I recommend it.
I recommend going to Bali with no preconceived notions about what it’s going to be like. Bali was never really on my radar of places I wanted to visit before I die. To be honest, I had a preconceived idea that Bali was all about sterile and bland tourist venues, dotted amongst the nightclubs and seedy bars. Essentially, I believed that the entire place was exactly like Kuta. It’s not. Thankfully, 30 minutes drive from Kuta is a remarkably slow, and steady little cliff-side town called Uluwatu. Uluwatu is dotted with little local family run warungs with mismatching mugs that will sell you amazing Balinese coffee, banana milkshakes and eggs on toast.
This is a difficult way to start every perfect day – compounded by the amazing local scenery. The local scenery may or may not include the generous smattering of half-clad surfers, making the trek up and down the cliff face. It certainly takes in the amazing vista from the cliff tops, watching surfers cut the perfect waves to pieces. It’s easy to get philosophical while watching the glittering droplets of condensation run down the side of your fifth beer, with no rush, no hassle. It’s easy to get poetic about how slow life feels when there’s no deadlines, and good people to share that freedom with. It’s a tough ask for a girl to take that kind of punishment, day in, day out.
I also recommend getting off the beaten track if you plan on unplugging from your life. I went to Bali, and I set myself a challenge to be entirely offline for the whole 8 days. It says something about my life that I had genuine anxiety about unplugging. I had filled my life with so much technology, so many human connections replaced by Facebook messages that it became daunting to completely detach myself from the matrix. 8 days? Turns out, 8 days is too short. I breezed through that, and came out the other side feeling more myself than I had in a very long time. Getting off the grid helped me achieve some much needed perspective, realising that I’ve become so completely unbalanced that I was heading for an abyss.
While, 8 days in Bali isn’t going to magically fix my life, I realised it was the first step. It was the space I needed to make some decisions, and start planning for how I want to spend the rest of my time. I dont want to lose that perspective, nor do I want to forget how good it felt to stand up on that surf board, or how amazing it was to lie back in the dimly lit cafe with one of my best friends reflecting on our charmed lives.
My only complaint? I missed my dog.
What am I going to do now? Plan another offline adventure.