Traveling solo has different meanings for different people, for some it’s the symbol of bravery, adventure; for some an opportunity to make new friends, spend quality time with themselves and some people often denote it as a symbol of loneliness (why?)!
Traveling solo has always been a dream for me and my trip to Bali not only made that possible but unfolded many chapters of my life, which I was unaware of. It has made me learn and evolve as a more confident individual, made me value the things I possess and helped me earn a lot more respect for my own self.
When I told my family and friends about traveling solo, I was flooded with questions and safety guidelines out of concern, but I was in complete awe when they displayed their trust and confidence in me despite their endless fears. I chose Bali as my first solo travel destination and it was surely the best choice.
Bali the land of mystic healing, traditional medicines, artistic culture and scrumptious food, it strives to give you the most unique and finest travel experience in every possible way. Traveling to Bali was different to all my previous travel adventures in a lot many ways; solo traveling for the very first time, staying with local Balinese and staying in a stranger’s house than a luxurious hotel for half of my trip.
The warmth and happiness with which Balinese people welcome you to their homes is impeccable and unexplainable. It was once in a lifetime chance to have been able to live and experience the cultural variations, love and care of someone who was not your family. Sharing five days of my life with them seemed more like I shared a lifetime of joys, and bidding goodbyes to them was as hard and painful as leaving your own dear ones.
The highlight of my trip was Ubud, a small village in Bali that gained sudden popularity from Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Ubud means medicine in Bahasa as told by a local, true to its name, Ubud’s air possessed some magical healing powers.
All through my way to Ubud I saw abound and beautiful statues, sculptures and scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana. These ubiquitous reflections of India I found in a foreign land brought me a lot more close to authentic Indian mythology, history and ethnology. Each village in Bali houses several ancient temples and every house has the most uniquely carved and architecturally satisfying pillared gate. I came across two splendid temples on the opposite ends of Ubud, namely Batuan Temple and Goa Gajah.
Batuan Temple is designed beautifully using bricks and ornaments and every individual, irrespective of being a man or a woman was made to wear a sarong prior to entering the sacred and serene temple. It comprised of three areas known as outer, middle and main mandala, all extremely beauteous, statuesque and exquisitely carved.
Goa Gajah also known as elephant caves have a naturally carved cave in shape of ‘T’, that has shrines of lord Ganesha on left and on right that of lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The walk in and around Goa Gajah makes you feel surrounded by alluring greenery and magnificent bed of rocks.
Next stop was at the Tegallalang rice fields; the area around the rice fields has small shops aligned with beautiful paintings and crafts by local artists and colorful clothing shops. The view from the top is spectacular and arriving late in the noon gave me the benefit of cool breeze helping me freshen up.
The walk through this unspoiled nature was so inviting that I didn’t even think for a second that I was not wearing the appropriate clothes and footwear for a trek down the rice fields and trekked down with complete enthusiasm. I tripped, slipped and almost fell but made my way through and laughed off every ache.
“There are several café’s overlooking the carpeted greenery, offering refreshing delicacies and a few bali themed photo booths down the rice fields giving you a chance to get clicked.”
My days in Semniyak started with strolls on the beach, shopping spree at the beautiful boutiques, binge eating and ended with relaxing traditional Balinese massages and spas. The food in Bali is to die for, spot on services, mouth-watering presentation, pocket friendly prices and rich quality food. It was everything a foodie at heart, mind and soul requires. Worried about Bali stomach? Trust me, you won’t get one if you mindfully relish your meals at quality restaurants and café’s.
“Laka Leke”, the garden restaurant in Ubud is the most serene, pleasant and tranquil restaurant I have ever been to in my life; away from the hustle bustle of traffic, amidst bountiful nature, peaceful music and scrumptious food (is that what heaven on earth is?).
Love beaches? Love food? At “Jimbaran Bay” I chose my fish, saw it getting cooked and enjoyed my candlelight dinner with my feet sprawled in sand, sounds of high tides under the stars and enchanting live music. Bali gives you ample of opportunities to enjoy a couple of delectable drinks and flavoursome food right on the beach in and around Semniyak, Kuta and Legian, but there is nothing like the dinner at Jimbaran.
If you are planning on an escape, like sipping on a pinna colada and wish to experience the picture perfect beauty of a bar, head on to “Rock bar” in AYANA resort to bask in sun and gaze around the priceless views.
I proudly admit that it is Bali, where my matcha love became matcha indulgence; I found and tried everything from matcha ice cream to Starbucks matcha latte to matcha kitkat. They have everything matcha.
Solo traveling is truly a privilege and an experience many yearn for. Purifying, healing, nurturing, shopping, cooking, eating, offering, adventuring, wandering, and learning in your own company is the best gift you can gift to yourself. There is heaps more to see, explore and learn from this island.
My travel was not as courageous as most of the solo travelers but has definitely empowered me to take up ventures of my own in future, with one on cards soon! 😀
About the Author: Ishita Singhal, is a “Delhicious” Indian, passionate about health, nature, food and travel. She is soon to be a graduate midwife from Australia and an aspiring obstetrician in the years to come. She has relishing travel stories from around America, Australia, Middle East, New Zealand and Asia with her family and has developed an undying love for solo traveling. She wishes to travel around the world, explore the unexplored and use her learnt knowledge and expertise for the internal healing of the human race.
Looking for more things to do in Bali? – Don’t miss out on our ESSENTIAL GUIDE to the island.