Ever since I was about 16 years old, it’s been my dream to visit Bali, Indonesia. My first exposure the islands of Indonesia (over 17,000 in all), was aboard Holland America Cruise ships. Who were these exotic people… so friendly and so eager to please? My inquisitive nature shortly brought me closer and closer to the land and its people through in-depth conversations with the crew about their homeland, family lives and culture. I even learned several phrases in order to show my respect. Every one one of them was so proud to tell their personal story, why they worked on the ship and what were their ultimate dreams and goals after returning back home. I found myself inspired by their dedication to work for what they wanted, with an end in mind; a decision that took them from the land they loved. Unequivocally, every one of them encouraged me to come for a visit and to enjoy their beautiful islands.
Although I thought about Indonesia from time to time, longing for the amazing massages in Bali (aka, Land of the Gods) for the most part and sailing the pristine, turquoise waters, I did not dedicate myself to getting there. I had so many other places to see, closer to home.
Until last year when my team suggested that we add a “President’s Cruise” to our menu of singles cruise vacations. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off this initiative. So here I am, nearly 40 years later, headed to the land of my teenage dreams and I can’t believe it’s really going to happen!
I began a list of Must Dos while I’m there and I’ll be starting my adventure off with a full spa day on arrival. The flight is long but there’s no other way to get there! However, once I arrive, I know that the gentle hands of my experienced masseuse, will knead my achy muscles into a state of nirvana.
I plan to indulge in all of the local specialties, scuba dive ’til my heart’s content, swim with sea turtles, pick up some tips on sailing, practice yoga, learn something new (surfing?) express gratitude in the temples, kick back and relax in the Gilis, sink my toes into white, black and pink sand beaches in the same week and slay (I mean observe) a Komodo Dragon.
My “Must Do” list is certain to fill my soul but traveling with tons of STI members will surely fill my heart. Rekindling relationships and forming new ones is guaranteed to enhance my experience because instead of tackling this journey alone, I will be surrounded by friends. I imagine much time spent laughing and sharing with aspirations of returning home with a whole new perspective on my life.
And who knows, I may even run into an old friend from Holland America!
Submitted by Tammy Weiler ! President of Fun & Adventure for Singles Travel International