Why Bali is my spiritual home
Guest Blog by my friend & fellow free spirit, Michael Demetriou.
I was lucky enough to be invited by my lovely friend Hayley, to speak about my experience and our shared love for Bali, and in particular Ubud.
It's common for Ubud to be described as a hippie place, but I often describe it as my recharge centre. The place were I reconnect, revitalise, recharge and breath out.
All of this is possible as you have access to the healthiest soulful food made with love. Everyday I'm there I love to put nothing but the best food into my system and it's all at such a reasonable price. This is just one key ingredient to Ubud and feeling great. Second, is the great variety of yoga and meditation. Whether you're completely new to it all or a regular practitioner, Ubud is the perfect place to be, to learn or grow with mindfulness. There's something for everyone and with so much on offer its easy to find what feels right for you, making you feel stronger & powerful and alive. Third is live music. I can honestly say I found my dancing shoes in Ubud, and all I had to do was to drink coconut water. Every night of the week you will never struggle to find soulful, passionate, energetic, colourful music of all genres. Just take a stroll up monkey forest road and you will have at least ten humble places to choose from at night.
Ubud's open heart and mind creates a safe space where you're free to let go and express yourself in a moment if you wish, or just admire, by yourself, or with friends. That moment could be dancing or listening to music that makes you smile. The possibilities are endless.
I could quite honestly write about Ubud for hours but the MAIN thing I love about Ubud....If you smile at someone, they smile back. Coming from London originally where everything feels so extrinsic, where you're made to feel less or more by: the clothes you wear, the job you have, the area you live in, how much money you have, your weight and physical appearance etc. This a recipe for an acetic lifestyle where you will never be satisfied, because you will always want more, or be told you will be happier if you have more. And even if these things aren't important to you, you will still be judged by that first question everyone asks you in London; "So what do you do?".
I don't like to wear shoes. Ubud is a safe space to be who you truly are. No one is going to judge you, they're just going to love you. The intrinsic feeling of togetherness and community makes it such a refreshing and easy place to be a solo traveler. You can take off your mask and open your heart, strip away some unserving layers and come back to bliss. You'll never struggle to make friends in Ubud, between all of the community activities and the simple accepted smile exchange, you will meet people of a similar mindset and a similar thirst for all the important things in life. If you do want to be alone, you can take all the time you need in a vibrant, magical environment surrounded by lush nature, fairytale waterfalls and rice paddies. Not forgetting the cheeky little monkeys that jump from tree to tree or shoulder to shoulder in Ubud's famous monkey forest.
I've recommended a visit to many friends and everybody that has come here has been amazed. It certainly has a special place in my heart and I have no doubt I will continue to visit many times throughout my life. It will give you more than you ever imagined. Have fun, have a dance and revel in the spirit of the "centre of the universe".