TravelBeet Monthly Recap: October 2016

We’ve been having a blast writing this blog. It’s a really great way of processing everything we’ve experienced, and documenting it helps us share our advice to a wide audience. One thing that frustrates me about blogging, though, is that I’m publishing posts from months ago. We will never be “caught up,” or posting real-time, because we need to experience a place before we can write about it. Taking note from other travel bloggers, I’ve decided to implement a Monthly Recap post. This will be a quick way to let you know what we’ve been up to the past month so you can follow along in real time!

Destinations Visited

Indonesia

  • Lombok: Senggigi (4 nights), Gili Air (5 nights)
  • Bali: Seminyak (5 nights)

Micronesia

  • Palau (6 nights)
  • Yap (3 nights)

Japan

  • Tokyo (3 nights)
  • Kyoto (3 nights)
  • Nara (1 day)
  • Osaka (3 nights)

Hong Kong

(2 nights)

Favorite Places

As you can see, we had quite the line-up of incredible destinations this month. If we had to choose, our favorites would be Gili Air and Japan. Gili Air was incredibly relaxing, the quintessential ideal island. Japan was like a whole new world; it was the first place we’ve been where not many people speak English. Everyone we met in Japan was incredibly friendly and helpful and did the best they could to help us.

Highlights

Scuba Diving in Palau. Everything was perfect: the warm and clear water, the massive and colorful coral, the giant schools of fish, the friendly sharks. Look out for a post about the full experience coming soon.

Getting Upgraded. As you know from Pete’s post, we got a great surprise on our flight to Singapore when we got upgraded to business class.

Diving with Mantas in Yap. Our last day in Yap, the weather finally cleared up and we got to dive in their most famous location: the Mi’l Channel. We saw 7 different manta rays.

Universal Studios in Osaka. We were beyond excited to check out Harry Potter World. It was incredible, especially because everything was dubbed over in Japanese and we had no idea what was going on most of the time. Bonus: we went during Halloween, and most people were dressed in crazy-awesome costumes. We wish we could be in Japan for Halloween!

All smiles at Harry Potter World
Wishing we weren’t muggles at Harry Potter World
Public Transportation in Japan. We had fun navigating the incredibly efficient and easy-to-use public transportation.

Memorable Moments

Shared Moment Among Travelers. While we were on a dive boat returning from our dive in Gili Air, someone asked what day it was. Of all the 10 people on the boat, not a single person knew the date. We all cracked up and it gave us that warm, fuzzy feeling, reminding us how great travel can be.

Water Fountain Incident in Shinjuku Park. I can’t pass a water fountain without taking a sip. Needless to say, when I saw a water fountain while walking through the gorgeous Shinjuku Park, Tokyo, I needed to give it a shot. I tested it out and noticed that the water shoots straight up. Fearlessly, I put my face over the faucet and turned it on – and a ferocious stream of water shot directly into my right eye. With my wet-head hanging, I shamefully walked back over to Pete, who was doubled-over in laughter. When he finally caught his breath, he let me know that a Japanese man had been standing behind me, trying his best not to laugh at me.

Friendly Smiles in Japan. When we were on the plane from Tokyo to Osaka, right about to take off, Pete pointed out 3 employees on the tarmac. All three were standing, feet together, waving to us as our plane inched towards the runway. It was such a nice gesture, so telling of their culture.

Challenges

Longest Travel Days Yet. We had our longest travel days yet (see Pete’s post about that here), spending over 48 hours getting from Bali to Palau.

We Don’t Speak Japanese. This would’ve made traveling through Japan a lot easier, but probably not quite as fun. Pretty much everything is only in Japanese. Navigating the grocery store was an experience in itself; we had absolutely no idea what anything was. We ate some pretty weird things the first couple times.

I'm sure these signs would be helpful if we could read Japanese
I’m sure these signs would be helpful if we could read Japanese
The Beer Incident. You guys know we love free stuff. Knowing we were about to enter Japan (a notoriously expensive place), we tried to pinch our pennies by taking free beers from the Guam airport lounge. I didn’t drink mine in Tokyo, so when we flew from Tokyo to Osaka, I put the remaining 2 beers in my checked bag. When I picked up my backpack from baggage claim, it reeked of beer. One of the beers was punctured and its entire contents had emptied into my backpack. I smelled like a walking frat house until I got the opportunity to clean it.

The Best Things We Ate

Tuna sashimi while watching the sunset on Gili Air (post to come about where we ate on Gili Air).

Gado gado – a vegetarian Indonesian dish with peanut sauce.

Fresh sushi in Japan. And basically every meal in Japan.

Conveyor belt sushi in Kyoto
Conveyor belt sushi in Kyoto

The Worst Thing We Ate

A raw fish steak in Yap. It was cooked mighty rare; we could barely finish it.

A green, heavy pastry in Japan – we’re guessing it was some sort of green tea-flavored mochi filled with crushed red beans. Not as tasty as it sounds.

Posts Published

Pete:

Brittany:

Most Popular Instagram Photo

Playing with Jellyfish in Palau
Playing with Jellyfish in Palau

Coming Up in November 2016

Here are our plans for November:

Philippines: 10/30-11/16

We look forward to enjoying the low prices while lounging at beaches, island hopping and scuba diving.

We plan to scuba dive on Malapascua, lounge on Boracay, and dive/island hop while staying on Coron, Palawan.

New Zealand: 11/16-12/13

We’ll rent a car and drive around to see as much of NZ as we can. We hope to volunteer as “wwoof”ers. We may buy a tent so we can camp along the way!

What did you think about our first monthly recap? Is there anything else you’d like us to include (or remove)? We’d love your feedback!

2 Comment

  1. Janice THOMPSON says: Reply

    I love this new feature!! The recap was great and still managed to elicit a laugh and a few chuckles 😉 LOVED the pic of the muggle couple…as always, safe travels and look forward to more news!

    1. Brittany says: Reply

      I’m so glad! We’re excited about it too 🙂

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