Blissful in Bali
A Journey Inside Out
with Vesna Petrovich
& Jelena Popovic
May 7 – 18, 2017
- Relax among the rice paddies in the shadow on Mt. Agung
- Purification Ceremony by a Balinese Priestess
- Visit Bali’s cultural & artist center, Ubud
- Experience Ubud’s Monkey Forest
- Learn how to cook Indonesian dishes
- Visit a local Balinese market in Sidemen
- Hike amid rice fields in Sidemen
- Optional river rafting trip in Sideman
- Enjoy a Balinese dance performance
- Visit Bali’s most holy temple, Besakih
- World-class snorkeling around the Gili Islands
- Visit gorgeous beaches on Lombok’s south coast
- Hike to two beautiful waterfalls in northern Lombok
- See unforgettable sunsets across the Lombok Strait
- Take advantage of optional spa treatments & massages
$2599 per person
Trip at a Glance
- May 7 to 18, 2017
- Daily practice with Vesna Petrovich and Jelena Popovic
- 6 nights on Bali
- 5 nights on Lombok
- Limited to 14 guests
- PRICE REDUCTION! Only $2599 per person!
“Through history, travel and intimate contact with other cultures, we not only learn about others, but start to understand ourselves better, realizing the beauty of our common humanity.” – Dr. Michael B. Petrovich
Vesna and her niece Jelena want to share with you their family tradition of travel as an exploration of external wonders through the awakening of our inner curiosity. Interdependence between self, others, and nature is at the core of that experience. In a world where everything is planned, analyzed and our attention perpetually divided, how can we show up in a place fully present, without expectations and use our body and senses to guide our experience?
With yoga, storytelling and mindfulness meditation to awaken our body-heart-mind, the challenge is to approach travel with a beginner’s mind, through a lens of the unknown and with an open heart. We invite you to explore with us what it means to be fully present with yourself, other people and the wonders around us. Let Bali teach us about Bali while we practice mindful presence by allowing ourselves to see, hear, smell, taste, dance, sing, move, meditate and fall in love with nature, people, food and culture.
Join us in this unique experience!
Blissful Bali Daily Itinerary
We Begin in Bali...
Days 1 – 6: Sidemen
Welcome to the Island of Gods! You’ll be picked up at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and brought straight away to our retreat location in rural Sidemen, Bali (about a 90 minute scenic drive). Sidemen is a hidden gem in Bali, a thick carpet of verdant rice fields nestled between holy Mount Agung and the sea. Many say Sidemen is reminiscent of Ubud 50 years ago, before it became a bustling international hub and tourist playground.
Our retreat accommodation in Sidemen is truly a sacred, magical place. You’ll be able to unwind in peace (maybe at one of the three pools on site?), listening to the magnificent songs of Indonesian birds and taking in the fragrance of the frangipanis. Go ahead and pop one of those behind your ear—you’re in Bali now!
One of the most special things about this location is that is owned by a Balinese priestess and her loving and devout staff. If you desire, you can take place in a very special Purification ceremony on your first full day in Bali. This ritual has undoubtedly set a positive, transformative tone for all of our guests, and we are so honored to share this opportunity with you.
The Balinese practice a very specialized form of Hinduism, which looks entirely different than the Hinduism you’ll find in India & Nepal. The Balinese combine Hinduism with animism and ancestor worship, as well as Buddhism. Almost 90% of Bali’s inhabitants are Hindu.
We have our choice of yoga and meditation spots on the gorgeous grounds, depending on the time of day and the vibe we’re hoping to inspire. We can have sunrise practice on our private deck and watch Mount Agung emerge from the mist, or we can bask in the sunset sunlight on on open air terrace facing the distant sea.
Between our meditation and yoga practice and planned activities, you have lots of options. We can arrange:
- a Balinese Temple visit
- a rice paddy & nature walk
- a morning visit to the local market
- an offering-making class
- a visit to the affiliated non-profit after-school culture school for local children, where they keep alive the Balinese arts of dance, music, and art
Included in your stay is one fabulous full body massage at the onsite-spa, but we have a feeling you’ll be back for seconds (and thirds!) In addition, we can help arrange a river rafting trip for the adventurous of the bunch.
We have the option of taking a day trip to Ubud, as well. A beautiful 60 minute drive away, Ubud is Bali’s cultural capital, artistic heart, and shopping paradise. As the central portion of Ubud is very walkable, we’ll give you some options as to what you may want to see or do and then you can set to exploring!
