Being a travel agent in a very family and beach orientated area, I tend to have a lot of Bali enquiry. I begun noticing that there are some people who go back every year and absolutely love it. This got me thinking, What is it about Bali. At this point I started to plan my trip first trip to Bali. I had no idea what to expect so I based my idea off the experiences of others and had formed this idea that the beaches were dirty and streets are gross, it is likely I would have a drink spiked and it is full of Aussie Bogans in Bintangs singlets. There were many more pre-conceived ideas that I could go on for hours.. but I won’t.
Ngurah Rai Airport was very easy to navigate and not nearly as intense as some people make it out to be. Now that Australian passport holders are visa free, customs is easy to check through. I walked out of the airport and was not at all prepared for the wall of hot air to consume me. The humidity was something I had been warned about but brushed off as being Australian means being able to tolerate heat.. yeah, I was wrong. I am not someone who deals well with the heat at all and the first day was almost unbearable.
Bali for me was destined for me to try something new and step out of my comfort zone. When I travel I generally choose destinations that are more focused on history and architecture, places that I have numerous cities to explore and Asia was never really high on that list. Driving through the streets to reach the hotel I realised that I needed to change my expectations on what I was hoping out of the holiday. Not that I was lowering my standards but more my understanding of the Third World and how it worked.
To my shock, Bali did surprise me. It was more than just rows and rows of stalls on streets where the workers would haggle with you for the best prices so you will buy from them. Outside of the main tourist areas there are some amazing places to explore and things to learn. Some of the most gorgeous landscapes are around the rice fields, more inland away from the beaches which are teaming with tourists. The jungles surrounding Ubud became my haven with my hotel room having a plunge pool overlooking the peaceful valley. One I took my mind away from all the concerning pre-conceived thoughts, I realised that Bali and the Balinese people were such a loving and beautiful place. The people were always smiling and happy to help out which is so humbling when you are in a place where there is so little. Bali surprised me with its amazing culture through its beautifully constructed temples which are scattered all over the island.
Bali is definitely a great destination if you are wanting a beachy getaway mixed with great culture and fun. Let me know what you think!
‘Take only memories, leave only footsteps’