adventures in bali with lex weinstein
Indonesia is one of the most exotic, lush, and energy rich places I've ever visited. It's been 3.5 years since my last visit and 5 years since the very first time I ever traveled there. The magnetic island of Bali is a chaotic juxtaposition of all the things you want out of an adventure abroad, and navigating the chaos is essential to really maximizing the potential of this gorgeous destination. It's busier than ever, and with an influx of visitors, hip new restaurants, and boutique hotels, depending on where on the island you explore, your experience can vary drastically depending on the style in which you travel and the intention you set upon arrival.
The beautiful thing about Bali is that the energy is captivating. It can be overwhelming, but without a doubt it is a non-stop rush! Traffic is wild as motorbikes zip past, sometimes carrying as many as two adults and two kids, while taxi drivers swarm pedestrians no matter how obvious their disinterest. But amongst the disarray are pockets of complete calm, tranquility and sacredness. Every single morning, the Balinese (in alignment with Hindu tradition) set out offerings on the sidewalks, doorsteps, the waters edge....everywhere. These little baskets of flowers, coins and rice recognize the gifts so abundantly available and act as a symbol of reverence to the Gods responsible for good health and happiness. Stepping over them on the street or seeing one washed up, eaten by ants, or destroyed by pedestrians is a constant reminder of the impermanence of all things, the fragility of life, and the gratitude we are capable of embodying in our most detached state.
As a surfer, I find solace in the ocean amongst the sand, salt, and sun. Here's my tips for finding beautiful beaches with plenty of waves, perfect for surfers, admirers and crystal clear water lovers of all kinds.
Where to Stay: My favorite spot is Bingin Beach. The water is crystal clear and you get a front row seat to some of the most beautiful, world-class surf you can imagine, with plenty of tide pools for swimming and gorgeous beaches for relaxing. There are so many cute little cheap hotels right on the beach, for smaller budgets I'd recommend Kelly's Warung or just finding a spot when you arrive, for those with a higher budget Temple Lodge or Mick's Place are absolutely stunning.
Where to Surf: The Bukit Peninsula has some of the world's best surf spots, including Uluwatu, Padang Padang, and Bingin Beach. Whether or not you surf, taking the time to set up on any of these beaches or cliff sides to watch perfect waves come through and admire the incredible quality of surfing in the water is worth your time. I also enjoy Balangan Beach for a more playful, less critical surfing experience.
Where to Yoga: Temple Lodge has been one of Bingin's most treasured yoga locations for as long as I can remember, with unbelievable massage treatments and a restaurant with unbelievable views. Mu Bungalows is another stunning accommodation that offers daily yoga under the gazebo. There's nothing better than staring at a gorgeous ocean view while practicing in such an energy rich corner of the world.
Bali is a hub for creativity, art, fashion, cuisine - you name it. People travel from around the world to discover the creations and the buzz is massive. With a growing party scene as a result, it's good to avoid the tourist traps and find the sanctuaries where likeminded travelers are conscious in their presence.
Lex wearing the Wrap Bra
Where to Stay: If you're keen on being amongst the scene, Canggu is your spot. A beautiful new boutique hotel called The Slow has opened right on the road to Old Man's, and offers proximity to everything from trendy shops to decadent restaurants and an array of yoga studios all within walking distance.
Where to Surf: Old Man's is a super fun longboard wave, and although can get crowded at times, is a great place to learn if you've never tried to surf. Surf schools line the beach and rental boards are more than available, with a softer face and spread out lineup it's a beautiful beach to give it a shot! I love surfing here because of all the women in the lineup from all over the world, with the ability to grab a beer and watch the sunset from the beach while still salty.
Where to Yoga: The Practice offered one of the best yoga classes I've ever taken in my life. Make sure to head to class early in time to explore the absolutely beautiful architecture of the space as well as make yourself aware of the abundance of activities offered every week. With a bamboo spiral staircase leading to an open air studio at tree height, The Practice is truly an escape from the bustle of the Canguu madness and offers an incredible refresh of mind and spirit.
I was lucky enough to be in Bali during a New Moon, a time where planting seeds of future hopes and dreams is crucial in the journey of manifestation. I felt incredibly inspired by the Hindu tradition so present in everyday life, where ceremony and ritual are held sacred, and special occasions are celebrated with such full hearted gratitude. So I created my own New Moon ritual that I performed on the beach I first traveled to on my first solo trip abroad 5 years ago, with an intention of gratitude of how far I've come, and clarity and courage for my future endeavors. It's easy, fun, and simple for anyone anywhere, so I thought I'd share it with all of you!
1. Honor the Earth by finding an element from nature to honor the four directions (North, South, East, West). It could be a shell, rock, leaf, feather, flower, or anything at all, as long as it comes from the Earth and you feel a special connection.
2. Once you've found your elements, take three deep breaths as you gaze into the horizon. I like to do this part at sunset, as the sky lights up in all shades of blues, purples, yellows and orange. Give gratitude to the Earth and the Sky and find your center as you articulate a sense of peace within.
3. Using anything from tarot cards to affirmations to a poetry book or a journal, receive your message from the Universe and set an intention for the next month's moon cycle. Whatever inspires you and helps you acknowledge what it is you are truly seeking for the coming weeks -- sink your teeth in, and focus all your attention and energy there. Take your time with this step as it's the most important one. Don't rush, and make sure to be specific with what it is you wish to see come to life for you.
4. Once you've asserted your intention into the Universe, take your Earth elements, the totems that you connected with in step one and LET THEM GO! This step is incredibly important in the manifestation process, signifying trust in the support of your highest good. You can drop them in the ocean, bury them in the Earth, throw them, let them blow away, whatever it takes to release them back to the Earth from once they came, this time carrying your intention on it's journey to fruition.
5. Say a prayer of gratitude ending in "Aho" or "And so it is." This affirms your belief that your intention is not only possible, but already in motion. The reality of your dream becoming a reality is only limited by your belief. The more you can let go and trust, the higher the likelihood of attaining your wildest dreams!
Follow more of Lex's adventures on Instagram @lex.weinstein