Guest Blog Series: Bali

by | February 21, 2023

A special thank you to Lani & Kyle for sharing their memories and experiences with us from their Balinese honeymoon in May 2022. Read on to learn more…

“There were so many uniquely beautiful experiences which stand out in our minds for different reasons. Between the excursions, incredible resorts, local people, and breath-taking scenery, it was absolutely a trip of a lifetime.”

What was the highlight of your trip?

One of our favorite excursions was a bike ride through several small local villages and rice paddies. We love exploring by bike or walking around when we travel – we feel it gives us a better up-close interaction and perspective. We had a Tour Guide, as well as our Local Guide, who tailored the ride to our interests and personality. It was adventurous, without being too strenuous, and provided us with beautiful scenery and culture.

We rode through villages and passed young children walking in class groups to school. It happened to be a holiday, so they were dressed in traditional Balinese wear for school. They were not used to seeing foreigners, especially after the pandemic, so the children all reached out to high-five us as we rode by! It was so warming to see the reactions of the kids who received high-fives and such a humbling experience. We stopped by orchards to see up close the different crops, were shown and educated on a traditional Balinese family compound, saw the most picturesque rice paddies, did a little mountain biking, and ended the tour with a delicious lunch and cold beer overlooking the beautiful countryside.

The team of guides were so well orchestrated too! I cannot stress how impressed we were by the whole experience, made even easier by our guides who were true professionals and the ultimate planners!

What did you enjoy most about the accommodations?

What we enjoyed most was the consistency and kindness of the resort staff. The first resort we stayed at, The Belmond Jimbaran Puri, was our favorite! Every employee knew our names, and we began to develop conversations and familiarity with them. They learned and remembered our preferences, and were very warm and attentive. This attention wasn’t in a way that felt sales-y, it was in a way that was genuine and considerate. It felt like a family there, and I truly felt happy to see the same faces at breakfast every morning and throughout the day – we were sad to leave.

What did you learn from the local culture?

The local culture is unlike anything we had ever experienced. Every single person we met, whether it be at the hotel, at a restaurant, or on the street, were so indescribably KIND. It was so different from Western or European culture. The people there truly cared, and took care of each other and also visitors. This unconditional kindness that you can literally feel, is mostly due to the focus on families and good karma.

We had the unique experience of being some of the first tourists in Bali when they first opened the island from the pandemic lockdown. Listening to all the different experiences and challenges the people faced over the past couple years was very eye-opening, especially for an economy that is highly dependent on tourism. I was in awe of the attitudes and perspectives of our hosts, which were still hopeful and positive. I quite literally could not say enough good things about our experience in Bali, but my biggest takeaway is just the overwhelming feeling of “gratefulness” that I had each and every day we spent there.

What advice do you have for other Travel Theory clients that visit Bali?

The ultimate piece of advice though is to talk openly and honestly with Kitte and Casey from Travel Theory! The reason we even had such an incredible trip was because everything was designed with intention and us in mind – down to the smallest details.

Some things can feel uncomfortable, like discussing budgets or dislikes. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings and/or seem closed-minded if there was something I didn’t like. Where in reality, I’m just really afraid of fish and open water, so scuba diving is a hard pass. Or, we just spent a fortune on the wedding – so these are some of the things that just seem too much financially. But being transparent with your Travel Advisor, ultimately enables them to design the perfect trip, true to you in every aspect.

I also recommend definitely having a local guide. If there isn’t anything else you do, DO THAT! Don’t be afraid to talk to your guide and ask questions. Making conversations and being curious provides your guide with more information about you, which enables them to tailor your trip to you that much more! Just like everything else – what you put in, you get out; so build that camaraderie!

Our local guide, Mr. Dewa, was the absolute best! We still keep in touch with him and definitely plan on seeing him again one day! He was very attentive and paid attention to even the smallest details. Every time he picked us up from the hotel, we had a basket of our favorite snacks and a cold water waiting for us. He knew we appreciated different cultures, so he would stop and explain things that we saw in passing. At one point, we even pulled over to witness a traditional Balinese funeral – which was so inspiring! It was literally a parade of villagers celebrating the life of a loved one. There was a band, village security to close down the streets, brightly colored clothes, singing, laughter, and something like a bamboo carriage that held the coffin but was carried down the street by a crowd of young men. It was an incredible and beautiful event to experience – which we never would have done without our trusty Mr. Dewa. He made our trip so much more special, educational, and memorable than we ever could have done on our own.

Thank you so very much, Lani & Kyle, for trusting us with your Balinese honeymoon and for sharing your thoughts and photos. We appreciate you two!


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