Five years ago Sofie and me traveled to Singapore with our friends Bart and Elke. We were thrilled for many reasons. For starters we were happy to get away from renovating our house for a change. The trip also marked our first time outside of Europe and last but not least: we would see our good friend Erik again. Erik had taken up residence in Singapore a few years earlier and couldn’t wait to show us the ins and outs of living in the sovereign city-state.
We had an amazing time in Singapore but we’ll share those stories some other time.
Here’s a quick teaser though… Make sure you subscribe! 😉
A short flight to Bali
Since we had flown all the way to Singapore, Erik encouraged us to visit Bali as well. The land of a thousand temples and a million smiles was a relatively short flight away.
It was then that I realized something important. Whenever we think of dream-like destinations such as the white beaches of Bali, most likely the words “far away”, “maybe one day” and “too expensive” spring into mind. Just make sure to check out Google Maps when traveling somewhere exotic, you may be closer another location on your bucket list than you suspect! Hopping on a plane is easy and expensive destinations can get a lot cheaper depending on where you’re departing from!
We were so happy that we followed Erik’s advice! In our case, it was practically two unforgettable journeys for the price of one!
A few hours later we set foot on the beautiful Indonesian island. The breeze blowing from the ocean was refreshing. We couldn’t help but noticing the air being less humid than in Singapore, making it much easier to hike without panting or breaking into a sweat.
The road to Lovina
We were relieved that we could count on our driver to maneuver us safely out of Denpasar during rush hour. The traffic was utter chaos! Luckily we were headed for the peaceful Northern part of the island. Once we left the capital behind us, the road to Lovina took our breath away.
Lush vegetation, smiling people wherever we looked and Mount Agung in the distance with a setting sun for a backdrop. Jaw-dropping. The contrast to luxurious Singapore with its’ towering skyscrapers could not have been bigger.
Here we were – thirty-one at the time – and feeling like actual travelers for the very first time.
When the sun started to set we began to feel a bit drowsy. While Bart was making conversation with our friendly driver, we were sitting in the back of the van, silent… just enjoying the landscape and soaking it all in…
Starlight dinners at Starlight
Staying at the Starlight Villas in Lovina proved to be quite special in itself. Never before had we experienced such care and generosity. And I mean anywhere! If you’re ever looking for a place to stay in North Bali, look no further. Even today, five years later, they still get glowing reviews and a certificate of excellence on Tripadvisor.
Before even fully realizing we made it to Bali, we were enjoying a lovely dinner while listening to live music… on the beach. The band played all the classics: the Eagles, the Beatles, R.E.M. … Only the sense of our toes in the sand reminded us that we were not dreaming. Throw in some starlight, delicious food and the gentle sound of waves washing ashore and boom… magic!
That’s when it hit me for the first time… That’s what life is all about: those magical moments surrounded by people you love. They are there to remember and cherish. Why are we not chasing them more often?
We were thousands of miles away from home… yet never felt so happy and at ease in our lives.
Fresh mango for breakfast
The next morning we returned to the beach, where the good people from Starlight cut us up some fresh pineapple and mango. The first rays of sun were gently caressing our skin. After breakfast we felt invigorated and ready to discover Bali. Somehow we imagined that nothing would top our magical evenings at the Starlight, but boy, were we wrong! The island had so much more in store for us!
Like… chasing dolphins at sunrise. We even have a little video in store for you, so stay tuned 😉
Enjoyed our little travel story? Feel free to comment below. There’s plenty more to come!