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All around Ubud

In Bali, we visited a waterfall, played in the Monkey Forest, rode the Jungle Swing, learned to cook, dance, and create offerings like a Balinese woman — and so much more.

Volcanoes, dirt bikes, and floating breakfast

The trip was scheduled to include a volcano hike to see the sunrise at the top of Mt. Batur, with a stop at a natural hot spring on the way back.

Group One bravely attempted the hike, getting up in the wee hours and riding to the trailhead. But the hike itself involved walking up steep inclines at a superfast speed for a couple of hours — lots of pressure to get there before the sun came up! — and we got discouraged. Our guide hooked us up with some dirt bike riders who took us up (and then back down) on the backs of their bikes for an exorbitant price, with no helmets.

It WAS exhilarating, but for the second group, I decided a floating breakfast in our pool would be a safer way to spend our final day in Bali. That was a really beautiful experience as well.

The takeaway message here: If you have a real spirit of adventure, choose the first week of any of my trips. If you want things to be well-tested and run smoothly, the second week is always your best bet!

Orangutans in Borneo

Those who were able to go on to Borneo were well-rewarded for their courage & curiosity. We lived for three days and two nights on a riverboat — no air conditioning, no WALLS, in the jungle. We saw wildlife galore, including lots of orangutans, and we felt like jungle princesses on the boat.

This trip could happen again

I loved doing this trip, and I got outstanding feedback from all my guests. I’ll probably offer it again — possibly as soon as 2021 — with very few changes.

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Author

Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer. She has been traveling the world, living out of a backpack, since May of 2013. Lauren has written regularly for CBS Local, WebPsychology, Hipmunk, and Hotelplanner, and has also been published in The Culture-ist, Matador, and other online and print publications.

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