What is it about Bali that makes it so unique for everyone who visits? I’ve tried to come up with the best way to describe Bali to the world, and quite honestly, finding the words to describe such a magical island is almost impossible. My personal experience in Bali felt as if I were soul searching and looking for answers to questions that I didn’t even know that I had. Bali was my first official “Asian” experience seeing how I had only visited the Asian side of Turkey before going to Bali. What I found in Bali were smiles, peaceful landscapes, and a sense of belonging.
Bali feels like if you found your very own magical stone, and of course you don’t want to share it with the world because you are afraid it may lose it’s magic. The sad news is that anyone who has ever browsed the travel section of Instagram has seen all of the photos of Bali, so everyone knows where to find your secret stone.
The true essence of Bali isn’t only in its landscapes but in its people. The people of Bali are so welcoming, and they want you to enjoy their island just as much as you do. I found that every restaurant, temple, and small shop that I went to the owner or the person working there greeted me with a big smile and a positive attitude. At some points during my visit, I would ask a stranger for help finding a particular place, and if they didn’t understand me, they would hand signal for me to wait, and they would come back with someone who spoke English. It is one of the very few places that I have seen strangers go above and beyond to help tourists. The majority of the population on the island are practicing Hindu’s who believe in karma which is something that I also believe it. People there believe that what you put out into the universe is what you will eventually receive. I believe that is one of the factors that makes the vibe there feel so positive.
If you’ve been to Bali and you are reading this and laughing because you know that the traffic on the island is insane and it’s almost terrifying to watch as motorcycles, buses, and cars maneuver around each other, know that I’m not oblivious to the chaos on the island. If you’ve been on Canggu beach, then you know that not only is it riddled with trash and plastic everywhere, but it is also filled with drunk tourists at night. For a lot of people, especially environmentally conscious people like myself, it is off-putting to see the amount of trash around the island. It also makes me sad to see the number of tourists who use it as their playground to get wasted, but can you can’t blame Bali for the irresponsibility of tourists. Even though these things harm the image of Bali, they will only ruin your visit if you allow them to. Besides, what better way to give back to an island that fills your heart with so much joy than picking up any piece of trash that you see lying around. The hoards of drunk tourists and the plastic on the beaches shouldn’t keep you from visiting the island and experiencing the joy that is Bali.
When I think of Bali, I think of beauty, peace, and happiness. It sounds cliché to hear someone say, “I went to Bali and found myself.” but this tends to be an overwhelming sentiment amongst travelers who have experienced Bali for themselves. It’s hard to describe a place so dear to my heart, but the best way that I can is by using the word magical. It was a foreign land that made me feel like I was home, and not every place that you visit feels like home. I only hope that anyone who decides to visit Bali experiences the same sense of calm and peace that came over me when I visited.