The Land of Gods and Goddesses
Famously renowned as “the Island of the Gods and Goddesses,” Bali has recently seen a sharp increase in tourism and international acclaim. Thrust into the limelight largely by Elizabeth Gilbert’s beloved bestselling book “Eat, Pray, Love”, Bali offers a truly unique and magical mix of experiences: yoga classes taught in Ubud by the world’s preeminent teachers, a rugged volcano hike up Mount Batur before sunrise, and gorgeous white sand beaches in Seminyak juxtaposed perfectly with black sand beaches just miles away at Tanah Lot. And oh yes, THE best shopping.
Ancient, awe-inspiring temples for spiritual souls as well as lovers of architecture, plus friendly locals and reasonable prices, make Bali the perfect travel destination for families with kids, retirees, and solo travelers alike. Bali may seem like the edge of the world, but you’d be amazed at how quickly this magical little island starts to feel like home. I personally went to Bali with the goal of completing my yoga teacher training so I’d be able to teach yoga classes upon returning home. Although I spent a large amount of time at my studio/bungalow in Balangan, Jimbaran, a whole month in Bali provided plenty of opportunity to get out and explore the rest of the island. Having tried a taste of everything, I wanted to share the highlights of my Bali experience (which was hard to narrow down!). Since I’ve been home, I’ve been buzzing about Bali: it’s a tropical destination suited for adventurers, “glampers,” sightseers, and beach bums alike.
Bali has seen an uptick in tourism, even before Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 book, followed by the 2010 movie. But the main reason adventurers and spiritual tourists love Bali, I think, is the people. The Balinese philosophy of always being happy (and the fact that they actually enjoy tourists!) plus the natural beauty and access to the best yoga and spiritual leaders in the world make it a no-brainer for travelers!
The windy trek down Mount Batur from a sunrise hike (in the dark!). After watching the sunrise and drinking coffee from condensed volcanic steam, we ventured back down. Bring layers – the top of this mountain may be the only chilly spot on the whole island!