Maximizing the Faith

Maximizing the Faith

Lately I have been focusing on maximizing my faith. My faith in myself, and my faith in the ability to do all of this traveling on my own. Traveling takes a lot of faith. The amount is actually unfathomable. It is by sheer willpower and desire that we blindly stumble into the unknown future on our own. We leave behind the things we know and just leap, venturing into the world. We must trust we will be safe and okay throughout our travels. No one goes into a trip thinking, I may get sick, I may get lost, what happens if I get hurt. Somehow, we just blindly choose to go without thinking of those things, numb to all the terrible evils of the world and bad possibilities that could be lurking around the corner.

We have to trust we will always have our life essentials. Food, water, a place to stay, so imperative yet we leave with a little bit of money in our pockets and no thought about those essentials.

With little regard, we trust strangers. We do not know who these people are. They could be a kind soul offering assistance with no desire for reward, or they can be manipulative beings, taking advantage of this trust that traveling bestows upon them.

We experience new cultures. Sharing in something our minds and our bodies are not used to, and only the bravest of us fully submerge in the novelty of it all.

Simply, in my opinion, there is nothing that requires more faith than traveling. It can change your life, it can be your worst experience or your best, but I guarantee you will learn from it. Traveling maximizes every aspect of our survival skills and brings out the best and worst in our personalities. Our true being. I am a big reader, and a good friend of mine recommended a book called The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer. I really resonate with a portion of the book that talks about how we do not truly know ourselves until we tell our inner voice and our past experiences to frankly, shut up. Once we learn how to do this we get to know who we really are. I feel that a lot of time, travel can help us with this. When thrusted into a new environment, we throw away that inner voice and past experiences because they cannot help us in something we have never known before. It is just you and the new experience, and you get to live it as yourself with no person from the past blocking you and no outlook to rely on. You get to remain present in the moment. Travel in life to be lost, and to find yourself. This is the best way to test how strong your faith is.

 

Xx

Gabi

 

The Untethered Soul

Continued Review Bali

Continued Review Bali

Today I thought I would do a more in-depth review of specific things in Bali. I had many requests about a more detailed review on restaurants and activities I liked in Bali, so I created a list of all the best places I would recommend on your trip to Bali.

RESTAURANTS

Sisterfields: This is a great place for brunch. They have an excellent menu with pristine presentation for those of you who are interested in aesthetically pleasing, Instagram-worthy food. I recommend getting a juice; they were delicious, homemade, and came in the cutest little bottles. Sisterfields is located in the heart of Seminyak, so right after you eat you can head out on the town and shop.

http://sisterfields.com/

Motel Mexicola: We went to this eccentric restaurant for dinner on our last night. The environment is unparalleled to any other place I have been. There is a bar area, dance floors, and an upstairs. There is always music playing and you just want to get up and dance the whole time you are there. This is the place you want to go when you need a fun night out. The menu is similar to most Mexican restaurants you probably have already been to, but for me Mexicola was all about the experience not necessarily the food.

http://www.motelmexicolabali.com/

 

Lacalaca: Another Mexican restaurant that I attended my first night in Bali. It was only a short walk from our place and was a more low-key version of Motel Mexicola. I would advise going here on a night you want Mexican food but less of a crowd to deal with during your meal.

https://www.lacalongtime.com/lacalaca-cantina-mexicana

 

SPAS

All of the spas I looked into were extremely booked up and most did not take walk in appointments. I would highly suggest booking these before you even make your way to Bali, since it was a pain attempting to call and contact them as well since my number was not Balinese.

The Prana: The spa I did get to attend was The Prana and it was breathtaking. The architecture was so unique and made you feel like you were royalty. I did a body scrub and a flower bath – a flower bath had been on my bucket list for a while. They exceeded my expectations, and they had the best lemon ginger tea. I would book there again given the chance and maybe try out some different treatments.

Most of the massages and treatments I had done during this trip were by people who came to our Airbnb through a service provided. It was always cheap and they did such a good job, so I would recommend looking into the services offered where you are staying.

