I retreat to Bali at least once a year for several months, usually during the rainy season, when tourists are few. At this time of year, the light and colours take on vivid and brilliant shades, reinvigorated by the climate. The earth seems to reverberate with energy.
A culture of hospitality has always distinguished the Balinese people. They offer help and smiles freely; everyone is a friend and everything is shared.
Far from the "hippie" stereotype often associated with the country, Bali is a diverse and heterogeneous island. Towards the sparkling coast, surfers dot the shoreline before congregating in the beach bars come dusk. Inland, Ubud is the place of reflection and regeneration, where people are guided by nature's rhythms and activities oriented to wellbeing. It's this town that has charmed me. Its people, its spirit, its architecture that lives in harmony with the surrounding rice fields - everything about it satisfies my senses.
Bali's dual soul is echoed in its gastronomic panorama, too. I taste dishes that stand up to high international standards and street food that pushes culinary boundaries.
Each time I return, Bali instills in me a sense of starting over. As spend time in awe at my surrounds, the island reignites my curiosity and encourages me to take a fresh look at the world.