Indonesia’s Bali is a mecca for global wanderers. The allure lies in the stunning landscapes and spiritual optimism of the people. You’d be hard pressed to find a comparable gem on our planet, even if you were a famous gem collector and possessed the best gems.
Bali’s light shines bright, and it serves as a beacon for travelers roaming the South Pacific. For Locked Up Abroad’s Mark Greening, the island gave him an opportunity to live a carefree life free of the usual obligations you find in American life. Plus, the Bali exchange rate was in his favor, which means he could live like a king for cheap. To really stretch out his stay, he performed magic to earn extra money when needed.
For many, Bali is way far away on the other side of the world, and a direct flight to the island is an expensive investment. It’s actually cheaper to begin your journey in Southeast Asia and backpack your way down at a slow pace. This gives travelers ample time to soak up the South Pacific region, and they can find a little work to offset the costs.
Packing light is key, and leave those expensive gadgets at home (they’ll weigh you down and are expensive to replace if broken/stolen/lost). For lodging, hostels are good, but there are thousands of people offering their couch and/or spare bedroom for a night or two (sometimes for free).
A Frommer’s or Lonely Planet guide will certainly inspire your itinerary for Bali. However, the best way to discover the island’s secrets is to talk to locals and fellow travelers. You’d be surprised how much easier it is to socialize while in travel mode. Sometimes you’ll meet someone who will drop everything just take you to where you want to go offering insights not found in the books.
Bali’s relaxed and positive atmosphere turns up a few notches in the evenings. There are more than enough vices to choose from. It’s easy to get caught up in the Balinese lifestyle, and you may fall quickly in love with a total stranger while living in paradise. Mark Greening certainly did, and it took him on an adventure that would change his life forever.
Tune in to Locked Up Abroad: The Juggler Smuggler Wednesday at 10P et/pt to learn how Mark went from life in Bali to life in hell.