Getting to Bali on the cheap - or anywhere on the cheap for that matter - usually involves a fairly horrific departure or arrival time, some serious caffeine and (depending on the trustworthiness of the company) beer. My trip from Manila to Bali's Denpasar Airport was no exception.

9:10pm - Departure. I have an exit row to myself, and so does the guy across the way. His name is Duncan and he ends up being the sole reason I stay awake at the Jakarta airport while waiting for my AM flight to Bali. Given that the other option was to sleep in the airport on a bench, which was my initial plan, I am fairly grateful for his company.

11:35pm - Flight lands in Jakarta. Thankfully, the immigration officer does not ask me for proof of onward travel, since I have none. I do, however, have a made-up story about traveling overland to Malaysian Borneo. Luckily I do not need to resort to telling immigration about it. The immigration officer gives me my visa and then, pausing to look at my passport photo of me with very, very short hair (I donated it all to charity), tells me that he prefers my hair long and I should "consider that" next time I go to get it cut. Fair enough.

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  • Jodi Ettenberg

    Born in Montreal, Canada, Jodi Ettenberg is a former new media and technology lawyer who quit her job after 5+ years of working…

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