I've got another country to add to my list of solo travel. A couple of months ago I travelled to Ubud, Bali for a few days! I still have to pinch myself because it was so surreal. Bali, Indonesia is an extremely popular and beautiful destination. Everybody knows about Bali because of the picturesque location, food and accommodating locals. I did not originally plan to go to Bali, I was going to Shanghai to visit a good friend and indulge in Chinese culture, then the thought popped into my head that I should travel to a country nearby. Japan was my first option but I opted for a destination that I knew was going to be extremely different. Don't ask me how I packed for two drastically different locations, some how I survived.
When I landed in Ubud I was hit by the heat, nobody could have braced me for that moment. I remember stepping out from the airport and feeling the sun beam on my face. It was a pleasant slap in the face because it meant I arrived. I was so happy at that moment, I remember smiling but being slightly overwhelmed. As soon as you get out the airport be prepared to be hounded by many people, the airport entrance is filled with drivers and activity planners trying to sell as much as they can to tourists that arrive. The morning after I was blessed to see Bali in all its glory. The views were absolutely tremendous, it’s so hard to describe in one sentence. I truly felt like I was one with nature. The next couple of days I indulged in a Balinese spa treatments, ate some of the most favourable food I’ve ever eaten and visited some of most beautiful places in Ubud.
One of my favourite and most loathed thing about Ubud was the animals (this includes insects). I visited the Monkey Forest, which was as amazing as they say. If you are in Ubud make sure you go to the monkey forest and watch the monkeys just be. It was so interesting to watch them be playful, steal people's water bottles and eat fleas off each other. It was really fun and exciting to watch and be so close to what could be considered as wild monkeys. Then I went to see Elephants! I went to Elephant Park and Lodge, where I saw all kinds of elephants and was in awe of all of them. Elephants are so intelligent, calm and loving animals, it was truly tremendous how they interact with human beings. I was very apprehensive at first because they were intimidating but they made me feel comfortable almost instantly. I got to talk to them, wash them and feed them. It was an experience I will always cherish and will be doing again next time I visit Ubud.
Out of all the destinations I’ve travelled to I would say Bali was the one I was most unprepared for. It was a culture and environmental shock. I was constantly surrounded by insects, lizards and frogs. When I first arrived I remember seeing three lizards in my bedroom, this was the first time I ever saw a lizard. I had several fights with mosquito's in a bid not to get bitten and a Gecko decided to plant itself in the roof of my room and repeatedly cackled throughout the night for almost two days, which led me to change my accommodation. So I would say my relationship with insects in Bali did not have a great start.
Lastly I wanted to mention tips for lone travellers (especially female travellers) who are thinking about going to Ubud. Be prepared and carry any sort of antibiotics incase of any illness such as headaches and tummy aches. 'Bali Belly' is real, unfortunately I got this the morning that I was coming back to London. Be wary of people, people can and are very friendly especially when you are a tourist. This is not a bad thing but always be aware of your safety and what is best for you. Make sure you keep a spare key and lock to lock up your items, a portable charger because you will need it. Bring a whistle or some sort of alarm for that very small chance of being in danger, so you can alert the people around and the most important thing of all enjoy yourself!
I took so many pictures, it was so hard to fit the best ones I feel like represented my time in Bali.
Bali, you were beautiful. I will be back.