Ten months ago, I booked a P2.00 flight to Jakarta from a Cebu Pacific sale. I was planning on joining Travel Factor’s Surfvivor Bali tour. They were going to Bali by way of Jakarta but joiners must arrange their own flights. Because of that, I booked a flight to Bali via Air Asia and I thought that I was all set. But then, Cebu Pacific started offering direct flights to Bali and all my plans changed. I suddenly had to travel to Indonesia all by myself. I wasn’t planning on traveling alone to Indonesia but I already had plane tickets and I couldn’t put them to waste. Thus, my adventure of going solo in Indonesia was born.
Eight months later, I started writing an introduction to this post which detailed the progress of my research. I started narrating about how I finally finished reading Eat, Pray, Love hoping to gain wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Love journey, about how I even considered retracing her footsteps throughout the island and about how I ended up scrapping the whole idea because lots of other women were already doing the same thing. Pretty lame if you ask me.
And with that, I moved on and read as much as I could. But it really wasn’t much. I did some reading on how to move around Bali, on which area to stay (a tie between Kuta and Ubud) and some of the things to do. However, I spent most of my time reviewing the various budget hotels listed in Agoda.com (I had a very tight budget because I was just recovering from our Singapore-Malaysia trip). Meanwhile, I found a Tripadvisor review of a fantastic driver in Bali. And that pretty much describes the entirety of my research.
I booked the hotel a month in advance and the driver a couple of weeks after. And with that, my preparations for going solo in Indonesia was half covered: I would tour Bali with a fantastic driver and later check in at a hotel in Kuta Beach. The other half of my stay? I would have to play by ear.
Meanwhile, I have pretty much kept my trip hush-hush. I have this history of jinxing my plans whenever I am loose-lipped about them. So, the only people who I told were those whose advice I asked from, like my friends who have lived in Indonesia and those who have gone there for vacation. Other than that, I put off letting people know up to the last minute. I was both excited and terrified of the idea of traveling by myself but I would like to have a choice on the matter. I would rather not jinx it.
Watch out for the next installment of my Going Solo in Indonesia series!
Read the next part here