Uluwatu: “under the moon and the stars”

The next stretch of our Bali trip was spent in the closest thing to perfection that I’ve ever seen: Uluwatu. We arrived at Padang Padang Surf Camp on Tuesday afternoon which is a group of villas tucked away on a hidden, hilly little road a few minutes away from Padang Padang Beach.

It was my favorite place I’ve ever stayed. From the second we walked in, both the guests and the hosts were so welcoming, laid back, and kind. Every night, our favorite man in charge, Kahfi, put together group dinners and events allowing connections amongst the guests to be made. Every morning, we woke up around 5am and went for a sunrise surf — back for breakfast and out for another session of surfing before an afternoon to hang out and explore the local area.

The five days in Uluwatu were some of my favorite, ever (even with a nasty case of Bali Belly that knocked me out for a day). Between bonding with people at the surf camp — a father and his reckless three boys from Singapore, a 50something year old woman from Hong Kong who escapes from her job to surf here every year, a few young, working Australians on vacation, and the local staff who radiated positivity and warmth the entirety of our stay. Some faces below:

Days were filled with surfing, motor biking along the beach roads, acai bowls with a view, new music, group dinners with new friends, journaling to a peaceful playlist, fresh coconut, and unbelievable sunsets. Pictures below.

Full Moon Party @ Padang Padang

Two nights before leaving, it happened to be a full moon and there was a celebration on Padang Padang beach. My best friend ventured down from her job in Ubud for a night on the beach with raggae and dancing. The last night, Kahfi put together an amazing BBQ at the surf camp to bring all of the new friends together for a final night. The camp was lit up by candles and the light of an almost full moon while we drank one of the guests’ specially made cocktails and enjoyed fresh seafood, grilled veggies, good music and fun company.

BBQ Night!

I love loving new places. My trip to Bali introduced an entirely new dimension of my wanderlust. I have never felt so connected to a place — the fun-loving, life-loving, shining outlook of the locals I spoke with, the organic food, the natural beauty of the landscape and the like-mindedness of the travelers there — my one week trip had the same impact on me as places I’ve been visiting my entire life. It was a wonderful experience that consistently left me with a sense of peace and belonging. The “life is good, just look around” attitude of everyone I was surrounded by was a perfect reminder of what energy I needed to bring back to Bangsak where many students’ life circumstances have robbed them of that type of thinking.

The trip left me happy, inspired, and appreciative of being able to travel and be able to have frequent reawakenings on gratitude and positivity. Anticipating my trip back already!