ACTIVITIES

 

Monkey Forest: This is in Ubud, which was relatively far away from where I was staying in Seminyak. It was hands down the coolest experience I have had and well worth the drive. Contrary to rumors, the monkeys are not dangerous and do not carry diseases that cause fatalities. Although there will always be freak accidents and exceptions to this, the forest is popular and known to be safe. Bananas are cheap to buy and the monkeys are friendly. Make sure all of your belongings that are important to you are put away safety or left in the car because we had one monkey UNZIP my friends backpack. They are such smart creatures.

https://www.monkeyforestubud.com/

Hanging Gardens: This is actually a hotel/spa outside Ubud. We thought you could just go there and check out the grounds, but you cannot. If you use the spa services for the day though you get full access. We opted to eat lunch there and look over the property which was absolutely stunning and well worth the money spent even though we could not get into the pool or go too far into the property.

https://hanginggardensofbali.com/

Potato Head: This is a beach club resort. It has free entry and pool access that also leads down to the beach. It has a cool location and is a fun place to hang with friends. I loved the pool, but I was not obsessed with the location of the beach.

https://www.ptthead.com/beach-club-in-bali/

 

TEMPLES

Tanah Lot: This temple was so unique, it stands alone in the water and you can only walk to it through water at low tides. There are tons of cool things surrounding it to do including markets and food shops. It all is just enthralling to look at and the temple itself is mesmerizing. I loved the flowers they gave out and the location is just absolutely breathtaking.

http://www.tanahlot.net/home/

 

WHAT I WISH I HAD DONE

Lake Batur: I have heard so many good things about this place, from the hiking, the nature, and the lake itself. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and the volcanic activity I was unable to get over there because of safety concerns.

http://www.greenerbali.com/batur.html

 

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple: This temple was also closed due to Mount Agung and it’s sensitive volcanic activity to my dismay.

http://www.baligoldentour.com/ulun-danu-temple.php

 

Review: Bali Indonesia

Review: Bali Indonesia

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” (St. Augustine).  Bali was a great edition to my list of travel destinations for this year. Bali is only a six-hour flight from my home in Gold Coast, Australia. Although not a walk in the park flight, it is a whole lot better than trying to fly from back home in the United States and cheaper. That first step off the plane was hot, humid, and sticky. My roommates and I went in late September and the weather was not unbearable but quite tolerable. My suggestion in the future would be to visit Bali slightly earlier than this, such as in late August or early September for the best beach day weather.

Bali was a new step in life for me being my first visit to an Asian country. There were some challenges I faced my first time in this location which was to be expected. There was of course a language barrier. I know absolutely zero Balinese. I suggest before visiting you make an effort to learn some simple words such as yes, no, and thank you. They are always useful and just like any other nation, the Balinese people are delighted when even an attempt is made at communication. The next challenge was haggling, especially with taxi drivers. Everyone is attempting to rip you off when it comes to taxis. I suggest trying to only use Bluebird taxi service or prearranged drivers. It makes travel plans easier in the long run and you feel a lot safer too. The airport possessed the worst hagglers of all, and once you push past that part the rest is smooth sailing. On our trip we faced some natural problems, specifically Bali’s iconic Mount Agung. While we were in Bali, Mount Agung was on a high-level alert for eruption. Although my time ran smoothly, this did cause problems with locations I longed to visit and caused us to leave a day early out of fear of canceled or delayed flights due to ash concerns. The difficult thing about volcanoes is that there is no way to actually predict when an eruption is going to occur. Three weeks later I am writing this, and Mount Agung is still steaming with no eruption in sight.

Bali is one of the more touristy Asian countries. This is a good thing in my opinion for people having their first Asian country experience, making the experience a little less culturally shocking. Asia is so different than other parts of the world and Bali is a good transition in preparation to travel to less touristy places within the continent.

My suggestions on what to do and where to stay are as follow: We stayed at an Airbnb in the middle of Seminyak. Seminyak was a great location close to beaches and in the heart of the city. Airbnb’s are so cheap in Bali – we stayed at a lovely one called Villa Baci. The owner is Australian and she was more than accommodating. The place felt like a private, five-star resort that possessed its own pool, a kitchen, and three bedrooms with king beds. Get as many massages as you can! We often had them come to the villa at the end of the day which was lovely to do from home. These ranged in price from $10-20 which in my mind is unreal! Shop until you drop. There are so many unique things and places to shop for such a good price. Another warning I have is that some of us in the group did get sick. Bali belly is common, and although we do not know if that is what we had, we assume whatever bug we caught was from non-imported ice or non-filtered water. Do not hesitate to ask everywhere you eat about these issues or I promise you will regret it.

I think Bali was my favorite trip to date. It was the most fun due to the great people I was with, my best friends, and the Balinese are really such kind and compassionate people. They want your business, they want to help you, and they love learning about you and answering any of your questions. A week is plenty of time for people who are just wishing to shop, eat, and hit the beach resorts.  If you desire to do more you might want to extend for a little longer than a week since this country has so much to offer.

XX

Gabi