The Staycation: Seminyak

We are on our first staycation:

stāˈkāSHn/ noun


: a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

We make home where ever we go. Local groceries, making no scheduled commitments, researching and adapting local street smarts, and avoiding tourists traps as much as possible. Similarly, we are advocates of slow travel; slowing down the pace of our vacation and taking time to experience the place that we are in. There are a few things we do to reach this reality:
  1. Learn how to say “hello, good bye, please, thank you, I don’t speak ______” in the native tongue.
  2. Find a safe clean place to stay in a residential neighborhood.
  3. Research and download the applications that “the people” are using (google it).
  4. Grab some groceries.
  5. Smile, be approachable, and engage with people and make some connections.
  6. Talk to the host if using a homestay and talk to taxi drivers – they usually have the best info.

This trip we are traveling through Thailand and the island of Bali in Indonesia. We used to try to see a lot of towns in 3 day stints but we could never really get a handle of the culture or an understanding of the people. Now we try to stay in a single place for at least 2 weeks….if we can. Ideally, we will find a base and stay there for a couple of months and do some archaeological type of digging into the culture.

Getting Around

We are in Bali for a few weeks. After googling which apps to download we found that the locals use an app called Grab (and Uber) to get reasonable taksi (taxi) rides. We caught a grab to Mal Bali Galeria and it cost us 22K ($1.75 USD) from our residence. When we were ready to come home we wanted to see how much it would cost if we didn’t use the app.

We asked how much a cab would cost and the mall concierge quoted us 250K IDR ($20 USD). An average tourist would think that was okay but your American dollar should do a lot more for you. Needless to say, we used our Grab app and paid the 22K to get home.

Dirty Laundry

We have been on the road for almost 3 weeks. None of the places we have stayed had a washing machine so we washed our clothes by hand until we could locate a laundry mat. There are no traces of them on the main strips or by the malls or by popular restaurants; though, we saw plenty in residential neighborhoods.  To compare, we inquired about the laundry service at a nearby hotel – their price list was a freaking joke. One laundered sweater = $10k, while the neighborhood laundry mat charged the same amount per kilogram of clothes which is very reasonable. AND they came pressed and folded, see image 🙂

We’re just trying to stretch our dollar, and live smarter everyday.

Isla Mujeres

Half speaking the language half gesturing we waved down a combi (a shuttle van filling the gap in public transportation). 13 deep we rolled-out to our final destination. We hustled got some direction written on a Burger King napkin, backtracked about 3 times but we finally got the right bus…

Camera 360 Camera 360

While walking home last night, after our awesome New Years evening the city was washing out 2013. The streets were flooded. Evidently while we were two-stepping and salsa’ing the night away the weather was doing its own one two on the city (glad we were not on an island ;-).


The major cleansing had already happened. My future and I walked through Cancun’s flooded streets beneath a lite drizzle. At times we had to detour by entire city blocks to cross the street, while trying to stay our course in what we hoped was the right direction of home was #Quality.

Another NY, another country, another great night. It feels like memory lane is being decorated and we are just a part of the decor. That walk home may have been the best part. A little rain, semi-lost, with gentle hands and kisses between flooded city blocks in a foreign land. It was nice. Our conversation was just as soft as our gestures nothing too heavy just a nice flow. We decided that we would find Port Juarez to see the island that we didn’t get to see tonight. We wanted to travel like everyone else did who lived in the city, not by cab…But first we would hit Walmart to stock up on food and supplies for our stay in the Yucatan.

It was all so real, it was surreal. We found our way home easily (for the most part), mostly because earlier that evening we explored the general area looking for our place…that’s another story. We made it home after stopping for some junk food and refreshments. We were heading up to our sweet suite for the night when the night attendant interrupts us and hands us a voucher for a discounted breakfast in the adjoining restaurant Cafe Nader. Camera 360

Over breakfast on new years day we made our agenda. A hike to Walmart, lunch and then find our way to Port Juarez to catch a ferry over to Isla Mujers.


Finding Port Juaraz was not easy with the language barrier and Us being oblivious to the public transportation system.



Our Time on Isla Mujers

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Riding along the gulf of Mexico. Pitch of night. High tides. Live music playing with my arm around my Love. The skies ceiling is painted with what seems like a million luminary creatures singing their song to me. To me, because this moment is frozen in time. The hard swaying of the ship, the performer singing in a soft song in a foreign tongue, with my woman fast asleep in my arms for most of our seafaring journey. She worked hard today. We don’t vacation as tourists we go-hard on anthropological adventures. We absorb the culture as much as we can by hanging with the locals as much as we can.  Coasting back to Cancún to prepare for departure in the morning. The urban portion of our adventure is coming to an end. At least some portion of the population spoke English here. We are headed deeper into the country tomorrow. Heading into Merida where we are not expecting to run into too many folks who communicate in our native tongue.

On our way back to our suite we grab some KFC and some ice cream as we are walking we run it to a family-type of festival going on. Kids racing mini-cars, food vendors everywhere, games, and more singing. Mexico loves to sing. This is a nice end to our stay in Cancun.

-Today was a good day.