Sunday Snapshot | Kiss from a Clownfish | Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Sunday Snapshot | Kiss from a Clownfish | Andaman and Nicobar Islands

These fishes easily get scared off. But the little one right there was daring enough to plant a kiss on my mask. I guess they have grown used to the visitors from outside. I guess they have grown used to our funny faces. They’ve decided to spread the love. You can meet them in Havelock, an island in the Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago. The island is surrounded by colourful reefs on three sides which stretch into the ocean. There are plenty of fish in the sea. The weather is perfect in the winter months of December and January and I can guarantee that you are going to love the place. Nothing less than paradise on earth.   BIO: Yashasvi Raghuvanshi is a law student, traveller, blogger and writer hell-bent on globe-trotting. She is a women’s rights activist and spends a lot of time teaching children and women about their rights. You can read more articles by her at...

Sunday Snapshot | Sea Turtle | Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is high on our destination bucket list. While Casey has made it to Ecuador twice, we’ve yet to make it to the islands themselves. This stunning picture of a sea turtle casually gliding by is compliments of Dan’s sister, Sarah, who recently spent six months scuba diving (with a bit of studying on the side)  in the Galapagos. As scuba divers ourselves, this is enough to get us on a plane right now! Have you seen a sea turtle before? If you’re a diver, where is your favorite dive...
The Gili Islands: A Guide to the Magical Stepping Stones of Lombok

The Gili Islands: A Guide to the Magical Stepping Stones of Lombok

The Gili Islands are known for being some of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia, having managed to preserve their pristine beaches and authenticity despite growing tourism to Bali and Lombok. And by authenticity, I mean the only form of land transportation is horse carriage or bicycle! Ah-mazing, especially after living in Taiwan where I’m constantly trying to avoid collisions with incompetent scooter drivers. There’s a reason why the three islands have such a good rap—with white sand beaches, amazing snorkeling and diving, and easy accessibility, they really are a must for any Bali/Lombok visitor. One awesome thing about the Gili Islands is that each island caters to a different kind of tourist, promising a match for any traveler personality. Gili Trawagan is the party island, and has morphed into a Kuta wannabe. It’s easy to get your dance moves on til sunrise, or rent a boat and drink the night away under the stars. Gili T is the largest and most developed of the three islands, and has many five star resorts, reliable dive shops, and classy restaurants. The beaches are still quite nice-not as secluded as some you might find on the other Gili Islands but still rather clean despite the hung-over foreigners that dot the sand here and there. Gili T is perfect if you are traveling with a group of friends, or if you want a lot of options in terms of things to do. Also, if you need a doctor for any reason, Gili T has a great 24-hour clinic with English speaking doctor. Unfortunately I speak from first hand experience and a 103-degree...
Padangbai Barong Dance: An Exorcism Ceremony

Padangbai Barong Dance: An Exorcism Ceremony

We weren’t expecting to see spiritual warfare when we went to Padangbai. Our main purpose for visiting the small fishing village was actually just to check out the action below the water: reef sharks, manta rays, turtles, and general ocean scenes seemingly taken straight from Finding Nemo. And while we were fortunate to experience the incredible marine life Padangbai boasts (sans manta rays), this wasn’t the most memorable part of our short stay in the town. That’s because this was no typical day on Bali’s east coast; it was the day of the Barong dance ceremony. Now we had already seen numerous Barong dances before arriving in Padangbai, a favorite being in Ubud. So when we heard we would have the opportunity to see another one, we weren’t all that excited. I mean, it has got to be like the Harlem Shake—once you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all, right? Wrong. Especially when it is a local, religious ceremony; then it’s still an entertaining performance but with a much deeper, spiritual purpose. As it turns out, our previous encounters with Barong had left a crucial element out of the tourist driven performances: exorcism. But before we get to the juicy stuff, here’s a summary of the story of Barong, according to Balinese mythology. Don’t worry, it’s quick. Barong dance portrays an epic battle between good and evil, a similar concept in most world religions. Barong, often depicted as a lion, represents ultimate good. In contrast, Rangda is an evil witch, or demon queen, skilled in black magic. Does this not already sound reminiscent of a certain Narnia...

365 Photo Project Completed!

There’s a website out there called the 365 Project. Essentially it challenges you to document a year of your life by taking a photo every day. You can upload your photos to their website, but since we already have our own blog we thought we would take the idea and upload our own photos here. We decided to start the 365 Photo Project now because we just go our new DSLR camera, and of course, we’re living in Taiwan! So for the next year we will be uploading a photo of the day, partially to capture those random and ridiculous adventures we will always remember, and partially to document the daily occurrences that would otherwise be forgotten. Disclaimer: we will go ahead and say now, you aren’t living life if you have internet access everyday. If we fail to get online, don’t fret; we’ll still take the picture of the day and just upload it later! Hope you’ll follow along 🙂 *Update: We successfully finished the 365 Photo Project! It was ridiculously challenging, and half the time we ended up just taking a picture of random things around the apartment as an afterthought before bed. But we’re still very glad we stuck with the project. It has been very rewarding to look back through our first year of marriage and life in a foreign country.  We encourage you to give it a go! Check out the 366 (it was a leap year) pictures below 🙂...