Yesterday morning I had five dollars. I spent it on packets of Pedigree for a stray dog I found wandering the streets of Vientiane. So to be honest, as I write this I’m eating peanut butter & crackers from my emergency food stash and probably shouldn’t be giving people unsolicited advice about money.
With an abundance of all-inclusive beach resort chains and world-famous hot spots, the island of Bali can have a reputation in backpacker circles for being laden with tourists and hard on the wallet. And it certainly CAN be. But despite the [easily escaped] crowds, Bali remains an island of variety and offers a plethora of budget-friendly activities to keep even the most frugal of travelers endlessly entertained. Trust me, I’m poor. Continue reading
In the spirit of seasonal resolution making, here are some words of advice for the coming year (and beyond)…
Never choose money, popularity, or a dude over your girl tribe. Ever.
Don’t want fair-weather friends? Don’t be one. Sisterhood is a pretty powerful thing, but it’s a two-way street built on love and loyalty. You can never truly know what this world is going to hit you with, so trust me when I tell you that you’re gonna want those women in your corner. True friendship is hard to come by & the only way to have it is to be it.
“Netflix & chill” is bullshit.
It’s perfectly okay to be uncommitted if that’s what both of you want, but you’re a living, breathing human being not a goddamn Fleshlight. You mean something. Don’t censor yourself or sacrifice your emotions on the altar of keeping it casual, you aren’t doing either of you any favors. It’s a total waste of time when the alternative is someone who treats you like a goddess and makes your vagina sing the Ride of the fucking Valkyries. Real women are passionate and complicated and real men dig that. If dude wants a sex doll he can hit up Ebay for it, not you.
Shallow, catty relationships/friendships are pointless.
Surround yourself with people who build you up and inspire you to grow & learn, and who genuinely love you for everything you are. Stop worrying so much about looking “cool” or acting a certain way all the time and just be yourself. No one has the right to ask you to be or make you feel “less than”. If someone’s friendship or affection is contingent on you diminishing any part of you so they can shine, say sayonara & move on.
There’s a whole universe inside you it’s constantly evolving. Share it. Have real conversations with people. Talk about religion and politics and racism and feminism and how to save the oceans. Talk about galaxies and archaeology and what kind of dinosaur you’re gonna ride into space when you grow up. Ask other people questions about who THEY are, where they’ve been, what their favorite books and biggest fears are and what they think about when they can’t fall asleep at night. Be curious and insatiable. Find every wall you’ve ever put up and blast them open.
Stand up for yourself.
Don’t be afraid to call bullshit when you aren’t being treated with 100% of the respect you deserve & NEVER be afraid to ask a friend for help if you are hurt or in trouble. You aren’t being “needy” or “seeking attention” and you certainly aren’t weak. Those are just excuses that selfish, insecure people use when they don’t want to admit they’re being an asshole.
Stand up for other people too.
Be a voice for the voiceless, especially children, animals, and other women. We live in a world that’s more connected than ever before, so silence and apathy are useless. If you have something important to say, shout that shit from the motherfucking rooftops. We’re all in this together, after all.
Don’t let stereotypes define you. No woman is just ONE thing.
You are pretty AND smart. You are feminine AND strong. You can like parties AND books. You can run a marathon, climb K2, AND have perfect eyebrows. You can be anything you want to be and if you go to bed like a lion and wake up like a lamb, or vice versa, then THAT’S JUST HOW IT IS.
No one is entitled to an opinion about your lifestyle or your body and you can do anything you want to with it.
Stop giving trolls, haters, and shamers the time of day. Have kids or don’t. Get married or don’t. Sleep with men or women or both. Wear makeup or don’t. Be into Cross-fit or be into sitting around in your pajamas drinking wine and eating cheese & taking selfies with your dog.
It’s your life, every second of every day, and you should be in love with it.
Originally published on TotallyBali, August 15, 2015 as “Bali- A Place for Soulful Guidance & Bendy Glutes”
Follow @serenityyogalembongan on Instagram
Outside of India, Bali is the reigning world champion of all things yoga.
A land rich in spiritual history and mysticism with beautiful studios set amid lush jungle forests or overlooking the stunning blue ocean waters, Bali has drawn nirvana seekers from across the globe for decades. In recent years, due to the popularity of Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel Eat, Pray, Love, single gals and aspiring yogis alike have flocked to the Island of the God’s seeking soulful guidance and bendy glutes.
Studios pepper the beaches and jungles throughout the island, and without checking up on any facts, I’d hazard to guess Bali probably certifies more Western yoga teachers than anywhere else in the world. Every place I went I met people who were either about to start a training, had just finished a training, or were currently IN a training & maybe would I like to join a Teacher Training? If only money grew on trees…
Here are some of my recommendations, personally chosen from the many many many others based on such rigid and exacting standards as
“Is it pretty?”
“Can I walk there? Just kidding, I have a scooter.”
“Are they nice, like do they have puppies?”
“Will there be food?”
Follow @mabesyoga and @theyogabarn on Instagram
The Yoga Barn
+62 361 971236
The Yoga Barn, located in Ubud, is Bali’s most well-known and popular yoga studio. They offer a wide range of classes, retreats, and teacher trainings and they also partner with Bali Spirit to sponsor the Bali Spirit Festival, an immersive five day yoga, music, and arts event that draws thousands of attendees each year.
Follow @yogalane on Instagram
The Chillhouse Bali is a surf, cycling & and yoga retreat center located steps from Badung beach in Canggu, an up and coming area of Bali fast rivaling Ubud as a haven for creatives and pursuers of a healthy, active but eco-friendly lifestyle. I’m kind of at a loss for words regarding this place because it’s basically what I’m pretty sure Heaven would be if there was a Heaven and only really nice, really good-looking people went there.
Follow @thechillhouse on Instagram
Actually, I take it all back. Don’t go here. It’s too awesome & you’ll just move in and never leave and you’ll surf and swim and do yoga every day. Horrible place. Buncha goddamn hippies.
Follow @serenitybali on Instagram
Serenity Eco Guesthouse
Originally opened as a family home stay in 2009, Serenity has grown from quiet beginnings into a bustling hub of holistic healing. Now a fully fledged guesthouse with private bungalows and budget-friendly dorms, a kick-ass pool, and an organic cafe, the Guesthouse houses three yoga studios and meditation spaces. Daily classes are offered, as well as retreats and teacher trainings – including an SUP Paddleboard Yoga course. *swoon*
And also the food is good. (Obviously, or they would be dead to me.)
(That’s a pie. Because yoga and pie, f*** you.)
Follow @lauren.taus on Instagram
From traditional to modern and hippie to hip, with immersion workshops and festivals, month-long teacher courses and daily classes, and retreats to suit every level and style of student, there really a studio for everyone.
Do you have a favorite yoga studio in Bali? Post in the comments, I am dying to know all about it- like do they have puppies & will there be food?
From the minute I stepped off the plane not one single thing went as planned, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But that’s the best thing about exploring, isn’t it? The possibility of being surprised.
Wanderlust. Adventure. Passion. Beauty. Freedom.
Or homing beacons.
Until next time, Asia.