“Don’t you get sick of the instability?”
I’m sitting on the balcony of my hostel in Ubud, Bali, sipping a Bintang and watching the sunset over a rice patty with my newly acquired Dutch friend. She’s a teacher, on summer holidays for a few weeks. This is the one time a year that she leaves the comfort of home and goes to explore the world, and already she’s itching to get back.
“I love the thrill of living each day one at a time.”
I didn’t really think about my answer, it just came out. But it’s true; my favorite part of being on the road is deciding my plans in the moment, while never having to stress about tomorrow. Life becomes as simple as only thinking ahead to what to eat for lunch.
I got to Bali without any sort of plan. I headed to Ubud on the advice of a friend, booking into a cheap bungalow for the duration of my stay. For $10 AUD per day, I got a bed, air conditioning, free coffee, breakfast, and a pool with an amazing view. It was located on a tiny side street with restaurants offering massive Balinese dishes for less than $4 AUD each. Within my first few hours in the town, I was well-fed and so relaxed I might have slipped into a coma. Bali, you wonderful bitch.
A friend of mine from Sydney who grew up in Bali happened to be over at the same time, so she messaged me to meet her in Seminyak the following day for drinks. I headed into town in the late afternoon and found a hostel near the beach to crash at for the night, leaving my bags at the hostel in Ubud.
Seminyak is significantly more of a tourist trap than Ubud. It’s more built up and carries many similarities to Australia, as many Australians have emigrated there. The beaches are beautiful and the food is amazing (I had the best fish tacos of my life at Sea Circus), but I was happy when I headed back to the less urban and more relaxed streets of Ubud the following day.
I treated myself to a very very cheap massage and pedicure before meeting up with my friend once again, this time to go camping in the mountains with her family friends from a local village. We hit a small local market to pick up some fresh fish for dinner before heading up to our campsite on the mountainside. It was balmy and warm, and after dinner I decided to sleep on the ground under the stars instead of in a tent. I awoke to the sun rising purple over the Indian Ocean.
Unfortunately, I also woke up with a serious case of Bali Belly, probably from the street food I had snacked on at the market the day before. I headed back to my hostel and for the next three days, I was bedridden with shakes, fever, and you can imagine what else. It wasn’t until my last day in Bali that I was able to eat again, and I went all out with a massive pizza and milkshake. Apparently being sick and starving had made me crave my old American favorites.
Bali was absolutely amazing and was a perfect, cheap start to my four month trip overseas. If and when I go back, I want to do more of the adventure activities that the island has to offer. Until next time, suksma Bali.