Arriving in Bali My First 24 Hours

Jonathan BealBali0 Comments

My First 24 Hours in Bali
In the 24 hours since arriving in Bali, I’ve experienced a lot of true Balinese life. My Airbnb listing was described as a home with local living, and boy is it delivering. I must preface this with the fact that I arrived when the Balinese festival of Galungan was about to begin.

Galungan in Bali

Galungan is a festival about the fight between Dharma and Adharma, it’s earliest translation symbolises the internal struggle of ego and the higher self, and the idea of the higher self dominating the ego leading to a higher consciousness. The celebrations also enable families to honour their deceased relatives spirits through hospitality, many offerings are prepared for this and are taken to the local temple.

Settling In

My hosts were incredible from the off, firstly they picked me up from the airport free of charge. I was then treated to a local Balinese dinner. Not a western face in sight, just the way I like it.

Fast forward to morning. I’m invited over to not only witness the preparations but to be involved in helping them with the offerings for the ceremony. This was such a special experience. We then had the traditional Galungan breakfast of spicy mushrooms with squid (usually pork), long beans with chicken heart and rice.

Giant spider in BaliI will just say I was sat beneath a palm tree whilst indulging in Balinese coffee. The tree contained one of the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen in the flesh, it was 4 maybe 5 inches across with a long nasty looking body. Fortunately these spiders live outside only, thank the universe for that one. There’s not much I’m scared of anymore but spiders are at the very top of the list!

The Family

I was then shown around the land owned by the family which is home to 3 generations. It spans an incredible amount of space with many houses both modern and traditional Balinese in style. Each home has it’s own temple, with one main temple at the centre (not geographical) of the property. All the families ceremonies take place here, including weddings and everything else in between.

It is a truly special thing to be a part of this and to see the traditions in action. For me this was far better than spending my first few days in a hostel in which everyone is drunk and rowdy, which is what Bali can be known for when backpacking.

Have you had any interesting local experiences in Bali? Let me know in the comments below.

About the Author

Jonathan Beal

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Jonathan is passionate about travel, and breaking down stigmas and taboos surrounding bisexuality. He is a fervent supporter of LGBT+ rights. Jonathan wants to build a community of like minded people who can support each other through experience and action. He loves fitness, cats and photography.

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