Hello, my dear readers. I finally took my first trip to Bali, Indonesia. It was a fantastic trip for healing. I have always wanted to go there for as long as I can remember, so I thought the time was appropriate as a safe location in which to begin my healing process. I wanted a place that was low key with natural beautiful surrounding; calm as well as relaxing, so Bali was the right destination to visit. The mere mention of Bali evokes the thought of paradise. Bali is more than a place; it is a mood, an aspiration, a tropical state of mind and one that I desperately needed to indulge in.
Visiting Bali was more than just a trip and taking beautiful pictures, it was my time to unwind, meditate and prepare myself for a new journey I was embarking on. I wanted a place in which I felt welcomed, balanced, reassured, a place which invited me to expand far beyond my imagination. The last four years of my life was very difficult mentally, physically and emotionally. In 2018 I wanted to just dive into life with no fears or regrets. I decided to put my words into actions and do the things I’ve put off for so long; like returning to school, launching this travel and fashion blog. I knew it would be a lot working and blogging fulltime in addition to being a full time student. But I was up for the challenge and so far I can happily report I’ve been managing it quite well.
Bali is a beautiful island situated two miles to the east from the “tip” of Java Island with its capital city in Denpasar. Getting there was far from easy: first we had to fly from from Dulles Airport and made a quick stop in Dubai, then down into Denpasar Indonesia. The flight was quite long to Bali, twenty-eight hours to be exact. It was a long flight but I happen to have the best travel partner so it made the trip very easy, enjoyable and all worth it. Public transportation in Bali is hard to come by, but it is possible to travel by taxi or to rent a motorcycle. We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel, which cost about 35 US dollars. As we left the airport and headed for the city, we were greeted by roads that are smaller than I am used to driving on, but gratefully the taxi driver was a professional. There are trees and forestry everywhere and the buildings and the hotels are surrounded by lush evergreen vegetation. Entering the gateway is like entering a whole new world. Denpasar is the capital city and main hub of the Indonesian province of Bali so getting a taxi right at the airport to our hotel was not a problem at all.
Bali rainy season lasts from October until March, with monsoon-level downpours, and is not the best time for tourism. The high season, which is Easter week and Chinese New Year, generally has higher hotel rates. The best time to find deals for Bali travel is between September and December, and the best time to visit is during the dry season, April through October. Bali is situated near the equator and benefits from a tropical climate, with an average year-round temperature of 86°F.
Bali Indonesia is a paradise; despite being fairly small it has something for everyone. The yoga enthusiast can Namaste in Ubud, the beach bums can lounge in dreamy Uluwatu, the surfers can ride the waves in Canggu, spring breakers live it up in Gili Trawangan while emersing themselves in its island nightlife and the honeymooners will seek out secluded Gili Air near the coast of northwest Lombok Island. It is also a shoppers delight with some of the most interesting and irresistible buys at one of the many markets in the city where bargaining is the common practice.
My trip to Bali was mainly to restore myself back to a healthier lifestyle and center myself for the journey that was ahead of me. I couldn’t think of a better place to stay then the award winning eco luxury wellness retreat called Fivelements. The integrated wellness retreat is nestled on the banks of the Ayung River. Fivelements is an award-winning eco-conscious wellness retreat deeply rooted in the ancient traditions of Bali, making it a peaceful sanctuary to embrace authentic Balinese Healing, Living Foods and Sacred Arts. At Fivelements, living well is inspired by Balinese culture, which encourages us to nurture harmony with spirit, the environment and with one another. Their holistic integrative approach is designed to tune in to the physical, emotional and spiritual levels, allowing an organic healing process to naturally unfold.
This retreat was an incredible experience one that I will highly recommend to anyone who is on a journey of self-healing. The food was all vegan some of the most satisfying meals I’ve ever indulged in. Food and nutrition are fundamental parts of this culture. In addition to being a source of nutrition, it plays several roles that are spiritual, physiological, social, geographical and economical. For someone who is not a vegetarian I was a bit nervous yet extremely excited about the idea of eating like a vegan for an entire week. I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I truly enjoyed every dish. How the experience of this retreat made me feel whole again.
