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  • Joshua Zaporzan

Inked In Bali

You know those things you say you’re never going to do but then one day you randomly decide to do it? On my second day in Bali I did one of those things I thought I would never do...

Since I arrived in Southeast Asia, I have been searching for the perfect souvenir to bring home for myself to always remember this remarkable adventure. I wanted something that would represent my love for travel, this trip and be a reminder to never stop exploring. I didn’t want to purchase one of the many knick knack items available or something that will just end up getting lost or collecting dust on a shelf. Instead, I wanted something I could have forever that was full of meaning, symbolism and represented who I am. I came to the conclusion that a piece of art would be the best option, but not just a piece of art for the wall, rather a piece of art on my body...a tattoo!

I have always said that I would never get a tattoo. Something about the idea of carrying a piece of ink on your body for the rest of your life didn’t sit well with me. About a quarter of the way through my trip those thoughts changed and I became ecstatic about getting a tattoo! In my mind it was the coolest souvenir I had seen/thought of yet. I decided I was going to get it in Bali, so back when I was in Thailand I started doing research on different tattoo shops and brainstorming ideas of the perfect piece of art to get inked with. On day 2 in Bali, I went to The Tattoo Room in Canggu and got inked! No Mom, I did not get a full sleeve of tattoos on my arm or any large graphic images, instead I got a simple tattoo that represents my love for travel and the amazing experience I have had over these 6 weeks. I elected to get a compass (a popular symbol for travel, getting lost and finding your way) and used 4 symbols to replace the traditional N E S W headings.

  • A maple leaf in the North position representing Canada - the best country in the world!

  • A plane representing my love for flying, travel, journey through life and all the “take-offs” and “landings” of life

  • A wave representing my love for the lake, water and symbolism to “ride the wave” and make the most out of every situation

  • A palm tree representing heat, tropical destinations (my fav), and a symbol for strength.

I am very happy with how it turned out and  am thrilled to be coming home with the perfect souvenir. Thanks to Tom, The Tattoo Room owner, and Andrey, the best tattoo artist in Bali!

After arriving in Bali to begin my final 2 weeks of adventures in Southeast Asia, I was excited to explore this island and take in the most I could before having to head back home. After flying from Phuket to Singapore then Singapore to Denpasar (Bali), I was warmly welcomed by an over abundant and overwhelming number of taxi drivers trying to get my attention, and more importantly, my business. Wow, I felt like a celebrity! All these individuals yelling at me as I walked out of the baggage claim area at the airport, wanting to drive me to my hotel. That celebrity feeling quickly got old when the taxi drivers decided to not leave me (and every other tourist) alone, even after you say no and continue to walk, the drivers will follow you for a few steps trying to convince you that they are the best transportation option. It quickly turned from “fun celebrity” to “get me out of here”... I couldn’t believe how overwhelming that was!

Ride sharing (Uber, Grab and Go-Jek) is not too welcomed and is frowned upon by the locals in Indonesia, as the locals run the transportation industry on the island. In most cases using a ride sharing platform is less than half the price compared to regular taxis - I couldn’t believe the difference in price! As a budget traveler, of course I was going to opt for the cheaper (and honestly the more reliable and safer) method of transportation. I quickly learned to tell the locals that I was “waiting for my friend” rather than my “Uber driver”... be careful who you tell that you aren’t taking a taxi - you don’t want an angry local yelling at you!

For my first week in Bali, I decided to stay in Seminyak and Sanur. Seminyak is located on the West coast of Bali whereas Sanur is located on the East coast of Bali. Both are beautiful locations that are less touristy and away from the crazy chaos of Kuta (the main loud, party area of the island). I recommend both areas as well as a visit to Canggu, which is just North of Seminyak.

After spending a week in Bali, I have already concluded I like it better than Thailand. The mere mention of Bali evokes thoughts of paradise. Bali is more than just a place; it’s a mood, an aspiration and a tropical state of mind. And that is exactly what I was after to finish off this 6 week journey. I wish I could extend my stay and enjoy more of Bali before heading home.

I am heading North to Ubud, the heart of Bali, to explore the rice paddies, coffee plantations, waterfalls, volcanoes and the area of the island where the Balinese culture is most accessible. It will be nice to step away from the beach lifestyle for a few days and enjoy some beautiful sites and adventurous activities.

Other than the excitement of getting my first tattoo, I can’t say I’ve done too much more this past week than explore the Seminyak and Sanur areas and spend time lounging by the pool and on the beach. There’s not a ton to do in these areas other than relax, eat at some fantastic restaurants and take in the Balinese culture. I have some activities and adventures planned for my second week in Ubud and Nusa Lembongan that I am really looking forward too and I am excited to share those experiences with you on my next blog.

Until next time,

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