Bali Adventures- A view through my camera lens.

I wish from an early age that I had discovered the importance of travel. Had this been a lesson I learned in my early 20s, less money would have been spent on partying and materialistic things, and more on going places. Although I do enjoy the nicer things in life, if you gave me the option to buy a $500 purse that I would carry for a few months then buy a new one for the new season, or put that $500 towards a plane ticket, now I would say the ticket. It’s all about choices, so when I hear someone complain about not being able to afford to travel, but yet they have the extra money that they are blowing, I don’t sympathize.

Priorities.

Let it be known I am not a seasoned traveler, although I wish I was. I am proud to say that I have stamps on my passport for Japan, South Korea and now Indonesia, and am lucky enough to live on a tropical little island in the Pacific that I know without a doubt I have not taken advantage of (funny how that works, right?). I will not bore you with all that right now, instead you can read all about our experience on Bali and how truly amazing it was.

(Disclaimer-this blog is long, I apologize in advance, if you don’t enjoy reading please direct your attention towards the pretty pictures)

Being a military wife can have its advantages of going places one only dreams, however with that dream comes the paperwork, deployments and making a plan, then a backup plan and then an XY and Z plan. Any military family can understand that most of us can not just ‘get up and go’ on a whim, and certainly with me being a photographer doesn’t exactly bring in the big bucks, but it has brought in enough for us to plan accordingly to take trips that if budgeted for, we can take and enjoy. I tell my husband all the time, there are two, well three things I don’t mind spending money on.. an education, traveling and of course, good photography.2017-04-08_0049.jpg

Since moving to Guam in 2014, I have heard so many wonderful things about Bali. The culture, the food, the shopping and so much more. It took a long time for me to convince my husband, that we should travel while being here. His excuse for not wanting to is he would go places while on deployment, yet he never ventured far outside the port and even spending a year total(two separate deployments), it took me going to visit him in Japan after I graduated college to get him to go to Tokyo, only 45 min away. So I knew I had my job set out for me trying to get him to leave Guam for anything else. Thankfully, I convinced him to get dive certified and it opened up a lot more doors for me. We were able to go to Saipan, for a small dive trip, but my heart still ached to go to Bali, and if not now then we may never get the chance to go.

Finally, after knowing he wouldn’t deploy again from Guam that left an open window for me to start planning this trip, although I had already been planning it for two years according to my Pinterest board.

The paperwork wasn’t exactly fun for Jacob, and its one of those things that where if you book too far in advance the paperwork might not be approved, but if you book once it’s approved, you chance spending double what you had budgeted for and taking the chance of things having no availability. I took a leap of faith and bought our tickets on a whim, because tickets were rising, and if we waited we could be spending more than we planned on airfare alone. This is totally me, do something spontaneous and hope for the best, Jacob however, doesn’t always agree with this, but thankfully it worked out! So finally, tickets were booked and it was official, well minus the approval from his command, but hey, it’ll get approved right?! It did, a little over a week before we were supposed to leave, so talk about cutting it close for finalizing everything.

Planning this trip wasnt too hard, with the help of the countless people I asked, to creating a board on Pinterest that was souly for Bali, I think I had my bases covered. I think the hardest part was picking a hotel or villa. There are BEAUTIFUL options on Airbnb, but I felt better booking through Expedia and Booking.com. After going through the filter of all the “must haves” it made my selection easier, however there were still a lot! Well fingers crossed and a  big sip of wine as I pressed confirm on each reservation hoping it was legit. Then I read through countless articles on Pinterest of the “must dos” in Bali. I narrowed down our list and tried to make a day by day planner of what to do on each day. This list was made to help my husbands mind, but to also make sure we got the important stuff in. As I was planning, emailing, making arrangements from every place to the next, I discovered that we would be there during the Balinese new year which they celebrate with a full 24hrs of silence called Nyepi (click the link for more info on this). I didn’t want to spend a full day in a room doing nothing but reading or sitting on my phone, but thankfully a friend told me to go to the Gili Islands as they do not celebrate the new year since the Gili islands are primarily Muslim, and the Balinese New Year is celebrated by the Hindu.

Ok, bags packed, and we are ready to go! We would be traveling for a while until we finally settle. With a 4hr plane ride to Seoul, South Korea, a 10 hr layover and then 7 hours to Bali, we were in for a lot of coffee and bloodshot eyes trying to survive. After landing in Bali at like 11:30pm after traveling for close to 22hrs, we stayed the night at a cheap hotel and caught the first boat out to the Gili islands.

