Now you all know that I am a regular traveller to Bali. People often wonder why I travel up to three to four times a year to the island. I guess for me, Bali is like my second home.
After the first trip there, we got over the hype of “tourist Bali” and opted for something a little bit more low key and quiet. The village life. It is simple, wonderful and truly spiritual. Feeling at home, eventually led to my family buying land in a village called Marga (about 45 minutes inland) and as I write this our beautiful Balinese villa is being built. I can only imagine how often I will be in Bali, or whether in fact it will become my new home in the next 6 months. But I know one thing is for certain Bali is in my heart and always will be. That is why I return.
So on my recent trip back to the Island I spent a few days jungle wandering at Pondok Puspa, a beautiful traditional Balinese villa that my family has built in the village. I rode a push bike (lets just say my lack of fitness showed its true colours) around the village and was more than well received, I was welcomed with open arms.
The best thing about being up in the village is that there is no need for eccentricities, no need for opulence, in fact no want for anything but a good meal and good company. And that is what I got. Traditional Indonesian food and quality time spent with my family. Surrounded by palm trees, jungle and rice fields, being up in Marga, Tabanan, truly is the real Bali. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Now whilst village life is serene and certainly healing both mentally and physically, the ocean is just as cleansing for the soul. I have visited many of the beaches in Bali but my favourite is Pantai Geger in Nusa Dua. Fortunately for me I was able to spend an entire day at Gegers new hotel, The Mulia of course in my brand new WAH swimmers from our Odyssey Rising collection. Treated to a decadent and delicious brunch at one of their many restaurants Soleil and then spending all afternoon pool hopping, was simply amazing.
Now I have seen the Mulia go from a pile of rocks on the beach to the worlds “best new hotel” as crowned by Conde Nast in 2013, and I have to say you cannot realise the magnitude and innovation of this place until you actually view it from within. Pools for miles; private pools, big pools, decorative pools, just pools forever and ever. Between exploring the secret hidden spots around the hotel and our brunch at Soleil, the experience was memorable. With free flowing sparkling wine, a selection of ridiculous seafood, tapas, antipasti and deserts, not to mention the gorgeous chefs specials we got to experience. From the beautiful and delicate ravioli to the sweet crab creme brûlée, every aspect of the meal was THE “Foodie” experience. Combine this with sunshine, salt water and fresh coconuts and you really have the perfect day.
For the last couple of days, I decided a villa in Seminyak was the best way to end my holiday. All I wanted to do was relax by a pool, listen to music and enjoy my own space. Hopefully when I return I will see some significant progress on our own villa. Who knows I might just become a regular expat.
But for now, Melbourne is home. Until next time Bali.