This past May I went on my biggest adventure to date. 2.5 weeks abroad. Bali, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Obviously I had to write some blog posts.
Bali. One word is all you need for your mind to be instantly transported to a vision of galavanting through rice fields and relaxing on beaches. It’s so funny how social media creates a frenzy of Instagrammable spots. And sometimes this frenzy of “I need to go here because I saw it on Insta” makes us forget about the little in-between moments. The drive through small villages on winding narrow roads. Lush greenery and fresh air. The kindest locals and the cutest cafes serving fresh dishes that I can’t get enough of. I love it all.
Bali is magic. It’s a quiet getaway with a comfortably slow pace of life. Sure the traffic can be a little crazy, and crossing the street a little precarious. But it’s almost like time slows down when you arrive. The rush to do something fades away and you’re left with just being.
There were eight of us for this leg of the trip. We had a driver for the week, and we stayed in the most beautiful villa. Indoor outdoor living is abundant. The only completely indoor areas were the bedrooms, and even they were connected to outdoor bathrooms - enclosed of course, but open enough that we woke up to centipedes and other creatures every morning and went to bed to geckos every night.
Sidenote: Isn’t it funny how everything goes out the window on vacation. Ordinarily bugs and critters freak me out, but in Bali I showered with centipedes and peed with lizards. French fries and a bread basket for breakfast? Only on vacation.
Bali was the most relaxing part of our trip. Like I mentioned, we hired a driver for the week. He’d pick us up at our villa at whatever time we told him for the morning and take us wherever we needed to go and wait for us. This isn’t a travel guide, but I’d say if you are going to Bali, having a driver is the way to go. Public transport is non-existent and renting a car or scooters would’ve been stressful and dangerous. We never had to really walk far to get anywhere and we also didn’t have to navigate ourselves. We got picked up and dropped off at our leisure. We went to the beach, hung out by our private villa pool, relaxed in our air conditioned rooms, and ate a LOT of great food.
What happens when you travel with a group of fellow foodies? You plan your day around making it to certain restaurants and cafes. Seminyak and Canggu are a foodie’s heaven. First of all, fresh juice and smoothies are available at EVERY restaurant. I am a water only type of gal, but I think I got some sort of fun drink everywhere we went. Second, everything is so fresh and so good. We definitely treated ourselves at least once a day, but the treats didn’t make you feel awful because they weren’t packed full of unnecessary sugar. I don’t think I had a meal that I just didn’t like. I definitely had favorites, but no total dislikes. I also loved that every restaurant was so inclusive of different lifestyles and diets. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free options were available everywhere. We ate til we couldn’t eat any more and then wandered around the villages to walk it off.
My favorite part of Bali, was our trip to the Ubud rice terraces. We did end up getting lost for about 3 hours, and by the end we were dripping in sweat and exhausted, but this is what I was looking forward to most. This is what I picture when I picture Bali. I live in the desert. Any time I can experience landscapes and terrain that is so completely different than my norm, I fall in love. The rice terraces were a must for me and they did not disappoint.
You never know what to expect when traveling with people for so long, most of whom you’ve never spent more than a few hours with. As an introvert who tends to get annoyed with people (I say this in the sense that I need my alone time and if I’m around people too long I get agitated), I think I learned a lot about how people travel. Some people travel and want to take an easy and relax and others want to indulge in any adrenaline-inducing opportunity available. I’d say I’m a mix of the two. I love my relaxation and “introvert” time, but I also want to soak in the environment I’m in through adventures. The group I went with were more of the relaxing type.
Traveling with a group of eight people can be tricky and I am so incredibly grateful for the group I went with. We got along great and for the most part were on the same page. Overall our trip was amazing, and so relaxing. And while I think the general consensus of the group was that Bali once was enough for them, I will 100% be returning in the future – so hit me up if you wanna go 😉. Like I mentioned the trip was a blast, but as my Instagram bio says, I am an adventure-type. I want to hike to waterfalls and take a boat tour. And I want to experience the Bali adventures I was somewhat hoping to have more of. Bali is beautiful, the culture is rich, and the people are kind. It really was the experience of a lifetime with the best people.