The Monkey Ate My Cookie and Other Stories from Bali.

Monkey Forest Baby Monkey

Leaving Canggu

I made my way to Ubud, Bali. My reservation at Tribe Theory in Canggu was done. I was sad to leave. Many of the people that stay at Tribe are there for a month or longer. We became a little family. It was my safety net and I needed to spread my wings and fly.


First impressions of Ubud: It is beautiful and very touristy. I assumed the beach towns in Bali would be more crowded but I was wrong. Ubud has upscale stores and restaurants with the people to match. 

I am staying at the Shindu Homestay. I have my own patio. There is always a carafe of hot water on the table for tea and coffee. The breakfast is also amazing and free.

I thought all WIFI was the same. It is not. I have been learning the hard way. I can watch youtube and surf the web without a problem. Teaching english… problem.

I received a slap on the wrist for an IT issue. So I googled the nearest co-working place and practically ran there before my next class. This cost me a lot of money and time.

I am only booked at the homestay until tomorrow. I just, as I am writing this, found a place to stay with appropriate WIFI. 

Indonesia’s Visa Process

This might get confusing so I apologize. The majority of longterm travelers in Indonesia use one of two types of visas: Free Visit Visa and Visa on Arrival (VOA).

A Free Visit Visa grants you thirty days in Indonesia for free but is not extendable. It is issued at the immigration checkpoint and does not need to be applied for in advance.

A VOA (Visa on arrival) grants you up to sixty days in Indonesia. On arrival to the immigration check point, you need to purchase the visa for $37 BEFORE IMMIGRATION. This grants you thirty days AND the option to extend.

DMV Meme
I am scared the visa process with look like this.

Extending the visa for another thirty days is not the easiest process. It takes three different appointments over a weeks time and more money. From what I have read, it compares to going to the DMV in the US three days in a row.

I’m Going to Malaysia. 

After thirty days with a Free Visit Visa or sixty days with a VOA you must leave the country or face heavy fines. Although, there is not a specific length of time you must leave the country for before you can come back.

Let me introduce the “Visa Run.” A visa run entails leaving the country and then re-entering to obtain a new visa. The travelers I have met usually fly to the closest, cheapest country and fly black. Sometimes in the same day.

I have a VOA and would have to start the renewal process this week. This will only get me another thirty days and I will be here longer than that. So I would also have to do a “visa run.”

Instead of going through the whole renewal process, I am going to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Instead of turning right back around, I am going to stay there for a few weeks. When I re-enter Indonesia I should receive a new visa and it should last me until I come back to the states.

Sorry, that’s a lot of information. In short, I am going to Malaysia for seventeen days. Then I am coming back to Indonesia.

The Monkey Ate My Cookie

I went to visit the Monkey Forest so I could check one off the “what your supposed to do when you visit Bali” list. It was a bunch of monkeys with a bunch of tourists trying to take photos. This may sound weird… but I already have a lot of photos with monkeys.

After I left, I went to a pharmacy to buy some food. I had to walk twenty feet. Just out the pharmacy’s door and into Hubud. At about thirteen feet, a monkey jumps on me and grabs the whole unopened package of cookies. He came out of nowhere.

The monkey ate my cookies
Crackers Round 2

I put my head down in shame and went back into the store to buy another package of cookies. This time I put the package down my pants and ran door to door.

I would not have been a happy girl if that monkey stole my cookies again. You can steal my cookies once and I will let it go. Twice, I’ll cut you. Obviously, the monkey would kick my ass but I would give it a good fight. And flip him off as the ambulance drove away. 

Monkey with stolen cookies
I went outside later and he was still eating them!

Word of advice: Do not pay to get into the monkey forest. Just hang out in the area around it with a box of cookies. Preferably vanilla filled.

What I wish I knew my first week with VIPKID.


My first week with VIPKID was a little rough. I was just getting home from my winter nursing assignment. I was freaking out about not getting bookings. I was reading that it took some people months. I didn’t have months.

My first week, I tried to cram so much stuff in. I had never taught ESL before. And I quickly realized it was going to be a lot more difficult than I thought.

I tried to get every certification. I opened every slot. Never unpacked. Sat on my bed checking my phone every hour. When I did sleep, I was waking up every hour to check my slots. I was about to lose it. 

Practice makes progress not perfect. VIPKID Quote

One morning, after my 3rd workshop of the day, I finally just closed my computer and  told my self that I could not work on VIPKID for the rest of the day. I closed my open bookings. And I went for a run. Ok… maybe a walk. I ended up getting two bookings that day and I felt like all the information I had gathered the previous days finally sunk in. 

I actually got a booking my 2nd day. But when I read the notes from the other teachers, the student seemed like a “problem child.” Great. This booking wasn’t until the next week, therefor I had a week to fester in my anxiety.

