Back in 1995, I left the UK to embark on what I thought would be a year out backpacking. Young, carefree, I packed my huge rucksack full of travel guide books, packets of mosquito repellent and a tiny string bikini. I was off, off on an adventure of a lifetime – first stop BALI.
Stepping from the plane, the searing humid heat hit me. Then the alien sounds and smells of this Island overwhelmed all my senses. It was dark on arrival, and my friend and I were taken by taxi to a hotel nearby.
The next morning, we left the comfort of our over priced accommodation (for a backpacker), and walked along the white sandy beach to Bali’s capital, Kuta. Beeping horns of mopeds, Bob Marley blasting out from beach side cafes, surfers out there on the turquoise sea. It was heaven for a young girl from Somerset.
We discovered a little back street off of a tourist road (called Poppies 2), a place with a bit of calm in the middle of the noise, heat and mayhem. Walking into the courtyard, it felt cool under the huge palmed plants and bubbling fountain. Sitting a table we sipped fresh lime & soda and booked ourselves into one of the apartments. This beautiful, tranquil oasis was what I needed, and quickly fell in love with the owners and this part of town. It became our base for the next four weeks as we explored the island.
Fast forward to today, twenty years later – it’s January, cold and grey. I sometimes I think about that pretty little hotel with it’s lush green courtyard and pale blue birds that flocked in the branches of the palm trees. I wonder if it is still there? I’d love to return. Book a flight, travel long haul. Take my boys to swim in that sea, and eat noodles from the street vendors. I am sure Bali has changed significantly over the past twenty years, oh but what I would give to explore it again, with fresh eyes and just a bit of luxury this time.
Collaboration Note: This post was written in partnership with the Flight Centre. All words, thoughts & opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the partnerships that make this blog possible.
Image via Pinterest.