Recent Trip to Bali, Indonesia – Thoughts

  • September 13, 2013
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Recent Trip to Bali, Indonesia – Thoughts

I recently top a trip to Bali, Indonesia. I went to see friends from the states that are staying in Bali for a year. The trip was only for 3 weeks, but I feel I had experiences that will forever change my perspective on life.

There are few times in life where you really put yourself out there. I feel once you do there are rewards to be had you rarely will find anytime else. Getting to Bali required sitting for 20 hours on the air plane and/or inside an airport. I think that right there would stop a lot of people from taking the journey to Indonesia.

Bali Trip

This type of breathtaking view is common in Bali, Indonesia

Upon arriving my friends were no where in site. I was met at the airport with heat, humidity, and a barrage of people asking me if there could carry my bags or give me a ride in their taxi. I went to an Internet Cafe and luckily they sent me an e-mail assuring me the were stuck in traffic and on there way. They arrived about 45 minutes later.

The Bali adventure began… I will blog about Bali more in the future, but here are some brief thoughts I take away from the trip.

– There is a lot we take for granite in the United States

– Architecture is way more interesting in Bali. Makes most of our construction design look boring and cheap. I think this has to do with the availability of inexpensive labor in Bali.

– People frequently act entitled in the US (Including myself from time-to-time)

– We have great medical facilities in the US

– I prefer driving a car to a motor bike

– Countries are kind of like closed, homogeneous systems. Laws & customs make countries the same. For example almost every suburb in the US looks like almost every suburb in the US. McDonald’s in Texas looks like a McDonald’s in California. In order to have a drastically different experience customs, laws, cultures, building codes, have to be different.

– Had to get used to crossing the street and driving on the left side of the road

– Language barrier was very easy to overcome

– People follow traffic laws in the US

– Food is cheap in Bali

– Gas in cheap in Bali. $2 (US) per liter to fill up motorbike

– Rent a motor bike cheap. Cost was $35 (US) for about 10 days

– Things that we consider “Luxuries” in the US are very common and cheap in Bali. For example massages, maids, drivers, personal trainers, personal shoppers, contractors, property, mechanics, etc. are all dirt cheap when comparing them to US.

– There are no fat people in Bali. May be 1 out of 100 people are fat. This was shocking coming from the US where by comparison most people are overweight.

– Frequent stories of robberies in Bali among my friends. I however always felt safe and did not experience anything.

– Many people have giant walls that project their homes. Some even put broken glass on the top of the wall to prevent people from climbing over.

– Tons of dogs. Stray dogs hang out in the neighborhood, on the beach, inside restaurants. They are all over Bali, some stray some have owners.

– The Balinese people are very friendly and welcoming

– People in general seem very open, even tourists. At least in my area of the US breaking into social groups and getting to know people is much more difficult.

– There aren’t many Americans who vacation in Bali. You are somewhat of a rarity compared to the large number of Australians.

I could go on and on with this list. For now I will leave it there.

I used to wonder what the appeal was of travelling. Don’t get me wrong I’ve travelled in the past, just not as far away or different as Bali. I think I finally figured it out on this trip. It’s not so much the destination, but the people you meet along the way. I met a lot of great people on my trip to Indonesia that I will remember for the rest of my life and hopefully have the pleasure of meeting again. People that opened my eyes on what being an international citizen really means. The closest thing my trip to Bali reminds me of is going off to college. You have no idea what to expect,  but when you open yourself up to the experience you form friendships that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately the trip was only 3 weeks, in that time I was beginning to make good friends. That’s the downside of travelling, the leaving, starting a life then uprooting from the new life. May be making friends in other parts of the world changes your perspective that the true nature of reality is that you are a citizen of this world, of this planet, and we are all in this together.

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