Last month, I spent 2 weeks in Indonesia, with most of my time based on the island of Bali.
For the first few days, I slept off my jet lag in style in Jakarta at the Hermitage Menteng.
From Jakarta, I flew to Bali on Air Asia for about $50 and 2 hours later I was in a tropical paradise
I had booked a weeklong vacation package at Melia Bali, an all-inclusive resort.
I had a spacious suite, daily yoga classes, Balinese mojitos (made with arak instead of rum) by the pool and naps on a low-tide beach where the water receded by 4:00pm each day.
I love me some Airbnb but nothing beats being spoiled at an all-inclusive resort like Melia Bali!
I went to Bali to relax and recharge right before hosting my 3-day event in DC, the Blogging School LIVE 3-Day Intensive. I felt the need to fill myself up so I could pour my best into all the ladies who flew in from all over the country to attend!
It was the best decision EVER. I didn’t feel stressed about my event at all. There was a sense of calm that I hadn’t had before.
Here are just a few activities I experienced while I was in Bali that I highly recommend!
1. Relax with Daily Breakfast, Fresh Juice & Yoga
My typical Friday morning in Bali consisted of a delicious Indonesian-Japanese buffet breakfast of miso soup, nasi goreng (traditional Indonesian fried rice), steamed pumpkin, tamago (Japanese omelette) and kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage).
I also did yoga classes in the garden (working on my tree pose) and enjoyed fresh juices being made to order from the resort’s juice bar!
2. Get Blessed at the Tanah Lot Temple
This is me after getting blessed at the Tanah Lot Temple. I hired a driver to take me there and back.
What you do is wash your face 3 times in a stream of holy water, say a prayer, then the priest puts rice on your forehead and a frangipani (plumeria) flower behind your ear for good fortune.
My prayer was for me to used in service to the transformation of my tribe without any attachment to the outcome.
After I finished, my driver said: “Now you look like a true Balinese!”
I laughed and replied: “Yes, a black Balinese!”
Then my driver points to his arm: “No, we are both the same, we are just a different shade of brown.”
Now what’s funny is after that, 2 Indonesian families asked me to take a picture with them (I did!), presumably because they had never seen my particular shade of brown LOL. They were so curious to know where I was from, especially the kids! They didn’t touch my hair though, which was refreshing. Overall, the Balinese were curious, but polite.
3. Try the “Most Expensive Coffee in the World”
Of course, I had to try the Kopi Luwak (better known as “cat poop coffee”) while in Bali because it was referenced in one of my favorite travel movies, “The Bucket List.” Definitely a huge tourist trap but interesting to see the animals (civets) & learn about the process to make one of the most expensive coffees in the world! What did it taste like? A smooth medium roast coffee…brewed strong but with no aftertaste.
4. Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud
These are a few pics from my trip to the famous monkey forest in Ubud, Bali! As you can see, I kept my distance. Because the first rule of monkey forest is don’t touch the damn monkeys! They are known to be aggressive and will jack you for any food you have. I met one guy who got attacked that day after they smelled food on him. I asked what he had in his backpack. “Bananas,” he said. I just shook my head LOL.
5. Watch a Traditional Balinese Dance Performance
Really enjoyed the Balinese dance performance at my hotel! It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, especially the musical instruments they used. Best word I can think of to describe the sound and vibe is: hypnotic.
Balinese fire dancing show before dinner – homegirl was working that hula hoop of fire!
6. Have Dinner in a Tropical Garden
One thing I loved about Bali is that it always felt like I was walking through a secret garden with all the colorful plants and flowers and trees everywhere. My last dinner on the island was in an actual garden at Poppies Restaurant in Kuta and it might as well have been a secret considering how long it took me to find the place!
But the journey was well worth it, even just for the soto ayam (Indonesian chicken noodle soup) with Barbara Streisand in the background singing “So Many Stars.”
I definitely plan to visit Bali again! It’s running neck in neck with Hawaii with amazing weather, beautiful beaches, friendly people, delicious cheap eats and palpable spiritual energy.
Selamat tinggal, until we meet again…