What a fabulous response to my Bali “Secret Women’s Business” presentation at the Halcyon Lifestyle Resort at Hope Island. This lovely group of women asked so many questions, which was great as most of them either hadn’t travelled to Bali before. Some ladies remembered holidays from over 20 years ago and the feeling of being overwhelmed with greeters at the airport, being swarmed every time they left their hotel with boxes of watches, sunglasses etc or being at the beach and being bothered to buy sarongs! It was very different back then – you couldn’t go two steps without being sold something.
If you haven’t travelled in Asia before and you don’t understand their culture, it can feel very confronting, especially as you get older. Not understanding the currency, their language and their attitudes towards selling – they can come across as being pushy. Those of us that are used to it, understand they are actually being friendly, they are just very poor and have a hungry family at home that need to eat! Things have changed a lot over the years as Bali has had more western influences, and the Balinese people have learnt what us westerners do and don’t like. Now, don’t get me wrong – it can still be a culture shock if its not what you are used to and if you go alone, you will always be greeted at the airport by porters grabbing your bags and trying to rush you off in a cab. However, this is where Safe Travel Tours comes in. We are there right from the off, making sure you have a safe trip and a great welcome to the beautiful place that is Bali.
The media only show you the negatives of Bali unfortunately, but as someone who has been coming to Bali for over 30 years and has taken the time to get to know the locals, the best places to stay, to visit, to eat, to drink, to shop… we know the REAL Bali…AND we make sure that your trip is fully escorted. So if you don’t want to have pushy shop sellers approaching you, our local guides who will go with you to the shops, to the 7eleven for a quick trip, on all of our trips…they will keep you safe, and will teach you more about the Balinese culture than you’d ever learn from a text book. And oh, the shopping!
So many people from all over the world have chosen Bali as their destination to live, especially in older age… so Bali has adapted a little to our culture too, there are some great shopping centres now, there are western toilets in most tourist attractions and if the people know you, they treat you like family. I have been coming for so long that I’ve known our tour guides for many years, they are a second family to me. I truly believe that you will too fall in love with their culture and with this place. The locals in Bali put their whole trust in us. Don’t forget to these guys, we are super, super rich! What we get a week is what the get in a month or longer. Their dream is to be like us! Dress like us, act like us and live like us. How cool is that, knowing someone wants to be just like you? We take it all for granted.
Their thirst for knowledge and information is refreshing, they are trying to learn English, they are now the most sort after race for cruise ships because of their honesty, integrity, and hard working ethics – this isn’t portrayed in the media which is why so many people are shocked to hear this. To the locals, their family and support system of their village is everything to them, they don’t have welfare like we do and government support. They only have each other and they still have respect for their elders, they look up to them – which is why my 80 year old mum loves Bali even more! They mother her like you wouldn’t believe.
I can go on and on explaining their culture, however I find it best if you experience it for yourself! What I loved the most about my presentation is every one of these ladies who attended, left with a different opinion of Bali than when they arrived, which is very rewarding.
I would love to do more talks about Bali and what Safe Travel Tours can offer you as a solo traveler, small group of ladies who want a holiday and as a tour operator/creator. If you have some friends or a local community that you think would benefit – book me in! We also have some great offers – if you get a few friends to sign up, you can get upto $500 off the tour for yourself.