It's been one month on the road, but it feels so much longer. I am in southern China now, and after days of being blocked out of my own blog (even with a VPN), miraculously the Great Firewall seems to have peeked open for a moment, time enough to post a farewell to beautiful Bali.Read More
Filtering by Tag: Bali
Tirta Empul Tampaksiring is a sacred water temple north of Ubud. Legend has it that a Hindu god once struck his staff into the earth bringing forth this natural spring. Today the Balinese bathe in the clear holy water as a sacred cleansing. I imagine the ritual to restore energy, honor the spirit, wash away pain, reveal truth.
Part of the reason I find Bali so beautiful, besides the typical appeal of all things tropical (daily fresh mangos anyone?), is that the Balinese practice of Hinduism permeates almost all aspects of life.
Bali is an anomaly in Indonesia since the island remains almost entirely Hindu in a predominantly Muslim country. Their practice of religious ritual has such beautiful manifestations and follows a rich, artistic tradition. I see it everywhere. From the countless temples to the small backyard shrines, every house or building has a sacred structure designed to honor the many spirits of the island. That even includes gas stations and 7-11s!
We left the autumn crisp weather of the north and crossed into tropical heat and humidity south of the hemisphere. If South Korea felt like work, busy and booked daily with lots of sightseeing, places to go and people to meet, Indonesia feels slow and relaxed.
I know it sounds crazy, but this is the first real down time we've had in awhile. Packing up all our belongings, renting the house, and actually planning the logistics of leaving the US for a year were often overwhelming and stressful, not to mention a huge life adjustment. Being on the move vagabond style isn't an easy comfortable vacation. Survival basics in an unknown place become a lot more challenging to figure out. Every day we have to be concerned about where we'll sleep, what we'll eat, and how we'll transport somewhere, all in an unfamiliar culture, location, and language while on a budget. I know this is just the beginning and I'm definitely not complaining, but I'm glad to have some time to slow down and catch up with old friends.Read More