Once the plane lands and you step foot onto the ground, Bali air starts intoxicating your mind. At first, it feels like a tingling sensation of excitement, then there is lust and you can’t get enough of the smell of the ocean, later infatuation kicks in and your eyes become blurred and shiny. And by the time you are supposed to leave, you fall in love, unconditionally and irreversibly. This is how Bali has been capturing hearts for years and you too will fall the victim of its charms.
We try to capture unforgettable traits of the tropical paradise in pictures, memories, observations, music and feelings. I tried to express them in writing and here they are.
1. To each their own.
If you think about it, great places and cities are all characterized by one thing – diversity. Whether you are in New York, or Paris, or San Francisco there is a certain area within that place that you are obsessed with. Everything about that area has been set up exactly as you like: restaurants serve your favorite type of food, bars are packed with the right type of a crowd, shops sell clothes that suit your fashion style, sport clubs offer activities that you are crazy about. But, most importantly, there are hundreds of people who seem to share same interests. It is a subculture at its finest. We need to associate ourselves with certain subculture because they allow for deeper connection and provide a sense of security. And once you find such a place, you will want to stay there forever. New York is such a place with each neighborhood having its unique vibe. Now imagine an island that combines all subcultures together. In Bali every village is like a star and no two are alike. Whether you are a hipster, a surfer, an artist, a yoga teacher or a CEO of a huge corporation you will find the village, that was made just for you.
2. It is all about the balance.
Bali is a unique place that somehow combines havoc and serenity and does it so beautifully and creatively, that you end up seeing the good in the bad. You might be appalled by the road traffic, but the feeling of freedom is unbeatable. Some areas are overflown by tourists but backpackers make nights out more fun. Your hotel might not offer hot water, but it is located in such a gorgeous location and the air is so warm that you are happy with the cold refreshing shower. The poverty is painfully visible but the smiles of locals make your heart melt. Bali shows you how to enjoy life despite its drawbacks and pains and it is the lesson that you will forever be grateful for.
3. Escape from rules and judgment.
I already mentioned the crazy traffic that does not imply any rules. But it is also the nonjudgemental attitude of locals and expats that make Bali so special. Balinese people are welcoming, warm, receptive and open to new people and experiences, their food is comforting and delicious, their love for the island is everlasting, their prayers and ceremonies captivate eyes and souls. Whatever country or culture you come from, you will be showered with love and affection. Besides, in Bali you are not an outsider nor a local, you are stuck in the blissful state of weightlessness that does not let you get bored but still provides a touch of comfort.
4. Mindfulness and creativity.
It is easy to get hang up on everyday problems and forget the beauty of the world. Bali reminds you how sweet the roses smell, how fresh the breeze feels on your skin and how soft a human touch can be. In a short period of time, you will experience magical transformation from a senseless work addict to a happy, idle creative. Inspiration is born out of stillness and creativity comes from movement. We all know how to move, but we forgot how to live in the moment. And Bali is a perfect place to remember the skill of indolence.
5. Beach, sun and surf.
The island with the best waves on Earth was bound to become a magnet for beach lovers. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, a swimmer or a surfer, the stunning beaches are at your doorstep, the right kind of wave is easy to find and the sun is shining all year round. Apart from surfing, you will have endless options of sport activities to choose from: diving, kayaking, horse riding, water rafting and hiking – name it and the paradise will deliver.
Bali is not a place, it is a state of mind. Despite years of development and ongoing construction Balinese people managed to maintain the island’s rich culture intact. New trendy areas keep popping up every year and draw a relentless crowd of explorers. At the same time, Kuta and Seminyak, where it all started, provide excellent service and comfort for those, who prefer the benefits of Western civilizations. Ultimately, the reason the island is so popular is ridiculously simple – when East and West collide, amazing things happen.