Bali is for lovers and loners, for misfits and mermaids, for the carefree and the catastrophes, but mostly it is for everything you could ever want. There is no right or wrong thing to do in Bali, the famous island of soul searchers and wave-runners alike. From north to south, there is something your heart has been yearning to dive into. If Bali is for something, it is the place to try new things. You've already done everything? That's perfect, you can try doing nothing. Bali welcomes that too.
"What do you need, child?" Bali asks. I answered with "I want to explore." So I took off on a scooter down a snake road of vines and palms. It was the kind of road that was opposite in direction and elevation than my intended destination, but through no other source but magic and luck, we rode that snake till it ended and a sheer cliff met my eyes.
My legs, eager to run after the hour scoot ride, met the fluid grass with familiar joy. I hiked down to a secluded beach where not a word could be heard for the wind would carry it off as soon as it left someones lips. It was just me and the edge of the world on my beach (and luckily some washed up debris good for sandcastle making). Jacques Cousteau could not have been happier than I as I explored countless sea caves and wondered at all the crabs scuttling to their crustacean parties. But it was time for me to go to my human party, where we dined on those partying crabs.
Jimbaran beach is where everyone goes at night to feast, drink and watch the sun set on their inhibitions. It is a party every night and even writers need to keep some things a secret. But use the mood and the lighting and the liquid courage to talk to everyone. Learn their stories and lives and you'll get to see a side of humanity reserved for the daring. Then stumble into your bed of mosquito netting with your feet still covered in sand (it's the authentic Bali way).
Feeling a bit hungover and sun-burnt from the day before? No worries, Bali has the cure to what ails you. Just hop on that old familiar scooter, which by now you've taken a tumble on a few times, and head to the northern part of Bali. There you will find a spring of life that trickles at times and roars at others. Traipse through the water on stones made smooth by the river's influence until you find that waterfall of renewal. The water rushes down from it's home on a high up ledge surrounded by the forest of green life. It's cool water takes the sting from your burns, internally and externally. You have been baptized by the jungle. Arise from the water a saint of the weary and hungover.
Now that you have found religion, it is time to congregate and hear the story of the ancients. Uluwatu is a temple high on a cliff face that overlooks the setting sun. A dramatic backdrop to the performance you are about to see.
Instead of an orchestra, there are 70 men chanting in unison to accompany the drama of the Ramayana, a holy text of Hinduism. Sit, gasp, ohh and aww at this timeless story that has been retold for generations. You become part of the story, part of the show, part of something bigger than yourself. It has been a Holy day full of connections to the earth and to the sky, one you will not forget for years to come.