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The missed volcano: when Mother Nature says no

Jakarta Bandung Krakatoa Indonesia female solo travel

I remember one Saturday afternoon, shortly after I had graduated from university and got myself a “proper” job, flicking idly through the television channels and coming across an old black and white movie, Krakatoa East of Java. Krakatoa, a volcano…
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Cooling off in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands

Malaysia Cameron Highlands solo female trave

The temperature in Kuala Lumpur was rising. One morning I took myself off for a short walk, to Merdeka Square, and by the time I’d got there, the Factor 50 had sweated right off my skin. I decided it was…
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“But it’ll never happen to me!” : when travel burnout hits

Solo travel burnout

I was several days into my stay in Kuala Lumpur. I’d re-adjusted to life back in the outside world after my time spent learning Vipassana, seen and enjoyed what KL had to offer, and it was time to move on…
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Kuala Lumpur: the city I didn’t expect to love

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia solo female travel

I have to admit to being fairly underwhelmed by most of the cities I’ve passed through so far on this trip – Tokyo and Hiroshima being the notable exceptions – so I didn’t have high hopes when I arrived in…
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Holidaying in the supervolcano: Lake Toba, Sumatra

Lake Danau Toba Sumatra Indonesia solo female travel

After a busy week of running around North Sumatra looking for orangutans in the jungle and chasing a volcano or two, I thought it was time for a short break before making my way to Malaysia to begin my ten…
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Ten days to change your life: my time at a silent Vipassana meditation retreat

Vipassana Dhamma ten day silent meditation Malaysia

I think it was during my time in Japan, cross-legged on my futon in my little room in Kagoshima, that I idly Googled “meditation retreats in Asia”. I’d been trying to practise mindful meditation for just under a year, though…
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Sibayak and Sinabung: volcano-chasing in North Sumatra

Sumatra volcano Sibayak Sinabung solo female travel Indonesia

Sometimes a particular volcano will take a hold in my mind for some reason; perhaps because it was or is a significant one, like Mount Vesuvius and its surrounding legacies of Pompeii and Herculaneum, or Krakatoa, which I disappointingly haven’t…
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Close encounters: in search of orangutans in Bukit Lawang

Orangutan Bukit Lawang Sumatra Indonesia solo travel

I’ve always wanted to see the orangutans in Borneo (and still plan to, later on this year!), so when I discovered that I could potentially see them in Sumatra, Indonesia, too, it became one of my must-dos for my time…
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Blue fire and sulphur mines: the world of Mount Ijen

Ijen Java Indonesia volcano solo female travel

I never imagined I’d be happy to see Jakarta, but when the plane from Singapore touched down at Soekarno-Hatto airport, I felt glad to be back in Indonesia, and excited for the adventures to come. The immigration officer, glancing briefly…
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48 hours in Singapore (on a budget)

Singapore solo female travel

Time flies when you’re having fun – so the saying goes. I was certainly enjoying my time in Indonesia and all too soon found myself about to hit the 30-day limit for staying in the country. I’d gotten distracted in…
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