My advice for your first week VIPKID:

1. Take workshops.

I got hired and then didn’t take it any further until I got back to Vegas after my winter nursing assignment.. When I sat down at my computer, I realized I had know idea where to start. I learned so much in the workshops. And there are workshops for every topic.

2. Do not take too many workshops.

DON’T sign up for 5 workshops a day. By the time I was on my 3rd workshop, I couldn’t focus and I felt like I wasn’t learning anything even though I’m sure it was very informative. 

3. Take the workshop “Marketing Yourself.”

It talks about how to tweak your profile and what Chinese Parents look for. 

4. Don’t make yourself crazy. 

5. It’s not as bad as you think.

I was losing sleep for no reason. I know I am not the best teacher, but I realized the 25 minutes go by quick. It is a lot easier to talk to a real child instead of a wall or some guy pretending to be a five year old. 

6. Preparation will get easier. 

I am super organized and need to be prepared. I made a binder and organized it by levels. It made me feel better, but even after my second class, I realized you won’t have to prepare as much as you may feel like you do. Yes, my first class, I made notes and practiced. It took me all day. Because of all my preparation for my first class, my second class only took me about thirty minutes of preparation. It definitely helped that it was the same student and same unit, but I do understand what teachers say.

I hope this decreases the anxiety you have when you first start with VIPKID. Just remember it will get easier. If you are not a teacher yet and are interested in becoming one you can learn more here. And please use my referral link to apply.

Travel with VIPKID

Can you afford to live in Bali? I think so…

Tanah Lot Temple

Is Indonesia expensive? Isn’t Bali even more expensive? Can you afford to live there full time? What is the cost of living? Why Bali?

Wait. Let me stop right here. WHY BALI? If you could work from anywhere in the world, why wouldn’t you want to work in Bali?

View at Tribe Theory Bali
Tribe Theory Bali

Can you afford to live in Bali? Yes. Well I think so. I hope so. I’m going to find out. How much does it really cost to live full-time in Indonesia?

I have a lot of questions. And I don’t have a lot of answers… yet. I told people I wanted a break from nursing and was moving to Bali for the Summer. I knew it was going to be a pay cut from nursing but really, How much does your sanity cost?

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”

George Lorimer

The plan… my plan… is to work teaching English online with VIPKID while traveling around Indonesia.

I am keeping track of all my expenses every day from accommodations to insurance. I don’t want to bore you with all that. However, if you want all the nitty gritty just keep scrolling past the credits. How did I do week one?

  • Accommodations: $126.00 I have a private room in a co-working hostel. Great Wifi and great people.
  • Travel/Transportation: $111.41 This includes transportation to the airport in Las Vegas AND MY FLIGHT to Bali. Not so bad then.
  • Food/Drink: $93.74 I need to cut my food bill down. More buying my own groceries and not eating at the hostel everyday.
Vegan Pasta Meal at Tribe Theory
Amazing Vegan Pasta (I don’t know what makes it vegan, but I don’t care, it’s good)
  • Bank Fees: $31.98 I know why most people don’t think it is cheap to travel. It’s the damn bank fees.
  • Groceries: $36.60
  • Miscellaneous: $47.76 (Visa, Gym, etc)
  • Travel Insurance: $11.88 Travel Insurance. I use SafetyWing. I have never used them before so I can’t give an opinion.

TOTAL: $459.37

Now I know that seems like a lot. It does to me too. The thing to remember is the total includes my flight, airport transportation, my visa and simcard. And this was over nine days. So it’s really only $51/day. Next week will be better. Either way, it is only 23 hours of work with VIPKID.

Now all the details…

Saturday June 22 — Total: $166.29

1. Accommodations — $14.00
I am staying in a private room at Tribe Theory.
2. Travel/Transportation — $101.71
The airplane ticket to Bali was $12.00 (Yes, $12.00). When I booked my flight I picked a window seat but realized later I wanted an aisle seat. There were not any free aisle seats left so I had to buy a seat for $50.00. Total fail on my part. My Uber ride to the airport in Vegas was $22.01. The car from the airport in Bali to my hostel was $17.70.
3. Food and Drink — $2.21
I ate and drank for free all day at two different airports using my lounge access. Unlimited food and cocktails. You don’t have to ask me twice. And I had one celebratory beer at my hostel that cost $2.21.
4. Bank Fees — $11.37
Bank fees are going to kill me. All of the ATMs I have found only let you take out 2,500,000 IDR. Most 100’s I will ever hold in my hand. It’s really only $177.38. Help!
5. Miscellaneous — $37.00
My VOA (visa on arrival). You can get into Indonesia for 30 days free, but if you want to extend another 30 days, you need to pay up front.

