The information super highway — The power of the Internet and Did Australia Miss the Memo?

I remember going on a field trip early 1994 during freshman year in high school. I was chosen as part of a select few students in my math class to attend a conference at USC titled: “The Information Super Highway”. I barely remember the details of this day but I clearly remember the name and the speaker’s video prop. He spoke of the days where people can access the world with the palm of their hand in an instant. He spoke of connections made instantly, working remotely, and a few other things I don’t remember. My naive 14 year-old english-as-a-second language brain barely understood most of the conference, but one thing stuck, in the future I won’t need to go to the library. Believe or not, I don’t recall the conference using the term: Internet … instead they called it “The Information Super Highway”.

Internet has become such an important part of who we are today. We use it to connect with family, work, friendships, or to look for cooking recipes, flight/lodging options, and more.

One would think that while traveling the world we would be disconnected most of the time and check the online world once a week or so. I mean, 60% of our trip was in a “third world” country. Surely they don’t have wifi everywhere. Oh man how I was wrong. Not only was I wrong about the “third world” being disconnected, but about expecting first world countries to be connected.

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The secret of happiness

“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” ~ Thucydides

Free yourself from thoughts of what you should be doing, other people’s expectations of you, and that your life exists solely for work. Live a life true to yourself, your values, and your dreams. It does take a lot of courage and reflection to step back a minute, and look at your life from another perspective farther away maybe outside of your neighborhood or even the city in which you live.

A hospice nurse named Bonnie Ware interviewed palliative care patients and she spent with them the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. She wrote an article listing the top five regrets of the dying:

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Scuba diving … a whole different world

When our trip started it was not our intention to learn how to scuba dive. It was in the back of our minds but never a formality. I was always afraid of going scuba diving after my experience in Cancun 10 years ago (that’s for another post) and was def. not looking for the opportunity.

However, while in India we met a couple that had gotten their open water scuba diving certificate and had a blast. Sara and I decided it was now a top priority.

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Paradise on earth

I don’t know how many posts I’ve started with “paradise on earth” but Gili T deserves this post. I’ve been really fortunate this past year to vis lots of beautiful “paradise” places. The latest visit to paradise was in the form of Gili Trawangan. Sara and I read reviews online and received recommendations to stay away from Gili T … it’s an island with a bunch of 18 year olds partying, dirty, and not that many beautiful beaches compared to Gili Air or Gili Meno. We were debating wether to skip Gilis all together (a $60 2 hr fast boat ride from Bali or 7 hour long trip for $12), we’ve seen lots of beautiful beaches in Thailand, why should we go see more, specially if neither of the Gili’s is better than the Thai islands based on the reviews?? We’re so glad we ignored all of that!

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In search of the perfect beach

Giovanni and I started our trip with a promise to each other. We both love the ocean and island life, so we decided to set on this trip around the world in search of the perfect beach. We imagined this beach to have white sand of course, no rocks, turquoise water, not too crowded with tourists, bungalows on the beach, inexpensive local restaurants with ocean views, and not many insects. Good luck right!

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Getting a tourist driver’s license in Bali

Last night we realized we could not go on a motorcycle road trip in Bali due to lack of an international driver’s license. We were really sad since we had already made the decision to take a tour of Bali for 2 weeks on a scooter.

Today in the morning we did a bit of research online to see how we could still go on our trip without getting into much trouble with the law. We could not find any good information on how to get a driver’s license in Bali online but fortunately we did find someone’s comment in a travel forum that they were able to get a tourist driver’s license in Denpasar (2 hours away from Ubud) for 300,000 rupiahs (equivalent of ~$30). With this sliver of hope, we decided to ask around.

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The importance of an International Drivers Permit

Bali is a small island that spans 153 km east to west and 112 km north to south. Most of the roads are concrete and even though you drive opposite side of the road to what we’re used to and traffic can be crazy, we wanted an adventure!

Yesterday we had pulled out a map of Bali, circled spots we wanted to visit and rented a scooter for $3 a day!

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Tsunami Warning: Part 2

We asked the tuk-tuk driver where he would go if there were a tsunami and he said he was driving towards his home. Without thinking, I bravely asked if we could go with him. I would never make such a request under normal circumstances, but I didn’t think getting dropped off on a mountain with no cover for an indefinite period of time was a good idea. We needed an internet connection that would update us regularly about the tsunami warning. The driver sorta nodded, but I really wasn’t sure. And then his wife arrived on her moped behind us and the driver sighed with relief as he pointed toward her head scarf and said, “my wife.”

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Tsunami Warning: Part 1

I sat on the beach in a plastic chair in front of massage bungalow #9. Giovanni sat next to me. We were planning on getting oil massages in a few hours so the massage shack let us use their white plastic chairs shielded from the sun by trees on the beach. But for now we felt relaxed watching the aqua ocean and each small wave go back and forth.

Giovanni’s mom, Sandra, was lying on a beach mat in front of the sea with a multicolored umbrella keeping her shaded. The wind blew in our faces, but I wasn’t sure the breeze was the cause of my chair vibrating. Giovanni said he felt a small earthquake, but I continued to feel the vibration and small movements of my plastic chair. Giovanni’s mom turned and looked toward us and asked if we felt the earthquake. We confirmed and then looked at the girls sitting behind us who also felt the shake for a few minutes.

Sandra looked quite anxious as she had watched all the 2004 tsunami videos on YouTube before departing to Thailand, and quickly gathered her belongings on the beach. Giovanni went to inform the massage people that we would return the following day since we were worried about the earthquake. And then the news; there had just been an 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra.

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