Oh,  Bali! Why You No Love Me? Wander Wonder

Is Bali one of the most gorgeous vacation destinations for you? Well, someone here says she’s only ever experienced misery there. 

“Ohhhh, Bali …. yes …. I need to go back there soon tooooo …” 

“So lucky … you’re going to Bali …” 

“Ahhhh … Bali … I wish I could live in Bali …” 

The affection people have for this Indonesian island is, for want of a better word, fanatical. Every time someone brings up at an event, or a food tasting, that they are heading to Bali for a break, sighs are uttered around the table before everyone offers their respective chants of envy.

There’s no denying this: Bali is beautiful. Bali is amazing. And everyone knows someone who held their wedding there. And, every time someone declares Bali as their second home, I can’t help but cry a river inside my love-starved heart. You see, everyone loves Bali, Bali loves everyone but, Bali doesn’t love me.

I’m an awkward penguin in Bali 
If there was one thing I definitely am every time I visit Bali, it would be that I’m awkward.

How is it that so many people have found peace & relaxation in a place where I’ve only ever felt hot, sticky and sweaty? Am I the only person who feels that same Singapore heat and humidity in Bali? How come no one ever looks hot and bothered? Do I have to pick up a tourist orientation pack at the airport?

My last trip to Bali was a solo holiday to Canggu. I arrived wearing a black cotton tank dress with a black long-sleeve t-shirt over it. I can already hear you go, “Whaaaaa …?” But hear me out. I fly in that outfit no matter where I go. It’s stretchy and therefore comfortable and, I can always change out to something more appropriate upon arriving at the hostel/hotel/villa/whatever.

Little did I know that my room at my yoga school/boarding place would not be ready until a couple of hours later. Deciding that I would be fine walking to Echo Beach, I ventured out into 35 degrees heat dressed in black from head to toe. Every step I took toward the beach, my entire body threatened to combust into flames. And, the moment I stepped onto the glassy black sand, a little voice in my head went, “Oh, Debs! Did you book a holiday in the fiery pits of Hell?”

Another question was clearly written on every face on the beach: “Did the poor girl mean to book a holiday in Russia but was sent to Bali by mistake?” 

Hot-hot not sexy-hot
Another thing I never could be in Bali? Sexy-hot.

When I finally managed to change out of my sweat-drenched clothes, I thought I could fit in a little better once I pulled on my Nike yoga pants (in black, of course) and a grotty t-shirt I always wore when I go running. My next crisis soon surfaced. Clearly, the uniform of Bali for the beautiful was tight-fitting tops with maze-like straps and yoga pants in swirly watercolour prints. Hair should be worn in a top-knot and preferably looking textured from being exposed to the sea-air, and preferred accessories were tattoos and charm bracelets. And you are right! No one was sweating!

Everyone looked straight right through me. I came to Bali to give my frazzled mind a break and ended up getting my self-esteem shredded to bits. I possessed neither the lithe frame and languid grace of a yogi nor toned and tanned body of a surfer babe. I’m just a city girl living in a lonely world that is the island of the gods.

Sorry, I’ll be out of your hair soon
The only time I felt at home in Bali was when I was finally going home.

After five days of feeling like the most unattractive girl in high school, I think relief was clearly written on my face on my last day in Bali. Finally! I could go home to a place where wearing all black is not weird, where it’s okay to walk around in a grotty t-shirt that is being used for workouts because it is … grotty, and where it’s normal for people living in the tropics to SWEAT.

So,  while Bali may be a paradise for many, it will be some time before I visit it again. I could also tell you how I could never find the awesome food and hipster cafe everyone seems to be able to find in Bali but, that’s a story for another day.

Wait … am I the only person who feels this way about Bali? If not, please identify yourself so we may form a club for Bali Rejects.

She can’t sit still. Doesn’t sleep well either. But, Debs has found the one thing that’ll help her mind switch off – baking. There’s nothing she likes better than just focusing her energy on getting a cake or a pie to turn out right. With this newfound passion, she has made it a point to bring back interesting ingredients whenever she travels, so she can use them in her desserts. She names Tokachi of Hokkaido in Japan as one of her favourite places.

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