The reasons why I fell in love with Bali
Southeast Asia had been a dream destination of mine for a few years and finally, last August, the dream came true and I was able to visit a part of it thanks to my very first trip to Bali.
My lifelong friend Gaia and I stayed in this beautiful Indonesian island for two weeks, enough time to visit most of its treasures and to also enjoy our time there and relax. We did and saw so many things that sometimes it felt like we had stayed there way longer, but let’s be honest: I wouldn’t mind staying there forever!
There are already probably thousands of blog posts and articles about Bali’s main attractions, so instead of telling you about everything you could do and see over there, I’ll just try to explain to you the reasons why I fell in love with this magical island, hoping to inspire you to visit it too one day.
We didn’t have a real plan, we decided to take it easy and kinda go with the flow and see what Bali had in store for us day by day. I believe that’s the best thing we could do, even though sometimes we ended up in situations that were not so ideal. But you know what? We had the best time trying to overcome every obstacle we found on our way, with the help we got from the locals, always humble, smiling and saying hello to us, even the little kids on the street.
An example? Our homestays were not always that easy to find and one day we literally got dropped off in the middle of the street by a taxi driver who claimed our Airbnb place was really close by. Needless to say, the place we were looking for was nowhere to be found and we had to walk for half an hour around Ubud, my favorite town in Bali together with Sanur, carrying all our stuff along with us. When we finally arrived on the right street, exhausted and sweaty, we still couldn’t figure out which one was our guesthouse. But an angel came to our rescue: without even asking, a little girl walking home from school offered to show us the way there because guess what? That was her family’s place! We seriously couldn’t have been more grateful!
At the end of every day, we could proudly say we completed another level, like in a video game, and we could move on to the next one the day after.
The generous and helpful Balinese people is just one of the many things I loved and I’ll always remember about the island. I’ll remember their homes, so different from ours, where I got to spend most of my nights, being woken up by roosters walking around the yard in the morning. (Guys, homestays in Bali are SO cheap and cute: I paid around 8 euros per day, breakfast included, PLUS you get to experience a real traditional Balinese home and meet wonderful people).
I’ll remember their crazy driving skills and the busiest streets I’ve ever seen, the horns sounding every blink of an eye. I have seriously never seen so many motorbikes in my entire life! Even kids can ride them! We considered renting one, but it wasn’t ideal for us, so we sticked to taxis to get around the island.
I’ll remember the breathtaking landscapes I got the chance to see, leaving me in awe every time: the huge green forests, the never ending rice fields, the immense blue Indian ocean, the sunrises, the sunsets and everything in between. Mother Nature sure did an incredible job here!
I’ll remember the amazing temples (called pura), with their beautiful doors, the big loud celebrations and the offerings to god you could find literally everywhere.
I’ll remember the new food I tasted (Nasi Campur is SO good, you have to try it!), the nice and bad smells, the bright colors, the music and the traditional dances. Especially the little girls I saw rehearsing their dance moves with such grace.
I’ll remember much much more. But maybe the most important reason why I fell in love with Bali is the way I felt while I was over there: deeply connected to nature and the world around me like I hadn’t been in a long time (ok, maybe not so connected to the gigantic cockroach that decided to pay us a visit in our room at one of the homestays we stayed at, but what can I do? I hate insects! Not to mention the monkey that attacked me at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud! That place is amazing though!), carefree, relaxed and grateful. This is basically how I would like to feel every single day of my life!
So thank you Bali, see you next time.
By Explore like a Girl Founder Laura Sironi
1) Geriya de Kakiang Homestay, Tampaksiring
2) Sahadewa House, Ubud
3) Suarti Boutique Village, Ubud (the only actual hotel we stayed at for two nights)
4) Danas Canggu Guest House, Canggu
5) Yulia 2 Homestay, Sanur