Choosing the ideal travel partner isn’t always easy, but when you have the chance to share your life with an accomplice who vibrates to the rhythm of the same values and the same lifestyle, it’s the jackpot. Alex & MJ are a creative couple and a passionate duo in life as well as on their travels. YouTubers and videographers, Alex & MJ are also the founders of the private Facebook group: Trucs de pros pour vidéos et photos de voyage. Recently nominated for the Gémeaux awards for the Fliptubeur tour, here they are in an exclusive interview about their favorite destination: the city of Canggu in Indonesia!
What types of travelers are you?
We describe ourselves as digital nomads and content creators. We live anywhere in the world as long as we have a good Internet connection to work! Since the last 2 years and a half, every week, we produce videos in which we share our adventures in backpack. We prefer the “adventure” rather than the “cultural” side.
Name a fun fact that most people don’t know about your journey.
Even if we often take the plane, we still can’t remain calm in our seat in times of turbulence. As soon as it shakes a little, Alex’s hands become very very moist… haha!
What is your favorite secret place in your favorite country?
At the moment, our favorite country is Indonesia. We stayed in Bali for 3 months, early in the year, and we loved it. We had the opportunity to discover several small places, but the one we preferred was not well known and close to where we lived in the city of Canggu: a huge house that was abandoned during construction. Since nobody knows this place, we went back many times often just before the sunsets to enjoy the moment and the magnificent view on the rice fields!
Which Indonesian dish do you prefer and where can you taste it?
Without a doubt, the rice bowl with Rendang Padang sauce that you can eat with chicken or tempeh (for vegetarians)! We loved this meal which was served at the Rasa restaurant in Canggu! We ate at this place almost every day for 3 months without ever being disappointed!
Describe a typical day in Canggu.
If you are on vacation mode, it’s mostly surfing, enjoying small cafes for the atmosphere, taking yoga classes to relax and exploring the area by scooter! For us, it was awakening, lunch, work (editing or filming), dinner, work (editing or filming), dinner, work (editing or filming)… haha!
What is your favorite neighborhood and why?
The village of Canggu was our favorite corner of the island of Bali. In the area, there is a popular street called Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong, but we preferred the one that was located on the other side of the river, Jalan Raya Semat. It’s a little less touristy and quieter street, which is also located near the beach and our favorite restaurant! The accommodation was also less expensive and it was easier to find small local restaurants!
What do you prefer to photograph when you are in Indonesia and why?
What we preferred to take in video and photo was a mix of landscapes and portraits! In Indonesia, the archipelago is filled with volcanoes, something we are not used to seeing in America. To be more precise, the place that excited us the most was the Ijen Volcano on the Java island. Inside its crater, there are miners who work body and soul to extract sulfur. The moment was intense and it was a beautiful mix between the beauty of nature and also of those men who challenge it day after day!
How would you describe Indonesia in one word?
What is your favorite time to be in Canggu? Why?
From January to May. These are perfect months to avoid the Canadian winter!
Name an overrated place in Bali.
Uluwatu Temple. When doing research on activities in Bali, one of the activities at the top of the list is to go see the Kecak at sunset at the Uluwatu Temple. The problem in Bali is that traffic jam are really intense, so to get there, you have to be really patient. Once there, there were so many visitors that we couldn’t even get into the show area even though we had paid. We had to stand up and try to look over the fence. At sunset, it’s a beautiful place, but there are just too many people!
What amazes you the most about Indonesia?
The simplicity of its lifestyle and rhythm, the gorgeous temperature day after day and the warm welcome of the locals! We’re already thinking about going back next winter to avoid the cold season!
Would you like to know more about Alex & MJ’s travel tips? You can hear MJ on CBC Radio in Y’a pas deux matins pareils, every Thursday at 8:15 am or subscribe to their Facebook group. Don’t want to miss their next adventures? Follow them on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook for original content that will make you want to travel the world right now!