It has been 10 months since I started this vagabonding journey throughout Southeast Asia. Nostalgia is running through my veins again, defying gravity. And here I am. Ending this story in the same country where it all began.

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It felt like I was just in Indonesia yesterday and forever ago at the same time. It always blew my mind, the way our minds can shatter time and memories in your head and piece it back together again in an instant. The way we remember things as if it were yesterday, as if there was no gap from then to now. I stepped out of the airport and sensed that familiar feeling again. The warm haze of this country’s energy, slowly but surely luring me in. Our van speeds through the highways and meandering roads all the way up to Northern Bandung.

Indonesia, I've missed you.

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On our first night I met all my fellow bloggers, we had our first dinner together and watched performances organized by the tourism board. I was exhausted from traveling, so I fell straight into bed after that and drifted to sleep. The next day, they took us on a tour around our resort, Sari Ater, which was more than just a resort. It was a beautiful compound with waterfalls, hot springs, farms and a view that stretched onto infinite hills and valleys. As they drove us around, I took in the gorgeous greenery all around me, breathing in the fresh air from the valleys beyond.

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We drove to Tangkuban Parahu, a volcano that lies dormant in Northern Bandung. I stood by the fence for a while with the wild wind playing with my hair and the brisk, cold air rising the hair on my skin. I was so tempted to climb over the fence and hang my legs on the edge of the cliff, like I often do when I find the edges of things. I told my new friends that I wanted to do it, but I also didn't want to give the staff team a heart attack so I stayed back and enjoyed it from when I was standing and those moments were enough.

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Then we went to the floating market, where you can try a plethora of local cuisine (from crepes, to dim sum, to fried food) that the ladies sell by the water. And you can row the small boat around the little lake and listen to the soothing sounds of the water.

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We went to Saung Angklung Udjo where we witnessed the traditional Sudanese performances. I was ecstatic when they started playing the angklung version of Bohemian Rhapsody. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that they were playing this iconic pop rock song rattling through bamboo and echoing through the ears of the crowd. It was incredible and I loved every second of it. At one point they distributed the Angklung to the entire crowd, each person holding their own personal bamboo instrument. The conductor had us play different notes, with all of us synchronistically playing a beautiful song. We were all one for those brief moments, a whole crowd vibrating to music. Their annual interactive audience performance is known to be in the Guinness World Book of Records as the largest Angklung ensemble in the entire world which was a beautiful thing to be a part of. At the end, they had the audience dancing with the children who performed. A young girl enthusiastically comes up to me and asked if I wanted to dance, so I joined in and we all danced around the floor laughing and moving all to the beats with free bodies.

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After our time in Northern Bandung, we spent the next day in the south. We drove up to a crater lake called Kawah Putih. We arrived and I was instantly pierced by the smell of sulfur, we were given masks but I was still sensitive to that potent smell. I wandered off around the crater on my own and sat down at one point. Those moments were ethereal, looking at the mist hovering over the light mint green colored sulfuric waters was something I don't witness often. I sat and soaked in the sheer beauty of it all.

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We went to a restaurant called Sindang Reret and had such incredible Sudanese food. Their employees were on stilts, walking around and entertaining their guests. We sat in traditional Indonesian huts and were served our incredible lunch until our bellies were full and warm.

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We got back on the road and stopped by a tea plantation called Walini Ranca. "10 minutes here," they said. I thought to myself, no way. We're probably going to end up staying longer, it's too gorgeous not to. It wasn't just a tea plantation, I felt like I was in the movie as I walked around the perfectly manicured green fields. I saw a big rock in the middle of the field and there was a ladder next to it so I climbed, sat for pictures and took everything in.

I felt like I was a five-year-old again. 

Yoshke, a fellow blogger came from the fruit stall and bought mulberries, something I haven't had in a year. My mind drifted back to my house back in California where we had a huge mulberry tree that would drop pounds of it everyday, I'd eat handfuls of it and mix it in with my green smoothies each morning. I didn't even know mulberries exist in Indonesia, I held it in my hands in sheer delight while the vast, lush green landscape moved me. I was transported through time and back again.

