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My First Real Vacation in Bali

travel bali solo

One of the hardest things to explain to people as a full-time travel blogger is that my life is not a 100 percent perfect perpetual vacation.

While I’m getting to follow my dreams and turn my passion into a profession – invited to explore the most amazing places, and even get paid to travel – I do have to pinch myself sometimes and remember that my hard work is finally paying off. That being said, it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be.

The past few months I was starting to feel unbalanced and even a bit overwhelmed with travel, but the worst part was that I was starting to feel that my blog was shifting from passion to obligation, something that terrifies me. In my opinion, as soon as a blog becomes more work than fun, it starts to DIE. Heaven help me!

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

With this in mind, I spontaneously decided to stopover in Bali on my way back to New Zealand from Mongolia for 10 days. On my own dime. Just for me.

While I’ve been able to travel to my dream spots over the past few years, almost all of them had several work-related aspects weaved in, and without exception, ended up stressing me out and weren’t a proper vacation. Gone were the days of sleeping in, reading by the beach and having no obligations whatsoever.

As wonderful as Mongolia was, I knew it was going to be intense and hard work, and I would need some recovery time before coming back to reality in New Zealand. And as soon as I realized it was actually cheaper to fly home via Indonesia than directly from Hong Kong, I was sold.

Before stepping on that plane, I knew one thing – I didn’t want to be a tourist in Bali, trying to check activities off a to-do list and feeling the pressure to do and see as much as possible.

I just wanted to relax!

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

So I decided to take it slow, not plan anything in advance, and go to chill spots where I could actually have time to relax and enjoy myself. I only wanted three things – go diving, sit on a beach and eat Balinese food.

This trip would be different than the others – this trip would be perfect.

I almost didn’t even want to take my camera with me, but let’s not get too crazy here. Eventually I decided I would bring it along but not force myself to go out looking for shots to take or schedule my day around sunrises or sunsets. If a beautiful moment happened naturally and I felt like taking a picture, I would, but if not, I wasn’t going to force it.

I ended up only taking it on 3 of my 8 dives, and used it about 3 days of the trip, the rest of the time it was kept hidden away in my bag, and it was so liberating!

I feel like this is a good mental shift to go through as a blogger and self-proclaimed social media addict.

travel bali solo

Diving in Amed and Pemuteran

I fell in love with diving this year on my first trip to Queensland, Australia, and since I got my PADI open water certification, I have been itching to get back into the water as often as possible to improve.

This was probably my main reason for stopping over in Bali, and after doing some research I settled on Amed as my first dive spot. I knew I was going to tug on a wetsuit and jump in as many days as I could on the trip.

With easy to access dive sites, calm currents and awesome reefs, this was going to be a great place to improve.

After doing some research on Tripadvisor, I settled on Adventure Divers Bali, and wandered into their shop/homestay as soon as I arrived in Amed. They blew me away. I signed up for 4 dives over 2 days, and couldn’t have been happier.

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

Both days we did dives off the beach around the amazing coral reefs in Amed and the second day was a dive around the USAT Liberty wreck, a US army cargo ship torpedoed by the Japanese in WWII. After a brutal 4:30am wake-up call, we were geared up and making our way into the water just as the sun was rising in the distance.

It made for a beautiful and memorable morning.

As it’s one of the most popular dive sites in Bali, the earlier the better, and by the time we had a coffee break and got back in for the second dive, it was so crowded I almost felt like I was jostling the other divers to get anywhere.

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

I’ll take this opportunity to thank the diver who descended on my head and knocked me into coral, scraping my leg and leaving me with a very attractive scratchy rash that is only starting to fade 3 weeks later.

That being said, all of the dives were amazing and I fell in love with the undersea world over and over again.

But the absolute highlight of the trip was getting to see a couple of mantis shrimp, which if you haven’t read the Oatmeal’s take on it, please go do it now as it’s the best thing that has ever graced the internet.

travel bali solo

Initially I was planning to boat over to the Gili Islands from Amed and relax for the rest of the trip, but I was on such a high from diving, I decided to stick to mainland Bali. After hearing from one of my taxi drivers about a place called Menjangan Island, a national park with epic dive sites, I was determined to head over and check it out instead.

