One of the destinations that had been on my to visit list for a while is the Indonesian island Bali! The only thing that was keeping me from the trip was the distance. I mean, working in an airplane for many many hours, sure.. Sitting in an airplane for same amount of hours, not so sure. But the attraction towards ‘the Island of Gods’ was stronger so I was ready to take on the 14 hour journey (+ transfer). I have heard many stories about Bali, some of them good some of them not so good but I’m a firm believer of the ‘see for yourself’ philosophy. Vacation goals: lots of yoga, lots of healthy food, major relaxation and some soul searching. People think that flight attendants are on permanent vacations but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s still work and even we need a break every now and then. Also on my bucket list: solo vacay so I was super exited about this trip. If I told you that during this trip I was already planning my next trip to Bali you can probably guess I really liked it. Find out why you should definitely visit this amazing island too!
Yoga every damn day
On my vacay to do list: yoga, all day, everyday. A retraite just seemed too extreme and not necessary (no internet for a week, whut?! )I just wanted to take as many classes as possible. The place where yogi’s from all over the world congregate is Ubud. Already my fave place in Bali, surrounded by rice fields and where you’ll feel a magical vibe. One of the most popular yoga studios in Ubud is The Yoga Barn. You can take all kinds of yoga classes on different levels. I thought I could own power yoga (volume 2) but half way the class I had to admit I bit off more than I could chew. After class you can have a delicious brekkie (organic of course) in the garden and mingle with other yogis.
Speaking of brekkie..what I was looking forward to every evening was next days breakfast. Even during breakfast I was thinking about my next breakfast. Basically, I was thinking about food all day because Bali is every foodies dream. If you are vegetarian or vegan than this is your go to place. I’ve never had vegan food this tasteful. Fave hangouts in Ubud: Kafé, the place where you’d meet many Yoga Barn yogis, Sari Organik (beautiful surroundings and equally beautiful view, and they have their own farm), Atman (café and also gorgeous jewelry) Clear café (super trendy, slight see and be seen vibe). In Canggu: Betelnut café (best salads ever), Shady Shack (try their turmeric/spirulina shot) Motion (former Avocado café) and Milu by Nook (away from the crowds and pretty rice field view).
The view at Sari Organik, the entrance at Betelnut, the terrace at Milu by Nook and brekkie party at The Shady Shack.
The Island of Gods
One of the things that stood by me about Bali was the smell. It smelled like incense and flowers everywhere. Mainly because Balinese women would put little offerings (canang sari) made from banana leaves on their porch as gratitude. Where the biggest religion in Indonesia is the Islam, the majority of Balinese people practice Hinduism.You’ll find many temples all over Bali. The temple you can’t afford to miss: Tirta Empul, many people travel to this holy spring from all over to get a spiritual cleanse. The spring is known to get rid of unkind spirits, to bring abundance and to purify mind and body.
After putting on a sarong (you can rent one for a small fee) you are allowed to enter the spring. You move from left to right and under every fountain you say a prayer or make a wish. Another must visit temple is Uluwatu, situated on a rock overlooking the sea, so you can imagine the magical sunset you’ll experience there.
Not the prettiest beaches I’ve ever seen (but my spoiled self is used to the white sandy beaches of Curaçao..☺️) but the place to meet those cute surfer dudes. The sea is very stormy so not suitable for swimming. Only suitable for those wildly attractive surfer dudes. (Batu Bolong beach, Canggu)
The hottest beach club of the moment is Finns beach club. Renting a sun bed will set you back for about 400.000 roepia (around $30). Before you get to your sun bed you need to walk on a catwalk first (including judging people on the front row ?). Once you finally reached your bed you can order food and drinks unlimited (up to the fee you paid for your sun bed).
Other must visit hot spots in Canggu: The Lawn, awesome beach lounge. Old mans, fave hang out of the Ozzies and Potato head home to popular festivals like Ultra.
If you are a thrill seeker, you must pay a visit to the Bali swing! To be honest: yes, it is a bit touristy and kind of overpriced (a hot lunch is included though) but it is so much fun. After what felt like signing your life away (the contract literally said: ‘can cause death’) you can have a go on different swings with each a different ‘level of scariness’. A fun ride and perfect for those Insta worthy pics ? (did this trip from Ubud).
Authentic Bali is also well know for her many emerald green rice fields. I have to admit, I did not get to see the most beautiful fields (the cascading ones) so I’ll save that for the next Bali trip. But these ones on the way to café Sari Organik where also enough for some ‘zen’ moments.
The one thing I regret the most from my Bali trip was that I packed too much (five pairs of shoes, really? ? #needoptions #flightattendantthing). So I didn’t have enough space to shop. My boho loving heart skipped a beat! I wanted to buy so much stuff! I wanted all Bali bags, all macramé wallhangings, all shell necklaces, all off shoulder beach dresses, so yes, I wanted it all! Next to everything boho you can also get classier gear like at the Magali Pascal boutique. May it be a lesson to you: when travelling to Bali, bring an empty suitcase! Every Sunday you can visit a market held at the bazar @ Love Anchor where you can get loads of stuff from jewelry to hand made organic care products #love. (Canggu)
The primary means of transportation in Bali is the motorbike. Without it you’ll be nowhere. Unless you like to walk on broken paths for miles on your flip flops. I am still thanking the Universe everyday that all went well because riding a motorbike in Bali is very dangerous. First of all, the traffic is on the left (which I am not used to) and second, it’s a motorcycle jungle out there. I’ve seen so many people with huge Bali souvenirs on their bodies (large scabs). And they are the lucky ones. So when renting a motorbike, always where a helmet, no shorts, just be careful and never in a rush, namasté.
You’ll never walk alone
Do you want to go on a solo vacation? Or maybe there is no one you can go with? Then Bali is the perfect destination for you. I was always a little jealous of people that traveled the world by themselves. It just seemed so empowering and liberating. I always wanted to do that as well but never really had the guts. What if you’ll get bored out of your skull? Or feel lonely? Well, I can now recommend it to anyone! I planned on (finally) finishing a couple of books but didn’t even get the time. When traveling by yourself you’re actually never alone. Meeting new people so easy (especially if you’re a chatterbox like me) so you never have to be alone. And if you do want to be by yourself for a few days, that’s perfectly fine as well. I met so many nice people like the recently graduated yoga teacher and writer Camille. She has become a good friend and I even met up with her in Paris, where she is from. She gave me a custom made ‘blogger tour de Paris and you’ll read all about that trip soon on le blog.
From left to right: the Frenchies Camille, Clothilde and Marthe.
Bali has a special place in my heart. It is such an beautiful island and the healthy Bali way of life is right up my street. It has a magical vibe that is very attractive. Bali has a lot to offer: if you want to party all day (and all night), you can. If you want to chill out and do some soul searching, you can. If you are a lover of nature, this is your place. If you want to be active and are a bit of a health freak, you’ll love it here. I’m definitely going back, who’s with me?