We kicked off the week at Candidasa at a place called Villa Pantai.
It wasn’t so much the place that won me over but more so the owners.
The lovely Aussie couple Stuart and Pam. …Ohhhh where do I begin with this dynamic duo? They were two extraordinary people that welcomed us from the minute we arrived.
From morning smoothie chats to dinner conversations, we learned so much from our quick stay with them.
For starters I learned that a Balinese man is allowed to have three wives, unless he is a Prince, than he is allowed to have as many as he would like. I do not know why a man would want more than one wife, personally I think that individually we are already a pain, but pair us women together and we are completely indestructible.
Another interesting thing discussed over dinner was Kelinking beach. If you remember back on my blog post “The Island Life” (if you didn’t read that one, shame on you) I wrote about how Kelinking Beach was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. Apparently a lot of natives have died at that beach due to the strong current and strenuous hike down. While at the beach, Stephen and I were trying to capture Drone footage of the beach and within five minutes of being in the air the Drone completely freaked out and crashed into the cliff (don’t worry thankfully it landed on sand and still works). We weren’t able to capture any of the footage and had no idea what happened. Turns out, Pam told us a lady down the street told her that the spirits of Kelinking Beach do not like to be put on video. We thought back to the day at the beach and also remembered that the only other couple on the beach had their GoPro taken from them by the waves and lost it that same day. Crazy.
We still talk about Pam and Stu and definitely hope to catch up with them whenever we end up in Australia.
From Villa Pantai we had a quick trip about fifteen minutes south to Villa Stella.
Although a short drive, it was a big change. When I say big, I mean three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a private lap pool big. We weren’t expecting this, but we definitely were not complaining. Equipped with flamingo floaties and another giant outdoor bathtub I was more than happy to stay a couple of nights here. This place had to have one of the (if not the) best sunset I have seen in Bali so far.
It was like the white house of Bali (except I doubt the president has a pink flamingo floaty…well actually with Donald Trump…who knows).
We packed up all of our stuff after two nights and made the thirty-minute drive to Jasri Bay Hideaway also known as Turtle bay hideaway.
Jasri Bay Hideaway had an eccentric, all wooden house right on the water. Falling asleep next to crashing waves beats LA traffic outside my window any day.
Once again I found another place with an outdoor shower that also serves as a sprinkler system for outside plants. I still think that this is such a genius idea. AND ANOTHER AMAZING POOL. One thing is for sure, Bali is does not have a shortage of freaking awesome pools.
The only thing I haven’t loved about this area is the lack of restaurants, exploring, and nightlife.
You are tucked away from the chaos and have about a twenty-minute scooter drive to get to any local restaurants. Candidasa is a better place for escaping rather than exploring.
Still haven’t found a place to top Sanur or Canggu for me. Sorry Candidasa. No hard feelings.
Although not a lot of restaurants, Jasri Bay did have a chocolate factory right on the property. (I didn’t even need a golden ticket to get a tour of the place.)
It was so interesting to see how the cacao was fermented with banana leafs and how they hand picked their beans to make sure that their chocolate had a pure and consistent taste. I was even allowed to take a look inside the secret chocolate closet where the keep the packaged goods, pretty sure that’s what heaven smells like (and they knew not to leave me in there by myself too long). It was interesting that they made most of their machinery; it reminded me of something you would see at the science fair (or Willy Wonka’s).
The owner Emerald was yet another welcoming soul. He was (almost) as sweet as the chocolate.
He provided me with more insight on temples and how the land surrounding us was known for the sea goddess and that many locals will go give offerings to her before trying to accomplishing certain goals or life projects.
Balinese people put more emphasis on the unknown or the unseen in order to achieve what they want in life. Emerald explained it by asking the question:
“If some of the most amazing things in life start off as thoughts, which are an unseen than why shouldn’t we rely on unseen forces to help us achieve what we want?”
He has now lived in Bali over twenty years after living in New York, California, and Hawaii. Who would’ve thought that an East Coast man who was used to living in the cold could easily make his way to the tropics and live a super sweet life. (Pun intended.) It amazes me how humans can be so adaptable.
Another main thing to remember is that underlying issues don’t just go away or disappear (even when you’re on the other side of the world.) If anything not having the normal everyday distractions makes issues more apparent.
I think it is important to know, because there are so many people trying to paint pictures telling people that traveling is the answer to your problems, when in reality it will just make you face them.
The world is constantly telling you to “find yourself” like you are supposed to play some twisted hide and go seek game with your soul.
Plot twist: you don’t need to find yourself, you just need to learn to be yourself, to accept yourself, and to love yourself.
I have learned quickly that I need to work on patience along with a list of many other things. (Don’t worry I won’t list them out.)
.In the end there is no escaping yourself, just remember that. You can fly across the world, jump on a scooter drive three hours through the jungle and you’ll still be you. (Trust me, I did it.)
You can try to put on the new Fenty beauty products until your skin is flawless but still underneath it all…you are still you. You can stay out all night and drink until lights start to become blurry, but when you’re back at home getting out of the shower sobering up, you’ll watch the foggy mirror clear up, and realize…yes…it is still you.
I thought maybe most of my issues would be left back in LA, I thought this would be the “escape” that I needed, but honestly the last month has taught me that I was carrying more than just bikinis in my backpack.
It is not easy coming face to face with things I have been trying to ignore, it may be easier to do them next to the ocean while the sun comes up, but it doesn’t make it any less painful.
Rehab for the soul.
Detox for the mind.
Just remember it is okay not to be okay, and traveling across the world isn’t going to make it any more okay.
I know it’s a daily struggle, one that I still battle.
I am not at all trying to discourage you from traveling (AT ALL), just wanted you to know that traveling isn’t going to make you love yourself any more. Loving yourself begins right where you are, right now.
Speaking of LOVE….our next place is where Julia Roberts ended up after stuffing her face in Italy, and escaped food poisoning in India….
Up next is…..
UBUD. Pronounces “oo (as in food)- boo-d” Because I have embarrassingly butchered that until Pam and Stu gave me some solid training in
“how to say Bali names so that you don’t sound like a complete idiot”.
I have heard various things about Ubud.
I have heard it is a beautiful place filled with middle-aged women trying to recreate the “Eat. Pray. Love.” Movement.
I have also heard if you stick to the outskirts you can still see the remains of beauty and culture that still exists.
Wanna know something crazy?
I just saw a spider the size of my fist about two feet away from the bed I was supposed to sleep in.
Wanna know something crazier?
WE ONLY HAVE A WEEK LEFT IN BALI.
Where did the last two months go????
Let’s not get into that or I will get super sentimental and emotional and Stephen will have to pretend to care and that is just asking too much of him at the moment.
So, without further ado…here goes nothing.
Ubud, I am coming for you.