Bali. I can’t think of that place without thinking of puking. Repeatedly. Because that’s mostly what I did.
You know what’s overrated? Seminyak- ie, going to Bali for the beaches when you already live in Australia (because I tell you, there are no more beautiful beaches on the face of the earth than those that we have in Australia.) What’s worth it? Ubud- further north- up in the mountains- green, lush, rice patties, monkeys, coconuts. If you go to Bali, skip Seminyak.
Here is R’s favorite pic of me there: What can I say? It was the rainy season. I knew that when I booked it. The kind that defies gravity and flies into your eyeballs and up your nose. But, it’s Bali. Rain be damned. (Except in photos….)
We traveled with these amazing people. Although we share the same nationality, we didn’t meet until we moved to Sydney. And I feel like I’ve always known them- or should have. I adore them both. You know how sometimes in life, you are gifted with a friendship that feels so stumbled upon, yet meant to be? That, readers, is GOLD. Tend it.
In Ubud, there is the Monkey Forest. These little guys are everywhere. They will snatch food and shiny objects off of your person faster than you can say “remove-your-earrings.” Caught this one napping.
We rode past this place one night. In a $5 cab. (Things are SO CHEAP in Bali.) It’s a clothing boutique, I think. About lost my lens cap taking this pic out of the window…. But seriously? So completely random!!!
There were all these scenes of people just living their lives. This guy is working his rice field. The birds are eating the worms that come up when he plows. Everybody wins.
These boys. Working in the fields. Do you see that the one in front has an “I Love Bali” tee shirt on? They have a cane pole, cut in half, and it will be used for irrigation.
And then, there is this place. The infamous “Hotel K.” My recommendations to you: Read The Schapelle Corby story. Or Hotel Kerobokan- both by Kathryn Bonella. Just don’t read them, like I did, whilst you’re in Bali. And use locks on your luggage.
Bali was a remarkable experience, especially once we got up in to Ubud. We stayed at a gorgeous resort where they took care of me and my puking self as if I were a member of their family. I would absolutely go back. (Thank you, Pita Maha Resort and Spa.)
I cannot end this post without mentioning a highlight of my trip there- meeting Linda of the Bali Dog Refuge and being able to contribute toward the care of dogs there. There are hundreds of dogs that roam the streets, each dodging cars and motor bikes and that suffer from chronic neglect and a lack of medical care. Dogs in Bali are typically not fed, they are responsible for finding their own food. Some are more successful than others. There is a general lack of education in Bali regarding animal welfare- in fact in 2009, there was a “rabies outbreak” which resulted in companion animals being slaughtered en masse. One day, we had hired a driver to take us around shopping, and we happened to pass the centre. I googled it, emailed Linda, and she met me at our hotel the next day. I gave her all of our remaining rupiah. Hopefully, enough to feed some dogs for a good while- maybe some vaccinations, too. I am so so thankful that my partner supports me in my passion for animals emotionally and financially.
Every time I travel, I learn more about myself. Who I am, what I want, what I’m willing to do to get there. What will you give up to “have it all?” Living my truth is important to me in experiencing an authentic life- one that I will be proud of, that I will lay on my deathbed and think, I’m happy with how that went. Good on ‘ya, girl.