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Indonesia, you have my heart. Right now, other places are calling me to be. But I'll see you again, when the road paves the way and time flies me right back to you.

Special thanks to Wonderful Indonesia, Pesona Bandung and the Asian African Conference for sponsoring this trip.

Stephanie is a nomadic photographer, wanderer, adventurer, dreamer. She lives for capturing moments of bliss, wanderlust, inspiring hearts, reigniting spirits, and infinite moments of Satori. Follow her journey at Infinite Satori.

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“Just follow us, it’s okay!” said one of the volunteers leading us through the crowds, with a cheeky grin.

Somehow I ended up here. I found myself wading through the huge crowd celebrating with rhapsodic excitement. And why? It’s what I’m here for, the 2015 Asian African Carnival in Bandung.

Asian African Carnival 2015 in Bandung, Indonesia


Asian African Carnival 2015 in Bandung, Indonesia

On April 19, 1955, world leaders from Asian and African countries who reclaimed independence from colonial rule congregated in the city for a celebration of unity. Six decades later, this event maintains its commemoration for a week during late April.

I’ve made my way through a fair share of music festivals and live concerts, but this is the biggest crowd I have experienced in Asia. There were musicians on stage doing different renditions of song throughout several genres, with all kinds of people singing and bathing in the vibrations of music.

Asian African Carnival 2015 in Bandung, Indonesia


Asian African Carnival 2015 in Bandung, Indonesia


Asian African Carnival 2015 in Bandung, Indonesia

At one point we made it to a double decker bus where we climbed to the roof and witnessed the crowds in elevation. I watched children happily perched on their parents backs, friends laughing and singing with their arms thrown over each other, everyone is grinning from ear to ear. Crowds usually feed me excitement and energy, the endless thousands of them didn't fail to do just that.

Then we made our way back to the main hall and continued paving our way through the colorful crowd. Voices and music were flooding our ears, my senses were completely heightened by life bursting all around me.

Asian African Carnival 2015 in Bandung, Indonesia Parade1


Asian African Carnival 2015 in Bandung, Indonesia Parade2

Special thanks to Wonderful Indonesia, Pesona Bandung and the Asian African Conference for sponsoring this trip.

Stephanie is a nomadic photographer, wanderer, adventurer, dreamer. She lives for capturing moments of bliss, wanderlust, inspiring hearts, reigniting spirits, and infinite moments of Satori. Follow her journey at Infinite Satori.


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It's really taken us a long time to decide who to choose because all the ladies who applied to become Sole Sisters are exceptional in their own way. They all have amazing stories to share. Most of them have blogs that attract hundreds of readers. They have accomplished so much in life even while traveling and living in many different countries.

This is definitely one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make.

Before we announce whom we have selected to be part of the sisterhood, let me tell you more about the selection process. On May 21st, we launched the Search for the New Sole Sisters and announced that we were looking for other women travelers who are crazy about travel and documenting their adventures through a blog. The search went on for 2 short weeks and we received about 50 applications from all over the world. I asked the help of the other Sole Sisters and shortlisted it to 10 amazing, inspiring women based on their blogs as well as their answers to our questionnaire. From that list, we picked the bloggers who had the most unique, engaging content. And I interviewed 7 of them via skype. It was amazing to talk to all these women from different walks of life and cultural backgrounds who share the same love for travel. 

I took a few days to really think about who I was most excited to work with. And it was not easy at all. In the end, there were 2  things that mattered:

1 Unique Personality 

Who stood out the most? I really want to work with women who know what they're good at and how they can contribute to this community. I also wanted to work with those who are extremely happy, positive and confident.

2 Hunger

Who really really wanted it badly? Who are the ones who really wanted to make a career out of this, and not just as a plan B?

