Bali – the last paradise on Earth

…was the sign that greeted us a few days back in Denpasar airport. And based on our couple of days here mostly it seems to be true, with a small “but”.

Bali is quite big. We are staying at Jimbaran area and so far we’ve been able to explore only a very small fracture of this island paradise. On the first day we just walked around in our area but yesterday we rented a scooter for 30.000 rupiah a day (~1,8ā‚¬!) from our hostel and started looking around on a bigger scale. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that most of the streets in Bali are really narrow and the smaller ones can be in quite bad shape. So at some point you’ll probably find yourself off-roading with your small scooter :). But walking and driving around in Bali is like being in a Tomb-Rider game. There are just hundreds and hundreds of temples, shrines and similar everywhere! In fact I’d say that every 3rd building in smaller residential areas is like a small temple with it’s stone walls,carvings and beautiful statues everywhere. Add to that all the greenery, when at some places plants are already eating up the road itself, you’ll get quite a scenery! And the beaches and the cliffs… I have no other word than just breathtaking! I’m already eager to see what majestic places we’ll find during our nearly 1,5 month stay on this island. Here are some pictures (unfortunately taken with my low-quality cell-phone camera, there will be better ones I promise!) of the places we’ve been so far.

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But unfortunately it’s not all that glorious. Indonesia is the second biggest maritime plastic polluter in the world after China. And when there are bigger downpours all this garbage is washed with the floods into the sea. Then in turn waves bring it all to the shores. And you can clearly see the effect here in Bali. Many of the beaches, especially in the west side of the island, are turned into mountains of garbage. Mostly it’s driftwood and all sorts of plastic and rubber waste. In some places the sight can be quite devastating. Although it’s now been declared a garbage emergency in Bali (you can read more about in here and here) and the beaches are being cleaned daily more and more rubbish just washes on the shores. There is also quite significant amount of waste found on the streets and everywhere else.

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So as usual everything has two sides. Let’s hope that the wider audience notices what’s going around us before it’s too late but everything starts with you and me!

Either way I will be keeping you up to date about our adventures in Bali and there is a lot to come!

Wish you all the best!

Lauri

Our Jakarta budget + what to do and see

Our stay in Jakarta was really home-orientated. Since we had such a nice accommodation we spent quite significant time in our little place midst the craziness of the city. Nevertheless there’s quite much to do and see in Jakarta plus you just can’t miss all the smiles and kindness of the people living there :). As always cost are daily averages for 2 people.

  • Groceries (different food items and all other similar things)Ā  in Jakarta it was mainly breakfast and quite many snacks šŸ™‚ ā€“ 90.000 rupiah.
  • Transport (in case of Jakarta it contains only Uber fees since we didn’t use any other method of transport, except walking of course šŸ™‚ )Ā  ā€“ 60.000 rupiah
  • Eating out. (We ate lunch and dinner usually somewhere out. If to be honest it was about 50/50 between local and so to say western food in Jakarta)Ā ā€“ 135.000 rupiah
  • Entrance fees (Mini Indonesia, Ancol Dreamland and Waterbom water park ) ā€“ 42.000 rupiah
  • Shopping. (We decided to buy souvenirs from Bali and we had no need for other things at the time)Ā  ā€“Ā 0 rupiah šŸ™‚
  • Other (mobile internet) ā€“Ā 25.000 rupiah.Ā The cheapest data prepaid card I could find was 300.00 rupiah. And be warned that when arriving in our terminal I could find only one place that sold prepaid data cards and they only took cash. Usually there are loads of this kind of vendors in the airport.

Our accommodation was 4,27 mln rupiah so in total we spent 4,27+4,23 =Ā 8,5 mln rupiah (about ~520 EUR)Ā during our 11 days stay. Of course you can actually get through with considerably less in Jakarta but it’s mostly all up to what kind of accommodation you want :).

What to do and see (in no particular order)

  • Ancol dreamland – a theme park with a huge variety of different activities, parks, places to eat and even it’s own shopping mall. It also had a small beach area for swimming
  • Taman Mini Indonesia Indah – a huge village with numerous activities, temples from all over Indonesia, different museums for all tastes and much more! This is a must visit and it will take you a full day!
  • The National monument and Merdeka square
  • Waterbom Jakarta or any of the other water parks in town. But do your research before since many of the parks are not in good condition
  • Flea market Jalan Surabaya – you can find a huge number of different antiques and souvenirs there. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything it’s really interesting to see, almost like a museum of it’s own!
  • Kota Tua area – it’s the old town area of Jakarta with many beautiful buildings and architecture from Dutch colonial era
  • The contrast of the city – doesn’t matter where you go in Jakarta you will see beautiful buildings right next to slums built under the bridges and highways. It’s quite a sight
  • People – as I’ve already expressed several times people in Jakarta are just so friendly and nice and it’s impossible to go for a walk without a smile on your face :)!

So who is this Lauri writing these posts :)?

