What to expect from Bali

 

  1. The nicest people on Earth. Balinese people are so polite. If someone bumps into you in the street they’d apologize profusely. Even if you’re at fault they would apologize. Expect to be smiling a lot as you walk in the streets (at least in Ubud). You’ll be receiving greetings everywhere you go!
  2. Mosquitos. Yep! Expect a lot of bites (or take a repellent with you) I didn’t. So I am pretty much covered in red Bali stamps. There are also other types of insects. Some big scary ones, but they never come close to you. You just have to keep away from them. And please, don’t kill the ants. Remember it’s their natural habitat, you’re the one who’s intruding!
  3. Power cuts. Specially when it’s raining. I’ve expericend 3 since I’ve been here. They last about an hour, then you get your electricity (and internet connection) back. 
  4. Temples. A lot of them. Bali counts thousands of temples with astonishing beautiful architecture and ornaments, and every house has a temple inside. I think a big foundation of Balinese Hindu religion and culture is to strive to find the temple within. 20181210_133057.jpg
    Lempuyang Temple – Gate to heaven
  5. Ricefileds, waterfalls, and a lot of green scenary.  There’s no wonder why Bali has forever been referred to as PARADISE ON EARTH. It breathtakingly lives up to the name!

     

     

  6. Yoga, meditation, and other mindful practices. A lot of people come to Bali in search of a journey towards the depth of themselves. The island is sprouting with yoga centers offering a wide range of classes and retreats. Some practices I’m hearing of for the first time. Example: Ayurveda. I have yet to learn what that means. I wish I could do a long silence retreat. Maybe next time.
  7. Expats. People from all around the world have decided to leave their countries and settle in Bali, and I can’t blame them. Most of the stores, coffeshops, restaurants, hotels.. are owned by foreigners. I imagine that they first came just to visit, but then they returned to start a life here. 
  8. Bali belly. An upset stomach or travellers’ diarrhoea. I am not sure whether it’s caused by a virus or bacteria found in local foods and drinking water. Most travelers I met caught it at some point during their stay. The symptoms are made of diarrhoea, cramps and bloating. I had it worse, with an unabilty to eat. Anything I’d try to eat I would throw up. It usually clears itself up within a couple of days or even up to a week.
  9. Balinese offerings. (canang sari) Every early morning, the Balinese put out little boat shaped baskets made of palm leaves and filled with symbolic food (rice, biscuit..), flowers, tobacco, money.. in an offering to the Gods. They light up an incence (dupa) and say a prayer accompanied with dipping a flower into a bowl of tirta (water taken from a holy spring) and delicately sprinkling the water over the canang sari manifesting the fusion of earth, fire, wind and water. You’ll find them in temples, in the entry of stores and homes, and just everywhere! The intention is to make the good spirits prosper, and to appease the bad ones. I find the dedication Balinese put into this daily ritual beautiful, ‘a selfless act in a self-filled world’.

     

     

  10. Expect to be back. I don’t think Bali is a place that lets you get away with visiting just once. This is a magical place. It captures something within you and keeps drawing you in. You can’t not fall in love with Bali. I haven’t left yet and already thinking of when I’ll get to come back.

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