When you picture paradise, it probably looks a lot like Bali. During our trip there this summer, I was constantly blown away by how beautiful everything was. Everything looked straight out of a postcard.
My dad and I went to Bali for a family reunion. My family is Dutch, and like many Dutch people, we have a personal connection to Indonesia through the centuries of Dutch colonialism of the island. Through the centuries, my ancestors were traders, naval commanders, farmers, and during World War II, prisoners of war in Japanese concentration camps. We grew up eating Indonesian food and using Indonesian words my Oma taught us (she learned the language as a child).
Now in her 70s, my grandmother decided she wanted to show us Bali, visit the grave of my great-great grandfather, and introduce me to cousins from New Zealand and Australia.
We spent the first few days lounging on the beach, recovering from jet lag (and a 27 hour plane ride) and getting acquainted with each other.
I loved Bali from the moment we arrived. It was beautiful, the people were so friendly, and I hit it off immediately with my Kiwi cousins. It was also amazing to see in person the land I had always heard stories about and imagine my ancestors making a life here so far from home.
Though Indonesia is mostly Muslim, much of Bali practices a kind of Balinese Hinduism. Everywhere you go you'll see little shrines set out to the gods, full of flowers, fruit, and sometimes even candy or cigarettes.
We explored the villages, waded in the water, and ate way too much sate ayam and rendang padang and kroepoek. It was pretty much the perfect vacation.
I can't wait to show you more of beautiful Bali!