Hi beautiful friends!
If you have been following along with my vlogs on YouTube, you may know that recently I adventured on another solo trip, this time for one week to the beautiful island of Bali, in Indonesia. If I could describe this journey in one word, it would be: healing.
I haven’t openly shared this anywhere before as I write this post, but after a few months of energetic highs, especially in September and October, November happened to be one of those ‘low’ months for me. As I further evolve on my spiritual journey, towards the end of October, I experienced the awareness that I was still holding on to some emotional trauma and baggage from the past that were weighing me down. I also experienced a ‘heartbreak’ for the first time, and learned many lessons that now I know were part of my soul contract. What I also now know, is that it is because of these events that I felt called to visit this sacred island again to heal.
One of my greatest passions in this lifetime is bringing awareness to self-love; it’s the message behind everything that I do, and part of practising self-love includes honouring the phases of your life. I want to share this back story of why I decided to travel to Bali with you to remind you that it is perfectly normal and okay to go through ups and down in life, and that it is all a part of your highest evolvement. You are not alone. Simply honour when you feel your energetic highs and lows, and allow yourself to flow with your unique journey of life. Flowers bloom, but they don’t bloom all year round. It’s the same with us too, and I think that’s what makes life interesting and colourful!
As I acknowledged that I was going through a ‘low’, I decided that even though it’s something I need to let pass gracefully with time, I could still proactively do things to raise my vibration. We are responsible for our own reality, after all. I knew that I wanted to go on a healing journey, to refresh before the start of another year, and Bali was it. I remember falling in love with the spiritual atmosphere and culture of this place then I visited in early 2017, so I thought it would be best to return again, this time of course with a very different outlook on life.
I don’t think I can truly put into words how incredibly enlightening this trip to Bali was for my spirit. It was just what my soul needed, and this is what happens when you listen to your intuition. My vibration elevated to whole new level, I tapped further into inner peace, released the emotional trauma I was holding on to, and manifested more of my dreams into a reality. More so, I learned so much about the Balinese culture through immersing myself into the local life, and this really allowed me to gain new perspectives of the world. It is truly an experience ingrained into my heart forever, and I am beyond grateful for this entire journey I got to experience. I don’t and won’t ever take it for granted.
My week in Bali just felt surreal. It changed me in a positive way, as with every time I travel. Every trip always feels like a dream, each experience so special and unique in its own way. This time, not only did I get to visit incredible places around Bali, all so beautiful and spiritually sacred, I also got to have massages, try Reiki for the first time, eat amazing vegan food, have a Balinese cooking class, do a water cleansing ritual, and see a Shaman who showed me my life path ahead. These were all definitely really memorable experiences that played a part in my healing, and activities that I highly recommend you give a try too if you also visit Bali one day.
Upon arriving to Denpasar airport, it immediately felt like my soul returned home, kind of like how I felt when I arrived in Japan. Although I had only visited once before, it just felt so familiar and comfortable to me. Last time I do remember experiencing some culture shock, but this time, not at all. I spent most of my time in Ubud, also known as the spiritual or healing centre of Bali, and #funfact, that’s actually where it gets its name from too! During one of my tours, my guide explained to me that the name ‘Ubud’ originally comes from ‘obad’, which means ‘medicine’, then became ‘Ubad’, and eventually to today’s ‘Ubud’. It really makes a lot of sense, as this is where you will find many healers, spas, ayurvedic centres, yoga and meditation retreats, health conscious restaurants and cafes, and other healing practices which attracts many digital nomads across the world. Aside from that, Ubud is also known for its art culture, as you will find at the Ubud Art Market, where locals create and sell beautifully crafted batiks, sarongs, coconut bowls, soaps, oils, dresses, bags…endless things with a touch of Bali. For me, there is just something about the atmosphere of Ubud that I love with all of my heart.
The greatest thing that captured my heart about Bali, was without a doubt, how friendly and kind the locals are. Perhaps you have heard a lot about this before, and I do think it’s the main reason why so many people love to visit this island. The locals (and I am generalising) truly leave a lasting impression on you with their genuine and authentic bright spirits, and it’s definitely my favourite part about this place. A lot of the time as I explored and walked around, I would have conversations with various people as they asked where I was from, and I explained in Indonesian, which was also wonderful to practice the language again in real life. When they heard me speak in their language, it also brought them so much joy, which in turn brought me joy too! The staff working at the villa I stayed in were so beyond sweet and friendly, the people I met on tours also had such pure hearts, and in general I noticed that the Balinese love to smile. They truly do value a sense of community and trust in one another, and because the main religion of this island is Hindu, it fosters a way of life where they believe in doing good for one another, which may be another reason why the Balinese are so friendly and show loving hospitality.
