Bali bound with my mom on May 5. We are here for one whole month in celebration of a very important birthday for my mother. Bali was on her bucket list and I was happy to tag along.

I was asked by someone on social media if I was here for a course/program; as in: yoga, or some other new age healer trendy thingy. I'm not that asshole who travels across the world to pay oodles of money to take some training from someone that is not even a local at an expensive resort that takes up precious rice field land. I have tremendous teachers in my city that I would jump at the chance to learn from - and I do.

When I travel, it's important for me to interact and learn from the locals as much as I can. A successful visit for me is sharing a moment with a local drinking great coffee and some intense conversations around politics and the over-development by foreign investors.

It's also important to my mom and I (and my whole family), that we ensure that everything we see, do and eat in a new destination is as local as possible. We are always conscious about investing back into the country and community. Bali happens to be one of those tropical destinations where the economy is supported by tourists and the businesses are all foreign, mostly Australian and Dutch. The most current development is Bali's largest resort by the one and only Trump. The locals are aware of this, are grateful for jobs, however more foreign businesses mean: a threat to culture and traditions; locals can no longer buy/invest in property, and the businesses that open up, locals cannot afford to enjoy them.

That is my rant. Sorry for the derail. FYI: we did visit the infamous Ubud for one day and hated every moment of it. We got away as quickly as possible.

Bali is beautiful. And I will tell you why: it's the people. When we first arrived, our driver Harris, picked us up from the airport and the first thing he said was,

Here in Bali, we do everything with a smile. We don’t get angry. Everything is ok.
— Harris - Local Driver

I loved this philosophy. It doesn't mean we hide or deny anger, we simply choose a different way to express it. Bali, to us Westerners has been prescribed as the place to heal. There is a crazy-big market of over-priced retreats that tout the best in spiritual and physical healing. Come to Bali and heal, and let's hope and pray you will remain healed when you arrive home. Before I arrived I thought healing was made possible by the eternal sunshine, food, and some traditional folk medicine. But upon reflection, I strongly believe that the secret to longevity and a healthy body, mind, and soul is how we manage our emotions. Research shows that smiling can do wonders for your health. There is no doubt that the Balinese are always smiling!

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Let's break down the essential ingredients of a vacation:

  • Rest: uninterrupted, restful with no alarm clock.
  • Nourish: keep it local and you will have the healthiest meals packed with protein and fresh ingredients (ditch the empty calories found in cereals, pancakes, and waffles). We tend to be more aware of eating consistently when on vacation.
  • Move: at the very least, we are walking in neighbourhoods, markets, and the beach. We may include hiking, cycling, and other sports.
  • Be: probably the biggest ingredient is the art of doing nothing. Sitting poolside or beach side. Reading a book, napping, or listening to music. Being present and aware of our surroundings.

Can you do this successfully at home? Yes, but we are tempted by emails, phone calls, and other responsibilities. Our modern life is rife with immediacy and that can be exhausting. It's not impossible, and it's what I believe we all try to strive for. But there is something extra special and relaxing when we are off to a new or favourite destination that instantly prompts us to wind down.

I've been battling an imbalance in my health for the past 10 years. Some of it includes digestion issues. Since I have been away, I am happy to report that those issues have vanished. For myself, I can make a direct connection to stress/anxiety. This state of unease and feeling exhausted all the time has been healed by...guess what...SLEEP! I knew it was the missing ingredient for me. My body instantly adjusted to a routine of lights out by 9pm and wake-up naturally (with no alarm) between 6-6:30 am.

Like always, my very long blog posts are comprised of multiple topics because I write exactly how I think.

So, I want to hear from you: where is your next holiday destination? And, do you think you could bring a vacation attitude into your everyday life?

If you are interested in chatting with me about where you can improve in your healthy lifestyle design, then click here for a FREE One Hour Single Step Session with me, over the phone. I promise you will leave the conversation with some pretty cool AHA moments!