Unexpectedly falling in love with Bali
I have this funny habit of falling for destinations that I had no intention of ever visiting, but by some miraculous way I find myself there and unexpectedly fall madly in love with the place.
It happened to me once before in Tokyo (you can read about it here!) and then for the second glorious time recently in Bali. My love for Bali- it’s a different type of love from the general ‘oh I love this city’, a place you’ve dreamed about going to and when you finally get there it’s every thing you’d dreamed it would be. This love is more abrupt and on some level more joyous because it comes as such a surprise.
Here’s how it happened:
I didn’t expect to love Bali. After discovering some ridiculously cheap flights with Jetstar Australia (AU$108- what a steal!) we noted it was simply the cheapest way to get into South East Asia from my hometown of Melbourne. Planning it to be nothing more than an easy stop over before we hit other parts of Indonesia and Asia, I had little hope for it. My idea of Bali had been ruined by drunk bogon Aussies in Bintang ‘. I didn’t want just a cheap holiday somewhere hot. I wanted a foodie and spiritual adventure.
The fella and I had hoped to stay at two different locations- a beach retreat and then a few days in the cultural and spiritual centre of Ubud. For many hours I searched the internet in search of the perfect hotel for my beach side stay in Bali to no avail. Everything was either too expensive or didn’t fulfil the long list of requirements I had. Luckily the fella found the Anumana hotel almost immediately, and we were both certain that this was the perfect place to stay. As work conflicts placed pressure on our schedule, as well as my own inability to make a decision regarding the beach retreat, we decided to stay in Ubud and make that our only Bali destination.
I’m pleased, and also ashamed at myself, to say that not only did I fall in love, I fell HARD. From the moment my feet hit the ground at Denpasar airport Bali had me wrapped around its finger.
The next four days were utter bliss- lounging by the pool of the luxurious yet very reasonably priced Anumana hotel, wandering the back streets of Ubud, eating out in local favourite foodie spots, trekking through rice paddies, quietly witnessing prayers in Hindu temples, bartering in local markets and reinvigorating my body with daily spa treatments.
Over the coming weeks I plan to write many posts about my experiences and discoveries of Bali. You can read the first post here- the best meal in Ubud at Naughty Nuri’s. Rest assured that this will not be the only time I visit Bali- I’m already planning my next trip back. It’s captured by heart, and as I sit here on the island of Lombok looking over the sea towards Bali, I know that it is already calling me back.
Have you been to Bali? Did you fall in love too?