You can stroll through the magical Monkey Forest, a lush hideaway in the middle of the city full of gigantic trees, mischievous monkeys, and a sense of well-being. Many people like to get their souvenir shopping on, everywhere from the sprawling Ubud market to the chic boutiques up and down Dewi Sita and Jalan Hanoman. Ubud’s cafes and restaurants are second to none, from local Balinese and Indonesian dishes to authentic pizzas and pastas from a sizable Italian expat community. That evening you can even take in a traditional Balinese dance performance, always a gorgeous and mesmerizing experience.
What’s in a Name?
The Balinese have a very interesting naming system! There are only a few unisex names used in Bali, based on birth order. While Balinese often go by nicknames, they will likely introduce themselves by their proper name. The firstborn is either Wayan, Putu, or Gede (and sometime Ni-Luh for females); second-born is Made or Kadek; third-born is Nyoman or Komang; and the fourth-born is always Ketut. What about families with more than four children? Start at the top again, but this time with a “Balik” twist. Balik means “again,” so the second Wayan in a family becomes “Wayan…again.” While there are a few other names that certain castes use, these are the names that you’ll hear time and time again. What would your name be if you were born in Bali?
You typically can’t walk a few meters anywhere in Bali without running into a Balinese offering–or several. These offerings, from the meaningful but simple to the unbelievably ornate, encapsulate the beautiful balance in Bali’s unique blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Animism. One of the more common offerings you’ll see is the canang sari (sari= “essence,” ca nang=”beautiful purpose” in the Kawi language). This palm leaf basket holds different colored flowers and other ingredients (food, candy, even cigarettes), each rich in meaning. They are topped with a stick of incense, so that the smoke may carry this offering to heaven.
Every single day, a woman (always a woman) in a Balinese household will spend an hour or more creating and placing these blessings around the compound to signify gratitude. On holidays, of which there are many in Bali, that timeframe might go up to 4 or more hours, with many women in the same family working together to create hundreds of offerings. It is clear that the gifts and sacrifices that the Balinese give God is their time, attention, and care.
You’ll notice the blessings not only in key spots around a family or business compound, but on the ground, street, and sidewalk as well. These offerings are meant to placate the lower spirits or demons, keeping them at bay for another day. If you accidentally step on or kick one of the offerings, don’t fret–once the incense has brought the message up to the heavens, the offering becomes just an earthly object, to be swept up and replaced with love tomorrow.
The Sounds of Bali
Bali is unique in so many ways, and it even has a distinctive sound. Gamelan is an ensemble-style music made up primarily of percussive instruments called metallophones (metal xylophones, more or less). Native to the islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia, gamelan music is still very much a part of Balinese culture, particularly during dances and ceremonies. Click the orange arrow in the SoundCloud box for a sample!
On to Lombok...
Days 7-12: Lombok
On the morning of May13th, you’ll head out after an early breakfast for a 2-hour fast boat to the neighboring island of Lombok. There is a saying, “You can see Bali from Lombok, but you can’t see Lombok from Bali.” This is true literally—as you’ll see during the fantastic sunsets—but also culturally. Although Lombok is only 10 to 15% Balinese, the culture is still visible, particularly at our retreat location.
Out hotel sits directly on the west coast of Lombok, allowing for some of the most amazing sunsets in the world. The sun sets behind Bali’s Mount Agung, allowing you to appreciate this holy volcano in a whole new way as it is silhouetted across the sea. Allow the ocean breeze to cleanse you, whether you are lounging in one of the many sea-side bale huts or taking a dip in the oceanfront pool. Our guests go ga-ga for the spa here, as well, with some enthusiasts getting as many as three treatments in a day! The spa is located a brief shuttle ride up the hill, allowing for a whole new environment, complete with exotic birds, another pool and a revitalizing tub with water that’s specifically engineered to refresh and moisturize your body.
We have a number of day trips planned for you, should you choose to participate (although no one will judge if the only thing on your agenda is “lounge, lounge & lounge.”) Included in this retreat package:
- A snorkeling day trip to the Gili Islands. “Gili” is the local Sasak word for “small island,” although you might think it means “paradise.” The northwest coast of Lombok lays claim to three such islands, with some of the prettiest snorkeling you’ll experience. The clear, warm waters around Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan are home to sea turtles, coral reefs, and all manners of vivid tropical fish. If you’re not sure if you like snorkeling, this trip will make a believer out of you. And even if you want to sit on the boat and soak in some rays, it’s still worth the trip
- Waterfall Hike at Senaru. The north coast of Lombok boasts two beautiful waterfalls, surrounded by lush forest at the foot of the volcano Rinjani. The first waterfall, Sindang Gila, is easily accessible and has a spectacularly high cascade. The second waterfall, Tiu Kelep, lies another 30-45 minutes through the woods and has a crystal clear (and deliciously cold) pool for you to refresh yourself in after your hike.
