I still don’t understand why I wanted to go there so badly, but the faraway exotic place that I knew nothing about appealed to me so much.
Bali was the first island in my life that I have ever been to. After a 16 hour flight and 2 layovers, I arrived in another world. The contact with the island air was intoxicating. It took me a while to get used to the atmosphere there and the fact that my hair didn’t stay in place at all due to the excessive humidity.
This was the first sign of the island that tells you that you have arrived in a corner of the world where you have to enjoy the naturalness you have been endowed with. Everything is on the loose, natural, free. The place where you forget all the stereotypes of society and will embrace for the little time you spend here a “different” time.
We chose to stay at a hotel on Nusa Dua Beach, which is the southernmost resort in Bali. Very close to the hotel is the Bali Collection – a shopping area with several restaurants, shops and a small souvenir bazaar.
Here, we went out almost every night for dinner and fun. The place where I made friends was Pica Tapas local, where I danced and sang with the venue’s eternally cheerful artists.
Bali is the place where people smile all the time. No matter the situation, their smiles were contagious.
During my week on the island, I visited many temples, of which I enjoyed Tanah Lot the most, as it is one of the seven largest temples on the coast of Bali. It is surrounded by the sea, and in Balinese, Tanah Lot means “Land from the Sea”. To get there, you need tide to cross the rocky section that separates the shore from the temple.
I played with the monkeys at Ulwatu Temple, where I advise you not to wear jewelry or accessories as they steal everything they catch, visited the elephants at Elephant Safari Park in Taro and interacted with the animals on Turtle Island.
I had the chance to go and taste one of the most expensive coffees in the world – Kopi Luwak, made from Luwak feces and a variety of flavored teas. I’m not a coffee lover, and I didn’t like it at all, but I did purchase a few packs for the folks back home.
On Kuta beach we had a delicious dinner accompanied by local singers and watched the most beautiful sunset in the world dip into the Indian Ocean.
Everywhere on the island, in front of every house, shop, hotel, offerings to the gods are placed on the ground, most Balinese being of Hindu religion. They put flowers, money, rice or biscuits in them. In every courtyard, people have built a mini temple. We visited one such house, where the people were extremely welcoming.
Traffic on the island is a nightmare, with driving on the left side of the road as a rule, and the way they’re going, you wouldn’t say they follow any traffic rules. I’ve seen hundreds of scooters stopped at traffic lights, and on one scooter I’ve often seen the whole family together.
In Bali I learned the lesson of gratitude, which was taught to me by people who were materially poor but with the richest spiritual baggage. From them I learnt to be smiling, optimistic and realized how lucky I can be.
I always smile when I think of Bali, the frangipani-scented island.
Travel, live, love…in the good spirit of the Island of the Gods!