Blue water. Untouched beaches. Waterfall escapes. Buddha statues. Temples. Relaxation. Healing.

I’m not sure when Bali became one of my bucket list destinations. I’d like to pretend I’m not just another Eat Pray Love copycat but the truth may very well be that it was the portrayal of Ubud in the movie and Elizabeth’s personal experiences in the novel that put Bali at the top of my “must visit in Asia” list.

Even now, living here in my own personal, transformational paradise in Costa Rica, I find myself daydreaming of Bali, of creating my own personal retreat in one of the many luxury private villas in Bali.

The truth is that I’m probably not heading to Bali anytime soon – Central America has me in a pretty tight grasp right now….I even just cut my trip back to the United States short by 3 weeks! 2018 is looking like it’s going to (fingers crossed!) involve a trip to Africa and at least one visit to the United States but otherwise, I’ll be staying on Costa Rica. I seriously cannot get away from this place, I just love it too much!

But, I’m not the only one who spends their days dreaming of destinations they won’t be visiting anytime soon, am I? Up to and including making lists of absolutely everything I want to do there, right? Yes? Oh…

Well, lucky for you my dear readers, I have so much fun planning trips I’m not taking anytime soon that I’ve decided to share those plans with you as inspiration…starting with Bali.

My Bali Bucket List

Create A Personal Retreat. Listen, owning up to this is probably the most cliche’ thing I will ever do in my life but….I really want to create a personal retreat in Bali. Semi spiritual but probably not filled with crazy yoga pretzel-like poses unless I magically become flexible by the time I get there or hours of meditation, though in an ideal world I would do a little of both of those things.

More than anything, I’m picturing 5-7 days on a beautiful, luxurious property where I can wake up, eat some type of nutritious, fruity breakfast, journal, go for a swim or long walk, and then relax with some type of personal development book. A healthy lunch and afternoon massage. Lots of reading and journaling and working through personal issues but also just remembering how to relax and put myself first.

And yes, I know that it’s possible to do that anywhere and I could probably do it just across the border in Nicaragua much easier but…Bali on the mind. Let’s blame it on Eat, Pray, Love shall we?

Rent A Luxury Villa. Luxury villas are generally not in my budget or even my preferred style but how dreamy would it be to wake up in a luxury villa in Bali every morning during a personal retreat? And even though it’s possible to drop a few grand a night, it’s also possible to get one for the price of a regular “nice” hotel in the States. WIN.

Explore Rice Paddy Fields. If Bali conjours one image to mind beyond luxury, it’s the rice paddy fields. How many of my blogging friends have written about driving their motorcycle through them or falling trying to trek through them? Too many to count. They are so beautiful, I definitely need to explore myself.

Find Hidden Beaches. I know Bali is becoming more and more of an “It” destination and its many “hidden” beaches have been the subject of many viral videos which has, of course, led to them being not-so-hidden…I’m crossing my fingers that by the time I make it there, a few hidden gems will remain!

Head to the Gili Islands. Now that I’ve (kinda) gotten over my fear of boats and water, I am 100% down for exploring more islands. I’ve heard so many good things about the Gili Islands and would love to spend a few days island hopping. Party one night, relaxation the next, depending on the island.

Visit Beautiful Temples. Having only explored Central America and parts of the US, I’ve never been to a true temple before. I know there are TONS (some 20,000) in Bali – some in use and some not – and they’re definitely something I would want to put extra time and effort into visiting.

Learn About Local Culture and Religion. I am fascinated by culture and religion. Religion is actually something I’m studying at the moment in general and I always try to do things that expose me to true local culture as a true, not just the tourist destinations. In Bali, I think there is a lot of opportunity to both of those things and it would definitely be a priority for me – even more so than lounging on the beach. There are so many religions present in Bali – Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism – that I’m very intrigued to see the impact they have on each other. I’m particularly interested in learning more about Hinduism as it’s the religion I know the least about. I’m also interested in learning more about the many Bali crafts as art definitely has a major influence on culture (or vice versa).

Experience Many Different Destinations. The one thing I DON’T want to do in Bali? Stay in the same place. While I would love to spend time in Ubud and other popular destinations, I would want to get off the beaten path too. I want to experience not just the beaches but the city life and the beauty of the country as a whole.

Have you ever been to Bali? What was your favorite destination? I’d love to hear any travel tips in the comments!