When traveling I often am amazed by how much I’m impacted by a trip weeks after I have left. Back in my daily routine and in familiar surroundings, the aura of a travel destination has flowered and given rise to a feeling within me. The soul of a place needs time to marinate in my mind and the various colors, sights, sounds, food, language and memories swirl together creating a rich texture. Five years ago, Mandy and I ventured to Bali and the feel I got for the small island occupied a large and deep place in my psyche. I had never felt this so strongly in previous travels and could only explain it as a reflection of the kindness and gratitude driven culture of the Balinese people. In returning to Bali five years later, I was fulfilling a promise I had made to myself to come back and dig deeper. Now older, wiser, and more traveled, I was worried that Bali would lose its luster and that it was simply my reaction to being somewhere so deeply foreign to me for the first time. Within hours, my doubts were put to rest as I settled into the warm embrace of the island.
Bali was an incredibly fitting start to our Asia adventure. A place we knew and loved allowed for us to kick the jet lag while relaxing in familiar territory. Our friend and driver Ketut picked us up from the area and took us to the town of Canggu where we would be staying for a week. We stayed in a beautiful villa complete with separate living area, huge bedroom, and courtyard with our own pool. It was a great place to relax.
Canggu is a small town outside of Seminyak which has been growing in popularity in recent years. Tourists, western expats, and locals mix together in the community and although quiet, it has plenty of places to eat and spend time within a short walk. The week was spent perusing the resorts on the island including a stop at our old favorite – Potato Head beach club. We also had a memorable lunch at Mexicola in Seminyak with a colorful design and fantastic street tacos. It was great to be back in Bali, I felt immediately at home and excited for the big trip ahead of us. // Jeff