And to answer those questions, here are the women travelers that we welcome into the Sole Sisterhood:

Emma of Active Travlr

Emma of The Active Travlr is an adventure traveller from Canada, backpacking around the world. With the love for nature, an obsession for rock climbing, and a passion for travelling, she packed her bags and decided to explore the world, with no return date. The travel bug bit, and her year-long travel plan fell through. Two years later, she’s still on the road for the unknown, to a destination off the beaten path. She also just recently raised 11,754 CAD to help rebuild remote villages affected by the quake in Nepal through her independent project The Travelling Movement.

Follow her on facebooktwitter and instagram.

Sarah of Coffee With A Slice Of Life

Sarah of Coffee with A Slice of Life
is a self proclaimed global gypsy, and scuba obsessed travel blogger who has been travelling the globe for the last 4 years, one cup of coffee a time. She is just in love with the open road, and writing about it, and will do almost anything to keep living her dream...

Follow her on facebook, twitter and instagram.


Julienne of Morena Travels

Julienne of Morena Travels is a 26 year old Filipina who's lived in Hong Kong for four years as an editor of a tourism magazine. Her time working in Asia's most competitive city - in addition to being born of a mother stronger and more successful than any other woman she's ever known - has moulded her to into an empowered, ambitious, and moderately feminist thinker. She loves getting lost in nature, trying new things, clean eating, and fitness. Slotting in neatly into the Filipino stereotype, she loves to sing, dance, and present thanks to her dad's musical side of the family. Her passion is discourse with intelligent globe-trotters who have a lot to bring to the table, and loves learning from great minds. Currently based in Spain but soon returning to Asia, Julienne has just turned down a job offer in Tokyo in search of a more meaningful career. She hopes to build a distinct and powerful globally-Asian female voice in the blogosphere challenging archetypes and stigmas while still being a fun read and a visual treat!

Follow her on facebooktwitter and instagram.

What's Next

Both Rica and Stephanie have been working on different projects that need their nurturing, energy and focus. So they have informed me that they can no longer dedicate their time to We Are Sole Sisters. We are very grateful for everything they have shared with us and with you in the last few years and we wish them well on their upcoming projects and future endeavours. 

I've recently been working with Sole Sisters Lauren and Adi on rebranding their blog and getting clear on their story, their topic and audience. 

We're so thrilled to have new sisters on board who definitely have a lot to contribute to this community. We can't wait for you to get to know them more in the coming months as we work together  to create even more inspiring content as well as projects that will help empower you through travel! 

Do you have questions for our new Sole Sisters? Go ask in the comments section!

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A few weeks ago, we launched the Sole Sisters Search and we received more than 50 applications from all over the world. It's very difficult to decide because we really enjoyed going through all your blogs and stories.

After a lot of consideration, we've brought the list down to 10. Here are the women travelers we are considering to be part of the We Are Sole Sisters community (in no particular order):

Sarah of Coffee With A Slice of Life

Sarah of Coffee with A Slice of Life is a self proclaimed global gypsy, and scuba obsessed travel blogger. Travelling the globe for the last 4 years, one cup of coffee a time. Follow her to unknown destinations (because she never even knows where she's going next) with guaranteed giggles. Jump on for the ride and learn how to turn your travel dream into reality...

Katie of Two Wandering Soles

Katie of Two Wandering Soles is the other half of this adventure seeking blog. Shortly after getting married, they quit their comfortable jobs, booked absurdly cheap flights to Colombia, and left behind everything that didn’t fit into their backpacks. Their wanderings have since taken them to South Korea where they are currently teaching English and plotting future travels.

Nina of Where in The World is Nina

Nina of Where in the World is Nina broke up with her cubicle in 2011 for a one-way plane ticket to Thailand. Years later and with a full passport, her wanderlust still hasn't ceased. She has made the nomadic life, something she has always wanted, a reality. She now shares her experiences, advice, and ways of making this lifestyle a possibility for anyone.  

Marina of Jejak Marina

Marina of Jejak Marina is named after the sea and always finds herself swimming in the sea or wandering around the beach. She is half Sundanesse and half Chinesse, 100% pledge of being Indonesian. She came from a traditional family in West Java, where people don’t usually do solo long term travelling. Well not many Indonesians ever do this. Especially women. Alone. But she did it.