First Beer in Bali, Indonesia
My first official beer in Bali!

Sunday June 23 — $26.81

1. Accommodations — $14.00 Private Room Tribe Theory
2. Travel $0.00 I didn’t go any where because I was exhausted from travel and slept most the day.
3. Food/Drink $12.81 I ate all my meals at my hostel. I ate two full meals that were each $5.30. I also had a watermelon smoothie for $2.21.

Monday June 24 — $70.72

1. Accommodations — $14.00 Still at Tribe Theory
2. Travel — $1.35 My GOJEK scooter was $0.78 one way to the beach and $0.57 back. (Yes, cents)
3. Food/Drink — $18.37
I had a coffee by the beach for $3.47. Then enjoyed the views at a restuarant on the water. The total at the restaurant was $10.65 (I was treating my self). Dinner at the hostel was $4.25.
4. Bank Fees — $10.31
Again, Really?! Bank of America is charging me $5 of that. FYI The ATMS’s around Bali have a cheaper fee then at the airport. I remember when I was in Thailand, I spent as much in bank fees as I spent on food and drinks.
5. Groceries — $26.69
I spent $26.69 on groceries. I got scammed. My plan is to eat my own food for breakfast (except my latte) to save money, so it should even out.
6. Miscellaneous- $0.00 I did a free fitness class.

Tuesday June 25 — $31.43

1. Accommodations — $14.00
Tribe Theory
2. Travel — $3.75
I took an actual GO-CAR to visit the Tanah Temple. I split it with my friend so one way was $3.75.
3. Food/Drink — $13.54
I had breakfast and coffee at the hostel for $6.73 and dinner for $4.60. Oh, and almost forgot my beer for $2.21.
4. Miscellaneous — $0.14
We tipped the Sadhu after receiving our blessing.

Wednesday June 26 — Total: $31.70

1. Accommodations — $14.00
2. Travel — $0.00
I didn’t go anywhere. Just relaxed.
3. Food/Drink — $17.70
I made my own breakfast but I did buy an iced latte for $1.77. I went out to dinner at an awesome restaurant on the water. I picked my own fish and then they cooked it right in front of me. $8.14 for a fancy meal and beer. So good. I ate lunch at my hostel for $7.79.

Thursday June 27 — $36.16

1. Accommodations — $14.00
2. Travel — $2.69
I needed to get a SImcard so I had backup internet for teaching. You can buy them anywhere but they don’t always work. I went into Denpasar so my GOJEK was a little pricey at $2.69.
3. Food/Drink — $10.62
I made my own breakfast, but I bought my latte for $1.77. I ate lunch and dinner at the hostel. The food is so good and they have large portions but are a little expensive (for Bali standards). I need to venture out.
4. Miscellaneous — $8.85
I bought a simcard so I will have backup internet to teach with.

Friday June 28 — $32.23

1. Accommodations — $14.00
2. Travel — $1.91
Went to the beach.
3. Food/Drink — $6.02
My morning latte and one meal. I made my own breakfast.
4. Bank Fees — I Can’t even look… $10.30
You may be wondering why I have had to go to the ATM three times. My debit card had a bunch of charges on it that were not mine. It didn’t happen in Bali. It started before I left. Anyway, I needed to pull out cash to survive until my new card finds me in Bali. I don’t have high hopes.

Saturday June 29 — $24.70

1. Accommodations — $14.00
Same for another week.
2. Travel — $0.00
I worked on my computer and walked to the store.
3. Food/Drink — $10.70
I had my breakfast latte and my own breakfast. For lunch I walked down the street and found Chicken Satay for $2.21. I stopped at a little stand on the side of the road for desert. Two homemade deserts for $0.21. After dinner, I went to the corner store and got three types of wafers bars for $0.85.

Latte on the menu at Tribal Theory Bali Indonesia
My morning crack.

Sunday June 30 — $27.45

1. Accommodations — $14.00
I haven’t moved anywhere.
2. Travel/Transportation — $0.00
I hitched a ride to the gym with a guy at the hostel.
3. Food/Drink — $1.77
My regular morning latte. I know I should probably just make my own coffee to save money, but it’s like going to Starbucks. Should you spend $6.00 on a grande soy extra hot (I don’t understand extra hot, it’s hot and it has to cool down before you can drink it anyway) sugar free mocha and don’t forget the whipped cream? No, but we do and it starts our day on a good note.
4. Groceries — $9.91
We stopped at a fruit stand and Pepito’s (frown face) on the way home.
5. Miscellaneous — $1.77
I went to gym.

Until next week…

Disclaimer: The math is true to the best of my knowledge. I’m sure someone out there will find a mistake… because thats what people do on the internet.