We stayed an extra week in Bali and it was the best decision we could have made.
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, actually spending time in our private 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 market that was off the beaten path, had our hair cut at a local barbershop, got to know a few locals and spent every single evening skinny dipping in our pool. We finally felt like we were getting to know Bali. When we think back to our time there, we always think about week 2, the warmth and kindness we experienced from the authentic people we met and the honest experiences we took-part in. We came to love Bali so much and look forward to going back in the future to explore a new and different part of the island.