Bali Indonesia, the island of the gods was was not on my travel list for this year. It was apparently a beautiful place, far, far away that one day I would visit. But for 2017, it wasn’t part of my plan. Well, you know what they say about plans! You see the travel gods had other plans for me and in the middle of summer I ended up on the Island of Bali exploring plant food for a few days.
The first question that I asked myself upon checking into my first hotel was, why on earth did I wait so long? You honestly can’t describe the feeling you get on this island. And after that, many other questions come to mind. Like “why do we all work so hard?”, “why are we hustling so much to acquire material wealth?”. Bali makes you realise that sometimes the lives we live back home make no sense. There is so much more to life than that the hustle and bustle and deadline we afflict our lives with. What I learned quickly about Bali though, is that it’s a dangerous place. Why? Because when you get there, you quickly realise that you may never want to go back home to your old life again. And this realisation normally hits you a few days after you land. Thoughts in my mind quickly moved to how I could ship husband and dogs here, along with various plans on how I could work remotely... indefinitely. Reality hits, life calls and you find that before you have soaked up the Balian sun, food and yoga it is truly, yet sadly time to leave time to leave.
Bali is known to be a spiritual place. Yoga studios, yogis and yoga enthusiasts from all around the world abound. Particularly in Ubud, where I moved to for the latter part of my trip. This was the place where vegan and plant food restaurants and cafes were also in abundance. Ubud soon became my new happy place. After spending time on the beaches of Nusa Dua in the south of Bali, the hills and thick rain forests of Ubud provided a new perspective on island life. Initially, I was only going to visit this town for the day, but I am so glad I decided to stay for longer. Ubud tickled my taste buds and delighted my heart.
Some of my favourite spots in Ubud
- Clear Cafe (this place is heavenly!)
- Sayuri Healing Food Cafe by Tanaka Sayuri (a fellow Plant Lab alum)
- Earth Cafe & Market
In addition to exploring raw, vegan and plant food cafes, and seeking out organic stores or local markets, I do my best to seek out a local cooking class if I can. There’s something to be said about learning to cook local dishes from the locals themselves. I was fortunate to discover Pemulan Bali Cooking school located outside of Ubud. If you ever get to visit I highly recommend them. The day began with a tour of a local market, followed by a trip to their organic farm where I was able to harvest the ingredients for my vegan recipes, followed by cooking up four dishes outside in the open on the farm. It was glorious!
The other highlight was my visit to Balis was exploring the Tegallalang Rice Terraces which has given me an all new appreciation for rice. I learned that one rice shoot contains 3-5 grains of rice so imagine how many shoots it takes to fill a cup, or a 2kg bag. I have much respect for rice farmers around the world now. Including Wayan, who I met tending to the rice plants on the terraces.
The flavours from Bali were intoxicating and the food was fantastic. You could stay there just eating, sleeping and practicing yoga without a care in the world, living life because it's golden. I’m looking forward to going back for another visit, but in the meantime I will be recreating some of my Balian favourites in upcoming posts, so do check back.
[In Bali] life is a rhythmic patterned unreality of pleasant, significant movement, centered in one's own body to which all emotions long withdrew