little devils! dont understimate them) the scenery in the sanctuary is very nice. Beware of monkeys jumping on your back and do follow the precautions they give you at the entrance. When I was there a monkey stole the glasses out of a bag of a tourist while he just thought the monkey wanted to say hi! But most of the monkeys are just cute, and it is a must, if you go to Ubud.

After the monkey forest you can enjoy some coconut juice, a smoothie or maybe an ice cream in of the many stores on the Ubud Monkey Forest Road. The road is well-known for the many shops, so if you are in the mood you can take a look!

For lunch just pop into one of the many restaurants and maybe order some of the awesome noodle dishes or some springrolls with glassnoodles. If you like beer you must try the Bintang beer! It is so good and really fresh and light but with a great taste!

After lunch head towards one of the many temples in Ubud and maybe stop by a marked on the way there. But be prepared to turn down a lot of taxi offers on the way there if you are walking.

If you are up to it you should take a cab to Tegenungang Waterfall just North of Ubud (15-20 min from the center of Ubud). It is really beautiful and a great way to cool down while taking in the beautiful scenery away from the traffic.

You can finish of you day with a nice dinner in Ubud or head back to where you are staying. No matter what Ubud and it’s surroundings are worth a visit!

What am I doing in Bali?

This spring I decided to stop at University of Copenhagen where I had been studying for a bachelor in social studies (more about that another time) and I had no doubt about what I was going to study instead (a professional bachelor in communication). But I also wanted to travel. So I worked hard from mid-March until, well, the day of my depature to Bali. At first I’d planned to go to India, but that didn’t work out, so I decided upon Bali instead. And thank god! I’ve only been here for one day and I already like it – except for the extreme humidity and constant 29-30 degrees celsius.

I am going to be a volunteer at the Green Lion projects in Ubud, which for now involves teaching children English and about the environment. This I will be doing for 6 weeks – or actually only 5 weeks, because the first week is a so called cultural week. In the cultural week I will learn about the Balinese culture and get to know the other volunteers.

In the weekends I have time to explore Bali on my own and I can’t wait to do so!

After the 6 weeks with the volunteer program, I have 1.5 week before I head back to Denmark.
For the first 3 days I will be doing a mountain climb in a volcanic area, which among other things involves some pretty extraordinary sunrises I expect. After this I’ll go to the famous Gilli Trawangan island. I will be staying there for a week and I’ve prebooked a few dives but apart from that I think I’ll just relax and look back at some amazing weeks in Bali.

 

Bali on my mind

FIY I’m going to Bali for 2 months and the posts will mainly be about Bali, voluntary work and travelling alone for the next – yeah – 2 months :p 


Me getting ready to flyyyyy awaayyyy

If you have any questions about Bali or Maybe even something you would recommend me to do/try/taste, feel free to tell me❤️