The peace, the serenity and the loving environment of this city will definitely leave a mark in your heart! It’s no other than Ubud, the city where strangers become family. A family of likeminded people who share the same passion, philosophy of freedom, love of life and pursue of happiness.
You instantly feel that you’re home and people who once were strangers become “friends for life” – as one of the guys we met there said.
At the end that’s all that matters! Your happiness, your achievements, your passion, and most importantly the increasing heartbeat that draws a smile on your face while making it happen!
Confession: At first, we hated it!
After an hour drive from Canggu, we finally reached Ubud. The traffic jam was horrific. At first sight, we hated it and decided to spend one or 2 days then leave. The fact that the streets were overcrowded with people, cars and scooters pushed us away. We didn’t like how every corner is jammed with tourists and shops trying to sell all kind of arts, clothes, and massage sessions….
We were disappointed and just wanted a place to sleep.
We thought that the capital of yoga would be, you know, a more serene, quite, and happy place!
Our hidden getaway: The white house
After more than 30 minutes of none stop search, a green sign with an arrow pointing to the right popped to our sight. “The White House, swimming pool” it felt like finding a bottle of water after getting stuck in the desert for hours. The place was at the end of a small alley and inaccessible for cars, which made it a hideaway from all the chaos outside! We checked in and dove straight into the pool drowning away the craziness and restlessness of the exhausting drive.
Never judge by the first impression:
Disappointed by what the city turned out to be, an overly touristic and crowded place, we were eager to leave as soon as possible. But judging too quickly and not trying to make the best out of any situation isn’t the right way to handle things. And we learned that back in Ubud.
During our first 3 weeks in Bali we never met fellow travellers and instantly clicked as we did in Ubud. In the White House, we got to hang out with some of the nicest and coolest people from Germany, USA, Argentina and Portugal. The same pool that took our burn out away, gave us the opportunity to get close to those people, spend afternoons just talking and exchanging ideas and evenings drinking beer, laughing, playing and bonding.
Spending a week with these awesome people turned out to be the best week we had. We went to yoga classes together, had an amazing day-trip to Tegenungan waterfalls and Luwak coffee tasting. We even decided to merge our travel plans with our 2 German friends and head to Amed, a roadtrip of a lifetime.
Our special kind of barn
Initially we went to Ubud to have an intensive yoga week especially that we’ve been practicing on our own for a while, and needed few classes to give us a nice kick off for the rest of our daily routines.
The yoga barn was our choice, our special kind of barn that offers daily classes from 7:00AM till 7:00PM and where we spent most of our days hoping from one class to another: Vinyasa flow, Hatha yoga, Meditation, sound healing, Yin yoga and the most enjoyable one: Acro-Yoga.
And this is where our second family was born. The Acro-Yoga itself teaches you to trust people you’ve never met before and learn that trust and unity start with very basic exercises such as sitting in a circle, placing our hands on each other’s shoulder or holding on to our neighbor’s elbow trying to achieve a collective stand-up.
For those who are unfamiliar with this term, Acro-Yoga is the mix between yoga and acrobatics. Basically you and your partner would be the base and the flyer, and a third person called the spotter is sometimes needed.
For us it was a heartwarming experience where we got to elevate our skills and refine our postures. Not to mention, meeting inspirational teachers and awesome yogis along the way.
But don’t be surprised if not all “yogis” in the yoga barn are open and communicative. You will find people with a twisted understanding of the concept of yoga. They will not talk to you nor smile; they’ll be just sitting there doing their rituals. As much as yoga is a personal internal journey, it revolves also around love and openness where people share and learn form each other. But hey, each person has his own way of thinking and we are in no position to judge. We just wanted to point out to this observation since we heard the same remark from several people as well. Don’t be discouraged here, just keep in mind to smile and be happy. After all, isn’t that the purpose of human existence?
Others things you can do in Ubud
– Visit the monkey forest. As the name shows, you’ll get to have a walk among thousands of very sociable friendly monkeys who will be jumping and playing around (and by jumping I mean using you as a tree branch).
– Attend a traditional Balinese dance show. Tickets are sold at every street corner.
– Watch some art being executed and jewelry making.
– Take a walk in the rice fields.
Overall, Ubud was an overwhelming experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. It’s up to you to get the best out of it. Sometimes a smile and a bit of kindness is all what it takes. Really! Open up to new experiences and adventure will come knocking on your door.