- Southern Lombok beaches & Sasak Village. The beaches of southern Lombok are straight out of a travel magazine: wide, white, crescent shaped bays with aquamarine water. Whether you want to sun yourself, do some laps, or splash around in the crystal clear water, there’s more scenic place to do it than here. (See the side bar more more!) On this trip you can also stop at a traditional Sasak Village that has opened itself up to tourists so they can better understand the local culture.
In addition, you can take the hotel shuttle to nearby Senggigi Art Market, a collection of local vendors selling a mix of gorgeous handicrafts and your typical tourist fafe. There is also a Pearl Farm & Showroom a bit farther north on the coast, if that catches your fancy.
We’ll have a closing ceremony and a final group dinner together on May 17th, and reflect on what already seem like a lifetime of memories. On the morning of May 18th, we’ll head out to Lombok’s new international airport and head back to Bali for a 25 minute flight that gives you a fantastic bird’s eye view of the coastline. Our trip ends when we get back to Bali, where you can remain at the airport for your trip home or your next destination. Next destination, you say? Read on…
When we take our ferry from Bali to Lombok, we’ll be crossing over a very interesting border within the Lombok Strait: Wallace’s Line. Named after British naturalist Alfred Wallace, this boundary line was drawn in 1859 to denote the general separation of animals of Asian origin from those of Australasian origin. Although a few bats and birds are distributed on both sides of this line, for the most part mammals are generally limited to one side or the other. Plants follow this delineation to a lesser extent.
The “Other” Kuta
You may have heard about Kuta Beach, Bali, and what you heard may not have been so kind. This extraordinarily popular surf beach on Bali’s south coast has become a den of drunk tourists and the vendors trying to sell to them. We don’t ever take groups there and we don’t recommend going, honestly. But Lombok’s Kuta Beach is another story…
Kuta, Lombok is home to some of the most postcard-perfect beaches on the planet. Two of our favorites include:
Mawun is a half-moon bay, flanked by two large green hills; during the week you have it to yourself, and on the weekends it becomes a lively hub for locals, sitting and sharing food under the shade tree.
Tanjung Aan has an unfair advantage, in that it’s actually two beaches in one. The western portion boasts long white sand beaches, uninterrupted save for a few beach-front cafes; divided by a small rocky outcropping in the middle, the eastern portion contains a beige, millet-like sand, beautiful to the eyes but slightly harder to walk on!
If you’d like to extend your journey before or after this retreat, we would be more than happy to help you plan your stay! We can advise you on hotels, flights, and itineraries, whether you want to arrive in Bali early, stay afterwards, or venture to somewhere else in Southeast Asia at the end of the trip. We offer our retreat guests free travel consulting, normally a $200 value.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Continue on in Bali and stay in the lush central highlands, explore more of Ubud, or stay on the relatively untouristed black sand beaches of the north shore
- Consider a long layover in the always amazing Singapore or lively Bangkok
- Visit Bhutan, a well-loved and well-protected travel destination often referred to as the “Last Shangri-La”
- Anywhere else in South or Southeast Asia that your heart desires!
Please click the plus signs on the toggles below to expand them.
Your Daily Practice
Let a morning gentle revitalizing yoga prepare you for our daily adventures. We’ll include short journaling and mindfulness meditation to clear the mind and open the heart as we journey inside out. We’ll close the day with storytelling and a restorative yoga practice to relax you deeply for a restful night. Bring a travel yoga mat, a strap, an eye pillow and a small journal.
Vesna is an experienced teacher who enjoys teaching a gentler yoga practice, progressively stretching and awakening the body and mind in order to build safe yoga postures. In each class she incorporates anatomical alignment and mindfulness meditation.
Jelena is an experienced relaxation coach and mindfulness educator. She is eager to guide, inspire, and deepen your retreat experience by sharing stories that connect us with our inner world so we can discover ourselves, each other, and Bali’s beauty, with intention, curiosity and presence.
Price and What is Included
This 12 day/11 night all-inclusive journey is just $2599 per person (double occupancy).
If you prefer to have your own room, the single supplement is $550 and will be added to your last payment. (Click here to understand why this single supplement is necessary). Please note that we cannot guarantee you a roommate for this trip, and if you room alone, you will be responsible for the single supplement.
An $800 deposit holds your space. The second installment of $1000 is due by January 7, 2017 (120 days before start of trip) and the balance is due on March 8, 2017 (60 days before start of trip). Single supplement is due along with the last installment.