I’m glad I did because like Amed, Pemuteran, is another hidden gem in Bali, and still relatively undiscovered.

While the south around Kuta and other areas are getting more and more industrialized and overrun by tourists, these two areas still feel very relaxed and calm. Just what I was looking for.

Getting over a seriously inconvenient bout of food poisoning, I only went diving once in Pemuteran, but it was amazing. I also did my first boat descent, tipping over backwards from the side of an old wooden fishing boat into the clear water below.

It was a great day!

travel bali solo

Self-pampering at the Griya

After three weeks of seriously roughing it in Mongolia (think no showers, no toilets, no warmth ever and no electricity) I knew as soon as I got to Bali, I was going to treat myself to a little pampering.

We need to splurge while on the road every once in a while.

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

Bali is a great place to pamper yourself because it’s still very cheap compared to the rest of the world. Knowing I would head straight to Amed from the airport, and since it’s still a small town and hasn’t exploded in tourism yet, I knew this would be my place to recoup. I was excited to finally have some affordable luxury.

After a little searching around online, I found The Griya Villa and Spas in Amed, just where I wanted to go.

Did I mention the villas have their own private infinity pools?


travel bali solo

Considering I was spending less than $20 a day on accommodation on the rest of the trip and the fact that I hadn’t even had a shower in almost a month, I was ready to finally treat myself and desperately to have a vacation.

Just about double my usual budget cap for a place, I knew I was getting a deal. Though I don’t usually consider myself to be a 5 star hotel kind of girl (who is?) a little luxury now and then doesn’t go amiss, especially when you can count the number of times you had a shower that month on one hand. Gross!

After the Griya found out about this little old blog, I ended up getting invited to stay (full disclosure, please don’t hate me), so I decided to be a smart saving grown-up for once and saved the monies I would have spent on a villa, and instead blew it on spa treatments, room service, the mini bar and more room service, instead.

Hello vacation!

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

After a long day of diving, I caught a ride to the Griya from the dive shop on the back of a scooter, what would become my standard form of transport in Bali. So much fun!

After being greeted with a cool drink by one of the many pools, I was whisked away to my palace, I mean villa. Greeted by a beautiful private stone staircase leading up to my rooms (plural, please note), I managed to maintain a straight face and keep it together until the porter left before having a massive dance session to Taylor Swift and then jumping in the pool. In just my undies.

You know, because it was my OWN pool! Holla! (yes, I did just write holla).

travel bali solo

Knowing that my main priority in Amed was to relax and just enjoy being somewhere beautiful and warm, I spent a lot of time at the Griya.

There are many reasons I don’t often delve into the mysterious realm of luxury travel but they usually fall into the categories of unattainable, alienating and annoying. But once in a while seems fine to me. Often I find the more stars a hotel has, the more sterilized, white bread cookie cutter it is, and that is not a travel experience I am a fan of.

I like quirky, I like local, I like authentic, isn’t that why we travel in the first place?

In fact, that’s one of the main reasons I was so keen to share my experience at the Griya on my blog. It was affordable luxury with a full Balinese staff running a place that actually felt Balinese. All of the art was local, every little touch reminded me that I was in Bali, on a dream holiday! Also everyone was incredibly friendly day after day.

travel bali solo

The Coffee Diaries journeys to Indonesia

I was so excited to finally get to visit Bali, a place I had been hearing about for years and one I never knew when I’d actually make the trip to visit. Did you know I had never been to Southeast Asia before this?

If you’re tuned into the travel and backpacker scene, you might find this surprising. SE Asia is usually the first stop for college kids and budget backpackers looking for world adventures since its super, super cheap. Unfortunately, all of the not-so-fun stereotypes come along with it.

Lately I’ve felt like that whole backpacker party scene has passed for me, and it’s not one I am keen to revisit ever again if I can help it. I’m too old for that now.

After hearing that Bali is not only a backpacker haven but also the playground for drunk Australians looking for a cheap tropical holiday, I was more than a bit nervous.

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

After taking all of your guys’ advice you left me on Facebook, I skipped Kuta and the south entirely and headed to the east and north in an effort to escape the crowds.