My first impression of Bali after landing-I felt very overwhelmed, because entering a foreign country, close to midnight, looking for your name on a tiny piece of paper in a sea of people is not exactly my idea of fun. With so many people asking if I needed a taxi, the amount of moped drivers weaving in and out of the cars gave me anxiety, but thankfully we found our driver and we were able to get to our room for the night. This first impression of course was only temporary, as we were in the car to the harbor to catch the boat to the Gilis, I was able to see Bali during the day. Let me say now, it is a third world country, there is trash and undeveloped areas that most of us are not used to seeing. The trash around the areas, especially in the water was heartbreaking to see, but take my word on this.. If you look past that, you can really see Bali for what it is, a culturally rich and colorful island.

The very first thing I noticed was the little offerings at each driveway, place of business, at shrines and even in the cars. The offerings have incents on them which makes the entire area smell beautiful, and the colors of the offerings make the sidewalks pop as you’re walking down them. Its hard not to step on them because there are SO many! On this first day, I didn’t know what the offerings symbolized, but you can bet your butt I looked it up. (I did more research after I got to Bali to find out things only because there are things you need to see and experience that you don’t always read about)

Read more about the meaning behind the offerings here

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The harbor to the Gili Islands  was by far the most hectic place we went. It was raining so I didn’t get to take any pictures but if you can imagine a few hundred people with their luggage huddling under what they could to stay dry while the locals try to sell you beer, water, food, fake sunglasses or whatever else you wanted then that my friends is the chaos we endured as we were trying to move around the people to get to our boat.  At some points getting so close you can smell the body odor. This was my least favorite part of the entire trip. The boat was hot, the waves and tide tossed us around on this tiny boat for 2 hours. I did manage to fall asleep, but it was the kind of sleep where you’re still awake and can feel the boat toss you to each side but just the right amount of passed out where the time goes by quickly…. or less slow.

**funny story about the harbor while we were waiting.. of course Jacob had to pee before we went on the boat. It was like a 2 hour boat ride and he didn’t want to chance it not having a restroom. So he follows the signs that say toilet, only to find a guy standing taking money and letting people pee on a wall. Yep. Then you throw some water on the wall and walk away. I mean, really though this guy is pretty smart charging people, its a good way to make money, because everyone has to go 😉

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Part 1: the Gili islands 

So the Gili islands are these small islands right off the coast of Bali, near Lombok. There is Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan. Our driver informed us Gili T. was known as the party island. Although I don’t go out much, if I did I bet it would have been pretty epic. We were there to escape the day of silence and to dive, and diving hung over doesn’t sound like fun, so no night life for us. What’s unique about the Gili islands is there is no motor traffic, bikes or horse and carriage are the only means of transportation there. When getting off the boat to Gili T. they almost herded us like cattle, “get up, get off!” as we crawled off the side railing of the boat, and they tossed our luggage in the sand. There was no peer there, so it was a game of “how quick can you  get your bags before the wave comes and gets it all wet.” Fun game!  So for the girl who has the big suitcase, (mind you I underpacked so I could fill it with treasures, and with it being our first real day there, it was still pretty empty).. hauling this thing through the sand and then on the rocky, unpaved, muddy road was a pain in the ass.

We stayed at the Trawangan Dive, a hotel that did 3 dives a day and sometimes a night dive! Dive friends, I highly recommend this place. The staff was super friendly, the dives were great, the gear was in good condition, our Dive Master was knowledgable of the areas we went, and it was super laid back. Literally as soon as we checked in, we ate and then put our names for their afternoon dive.

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Each day was filled with diving. Then after each dive we would grab a quick snack, something to drink and then back out. The water was colder than Guam, not by much but just enough to make me shiver. You could see the thermoclines in the water and the currents were stronger than I was used to, during one dive the current was so strong I barely had to kick, unless I was fighting the current. At one point I just sat with my fins crossed and let the current take me as I looked below. If you have seen finding Nemo, I felt like I was riding the EAC with how I was just floating along, although I am sure that current is MUCH stronger than what we experienced. We saw a lot of different things and species of aquatic life. I would share them, but I would have to edit all the pictures Jacob did, so maybe one day I’ll add them to this blog.