Another aspect I truly loved about Bali was how vegan friendly it was. In fact, it was vegan heaven, like a real paradise. There are so many plant-based restaurants and cafes in Ubud, I didn’t even get to try them all, and I am so grateful that I got to experience a whole range of delicious and nourishing vegan food, from rainbow bowls to wraps to curry to decadent desserts and icecream as well. You can find smoothies and juices at just about every turn of a corner, and even more so, a lot of Balinese food is already vegan in itself. You don’t have to go to a vegan restaurant at all, many local warungs (little local restaurants) have vegan dishes such as gado-gado, nasi goreng, and it is often labelled as vegan too! Most desserts are also vegan, as they are generally made of sticky rice and coconut. My favourites include bubur injin, bantul and kue lapis…I am reminiscing about them as I type this 🙂 ‘Vegan’ is definitely a wide-spread word, especially in Ubud, which is amazing!
As I spent many hours driving through the villages of Bali to get from one place to another, you do also witness that it is still a developing place. Unless you stay in a resort the entire time, you will notice that the roads aren’t super clean, the average house isn’t all polished up, and the standard of living is visibly lower than, for example, Australia. But I saw so much beauty in this. Even though the locals don’t have a whole lot and their living conditions are basic, they are still content and go on about their every day lives, which reminded me of how much I have, all that I get to be grateful for, and to not take simple things such as clean drinking water from a tap for granted. I saw children walking up steep hills going to and from school, which is something I never had to do. It really humbled me, and I also was reminded that true fulfilment always comes from the inside. Things can bring temporary happiness, but its your spirit that matters, and that is what the Balinese taught me.
I ended my adventurous journey through Bali in Canggu, another town around a two-hour drive from Ubud. It was my first time visiting, and although I still felt a greater connection with Ubud, I still equally enjoyed the atmosphere here. The biggest difference was that Canggu is located next to the beach with a lot more ‘party places’, whereas Ubud is in the centre, surrounded more by waterfalls. In general, I truly loved the ‘smallness’ of the towns in Bali, and while traffic can be a bit slow at times, it actually never bothered me, because I was always so present in the moment, appreciating every breath I was taking and moment I got to be in Bali.
The abundance of lush greenery and incredible nature of Bali is also another aspect that truly helped with my healing. I don’t even know how to begin describing mother nature in this part of the world…it was just beautifully peaceful, truly wondrous, beyond incredible. If you watched my vlogs and saw some photos I posted on my instagram, you may have a feel for just how picturesque Bali is. As I woke at 6am each morning to the sound of chirping birds, crowing roosters, and leaves brushing upon each other, it brought me into a meditative state every day. The pink sunrises and sunsets brought so much beauty, and the occasional heavy rain proved the infinite supply of everything the universe has to offer. When you are in Bali, you are always surrounded by nature. Fruits grow everywhere, frangipanis line the streets, and it is truly incorporated into the Balinese way of life. I remember that my guide also told me, the Balinese believe the 3 most important relationships in our lives, are the ones with ourselves, with others, and with mother nature. Earth is grounding, nature is our greatest healer, and being outside for much of the time, it most definitely helped to raise my vibration to another level, which I am so grateful for. I was truly in bliss. It’s these simple things in life like bring in nature that bring you joy.
While I solo travelled to Bali, not once did I feel lonely at all. I met some amazing people, connected with many locals, and I got to bring you along as well. Thank you wholeheartedly for joining me on my journey, your words of love and support are always appreciated, and I am endlessly, deeply grateful for our community. It means a lot that I can share my experience with you, and hopefully this can inspire you to explore more of the world, to stay open wide to all possibilities, to try new experiences, to take care of yourself, and to own your power to heal. Life is a gift, do what brings you joy, and allow yourself to be the best version of you that you are here to be.
During my trip, I received a lot of questions from you on YouTube and on my Instagram, which I hope this detailed blog post can answer them all for you, and perhaps encourage you to visit Bali as well! From temples to waterfalls to rice fields to beaches, this island offers something for everyone, and I truly believe just the atmosphere alone brings healing to all, even if you may not be aware. If you have any more questions, please let me know through leaving a comment here 🙂
Overall, this trip was exactly what my soul needed. Now that I am back in Melbourne, I truly feel rejuvenated, well rested, and ready to take on the new year with many new exciting ideas I can’t wait to bring into the world for you. I am so grateful for this entire experience, for all that I learned about myself and the world, and my heart is full of love.
When: 4th December 2018 – 11th December 2018
Weather: As Bali is located in the tropics, it is very hot and humid all year round (at least coming from someone who lives in a moderate climate 🙂 ). There are two distinct seasons, being the dry and wet season. I was there during the wet season, however it didn’t actually rain a lot while I was there. Usually, there is just one heavy rainfall a day and the rest is clear.
Melbourne to Bali (and return): Jetstar
During my time in Bali, the only transportation I used was a car. There isn’t much of a public transport system there, as it is a relatively small island, and it is very easy to rent a scooter, hire a driver for a day or get a taxi at an affordable price. Upon arrival to Bali, I had pre-organised a driver with my airbnb host to pick me up and drive me to the accommodation. Aside from the days where the driver was included in my activities/tours, I simply organised a driver with my accomodation to take me around and drive me to Canggu from Ubud, for example. On my last night in Canggu, I also took a bluebird Taxi to get to and from dinner from my accommodation, which my airbnb host helped me to organise as well. As you arrive at the airport, you may be bombarded with lots of people offering taxi services, as well as when you walk through the streets of Ubud. I recommend organising a pick up beforehand, and when yo arrive at your accomodation, no mater where you are in Bali, it is generally very easy for the accommodation host to help you with hiring a scooter or driver.
