Tuesday, October 22, 2013

bali | rice

The gap between rich and poor in Bali is a big and blatantly obvious one. Staying in a luxurious resort is a lovely experience but it comes with a definite sense of unease - the haves and have nots are impossible to ignore. And let's face it; luxurious hotels and children aren't the best fit and don't make for a relaxing holiday. But villas that offer space, comfort and no breakables? Ideal.

For ten nights of our trip we stayed in a villa that sat on the edge of the rice fields. Built from Ironwood and traditional pegged joints (termite and water resistant and said to last around 100 years) the design was simple; open and airy. The thatched roof added beautiful detail and furniture was built-in and minimal - there was no clutter. The villa was basic; inspired by the concept of wabi-sabi, it was one of ten built on land owned by the local rice farming community. All the staff members (cooks, gardeners, maintenance, admin) were born on the street and continue to live in stone compounds with their families. Each day we had the opportunity to chat with these people and soak in their smiling attitude. We watched the farmers as they worked; tending the fields, rounding up the ducks, flying kites to scare swallows and placing offerings on the land.  

For ten days it felt like we were engaging with and supporting the locals. We felt like we were living amongst them instead of above them. It was an enriching experience and it's one we'll seek the next time we head overseas. 

How do you like to travel?


14 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely wonderful Jodi, the photographs and your care for the places you visit. We need more souls like this in our world, people who see the world is made up of humans.

    I've never been abroad (the US is a big country!) but I enjoy travelling to a place and really seeing what it feels like to live there. I've traveled all over the states when I was younger and I would actually live in the area for a few months, I met so many amazing people that way and really felt connected with the culture. I've lived in ever major US city (sans NYC) for an average of 2 months. Sometimes I see a lot of bloggers traveling constantly to Paris or Iceland, but I realize how lucky I am to have traveled as much as I have, some people never get the chance to leave their hometown!

    While the US is one country, it is truly somewhat like the EU at times, depending on whether you're in the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, West, and California (yes it stands on its own!), the cultures, accents, politics, religions, they all change drastically.

    I've taken lately to wanting to travel to faraway places and making my next vacation out to be more of an adventure than a holiday, we are planning to drive to the Arctic Circle next summer. After that, I'd like to visit the Falkland Islands, and Vladivostok by way of Alaska, perhaps one day I would love to take the trans Siberian railway, and I've always dreamed of visiting Mongolia.

    I've also wanted to visit Afghanistan and the Khyber Pass, but sadly I don't know if I'd ever be able to in my lifetime.

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  2. A wonderful experience for all of you. We went to fiji recently for a wedding and my boys were amazed at the village life and how extreme the difference was between some of these areas and the resort. It's good for them to see, and it was wonderful for them to meet and chat with the beautiful locals too, hearing their stories and learning their culture.

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  3. Jodi, your photography is just WOW, like wow ( cus I speak like that now).

    So amazing. And as for that post you wrote yesterday. word. i'm feeling you.

    xo em

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  4. Gorgeous photos as always Jodi - that last one of of Poet- I have one just the same of Maya (baby curls and rice fields!). Was it one of the T-houses you were staying in? Sounds very similar if not :)

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    1. It was! And we'll stay there again, most definitely x

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  5. Before having a child, my husband and me have quit our jobs and travelled around the world. We slept in local houses or hostels, ate in local markets, used buses to get around. That's the only way I know to travel. When Zoeti was 3 months, we've been to Rhodes in a luxury hotel and was our worst trip ever! I love to talk with people, eat what they eat and live as they live. Of course I have more money than mostly Vietnamese or Peruvians but I want to try to live their way.

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  6. stunning photos!
    thanks for sharing all this

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  7. The portrait of the old woman is incredible. Thank you for sharing your talent and perspective.

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  8. I remember a university lecturer once telling me that "rice is life". A most simple, yet profound statement - one that will stay with me forever. x

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  9. where did you stay? I was contemplating a Bali trip for my 50th but am put off by tourist hype, high rises and resorts..this villa stay sounds way more appealing. Beautiful photography

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    1. Bali T Houses - highly recommend x

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  10. Beautiful - that definitely sounds like the way to travel, whether you've got kids or not! x

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