As the excitement amps up for our Bali retreat the long long long flight becomes even more dreadful to think about.
The journey might be long but the destination is well worth it! Since we are coming from Napa we usually have a 1.5 hour drive to San Francisco. From San Francisco we fly to Taipei, Taiwan which is about a 13-14 hour flight. Once in Taipei which I must say is not the most entertaining airport we have a two hour layover. Our next flight to Denpasar, Bali is about 5 and half hours. After we land in Bali you would think the journey is over but for some reason the immigration and customs line likes to take another 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Once you survive this line we make our way through the sea of drivers trying to grab your attention for a ride and find our driver Made. Balinese children are simply named by his or her order of birth. The first born, boy or girl, is Wayan. The second born is Made (pronounced ma day). After we find Made the last leg of the trip is venturing into the jungle of Ubud. Depending on time of day this journey can either be 40 mins or 2 hours….generally leaning more towards that 2 hour marker and then we are in PARADISE.
Now given this 25 plus hours of travel time as any good fitness professional would do I have a routine that I prepare and complete before any international flight.
First you must always consider hydration on trips like this. I usually do not drink any alcohol the day before and I make sure I have good electrolytes such as a coconut water and plenty of water throughout the day. On the day of the trip I make sure I make enough time to complete at least 60-90 mins of cardio and do my full set of postural exercises. A week before the flight I will call in for a lacto-ovo vegetarian meal which is there vegan meal. This helps reduce the amount of salt I would be consuming on the flight.
Additionally I bring snacks onto the flight such as:
- 1-2 packets of berries
- Mixed nuts unsalted
- Carrots / bell pepper / snap peas
- Vegan nut bar
- Almond butter and crackers
- Dark chocolate
- Electrolyte packet
Other goodies I pack onto international hauls:
- A change of clothes: lululemon leggings, underwear and a new shirt
- A lightweight jacket such as a Patagonia jacket
- Facial wipes to refresh with
- Compression socks – just in case I start to feel like I am swelling
Our villa is situated in the cultural and arts center of Ubud and wow is it magical! It is right off the main street of Ubud and tucked into the huge jungle trees overlooking a river. Upon arrival at the villa the staff have beautifully decorated it with marigolds and intricately folded palm leaves. The palm leaves and marigolds are scattered all over the grounds and hanging from the ceiling to give a beautiful floral effect. The villa beautifully cascades down the property, as the property is multi-tiered with multiple villas on each layer of land. Each door on each villa has an been intricately carved with Balinese designs which really adds to the Balinese decor. The place has a feel of both modern yet artistically cultivated from the Balinese designs. The first layer of land has 3 villas and then you walk down a staircase that goes over a beautiful pond filled with fish and turtles and enters into the main house that is completely open. The main house overlooks the cascading pool and the beautifully landscaped lawns with day cabanas that are perfect to read a book in.
After everyone gets settled into their rooms we have a welcome banquet dinner outside with live bamboo music and Balinese dancers. The dinner and the retreat is fully vegan and features items such as a Balinese rice tower, vegetables in peanut sauce, tempeh skewers, corn fritters, fresh fruit, fresh cut vegetables, tofu skewers and tapioca pudding for dessert. Our chef Wayan Nurdi is pretty over the top amazing. She has heightened her vegan food cuisine to a new level I have never experienced in Bali before.
Balinese dance is an ancient dance tradition that is part of the religious and artistic expression. It is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive. They are extremely talented at moving there eyes and hands in an artistic style. Which makes it extremely hard to replicate!!!! You can definitely tell they are the masters of this art as we have failed attempts at replicating the art. The Balinese dancers tried to teach us how to do the dance but with the combination of being exhausted from flying and also not being coordinated I think we all failed. After an embarrassing dance we all headed to bed in preparation of a big first day of activities.
Stay tune for our day 2 blog to hear more about our Bali festivities. And don’t forget to head to our website to place your deposit on our Bali Bare Health retreat next year!