Some of the highlights of my stay at Fivelements was the mouth watering vegan foods, the beauty of the grounds, the Balinese massages and yoga sessions every morning and the amazing flower bath I experienced. Magical bathing is one of the best ways of causing the celestial yang energy to rise forth, surrounding you with the essence of success. When activated in this way, the mind becomes your ally and Feng Shui ritual practice becomes a tool for attaining great heights of spiritual awakening. When you bathe in the “water of seven flowers,” you become dominated by yin energy, and so set the stage for what the sages refer to as the zenith of yin. This is achieved by immersing your entire body in water that has been activated by seven different types of auspicious flowers. Darlings if you ever visit Bali please don’t miss out on this magical experience that is fivelements
I promise you will be glad you did.
After getting centered with my mind body and soul at this lush jungle retreat for four days straight, we were excited to explore a few of what Bali had to offer. Our first stop was at the Bali swings. There are 12 single swings from, old-school tandem swing, 5 cute nests, helicopter and heart rock in the jungle. There is a huge stone over the edge; above the valley with an amazing view of the canyon and waterfall. Swinging time and the use of swings are unlimited which gives more than enough time to get those epic pictures to wow your friends. I got to experience every single swing and flew over the waterfalls, which was absolutely a breathtaking adventure.
After a fun day at the swings, we decided to go shopping for jewelries and cool traditional Balinese garments in one of the many markets. There are lots to choose from and the price depends on one’s bargaining skills. Most of the stores open late at night so you have enough time to explore and compare prices. Most places prefer cash only as a form of payment. Whenever I travel, I like to bring home one of a kind pieces to add to my wardrobe collection. I mean what kind of glamour girl will I be if I didn’t right lol.
The following day we decided to venture off to some of the many rice fields in Bali. Most people who have visited Bali say that the real Bali can be found where the rice grows. In Bali rice fields can be found almost everywhere. The Balinese people have depended on this method of agriculture for almost 2000 years. The terraced rice fields were carved by hands, with the use of some simple tools, and are being maintained by succeeding generations.
We planned an entire day to visit some of the rice fields Bali has to offer by car. We made stops at Jatiluwih, Belimbing, and Pupuan and finally ended up at Tegallalang, which in my opinion was the most beautiful of them all. The emerald-green rice terraces in the river gorge north of Tegallalang village photography wise was probably the most famous rice fields in all of Bali. The lush and cooling area has a vista that spreads out in front of you in the form of rice terraces all over the slopes across this timeless river valley. It’s quite a sight to see. What I wouldn’t give to walk through the terraces, even in a pair of Louboutin heels. It was so rich, lush and green; the aromas from the rice plant give me a sense of serenity. It is interesting what certain smell do to us when we are out there. We had a wonderful day of exploring the fields being one with nature in a way that made me appreciate the Balinese way of life and all the hard work and artistry that goes into making something so simple look so extraordinary.
With so much to see and so little time we spend the remaining of our time in Ubud at some of the city attractions like the monkey sanctuary. We saw some of the local statues in the area and enjoyed some local Balinese dishes at places like the Folk pool and gardens which is a swim up bar and restaurant where we had some of the amazing vegetables satays. I recommend you trying the vegetable dishes whenever you visit Bali they are unforgettable.
After spending seven days in Bali we decided to change hotels and experienced other parts of Indonesia that was more secluded and even more exclusive so we checked into our next home away from home at the incredible AYANA Resort. I don’t compromise on lodging because I like to be pampered, be comfortable and get good rest. This award-winning AYANA Resort and Spa was the perfect choice. It is located on 90 acres of cliff-top land perched above Jimbaran Bay. We reserved a one-bedroom villa that came with our very own Butler to cater to our every need. It was a private villa with a secluded ocean view and private pool, thoughtfully designed with generous interiors and expansive outdoor spaces overlooking the Indian Ocean and lavish gardens. I was very excited to be there because it was on my bucket list of places to stay in Bali along with Fivelements. It had everything to offer when it came to providing us with relaxation and rejuvenation of health and beauty. The world-class spa with Aquatonic Seawater therapy pool and Spa was one of my favorites for its restorative effects.
This experience of AYANA Resort was the perfect ending to our Bali trip. I hope my experience in Bali inspires you to want to visit as well. Travel is a healthy habit that every individual should partake in, especially when looking for a safe supportive environment where the natural and the supernatural helps with recuperative healing processes; Bali is my first choice. There are many more that Indonesia has to offer this is just a few of them to get you started on your journey. Happy travels darlings and please feel free to ask me any questions am happy to be of assistance to you all.