Packing List – 1 Month in Bali

Detailed packing list for an extended trip to a tropical destination.

This detailed packing list will break down everything you need to bring on an extended trip to Southeast Asia. My experience was a month in Bali, but this list can apply to one week in Thailand, if that’s where you’re going.

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A disclaimer: I spent most of my month in one villa in Ubud, spending most of my time in yoga clothes, and then less than a week in a homestay on the eastern side of the island. I didn’t roam around too much, and it hardly rained while I there. I traveled with:

  A Small Backpack as my carry-on bag. I stuffed extra clothes, and important items in here, just incase of lost luggage.

A Purse which I only used for the airport since it fit my boarding pass, passport and money comfortably. I kept my important documents and extra money in here for the rest of my trip, and didn’t actually take it out much.

A Fannypack (or bumbag, whatever you want to call it) This was my best purchase and I want a bunch more. I used this whenever I went out, to carry my daily essentials, like sunglasses, sunscreen, money for that day, etc.I got mine here in Hamilton from Out of the Past on King Street, and I might need to go buy more.

A Big ol’ Suitcase for my checked luggage. It was 17″x8″x25″ and I kept it underweight the whole time, so less than 50lbs. Leave space in here to bring all your goodies back home!

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This was my first time traveling here, and I definitely overpacked a little, but still ended up forgetting things. Like a power adapter. And a hairbrush. And tops, besides the tank top I wore on the plane.

Also, I’m a lady, and this list will reflect that. If you’re a man traveling to Bali, don’t bother with the bras or dresses.


Essentials

You have to bring these along with you, no question. Even if you bring one little backpack, put these in there.

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  • Passport
  • Visa- You may not need to get a Visa beforehand, or even on arrival, depending on your length of stay. I was staying 28 days, so I did not require one, saving me $25USD.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Boarding Passes and other Tickets

Make sure to bring copies of all of these important documents, or better yet, take a picture of them and save copies in your email, so you can access them wherever you have internet.

  • Indonesian Rupiah- You will need some money on arrival for taxis or any other purchases, so I would get some money exchanged at home (at a lower exchange rate) before you leave. I would suggest bringing $1-$2 million Rupiah with you. That’s only $100-$200 Canadian dollars. Bali – where you’re a millionaire. An easy exchange for shopping: $1 = R$10,000
  • US Money- Bring the US money for your Visa-on-Arrival, if required, but if you plan on bringing more to exchange in Bali, make sure those bills are crisp and brand new – money changes won’t take them otherwise, and it’s an annoyance to have useless money.
  • Debit and Credit Cards- There are lots of ATMs around. They usually charge about $5 each time you use them, so take the max out when you do (usually $1-$2.5 million Rupiah)

Clothing

Best tip for packing – roll your clothes up, it’s much more compact. And, less is always more. In this case, the less you bring with you, the more you can bring home. Remember to look at the weather, and consider what activities you’ll be doing on your travels. For me, it was 30°C (86°F) and sunny, and I did a lot of yoga, wandered around Ubud and went to the beach. If you’re going hiking up mountains in the monsoon season then maybe add a few items.

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Do not wear this to the temple.

Basics

  • 5 Tank tops or crop tops- it’s really hot, all the time, so bring your summer clothes. Bali is a little less restrictive, so don’t worry about the spaghetti straps.
  • 2 T-shirts- the sun is pretty relentless here, so avoid the shoulder burn with a loose, cotton t-shirt.
  • 1 Long-sleeved top- if you want to go to any temples or religious ceremonies, be prepared to dress respectfully.
  • 4-5 Shorts- I brought a combination of denim, loose cotton, and active-wear shorts.
  • 2-3 Skirts- Maxi skirts are great for the heat, but if skirts aren’t your thing, just pack more shorts.
  • 3 Dresses or Rompers- Again, this is up to you, but I liked just throwing on a lightweight dress in the heat, and they double  as bikini cover-ups. Bring one ‘fancy’ dress, if you’re going to head out on the town.
  • 1 Pair of Leggings- For chillier evenings, underneath your dresses, or visiting the temples. I wore mine under my pants on the plane, so they didn’t take up any extra space. If you’re doing more athletic activities, maybe bring more, or just more athletic shorts.

