Hey, everyone! I just got back from Bali a couple days ago and the post travel depression is hitting me hard. I don't know what it is about traveling but I feel my happiest when I'm out exploring somewhere new -- so much so that I always feel a little guilty. I mean, I should be happy I live in a place as beautiful as Southern California but it just doesn't do it for me. Planning for Bali was super spur of the moment-- I kinda just said hey, I'd really love to go to Bali for my birthday so I called up my friend, Josh, who is probably the only person I know who'd drop everything and book a trip without a second thought. I bought the tickets one day (when I was supposed to be working) and flash forward a couple months and I found myself at the airport ready to travel to the beautiful island of Bali.

The reality of this trip didn't hit me until we were literally at the airport getting ready to board our flight. I'm not sure why, I think I just couldn't even picture what the next week's adventures would bring but once it hit I was literally bouncing off the walls with excitement. Now, the trip to Bali was no easy feat. It was going to be a little over 24 hours of traveling and I was a bit nervous leading up to it. I'm not afraid of flying but my anxiety and my claustrophobia make sitting in little spaces for long periods of time kinda difficult and I had never been on a plane for so long, so I had no idea how I would react. Luckily, we booked an overnight flight so I actually was able to sleep for a huge chunk of it. Our first flight was 15 hours from Los Angeles to Taipei then another 5 hour flight to Bali.

Once we landed, our driver was waiting for us with a cute little sign to take us over to our first airbnb. The exhaustion and humidity hit us like a freaking truck as we made the hour or so drive to Ubud. Ubud is located in central Bali and a lot more traditional and quiet than the coast and I really wanted to get the full zen experience so I booked us an airbnb quite literally in the middle of the jungle. It was the cutest little bungalow that was hidden from the main road; you literally had to walk this long path through the jungle to get to it.

I'm not going to lie, the culture shock really hit me that first night. It was dark when we arrived at our bungalow and the walk up the path was pitch black and I was able to hear every animal around us. I literally ran through because I got scared and when we got into our place, we were greeted with no AC and an outdoor shower that, in my head, animals could climb in to and attack me. I had a quick little "oh crap, what did I get myself into?" moment and had decided I just wasn't going to shower for the next week haha. It was a bad case of first world problems and kinda hate myself for it now. We passed out from exhaustion and when we woke up every fear I had was gone. In the daylight, I realized the jungle wasn't scary but actually the most beautiful place in the world and that showering outdoors is actually the most relaxing, peaceful way to start your day.

Our first couple days were full of fun adventures. We started our first morning with a short walk to a little cafe right by our airbnb called, Yellow Flower Cafe. It was this cute little hut with the most gorgeous view of the jungle. The food, like all of it in Bali, was local and healthy and ridiculously cheap... like $5 a person cheap. I ordered a smoothie and avocado toast, which became my go-to on this trip, and soaked in my surroundings. No matter where went, cafes were full of people who were reading or journaling and I fell in love with this easy going vibe that Bali just radiates. On our second morning, we went to this tiny cafe located just up the street from our place called Kopi Desa before heading out. People are so kind and love asking you where you're from and what your plans are while in Bali.

We hired a driver for our first two days to take us around Ubud. Hiring a driver was the best decision because not only was it cheaper in the long run, we were able to squeeze in quite a few places and were recommended places we hadn't even heard about. Always ask locals what they recommend you should check out! We fit in all the major spots; the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Tegenungan Waterfall and Tegallalang Rice Paddies. Every spot was more breathtaking than the last and I'm still in awe of how beautiful Bali was. Like how do places like this exist? I think my favorite spot was the rice paddies because I wasn't prepared for just how massive they were or just how hard it was going to be to climb up and down. The walk up and down was a pretty intense hike with steep steps, no steps in some places and sketchy bamboo bridges. You kinda just had to grab on to whatever was around and at one point I sunk calf deep into some mud which was no fun.. but also fun at the same time? Everything about this trip was so different than anything I'd ever seen or experienced and I was welcoming it all with open arms, the good and the not-so-good.

While in Ubud, we ate at some delicious cafes-- I think Clear Cafe was my favorite because it was just a super fun experience. The place was beautiful and you had to take your shoes off before going in. I also realized I really enjoy shopping in Bali. The Ubud Art Market was massive and full of vendors selling a little bit of everything. I won't lie, it was a bit overwhelming because everyone is trying to lure you to their shop and you're kinda expected to haggle with them which I'm just not used to. You tend to catch on pretty quick and I actually found it really fun! We also found a Starbucks which I thought was hilarious but was actually really beautiful and their menu was quite different than here in the States.

After two loooong days in Ubud, our driver took us down south to our next spot in Kuta and I'll be writing all about it so keep your eyes peeled for my next post!

Until next time,
Tatianna xx