Even though I told myself I was on vacation and not working nor being a “super tourist” trying to cram in as many activities as humanly possible, my curiosity got the best of me, and I found myself seeking out locals as often as I could to try to learn more about Bali.

While it’s really not hard to meet locals in Bali if you actually try – the people there are really friendly and welcoming – but one of the best ways I found to get to know people was by staying in homestays.

Similar to a B&B, homestays are a cheap and awesome way to travel around Bali, and also a convenient way to avoid the backpacker scene.

travel bali solo

While many B&B’s around the world operate on a more commercial, distanced level, the homestays in Bali are just what they say they are, staying in someone’s home. Literally.

My favorite homestays were the ones with just 2 rooms and where you were greeted by the family, spending time with them during your stay.

I ended up sticking around Pemuteran for longer than I intended, discovering a magnificent homestay right on the beach.

After two awesome solid days of diving, I decided to just relax for a while. Instead of packing my days with activities and excursions, I stuck around the home, playing with the kids, bonding with the son who was around my age and who gave me scooter rides around town, and napping in the sun. Rough times.

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

It was in these small moments where I really start to learn and be interested in modern Balinese culture. From having delicious homemade banana pancakes drizzled in honey for breakfast to chatting with the family in the courtyard in the afternoon and visiting the local neighborhood temple next door, it was a surprisingly easy way to get to know life in Bali.

And like with so many cultures around the world, life in the home with guests revolves around unflinching hospitality.

After receiving a welcome drink of rice tea, I started to get to know Wayan’s family and a little more about Balinese culture – including the importance of all of the elaborate temples and good snorkeling and dive sites around the island.

In exchange for his hospitality, the next day I offered him one of my Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew coffees to try. In a culture where hospitality reigns with the elder and homeowner to boot, I could tell he wanted to say no at first, but luckily Wayan’s curiosity won out, and he was game to give a taste.

travel bali solo

travel bali solo

Leaving our sandals on the porch, we wandered over to the beach with our coffees while I peppered him with questions about his family and how Bali is changing and what he sees for the future for Pemuteran (I’m not one to ask light questions).

Perhaps what I remember most from the conversation and what I found to be most extraordinary was how the naming system works in Bali. Did you know that there are only 4 names used?

Wayan – Made – Nyoman – Ketut

There are some variations and often times there is some kind of follow-up nickname attached, but that’s how it works, for boys and girls. And if you have 5 children? Go back to Wayan.

For me, Bali was so different, so lively and unique from anywhere I had experienced recently. My memories there are less from physical activities and touristic sites and more from feelings, small moments, and scraps of information I picked up here and there. It was the perfect introduction.

Have you been to Bali or Indonesia? What have you learned with a stranger over a cup of coffee on the road? Have you ever felt the need to have a true vacation like this?

travel bali solo

Many thanks to the Griya and Starbucks for hosting me in Bali, like always I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me!

96 Responses to My First Real Vacation in Bali

  1. Backpacking Bella October 24, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    Hi Liz, I’m so happy you had a wonderful, relaxing time in Bali. I knew you would 🙂 Isn’t it such a beautiful and special island. The locals are so friendly and kind. And it’s true, you can escape the tourist madness and find your own little gem of a spot. Thanks for sharing your holiday times with us!

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Thanks! It was the vacation I needed!

      • Aash January 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

        Hey Liz,

        Came across this while trying to research the weather in Bali in Feb. It’s my moms 50th next month and Bali is on her bucket list. We can’t afford much and she has not had a vaca in more years than I can count, so I wanted to be Sure that the weather will do us well. I know feb is wet season. How was your weather experience during your stay?

        Thank you,

  2. Emily October 24, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    That villa looks stunning! I would love to stay at a place with my own freaking pool!!

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:14 am #


  3. Christie from The Butterfly Editions October 25, 2014 at 1:57 am #

    I love Bali! I recently spent a month in Indonesia, two weeks of which in Bali, and it was just lovely. Good on you for taking a break when you needed it, and by the looks of things you certainly chose a wonderful place to stay!

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      It was just perfect!

