This time, just over a week ago my body was completely out of whack from poor sleep patterns and I was feeling mentally drained. In order to fund travels I was working nights at a winery, six hours from the coast of NSW, Australia and 100% ready to quit my job and pack my bags. I was spending my nights in fluoro orange, steel cap boots & a hardhat, daydreaming about laying under the sun on a white sandy beach. Luckily for me it became reality when finally it was time to begin our trip. I arrived on Nusa Lembongan and was instantly in love with its beauty. Admittedly, it took a few days to really begin relaxing and become absorbed in island life. But the number of secluded beaches with crystal clear water, palm trees, dive boats, surf breaks and stands selling fresh coconuts make it pretty easy to unwind.
Think an island paradise escape sounds expensive? Well I am living here on $25 a day.
Here’s a list of five things that are either free or under $5 to keep you smiling on Lembongan. Now you have no excuses to take a break yourself – book that holiday!! Or even better, quit your job and start calling the road home.
1. Find the perfect place to watch the sunrise and set. Its FREE and in my opinion the very best start/end to a day.
2. Get your scoot on! Scooter rental is definitely more expensive than on Bali but still very affordable and definitely the most fun way to venture around the island. We paid $5 a day with fuel included. There is also nowhere near as much traffic on Lembongan so its an ideal place to learn how to ride if you are a scooter newbie (I’m still TERRIBLE, seriously do not come near me on a scooter)
3. Eat amazing ridiculously cheap food! A few of my favourites:
- Bali Eco Deli ($4 for the best brekkie) Seriously in LOVE with this place. Apart from the fact they sell healthy cookies for 0.70c, have free wi-fi, free water refill, use organic fair trade food and provide shelter to some of the cutest puppies ever – they have started an initiative to get the island plastic free. Read more about that here
- Oka Warung – a lovely family serve up fresh seafood and super cheap fruit shakes. We paid $7 for a huge grilled jacket fish, vegies and rice (easily enough for two people)
- Twin towers coffee – this coffee is amazing!!! Located in lush green forest with some of the best wi-fi on the island. Really good place to chill whilst planning the next leg of your travels.
4. Check out some stunning cliffs (and even jump off one!)
- Blue lagoon which is located a spectacular scoot ride away on Nusa Ceningan. You get to cross a narrow rickety yellow suspension bridge that joins both islands. Once you get lost at least 10 times on Ceningan you will discover a short dirt ‘road’ that leads to incredible views of blue lagoon and if you pay a small fee you can jump 13m off one of the cliffs!
- Devils tear is right next to Dream beach & one of my favourite places on the island. Waves continuously crash into the rocks and form rainbows in the sea mist , it really is beautiful. Hot tip: wear something on your feet and don’t take your camera for a shower like I did. After you have finished exploring cruise over to the Dream beach bungalows for sunset and use their infinity pool for free in happy hour (4-6).
Renting a scooter gives you the freedom to find your own secluded spots off the main tourist stretches. Get your gear off of get into the crystal clear water – I promise it will put the biggest smile on our face.
I often get asked how I afford to travel so frequently – travel really doesn’t need to be expensive. Most of the stuff I do is free, you just have to get adventurous 🙂 – Jinti Fell