For the past couple of weeks I've been thinking seriously about the summer holidays. I wanted something far away and exotic, and as none of my friends are able to do 'far away and exotic' in August, I'm looking at a solo trip. My initial idea was to do do a trip round South Easy Asia; stopping off in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and maybe even Singapore. I wanted to travel by train, to see how the landscape changed as I travelled and avoiding that feeling of 'just landing' somewhere. However, deterred by the Monsoon and advised by a friend who knows the place well, I decided on a much more relaxed type of break in Bali (which is not in Monsoon at that time of the year). Come to think of it, my recent reading of Eat, Pray, Love encouraged me too, though I have no plans to visit a medicine man or come back with some Brazilian guy on my arm ;-)
I'm really excited about every aspect of the trip. I decided to take an airline I liked the sound of (so that the holiday would start as soon as I board), so I chose Singapore Airlines as I'd heard such good things about them. Much more exciting though is the yoga retreat I've booked to do while I'm out there. So much has happened these past months, and I feel this is just the kind of restorative activity I need. Nestled in the verdant countryside outside Ubud, it has just 10 rooms, so it will certainly be peaceful. There will be yoga and meditation morning and evening, good food, visits to scenic rice terraces, yoga by a volcano, bike rides, massages and spa treatments... Plus, something which kind of terrifies me - a 'purification ritual and blessing ceremony'. From the people emersed in water in the photos, it looks a bit like a baptism. I have mixed feelings about this event; I worry it might be a bit cringeful, a load of westerners doing some sacred Balinese ceremony, but hey, if we're doing yoga, what's the difference? But will people start crying? Worst still, will I start crying?! I'll let you know :-) Whatever happens, I guess it's a new experience so I shouldn't complain.