Alex Sandlin from Las Vegas, Nevada USA, firstname.lastname@example.org, is this week's featured entry in the Bali Dream Holiday Contest. She sent us the story below and some lovely Bali pictures.
You have until the end of April to send your description of what you think a perfect dream holiday in Bali would be like and you might just win 2 tickets on Singapore Airlines, 7 nights at the Fours Seasons Private Estates Bali at Jimbaran Bay, tours and transfers from Bali Discovery Tours, rafting and cycling excursions from Sobek, luxurious spa treatments from Mandara Spa, a helicopter tour from Air Bali, and Cooking Lessons from Bumbu Bali/Rumah Bali.
Entry's are welcome in any format, both from veteran travelers to Bali or those who only harbor a wish to visit.
After all the planning, saving, searching for the best fare, reading guidebooks and obsessing over your latest travel dream...the thing about finally having ticket-in-hand is...in your mind, heart, and soul…you are already gone. And with your mind, heart and soul departed, force-fitting your body into the routine of "normal" daily life is like squeezing your feet into shoes two sizes too small. Returning to your drab, conventional life seems pitiful in comparison to where you ethereal alter ego is hanging out.
For those of us addicted to the call of the road, being stuck in one's mundane reality under those conditions, is emotional water torture. It is bamboo shoots shoved under the fingernails of fantasy. It is having your dreams drawn-and-quartered. Webster's Dictionary defines journey as "passage from one place to another." My plane leaves in the future, but I left this morning for Bali via the inner passage – and this is just a glimpse of what I saw, and what you will experience if you make this journey.
If you travel to Bali, you will certainly sit upon a spacious veranda on a sultry moonlit night, before a bountiful manicured garden. Sit quietly, close your eyes, be still and listen. You are sitting on the edge of the jungle. As you hear the song of the frog and cricket fade into the exotic haunting rhythms of gamelan in the distance, as you inhale the intoxicating perfume of night blooming jasmine and slow burning incense, as you feel the heavy wetness of the tropics bathe your skin, glistening in the silvery light...you can fall through time and slip into the arcane realm of the mystical Barong, enter the secret world of the Wayang Shadow Puppet Play. Sit quietly, close your eyes, be still and listen, and Bali will seduce your senses and weave its shaman's spell all around you. Magic.
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