If you happen to be a reader who followed me back in the YoM Tumblr days, you might remember me singing the praises of Rifle Paper Co. Now that they’re a mainstay in the stationery world, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. I’ve been a huge fan of their distinctive floral designs since their early days. But what in the world does this have to do with travel, you ask? Well, Rifle recently branched out into a Bon Voyage Collection, including the 2015 Travel the World calendar that holds court on my bedside table.
Beautiful, isn’t it? I just adore their vibrant illustrations. Of course, the calendar gives me a severe case of wanderlust every night before bed! So far this year, I’ve dreamt of trips to Paris, the Amalfi Coast, Kyoto, London, Havana, Petra, the Great Barrier Reef, and this month, Bali. These are all places I long to visit. Paris is my absolute favorite city in the world. I know, it is in many ways cliché, and yet undeniably romantic. London pairs such staunch tradition with modern expression. Havana and Petra are both so mysteriously intriguing with their hidden secrets, one due to politics, the other geography. Kyoto and Amalfi are two entirely different cultures uniquely linked in my mind by their fragrant blossoms, cherry and orange respectively. And who can resist Australia? I might be willing to challenge my fear of diving for the Great Barrier Reef! But Bali. Bali is all of these things.
A common honeymoon spot, Bali is home to some of the most romantic beaches on earth, with surfing and diving that rivals Australia. My favorite beaches are the secret ones – those that might require a little trekking to access, but the dividends are privacy and spectacular views. Bias Tugal appears to fit the bill. Known as the “little beach” near Padang Bai, a rocky 500 meter path leads to the epitome of a white sand, turquoise water, surrounded by palm trees paradise.
Modern life zips along in Bali’s city centers, but the country’s rich history is evident in the thousands of temples that dot land and sea. Those in the Ubud District’s surrounding rainforest and terraced rice fields are some of the most iconic. Built as a sanctuary in the 9th Century, the Elephant Temple, Goa Gajah, features a stone entrance with intricately carved creatures and demons once thought to be an elephant. Inside lies a bathing temple not excavated until the 1950s.
Bali’s warm sunshine is accented by the heavenly tropical scent of plumeria, or frangipani. Often found in temples, the the frangipani tree is considered to be holy by the Balinese and the blooms are worn while praying. Also called the “tree of life”, plumeria oil is known to offer a host of health benefits, so it’s commonly used as massage oil. Ahh, a massage on a Balinese beach sounds delightful.
Yes, tonight and all the nights this month, Rifle will have me dreaming of Bali.