Go Gujarat!

The Best Moments from a Short Visit.

“All great novels concern themselves with life or what is described as the music of chance;
our beginnings never know their ends” Yes, I was the girl who decided to take Mansfield Park to be my transit companion. It wasn’t a specific choice, but Jane Austen felt like the ideal choice, considering I was doing a solo trip to Bali on the occasion of me turning 24.
I know I am young, but for a while now I have found myself craving for something different. The line above is one of the first in the book and though it was meant to imply something else, I found myself relate to it in the moment. I started visiting places and ‘travelling’ while studying and then settled down in a life I thought I was meant to lead,
and now I am not sure. My partially imaginative mind likes to think that my live is a novel too, and while fate and
the ‘music of chance’ would probably play a big role, I had to decide how the pages would turn out. Which is basically why this trip to Bali happened, I took a chance. I decided to do something different, something that would
help me feel better about myself. The trip fulfilled those goals. My visit was short but wonderful. I had only a few days to see as much as I could under the Balinese sun, and I tried my best doing so. So here I am sharing
my favourite moments from my first ever trip to Bali. The first thing that comes to mind is the weird happy feeling that crept over me when I climbed down those stairs that took me to the surfer’s paradise at Suluban. I’m no surfer, I’m not even a swimmer but the minute I got there I was awestruck. I grew up in Goa, so my love for the sea is nothing new, but watching waves as tall as buildings made me realise how small my world actually is and how much more there is to see in the real one out there. The Suluban beach caves gave me a chance to literally chill in the numerous natural pools that are present on the shore, perfect for nonswimmers like me. The water was clear and clean and I felt it take all my stress away! I wanted to end that day with watching the sunset over the Uluwatu temple and my friend had also instructed me to watch out for a traditional music and dance festival. That turned out to be another cherished moment. It was a touristy decision but I don’t regret it. The dance was called ‘Kecak’ possibly
because of acapella like soundtrack the performers make. The Kecak dance was held in the amphitheater inside the temple grounds, and it took me a good 10 minutes to realise that the enactment in front of me was of Ramayan, a story every Indian must know by heart, and yet the differences in the narration made it seem like a whole new one! The performance was engaging, funny and even engrossing. It even had a toad providing an unplanned comic relief!

The Uluwatu temple itself was the perfect setting for one of the most beautiful evenings I’ve seen. The place was crowded but for a change that didn’t seem to bother me. That is because the view before me made me forget
everything. I wanted to capture it on canvas. The Uluwatu temple was my first in Bali and getting a chance to experience new traditions and other cultures was a great learning experience for me. I noticed everything from outfits, to rituals to even how the temples looked like from the inside. I come from a land that is home to some of
the most beautiful temples in the world, out of which I have possibly seen only a measly 1%. So, when in Bali I didn’t want to miss an experience that was supposed to be serene and spiritual. This experience I got in the Pura Tirta
Empul. I am not a very religious person, but I don’t know why I felt that visiting this particular temple would be the right way to spend my birthday. I wanted to be in an environment which would allow me to embrace the positive vibes I needed. I wanted to be somewhere where I can soak in the magical energy that comes from these places
of worship. The main attraction at the Pura Tirta was a long rectangular pool carved of stone that were fed by the sacred spring through a series fountains, each that had a spiritual significance. Worshippers first make an
offering at the temple, then climb into the main pool to bathe and pray. We had to change into the right sarongs then purchase our temple offerings and meditate for around 10 minutes seeking blessings and permissions from the Gods, before we could step into the water. I don’t know if it was the holy water that was supposed to heal me or the energy that came from all the prayers around me; but I believed that somewhere this helped my soul.
I loved being in the pool filled with koi fish and letting the clear spring water fall over my head as I bowed down to pray. It was one of the best moments not only from this trip, but of my life. Both the Uluwatu temple and the Pura

Tirta had their unique features, but the Ulun Danu Temple, on the shores of Lake Bratan was a spot that was inspiring as well. The temple grounds were huge and the crowds didn’t help. But I tried my best to get past all
that and notice the temple itself, and that is when everything got better. The actual temple was quaint and beautiful. The background of misty green mountains and the endless lake was perfect for the most beautiful travel
photographs ever! But temples aren’t Bali’s only highlights. The gorgeous land is also known for some of the most beautiful waterfalls in South Asia. Almost every travel account on Instagram really radiates wanderlust with these
photographs. I planned to visit the local falls in Ubud, called Tegenungan, because it seemed easily accessible. However, I got a lot more than expected. The Tegenungun falls were one of the most gorgeous local falls I have
ever seen in my short life. I envied the people who were swimming close to the falls and experiencing something wonderful that I just couldn’t. I hated that I was a wannabe water baby who was too afraid to swim. I didn’t
want to leave the place. There is something powerful about the sheer force of the water that fills you with something wonderful. The time I spent there was surely one of the most cherished from my trip.

Last but not the least, the views of the great Mount Batur cannot be omitted out of an article that I am writing about my favourite moments from this trip. The volcanic mountain is most popular for the 4-hour sunrise trek to get the best views in town! But I don’t even pretend that I have the stamina for something like that. Maybe one day I shall,
isn’t that what bucket lists are for? So for that moment, I settled for the views. I am a very average person, an ordinary girl with a lot of dreams. But in that moment, I was living one of them. In that moment, I wasn’t ordinary.
I couldn’t do a trek to be on the top of the world, but the views from below weren’t bad either. 5 days and 7 of my favourite moments from a great birthday holiday. This trip was the best decision I made in 2017, and hopefully will give me the courage to take more steps towards the travel dreams that I have. I love myself when I am in a new place. I love the excitement that comes with planning. I love that i leave a part of my soul in every place I go and I love that I feel like I return as a slightly better version of myself. I am 24 years old today and I am so grateful that I have experiences that just might be able to get me the future I dream of. This was a birthday that will remain special forever.


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Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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