- All meals, and all the water, tea, and coffee your heart desires
- All accommodation
- All local transportation and transportation between Bali and Lombok
- One delightful massage
- Snorkeling trip to the Gili Islands
- Trip to the waterfalls in Senaru, Lombok; the beaches of south Lombok; visit to a Sasak Village on Lombok
- Day trip to Ubud
- Traditional Balinese dance performance
- Daily practice with Vesna Petrovich and Jelena Popovic
- All site entrance fees
Price does not include:
- International airfare (although we can and will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
- Indonesian Visa Fee ($35 USD)
- Alcohol, specialty beverages, and desserts
- Yoga mats and accessories are not included in this journey.
- Travel insurance (required)
- Optional river rafting trip in Sidemen
- There is a minimum of 6 guests that must sign up in order for this trip to take place. We will hold your deposit & payments until the minimum number of guests have signed up. Please do not purchase any airfare until you get the go-ahead from us that we’ve reached our minimum number of participants.
- If the minimum number of guests have not signed up 3 months prior to the departure date, we’ll give you the option to transfer your reservation to another tour or fully refund your money.
FAQ: Everything You're Wondering about Health, Accommodations, Visas, Food, Money & more!
PASSPORT & VISA
- What do I need to know about the visa?
First and foremost, your passport MUST be valid at least 6 months beyond the end date of the trip, and you’ll need two empty pages in the Visas section of your passport. You will receive your Indonesian visa-on-arrival at the airport for $35 USD; please do bring US dollars for this (exact change) to make the process as smooth as possible.
- What about the food? I don’t even know if I like Indonesian food!
This seems to be a common concern amongst our guests, although no one ever goes hungry in Indonesia! Quite the opposite! Sometimes the dishes often sound exotic (like Mie Goreng) but are usually quite accessible (Mie Goreng = “Fried Noodles.”) CLICK HERE for an Indonesian Food Primer that Lauren prepared.
Even if you don’t want to venture into local fare, almost every single restaurant in Bali & Lombok have Western food on the menu, everything from pizza to French fries to spaghetti carbonara (we maintain that Bali has some of the best Italian food in the world!) No worries (and no judgment) if you’re craving comfort food—it’s available!
- I have food allergies/intolerances or I’m a vegetarian/vegan—will I be OK?
One of our Registration Questions you’ll answer when you sign up for a trip asks about any food allergies or intolerance you may have, and we will communicate that to the hotel staff, the local guides, and your instructors. We’ve had celiac guests successfully navigate Indonesia (including Bali and Lombok); vegetarians should have no problem anywhere on our travels. Vegans will have to work slightly harder to ensure that no fish sauce is used in their dishes, but it is entirely possible.
Celiactravel.com has GREAT printable cards in local languages to present to restaurants and hotels about your intolerance of gluten. Click here for the Indonesian version. If you have multiple dietary needs, it may be worth your while to check out these specialty cards, available in 60 different languages.
- Can I drink the water?
In a word, No. Although many cities around the world are getting more advanced public water systems, we don’t recommend it. Not only from a pathogen standpoint, but it’s a different set of bacteria than your body is used to. Why risk an upset stomach if you don’t have to? We recommend drinking only bottled water, and you will want to rinse your toothbrush off in bottled water.
- What vaccines do I need?
No vaccines are required for entry, but we encourage guests to work with their own physicians or their local health department’s travel vaccine department about these choices. The CDC’s site (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/indonesia) is also a good thing to check, but know that they tend toward the overly cautious side. As a blanket statement, though, we recommend all people traveling in Asia receive a Hepatitis A vaccine, Typhoid vaccine, and make sure their Tetanus vaccines are up to date.
- What about malaria?
When people envision traveling in Asia, they almost certainly imagine a landscape thick with killer mosquitoes; we’ve found that couldn’t be farther from the truth. CLICK HERE for an in-depth blog that BJ prepared about malaria and dengue. While you need to discuss this question with your doctor, we feel that the minimal risk of malaria only warrants “bite-prevention.” Use common sense approaches to prevent being bitten, including long sleeves/pants at dawn/dusk, mosquito repellant, and mosquito nets at night when necessary. There is no vaccine for dengue fever, which is also transmitted via mosquito bite, so taking the above precautions is important all around.
- Do I need travel insurance?
We require that all guests carry travel insurance because it just makes sense. It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind! When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We also recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances. We like World Nomads, but ultimately you have to choose the one that is right for you. If you’re 70 years old or older, you’ll have to use a different company; we like Travel Guard. We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance 60 days before your departure. Please click here to get a quote. We love the services of these companies so much that we became affiliates, so we would ask that if you do choose to purchase these policies, you do it through our links.
