Monthly Recap: August 2015

Now that we have quit our jobs and have transitioned to a new life of full-time travel, we wanted to start summarising our travels on a monthly basis to share some stats, facts, interesting stories and give you a behind the scenes look into life on the road.

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So here is what August looked like.

Countries Visited:

Max: USA, Indonesia, Malaysia (Sabah)
Oksana: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia (Sabah)

We kicked off the month with a short visit to Singapore (Oksana) and USA (Max) that, unfortunately, lead to a handful of headaches and problems to start off our trip. Missed the full story? We shared it with our newsletter subscribers HERE

The rest of the month was spent in Indonesia. We spent 2 weeks traveling through Java, made a 3 day stop in Lombok, spent 6 days in The Flores and finished off with 5 days in Bali. From there, we hopped on a direct flight from Bali to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and onwards to Semporna, a gateway to Sipadan Island, where we spend the last few days of August.

Enjoing our time at Borobudur without the crowds. Java. Indonesia
Enjoying our time at Borobudur without the crowds. Java. Indonesia
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Max & Oksana at Mt Bromo at sunrise. East Java, Indonesia
Max & Oksana at Mt Bromo at sunrise. East Java, Indonesia
Max & Oksana diving in Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia
Max & Oksana diving in Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia

Cities/Towns Visited

Singapore (Oksana), Baltimore, USA (Max), Jakarta (Java), Yogyakarta (Java), Solo (Surakarta, Java), Malang (Java), Banyuwangi (Java), Kuta (Lombok), Labuan Bajo (Flores), Komodo National Park (Flores), Kuta (Bali), Ubud (Bali), Semporna (Malaysian Borneo), Sipadan Island (Malaysian Borneo), Mataking Island (Malaysian Borneo).

Distance Traveled

Oksana – 12,223 km
Max – 37,411 km (that crazy trip to the US really skewed Max’s numbers!)

Modes of Transportation

10 flights, 2 train rides, 2 bus rides, 3 metro rides, several taxi rides (including one 5 hour ride across Bali), 1 private car, 2 mini bus rides, 1 motorised rickshaw ride, 2 boats, and 5 scooters.

Our train awaits. Jakarta, Java Indonesia
Train travel in Jakarta

Photos Taken

A whopping 7,075 photos plus hundreds of videos (you’ll start seeing more of those from us in the next little while). We are posting the best of them as we go along, so be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest snaps from the road.

Money Spent

When we decided to quit our jobs and transition to becoming full-time travelers and digital nomads, money management was essential to our ability to succeed. We set our budget at $50/day/person (that’s Australian dollars, since all of our savings are currently in AUD, which is actually only $35 USD) and have vowed to be able to prove that we can prove to ourselves and show you that seeing the world for less IS POSSIBLE! 

In August, we didn’t do very well, but it was expected. We spent a total of AUD $5,300 between 2 of us for 30 days of travel. It’s a scary number considering that we were only meant to spend $3,000, but we know that the overspent was largely attributed to diving.

Our diving liveaboard in Komodo National Park. Flores. Indonesia.
Our diving liveaboard in Komodo National Park. It wasn’t cheap, but it was an amazing experience!

4 days of diving in Komodo cost us $1,400, and 2 days in Sipadan set us back by another $735. Diving in 2 of the top 10 dive spots in the world is expensive, but for us it was an experience worth every penny!

Travel Highlights

We both agreed that diving in Komodo National Park and in Sipadan was the highlight of August. We were avid divers before we set off on this journey but after almost doubling our diving track record (we went from 23-25 dives each to over now over 40 descends under our belts) we have become huge fans. Komodo National Park and Sipadan, specifically Batu Bolong (in Komodo) and Barracuda Point (in Sipadan) will go down in our books as the most spectacular places to dive in the world (from what we have experienced so far).

Batu Balong, Komodo National Park
Batu Balong, Komodo National Park

…and lowlights

This months lowlight (yes, this is a made-up word, but we are ok with that) so far is related to what was supposed Max’s short and sweet trip back to the U.S. If you are signed up for our newsletter you would’ve already heard the story. You can read more about it in last months newsletter HERE.

Ps. Don’t forget to sign up if you want to be the first one to hear about our adventures (and misadventures)

But at the end of the day any stress and worries that arose from this experience did not materialise. Our lost bag was eventually located (albeit 2 weeks later) and we’ll be recouping any expenses lost from Max’s flight delay through our travel insurance. So they say, all is well that ends well.

Favourite Eats

We ate so much delicious food while in Indonesia and to our surprise found a lot of it still present here in Malaysia too. Max loved Nasi Goreng Ayam and Oksana’s favourite was Mie Goreng Ayam.

Mie Goreng at Warung Jakarta in Yogyakarta. Java. Indonesia
Mie Goreng at Warung Mie Jakarta in Yogyakarta

We ate these 2 dishes in at least dozen of warungs and restaurants across Indonesia, but both agreed that our absolute favourite were the one prepared at Warung Mie Jakarta on Jalan Pakuningratan in Yogyakarta.

Favourite Accommodation

While staying in Malang, we came across an awesome hostel called Kampong Tourist, located on the 4th floor above Helios Hotel on Jalan Patimura. Despite being located on the roof of another hotel, Kampong Tourist is set up as a green garden oasis, with lots of plants and trees surrounding its 3 private bungalows and 3-4 dorm rooms. For just 160,00 IDR/night we got our own very basic, but very cool twin bungalow overlooking the city.

Kampong Tourist Hostel, Malang, Java. Indonesia
Kampong Tourist Hostel, Malang, Java. Indonesia

But the best part about Kampong Tourist was the social atmosphere in its common areas. It was a fantastic place to meet fellow travelers, learn more about getting to Mt. Bromo and Ijen Crater and share stories of upcoming and past travels.

View from Kampong Tourist Hostel, Malang, Java. Indonesia
View from Kampong Tourist Hostel, Malang, Java. Indonesia

Next Month

In September, we’ll be traveling through Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and exploring Myanmar, one of the least visited countries in all of South East Asia and one we’ve been wanting to check out for years!

Stay updated on our adventures in real time by following us on Facebook and Instagram and don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter for more of our stories from the road.

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