**Gentlemen, bring lots of breathable button-down tops, or tank tops. Lots of shorts are a must, but lots of men in Bali tend to wear a sarong .

Remember; all these items of clothing can be bought for about $5 in the markets, once you arrive in Bali. Bring only one of each item on the list and save room for lots of new clothes.

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Outfit for a day of shopping in Ubud. Everything on the list is in that bag already.

Underwear

  • 8 Pairs of Underwear- You should only have to do laundry once a week, this way. Don’t overpack on underwear, it takes up more space than you think. If you are a really light packer, only 2-3 pairs might do for the wash-and-wear traveler.
  • 5 Bras- Bring some sports bras and regular ones. Sports bras look good under your loose fitting tops, and are great for the occasional yoga class.
  • 3 Pairs of Socks- You won’t be wearing running shoes that often, so 1-2 pairs of ankle socks and 1 emergency pair of big warm socks for a trip up a mountain will be more than enough.

Outerwear

  • A Hat– keep the sun off your face with a wide-brimmed hat. You can buy lots of cute ones in Bali though!
  • Rainshell Jacket- ultra-light, and easy to pack, for the occasional tropical downpour
  • Light sweater- bring something like a cotton hoodie, a flannel top, or a denim button-up for any chilly evenings.

 

Other

  • 3 Bathing Suits- These are a must. Bring your own, as I didn’t see many in Bali that I would have purchased.
  • 1 Sarong- Bring one if you must, but you can get them for like 7$ in Bali, and they’re beautiful batik fabric.
  • Hair Accessories and Jewellery- You’ll need something to tie up long hair, and you might want to dress up some of your outfits with favourite jewellery pieces! There’s tons of neat stuff to buy in Bali, though.

 

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Forever Young Swimwear  |  Aqua-La Vie en Rose  | Aqua- La Vie en Rose

 

Shoes

  • Closed-toe shoes- Bring a pair of runners if you want to hike up a mountain to watch the sunrise.
  • Sandles- I brought a pair of closed-toe flats, instead, since I’d be walking on hot dusty roads. Flip flops or any type of comfortable, casual sandal will do.
  • Dress Shoes- For your night out, sipping Bintang on cozy patios.

Toiletries

All these toiletries can be bought in Bali, exceptions noted.

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and Conditioner-I would only advise bringing shampoo if you need “After-Swim”, to get rid of chlorine form your hair. As most people here have dark hair, this isn’t an issue, so I couldn’t find the stuff anywhere, and had green hair for a week.
  • Feminine Hygiene products- Diva Cups are great for travel!
  • Razor + Shaving Cream- Waxing treatments are super cheap in Bali, so you may not need to use these as often.
  • Prescriptions- Get your prescriptions filled before you travel, they usually cannot do it once you get there.

Extras

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen 60SPF+
  • Bug Spray- There’s lots of mosquitos with lots of diseases over here, so protect yourself. I didn’t get one bug bite, mind you…
  • Waterbottle- You’ll need a good one for wandering around outside in the heat for hours.
  • Earplugs- For the plane, for noisy roommates, for loud apartments, anything!
  • Beach Towel + Beach bag- Bring an empty tote and a lightweight beach towel for seaside trips.
  • Travel Journal- I always bring one of these, just to document my day.
  • Travel Guide Books and Maps

Tech

  • Cell Phone- There is WIFI almost everywhere, but if you want reliable service, pick up a SIM card, you won’t need more than 1GB of data per week, which costs about $15 Canadian.
  • Chargers
  • Adapters- You’ll need the correct power adapters for all your electronics to charge up.
  • Camera, Video Camera, GoPro- Document your travels! Cellphone cameras are great, but GoPros are everyone’s new favourite thing.
  • Laptop or Tablet- Bring something besides your cellphone, if you’re doing any more screen work, there’s lots of places to lounge and get some work done, or upload pictures.
  • Headphones- They might not give you any on the plane.

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15 Reasons to take your Yoga Teacher Training Abroad

If you’re thinking of getting certified as a Yoga Teacher, you should consider going abroad for the experience! IMG_20151116_080042289

Before you leave, you have to decide what type of yoga teacher training is right for you.

