This is Effe’n Cool

*Que Lion King’s theme song*



We have arrived at the Bali Safari. This might be one of the coolest places yet.

I am not big on Zoos (I am actually 100% against them). Instead of animals, this place puts people in cages, and then they drive them around on an actual safari so that you can see the animals roam freely. I got to witness them feed lions, tigers, and bears elephants…oh my.

I think elephants are the most majestically creatures; they are so powerful and so smart. I have always had this (weird) obsession on how they are so emotional and have the most vivid memories (just like your average female). Ever since I have landed in South East Asia I have been waiting for the moment to come face to face with one and finally (FINALLY) today was the day.


PSA: Please, please, PLEASE do not ever ride an elephant. Bathe it, feed it, cuddle it, kiss it, but please stop riding them. People will offer it to make money but an elephants spine is not meant to support the weight of a human and the fabric of the seats can irritate an elephants skin.

Anyways, I look forward to visiting many elephant sanctuaries while being in South East Asia, and so far I am convinced that in my past life I could have very well been an elephant, I mean they eat up to 16 hours a day and can even eat WHILE they sleep… so yea, it definitely could be a possibility.

We also got to watch a traditional fire dance. It was completely mesmerizing. I love how everything is worshipped here. The land, the sun, the moon…everything is appreciated and it is so humbling to watch people put on shows and show appreciation to things that we just expect daily.

Like…. I mean…. A FREAKIN STAR (a yellow dwarf to be exact) rises everyday before you even get out of bed while this thing called Earth spins on this other thing called an axis.

Things really become irr-elephant (see what I did there) when you just take a step back.

Overall the Bali Safari has been an experience I will never forget. I was able to lay out by the pool and watch zebras, rhinos, and ostriches just casually walked by.

I do have to be honest though.

I mean…that is the whole point of this experiment; learning to be honest, with myself just as much as with you. I have been traveling in and out of these amazing hotels and taking photography for them. Don’t get me wrong; I am blessed to get to see these beautiful places, but I almost feel like I get so caught up in trying to capture moments and trying to document them that I end up missing out on them in the end.

I feel like with a generation run by social media it feels like if we don’t prove that it happened, than it is almost like it didn’t. It’s so twisted, but I know I am guilty of it.

I am trying to learn how to simply enjoy things; to just live in these tiny moments.

I was listening to a TED talk before falling asleep (because that is what you do when you do not have access to Netflix or Hulu), and this woman went on for about twenty minutes on learning how to be vulnerable and organic with your surroundings. I came to the realization that this is what the people of Bali have taught me the most. They aren’t taking pictures of their offerings or putting up mirror selfies in their temple attire. They aren’t snapchatting the meal they just cooked. Kids aren’t on Ipads but instead outside flying kites.

Obviously I am very appreciative of technology as I write this to you on a laptop, and as you read it on some sort of screen.

Technology has done some magical things but also in a way has taken away some of the magic.

I just want to remind you, as I remind myself, to hold on to a little bit of it; to enjoy moments and to store them in your brain and not just on your hard drive.

Why must we learn how

to relax?

to just enjoy sunsets?

to love ourselves?

Should these things not come just as natural as breathing?

And if not instinctual shouldn’t learning them be just as easy as learning how to walk?

I have read all of these text books, sat through countless seminars, yet not one school credit, not one teacher has truly taught me the lesson of stepping back and learning to love my surroundings while learning to love myself.

Why am I 23 (about to be 24) still struggling with things that evidently should come first?

Why did it take traveling across the world to learn how to appreciate a sunset when I saw one nearly everyday where I was?

I get so frustrated because I feel like I miss out on things that matter most with all of these endless distractions to scroll through. Why do I continue to stare at a tiny little light up screen when I have the sky painted different colors for me every night desiring my attention?

I am learning as I go to find a happy medium of trying to capture moments and live in them. Once I figure out the perfect formula I will be sure to send it to you.

Until then, I am hoping to venture into less touristy spots and getting to soak up more of this beautiful Island. I am headed towards Sanur tomorrow and I will be heading to Ceningan shortly after that, so if you have any recommendations on things to do out in those areas please do not hesitate to leave me a comment (especially if there are elephants involved).


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Author: Julia Rose

Travel Blogger

7 thoughts on “This is Effe’n Cool”

  1. I know you have been waiting to experience loving on these elephants for soooo long and stevie made it come true!!!!! i love you guys!!! be safe! and just breathe baby girl xoxox


  2. Your post really moved me. These are questions I’ve been asking myself for a while too. I’ve seen your latest Q&A where you explained that leaving is not as hard as we think it is and I was inspired by the way you seemed more detached, you didn’t seem to care too much about owning things. It made me less scary and suddenly i decided to sell a lot of stuff online and save for the trip to Bali I’ve been dying to do with my sister for years. Anyway I guess what I wanted to say is that I’m always trying to figure out what it means to be for me to be happy and I’m always afraid I’m not fully enjoying the things around me with all these concerns, technologies and endless/pointless reasons to complain. I don’t wanna use travel as a way to escape all my doubts and fear bit i want to marvel at something, experience simple pleasures (the food in your latest article seems beautiful btw) like you guys and maybe learn one or two things along the way! So thank you for inspiring me guys! Enjoy Bali!

    Love from France,



    1. Comments like this make me love what I do 10X more. Thank you for sharing this with me. Your trip with your sister is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Enjoy it, and take it in.


  3. Another awesome post, so happy you finally got your dream of meeting an elephant and loved the PSA in the post – super accurate and important! Keep soaking up these experiences and lovely scenes for all of us and sharing the amazing deep thoughts and insights you are having!


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