Ubud: Miko Villas
I had an amazing and really peaceful stay at this beautiful Villa, which I booked through airbnb. Although I didn’t technically stay in a ‘villa’ (more like a hotel room), I highly recommend this place if you are looking to stay near the Ubud centre. The staff are super friendly, there is an infinity pool overlooking a lush green jungle, you get to wake up each morning in a quiet setting, free breakfast is provided, and it is a short 5 minute walk to the main street with lots of restaurants and convenience stores around. I felt very safe in this area and would definitely stay again 🙂
Canggu: Harmony Beach Suite
Although I only stayed in this beautiful suite for one night, it was truly another amazing experience which I also booked through airbnb. The hosts were very friendly, the room was very comfortable and spacious, free breakfast is provided, and the pool is absolutely beautiful too. What I loved most is that it is located a 1-minute walk away from Batu Belig Beach, a perfect place to watch the sunset and relax by the ocean.
Indonesian Rupiah: Upon arriving at Denpasar Airport, I exchanged my AUD into IDR, which was very easy and simple to do inside the airport after collecting your luggage. In the main towns, such as Ubud, Canggu, etc, there are also plenty of money exchange services. Just ensure that they are legitimate places, which most of them are. Overall, as someone who lives in Melbourne, I found Bali to be a very affordable place. 1 hour massages start at Rp 50,000, a meal at a ‘fancy’ vegan restaurant is around Rp 150,000, and at a local warung would be around Rp 40,000.
Language: You will be totally fine with getting around in Bali without knowing a word of Indonesian. It is a very popular place for tourists, so overall I found it very English friendly. Knowing Indonesian is of course a wonderful bonus and definitely makes the local really happy. All of my hosts and drivers spoke English really well, and they are often very happy to practice their language skills too. That being said, as with travelling to any country, it’s best to not just expect a local to know English. As a gesture of respect, I recommend that you learn some basic phrases as well, as such “thank you” (terima kasih).
- Melbourne to Denpasar
- Airport pickup: Rp 400,000
- Check in Ubud accomodation
- Dinner: Sayuri Healing Food Cafe
- Saraswati Temple
- Ubud Palace
- Ubud Art Market
- Lunch: Clear Cafe
- Dinner: Sayuri Healing Food Cafe
- Ubud Monkey Forest
- Reiki: Grand Sehati and Spa
- Lunch: Veggie Karma
- Dinner: Krisna Warung
- Lempuyang Temple
- Tirta Gangga Empul
- Lunch: Mount Agung Restaurant
- Tukad Cepung Waterfall
- Kumulilir Swing and Tea Tasting
- Tegalalang Rice Terraces
- Dinner: Clear Cafe
- Ubud Art Market
- Falafel Warung
- Massage: Suren Massage
- Lunch: Atman Cafe
Ubud to Canggu
- Check out Ubud accommodation
- Driver for the day: Rp 600,000
- Pura Tirta Gangga
- Lunch: Pelonton Supershop
- Check in Canggu accommodation
- Batu Belig Beach
- Dinner: Silk Road Wholefoods
- Bluebird taxi: Rp 100,000 (including waiting time of the driver while I was at dinner)
- Check out Canggu accomodation
- Drop off to Denpasar Airport: Rp 250,000
- Arrive in Melbourne
If you are not used to bargaining, this may be a bit challenging at first, and even I found it a bit uncomfortable at times too, but you want to ensure that you pay a price for a service that you believe is of equal value to what you receive. When you visit the Ubud Market, you will almost always need to bargain (and the sellers often initiate it), as well as if you get a taxi from the street. There is no need to feel ‘bad’. Do what feels right for you, and remember that money is simply energy. Many times, I also rounded up the total because I purely wanted to support the locals. For example, a meal at a local restaurant I had once was Rp 70,000, but I gave my Rp 100,000 anyway because I just wanted to give something and show my appreciation.
This is an absolutely must-have to protect your skin. The UV rays are very strong near the equator, so always ensure you apply sunscreen while out and about.
- Insect repellant
The one thing I didn’t bring, but definitely needed. Being in a tropical climate, there are always lots of insects and mosquitos flying around, so while it’s almost guaranteed you come back home with a bite or two, it’s still convenient to use some repellant 🙂
In general, as it is so hot and humid in Bali, you will only need to pack with you very light clothing and perhaps a scarf or jacket for air-conditioned rooms. Unless you go trecking in the mountains or jungle, you will be totally fine with sandals and breathable shoes which I highly recommend. Don’t forget your bathers as well! Also, if you are planning to visit temples, a lot of them require visitors to cover your shoulders and legs. Most places will provide sarongs (or you may need to rent them), so ensure you also bring or wear a top that covers your shoulders.
- Carry Cash
Cash is still the primary way of paying in most parts of Bali, so it’s always convenient to have it on hand.