30 Mar Bali – The Island of Gods
My first impression about the so-called ‘Island of Gods’ was not exactly what I was expecting, but after 3 months of living in Bali, I can shout now that Bali is the Paradise on Earth. Bali is special through its rich culture, amazing sights, white sand beaches, surfing and diving facilities, but the true essence of the island are the generous and genuinely warm Balinese. The inhabitants of this magical place taught me that simplicity is the key to happiness.
And so the adventure began…
The plane was finally landing. I was 13,680 km away from home – ready to live a new experience and make the best of it – but all my happiness and excitement were suddenly transformed into one of my worst nightmares…my luggage got lost. I had to console myself with the thought that at least I wasn’t the only one.
Someone from the university picked me up from the airport. It was my first time outside Europe. Once in the car, I started to look around. I was somehow shocked to see drivers who didn’t seem to follow any rules and small family-owned restaurants (warung), which at first sight, did not seem very clean and hygienic. What was the first word that came to my mind? CHAOS. I probably suffered a culture shock, but I knew deep down that I was prepared to embrace a new lifestyle due to my passion for traveling and my desire to discover other cultures and civilizations. After all, it was my decision to go on exchange in Asia.
Sweaty and wearing the same clothes as the day before, I went into the first shop and I bought a dress. What a difference an outfit can make…I was finally ready to handle the hot and humid weather of the island. I left the store feeling more comfortable, I took a deep breath and I said to give Bali a try.
“They teach you indirectly to leave selfishness apart and learn to give with the same pleasure you receive.”
Wandering through Bali’s crowded and noisy streets, I started to see its beauty. At first glance, someone may think that Bali is a colorless destination with persistent local sellers, but if you are open-minded, you’ll realize that it’s all in the details. The little pallets of offerings in Bali can take so many different forms and they highlight the goodness and generosity of the Balinese people who want through this ritual to give back what has been given to them by the Gods. They teach you indirectly to leave selfishness apart and learn to give with the same pleasure you receive. Joy lies in the pleasure of drinking a fresh pineapple juice on the beach, while watching astonishing sunsets or eating a plate of fresh fruits, while reading a book in a hammock. Ohhh Yeah…Bali has a wide variety of healthy food and the lovers of fresh juices, exotic fruits and salads will fall in love with this place as I did.
“…the present moment matters the most. I’m happy here, now.”
Why do I say that they taught me that simplicity is the key to happiness? This powerful feeling, so necessary in our lives, comes in different shapes and sizes, but it’s up to us if we get our happiness from the material things or from the small enjoyments of life. I met an extraordinary family on the beach in Kuta. He was a surf instructor and she was serving beverages to tourists, while taking care of their toddler. They were all the time together enjoying the beauty of nature, the laughter of their little girl and the presence of tourists. They were spreading good vibes and they probably continue to do so. I realized by talking to my dearest friends that the present moment matters the most. I’m happy here, now.
Bali is the island that has it all – from crowded and noisy places to quite and peaceful areas, and from fairytale locations to true reality. It’s a magical place. No matter if you’re in your honeymoon or you’re a backpacker, there’s a lot to get out of this gorgeous island and its incredible people.
I do love Bali and I will always love it. It has a special place in my heart.
Till next time,