We stayed an extra week in Bali.
Initially, we had only planned for one short week in Bali. We rented an adorable hip Airbnb with our own private pool close by Ubud. Our schedule for the week was packed with all the exciting things the internet told us to see, but after the first two days of long car rides and clearly "made for tourists" attractions, we found ourselves completely exhausted and underwhelmed. We weren’t disappointed with the landscapes we saw or the activities we did. We actually enjoyed some of them very much. What we were disappointed with however, was how westernized and “touristy” all these sites and activities had become. We came to Indonesia to see a different way of life and to try authentic food in which we knew nothing about. But instead, we found ourselves surrounded by western faces, fancy boutiques, and fro-yo shop after fro-yo shop. Mike and I spent 5 of our 7 days in Bali trying to convince ourselves that we were satisfied with the time we had spent there thus far. But we both agreed, we just weren’t.
Two days before our scheduled departure flight, we just couldn’t bare leaving the island feeling so unfulfilled. So we changed our plans and booked ourselves a different Airbnb even farther outside of Ubud. We vowed to spend our 2nd week waking up slow, lounging in the pool, walking everywhere, and seeking out authentic local experiences. We relaxed. We ate only at local warungs (restaurants) and café’s where no one spoke English. We gave love to so many street dogs, bought fresh fruit from a local market off the side of the road, had our hair cut at a local barbershop, got to know our driver, Ifand, as more than just our driver (even got to met his wife, Veya) and we spent every single evening skinny dipping in our pool. We slowed down and finally felt like we were getting to know the real Bali. When we think back to our time there, we always think about week 2, the warmth and kindness we experienced from the local people we met and the honest experiences we took-part in. We came to love Bali so much because of this and look forward to returning in 2023 to see even more parts of the island and as much of Indonesia as we can.