I have been to Bali, Indonesia a few times in my life and it is one of those magical places that I can keep coming back to and never have the same experience twice and it never gets old. There are not many places in the world that I can say that about, because when I have free time to travel I am always wanting to go try somewhere new.
I had always heard about the Gili Islands while in Bali, but I never had the free time to take a few days off from my trip to go check them out..until this past trip. I had about 5 days off, so Sarah Natasha and I decided to go get our advanced diving certification on Gili Trawangan. You have to get a driver to drive you across Bali and then take a 2 hour fast boat to get there. Once there Vehicles are prohibited, which is a really nice change from the traffic in Bali, so your choices are walking, biking or my favorite a cidomo, a horse-drawn carriage taxi.
The island is tiny and takes only an hour to ride your bike around the one road that circles the island. The main activities to do there are diving, drinking at the many beach bars, relaxing and getting massages on the beach, and while we were there watching the World Cup Soccer games (which came on at 5am because we were in Asia)! It is already a party island, but when you add World Cup games at 5am, the entire island adopted the lifestyle of a vampire for two weeks; partying all night until the sunrise and then sleeping during the day. While we were there, we lucked out and experienced a full moon party and it was like a raging disco all night long It was ridiculously fun and one of the only times in my life that I felt truly relaxed.
Every day was zen and I lived in a very primal way. If I was tired, I slept. If I was hungry, I ate. If I was sore, I got a massage. No one ever talked about the date, time, current events and it’s like space and time didn’t exist…just the present moment. Not to mention the scuba diving there was AMAZING! I did 5 dives total including a wreck dive and napped on the beach or the boat in between dives. At one point I was laying on the bottom of the ocean in a bed of sea grass surrounded by 6 foot sea turtles…Just hanging out. It was like a meditation, just focusing on my breathing and the beauty around me. There are no words to describe that feeling.
Sarah and I even met a guy that moved there and hasn’t worn shoes in two years! On an island of nothing but dirt roads, beach bars, and thatched roof huts, this wasn’t a strange concept. It made me realize that we Americans DEFINITELY choose to overcomplicate our lives.
I highly suggest visiting this island to anyone that has Bali already on their list of destinations. If you are so lucky to visit this tiny island where I left part of my heart, you must scuba dive with Arsalan with Gangga Divers at Villa Almarik. They are THE BEST!