The Mistakes I Made In Bali + What I Would Have Done Differently

 

Bali was my very first solo trip, and like everyone else’s, nothing goes as planned (unless you’re really lucky lol). I have been reflecting on my time there recently and it’s safe to say that I made some major and minor mistakes along the way, but I have used these as guides for my more recent trips and it has made them even more enjoyable. I already know that I will back to this little island in the future, but for those of you who are going to Bali for your first time, I figured this would help you guys not make the same mistakes that I did. I had so much fun here and the people I have met along the way, I still chat with now after it being a year since I have gone. This is a special place and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did!

 

mistakesimadeinbali

 

 

  • Staying In Kuta For Too Long

Now you’d think that five days in one place is ONLY five days, well these days in Kuta seemed to drag for me (in a good way). I booked a five night stay here because it was my first time being all the way across the world by myself and I wanted to get to know the area, but looking back I don’t know why I didn’t just book my stay in Canggu! I had heard that Kuta was the extremely touristy spot in Bali, and I am not a huge fan of being around tourists in the first place so I am really unsure of where my mind was at while I was booking!?

What I Would Have Done Differently

Had I know what I know now, as my first time being in Bali, I would have stayed one night in Kuta and continued to Canggu. As a returning visitor, next time I will skip Kuta altogether because it’s really not my vibe at all. The surfing and health side of Canggu is really what I was looking for when going on this trip and Kuta was really set up for impulse buys and other touristy things like that. I did actually take one of my favorite photos to date there (the photo used for my Pinterest pin above this), so I don’t regret it at all, but it would have been nice to have more time in other places.

 

  • Learning To Drive A Scooter In The Mountains

If there was one thing to describe this now laughable experience, it would be the video of that lady saying, ‘honey, you’ve got a big storm coming!” So what ended up happening is that I wrecked my scooter and received a humongous second-degree burn that took up half the length of my calf. I knew that I was going up to North, but what I didn’t know was the number of hills and abrupt turns that I would encounter while poorly attempting to navigate a scooter on them. I look back and shake my head about it, but I was really uninformed of the area at the time and in going out on a limb, I wouldn’t have expected anything less to happen.

– What I Would Have Done Differently

This is quite obvious, but not be a newbie driver in the mountains. I would have learned in Kuta or Canggu where the roads were actually flat and mildly navigatable. In the end, it does make for a good story to look back and crack up about.

 

  • Planning Too Much

This wasn’t so much in the sense that I had all of these tours and things booked, but more so that I planned everywhere I was staying ahead of time. I guess it sort of bugged me out not knowing of where I was going to stay next, but not having so many accommodations booked in advance would have given me so much more flexibility, which is what Bali is all about.

– What I Would Have Done Differently

I think I would have booked my first few nights and as I traveled I would have found my way to the other places that I could stay. I think it would have been really cool to rent a villa with some friends or something or stay in the surfing hostel I was invited to.

 

  • Staying In Instead Of Going Out At Night

I think that with all of the fears planted in my head before I left gave me this idea that I needed to be back at my homestay by sunset. I did go out a few of the nights for drinks and things, but nothing to where I was this social butterfly dancing and doing what most people do on a wild Friday night. I am really not much of a social person, so this wasn’t really a huge surprise for me, but I think it would have been fun to make some new friends.

What I Would Have Done Differently

I would have branched out and gone and enjoyed a drink or two by myself or with friends maybe a few nights a week to check out some cool hangout spots. I don’t really drink, but I will enjoy a little cocktail or a glass of wine from time to time if I am legal in the country I am traveling to. So, with that, I wish I would have met more friends and danced a little more than I did.

 

  • Only Staying In My Yoga Guesthouse For One Week

Oh man. Oh man. This yoga. Some people say that the best yoga in Bali is in Ubud, but they are thoroughly mistaken! I am not sure how I came across this yoga house, but I knew it was fate after arriving and finishing my first yoga class. I could have stayed three months here and totally chilled out if I wanted to (and I really wish I would have).

– What I Would Have Done Differently

I would have booked out this place for a full month and paid for the monthly unlimited yoga instead of the weekly. I have never felt as good and centered as I did when I was staying here; and lest we forget their PLETHORA of vegan desserts.

 

  • Undermining The Shopping In Ubud

So whenever I had purchased some silver rings in Kuta, I was visiting my dude that always hooked me up with a fruit discount, and he told me that I should have bought rings in Ubud because the silver was higher quality and it would have been much much cheaper. Well, there was really no reversing my purchase at this point, but after visiting Ubud I wish I would have saved my money to shop around there. I did buy a painting that supported the local artists which was really cool, but next time I’ll save my money for Ubud.

What I Would Have Done Differently

I would have not blown a bunch of money in Kuta (it was my birthday so I splurged a little bit). Looking back I am glad I purchased the items in Kuta because my time in Ubud was limited after having to cut my trip short (because of my leg). There is always a next time, and I can’t wait to shop around Ubud on my next visit.

 

  • Not Surfing For The Whole Trip

*Sigh* What was I thinking? I think that I surfed more during my trip to the Philippines than I did my whole trip to Bali, which makes no sense considering Bali is a surfers paradise! I wish I would have set more time aside and took the leap into taking lessons and surfing with my friend because I knew that would have put the cherry on top of my whole trip.

What I Would Have Done Differently

In total, I spent around five days in Kuta and seven in Canggu so I would have booked surfing lessons every single morning in those locations. After having done so a few times in the Philippines and loving it, I am going to take advantage of it next time. (I was still in the process of overcoming my fear of the ocean so this one kind of slides lol)

 

 

I did have an amazing time in Bali, so don’t let the mistakes make it seem like I didn’t enjoy my trip. I am so excited to return soon and explore even more than I did before (and perhaps actually learn how to drive a scooter). If you’re going to Bali or elsewhere, I think these tips can be applied to really any trip in some way! I hope these helped give you an idea of what my first solo experience was like and the things that I will change next time!

 

Until next time,

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