- What kind of hotels will we be staying in?
We have chosen our 4 to 4.5 star accommodation very carefully after years of research and building relationships at these locations. We will send you the name and contact information of the hotels before the start of the trip, so you can pass it along to your emergency contacts. Each room on this trip will have hot water, air-conditioning, and an en-suite bathroom.
Our hotel in Sidemen, Bali is nestled amid working rice fields. We have access to three pools and two restaurants (on specializing in Indonesian and Thai food, one in Indonesian and Western food). In Sidemen, the wifi is stronger in the common areas, although some rooms still have a good signal. These rooms have classic Balinese bathroom which are open-air; they are enclosed for privacy but the tops of the walls are open to allow fresh air.
Our hotel in Mangsit Beach, Lombok is directly on the beach. Wifi is standard in all the rooms in Lombok, although your connection may be stronger in common areas. This resort has a gorgeous hillside spa a one-minute shuttle ride away; we have access to two pools and there is a restaurant directly on the water. There are other nearby locally-owned beach-side cafes that we can enjoy authentic local dishes, as well.
- What will the weather be like?
Bali and Lombok are indeed tropical paradises; situated just 8 degrees south of the equator, the islands enjoy a warm, humid climate all year long. May is a great time to visit because it is the beginning of the dry(er) season. Temperature will range from a low of 75°F (24°C) to 91°F (33°C). Some early mornings might actually necessitate a light sweater or cardigan, we have found. Otherwise, plan on your skin soaking up the wonderful, nourishing atmosphere in a balmy, dreamy setting! Please see the Packing List on this page for packing suggestions.
- How much money should I bring?
That is entirely up to you and how much shopping you want to do, as well as your love for extras like massages, alcoholic beverages, etc. All of your meals and transportation is covered, so you just have to gauge how much you want to spend on extras. And don’t forget your $35 Visa Fee.
- How do I get the local currency?
You can either exchange cash in Bali or Lombok or use a local ATM (which we prefer). You can even use the ATM in Denpasar, Bali at the airport as you enter the country. Just make sure you call your bank and credit card company to let them know you’ll be traveling in Indonesia, so they don’t put a hold on your card when they see it being used halfway across the world! Note: ATM fees can be high (although some banks, like Charles Schwab, refund all foreign ATM fees) so plan to get out a large chunk of money instead of getting a lot of small withdrawals. ATMs are a very convenient way to get local currency, though.
- Can I use a credit card on the trip?
For large purchases in Ubud, many shops will take credit card (although they might charge a percentage on top of your credit card company’s international fee). For smaller items or smaller vendors, count on using cash only.
- Can I opt out of activities?
Absolutely! Nothing on these trips in mandatory. In fact, we build in a bit of downtime most days for self-exploration or rest, depending on how you’re feeling that day. We can help you build in extra activities, too, if that is your style
- Should I bring my mobile phone?
Many of our guests choose to purchase an international plan for their phone, but it’s okay if you don’t. All of our hotels and more restaurants will have wifi, and there are plenty of ways to stay in touch that way (FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, etc). If you do not purchase an international plan, please make sure your phone is in “Airplane Mode” to avoid any accidental activity!
- Will I be able to charge my electronics (phone, iPad, etc)?
Yes, just be sure to bring along a 2-pin European style converter. Better yet, grab a Universal Travel Adaptor that can go with you anywhere in the world!
- How can my family get ahold of me in an emergency?
Before the trip we will give you a list of our hotels and their phone numbers.
- How will I get by without knowing the local language?
If English is your first language, you are truly in luck. We are constantly amazed by how much Asia speaks English—and relatively well, considering it’s usually they’re 3rd or 4th language!
That said, we always like to provide you with a few words that will go a long way, including the local greetings and words like “Delicious!” (Enak Sekali!) and “See you later!” (Sampai Jumpa Lagi!) It’s not required, but it always elicits a smile and we think it’s only right to learn at least a few local words.
- How do I get there?
Read this blog by BJ for a better idea of how to fly from Bali to US: http://www.retreatours.com/2014/05/flying-from-the-us-to-bali; this articles covers travel time and route options. We can help you select a flight that suits your needs when the times comes.
Practice Preview Videos
Preview of Gentle Yoga 2-DVD set
Preview ofGentle Revitalizing practice
Please refer to the Price tab for specific information about price & what is included on your journey.
We accept payments via check (which we prefer!) and credit card (via PayPal). For our international guests, we can accept wires, which we find is the most economical solution for everyone; please contact us for wire details.
