Birthdays have been very important to us since we started seeing each other and we try to do something special for milestone birthdays. For Justine’s 30th, we had a weeklong trip through Ireland and it was incredible. We had such a wonderful time that we agreed to go back when Joe turned 30. We didn’t know at the time that we’d be living abroad, and in fact, on the other side of the world (literally). Ireland will have to wait for another milestone birthday. Instead, Justine planned a stellar trip to Indonesia. Indonesia is incredibly beautiful and a fraction of the cost to get to. Justine had spent the two previous weeks on a service trip on the island of Borneo in rural Indonesia (aka no electricity for most days) so we picked Jogjakarta and Bali for Joe’s birthday extravaganza.
Jogjakarta: temples, cooking class, street art
One of our favorite activities was a cooking class at ViaVia Jogja. We picked this option because they had no problem planning vegetarian meals for us.
The next day we traveled to at Borobudur Temple at sunrise (waking up at 3:30am!). The 9th century sanctuary is the largest buddhist temple in the world.The massive structure is over 100 feet high with a size of nearly 27,000 square feet (that’s about two olympic sized pools).
Our second site was to the Prambanan Temple, a Hindu temple that was built in the 9th century. Prambanan is largely under construction as it was destroyed from a massive earthquake 100’s of years ago. What we found most impressive at both sites was the details and carvings in all the stones. The rest of our free time was spent wandering the streets, trying new foods, visiting ships, admiring the street art.
Bali: Beaches, resort, relaxation
Bali. It is as beautiful as everyone says it is. For Bali, we became “lazy tourists.” We lounged, napped, swam, sunbathed, and splurged on food and drink. What we lacked in adventure we made up for in relaxation and self-care.
Needless to say, Joe’s 30th is one for the books. We loved both Jogja and Bali for different reasons, but thankful we got to relax on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.