Bali. The name speaks for itself. It is an island which is often dubbed as heaven on earth. It has been voted as the world’s best island by various international publications. One of its latest worldwide exposures was in Elizabeth Gilbert’s best selling novel: Eat, Pray, Love.
Bali. Four letters which have captivated me since long time ago. A lot of my friends have been there, and relatives as well. Yet, until I’m 26 years old, I barely step my feet onto the island. What makes things worse is the fact that I have visited other places in the region, like Bangkok and Siem Reap, even to far-flung places like Paris and Vienna. But I never breathe the air in Bali, an island neighboring Java in which I currently live in.
For me it’s an embarrassing ‘sin’. I always avoid conversation about Bali with other travelers when I’m traveling abroad. Until one day I realized that I have to put this shameful fact into an end. Therefore early this year, I booked an AirAsia flight for my very first experience in Bali this December.
However, last week I got a rather pleasant surprise. The company I work at decided to send me for a business trip to Bali! That means I don’t have to wait for another two months to go to Bali. Nevertheless I didn’t expect too much from this trip because it is a business trip which is supposed to be a business trip. But at least I got a free flight (no budget airline whatsoever because I flew Garuda Indonesia, a Skytrax 4-Star Airline), free accommodation (no hostel with hard bed this time, only comfortable bed at Hard Rock Hotel), and free transportation.
During the 3-day program, I managed to sneak around a little bit to go to some interesting places which are located not too far from the hotel. Stay tuned in this blog for more stories and pictures of my recent trip to Bali.
Now I can walk confidently, put my chin up and say: “Bali, been there, done that!”. But make no mistake, this is not the end. It’s just a beginning of my trips to explore Bali in the upcoming months.
Related Post: Ubud: The Heart of Cultural Bali, Bali’s Beach Getaways, Fun, Fun, Fun in Bali!
It’s true that Bali is one of those places that everyone knows about – together with Phuket it has really garnered an incredible amount of international attention. But that’s not to say that you should judge yourself a “real traveller” until you’ve been there. On my recent trips I found that the most enriching experiences were often those that were off the beaten track, in places where I didn’t expect to be wowed.
I haven’t been to Bangkok, nor Athens, nor the Grand Canyon, but I don’t find any reason to be embarrassed because our travel experiences are all unique. Although we may be tempted to whip out the sentence “I’ve been to X many places in X many countries”, travel should never be about comparing numbers and going down a checklist. All too often we make it that way ourselves. As for Bali, I haven’t been to the magic island, but I was in Lombok a long time ago. Don’t ask me why. 😉
Bali itself has various places to be explored. Most tourists go to Kuta beach and other crowded beaches. But the true beauty of Bali can be found in its interior up in the cool highlands.
The reason why I was so embarrassed was because I don’t even need a visa to go to Bali because it’s still in Indonesia, yet I chose to travel to relatively more difficult countries instead. Every time I talk to strangers, fellow travelers to be precise, I like to ask about their countries and they usually ask about Indonesia in return. It’s hard to talk about Indonesia without mentioning Bali. All these years I only read about Bali, so when I tell some strangers about it, I only tell them everything that I’ve read or heard, not felt.
About the numbers or bucket list. Actually I tend to agree with you on this. There are people who even count a stopover at the airport as visiting the country itself, which I don’t think it can be justified whatsoever (otherwise, I would have put The Netherlands as one of the countries that I have visited). However, when I created my 10 year travel resolution it’s mainly for my self-motivation purpose. I feel like I need to create such thing in order to keep my travel spirit up during hard times.
Hey you should come to Lombok again one day, especially to three islands which make the famous Gili islands. Google it and you’ll understand why they are so special 🙂
the way how you describe bali and why you wanna go there make me feel that there’s sth else about your travelling stuff. wierd, i dont know what exactly it is and how to describe it.
Is it good or bad? 🙂
can not tell…
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