Since today is my birthday I decided to share a short summary of myself :). It was interesting to write and I hope that by reading it you’ll get a better picture about who is that guy behind these posts :).

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I was born on January 15th 1988 in Tallinn, Estonia. I don’t remember the exact time of day besides it was morning. Have to ask my mom :). I never went to kindergarten, instead I was quite often staying with my grandparents in Taevaskoja in southern part of Estonia. It was not a farm as such but still a proper countryside place and I really liked it! And I still do :)! As I’ve been told for most of the time I behaved myself properly and didn’t cause much of a mess. I liked playing with cars, me and by brother (who’s 3,5 years older than me) collected cans of various drinks and I have nothing bad to say about my childhood. I also recall that I loved to play with lego and other lego-like construction sets building all sorts of different things. Besides Taevaskoja we had a countryside place in Saaremaa and also near Haapsalu so all my summers were spent in these different locations. In addition it was common in our family to take weekend trips to different locations in Estonia and at least once or twice during the summer we went tenting.

I started my school at Tallinn Technical Highschool and as a matter fact I spent all 12 years of my school time there. I really liked it and I did quite well. Until the 9th grade I got only strait 5’s with some 4’s mixed in during high school. My favorite subjects were PE, geography, physics, history and English. Around 1st of 2nd grade my affection towards sports, especially basketball, started. Although I must say that I wasn’t very consistent. During my school years I attended different trainings such as handball, track and field, basketball etc. but I never stayed in one place for very long. I think I just liked the freedom of doing things on my own. One thing that has stuck and I can honestly admit that I truly love it is as already mentioned basketball. At peak times I played it 4-5 times a week and even on some semi-professional level. Of course in the past years it has gone down to 1-2 times per week. And actually it’s one of the main things I miss here traveling in SE Asia. Hopefully I’ll find some basketball buddies in Bali :). During the last 6-7 years I have enjoyed hitting the gym with more effort in this field in past 3 years. Of course there has been ups and downs but whenever I can I try to use a gym while traveling and I’ll definitely continue my workouts back home. I’m a strong believer that some sort of exercise is always needed and actually I can’t really imagine my life without it. Everything starts from a healthy body.

But coming back to my school years after the school day was done for most of the time I was hanging around with my friends doing some sports, playing computer games, watching movies or just fooling around. At that time I didn’t have any hobbies as such, only the coming and going trends that most of the kids took part of. I also wasn’t in reading, I have found that for myself only during the last 5-6 years. Whenever possible I skipped reading a book and just took a glimpse of a resume to get a test done.

After graduating from highschool I went to study logistics in Tallinn University of Technology. The reason I chose this speciality was that we had some logistics classes during the 12th grade and I really liked it plus the course setup included very different useful subjects from economics to physics ending with of course transportation. After the first year I did my 11 months military service at Logistics Battalion in Tallinn/Paldiski where besides everything else I got my truck driving license. Those were some fun times :)!

By the time I was in the middle of the first year in university my parents got divorced and a long line of moving and living in different places began. Throughout the next 8 years I lived in 10 different apartments which is a story of it’s own. But most of the moving was related to home owners wanting to sell their apartments or just bigger changes in my life. 2014 I bought my own place downtown Tallinn which I’m currently renting since I’m living together with Anna in her apartment. And not to forget Sipsik, our cute (and sometimes annoying) cat :)!

I have been with Anna now for roughly 2,5 years and it’s been the best time of my life! And I can honestly see my future together with her all the way to the horizon! That being said I must admit that I have had several more and less serious relationships through the years but only good memories are recalled from those times. Life is just in a constant change and that’s normal šŸ™‚

My first job was summer 2005 when I was helping out at a construction site at my dad’s company. Besides that I have worked in a sports equipment store, for 2 summers I was assembling different stages, tents and tribunes at open-air events and in 2010 my career in Nefab began. At the end I was a product manager with a small team to work with and all in all it was a really interesting time filled with tons of new experiences! I wouldn’t change it for anything! I have also been a part of a few network marketing companies from where I have also had numerous great experiences, friends and maybe most importantly my interest and passion towards self-development.

At the moment I’m currently so-to-say looking for new interesting opportunities and at the same time working on several different side-projects and hobbies one of them being writing this blog. In addition I lately just created my own small Amazon based e-commerce business, I’m working on a strategic board-game I made up a while back, I plan to start renting out different fun sportsgames equipment and also arranging various events related to that plus photography/Photoshop is growing on me more and more with each year! I love being in the nature, traveling, playing geocaching, keeping my eye on the latest science advancements, communicating with people and organizing events so people could come together. I also run a Meetup group in Tallinn with get-togethers at least once a month.

I’ve been blessed with many good and great friends whom with I’ve shared many great moments and I know that that they’re there for me if needed an vice versa. Although in nowadays fast moving pace of live it can be months without seeing each other a true friendship always lasts :).