The Gili Islands are such a unique place to visit! With only one main street to walk down, you could see a lot in a few days. They had a night market that we walked through, but for the sake of avoiding any possible chances of getting food poisoning, or better known there as the “Bali belly”, we decided not to eat any of the meet there, justttt in case. Walking down the street of Gili T was super cool. Most of the shops were open with bracelets, necklaces and sarongs. The fruit was out ready for you to buy and enjoy as you’re walking around and I noticed that there were a lot of grilled corn carts. As the sun sets, the night life begins and people make their way out. The sounds of people playing music both live, and from the bars echoes through the streets. As you’re walking you learn to dodge, the dozens of bike riders and horses trotting their way down the street. A habit we got into while there was taking off our shoes at the entrance of each place we went, this would be a thing we would do most places we went even on Bali, so thank god for sandals. There were not alot of the offerings that I first noticed while we were on Bali, I realized this after we left, because the Gili Islands are primarily Muslim, and the offerings is part of the Hindu religion. 2017-04-08_0005

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My last night there, I rented a bike for 50,000 rupiah, which is $3.75 US Dollar, and cruised around to the very south end of the island. Online I had found this swing in the water that looked AMAZING, so I was pretty determined to find it.. On the way I ran into some goats which I found to be pretty hilarious. Who doesn’t like goats?! So I parked my bike and hung out with them a bit. The sound end of Gili T was away from the shops and restaurants, and it was more small beach bars people outside playing music, and enjoying the beach with a nice cold drink with a campfire on the beach I finally found the swings I had seen on Pinterest, what I didnt see was the stupid amount of people waiting in line to get their picture in the sunset on the swing. There are 4 actually, and all were packed. One girl was even having an iPhone photo shoot for like 10 minutes while the rest of us waited for her to get off. As a photographer I found this pretty entertaining to watch, because it was obviously some guy she handed her phone off to and boy did she think she was a model haha. Since I went on this little venture alone while Jacob was doing a night dive, I didnt have anyone getting my picture, that’s ok! I still got shots of the swing and hammock unaccompanied in between people moving off and on of it (talk about patience). The south end of Gili is apparently where the best sunsets are, although it was a bit cloudy I was able to get some pretty great sunsets shots. I had bought some filters for my camera for long exposure, so I wanted to use them there if I could. No tripod? No problem! Propped my camera up on some rocks, set the timer to fire every 30 seconds and waited. The results were amazing! Basically everything about Gili T was amazing. It was no luxury island, but thats not why I went.  I went for the experience and diving and that is exactly what I got. If you ever have a chance go to the Gili Islands, you should go! It is a unique experience I will never forget! 2017-04-08_0063

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Part 2: Sanur and Kuta

So back to Bali. Part two of our trip is in Sanur. Sanur is a pretty chill place, it was very quiet and not alot of partying. Our taxi driver even said to us that Sanur is where the retired people go. Im totally fine with that because sometimes you just need to relax and take it easy for a little while, ESPECIALLY while on vacation. So we did just that. Our villa was off a main road, and down some small little sketchy road, tucked away. Jacob literally looked over as we were pulling up and gave me that, “where the hell are we staying look”. Im not gonna lie, there are times during this trip that I thought something wouldn’t work out, or pictures online would be deceiving, or maybe our driver would flake on us and we would be stuck. But nope, none of that happened. Our villa was called the kaMAYA, and it was amazing. Very quiet and serene/ The entire property was filled with greenery and flowers, oh man all of the flowers! They played soft music and when you take into consideration the incents from the offerings, the place was pretty zen. Our room was a small little “hut” with ac, the bathroom, shower and tub was outside and a private pool on the other side. Oh, and I forgot to mention, SO CHEAP!

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What is awesome is every place you check into in Bali greets you with a cold drink and wash cloth, like of course they would because its blazing hot outside and you want something refreshing to cool you off after your travels. When it comes to hospitality, Bali gets an A. Not only was the hospitality up to par, but everyone is super friendly and the food, well the food is spectacular! Not just Balinese food, literally every meal we had was created with love and even looked like the picture (because you know most places you go you see a beautiful picture of something on the menu, and order it and it looks well… meh).