- Paying by Check: Checks can be made out to Insight Travels, LLC and sent to 8821 NW 14 Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.
- Paying by Credit Card or PayPal balance: You can pay with credit card or PayPal balance through the following links in blue below. Please click the appropriate amount to be taken to PayPal’s homepage to complete your transaction. All PayPal transactions must be in USD.
$800 deposit: www.paypal.me/retreat/800 (saves your spot)
$1000 (2nd installment): www.paypal.me/retreat/1000 (due January 7, 2017)
Final installment due on March 8, 2017. We’ll provide you the amount and link well before the due date.
Suggested Packing List
First things first, we know what your burning question is: yes, you will be able to have laundry done and/or wash small things or undergarments by hand in your room.
We’ve designed the following recommendations with these facts in mind:
- Temples require that legs and shoulders be covered (which can be done with scarves/sarongs)
- Although very touristed and Westernized, Indonesian culture is still relatively modest.
- Whenever we have specific recommendations, we’ve included a link so you can see what we are talking about.
- We adore packing cubes like these from Eagle Creek. If you roll your clothes, then you can put them into different mini bags within your suitcase: one for tops, one for bottoms, one for undergarments, etc. It makes your luggage very organized and easy to manage!
- Undergarments (up to you, but we’d recommend at least 6 pair)
- One pair of athletic shoes & socks should you decide to participate in some hiking
- One pair or more of sandals/flip-flops
- 1-2 pair modest shorts (around the knee or not too much above), skirts, or capri pants
- 1-3 pair light pants or long skirt to cover up at night (added mosquito protection) or when going to temples
- 3-5 lightweight shirts, short-sleeved or sleeveless/tanktops
- 1 light to mid-weight sweater for potentially nippy mornings or evenings (it’s been known to happen!) Also, it will come in handy on the international flight.
- 1-2 swimsuits, as both hotels have at least one pool or ocean within a stone’s throw! A swimsuit cover up, too, if you want to lounge after taking a dip.
- While there’s nothing too fancy on the agenda, feel free to bring any sundresses or lightweight dresses you enjoy wearing!
- Whatever you like to sleep in (especially for those of you with roommates! ? )
- Some cozy clothes to bum around in by the pool or in your room, if that wasn’t already taken care of above.
- Hat with a brim for sun protection
- Preferred yoga clothes; it will be warm & humid, so base your decisions on that. If you want to participate in yoga more than once a day, you might not want to put on the same sweaty clothes, so consider bringing 2 to 3 sets of “yoga friendly clothing.” (What is “yoga friendly clothing”? Basically any clothes you feel comfortable stretching and moving in. That could mean shorts and a shirt, or that could mean a sports bra and ‘yoga pants.’ You may want to choose shirts that won’t rise up when you’re bent over, but it’s all a personal preference.)
- PASSPORT! Please also have a copy of your passport, as well.
- Small towel for yoga class (for sweat or hand slippage). You can get a fancy one or just bring one from your linen closet!
- Sunscreen; although you can buy it in Bali, it’s MUCH more expensive there.
- Insect repellant
- Prescription glasses and/or contact lenses & supplies
- Feminine hygiene supplies
- Eyeshades or ear plugs, vital for coping with jet lag (please see our jet lag article here); there are also more than a few eager roosters around!
- Plug adaptor for Bali & Lombok (they use the 2-prong European-style one there): here is a nice basic one and here is one with USB charging inputs, as well, for your phone and tablet needs.
- Notebook or journal is highly recommended
- Alarm clock of some sort, be it a watch or your phone.
- Camera, camera battery charger & memory cards (If you’re in the market for a new camera for this trip, we can help advise!)
- If you bring your phone, don’t forget your charger!
- ATM card for any money for optional activities or souvenirs; please call the issuing bank beforehand to let them know you will be traveling in Indonesia (and any other layover stops) so they don’t put a hold on your card.
- A couple small packs of tissues, whether for running noses, sweaty foreheads, or emergency toilet paper.
- “Wet wipes” for your yoga mat after class–you’ll be thanking yourself the next time you open the mat! They even make specific Yoga Mat wipes nowadays.
- Small flashlight or flashlight app on your phone if you go exploring after dark (or just for walking back to your room some evenings!)
- Any prescription drugs you may need; although there are pharmacies available around the cities we will be staying in, we’d prefer you are well-stocked on both prescription and over-the-counter products you anticipate needing, including things like over-the-counter painkillers. Pack them in your carry-on, not your suitcase.
- Speaking of over-the-counter drugs, you may want to bring melatonin and/or Benadryl to help you fall & stay asleep the first few nights due to jet lag. If you have a sensitive stomach when adjusting to new food, some Imodium might also be a good idea.
