It’s been 11 years since we were last on the island of Bali — for our honeymoon! In 2002 we stayed at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary in Sideman, climbed the Gunung Agung volcano, ferried over to Lombok for a few nights, then stayed one night in Ubud before heading home. We went off the beaten path, opting for seclusion and adventure over Bali’s world-famous beaches.
It’s always inspiring to find ourselves so far from home and yet find common ground with the people we meet. Norman, a beach vendor selling bracelets made by his niece, asked me where I was from and then expressed his sadness about the tornado that devastated Oklahoma last week. On another day, Mr. Producer initiated a game of Frisbee with a few local kids who were at the beach for a birthday party with their entire extended family. Mr. Producer gave the Frisbee to the birthday boy when we left — an unexpected gesture that made everyone smile, young and old. These small exchanges, the give and take of travel, erase our differences and remind us of what we have in common.
It was good to be back in Bali. Much has changed, but the some of the best things have remained the same — the people, the beauty, the food and the feeling of making a great escape to one of the most idyllic places in the world.