Our time in Sanur was spent relaxing, wandering around and getting massages and ordering room service, because when you can pay 150,000 rupiah or $11.24 for an hour-long massage, by god you do it as often as you can. One of the days we were staying in Sanur, we ventured to Kuta which is about a 15-20 drive. Kuta is one of the more built up places for tourists, which is why we only spent one day there. I think it’s mainly known for its night life, shopping, beaches and surfing. We did try to find a turtle conservation place, but sadly it was closed when we went. Oh well there is the water park that we went to in Kuta that was pretty cool, yes the waterpark, Bali Waterbom. It was recommended to me by a friend and I am so glad that we decided to go. First off, its VERY CLEAN! The rides are pretty great. They have rides where the floor drops from under you and you drop straight down, if you have heart problems or severe anxiety, I do not recommend doing anything other than the lazy river. But I seriously never laughed so much before in my life, I truly felt like a kid again.2017-04-08_00522017-04-08_00512017-04-08_0053

Part 3: Ubud 
Ubud, oh my, I can not tell you how much I love Ubud. If I could do it over, I would spend less time in Sanur and more time in Ubud. The streets of Ubud are filled with restaurants of all nationalities, stores to buy cheap clothing and souvenirs, temples and so much more. Oh and did I mention the lush greenery around you. One of my favorite things about Bali is the colors! Everything is so colorful everywhere you go! The most iconic things Bali is known for can be found in Ubud or the outside of Ubud. Thankfully we stayed in a central location, so we could walk a lot of places. We stayed at the Green Bird Villa where we were greeted with cold drinks and cold wash clothes to refresh us from our travels. Right after checking in, we went to the iconic Sacred Monkey Forrest. This is an experience I will never forget. 2017-04-08_0030

These monkeys are ruthless, cute but ruthless. We purchased bananas and within 5 minutes they were gone. If you hold your hand up, the money’s will climb on you, and crawl up to get the banana. If you’re lucky they will hangout on your back for a few minutes. I’m not gonna lie, there are some big monkeys that freaked me out at first, especially with their big teeth that they flash at you, and when they hassle you for bananas. But once we warmed up, we bought more bananas and had a blast. I was even able to get a few on me just by raising out my hand. I will say as a warning-they do know how to open bags. I wore my rucksack for my camera(house of Flynn) and it has enough buckles to keep I from getting anything. One monkey did try to take my earring but I quickly shook him off. When we went back the day before we left, its like satan were in the monkeys that day because they were pretty violent. Jacob got jumped by three and one stole his sunscreen from his backpack. I say jumped, but really he was squatting down trying to play when them when three jumped on his back, and robbed him. Could have been worse lol.  We witness on the way out a monkey picking through a lady’s hair, the monkey became violent as her boyfriend tried to get the monkey off of her, then it jumped off and chased him. It was entertaining to watch, but if it was me, I would have been a little scared.. ok alot scared. I try to act cool, but hey these are wild animals and unpredictable.

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2017-04-09_0001Our second day was filled with adventure. We booked a tour through our villas for a full day of touring, we wanted to see as much as we could. Our day began at 8:30am with a full list of sights to see. Our driver was incredible, he gave us history lessons on all the locations, the culture and what everything meant.

Our itinerary for the day:

Tegalalang : Rice Terrace View

Kintamani : The Volcano and Lake Created view

Temen : Spices and Organic Coffee Plantation

Tampak Siring : The Holy Spring Temple

Gunungkawi : The Rocky temple

Goa Gajah Temple: the Elephant cave Temple

Tegalalang Rice Terrace. This may have been one of my favorite sites ever. I was in complete awe as I looked around me at this irrigation system, stratigically designed to work off of natural flowing water to the different levels. It is an amazing sight for sure and the pictures do not do it justice. What is more incredible is the harvesting is all done from hand. It smelled so fresh, but I’m a sucker for clean crisp air that smells of wildflowers and creeks, and that’s exactly what the rice terrace smells like. Weird I know, to talk about the smell but Bali is really refreshing, of course every now and then you get the unpleasant smell of sewer or something but like I said earlier, if you can get past the trash then Bali, especially Ubud is amazing! 2017-04-08_0050.jpg

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We then traveled to Kintamani next. It was quite cool up there, like temperature wise, which was a nice change from the humidity. It was about 30-45 minutes up the mountains in Bali, but worth the view. A lot of people hike the volcano, but we decided not to do this as it’s been raining a lot there and neither one of us wanted to hike in the rain and get a cloudy view, but they say at the top there are more monkeys that of course, steal your food!

