“Terima Kasih” means “thank you” in Balinese. I’ve had some of the greatest experiences in Bali and met some of the most amazing people. Below are some of the experiences that moved me while in Bali.
On my second day, I was able to do a sunrise climb of Mount Batur, one of the three volcanos in Bali. On the day of the climb, I woke up at 1am to drive 2 hours to the base of the mountain. From there, it was a 3 hour hike up a steep mountain in complete darkness. Although it was strenuous and a little dangerous, we were rewarded with one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen. From the top, we could see the crater of the mountain and a panorama of the sky and the surrounding area. The colors, sights and sounds were out of this world. The climb fueled my desire for adventure and drive to experience what the world has to offer.
Temples and Hinduism
One thing unique to Bali is that there are Hindu temples everywhere. Throughout the week, my friends and I did tours of the many temples around the island. Each of these temples were filled with ancient history and had a story. My favorite temple that I saw was Tanah Lot, an island temple separated by a beach. This particular temple was on a beach in the Southwest region of Bali. What made this special was that it was only accessible during low tide. Because it is on a rock formation above the beach, the level of the sea dictates access.
Going to Bali temples would be my first hands on experience of Hinduism. I was raised Catholic and went on to Catholic schools my whole life. In the past, my only experience with Hinduism would be through the internet or books. Learning about Hinduism was thought provoking and interesting. From my experiences in Bali, I now have a fascination for Asian religions and a respect for Hindu teachings.
People and Culture
While I was moved by the sights and religion of Bali, I felt the most touched by the people. They are some of the most hospitable and genuinely nice people I’ve ever met. Although much of the population lives with little income, the Balinese are extremely generous and happy. I felt that they genuinely respected and cared for one another.
I felt humbled when I began to talk to some of locals around me. Hearing their stories made me realize my own privilege to be in the country having these incredible experiences and talking to them. Coming from parents who immigrated from the Philippines, a country similar to Indonesia, the lives of the Balinese people resonated within me. I am incredibly grateful to grow up in the environment I was born in to. It made It made me appreciate the sacrifices my parents have made in hopes for a better life in America. From my travel and experiences in Bali, I feel like I have gained better insight and appreciation for my parents and my upbringing.