After writing about a million different beginnings to this blog post, all of which I felt were incredibly cheesy, I will start with a simple HIYA. Since my last blog post, which feels like it was a million years ago, a lot has happened. I slaved away day and night writing my dissertation (from which the hard work actually paid off, and I won an award and a little bit of money for it), I did a LOT of travelling, I graduated uni, and I got a new job and moved countries. As you do.
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this for a while, because I have pretty strong views on social media as a whole. I’ve written a couple of features about the correlation between social media use and mental health struggles, and I’ve based lots of my essays at University on social media in journalism. It’s a tricky one, this, because I’m an active user of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – the latter is primarily to promote my blog and actually get people to read it. But even so, I still feel like a hypocrite for saying how unhealthy I think social media use can be, when I’m an active participant in it.
Twenty bloody four. Sorry, but how is that even possible? It only feels like yesterday that I was chugging a bottle of Frosty Jack’s on a Grimsby field with Basshunter on repeat.
(This isn’t a recent thing. I was 15 – although I am a bit partial to Basshunter every now and then.)
I actually turned 24 at the end of July, but I’ve been so busy trotting across the globe that it hasn’t really sunk in until now. Being jet-lagged and drinking countless cocktails doesn’t really gel well, which is why I don’t have a very clear memory of this year’s birthday. That probably has something to do with it too.
But the reality would sink in eventually, just like it always does. The reality being that I am approaching my mid-twenties, which is just downright terrifying.
Here’s 24 things you learn by the age of 24.
It was generically reading Eat, Pray, Love six years ago because everyone else was doing it that made me want to go to Bali in the first place. So, when I finally got around to doing so, and found out that tourists are able to go and see the actual son of the medicine man from the book, I obviously jumped on board.
I did it, guys. I finally went to Bali, after years of pining over it. And, without sounding really corny, the experience has actually changed my life and broadened my mind, re-igniting my love of faraway destinations and long-haul travel. This idyllic Indonesian island is quite simply paradise on Earth, and spending three weeks there was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry. If you read my post on preparing for a South East Asia backpacking trip, you’ll have read that I was planning on heading to Thailand, too.
I loved Bali and the Gili Islands so much that I decided to spend the entire time there, instead.
The smiles of the locals, the stunning natural beauty and the abundance of things to see and do, as well as the laid-back, tropical vibe that’s unlike any other place I’ve been, were just a few reasons why I made the decision to stay on longer.
So, if you’re planning on backpacking around Bali on a budget, or if you’re just after some crucial tips on the island, read on to find out my 9 essential tips.