Bali wasn’t on the agenda.

My original itinerary had me leaving Hong Kong for India and spending three weeks there exploring the desert province of Rajasthan, but somewhere between Zhangjiajie and Beijing it hit me. I’d been feeling borderline cranky, tired and periodically homesick for more than a week, all indications that I was experiencing the infamous travel fatigue syndrome. I’d read about it before leaving but had forgotten how often it can hit people who attempt long-term travel; on a whim I scrapped my plans for India and instead headed to Bali for some R&R.

With year round near-perfect weather, Bali is the perfect destination for any traveler. Besides heavenly beaches and affordable resorts, it offers a ton of outdoor activities and culture for siteseers. Fully committed to my mission to relax, I’m sorry to say I don’t have a whole lot of siteseeing pictures to share. For ten glorious days I purposefully hung up my camera, closed down my über-detailed Google Sheets trip planner, and simply enjoyed having no plans at all.

I first stayed five days in the small town of Ubud, made famous by the Eat Pray Love novel and Julia Roberts movie. Located in the middle of the island of Bali, the town is quite small and pleasantly surrounded by rice fields in all directions. However, since growing in popularity over the last decade, downtown Ubud is no longer a quaint spiritual village but rather a legitimate tourist destination with moto traffic jams, pollution and a Starbucks. Fortunately a five minute walk in any direction will grant a visitor this tranquil view.

While the majority of Indonesians are practicing Muslims, the Balinese people are distinct in living a lifestyle based on the Hindu faith. Subsequently Bali is covered with Hindu temples of all sizes. The gorgeous Saraswati Temple, or Lotus Temple, and its visitors’ rules are shown below.

I was surprised to learn just how popular Bali is with its neighboring countries though, after visiting, it makes perfect sense. Besides its perfect climate, the Balinese people are exceptionally hospitable and kind. While I didn’t meet any other Americans while I was there, the place was packed with Australians and Chinese.

And the food! The cuisine was easily one of my favorite parts of the country. Everything is SO fresh, and really grounded in local fruits, vegetables, and spices. Balinese like their dishes spicy, adding small chilies to everything! So so tasty! I fell for their popular ABC Chili Sauce on my first day, and was super happy to learn I can buy it off Amazon once I return stateside.

Culture, food and people aside, the moment I know I’ll remember most clearly from my visit to Bali was arriving at my accommodation in Seminyak, where I’d planned the second half of my visit. I’d found a great last-minute deal online at a really nice hotel, The Trans Resort (SO amazing, highly recommended). By that point I was used to people being surprised when I’d show up solo, despite my having clearly booked a room for only one person, but the woman at Reception that afternoon appeared more flustered than normal. I soon discovered why.

Somehow somewhere some serious wires had gotten crossed and I’d been upgraded to a honeymoon suite for two!

After initially discovering the roses and swan display I’d laughed the situation off, but quickly realized the depth of their error when finding the above cake and personalized card! (Brb, gotta go eat a chocolate cake for two by myself!!)

It took me another 20 minutes to find this…

With a slightly guilty conscious I confirmed in my email once more that I had definitely booked a single room for one person. Then, you know what? I just went with it. Rose petal bath?? Don’t mind if I do! Take that, travel fatigue! Muahahaha!!!

The whole experience was too funny and it took the hotel days to understand that 1) I am not Mr. Hill, 2) there is no Mr. Hill, and 3) yes, I really am just traveling solo! On purpose! (But I will keep the chocolate cake, thank you! And what do you mean there’s no free champagne?? I’m supposed to be on my honeymoon, dammit!)

My ten days in Bali were just what I needed to get over my travel fatigue and back into adventure mode. It was absolute heaven to lay out, escape the hassles of traveling for a few days, binge watch Hart of Dixie Season 2, and just relax. I even fit in a few workouts (and let me tell you, after a three month hiatus, it was not pleasant)!

I’m so happy to wholeheartedly recommend Bali to all of my fellow travelers, regardless of what their interests are. From relaxing poolside to surfing crystal clear waters to hiking through jungles to visiting majestic temples, Bali has got it all. And if you’re in the market, I can even vouch firsthand for the Honeymoon Package at The Trans Resort in Seminyak! Just tell them Mr. Hill referred you!

Thanks for reading!

xo Carrie