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Our next visit was to the Oka agriculture plantation. What is at this plantation, the question is, what isn’t at this plantation. One of the things I admire about Bali is how bountiful the land is, the farms and plantations are all over the place. So at the Oka plantation it is am small plantation that grows herbs, spices, fruits and coffee! If you have never heard about the coffee that comes from poop then you may be thinking one or two things right now

1- coffee from poop, what the hell? That sounds gross… or

2. Coffee from poop, what the hell? I’m intrigued.

Either way it caught your interest. I’m not sure where I first heard of said coffee poop, but I think I heard it came from monkeys, that my friends is false. The coffee is ate and digested from a creature called a Luack, which is like a cat. The Luack eats the coffee, then it fermentates in the belly (so weird I know), then it comes out the other end where it is cleaned with purified hot water several times, and then the outer shell holding the bean is removed, by hand, exposing the coffee bean. It’s an interesting process, so when I was asked if I wanted to try the coffee, of course I said YES! Normally I drink my coffee with creamer and sometimes a little sugar, but this coffee I tasted it black and not too bad. Then I added sugar which made the taste pretty darn good. At the plantation they also make their own tea, and blends of coffee where we were able to sample 12 different ones. They also make their own chocolate as well as a few other natural goodies. If I lived in Bali I think I would go there every day. They really take care of the place, and value the land.

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Our next stop was at the Holy Water Temple. This is a truly amazing thing to see as people come, leave offerings and bathe themselves in this water to ward off evil spirits and to purify themselves. I wish I had done it, but being that I didn’t have dry clothes and we were on a time limit with our tour guide, I admired from afar. We were required to wear a sarong inside the temple, and in a certain area I was required to pull up my hair off my neck((((look up reason)), which i was totally ok with being that it was hot and humid. I was pretty dehydrated because they tell you not to drink the water in Bali, so that means beer and mixed drinks at every meal, right? I mean just to play it safe. At the Holy Water Temple, there was also some natural hot springs where you could see the water coming out of. I have never seen anything like it before, so I was pretty amazed. Honestly it was probably the cleanest water on Bali, and I mean that.

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The Rock and Elephant temple were both amazing sights to see. It is interesting to see how these formations have stayed together for so long. The detail in the rock and shrines were really amazing. The architecture in both places, well really all over Bali, was beautiful. It’s crazy to think that people hundreds of years ago had the skills to create such lavish designs. Both of these temples, just like the Holy Water Temple, we had to wear sarongs. They provide sarongs for you, so if you’re going to Bali, unless you want to, you don’t have to buy a sarong for every temple you go to from the women outside of them. Trust me, they are there, they will ask you if you want a sarong, and you just have to politely walk past them while saying “no, thank you”.

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I almost forgot to mention something that wasnt on the list! So at the very end of our tour, the guide asked us if we wanted to go to the wood carving village, of course we wanted to as we both had been wondering who these talented people are that makes the gorgeous wood carvings. He drove us up to this building where we saw a handful of men and women sitting outside in the shade. They explained to us that the average wood carving takes about 2 weeks, and all designs come off of imagination and memory. This alone is impressive, if you were to ask me to draw something off of imagination alone, I would laugh at you and draw a stick figure and call it done. Literally my only creative talent is photography, which now a days everyone seems to be doing but again.. that’s another story. I was not allowed to take pictures on the inside of the building, but lets just say it was the most incredible thing I have ever seen knowing that they were all hand carved! Some of the statues that were made were well above my height and made from wood found around Bali. Of course we bought some! With most things we got an awesome deal that we could refuse and walked away with 4 amazing pieces for our house. Honestly, if we had a way to get something bigger and it fit in the suitcase, we would have, but when traveling you have to remember that if it can’t fit into your suitcase, then it cant go. And if you recall, my suitcase already got pretty beat up in Gili T. Anyways, this my friends is talent!

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The next day we spent it at the Elephant Safari Park. This was something that I tried to do as much research on as possible to make sure that this facility was humane. With the way elephants are treated in some parts of the world, I wanted to make sure I was not contributing to an organization that abused their animals, or overworked them for tourism. I booked us the Breakfast and Bathe package with them, which gave me alot more than I thought I was paying for to be honest, but totally glad because it was one of the highlights of my trip. The company picked us up and drove us to the park where we started off our day by bathing the elephants, then right after we bathed them, we got to SWIM with them! After swimming we dried off, changed and ate breakfast and could watch the elephant across the park enjoy their morning breakfast too. While bathing and swimming with them, I was able to see that they were well taken care of. By this I mean no visible open wounds from improper training techniques. We also were able to feed the elephants, and let me tell you, they are well feed. Between what they already get in the morning, to the people there at the park who come to feed them, they were pretty happy! We learned that most of the elephants came from another island in Indonesia, and that each elephant has its own person who trains them and takes care of them. The one man I spoke with said that he had been with his Elephant, “Mona” for 17 years. I was delighted to hear this. I had hoped that it would have been a great place for them, even though it is technically for tourism. I knew that it wouldn’t be like the sanctuary like in Thailand that I have heard so much about, but nonetheless I was impressed with the park.