Will you start with your 200 Hour certification, or jump right into 500 Hour? What type of yoga practice will you train in? There’s schools offering Yin, Restorative, Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Kundalini… the list goes on. Deciding on the type of school is most important, since it will shape your yoga practice and career afterwards, but if you to go abroad, you’ll have a lot more options to choose from than if you stayed at home.

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The biggest difference you’ll probably find is that when you go abroad, you get a full-on, intensive month of teacher training. I found that most schools in my area at home only offered weekends in-class, over a 10-month period. I needed something to totally immerse myself in; so I could take in a lot of information and learn all this cool new stuff, without being distracted by “home life”.

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Once you have an idea of what type of training you want to take, pick a country! There’s probably lots of schools to choose from in the country you’re from, but it’s an amazing experience to go abroad and explore a new country while learning something new! Lots of tropical countries offer training year-round, which is great, because you will be leaving home for about a month. Think Costa Rica, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and of course India… but lots of European and North American countries offer training in amazing locations as well, so don’t rule them out!

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I chose an Ashtanga Vinyasa training in Bali, Indonesia for my certification. I practice this type of yoga, and after reading through All Yoga Bali‘s brochure, I decided this school offered the course I was looking for. I chose Bali because it’s really far away from home, and I’d never been to Asia, or the Southern Hemisphere before… and Bali is amazing.

Here’s 15 reasons why you should travel abroad and become a yoga teacher

1. Cost-effective

A big reason I chose not to take my training in Canada is because it’s very expensive here. For the same price as most 10-month, weekends-only training in my area, I got meals and accommodations in Bali, on top of the intensive 24-day course. This was the biggest selling point for me. I still had to pay for airfare, but the experience paid for itself.

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2. Traveling to a new, exciting country!

This is obvious. But, honestly, nothing is better than travel!

3.  Going to class is awesome

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Even if morning meditation is 7am, you know the only reason it isn’t any earlier is because the sun hasn’t come up yet! Wherever you choose to go, the setting will be beautiful and you’ll be running to morning practice with your tea still in hand!

4. New best friends!

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When you first arrive at your training, it can be a little overwhelming to suddenly be living with 20 strangers. Don’t worry though, after your first intense yoga class together (and certainly after that first week), you’ll all be feeling the same way and will be bonding in no time.

5.  You’ll practice a LOT of Yoga

We practiced asana 3 hours a day and meditation and pranayama for another hour or two, on top of 3-4 hours of practical class work. It was always a long day, but it was so exciting and there was so much to learn with all my new friends that the days started to blur by.

I practiced a lot more often that I would at home, and it was great to get in 2 practices every single day.

6. Your Yoga practice will deepen

Now, I’m not saying you will improve and you certainly won’t be walking out of there on your hands. Because before you can deepen your practice, you will probably fall apart and won’t even be able to do Paschimottanasana II for a few days.

This is more yoga than you’ve probably ever done, and you will be physically exhausted.

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But after you cry a little and collectively complain with your other yogis, you will all find that tomorrow is a brighter day, and your muscles got the rest that they needed last night and you can actually even fold yourself into Padmasana this morning! You cheer each other on and share in others successes, because even though Yoga is a personal practice, it is meant to be shared and enjoyed, just like life 🙂

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7. You will learn to TEACH! [all kinds of students!]

When you go abroad, lots of others are headed where you are as well! When you start teaching, you learn that your students are your own best teachers. Different students have different needs, and being thrown into a mix of people lets you learn how to work with all kinds!

Learning to teach, developing sequences, measuring my own breath and pace were all amazing, and I cherish these new skills I’ve developed.

8. Homework is just that much easier

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You still have homework in paradise.

But it’s okay, because it’s yoga homework, you’re sipping tea, munching granola and bananas, and you have 23 friends to ask for help on which muscles are working in Navasana.

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9. Study breaks are taken in the pool

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In between practice and anatomy can jump in the pool and cool off. Can’t do that at home.

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10. The food is amazing and healthy

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Grab a bite to eat before jumping in the pool!

My retreat offered vegetarian-only meals. For me, it was a change, but I found a ton of new things I liked!

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I ate healthier here than i would have at home, that’s for sure. I also took healthier habits back home, too!