  4. Jenna October 25, 2014 at 2:31 am #

    I love Bali! It’s such a peaceful relaxing place and your pictures are gorgeous

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:15 am #


  5. Julie @ A Life Exotic October 25, 2014 at 2:41 am #

    Whoa, that’s so interesting about naming in Bali. It sounds like it might get confusing but what a cool piece of their culture! Also – is it your GoPro you take photos with while diving?

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      Yeah just my gopro on a selfie stick!

  6. Ashley October 25, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    For whatever reason, Indonesia hasn’t intrigued me like other Southeast Asian countries have, but this post made it seem so much more appealing. The villa looks gorgeous and I would definitely try a homestay if I ever find myself in Bali.

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      It’s really cool, I want to explore more besides Bali!

  7. Eva @ magellan & pan October 25, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    Good for you for having a much needed 5 star vacation! It’s so amazing that they ended up letting you stay for free. The Griya looks absolutely amazing – you had me at private pool! 🙂

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      It was amazing having my own pool!

  8. Audrey October 25, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Bali is such a great place for a bit of luxury on a budget! I was there in the spring and my trip was also all about relaxing. I stayed at two fantastic villas (one in Ubud and another in Sanur) and all I did was swim in the pool, stuff my face with tropical fruits, and read books. I may not have visited all the main attractions on the island, but it was exactly what I needed.

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      yeah, it’s the perfect place to just unwind and relax!

  9. K October 25, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    Bali is near the top of my list of places I want to visit. It looks gorgeous. I’ve never actually done a relaxing vacation, preferring to stuff in as much sightseeing as I can, though I was forced to take things a little bit (too) easy on my trip to Hawaii when I was five months pregnant with twins. I had to sit down a lot. However, if I had been without a shower for 3 weeks, I would be booking a 5-star resort and lounging by the pool too!

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      Yeah usually I’m all about doing stuff when traveling but it’s nice to just relax on the road too!

  10. Christy October 25, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    Wow, looks like an amazing destination and certainly a relaxing vacation! I noticed at the beginning you mentioned that this was a vacation you were taking on your own dime but then you thanked the Griya and Starbucks for hosting you in Bali at the end of the post. In the post, you covered how the Griya unexpectedly covered your stay, but I’m wondering what contributions Starbucks made? Not hating, just curious.

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Starbucks is one of my sponsors which helped me stop in Bali on my way home to New Zealand. Also lots of coffee perks 😛

  11. Charlene October 25, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Do you know of the best place to fly into or the best route? Flying from Canada and the flights seems crazy expensive. Would love to go if I could

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

      Hmmmm I am not sure since I didn’t go that way, but Jetstar flies around Australia and asia and is cheaper. Maybe look via australia or hong kong.

  12. Justine October 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    This post is so perfectly timed. I’m living in Jakarta and I’m thinking of doing a quick trip to Bali next week. I’ve been to Kuta but I haven’t explored much of mainland Bali. I’m definitely going to look into Pemuteran and Amed! Do you have any other recommendations for attractions to see or places you really enjoyed? It looks like you had a fabulous vacation 🙂 Good for you for taking some time to relax and slow down a little bit.

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      The only other place I was in was Ubud which was nice but not as quiet as the other two. Have a good trip!

  13. De'Jav October 25, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Way to bounce back and step up with an amazing accommodation must say. The pics look great. I’ve heard good things about Bali since I’m so close there are typically good deals. Sounds like you had a great time for yourself.

    • Liz October 25, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

      Yeah it was awesome! You should definitely check it out 🙂

  14. Petra @ The Global Couple October 26, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    Oh Bali, it’s absolutely one of my favourite places! My fiancé and I have been there twice and we loved it so much we are getting married there! The people are amazing, so generous and kind.
    – Petra

    • Liz November 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      Ah that’s amazing! Where are you getting married?

