Last night I moseyed down to the beach club for sunset drinks, which in my new angel status world means a slushy mocktail probably with more calories than a decent glass of wine. However I feel virtuous and I don’t miss alcohol in this very stress free world where the major daily decisions revolve around.. beach, pool or massage? Beachside, I meet an American couple in their late 70’s who, each year come to this resort Puri Santrian for a month. That’s right, and next year they are thinking of 6 weeks. No rushing around sightseeing. No tour buses, cruises or explorer adventures. They make this resort their home every February when the snow lies thick in North America. It got me thinking about the types of holidays we enjoy as we get older. Do they change? Do we become more or less adventurous? Or do our holidays simply shift focus? What do you think?
I walk away shaking my head.. a month! Don’t they get bored? A thunderbolt thought hits me. For the past 8 years I have been coming here to Sanur at least once a year and sometimes twice! Usually with the same rhythm and pattern to my stay. 5 days at the resort in Sanur to recharge and start smiling again….. 2-4 days in central Bali in Ubud walking the rice fields and markets and a few days again at Puri Santrian, beachside before flying home. Sometimes there’s a board meeting in Jakarta for a day for the education foundation I work with. A lovely family that run a private foundation to educate girls in rural villages.
Friends of mine go to Vietnam each year for a couple of weeks. Other friends head to Queensland every Melbourne winter for 4-6 weeks. There’s something safe, known and comfortable about going to the same place. It’s effortless. International travel can take a lot of energy and although its great fun there’s something very simple about returning to the known. When I come to Puri the staff always say “Ms Nora welcome back to your Bali home…”
Why do I keep coming back to Bali? Like a home and its surroundings I simply slot in to the life around me. There’s comfort in the simple routines of pre-dawn beach walks, yoga and a long e- free breakfast..no electronic gadgets! I notice the local kids I see playing on the beach as they have grown. Where once they would run up to me laughing and chattering they have now become teenagers and are more reserved and cool in their hello’s. I see the warung that sit like empty shells where once a thriving family cafe functioned.
I notice the young village boys who are now staff at the resort and are being trained to respond to the needs of these crazy western tourists. We have funny conversations about the different uses of teaspoons and tablespoons. Teaspoons fit in tea-cups..but tablespoons are not the size of tables!?! It’s these moments of conversation that give richness to the holiday experience.
I’m writing now and the staff have organised a writing desk for me in the “business lounge” with views to the sea. I try to write every morning and at around 10.30 someone will wander in with my cup of coffee and a smile. Would I enjoy a month here? It’s the perfect place to write a book. Food and transport is very cheap. I’m no longer acquiring “stuff” so the there’s no big expense on tourist bling. Off season the resort is reasonable and perhaps a long term rate can be negotiated. Villas are a plenty in Sanur but as a solo traveler I like the resort life around me and interactions with people as they come and go. There’s a mix of young couples, children, retirees and singles so the resort doesn’t have a retirement village feel.
I still love the unknown adventures of big cities and new places but without realizing it, I think I’m also becoming more homely in my rest and restore choices. Puri Santrian is my Bali home.