Checking in from paradise.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit Bali with my beautiful, beautiful friend and roommate Chelsea. A girls trip combining a holiday with work, which was perfectly timed - - we spent some time getting back to our roots, taking the moment to appreciate every day and a new rising sun, exploring Bali, slowing down, practising yoga and eating incredible, nourishing food.
Collecting memories not things. ✧
As mentioned before - it’s the people and their land that really make the place for me. And there are some really amazing people in Bali working with very respectable and hard-working organisations that are trying to develop sustainable income sources and build infrastructure and fresh water in the poorest parts of Bali (generally the central eastern area of the island where people still walk for hours to get fresh water).
I was able to align my focus of highlighting community projects with Four Seasons Bali's philosophy, using their two incredible properties as a base for this outreach whilst exploring the island's different areas. One being a picturesque beach resort at Jimbaran Bay and the other a spiritual mountain retreat in the Sayan Valley, Ubud. Honestly, unlike any other hotel I have ever stayed in - an experience above and beyond in every way you could possibly imagine.
The real highlight though, was getting out and into these communities and seeing first-hand the development in action.
Whilst staying at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay we had a chance to visit SLB Jimbaran: a school for the hearing impaired. Here we were invited into the classrooms during school hours to meet the children, however as not to disrupt the workflow of classroom too much, our visit was brief and with a tour of the beautiful grounds we moved on to the next local community project: The Bali Life Foundation. The Bali Life is a non profit foundation that assists underprivileged Balinese youth through a children's home, 'street kids' project, women's centre and various sustainability, educational programs.
Moving on to Ubud and whilst staying at Four Seasons Sayan I had the opportunity to visit the mountain villages of Muntigunung in North East Bali, where the people live a much less privileged life than most Balinese. I completed a unique experience trekking for 3 hours (approximately 12km) to discover a nearly untouched side of Bali and witness first hand a community project that IS changing lives.
‘Future for Children’ is a non-profit organisation, which helps the people of Muntigunung to improve their living conditions by implementing CLEAN water catchment systems, providing health and sanitisation information, supporting education and enabling the people of Muntigunung to work and generate an income. In completing this trek I was able to physically experience what it means to live in this hot and dry area and to imagine how it must have felt to carry 10-15 litres of water for HOURS in an extreme climate. Depending on where a family lives in the Muntigunung area, women have previously walked up to 6 hours a day just for clean water, or spent 10 days away from their family during tourism season to beg as a means of survival. Through education, providing clean water and improving the health and sanitation of Muntigunung, 'Future for Children' has helped to create a community where everyone helps each other. The organisation is constantly building towards a brighter future, with the community residents now earning an income by making products to sell around Bali including mats, hammocks, rosella tea and cashews. These products are for sale around Bali, including some of which are available at the Four Seasons boutiques.
Established 10 years ago, 'Future for Children' offers the unique experience to walk in the path of another’s life and learn first-hand how the charity is making a direct impact on the lives of the individuals and families who need it most. Participating means to directly support this project while enjoying some time with the people and soaking in some of the most stunning views of Lake Batur and the Indian Ocean.
A truly touching experience. ♡
“Do something good for other people.” – Pica, my Muntigunung trekking guide.
There are some wonderful community organisations in Bali that need help and support - if you would like to show your support or sign up to volunteer/trek yourself please click the links below:
Here is what 10 days in Bali looks like... through my eyes.