read to their story about the island from two perspective
Although born and raised in Oxford, England, Louise knew she couldn’t live far from the seaside. As soon as she graduated from Kings College London, she hopped on a plane and headed for the sunshine life in Australia. However, she found that she couldn’t move on from her Bali stopover. Four years later, Louise is still on the island, pursuing her dream of writing, and soaking up the tropical weather with her beloved Bali dogs and her boyfriend. Her personal motto is “salty hair, sandy paws, and wine-stained lips”. Louise talks to hellobali about why she loves Bali so much.
I've been lucky enough to travel quite a bit during my 26 years on this planet, but I've never been anywhere with such diverse landscapes in such close proximity. Here you can be at the top of a volcano at 6am, trekking through the mountains and discovering waterfalls by mid-morning, diving the island's vibrant coral reefs after a lunch by the beach - and that's all before sundown. Sunsets can be spent overlooking a monkey-run cliff-top temple, and dinner can take you to one of Asia's best restaurants. Seriously, where in the world can you do all this in just one day?
The Bali Dogs
Bali's heritage dog is said to be the oldest and purest breed on earth, with an ancestry dating back to the last ice age. But beyond this impressive history, they are truly the smartest and most loyal canines I've ever had the pleasure of snuggling up with – shout out to my fur-babes, Bodhi, Mudge and Rondell! Unfortunately, there are over 500,000 homeless dogs and cats in Bali, so another shout goes out to the fabulous charities and local rescuers who work tirelessly to stop the suffering of Bali's animals. These are BAWA, BARC, the Bali Pet Crusaders, Jet Set Petz, and the Bali Dog Halfway House. They are heroes.
Those who say that Thailand is the “Land of Smiles” have obviously never been to Bali. Walking through a Balinese kampung is like returning home after years at sea. No matter how bad my day has been, one genuine smile from my toothless Balinese neighbour makes me go weak at the knees.
The Day Of Silence
Nyepi is Bali's Hindu celebration and my favourite day of the year. For a full 24 hours, the entire island shuts down in a bid to ward off any evil spirits roaming the land. No lights, no electricity, no leaving the house, no working – even the airport shuts down and planes are re-routed around the island. Then as night falls, the star-studded sky comes alive with shooting stars and twinkling galaxies. You've got to see it to believe it.
Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." This quote has never rung truer than here in Bali. I am so humbled and inspired by the compassionate humans here, those who are dedicated to changing the world in any way they can. From the ForBALI campaigners fighting overdevelopment on the island, to the animal welfare groups marching against the dog meat trade or the two young Indonesian girls who took their Bye Bye Plastic Bags campaign global in a recent TED talk – little by little, these people are changing the planet.