I have no way of putting this but to say it directly: I won the #TripOfWonders in Bali, Indonesia in December 2018. #tripofwonders Indonesia was a dream come true. Just WOW!
Why is Bali so famous?
Bali’s popularity has been increasing in recent years like no other destination. I’m sure you’ve heard of the book, which later became a movie, “Eat. Pray. Love”. And that’s only one of the reasons for which Bali, the Hindu island of Indonesia, has become come to define paradise and has become a homeland for digital nomads.
And I was obsessed over it.
I dreamt of this trip to Bali for the past 2 years and I made it one of my goals. I told all my friends and family I wanted to visit Bali and I made a plan on how I was going to raise the money to afford this trip. And then I started following the most interesting stories and the social media accounts which were talking about Bali.
Bali was my priority and I was convinced I would get there, no matter how long it would take to raise the money.
One day, as I was scrolling through my InstaStories, I saw a contest, claiming to award you with a trip to Indonesia. It was from a Romanian travel blogger, WorldTravelBug. I entered the contest. It was a quiz, which was meant to encourage you to discover more about Indonesia.
I took the quiz, trying to raise more points each day for about a week. Then I travelled to Jordan and left that where it was.
So, no wonder, I was shocked when less than 3 weeks later, I got an e-mail announcing that I had won a trip to Indonesia: A Trip of Wonders!
The announcement was made about a week before the actual trip. I wasn’t even sure if it was real. It was as if I had attracted everything I had been thinking and dreaming of. I was invited to visit Bali, by the Minister of Tourism of Indonesia. Except for my blogger friend, I hadn’t heard of anyone bragging about having made a trip to Indonesia. Not invited by them!
The trip was of 5 days, but I asked if I could extend the period, since the price of the plane tickets was the same, and the organizers kindly agreed. I was preparing myself for 2 weeks of #WonderfulIndonesia.
My international group of 8 travellers, consisted of people from Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Philipines, Spain, Hong Kong and Belgium. I was impressed with the organization. We were set up as the Nature trip group and we set on our mission to explore the natural beauty of Bali.
The trip consisted of a 4 night accomodation, 5 days of amazing activities, all hotels, meals and activities included.
The organizers had even prepared a nice gift for each one of us: a backpack, a refillable water bottle, a battery bank for our phones, a t-shirt and a sunhat. All were personalized with the Trip of Wonders logo, which is the name of the campaign. And we each received a not so modest allowance. I guessed it was for spending on souvenirs because everything else was already covered.
#WonderfulIndonesia: Exploring Bali
Can you even imagine, how I was feeling to finally get to explore Bali, after dreaming of it for 2 years? It felt unreal at first, but soon enough the climate and local bugs made me feel very much alive.
As part of our organized trip, we visited:
- Ubud Monkey Forest
- Tegallalang Rice Terrace, where rice field swings are
- Bali Pulina, to taste some traditional tea and coffee from Bali
- Tukad Cepung Waterfall
- Balai Gili water palace
- Temple Of Lempuyang Luhur
- Seen the Sahadewa Barong Dance
The schedule was full, but so well organized, I loved every second of it.
But for a real feel of Indonesia, more than a few days are needed. And since you are here already, on the other side of the world, it would be a pity to not visit at least one other island of Indonesia. For sure, a trip to Indonesia should be at least 2 weeks! (after the organized trip was over, I used the rest of my time to explore Lombok, the Gillies and more of Ubud and Bali)
I loved every second of this trip, I loved how it was organized and how friendly and helpful everyone was. I couldn’t have asked for more.
What is Bali all about?
As for this fantastic trip of wonders, I have to say I was left speechless. And now I know I have just started to discover Indonesia. And there is a lot to discover, as Indonesia counts for 17508 islands.
Bali is the most famous island of this land of wonders, but each of the islands is different. Bali is the cultural and spiritual centre. It became famous, especially, for its cultural aspects. Bali is the only Hindu island of Indonesia, as the rest of the country is Muslim.
Bali hasn’t the most beautiful beaches, but it excels in terms of some impressive Hindu temples. The culture combined with the luxuriant tropical flora and fauna gives this island the title of tropical paradise.
As everything else on this Earth, there is no good without bad.
The downside of massive tourism are visible and harm the local culture and, especially, nature. The pollution and lack of recycling education is one cause the locals are desperately trying to address.
But tourism is also beneficial for Indonesians. Some even move to Bali, in the pursuit of a better life, striving to get a job in tourism.
How is Bali different?
I can only answer this for myself. Bali is different from my country in more ways than I can count. It takes a few days, but you will finally adjust to the hot, humid climate. I have one disgusting confession to make: I had showered in my own sweet more times than I would like to remember.
Bali is a tropical island, nowadays a bit overcrowded with tourists, which needs no further advertisements, but education for locals and tourists alike. A tropical rainforest, isolated together with its own different culture on an island. Yoga retreats, vegans and other hipster and hippie trends were embraced and are still the way most of the busy parts of Bali work (and look like).
The religious side is taken seriously and this is what gives part of this island’s charm. Everyday people place offerings to their god and protector,
Oh, as a vegan I have to say, Bali is food heaven. No need to look for special vegan places. Even the traditional Indonesian dishes are vegetarian and can be made vegan if you ask (no egg, no chicken). And if you don’t like rice, you will just have to change that about yourself.
But no matter how many words I use to describe it, I couldn’t get the feel of Bali through.
#TripofWonders2018 and #WonderfulIndonesia are the official hashtags of the campaign. Check my Instagram and InstaStories for crazy pictures from Indonesia.
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