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I still snuck into town for Bacon on weekends…

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11. You’ll have some extra fun

We had a beach day. It was a blast trying acroyoga and handstands, playing in the waves and bonding over silly yoga jokes.

12. You really immerse yourself

It’s All Yoga, all the time, here. After a full day of practice and classes, you have a bit of homework to do as well. You’re half-way around the world from home, so you don’t have to think about anything else, it’s perfect.

13. Graduation is really neat

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The morning of your graduation ceremony is what everything you’ve been working for has built up to.

Everyone is excited and relieved… until we learned there’s just 108 more Sun Salutations left before we can get our hands on our certificates.

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Nothing beats getting your 200 Hr certificate in the jungle, surrounded by beauty.

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14. You’re already here… why not explore?

Take day trips, wander around town, hit the beach… make it your vacation! You’ll be busy with your training most of the time, but take advantage of your Saturdays off, and don’t immediately head home after your course is finished!

15. Coming home to teach!

Coming home is a great feeling, especially if you have something new to share with everyone! I was sad to leave Bali and its warm weather, but it’s nice to be back in Hamilton too.

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1 Reason not to take your training abroad?

You have to say goodbye to all your new friends you just made… and none of them live in the same country as you. IT’S REALLY HEARTBREAKING, but now you have 23 couches to sleep on around the world 🙂

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My Month in Bali – in Photos

In November 2015, I hopped on a plane by myself, traveled 16,000km around the world, and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life-so far.

Why Bali?

I’d decided that I wanted complete my Yoga Teacher Training in one intensive month and in an amazing, different country. After searching through yoga schools, I landed on All Yoga Bali, an Ashtanga Vinyasa-based program.

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I had the opportunity of having two amazing yogis, Annie Au and Mathieu Boldron, as my teachers.

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And I made best friends with 23 other unique yogis from around the world, who were my partners on this awesome journey.

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Getting There

Being from Eastern Canada, I had to travel a LONG way to get to Bali.

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That is…

1 hour – Driving from my house to the airport (leaving 3 hours before my flight takes off, of course)

16 hours – Flying from Toronto, Canada to Hong Kong.

4 hours – Flying from Hong Kong to Denpasar, Bali, and then a 1 hour taxi to Ubud

About 10 days before I left for Bali, Mount Rinjani, on the neighboring island of Lombok, started spewing ash. Thousands of people were stranded in Indonesia during the first weeks of November, and thousands more were not able to fly into Bali.

Luckily, within the week, winds had picked up and blown away most of the ash, but certain airlines were still not flying to Bali. Thankfully I was flying with Hong Kong Air, who only delayed my flight by about 6 hours.

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This meant I spent 10 long hours in Hong Kong Airport. I’d already been up for almost 24hours at this point, feeling pretty loopy, so all I ate was this baby food and I slept on my bags near a washroom (where I went pee about 18 times – yay for Hong Kong airport having 100 bathrooms with 15 stalls each).

The second, 4 hour Hong Kong Air flight was much more relaxing than my 16 hour Air Canada flight… I was awake the whole time from adrenaline and that was an experience in itself…

But after traveling for a total of 31 Hours across the world, further than I’d ever traveled in my life, I arrived on the Island of the Gods.

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First Impressions

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Bali leaves a pretty intense first impression. If you fly in during the day, you see Mount Agung rise up out of the sea, surrounded by black volcanic rock, bright lush green jungle and little towns dotting the island. The plane flies in around the mountain, flying above the Lombok straight, where you get a great view of the islands. The beaches and surf look spectacular from the air! This is where you get super excited. But try and relax, you got another half hour before you get off this plane.

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When I finally got through customs [no more Visa for Canadians for less than 30 days!], got my luggage and walked out into the lobby… all I could think was “I’m already sweating and where the heck is the address to the place I’m staying”.

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Bali is HOT. I went Mid-November to Mid-December, right at the beginning of the rainy season. I didn’t actually see a lot of rain, maybe 3 or 4 days I was here, it rained maybe one full day. It was almost 30°C [ 86°F] every single day. It got more and more humid as the month went on. If you don’t like humidity or heat, you may not like this little island. I enjoy both and absolutely loved the weather.

