Welcome to the “way-too-soon” edition of what will be many blog posts about Bali to come. After just 24 hours, I have amazingly already come to a conclusion about this diverse and gigantic island! In this post, you will find sizzling hot takes, opinions with little to no evidence, and whining about other tourists whilst being a tourist myself.
(Sarcasm, for my non-US readers).
I touched down in Bali late last night. After about an hour of waiting through immigration and customs, I made it out alive. I found my driver (I’ve never had anyone wait for me at the airport before!!) and we escaped the bustling airport and he whisked me away to my secluded island paradise.
After an hour of sitting in traffic or swerving through the insanely busy streets, of course. It was almost midnight and the streets of this island were still packed.
Let me make some confessions. Before last week, I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint Bali on a map. I also didn’t know how big it was. I also did not know how developed it was. To be honest, I did not know a lot of things. Unfortunately, I did expect a lot of things.
Like I said, this is very much a reactionary post and I am at least 99% sure that Bali will prove me wrong by the time my month here is over. Have you heard of that Paris disease that Japanese people often suffer because Paris ends up not being as great as they expected? I kind of felt that way about Bali so far, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Since going to Koh Phi Phi in Thailand, it has been the gold standard for me of paradise island living. No cars, no motorbikes, no traffic, no giant buildings, nothing that can take you away from your island paradise and snap you back to reality. Bali, being as popular and as big of an island as it is, definitely requires cars, motorbikes, supermarkets, and so on.
The modernization and size of Bali can definitely be both a blessing and a curse. It really depends on what kind of person you are. I thought escaping to Bali would be filled with empty roads, lots of freedom, and the freshest air money can buy. Others might come for the megaclubs, cheap shopping, and weird gimmicks. Things like fake safaris, a zoo, extravagant but ingenuine statues, and a bunch of other things that you really have to see to believe.
Long story short, I can see why Bali is one of the world’s most sought-after holidays. Unfortunately, that popularity has also spoiled a bit of the magic of Bali.
Regardless, I can see myself having a ton of fun here. Riding a scooter for the first time in months was as liberating as it gets, even though I inevitably encountered stop-and-go traffic since I’m too scared to slither through traffic like most motorcyclists. The rice fields right by my villa were lush and expansive and it was only a glimpse of what the rest of Bali would have to offer. The nature of Bali is what I have been most looking forward to, and touristy or not, I will make the most of every second.
My new gang and I ride off into a beach sunrise tomorrow at 5 AM. The adventures are just beginning. Let’s see what you got, Bali.
P.S. It really helps that my villa has a puppy.