I have the warmest smile on my face when thinking of Bali, it’s a place that holds a special place in my heart. I first fell in love with the island a few years back when I was backpacking South East Asia. That bohemian feel, the sunsets and rice fields, beach clubs and yoga retreats, can I have a one way ticket! As part of my backpacking trip I spent 5 weeks in Bali. Those 5 weeks gave me a real feel for the island, it only took 5minutes for me to fall in love. I left feeling more grounded and grateful than ever before. Also Darren and I started our time in Bali as a couple and little did we know at the time, we left with a tiny baby on his way.
The Balinese People
I love those spontaneous moments, those let’s just drive, walk, explore and see where we end up opportunities, they are always the most treasured memories. And that we did . A three hour drive, plentiful arguments and a solid 55 minute downpour of rain and the buzz of wandering was gone, we where lost, completely lost. We where so taken in by the tranquility of it all, the beauty that surrounded us and the excitement of being off the beaten track, that we had no idea where we had driven too. No tourists, no backpackers, no people, all that surrounded us was stunning rice paddy fields and a never ending hilly road. Shortly after a slight melt down, we stumbled upon a local Indonesian man. A quiet man with a soft approach, he was immediately calming and barely spoke a word of English. He gestured that we follow him, a short and very apprehensive drive later we found ourselves back in his home with his family. We spent the rest of the day with his humble family. I visited his wife’s workshop to help out for the afternoon. Darren spent time with his eldest son, helping him with his English and playing football. They asked nothing of us yet invited us into their home to eat and rest with his family. My point in all of this is the Balinese people are what make Bali so special. They live simply. They are grateful and content individuals. They have a contagious aura that is of a calming and peaceful nature.
The Bali Vibe
Days are tranquil and easy. It’s never snail pace, not Jamaican chilled, more like life just flows. I arrived in Ubud after backpacking South East Asia for 4 months. It was a vacation from my vacation. Ubud taught me to slow down and appreciate the experience for what it was. And slow down I did. I checked into the Yoga Barn for a few weeks and really focused on being present and in the moment, being awakened was the goal. We lived in a homestay with the most attentive family and appreciated life being back to basics, it was refreshing. It was a place to recharge the body and mind. We ventured out to the usual tourist spots, Tegalalang rice paddy and Jungle Fish Club but mostly our days where filled with wandering the local markets and practicing yoga, being at ease and welcoming our new ways.
The Bali Food
My oh my, Seminyak is the place to be for quirky cafes and the tastiest brunch hang outs. I live for a good brunch. Quite frankly the choice for food is insane, I’m going to list a few of my favourite finds. Cafe Organic, firstly instagrammers heaven, the food is literally the most photogenic dishes and secondly they have a delightful ‘organic’ menu. Smoothie bowls and smashed avocado dishes, I’m sold. The guys in there are also pretty awesome, it’s just an all round fab place to start your day. For coffee dates, Revolver is the place to be. This place is cool, super cool. They also do swanky merchandise which you can purchase in store, all very fashionable and the coffee is lush. If heading out from Seminyak then Canguu is a must. The LaLaguna is another picture perfect lunch date. This bohemian themed hide away located just off the beach, a little hidden treasure and a simple yet delicious light menu.
You can’t visit Bali without checking out some the impressive beach clubs on offer. Potato Head in Seminyak is probably the most popular of all. This place has a real family feel, it’s certainly not a typical beach club set up, it is very welcoming for all. My advice would be, take a beach towel, lounge on the grass whilst making your way through the very impressive cocktail list. Stick around till sunset for the most stunning views, you will not be disappointed. Another favourite of mine is Sundays (formerly Finns Beach Club). First impressions of this place will blow you away. The entrance to the beach boasts spectacular views and a pretty exciting elevator trip down a cliff side, it’s amazing. The beach here is beautiful, and water sports are a great way to pass a few hours if you’re not all big on lounging around. The best part for me, as sun sets they host a bonfire on the beach, we’re talking huge beanbags, roasting marshmallows and ice cold beers, it is the perfect end to a fabulous day.
Until Next Time
Bali is more than just a place, it’s a feeling, a way of living. It’s a spiritual journey which flows from the people of the island. I can’t wait to return but only this time our little tiny baby, whose now here and not so tiny anymore, will be joining the experience. I’m excited to relive the adventure through his eyes. Where would you like to visit this year? Get in touch, let me know where’s on your to go list, I could talk all things vacay all day! Bali is always a good idea.