- Speaking of drugs, we just want to reiterate that Indonesia has a zero tolerance policy on illegal drugs!
- Sea sickness prevention, since we are taking two 2-hour boat rides and also spending a day snorkeling: we like to use nature’s own anti-nausea meditation: ginger! Ginger capsules or ginger candy are great to hand on-hand; even Dramamine is getting in on the ginger action. Barring that, traditional Dramamine is effective although it does make you drowsy. We also recommend SeaBands (or a generic equivalent), which press on a very powerful anti-nausea acupressure point.
- TSA-approved locks for your suitcases
- Preferred toiletries; all of the places we will be staying have soap and even shampoo in the bathroom, but you may want to bring a small bottle of conditioner.
- Reading material (print or electronic!) for the plane and lazy days by the pool
About your Flight to Bali
Flying to Bali can seem an intimidating prospect. We recommend you first read our blog on this flight here:
Although prices fluctuate, here are some sample prices we have found to Bali (Denpasar, or DPS is the airport code) from Tampa and Ney York (JFK).
From Tampa, FL:
And from JFK:
We can help you select the perfect flight for you, including optional layovers in Singapore and Hong Kong. This is to give you an idea of prices and flight times.
Registration Questions & Contract
Please scroll down within this tan box to reach the end of the questionnaire and contract. At the end of the contract, you will see a “submit” box—please hit that button.
Your spot is not considered reserved until you have completed these questions and contract on the website.
We require that our guests carry travel insurance because it just makes sense. It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind for very little cost. When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We also recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances.
We like World Nomads, but ultimately you have to choose the one that is right for you. If you’re 70 years old or older, you’ll have to use a different company; we like Travel Guard. We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance before your departure. We love the services of these companies so much that we became affiliates, so we would ask that if you do choose to purchase these policies, you do it through our links.
Vesna Petrovich, Ph.D., RYT-200, is a passionate yoga practitioner and teacher. She created gentle progressive yoga based on her experience with people of different ages and abilities. Vesna continues to study yoga philosophy, mindfulness meditation, and anatomy to better understand the evolution of the yoga tradition and its practice. Her mission is to make yoga safe, accessible and enjoyable to all. Visit her site at www.YogaWithVesna.com.
Vesna is also an explorer. Native of former Yugoslavia, she has lived, studied and traveled in different cultures since her childhood. She holds a Master’s from the Sorbonne, a Ph.D. from the university of Michigan, and is a published scholar in Eighteen-century studies. Adjunct faculty in French at New College in Sarasota, FL, she divides her teaching time between French and yoga.
Vesna is looking forward to discovering Asia, especially Bali & Lombok, under BJ and Lauren’s knowledgeable guidance, and with a group of curious, passionate, and fun friends and yoga practitioners.
Jelena Popovic, MS, CAGS, NCSP is best described as a “hearticulator,” who inspires others to search for their inner genius with curiosity and compassion. She is a mom, life-long learner, mindfulness educator, relaxation trainer and coach, believer in education, meaningful relationships and the immense power of love. Her mission is to help others grow mindfully, inspire them to find beauty in the present and bring happiness to childhood and beyond. Visit her site at www.poisedkids.net.
Jelena’s mindfulness practice consists of yoga, continuous curiosity and awe about the mind as well as heart opening practices through storytelling. She is a Mindful Schools instructor and mentor (www.mindfulschools.org) and Relax Kids trainer and coach (www.relaxkids.com). She is teaching mindfulness and relaxation to children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings, and introducing these techniques to the public at large in regional and national conferences and workshops.
With graduate studies in School Psychology from Tufts University, work in public schools, therapeutic programs, and through her involvement in state school psychology associations and non-profit organizations, Jelena brings her inspiring presence and knowledge to our program. She is curious about Bali and very excited to join her aunt Vesna on this adventure, with her motto Carpe Diem!
A true family tree!
About BJ & Lauren and RetreaTours
BJ & Lauren created RetreaTours in 2010 with one goal in mind: to make world travel accessible, authentic, and astounding. In order to focus fully on this passion, they moved out of the U.S. in January 2013 to reside full-time overseas. Each day is spent exploring new destinations, strengthening local ties & relationships, and creating memorable and transformative retreats and tours (aka, RetreaTours™!)
BJ & Lauren take great pride in the itineraries they plan, as they can personally vouch for every hotel, every restaurant, and every activity that you will experience. They craft each element of the trip with intention, and they understand that it is this careful attention to detail that sets them apart. Fueled by their passion, armed with know-how, and supported by knowledgeable local professionals in all of their destinations, BJ & Lauren set the scene for the vacation of a lifetime.
