I finally found tempeh!!! With sambal (my favorite chili sauce)!!! In Borneo!!! I haven't had tempeh since leaving Indonesia. This dish was way overpriced (tempeh is SO cheap in Indo), but you have no idea how much I've missed it... 😋
Everyday it gets very cloudy here in Borneo, especially around sunset, so there is 50/50 chance of actually seeing the sun go down most of the time. But with sunset clouds like this, I certainly don't mind!
I hope this native Rungus girl knows how incredibly blessed she is to be able to wake up, walk to the beach, and play on a swing set in front of the South China Sea any day she wants.
I certainly felt blessed having been able to witness this pure act of playfulness and innocence while staying in her village. 😊
Beef and chicken rendang is a very popular Indonesian and Malaysian dish that I have always wanted to try, but couldn't because, well... it's always made with beef or chicken.
My good friend Nina and her roommate Emily took me to a vegetarian restaurant in Kota Kinabalu today that does an absolutely delicious vegan rendition of this traditional meal. I spent 8 months in Indonesia and never once saw a vegetarian version of rendang... Needless to say, I was stoked. :) The "chicken" is made of mushrooms which gave the dish a great texture, and the sauce was an explosion of sweet and spicy flavors.
Can't wait to try this one out in the kitchen! (I haven't had a kitchen in almost a year, but that's beside the point.) 😏
Meet Lucy, fellow volunteer at Tampat Do Aman. She's British, eats french fry sandwiches, and has a duck named after her at the longhouse (where we sleep). Not only do I love her because she's so passionate about wildlife conservation and addressing issues like the massive deforestation in Southeast Asia due to palm oil production, but she's hilarious and genuinely cares about how others around her are feeling. Couldn't have asked for a cooler girl to spend the last week with!
Found lots of old driftwood today from some of Sabah's most stunning beaches near Kudat, so I decided to pick up a paintbrush for the first time in years. :) I must say, listening to Ram Dass + getting crafty is quite therapeutic. I'll be doing this more often for sure!
Hello, Sabah! I've only been here a few days, but your abundance of everything green and blue and beautiful has not disappointed thus far. I'm having some difficulty adjusting to life in the jungle, because I got so comfortable with village life in Indonesia... But I'm up for the challenge. I'm ready to see some orangutans and elephants!
Our satay celup dinner was delicious last night! The big pot in the middle is filled with a slightly sweet, slightly salty peanut sauce where you cook the satays of your choice. I chose tofu, kangkung, button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and bok choy. Yum!
There are many influences in Malaysian architecture and food, including native Malay, Chinese-Malay, and Indian. This is a temple in Melaka with Chinese influences... I loved seeing so many different kinds of temples in one area!
My first day in Malaysia was a success. :) Old and new friends picked me up from the airport and we spent the day in Malaka walking around the city. We ate tons of great local food. I love trying new food in different countries! It's incredible how many ways Asians can cook rice - seriously. Checked out some historical sites and the night market and hungout on this river for a while. There's a row of these kinds of homes, built right there on the water. So cool!
Oh, Indonesia... I've left you today to begin the next chapter of my adventures in Southeast Asia, and I feel so many mixed emotions.
Something about you made me decide to buy a one way flight from the other side of the globe 8 months ago. I made that decision because I knew I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone in America and experience something new — a new life, a new set of challenges, and ultimately lots of new growth. Everything I thought I knew about you before my arrival in March was thrown out the window within 5 minutes of my arrival. I had NO idea the experience I was in for. You've flipped my world upside down and expanded my awareness and perspective in so many ways. You're ugly and you're beautiful and you're corrupt and you're patient and you're infuriating and you're calming — all at the same time. You've forced me to uncover parts of myself that I've tried to ignore or keep hidden out of fear. You've kicked my ass and brought me to my knees, and you've held my hand and wiped my tears along the way. I've hated you. I've loved you. I couldn't be more grateful for you... Best of all, you've given me a gorgeous new family who will always, always be a part of me. I'm sad to leave them, but my heart feels full. 💜 Until next time... Selamat tinggal, Indonesia!
My last Nasi Campur in Indonesia! I kinda threw it all together, so it doesn't look that appetizing, but let me tell you... It was deeelicious! I'm SO going to miss Indonesian cuisine — they make some of the freshest and tastiest dishes I've ever had in my life. Especially their tempeh. And sambal (homemade chili sauce that makes everything taste better). Not so fun fact: I didn't know until two days ago that other Asian countries don't have tempeh. 😢 < sad vegan
Sunsets in Bali, I'm more impressed with you every time I see you. Thank you, Universe — your ability to create pure magic everyday always pulls me into the present moment, grounds & centers me, and gives me infinite reasons to feel grateful!
#magic #natureheals #natureneedsnofilter #sunset #sunsetwatching #everydamnday #beherenow #lovenow #islandlife #travel #bali #indonesia
My sisters from Sumatra & Lombok. Loved watching sunset together, practicing my bahasa, taking lots of photos, sharing rujak and coconuts and stories about life. I could always count on these girls for constant smiles and laughter. Thank you for opening your hearts to me, ladies, I'm missing you already!
Back in Bali with my good friends Mario & Alex until tomorrow... This means superfood smoothies and other delicious vegan treats are on the menu today! I love spending time with like-minded, healthy, good-hearted people. :) This morning's smoothie had guava, mango, papaya, dragonfruit, chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, cashews, dates, and fresh coconut water. Yummmmyyy.