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Something I learned while we were in Bali was that their culture revolves around tradition. So every day they take out the offerings and place them around their homes, businesses and to the streets, but they also have celebrations and festivals often. We were lucky enough to be there during one of their festivals. Now, I didn’t quite know what to expect from this festival. When you think of a festival, you think of lots of people maybe in the streets, lots of loud music, ext. But when we ventured out for the day, we saw people taking offerings to temples, people in traditional Balinese outfits and more street music. FYI, if you go to Bali, you’ll hear people playing music down the streets, when you finally see where the music is coming from, it’s coming from children! They form a small band and play music walking down the street and ask for donations. You cant help but not give in to their cuteness, and their talent!

Our last day, we had a late flight, so after checking out at 1pm, we took a half day tour. we visited,

-Lodtunduh : Painting Village
-Alas Kedaton : Huge Bat and Monkey Forest
– Tanah Lot : Temple on the Sea

All the places were really neat although, I could not take many pictures at the painting place. I totally get this, original art is kept to be original, and by having pictures of it creates the opportunity for it to be duplicated, which takes away from the origional artist. As a photographer I totally understand this concept. I was allowed to get a few pictures of what was outside. All the artists in the painting village were fantistic! The colors, textures and imagination was incredible to see. We didnt leave with any, it was our last day, everything was packed, but if I could mail a big huge painting to me, I would have.

The bats were cool at Alas Kedaton, but at this point in our trip, I did not care to see any animals and only wanted to see things that I could ONLY see on Bali. Which brought us to the Temple on the Sea. This place was incredible. The way it sat by the ocean and knowing that it is a temple where people from all over come to worship is incredible. It is said that the temple is protected by holy sea snakes. After getting to know the Hindu relgion while I was there, and knowing they still believe in black magic, I love that this is something that is said when discussing the Tanah Lot.

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If learned anything in Bali, is was the importance of culture and tradition, and how important it is to live beyond your comfort zone of cleanliness, be exposed to places that have a slight language barrier, and explore the unknown (by unknown, I mean unknow to what you know and are accustomed to). I studied alot about different societies (sociology major), and wrote countless papers on the way other people live, but it was so amazing being able to have the time to experience it all first hand. Of course I have on Guam, and did for a short period in Japan and South Korea, but having 12 days in Bali was amazing. I hope that this is not the last of my adventures, and I highly doubt it will be. I see Canada in my nearest future, since we are moving to the Pacific North West soon, but from there, I dont know. I hope to one day travel to a few different countries, all for differnet reasons and desired experiences. If I can give any advice to you, if you’ve made it this far with reading, is that you should go! Take the trip.. seriously. Skip a few nights out, cut out the shopping and lavish expences, even it if takes you a year or longer, save and go. See something new! Dont let an excuse get in your way! 2017-04-08_0056.jpg2017-04-08_0055.jpg

Must See and do:

I recommend taking as many tours as you can. This is the best way to get all the top things to do in Bali done and out of the way.

Things I wish I had done: 

-yoga, even though I don’t do yoga

-seen a few more “hidden gems”

-took a traditional balinese cooking class. I’m not sure why I didn’t, time maybe? Hopefully I can find some good online recipes for the banana fritters we had

-gotten a henna tattoo. Yes.. I just went there

-stayed longer 😉

Things you learn about everyday life among the Balinese people:

-the culture is rich, and traditions are important to keep alive. They keep traditions alive every day by going through daily rituals, doing things that have been taught from past generations,

-the driving is like an organized chaos, you think you’ll get hit or run into a motorbike but somehow it all evens out and traffic flows. Also, people honk a lot, not out of road rage, but to let others know you’re there, and also for religious reasons.

-offerings with incents are everywhere! They are beautiful. Each flower color has its own meaning and is placed on certain parts of the offering.

-you’ll get asked for a taxi and if you want to buy something about every 10ft in Sasnur and Kuta, and yes in Ubud but not as often. You’ll feel rude walking by acting like you don’t know english, but trust me.. keep walking unless you really need something

-The hospitality is incredible!

-Barter, it feels weird at first but trust me you can talk them down and you feel so successful when you walk away knowing you bought a few items for 5 American dollars

-I didn’t learn this here, but don’t drink the water. Trust me! Even brush your teeth with bottled water

-Bali is colorful! 

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