Post by YV Traveler Sherita Wallace-Reid.
The Gmail subject read: BALI Goddess Adventure Paid-in-Full… it was really happening… but wait I’ve jumped ahead a bit. This story actually begins with a little girl from Southeast DC. Yes, the area where they encourage tourists to avoid. The place that the millions of visitors to our nation’s capital don’t get to see. A place where goals and aspirations beyond the borders of the DC Metro area are often ill-fated. This story begins with a Southeast Unicorn deciding to experience life without borders. She chose to see it all.
Now, back to the present. A simple email to a Travel GODDESS, Kendra Ashe of Younique Ventures, LLC, began a surreal experience that left me in awe. I shared with the Travel Goddess a few simple things that I would like to experience and within days my dream vacation manifested in the form of a #myvacationisbetterthananyofyours itinerary of my dreams.
Her, she, me, then gathered a group of Badass Brown Goddesses and headed around the world to the Island of the Gods…Bali. A night flight out of Dulles International Airport hurled us 6,906 miles to Doha, Qatar where we had a 9-hour layover. A complimentary hotel stay accompanied our flight for the lengthy layover in this magnificent city filled with opulent skyscrapers and man-made harbors surrounding the city. At night, structures and yachts glow with colorful up lighting creating a rainbow skyline throughout the city. Our evening in Doha consisted of a stroll and light shopping through the Souq Waquif. The amazing scents of essential oils of lavender, sandalwood, and amber filled the air as well as other magical combinations of incense. Though covered from head to toe in black hijabs and dress the beauty of our brown Qatari sisters was still undeniable.
We enjoyed a delicious Indian meal before heading back to the hotel for a quick kick ball change, nap and back to the airport for our final leg of the trip into Denpasar, Bali. After about a two-hour transport in traffic on Busy Balinese roads, we arrived in what I can only describe to you dear reader as paradise or The Royal Pita Maha Resort in Ubud, Bali. I will go with simply calling it Paradise. Paradise consisted of Private Villas with full size private infinity pools nestled in the hills of a green and floral ….paradise. Okay I’ll try to reach deeper into my expansive vocabulary but later. Paradise sat along the Ayung River where we participated in early morning yoga, and listened to the mellifluous sounds of nature, calming waterfalls and the songs of birds.
We were greeted by an amazing breakfast daily accompanied by the fruits of… you guessed it paradise. Mangosteen quickly became a group favorite, with its hard violet hued exterior yet soft white flesh color and lightly sweet flavor. Daily Itineraries consisted of bucket list activities that allowed us all to be virgins at life experiencing things for the very first time. Elephant Safaris, Spiritual Cleansings at The Holy Water Temples, Sunsets at the world-renowned Rock Bar on The Jimbaran Bay, and Balinese Spa treatments complete with Floral Bath Rituals, check, check check.…we are no longer virgins.
Witnessing the Kecak, the fire dance that tells the story of the well-known Hindu epic Ramayana at The Uluwatu Temple on the edge of tomorrow was powerful. The edge of tomorrow, is the only way to describe the views from this temple. At some point in our journey we transitioned to the Nusa Dua Beach Resort. Yes, more and more paradise. A day cruise on the Bali Hai II and Pontoon carried us to the turquoise waters of Lembongan Bay.
While I have beleaguered the point of Bali simply being paradise… I saved the greatest quality and overwhelming sentiment that Bali leaves on my soul last loves. Gratitude. I experienced it on a deeply personal level for simply the opportunity to walk on its soil, I experienced everyday as I witnessed the small offering baskets made of coconut palm leaves to provide sacrifices to the Balinese Hindu Gods to show gratitude for their blessings, protection or desires. The Balinese people live simple lives filled with gratitude and rich spiritual practices that left a lasting imprint on my soul. As one of my sister goddesses so eloquently stated… Bali owes me nothing.