The dynamic duo are available to answer any and all questions before the trip begins. From giving advice on the best flights and travel insurance to providing a packing list, FAQ, information about local food, and even a tiny “phrasebook,” BJ & Lauren pride themselves on these ‘nuts & bolts’ of personalized service.
In addition, as a guest, you receive free travel consulting services (normally a $200 value) should you choose to extend your travels. As one of their most ‘frequent fliers’ put it recently, BJ & Lauren make everything easy for you. Once you arrive in your destination city, your trip is all-inclusive—your meals, transportation, lodging, site fees, donations, and tips are all taken care of. The research has been done, the itinerary carefully laid out, the reservations made, the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. All you have to do is show up and take in all your destination has to show you! So….let’s get going!
(Pictured above: BJ & Lauren play on an interactive street mural in Georgetown, Malaysia.)
Contact BJ & Lauren
Learn the Language!
Here’s a primer in Bahasa Indonesia. Your first lesson: Bahasa means “language,” so Bahasa Indonesia means the language of Indonesia!
|Good morning (until 11 AM)||Selamat Pagi|
|Good afternoon (11 AM- 3 PM)||Selamat Siang|
|Good afternoon (3 PM - 6 PM)||Selamat Sore (Sore-ay)|
|Good night||Selamat Malam|
|Nice to meet you||Senang bertemu denganmu|
|See you later||Sampai jumpa lagi|
|Good night (going to sleep)||Selamat Tidur (ti-door)|
|How are you?||Apa kabar?|
|I am fine, thank you||Baik, terima kasih.|
|Thank you (very much)||Terima Kasih (banak)|
|You're welcome||Sama sama.|
|No / No, thanks.||Tidak / Tidak, terima kaih.|
|What is your name?||Siapa namamu? // Siapa nama anda?|
|Excuse me / I'm sorry||Maaf (ma-off)|
|Be careful! / Look out!||Hati-hati!|
|What is this?||Apa ini?|
|Take care||Baik-baik ya.|
|I don't understand.||Saya tidak mengerti.|
|It's alright / No problem||Tidak apa-apa / Tidak masalah. (Balinese: Sin can-can)|
|I like it||Saya suka|
|Very delicious!||Enak sekali!|
|I am a vegetarian.||Saya vegetarian.|
|Chicken / Eggs||Ayam / Telur|
All About Indonesian Food
Indonesian food is extremely accessible to foreigners, even though it may go by unfamiliar names. In addition, tofu and tempeh are easier to find in Indonesia than anywhere else in SE Asia. (Tempeh is a soy protein similar to tofu but less processed and with greater health benefits due to its fermentation. It’s actually quite delicious!)
Before we get into the basics of Indonesian food, let me tell you that the places we’ll be taking you in Bali & Lombok all have a huge Western food selection, as well: pizza, pastas, burgers, fries, etc. So, if you’re in need of some comfort food or familiar tastes, you’ll be well taken care of. (BJ & I maintain that Ubud, Bali has some of the best Italian food in the world!)
Vegetarians will find plenty to eat in these areas, particularly with the addition of tofu and tempeh. Pescatarians (those who eat fish) will be in heaven, and we’ve successfully toured with Celiacs (allergic to gluten) in this part of the world with no problem.
Here’s a list of some of the more common items you’ll see on most Indonesian menus:
- Nasi Goreng = fried rice (Nasi means rice, and Goreng means fried.) This can be served with meat or tofu/tempeh; typically has a fried egg on top and shrimp rice crackers on the side.
- Mie Goreng = fried noodles (Mie = noodles). Typically wheat noodles—think “Top Ramen” style.
- Sate (satay) = BBQed meat (or tofu/tempeh) on skewers.
- Bakso = meatball soup, but can be any sort of meat, including fish.
- Gado gado = bear with us on this one, as it sounds off-putting but is delightful. It’s a salad of cooked greens and sprouts with peanut sauce on top, served with tofu/tempeh, a boiled egg, and a fresh salad of tomatoes, cucumber, and sometimes green beans. Typically also served with rice crackers. Somehow it all works, and is a solid vegetarian choice.
- Lumpia = fried spring rolls
- Cap Cay (chap chai) = stir-fried vegetables, Chinese-style, with meat or tofu/tempeh
- Beef Rendang = recently won a CNN Reader Poll for best dish in the world (click here for that story). This dish features beef that is slooooow cooked in a flavorful curry until you’re left with melt-in-your-mouth brisket-style beef with just hints of spice. Addictive.
- Soto ayam = chicken soup
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