  15. Melissa October 26, 2014 at 5:18 am #

    Bali is incredible! There’s something magical about the island. I suffered ED when I was 15 then slowly I recovered. Even though I recovered, I wasn’t happy with everything in my life. School was a struggle for me and I constantly crying till I fall asleep at night. When I finally got a long break ( about 1 month + ) from school, I kept doing things I love every damn day. When the new year started,2014, I suddenly woke up feeling lighter and happier. It just happens. It’s a choice. I got to go Bali in February and I only spent 4 days. The villa was so incredible. I woke up 6am every day just to get done with my workout so I could jump straight into the pool. Those memories and laughters I’ve spent with my family was something I will always cherish and never forgotten. I remember laughing so loudly that I suddenly stop and had this ”pausing” moment where I think back – when was the last time I felt so alive, so happy and laugh so loudly and freely? Way too long! I wrote all the good times in my journal. I read them once in a while and let me just say, all of it comes back in my mind again. Bali, I love you. I’m so happy you enjoy yourself in Bali. <3 Keep doing your thing, looking forward on your next post!

    • Liz November 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Cool, sounds like Bali was medicinal for you! It’s such a great place!

  16. Jono October 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Where did you find the smaller homestays you stayed in? Normally the ones I find on the internet are basically hostels, with 10+ rooms.

    • Liz November 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      I used Yonderbound for booking stuff as well as for some of the more remote places

  17. Luke Mitchell October 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    It was great to read your post on another site I’m fond of, and SUPER happy to see one posted about one of my favourite places to go. Bali is so gorgeous and there’s not enough time in a trip to see everything I want to see, and you’ve picked out things I have yet to do still! I knew there was a reason I keep reading this blog 😉

    • Liz November 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm #


  18. Miriam of Adventurous Miriam October 27, 2014 at 3:14 am #

    Having just returned from Bali I can only agree that it’s a lovely place! I didn’t get to check out Amed, but I definitely will the next time I’m there. Thanks for these gorgeous photos, Liz – they bring back so many good memories.

    • Liz November 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      Amed is so awesome!

  19. Vanessa October 27, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Wow, that’s a really nice place..a well deserved gift for yourself after working hard. And thank you for mentioning the Mantis Shrimp. As the Oatmeal said, a beauty with a dark side.You’re a lucky girl for spotting it without getting punched =) Enjoyed this post!

    • Liz November 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      That’s what I thought too, better keep my distance 😀

  20. That Global Roamer October 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    Looks amazing – so glad you got some time out (And still managed to write a wicked post about it too!)

    • Liz November 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      It was so lovely!

  21. Leonie Parker October 27, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    This dive site looks amazing!!!

    Leonie ♥

    • Liz November 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      It was WICKED!

  22. Joe Louis October 28, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    Looks like you had a wonderful time in Bali – you did it right! Next time you should spend more time and wander to surrounding areas such as Lombok and the Gilis, and even Sumatra.
    I had fun but only spent a couple of weeks there – can’t wait for next time!

    • Liz November 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

      I wish I had more time, but I know I’ll go back. I almost went to the Gilis but opted to stick around Bali for the time I was there and go slow. Next time!

  23. Kristin of October 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Hi Liz
    Your first image is beautiful. We loved Bali although sometimes it was a bit too touristy. For us the best was one of our drivers….he was very young and when we visited the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple area he got very emotional and told us how special this place was for him.

    • Liz November 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      wow that’s amazing to hear, yeah I avoided the super touristy spots

  24. Erin October 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    Hey Liz,

    Your photos are incredible!! Sounds like you had a great time. Question for you as a fellow peanut-allergy-sufferer, how did you find it in Bali? I’ve heard that a lot of Indonesian food is cooked in peanut oil… is it hard to find safe foods or not too bad?

    Thanks so much! 🙂

    • Jono Lewis October 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

      I’ve travelled with people who have nut allergies in SE Asia, and you are correct, a lot of the food will have nuts, especially peanuts. A good thing you can do is learn how to say “no peanuts” in the local language. Better yet you can have someone write it down for you, or even be as crude as a picture of a peanut and a picture of a dead face – is pretty effective 🙂

      • Liz November 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

        it’s what’s saved me so far!

    • Liz November 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

      I didn’t have any problems in Bali and I was in non touristy spots as well. They got it no problem.

  25. Renee November 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Congrats on being able to take a genuine vacation! It sounds like you had a fabulous time in Bali and were well taken care of by the villas and homestays and you were able to recharge your batteries. Loved the underwater photos. I can see why you love diving. Also loved the link you provided to the Oatmeal’s take on the mantis shrimp. Have you seen Ze Frank’s video about them?
    Funny stuff!

