I have been coming down from my Bali high for a week in New York. Bali is a super happy place w/ positive spiritual energy oozing from people and places. It was my second time I visited and I really can’t wait to go back. I encourage people in their 20’s and 30’s to go and live there for as long as they can. I wish I had the opportunity to do so. It’s a great place to become centered and set priorities for the rest of your life.
Ubud is magical. It’s located 2 – 2 1/2 hours north of Denpasar where the airport is located. It’s in the jungle which means no beach. The area is a hub for artisans and artists.
There’s also an amazing foodie scene happening. Everything is sustainable, healthy, spiritual and beautiful. The best of Bali memories are made here. I stayed in the Hanging Garden for 2 days. This hotel has been on my checklist for a long time. It is on a cliff and home to the most amazing infinity pools I have ever seen.
Ubud is also home to the most epic jungle swing. The first jump is scary. The swing is hung on the edge of a cliff to the jungle. It’s pretty safe, but it’s Bali where safety rules are very different than the States. I held on so tight and was pushed into the thick of jungle. I couldn’t stop screaming and smiling. It’s a pretty awesome experience.
I also walked the rice field Tegallalang. It’s pretty touristy and you have to pay an entrance fee but it’s worth it. Rows and rows of cascading rice fields were presented in front of me. There was even a wedding photo session happening. I was thinking – this couple is crazy. Super random that you would want your wedding photos shot there, but I was the girl wearing a white lace jumpsuit in the muddy rice field, so maybe I’m not one to judge! These rice fields made me nostalgic about Korea. I grew up in the countryside of Korea. I walked through rice fields to get home from school. I was always afraid of leeches that live in the mud.
And then later in my trip, I went back to Ubud and stayed with my friend Chrissie, a girl boss who has traveled to 103 countries and the founder behind the Love IS project, which produce love bracelets made by the locals in Kenya and Bali. I was even able to participate in their Summer of Love photo shoot that happened in Canggu and meet lovely expats who have found a home in Bali. And can I tell you they were all so happy. Most of them landed in Bali after being unhappy in a corporate environment, depressed from the city, and they found happiness in Bali. Many of the expats are there working on their passion projects, like starting a Chia pudding company, creating love bracelets, launching a dessert restaurant, or training to become an emotional therapist.
I experienced how people live in Bali when I stayed with Chrissie. She works hard but in the comfort of her home, a villa facing the beautiful jungle. We would wake up early, jump on her scooter and do yoga at the Yoga barns. I got a massage for $30, haircut from a girl who used to work in Bumble and Bumble New York for $40, and it was all house calls. Getting my hair cut in my bikini, gazing across views of a beautiful jungle, I felt so blessed.
Ubud is a must-visit destination, now at the very top of my travel list.
Private Villa (DM me for info on Instagram)
A trip to Tegalalang Rice field
Yoga at Yoga Barn
John Hardy Studio(email before)
Visit Green Village (email before) + Green School
Shop at Ubud Market