How traveling fills up your bucketlist

Author Carina Klein
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Rather than ticking off things from your bucketlist, travel adds new items because you constantly learn new things.

Yes, you heard right! In contrast to popular belief, we think that traveling fills up your bucketlist rather than emptying it. Let us explain:


In 2018 we visited Indonesia. Our flight was delayed so we "had" to spend 24 hours in Istanbul, Turkey. We realized that this city, which was never really on our tourist radar, is incredibly diverse and picturesque. And don't get us started about the food - we're huge suckers for Kunefe and all of its friends, like Baklava. We basically don't have a choice but to come back, take the ferry, and explore the Asian site and all the other parts, 24 unplanned hours was just not enough for.

Little alley in Istanbul with mosque in background
Istanbul, Turkey


Our first stop in Indonesia was Yogyakarta, Java. Two major items on our bucketlist were the temples Borobudur and Prambanan. Because we lost a day and because of jetlag we only managed to see Borobodur so Prambanan remains on our bucketlist. We traveled further across Java and visited the volcanoes Bromo and Ijen - another major bucketlist item. Little did we know about the super instagrammable Tumpak Sewu waterfall. I guess we have no choice but to go back there one day.

View from the top of Borobudur temple, Java, Indonesia
Borobudur, Indonesia


Bali was our next stop. Here, we just did not schedule enough time. We had heard too often that Bali is overcrowded, overly touristy, and overall overrated. We could not have been more wrong about Bali. Yes, it is crowded and touristy but it's not overrated - it really is beautiful. When we went out to explore, we found lush scenery and stunning temples. What we did not manage to see? - Any of the waterfalls and beaches. Do we regret it? - A lot.

Hindu temple on Bali
Bali, Indonesia


From Lombok, our journey took us to the Komodo islands. On the boat, we met a fellow traveler, who told us about his visa run to Timor Leste. Timor Leste? How intriguing! Did you know that Limor Leste is a really young country? It only became internationally acknowledged in 2002. Their national language is Portuguese but most importantly it has amazing beaches and it's in the coral triangle - the global center of marine biodiversity. We need to go diving there!

Mating Komodo dragons in Rinca, Indonesia
Rinca, Indonesia


The last stop of the journey was supposed to be Sulawesi or Sumatra to go Orang Utan trekking - the latter remained on our bucketlist. On Sulawesi, we visited Tana Toraja with their unique death and burial rites - an experience that changed us forever. Afterwards, we traveled north to Manado. And had to skip the Togian islands, again because of time issues. They are very hard to reach and the boats are quite unreliable, so it was uncertain if we would catch our flight back. If you wonder why we regret not having gone there - look up some pictures online or check out this blog (in German but the pictures work nonetheless). Instead we decided to go scuba diving in Bunaken which was easier to reach and still offered more sharks and turtles than we've ever seen.

Tana Toraja cave grave on Sulawesi, Indonesia
Rantepao, Indonesia

So yes, we traveled Indonesia but we only discovered that it has so much more to offer than we previously thought. And for us it's similar for every travel: You learn more about a place when you're there, other travelers tell you about new places, or you just simply misjudge places before you go. You're simply never really "done" with a place.


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