Visiting Bali was an intuitive decision. It was a very stressy time in my life and I wanted to go somewhere on my own, to get my shit together again. So I listened to my belly and pretty much immediately Bali popped up in my head. I wanted to be surrounded by beautiful nature, kind people and a glimpse of paradise. And Bali was the answer. Although I knew that its crowded and filled with many tourists, I decided booking the flights anyway, knowing about the secret not so crowded, still authentic places.
The first week I stayed in Uluwatu, hanging with Surfers and Solotravelers like me lazying the days away. The perfect place to arrive.
In the evenings we would go in mixed groups for dinner and end up on secret beach parties and skinny dippings in the most beautiful moonlight. Exactly like the images I had in my head.
After travelling around other Indonesian Islands for a while, I came back for the last week of my journey.
And yes, I went to see Ubud. I know its crowded, loud and full of scents, but i had to see it. Something was attracting me to it.
Apart from the crowded main streets I found many secret paths and places, that gave me a feeling of paradise and peace.
I met the most inspiring people of my life, that appeared in unsuspected moments, changed my view on important things and disappeared again, leaving this special mark on my soul.
In Ubud I had a lot of contact with balinese people and made some close friendships. I learned to think differently about religions and I realized, being an atheist, how important religion is to humans and what incredible positive influence it can have on your mental health. Especially the Hinduism. I participated in holy ceremonies and felt touched by the islands magic.
I know Bali is overcrowded and tourism destroys the island. I talked to many balinese inhabitants and heard many nostalgic stories about how it used to be, before this huge touristic invasion took over. But I understand why people are drawn to this island.
Its simply sacred ground and you can feel it with every wind, rain and breath you take. Its calm and peaceful, the balinese are the friendliest people you can imagine and you can just calm down again.
I left many new friends there and I will definitely go back again one day, because even after this short time, it became a second home.
I am sure there is no other magical place like this Island and I hope we can find a way to enjoy this island, by not destroying it.