We recently returned from a first time trip to Bali and I’m here to share a few pictures from our vacation.
“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca
The Hubs and I have been in desperate need of some downtime after a year and a half of total chaos and stress. I can’t even begin to tell you how worn down I’ve felt lately. As people who have a hard time stepping away from work, our theory has always been, the farther you travel, the easier it is to forget about work.
This trip we had to travel halfway around the world. I think that tells you how overwhelmed we felt.
I chose Bali because I was really craving some warmth after freezing my butt off for a year in Oakland. It turned out to be everything I was hoping for and more.
We arrived after 22 hours of surprisingly easy travel to a very friendly driver who was arranged through our hotel. He took us to a coffee plantation where they make Luwak coffee. This coffee is made from the droppings of the Kopi Luwak, which is an animal that eats coffee beans off the plant.
Yes, that’s right. Poop coffee.
I’m willing to try anything once, and this was definitely a unique experience. Welcome to Bali.
**Travel tip: take into consideration what time you land as opposed to what time you take off. We departed at 1:40am but landed at 3pm. It was pretty easy to stay up late the day we departed (and subsequently sleep on the plane), and when we arrived, our room was ready, and we only had to stay awake a few hours before going to sleep at a normal hour.
We continued on to our hotel in Ubud, The Padma Resort, where we spent the majority of a week laying by an incredible infinite pool, watching a hilarious amount of professional Instagram photoshoots happening in said pool, reading, sleeping, and doing yoga in the super cute outdoor yoga hut.
The hotel offered all kinds of cool activities like jungle trekking, biking, and even a temple onsite.
A couple of times we took the shuttle into the city of Ubud. Once for an epic tasting menu meal at this incredible restaurant called Locavore (HIGHLY recommend for any foodies traveling to the region), and another time to spend the day shopping in the markets.
The Hubs made me walk through the monkey forest which was TERRIFYING to me. I love animals, but my motto is “never mess with a wild animal no matter how tame they seem.” After seeing my friend Krista get bit by a monkey in Bolivia a few years ago, monkeys are on my shit list. It was cool to see all the monkeys (especially the tiny babies) but I still wish a was a safer distance away.
No one got bit.
The shopping in Ubud is incredible, but the crowds and the intense heat made it a one and done kind of experience for us.
After a week of total blissful relaxation in Ubud, we hit the road once again to head to the beach. We wound up contacting the same driver and he took us on a driving tour of Bali. We saw the rice terraces, an awesome waterfall/swimming hole, ate some crispy duck, and even checked out a random butterfly sanctuary that turned out to be really rad.
There were all these crazy cocoons that were a rainbow of colors (even metallic! See above photo) and incredible butterflies, but we didn’t see any caterpillars. The staff swore they were everywhere, but we couldn’t see a single one.
After a long day of driving, we arrived at our next hotel, The Ritz Carlton Nusa Dua. Once again we spent the majority of the week pooling, reading, sleeping and just relaxing. We did go into town one day, and wound up going to one of those weird spas where tiny fish eat the dead skin off your feet.
Super weird, but still fun.
For me the highlights of the trip were the Balinese people (warm, incredibly friendly and welcoming), the incredible scenery, and the overall sense of peace that the whole place embodied. It was absolutely worth the long trek, and I definitely have returned with a new sense of vigor.
This trip was so important to me for reasons beyond just the urge to travel and recharge. I’ve been struggling ever since moving to Oakland to figure out who I am away from San Diego and everything I’d built my life around for the last 15 years. It’s strange to realize how much of a difference your physical location makes in terms your entire personality.
I’ve been totally lost.
Traveling to Bali allowed me the quiet time to consider who I want to be moving forward. Although I still don’t have any definitive answers (I’m not sure any ever does really), I don’t feel quite so unsure and hesitant anymore.
While this blog has been stagnant for some time while I try to figure myself out, I’m finally ready to forge ahead with new ideas, new recipes, and hopefully a new lease on life and blogging. I hope you’ll stay tuned to see where I go from here.