I had never been to a Southeast Asian country before I went to Bali. So when I took a cab ride with my friends from the airport to our hotel in Kuta, I was rightfully terrified.
If you have never experienced 5000 scooters all in one intersection, with various things piled on top of them (hay bales, entire extended families, boats) all turning different directions, you have not lived.
It was one of the most adrenaline pumping things I have ever done and I wasn’t even unpacked yet. I was concerned that my expectations of a relaxing, nature filled and spiritual journey was going to be ruined by busy streets, herds of scooters and full-sized trucks squeezing into not full-sized truck roads.
I was so wrong.
So very, very wrong.
Kuta is a fast paced and crazy city where Australians and Balinese people argue over the price of fake Ray-Bans but it also happens to have some of the best party culture I have ever experienced, anywhere, ever.
There is a bar that has a pirate ship in it.
Say whaaaaat? Yeah, you can BE Jack Sparrow, slurred speech and everything.
So the parties are there if you want them but just in case you had the same idea as me and just wanted to get away from the grind and lay in a hammock…
Bali takes your “hammock” and ups the relaxation to levels you have never even dreamed. What if that isn’t enough though? I wanted to put Bali to the test.
Bali: “Would you like the most perfect hammock ever?”
Me: “Nah, I want a picturesque double swing and a sunset please!”
Yeah, that’s pretty much how Bali works. If you want it, just find someone/somewhere that has and haggle your way to the perfect day.
So, I had my relaxation covered with the aforementioned mega hammocks but I wanted more…
Bali: “How about a waterfall and a volcano?”
After that amazing discovery it got me to thinking…”Bali can’t have everything. I need to be more picky.”
Me: “I want to fly through the air like Ironman and then splash into the ocean!”
Me: “Yeah, well what about going for a swim under a waterfall with a beautiful woman!?”
Bali: “C’mon this is too easy.”
Me: “Think you’re pretty cool don’t you Bali? Well can you build me a resort with a pool on top, that has a bar I can swim to AND real lily pads in the pool and a hanging garden with views to the ocean?!!!!”
Bali: “Oh you mean THIS one?”
Me: “Son of a…okay okay there is no way you can get this next one. A triple-stacked umbrella, an infinity pool and endless forests as far as the eye can see!”
Bali: “What time do you want to be dropped off?”
Me: “Okay. THIS time for sure. I want a $50,000 bill WITH a picture of a water temple on it WHILE being at the same temple.”
Bali: “Have fun!”
Bali is the most accommodating, friendly and beautiful place you will ever have the honour of going to, so soak it up and bring all of your expectations so it can smash every last one of them.