Meryl of En Route to Adventure

Meryl of En Route to Adventure is a twenty five year old from Manila. She recently left her job to pursue her passions. She enjoys traveling so much that she spends countless hours reading, researching and daydreaming about it. She's counting down the days to her big backpacking trip in October. Her plan is to hit six countries in Southeast Asia for two months because there’s nothing more exciting than being an independent, solo woman traveling at her own pace. Being on the road makes her feel alive and she can’t wait to take on the challenge of living out of a 7kg backpack!

Emma of Active Travlr

Emma of The Active Travlr is a 25 year old Canadian from Montreal backpacking around the world. With the passion for travelling, an appreciation for nature and the constant need to be physically active, after graduating from Uni, she packed her bags and decided to travel the world, with no return date. Her plan was to work and travel around Australia and South East Asia for one year, but the travel bug bit and a couple years later, she's still on the road.

Stephanie of Yogi Footprints

Stephanie of Yogi Footprints is a 26 year old aspiring yogi, travel lover, forever hungry girl. Right now she's just riding the roller coaster that is life and trying to enjoy every moment of it - including the twists and the turns, the ups and the downs, and most importantly those gut wrenching drops that make you feel alive.

Julienne of Morena Travels

Julienne of Morena Travels is a 26 year old Filipina who's lived in Hong Kong for four years as an editor of a tourism magazine. Her time working in Asia's most competitive city - in addition to being born of a mother stronger and more successful than any other woman she's ever known - has moulded her to into an empowered, ambitious, and moderately feminist thinker. She loves getting lost in nature, trying new things, clean eating, and fitness (today, yoga and running; tomorrow, boxing, surfing, horse riding... bring it on!). Slotting in neatly into the Filipino stereotype, she loves to sing, dance, and present thanks to her dad's musical side of the family. Her passion is discourse with intelligent globe-trotters who have a lot to bring to the table, and loves learning from great minds. Currently based in Spain but soon returning to Asia, Julienne has just turned down a job offer in Tokyo in search of a more meaningful career. She hopes to build a distinct and powerful globally-Asian female voice in the blogosphere challenging archetypes and stigmas while still being a fun read and a visual treat!

Amelie of Mostly Amelie

Amélie of Mostly Amélie is a coun­try girl who took the plane for the first time at 21, when she escaped to Cuba with her mom and sis­ter with her dad’s life insur­ance to com­mem­o­rate one year of his pass­ing away. A whole new world of pos­si­bil­i­ties and hid­den par­adises sud­denly opened up to her. She booked a one way ticket to Asia in Jan­u­ary 2014 and is still in South East Asia today.

Steph of Quarter Life Epiphany

Steph of Quarter Life Epiphany had a great career, pretty apartment, nice Jeep, good friends, too many clothes, and could buy whatever she wanted. She was content, but she never realized she wasn’t happy until she came to Thailand. The night before she was to fly home, she quit her job, emailed her family, and got on a night train to Ko Tao. She was terrified, exhilarated, and felt like she was dreaming constantly. While many others were going through quarter life crises, she was having her quarter life epiphany. She's currently living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She's writing, studying Portuguese, volunteering with an amazing organization (teaching English to adults, and teaching life and school skills to children from a neighboring favela), and enjoying the slow-paced life and beautiful surroundings… while sneaking in some travel here and there.

***Editor's Note: The Sole Sister Search is not a competition or a popularity contest. We appreciate all the women who have expressed their interest to be part of our community. We are dedicated in empowering women travelers and not putting them down. We are a sisterhood of women who make travel happen for ourselves and for others.

To everyone who joined, we appreciate you and we still welcome your contributions to our website. To the women travelers who are shortlisted, congratulations and we will contact you shortly to schedule your skype interview. 

What's Next?

We're excited to connect with all these awesome women and can't wait to announce the next Sole Sisters on June 15! 

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