    • Liz November 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

      love that!

  26. Molly November 3, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    I got to spend 9 days in Bali in August. After spending two days near Ulu Watu, we went to Nusa Lembongan…where we got stuck due to a crashed scooter and some injuries. It actually ended up being sort of a blessing, as it made us take the rest of our time there to relax and just be.
    Sounds like you had an amazing time, I want to go back and I’ll definitely refer to your experiences. 🙂 Love your blog.

    • Liz November 4, 2014 at 11:49 am #

      I was too nervous to scooter by myself, next time 😀

  27. Chicago Limo November 8, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    I knew that you had a great time there specially in under water diving is really an awesome experience for me, i was so scared when i plan my first time under water diving, its really a life changing experience for me,

    • Liz November 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      It’s really great!

  28. Soffia November 10, 2014 at 4:04 am #

    Looks so lovely! I haven’t been really interested in SA Asia because of the crowds and the party scene, but this looks so great xx

    • Liz November 10, 2014 at 11:33 am #

      yeah I hate that idea that’s why I went to these places

  29. Kaleena's Kaleidoscope November 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    Wow, this trip looks amazing! I went to Bali last year and did Ubud and the Gili Islands, the two most popular places. While it was fun, it was very overrun with tourists and next year I’m going back to Bali to stay for longer and experience more of the north and more quiet, rural areas. My parents are going to come travel with me for a month, so I might have to look into this hotel, it looks incredible! 🙂 Thanks for the info!

    • Liz November 26, 2014 at 12:25 am #

      I really liked the quieter places in Bali, I definitely want to go back and hit up the Gilis!

  30. Leigh Powell Hines November 23, 2014 at 2:29 am #

    What a beautiful resort. I just saw you were from Virginia. Southern. Yea! Me, too. I’m in Raleigh, N.C.

    • Liz November 26, 2014 at 12:11 am #

      It’s amazing!

  31. Rachel G December 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    This is a very cool post to read about what looks to be a gorgeous destination! I’m just dipping my feet into casual travel blogging, and I’m taking your comments on the importance of not letting the business side suck the fun out of it for you to heart!

  32. Zulfa Amalia December 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    i followed your Instagram and i`ve seen you are travelling to amazing places around the world. i always wondering how could you do that, what you did exactly are things i always dreaming. i want a job where i can travelling and get paid for it, spending my whole time in the wonderful places in this earth. but i still don`t find a way how to start it.
    once again, tourist are so common with Bali, but don`t they know that Indonesia has thousand more beautiful places than Bali, Bali is just a small piece of Indonesia

  33. Victoria December 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    A much deserved break! The villa looks stunning, the diving adventure filled and the spas to die for! Glad you enjoyed.

    • Liz December 12, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      it was great!

  34. amelie88 December 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    I remember the 4 name thing from Eat Pray Love and though that was so weird and that Liz Gilbert had to be making it up! Did some more research and turns out she was right. What an odd tradition!

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      I know, its so strange!

  35. Soumya January 17, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    Dear Liz, I came to know about your site few days back from an article on BBC website and since then have read many of your fantastic travel experiences. It is so great to hear about people like you who are successfully doing things which they really wanted to do. As a coincidence I was also in Bali last year October and after reading your blogs about the sights and sounds of Bali was really able to rediscover that wonderful place. Photography being my hobby, I took lot of pictures in Bali some of which I have posted on Flickr. I am sharing the link of the same with you

    Also, as an Indian I would request you to visit India also and I am sure you will find many interesting things to write about places and people of India.


  36. Nomen Ama February 28, 2015 at 1:38 am #

    Finally,a blog worth reading. Thank you. ( This is my first comment on any blog I ever read before) Thanks again.

    • Liz February 28, 2015 at 12:20 pm #


  37. Sharon March 14, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    Heading to Bali in a couple of weeks and will probably read this at least a couple of times in the meantime. Love it! I always love your take on things. Happy travels!