I love animals and I truly don’t understand people who hurt them. As already mentioned we have a cat called Sipsik (and several fish in 2 aquariums) and basically the first thing that we’ll do when back home is get ourselves a dog :). I’ve been waiting so long for this and hopefully we can offer a loving home to one more furry friend.

I enjoy eating and I especially enjoy eating sweet things :). You can probably call me a sweet lover but I can’t help it. I try to hold the line but some things are just too tasty :). I’ll balance it off with moving and exercise!

I believe that most important thing in life is always moving forwards. The satisfaction and happiness in our lives comes from an inner feeling that we’re making progress towards something. Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new and start from a blank sheet if needed. Too often we are stuck in our past although we should be living in the moment and gaining energy from our goals that inspire us. I often read different self-education books, attend online or offline seminars and follow great minds of our times. From my point of view you don’t have to follow anyone’s teaching’s if these don’t suit you, you have to find your own way. I think that from each book, article, seminar and so on you’ll find some pieces of the puzzle that click to you and from that you’re building your true self!

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All the best!

Lauri

So how is Jakarta?

  • Although people in SE Asia are very friendly and warm we haven’t seen so much kindness and smiles in other places as here in Jakarta. Honestly your face muscles are exhausted at the end of the day of all the smiling :).
  • Hand trolleys are extremely popular in here. They are being used to carry anything from a huge pile of flip-flops to washing machines. Some of them seem to weigh a ton although usually there’s only one person pushing them.
  • The city is truly endless. From no point in the city where we’ve been we haven’t been able to sense anything similar to the end (except seaside). It just goes on and on…
  • There are hundreds and hundreds of cats roaming the streets although we’ve seen only a few dogs during our stay.
  • I haven’t seen this kind of contrast anywhere else in the world. At one point there’sĀ  beautiful buildings and hotels while right behind the corner you can find water canals filled with stinky water and garbage.
  • Motorcycle taxis are found absolutely everywhere. I don’t really understand how there are enough clients for them but it seems that somehow they manage. And when you’re riding a scooter then you’re allowed to go both ways even if it’s a one-way street :).
  • There are also armies of tuk-tuk’s here. They are rather similar as in Thailand but with a more closed cabin and very funny small wheels :).
  • You can even find some beaches in this huge city. Although the water quality can’t be very good we saw several people swimming.
  • Jakarta is really car-centered city. Although there are several public transport methods I’ve read that they are always really crowded and we haven’t used them. Walking on sidewalks can sometimes also be a hustle since it’s very popular to put up a small tent right in the middle of the pathway to sell food or some other goods. So you have no other option to go pass them using the street meant for cars. Uber on the other hand is extremely cheap and highly recommended. Just don’t use it during the morning and evening rush hours.
  • Trolleys selling different fruits or pandan cakes are found on each corner
  • There are no huge entrances to shopping malls like back in Estonia or even Kuala Lumpur. There are only a few places you can get in and you always have to go through a security check. I even saw security guards checking the backseats and trunks of the cars going to the parking lots.
  • Fastfood places are very popular here. You can find McDonald’s, KFC, A&W, Pizza Hut, Burger King etc. everywhere. We have visited the nearby Domino’s pizza for several times but honestly they have the second best pizza I’ve ever had! (The best one is a small place called Steffani back home). So unfortunate that we don’t have one in Estonia.
  • Even though in most cases people don’t have much in here they seem to be very happy :). Children are playing on the streets with old toys, people are just sitting at the street side laughing and chatting, an old man passing by wishes you a good day with a huge smile and so on :). Although it’s not a touristy city and a lot of locals may see foreigners maybe even for the first time you’ll definitely feel welcome in here :)!

Videos of Jakarta

This time my video editing software was not a friend of mine. For reasons still unknown (most likely some of the clips were damaged for some reason) it kept crashing and crashing no matter what I did. After several attempts I finally managed to put together 2 clips of our adventures here in Jakarta (although it was meant as 1 video in the beginning). There are still some wierd glitches here and there but since I couldn’t find the issue I still decided to publish them. Go and have a look for yourself šŸ™‚

All the best!

Lauri

I’m so grateful for this experience!

Yesterday we were watching all the videos that we’ve made on our trip so far (you can find them on my YouTube channel) and although we appreciate every day on our journey through SE Asia that really made me thinking how great it is to have such an amazing experience :)! We have still roughly 2 months to go but we have already had so many great memories, magic moments, new things that we’ve learned, new people that we’ve met and so much more! Although technology wise we have come very far from the old ages where most of the people didn’t travel beyond the borders of their home county throughout their whole lifetime it’s still a very different experience to look up some place online or go and see it with your own eyes. It really gives you a new sense of perspective of how big the world actually is and how much is there to see. I hope that everyone has a chance in their lifetimes to go and explore this magnificent planet we’re living on (and maybe even beyond šŸ™‚ ). In the end we only have one life and as I’ve said before these special memories, experiences and magic moments are the ones that count! I wish you all great adventures and thank you for being with me through our trip in this beautiful part of the world!

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Lauri

 

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