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.
11 Jan 2017
11 Nov 2016