An Aussie takes her Austrian abroad….

Travelling to Bali was always going to be interesting. From the very beginning my Australian understanding of Bali and the Germanic/Austrian version were completely unrelated. Bali always seemed to me like an awful cross between hippie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’  retreat and bogan party central. In Bali’s defense, I had years of being a travel agent in Melbourne to cultivate this blatantly unfair prejudice.

eat-pray-love_ubud_bali

 Julia has a lot to answer for….but can you blame her?

S on the other hand, was getting his version of Bali from German blogs, guidebooks and online forums. He assured me that Bali was a cultural paradise, filled with idyllic islands and delicious culinary delights. Although every blog told him to avoid Kuta beach and all the Australians there….bit too late for that now…

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 Can you spot the Austrian surrounded by Aussies?? He didn’t stand a chance!

Thankfully for both of us, Bali turned out to be paradise, we just had to know where to look….but more tips on where to stay in a later post.

On top of this divided understanding of Bali, it became clear that our individual ideas of what a ‘dream holiday’ entails were er, pretty different. Some may say extremely different! Austrians, as I’ve mentioned before, are super into exercise, fitness, movement and activity. They love a good walk. They love a good hike even more. A good long walk toward a mountain on which they can hike is pretty much heaven. Point being – this is an active culture.

schafbergHeavenly relaxation if you’re Austrian

S reliably informed me that at an Austrian holiday resort you’d find no end of beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, swimming pools for doing laps and of course, every Austrian would be up for 8am breakfast to make the most of their wonderfully healthy day. In my every day life I absolutely adore this attitude, it keeps everyone active into old age, but while on vacation??!!

My version of a holiday  is the chance to sleep in to a leisurely hour, enjoy a long breakfast then relax on a sun-lounger with a good book, trying to tan without getting completely sunburnt. This seemed pretty in-line with what many other Aussies had planned for their stay at Legian beach, with the added benefit of drinks being delivered to your sun-lounger at super cheap Balinese prices.

Australians on Holiday

 My family, flat out on holiday

Pool lounging

My perfect holiday view – note the nearby pool and sun lounger in shot

So, how do you take an Austrian abroad when we have these wildly opposing views on what a holiday should be? Our survival tactic was to mix an even balance of activities & island exploring with the required amount of sunbathing and book reading. So we did manage to venture out a little from the sunbed;

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 We snorkeled – the incredible fish & coral reef are sadly not in shot…

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 …we explored lookout points and rocky outcrops…

S riding on the horizon

…and we got to ride this badass scooter all around Nusa Lembongan like locals!

I think on balance my relaxing idea of a holiday perfectly suited the quiet island of Nusa Lembongan. Unfortunately for my Austrian mister, the places we stayed just didn’t have any facilities to play sports, or hike, or generally be extremely fit while on holiday. The takeaway lesson was that an Austrian abroad needs some pre-arranged activities, no matter how ridiculous that may seem to an Aussie. To really drive this point home, when we landed back at Vienna Airport, it was full of Austrian families heading for their Spanish resort holidays – and they were literally playing volleyball in the airport halls. Dedicated to fitness?? Damn right they are!

 

 

 

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3 comments

  1. Rachel

    So true and funny. My co-workers returning from “holiday” have in no particular order (a) spent a week biking across Austria with family (lost me at “across Austria”…..it has Alps for godssake); (b) hiked for a week in Styria, spending each evening in a Spartan lodge atop a mountain….if I’m going to hike for a whole day, much less every day all day for a solid week, there had better be a glass of wine and a massage waiting for me; and (c) spent a week cycling non-stop in preparation to bike to the top of the highest mountain in Austria in two weeks. Um no. That is not a holiday.

    • carlyhulls

      Oh my God Rachel I’m not even kidding the guys in my office are the same! Its terribly inspiring but also completely intimidating hahaha I have no capability to spend a holiday exercising, don’t think I’ll be able to adapt to that particular habit anytime soon….Thanks for reading!

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