Eat, Pray, Love: Bali | Indonesia
I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. I saw the movie. I had to get to Bali. If you’re not familiar with the book or movie, Elizabeth Gilbert recalls her journey to find herself while going through a divorce. This process includes traveling to Italy, India and finally Indonesia (Bali) to reconnect with (I) by eating her way through Italy, praying her way through India and loving her way through Bali. Of course each part of her journey sounded somewhat magical, but I was drawn to Bali. I just felt that it spoke to me in a way that no other place had. Maybe it was the lush peacefulness that Gilbert described, or the kindness and care of the locals, or maybe it was all of the talk of being on the beautiful beaches. Nonetheless, I was intrigued and if you don’t know this about me yet, I explore my curiosities. What better time to go to Bali than for my birthday? Birthday trips have become an annual thing for me. The other incentive to go this particular year was that my good friend Ash had recently moved here, so I had a local perspective. If you ever get the chance to go to Bali, take it.
Aside from the breath taking beauty, there are so many dimensions to explore. I definitely have to go back again some day to do and see more! I was there for a whole week and didn’t come anywhere close to covering all the ground I would want to. I was able to get to Canggu, Seminyak, Sanor, and Kuta (the popular party town area) but I didn’t make it to Ubud, which is a whole different experience I hear. I did an outdoor yoga class in Canggu! It was so amazing and gorgeous back drop! I went stand-up paddle boarding (for the first time) and although I would probably not be the one to initiate doing it again anytime soon, or ever, it was fun! Definitely a work out and an opportunity to get a good tan or bad sunburn.
I participated in a traditional Balinese ritual. I also ate some of THEE most delicious food I’ve ever tasted in my entire life! (and I’ve eaten well!) I think this is such an important fact to note because I realize that my food experiences during my travels really strongly influences my overall opinion of the place I’m visiting. As a vegetarian, I’ve had some pretty terrible and lack luster dining experiences in my travels because my food options were so limited and flavorless (because they aren’t in the business of mastering an offering for such a small demographic. I also had my very first Nalú Bowl there, which turns out to be what I now know as an Açaí Bowl - my absolute favorite thing on earth! Bali introduced me to this concept!
Overall, Bali was a dream! If I had to give any “cons” the main one would be that no amount of time spent visiting would ever be enough! But the other one is, don’t go during busy season (June-August) because its more crowded and with only one main road in many areas, traffic (especially by car) can be pretty backed up. If you’re about that scooter life, its a little better. I actually rode a scooter there! They even have a version of Uber on scooter! A total stranger will pick you up on the back of there scooter via an app! I did it because..”when in Rome”…and when I reflect back I am surprised at my usually cautious self. Travel really does take me out of my element and invite in my sense of adventure and impulsiveness. If I had more time to think about that decision, I certainly wouldn’t have done it for a myriad of reasons I would have come up with lol. Choosing a hotel/villa is really hard simply because mostly all of them are super nice. Your own private lunge pool is pretty much the standard everywhere, even in a hotel, but almost always in a villa! I went at the end of August, so “busy season” was slowing down, but to note- this is their winter, so the weather was PERFECT! Warm, but with a nice breeze, like 75 degrees. Locals were wearing jackets, but I was in heaven! I don’t think I would want to be there for the sweltering summer!
I’d also say plan to be there enough days to travel to Ubud and Seminyak. Totally different experiences I hear, since I didn’t make it to Ubud, but not necessarily close by. Travel time is generally an hour each way (2 hrs roundtrip) in ideal conditions and then you want at least a full day to experience them, preferably spend the night. During my trip, I had so many things planned in the Seminyak area that I didn’t want to feel rushed there nor do a quick trip to Ubud. I plan to go back and spend a full week in Ubud.
One of my other highlights was my visit to Kreol Kitchen where I had the best meal and oracle intuitive reading. Almost everyone in Bali is a healer or intuitive of some sort which makes it all so magical and gives a profound sense of connection. Its a very feeling place so expect ALL THE FEELS!
I may come back and update periodically because I’m sure I’m leaving things out, but if I haven’t convinced you to visit Bali - definitely read or watch Eat, Pray Love and you will be ready to book your trip!