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This island also has a special scent. Incense is constantly burning on this island in little offerings to the gods, every tree on this island seems to be blooming with beautiful flowers like frangipani and hibiscus, and there is a constant smokey smell about… and it’s wonderful. It’s like constant aromatherapy and when you come home, and someone has that special incense burning, memories wash over you instantly.

Temples, statues, offerings, celebrations. The island of the gods is the perfect description for this place. The natural beauty of the jungle and the mountains surrounded by the ocean holds the most beautiful temples and statues I’ve ever seen. Great orange and white buildings at every turn, massive white statues of the gods at major street intersections,  and on every building corner or space left empty: small stone thrones shaded by bright silk umbrellas where offerings and incense are left every morning and evening. It seems there is a celebration of some sort happening every week here, and the beautiful temples, with there spectacular views are always bustling with activity and filled with colour.

Where I Stayed

I stayed in Ubud in the centre of the island in the rice fields, and in Manggis, on the south east coast of the island.

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For most of my stay in Bali, I was at Azadi Retreat. This place was a piece of paradise set among the rice fields, about a 10 taxi from Ubud Palace. It was a quiet retreat from the bustle of the main city, but still close to the action.

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With a main lounge that overlooks the infinity pool, and 9 villas leading you down steps towards a Yoga Shala that looks over a ravine, it was kind of surreal to think this was my home for the next 24 days.

Each villa has a large room with beds, and a bathroom with a shower. I shared mine with two other women, and we were lucky to be close to the Shala for morning practice.

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The spa here was a great for us yogis who were exhausted after hours of practice, I think the girls were almost always booked up by all of us 2 days in advance.

Azadi was also a vegetarian retreat ( I am not a vegetarian), and generally, the food was great! Breakfast was always a hit!

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After Azadi, I stayed in Lumbung Damuh, in Manggis, just passed Padangbai.

This was a bed&breakfast/homestay, of ‘Lumbungs’ inspired by traditional rice barns- basically lofts on stilts. Ours overlooked the ocean, had a great little main-level open-air lounge area, and a huge bathroom… it was our own little treehouse!

 

Breakfast and coffee are served every morning – simple basics to start your day. There’s not too much to do in the immediate area, and we went to Padangbai every morning for the whole day, but the street does have about 7 family restaurants that are priced amazingly, and are really delicious.

Ubud

This colourful little city was awesome. Great food, great shopping, bustling with people, motorbikes and taxi vans, it’s a ton of fun!

I will do a blog specifically on all the great food I ate here, as well as a general guide to Ubud. Check back soon!

Padangbai

I visited Padangbai for 4 days at the end of my Bali adventure.

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I had a few days between the end of my Yoga Teacher Training and my flight home, and I left open as to what I would do. I didn’t fully decide until 2 weeks into our training, and we had a beach day. We took taxis to Secret White Sandy Beach or Bias Tugel, which is just South/West of Padangbai’s main beach.

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I totally fell in love with the huge waves and the white sand.

So, when one girl in my training suggested staying at Lumbung Damuh and one of my roomates wanting to go to Padangbai for her PADI certification at OK Divers, I jumped on the opportunity.

Coming Home

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Leaving Bali was bittersweet, for sure, after a month away from home and Christmas approaching, I was looking forward to returning to Hamilton.

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I flew 7 hours from Denpasar to Incheon Airport in South Korea on my favourite flight of my trip, with South Korean Air. They gave me a slippers, a face cloth and toothbrush&toothpaste when I got on the plane. And a nice polar fleece blanket.

Even the South Korean airport was really nice. I checked out their museum of culture and history, and took up some time there… I ended up having my flight delayed again, but only by 3 hours. This time, though, Air Canada didn’t offer me anything (surprise!), whereas HKA gave me a 60HKD (about $10 Canadian).

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All the flights home from Bali stopped in Vancouver, B.C., a part of my own country I’d never been to. I also had family in Whistler and Comox, so I delayed my flight to Toronto by a week, to spend a bit of extra time visiting before Christmas.

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Whistler was a shock compared to Bali, let me tell you. 30°C to -10°C in less than a day. I’ll have a post on my trip out west in the near future too!.

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Until next time…

Namaste! ॐ

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