- I needed my first international vacation
- I wanted to go to a beach destination
- I was going on a solo trip, so safety was paramount
- I needed to get out of my comfort zone and do something spontaneous
- It's BALI!
So, before I dive into the details of my first solo adventure, a little background about me! I am from India, and before moving to the UAE in 2018, I wasn’t much of a traveler, mostly because I couldn’t afford to travel in India as I was still in college, and also I didn’t have many people to accompany me, and back then I wasn’t even close to being brave enough to pick up my bag and just get going on my own. So when I moved to the UAE, it was like this portal to the entire world was opened right in front of me, with flights going everywhere, and mind you, CHEAP flights too. Having the UAE residence visa also granted me visa-free entry to a number of countries, so that was also a bonus. So when one fine afternoon in March 2019, my colleagues were discussing their holiday plans for the upcoming national holidays, I was just sitting there in the office, racking my brains to come up with a fun thing to do. And just like that, the idea to travel solo for the first time for vacation was born.
I spent the entire afternoon that day looking up places, Googling “Safest places for women to visit”, “Cheapest cities in the world”, “Solo women travel goals”, etc. and all my research led me to this travel website which arranges your whole trip for you, from flights to accommodations to things to do during your trip. And that is where my eyes set upon BALI. It was perfect, it’s beautiful, exotic, a beach destination, visa-free for me which was a big plus at the time, and in a completely different part of the world! When I think back, I cannot believe that I traveled 9-10 hours from Dubai to Bali, and then back again, only to spend around 3 days on the island. 😂 It was a completely rookie mistake from a girl who was too consumed by the whole idea of traveling, but you know what, I would make the same mistake again if it meant traveling. In fact, I believe there are no mistakes when it comes to traveling, as long as you are safe! 😊
So, come June 2019 and I landed in Bali, and my first afternoon there, I paid absolutely no heed to my jet lag and headed straight out to the hotel pool for a little bit, and then to the beach. I was staying at the Kuta beach which is one of the many popular beaches there. And let me tell you, that first afternoon, lying there in my bikini, with the salty breeze blowing through my hair, and watching a beautiful sunset, that afternoon was everything. I had to pinch myself a few times to actually come to terms with the fact that I was really there.
So, the first day of the trip, I totally spent it lazying around at the beach and going to different beach-side shacks and bars. It was the second day when I did most of my touristy activities! I had this tour guide with me, Yogi, and she took me to many beautiful markets and workshops and of course, famous tourist destinations on the island. We went to a Batik workshop where these amazing women were making incredible designs on clothes, and honestly, it was such a therapeutic experience just to watch them work. If I had enough time, I would have probably tried my hands at Batik, definitely something of the beginner level! We went to the Biangsinga waterfall, and guess who couldn’t get in the waterfall because they didn’t have their swimsuit underneath their clothes? This young lady (pointing at myself here 😅)! But to make up for this blunder, I did taste test some amazing and unique teas and coffees at a local tea shop, where I also had the famous Luwak coffee of Bali. This is one experience that I recommend everyone to go for because except for the Luwak coffee, everything else was free! The whole tasting experience was free! 😃 And trust me, drinking tea in a relaxing environment, with tall green bamboo plants all around you and birds chirping and singing in the background is not something you want to miss.
We also ventured a little into Ubud and saw the Ubud palace and the Tegallalang rice terraces. I had some awesome local food and beer here, the Nasi Goreng and Bintang beer, because you know how it goes, your trip is never complete if you don’t have the local food and beverage 😉 Also, I had lunch view goals from this place.
We ended our day at the Uluwattu temple high up on a cliff, which again offered me an incredible sunset over the ocean. And even after the previous day’s jet lag and an entire day of moving around in the heat, I still wasn’t feeling tired at all. I guess that is what traveling does to you, it is the kind of adrenaline that keeps pushing you till you hit your own bed back at home.
My third and last day was spent enjoying some time on the beach again and then some relaxing Balinese spa to end the day. I had an early morning flight out the next day, but I did manage to go to a famous nightclub in the Kuta region because I wanted to have at least a little glimpse of the nightlife here, and boy I am going back for more of that!
I know where I am headed the next time I go to Bali, and there will for sure be a next time as 3 days is just never ever enough for that beautiful place. The people, the culture, the food, there is just so much to learn and experience there. I want to try surfing on those waters, get lost in the forests of Ubud, hike up to the top of Mount Batur to catch the sunrise, ride those giant swings, go to Nusa Penida and enjoy that paradise…just so much more to do there.
So, tips for anybody thinking of visiting Bali: well I didn’t spend enough time there to give you sound tips, but one thing I will say is that Bali is a big island with a lot to offer, so if you cannot spend a considerable time there, like 2 or 3 weeks or so, it is better to focus on one part of the island instead of going all around. I would start with Ubud. That place has beautiful forests and hotels and hostels which are surrounded by stunning greenery, and it is also the cultural hot spot of the island. Kuta is the party destination of Bali, so depending on what you want to do, you can also spend a day or two in Kuta. And remember, there are a number of stunning islands around Bali as well, like Raja Ampat, Nusa Penida, and more. So take your time with this little piece of paradise. 🙂
So here goes my first post, I hope you enjoy reading it and learn a few things from my trip. Hopefully, my next post will be a bit more informative as I feel that my traveling skills are definitely increasing with each trip. So see you next time! x