    • Liz March 15, 2015 at 7:51 pm #


  38. dewiku April 23, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    Bali is an outstanding tourist spot. You will find a lot of experience there. n Bali, you can channel your hobby for surfing and diving. There are many places for it. Its inhabitants are friendly and have a high tolerance, will provide a sense of comfort like being at your place itself. You will see the cultural diversity that you will not find elsewhere. And you will see the charm of the natural beauty that will make you find peace and tranquility of heart.

  39. Gede Bob @ Family Bali Tours August 26, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    Awesome post about your solo travel in Bali. Im glad to know that you have been to our wonderful island and enjoyed every moment. I would like to ask if you have been to all places?

  40. arvi September 30, 2015 at 12:34 am #

    I lived in Indonesia for a few years and friends always ask me for advice on travelling Indonesia. They usually start by asking about Bali. I strongly encourage them to avoid Kuta at all costs, but also suggest that they bi-pass Bali altogether.

  41. Steve December 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    Awesome post!

  42. Sabrina December 18, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

    Great post! I really love your style!
    Bali is a magical place for me!

  43. Jennifer Cooper December 21, 2015 at 1:47 am #

    Hi Liz, Ive just been browsing for blog posts on Bali as I’m there at the minute. Ive been here for 17 days and fly to NZ tomorrow. We went up to Pemuteran which we loved – the seafood there is delicious. Im a little annoyed that we spent so much time in Seminyak (8 nights) as the food here is rubbish compared to the rest of the island. If I come back to Bali I would like to explore the north more and the east coast. Good post and I am glad you got a chance to relax. Happy Christmas!

  44. Villa Lumia Bali February 17, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

    Great post and love your pics in Amed !

  45. fikri April 3, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

    try visiting Lombok, located in eastern side of Bali island. In lombok, you’ll find similar beaches and resorts. Senggigi beach, Kutta beach (same name as kuta in bali), and Gili islands (gili trawangan, gili air, and gili meno), where the only means of transportation are bicycle and by foot.
    Love your blog btw, just stumble upon it while looking for iceland

  46. Purnama Wati April 19, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

    Your picture makes me want to go on vacation there

  47. Karen May 16, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

    Great blog – stumbled across this whilst researching Amed and Pemuteran. I’m an Aussie planning my first trip to Bali – I’ve always stayed away from the island because of the reputation that my fellow countrymen have so kindly created; but I have similar plans to you – skip Kuta/Seminyak and head directly to Amed, Pemuteran possibly even Sidemen…not sure yet…I’m still deciding!

  48. Ryan Martin July 5, 2016 at 12:34 am #

    Hey Liz, Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. It is such a lovely place as shown in your picture above. I have been to Bali last year I explored It is a very beautiful place. I stayed in Karma hotel Royal in Bali and I found the villa was amazing. The private pool, luxurious rooms, lovely food and beautiful places just make my trip worth visiting.

  49. Tista August 25, 2016 at 12:07 am #

    haven’t been in Amed for a while, interesting they have high class hotels there now, as you photos show.

    It”s worth a new visit to have another look, and to go diving for a week or so.

  50. Leesh October 9, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Wow, this has definitely given me itchy feet! Bali is at the top of my bucketlist and looks absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing and I’m glad you got some calm, down time for yourself – like you said it’s nice to have a bit of luxury sometimes! Love your blog, always inspiring me to plan more travels x

  51. Jen October 18, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    Hey Liz, just asked a similar question on your Thailand post, but wondering if you had any pointers for traveling safely in Bali with a peanut allergy. I travel a lot, but it’s always a little scary for me, and Southeast Asia feels like it’s out of my reach, allergy wise. Would love and tips/pointers for safe travels!

  52. Bali tour November 30, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi Liz, nice blog indeed! I appreciated with your narration about Bali tour. Your underwater images are really incredible and the particular image that you have pointed to a Stingray is scary too. It is true that no other places can be compared to Bali. Waiting for your next posts.

  53. Sophie Jones December 11, 2016 at 2:29 am #

    Fantastic photography of Bali! Really well captured, the diving looks amazing!

  54. Made Ardiana December 20, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    aww that was a great pics of Bali !
    i love it !

  55. Bali Day Tours December 23, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

    Oh..!! all images are stunning. Thanks for posting the great article and pictures about the beautiful Bali, I really love it.


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