18 Jun Bali Adventures
I write this as I’m sitting on a plane on the first hour of my 24 hour journey home.
The past 11 days have been a dream. I’m humbled by all the incredible moments I got to experience. Here are a few glimpses into my Bali adventure.
The Balinese people are incredible. Almost everyone I met had a genuineness about them. We were welcomed with sincere eye contact and kind smiles. I will miss the culture the most. Tourism makes up 80% of Bali’s economy. Everyone is so hard-working and dedicated, whether they were driving tourists around town, selling bananas at the monkey forest, or running a resort.
One local stood out to me the most. He was an elephant trainer and was our guide on our elephant safari ride. He had an optimistic attitude throughout and told us stories about the elephants. I commented on how well he spoke English. He said when he first started leading safari rides, the only English words he knew were “yes” and “no”. He learned the language from listening intently and interacting with tourists. I was amazed since he was now having a stimulating conversation with myself and my friend. I was inspired by his spirit.
One day during the trip, two friends and I woke up at 2:30 AM and started out for a sunrise hike to the top of an active volcano, Mount Batur. We arrived at the base of the mountain then looked up. The sky was so clear and stars so bright like I’ve never seen them before. The Milky Way was visible with our own eyes. The hike was 3 kilometers each way. Our trail guide mentioned he’d been leading this tour for years, sometimes multiple times per day. He led the way before us without using a flashlight (we were). We began the ascent and I realized how thankful I was for the circuit training workouts I started doing a month before the trip. I felt invincible. As if I could run up the mountain. Like I mentioned, it was dark aside from our flashlights and as the minutes passed, light appeared slowly on the horizon. I kept looking back at the scene behind me. It was surreal. To see the clouds and sea below you, then to see sun start to wake up that side of the world. We reached the top 2 hours later. At 6:30, the sun rose over the sea. Our tour guide steamed eggs and bananas using the volcanic steam. Reaching the top of that volcano and seeing the scenery made me so thankful to be alive. So grateful for nature and everything it tries to say. We trekked down the mountain (and danced), to Passion Pit, Foster the People, and Temper Trap. It was so damn fun.
The first seven days of the trip was dedicated to a yoga retreat in Ubud. We stayed at the Purist Villas. The villas were intimate, true to its name. I love yoga. The chance to take a break from the grind to fly to some destination and practice yoga twice a day is a #treatyourself thing for me. Nicolette David (YogaWorks, Equinox) led the retreat. I take her classes at YogaWorks in Newport Beach. She is immensely knowledgeable about anatomy and my practice has deepened so much from her classes. Some of our practices were: vinyasa flow, vini-yoga, restorative, breath work, and an inversion/arm balances workshop to name a few. The practice felt amazing to my body. I experienced lightbulb moments throughout and leave with key takeaways. I have a greater insight into my body and those of my students. I’m really excited to get back to teaching my classes.
The women I met on the retreat were pretty damn amazing. Each person was at the top of their game in their respective industries- entertainment, business, technology, fitness. Most of them were from Orange County and LA. I’m thankful for the connections made and conversations shared. There were moments of vulnerability and openness (which for me can be a challenge at times). They were simply inspirational.
Swimming and surfing off the Bali coast was straight out of a dream. The water was a beautiful turquoise blue at certain times of the day. One beach in particular, Pandawa Beach, was such a pretty color. A guy from Perth, Australia (Australians are so much fun) at that beach mentioned the color of the water was impacted by the tide and the rocks in the area. Floating in that water, I just felt at peace, at one with myself- to truth and who I am at my core. Pandawa was surreal. It was one of those moments you know you will never forget for the rest of your life.
I’m wrapping up this post, as I sit here on the plane with more than 20 hours of travel to go. Feeling bittersweet. This trip has meant so much to me in so many ways. It was almost as if every storyline in my life, every thread, intersected and aligned in Bali. When things align so perfectly all you can do is laugh about it. I will never forget this.
Thank you for sharing this moment with me. Check out the adventure at Instagram hashtag #biancainbali and follow @bianca_bonus to see where life’s story takes me next! I would love to connect with you at firstname.lastname@example.org.