Every winter most Ohioans do two things.
- We get super excited about the first snow. After what feels like weeks of cold weather, gray skies, and sporadic rain, snow is always a welcome sight mainly because it means ice skating in Cleveland’s Public Square, that the CMP Chalet will open complete with tobogganing, and that Boston Mills and Brandywine will soon have hills full of skiers.
Unfortunately our love of the snow is fleeting. In a state where it sometimes feels like we have winter for 6 months we get irrational, lazy and frustrated. Without sunshine we tend to also curse ourselves for not scheduling our next island vacation until February…but since last minute flights get expensive we do the next best thing.
- We daydream about the islands. Any island.. somewhere with water, sun and heat.
Here’s a quick and dirty Guide to Bali to add some inspiration and daydreams to your winter months.
Bali, Indonesia is a trek by plane, especially from the United States. Be prepared to completely lose track of time. CLE to DPS ( Denpasar) can range from 24 hours to 35 hours long depending on the deal- we always like TripAdvisor for the best rates, pretty much on everything.
Home to writing intensives, mindfulness retreats, 10 day coding workshops, and loads of nature you’ll do best by booking something that provides a little hand holding.
Bisma Eight is a boutique hotel found in Ubud and offers exquisite accommodations, classes and all the help you’ll need to find your way through a new foreign and exotic land. Check out Bisma Eight’s City Guide for some in depth ideas to get your itinerary started.
What you’ll notice when you get here. Everything feels spiritual. A sort of earthly magical connection is present all over The Island of the Gods and inherent in the Balinese culture and way of life.
Hamlets and villages are abundant all over Bali, each with their own special flavor. You’ll find Tiger Palm in Seminyak Village. A tribute to Malaysian dining, you’ll find noodles, curry and fish to satisfy every palate. They also offer cooking classes, so if you’re lucky enough to be on the island when these occur be sure to make the trip!
Secret Garden Restaurant is wonderful and another must. Right on Lovina Beach near Jalan Laksmana they mix authentic cuisine with classics that all tourists know and love. A strong veggie menu helps out the vegetarians and gives everyone a good reason to eat fresh and healthy while traveling. Not too flashy, its easy to feel at home here.
Things to Do
Like anywhere else they have museums, nature walks and shopping
You’ll find cute boutiques down Jalan Laksmana and awesome smoothies courtesy of Nalu Bowls on Jalan Drupadi . Since I’ve been in a “Hawaii” phase for a while now the fact that “nalu” means wave in Hawaiian was an obvious sign this place should be on my list.
If you’re up for a little drive, 15 minutes to the south is Kuta…you will find shopping and the lights of the big city here, but you may also find some traffic reminiscent of L.A.
If walking is more your style try the Ubud walk across the rice terrace it will help you appreciate the rains that come every once in while and truly is beautiful to behold.
The Agung Rai Museum or ARMA is such a testament to the uniqueness of the Balinese culture that regardless of whether or not you know about the history of this island it is amazing to see the pre-war collection. The museum also claims a resort, bookstore and restaurant- all surrounded by lush gardens. It’s an excellent escape.
Bali Barat National Park is also a must see. Part forest, coral, mountains, trees and coast you get almost every type of environment and animal here. Horseback riding, diving, and just strolling along the sand make it a worthwhile gorgeous excursion.
If you didn’t come to Bali to shop know that many come here just to shop. And when they do they head over to the Kuta Beachwalk on Jalan Pantai Kuta. Beautifully designed you’ll fall in love with the mall layout just as much as your treasured finds.
No matter where you live, if you’re on the edge of winter or in the thick of it. Take some time to daydream about your next island vacation and you’ll feel warmer in no time.