I had a blast in Australia and then decided to head over to Bali, Indonesia! And to sum it up… LIFE. CHANGING. It was incredible. I never wanted to leave. I strongly encourage and highly recommend traveling to Bali… like now! Go! I would go back every year if I could.
For starters, it’s HOT! You will sweat everywhere you go so au natural all the way! But Bali is gorgeous! It’s cheap! You are a millionaire with $100USD. (I had a spa day with a 2 hour massage, facial, body scrub, foot massage for $15! Crazy town!) The people are so nice! There is so much to do! It’s so romantic (you know, those infinity pools and sunsets be killin em) Bali is truly so peaceful… literally some Eat, Pray, Love shit! So calming. We rented a driver for the day ($50 btw… 8 hours.. yeah) and as we were driving through Ubud and on the way I just found myself in awe and just smiling. Not talking. Taking it all in. Just in love with Bali! Staring out the window. Getting out, talking to strangers, checking out the rice fields… it was AMAZING. I am forever changed.
There is a tax on water and wine there … it’s the most expensive thing so I recommend drinking lots of coconut water. Add sterile ice and lime. It’s delicious!
The beaches there are great but the sand is FIRE. I don’t understand how they can walk on it. I literally felt like my feet were going to burn off…. literally Linda! People walk up and down the beaches trying to sell you stuff kind of like Mexico but they sit and talk with you and are so nice. But while I was laying out some kids came up to us and I couldn’t help but wonder why they weren’t in school. I asked them to go get their mom and asked them some questions. Here is what I learned….
So that’s the lesson, isn’t it? When you set out in the world to help yourself, sometimes you end up helping…Tutti. – Elizabeth GilbertEat Pray Love
These children were unfortunately working the beaches in 95′ heat because they can’t afford school. Which for them is merely $200/yr roughly $17/month and it broke my heart. Small things go a long way in Bali so if you’re looking to help and do more in the world check out www.balichildrensproject.org
Hanging Gardens ( I didn’t get to go here but I am going back and it’s my first stop. That and the Monkey Forest)
I went to an elephant safari park where the elephants are 100% not harmed and well taken care of! My elephant’s name was Arum and my guide started singing The Lion King songs to me as we were “in the jungle the mighty jungle ahrumaway ahrumaway” Then he said, “Oh you so lucky, you from America, home of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber… baby baby baby Oooohhhhh!” And I swear I almost fell off that elephant laughing. I wanted to pack him up and take him home with me.
I got to feed the elephants and love on them! It was probably my favorite thing ever!
#TWINNING with Arum! Flower crown power!
I got the idea to go see Ketut Liyer on a whim as we were driving through Ubud…. you know from the movie Eat, Pray, Love and luckily some kids playing in the street were able to show us to his temple. We walked in and he was just sitting there eating lunch. He smiled at me with his two teeth and mouth full of food and I melted. He was in a tshirt and a sarong around his waist. I asked his son if I could speak with him and for a small fee of $25 the answer was yes! They handed me a little plastic number to wait. While Ketut finished his lunch his son showed me around his family temple, the guest houses, where Julia Roberts was, the original drawings Ketut drew for Elizabeth Gilbert, the birds hung in cages above just like in the movie. Everything was exactly the same.
Now Ketut has a reputation as the Hugh Hefner of Bali and he’s like over 100 years old so I didn’t know what to expect from the medicine man, healer, palm reader, painter. He’s very old and frail and moved over to sit next to me very slowly. We sat down and chatted for what seemed like forever and I’m sure he could tell I was a little nervous. He asked me if I was married and when I said no, he then asked if I’d marry him and asked me to spend the night there with him but then later told me he already has two wives. haha We laughed and he smiled at me with his two teeth as his son (who is next in line as the medicine man/healer) sat next to us. Then he burped. LOUD. IN MY FACE! I died and thought to myself is that real life? Did I just travel to Bali and hunt down Ketut to get belched on? haha Oh the experiences I had there I will never forget.
Ketut started by saying, “Oooookaaayyy Oookkaaayyy I very happy to meet you” then kept repeating to me in long drawn out words… ” you so ppprrrreeetttyyyyyy, you very llllluuuuuuccckkyyyyyyy, you very successsssfuuuuuullllllllll.” Then he touched my ears, my eyebrows, talked about my eye color and then read my palm talked about my long healthy life and that I would have a lot of money. He pulled each one of my fingers which represented different organs which he told me were all in good health. He touched my knee and drew a line from my knee to my ankle. He checked my elbow and arm. Then he had me turn around and he said I have a lotus flower on my back and he drew it below the nape of my neck repeating how lucky I am. The lotus flower represents one symbol of fortune in Buddhism. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.
And I have to say leaving there … that is exactly how I felt! Ketut did a little seated bali arm dance for us and waived goodbye.
We traveled through Ubud’s rice fields and visited some temples before heading back to Seminyak to shop and head out to Potato Head and Ku De Ta for the night!
There are so many beautiful temples and family temples in Bali. Everyone including places of business sit out “offerings” every day for good Karma and to say thank you and receive many blessings.
To be in Bali and see how thankful these people are really gives you a greater appreciation for life no matter what your situation is.
For how poverty stricken the streets of Bali look places like Potato Head and Ku De Ta make you feel like you’re in paradise. Infitity pools to the beach, sunsets, and gorgeous surroundings. It’s really indescribable. It’s a 180 from outside those walls. The security to drive into these places in something I’ve never experienced. They check your entire car and sweep the underneath also. Really makes you feel safe. Definitely check out Alila Seminyak and these Bali hotel deals!
There are just streets and streets of shops…. open face shops… no doors. So cool. Great shopping is in Seminyak. It would take 2 days to shop it all! I would go back just for the shopping. The custom leather stores. The jewelry and bags. Oh my gosh. And you can negotiate… bring cash!
I had a moment in Bali and I fell in love with it. I don’t know how to explain it… you just feel amazing and centered and peaceful while you’re there. It is truly a life changing experience and I am so blessed and thankful that I got to go meet the people in Bali and learn so much while I was there! I can’t wait to go back! If you ever have the chance to go… take me with you!
If you’ve ever been… come reminisce with me over on our insta @VerbalGoldBlog