Auckland – Brisbane – Bali // 24hr zombie marathon across 3 countries

In January, I got my new shiny passport from my lovely Russian Embassy in NZ. Which meant one thing: I was set free, I was ready to go! The only question was: where to next?…

I’ve chosen Bali as my first stop for several reasons. First: it was warm and sunny! (compared to New Zealand’s 20 degrees in ‘summer’) Second: there was an ocean! Third: I could find my zen there by meditating and practicing yoga every day (or else, I was telling myself so). And the final reason: I’d never been to Bali before, and it seemed to be among the most popular holiday destinations in the world. So, why not try something new?

So, I got my plane tickets, booked my accommodation (not really; a friend from Couchsurfing suggested a room for $250/month ‘somewhere in Seminyak’ and I gratefully took it), packed 1 suitcase (who needs more?) and off I went.

My flight was scheduled for 7 o’clock in the morning so I arrived at Auckland International Airport well in advance, at 3am.


The first surprise was waiting for me at the check-in counter. I had to buy return tickets or tickets to the third country, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to let me on the plane. Arghhh.

15 mins into arguing and nearly crying, I obediently left the counter and started googling the cheapest third-country flights. Malaysia. Oh well, I’d never been anyway – there is nothing wrong with yet another adventure.

An hour later, sleepy and a bit hungover (yes, I had my farewell drinks 3 hours before coming to the airport), I was waiting in the duty-free area for my flight to start boarding.


Brisbane was my first planned stopover and I was really excited about visiting this hot and sunny city.

Time to go!

Morning coffee at BNE (still no sleep – need some energy):

I had an 11-hr stopover in Brisbane so there was so not much time to explore the city but luckily, I had an amazing host from Couchsurfing who managed to fit in so many activities in just one day that by the time I got back to the airport, I couldn’t feel my legs at all. We went to the museum of science, fake city beach, botanical gardens and some other places I don’t even know the names of. It was +33 and terribly humid – still trying to figure out how I managed to survive 😊

I took a train from the airport (AU$34 return) and met my host at the central station. We spent a lovely a day exploring the city on foot, having a yummy lunch and having a great laugh.

Some pictures from the day:

Overall, it was a great day. I’ll definitely come back one day to explore more.

My friendly host accompanied me to the train back to the airport. Still in a zombie mode, I ordered some lunch and had some work done in the meantime:


Next stop – Bali! Excited yet extremely tired, I boarded the plane and immediately fell into a deep coma. 6 hours later Denpasar was greeting us with hot air and heavy rains.

My new friend was meeting me in the arrivals hall to take me to my new home the next two weeks. I’ll make a separate post about Bali, but for now here are some pictures from my first day:


I’m writing this post while waiting for my flight at Denpasar International Airport. It took me two weeks to finish it – I’ll blame it on yoga, zen and a ‘no-no’ to social media 🙂 (no, I’m not just lazy haha)

The question is: where to next?

Somewhere very exciting – details to follow 🙂




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