The Start of Something Good- Part #1

                  I wasn’t intending on writing this blog until later on but I just couldn’t wait to share it. It’s something that will be one of my most cherished memories. In this blog I’m going to share with you our trip to Indonesia. This is special since Matt and I had just met about one week before I asked him to go with me on this adventure. Everything in life happens for a reason. If this trip would have never happened we probably would have never met until maybe a few years later or never…


                Post Trip: When I received the news that my friend decided not to go to Indonesia with me I was a bit disappointed. Needless to say, that didn’t stop me. My mother frowned at the thought of me going to another country alone. Even though Matt and I had only been talking for about a week, I immediately thought of him since he is a photographer as well. Matt was interested in the idea when I mentioned it though. Since we had never met in person, we planned on meeting up at the end of September in Minnesota to go further up north to the North Shore, to catch some fall colors and to make sure we were both sane. We immediately hit it off and had a blast on the North Shore...I swear Matt was trying to kill me..the first day we hiked 6 miles round trip...which is nothing to me now :)

                I was excited as John, our buddy, drove us to the airport the morning of our departure. Matt and I were both tired from not sleeping well since we stayed up a good chunk of the night just talking. I was dreading the 23 hour flight that’s with two stops but I knew it was going to be worth it.

                 Yes, the flight felt long….probably longer for Matt since he couldn’t sleep on the plane...I wonder why, huh Matt ;) You guys will find that out soon enough. We arrived late and once we were out of the terminal we were greeted with the warm October air against our faces. Scooters and cars honked as people walked across the street to their rides. We found our driver by the sign he was holding up with our hotel on it. He greeted us, grabbed our luggage and off we went ready to pass out. Our room was decent, one of the less expensive ones of the trip. Though we figured that since we would be getting in late it didn’t matter as much on how it looked...a place to sleep is a place to sleep!

                  The next day we were up at 6:30am and got ready to start our first official day in Bali. Our driver, Rafik, arrived around 7:15am. His English was pretty good though sometimes we had to listen carefully to his accent to understand him. First stop was the grocery store. Matt and I grabbed some food that we knew... 2 jars of PB, 3 bags of bread, water and the first batch of many mentos. Spending a total of 275,000 RP…$20 in US. Let’s say we felt like millionaires there lol.

                   Four hours of driving to our ferry which took us across the ocean to East Java. On East Java, we drove about an hour when Rafik took us to our first place for lunch.....meatball.....

                  It was two "meatballs" in pho with a couple thin noodles. There was tofu and rice rolls wrapped in banana tree leaves. Let's just say....it was interesting tasting....and the start that led to an eventful couple days. After, meatball we drove about 4 hours and Rafik took us to his family's place. They gave us tea and then asked if we wanted coconut. We wandered out into the wilderness with Rafik’s brother. He found his tree and proceeded to climb it like a monkey with his knife in his mouth. He wacked down a few coconuts and opened one so I could take a swig of it and get it all over myself as well.

              Back at Rafik's, we took a picture with part of his family and he also wanted a picture of me holding his daughter. Once on the road again, Rafik asked if Matt and I were married. Matt said no just friends....for now. Rafik said we are a cute couple and he hopes it works out for us since we seem good together.

             That night we arrived at our Airbnb around 8pm and were greeted by a Muslim family that owned the place. They carried our luggage up the stairs to our room on their heads. We were greeted by a kitten....whom we never saw again....probably was their dinner for the next meal. Our room had a weird smell, no AC and the Disney Frozen characters on the headboards. We also had no shower and a hole in the ground was our bathroom. But for $12 US a night you can't go wrong.

               We also had two lizard friends in our room that night along with Muslim loudspeakers playing across the town. We got up at 4am to get to the waterfall for sunrise. In a hurry, we grabbed our things and to our surprise couldn't get out of our room. The door wouldn't unlock. Matt messaged our host and they came to our rescue. After battling with the door for 5 minutes we were able to get out. They showed us how to use the scooter to go to the Waterfall. I was the one to drive since I had an international driver license. We pulled out into the road and I revved the throttle and lost control and slid the bike towards the ditch. Matt got road rash on his right leg and I just had a bruise. The owners rushed over and we then asked if they could just drive us to the Waterfall. We agreed on the price of 200,000 for us both. Matt and I rode with our Airbnb hosts on the 18 min ride.

             Arriving at the waterfall we paid 20,000rp for the entrance fee and hiked down a few stairs to our destination. Matt and I had the whole place to ourselves for the first 30 min. We shot some pics and did some drone stuff. At 7am we hiked back up the stairs and by then it was already about 80 degrees out. We waited for our people to pick us up and enjoyed the ride back. Once back, we had our breakfast of champions. PB, bread and water.....oh and coffee with coffee grounds for me. Which seems like a signature thing in Indonesia.

                We hung out in the room for a few hours since we both didn't feel the best. I won’t get into details but we needed some time for our stomachs to calm down. After resting a bit longer to make sure the false alarms subsided, we decided to go for a walk to town. We were greeted by many people along the way. Our fame began and people were smiling and waving at us. The afternoon was pretty warm out so we went back to the house to cool off for a bit. The plan was to create a video from Indonesia and I had two dresses to choose from but Matt’s favorite dress was my long, red dress…those of you who follow our travel page know that is a signature thing now :) We walked out onto the road and did videos with the DJI Ronin and Matt's Nikon D850. After an hour of doing videos we went back to the Airbnb to relax. Jet lag was still very real at this point.

                As the night wore on we laid inside listening to endless Muslim chants and rooster calls. We made small talk as we laid in our beds, unable to sleep from the heat. As we laid there in the dark, I just let it out and told Matt how I felt. Matt said that was the last thing he expected to hear me say. But secretly, he was feeling the same way. At that point we were both wide awake and began talking about how we felt about each other. Matt told me that he thought it was obvious how he felt toward me because he had been hinting at the thoughts ever since we went to the North Shore together. We both talked about how we didn't want to get our hopes up since we didn't know how the other person felt. Matt admitted that all of this is why he hadn't slept well over the last few weeks.. And the plane ride as well ;) He was unsure of how to ask me to be his girlfriend, but knew that he wanted to ask before we returned home from the trip. So that is how that all began.

                I broke up this blog into three parts since I know you don’t want to be reading a novel :) Like I mentioned...if things hadn’t happened like they did Matt and I would have never met..or maybe not until later on in life. I love that we both share a passion for photography and traveling. So stay tuned for the upcoming blog...part 2! Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or question below! Video to come soon!!

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