5 life lessons inspired by the beautiful people of Bali

This article was created for The Travel Project by Mira Gietzel, a 19 year old aspiring globe trotter and travel journalist, based in the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia.

On the surface Bali is mostly perceived as a chaotic popular tourist hub for cheap drinking and partying, however at its core, Bali is a playground of utter spirituality, tranquility and wisdom. Here are a few life lessons to embrace, inspired by the beautiful people of Bali:

The gift of gratitude

When you travel somewhere with less economical stability than your home country, life really is put into perspective of how privileged we are and how easy it is for us to take these things for granted.

The Balinese do not have a lot but are still marked by an unwavering sense of devotion and reverence, by practising gratitude on a daily basis through expressing their thanks to the Source Energy that provides them with their experience here on earth. Their ritual of gratitude makes them some of the happiest and kindest people I have ever met.

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Girl in pool in Bali

Simplicity is key

The Balinese are a very simple people. In everyday life I often feel the need to do more, have more or achieve more, but whilst travelling through Bali I learnt that striving for more simply detaches you further from reaching your desires and true happiness. Instead of appreciating the present, we have been conditioned to believing that consumption is the road to happiness and a better life.

Learn to find happiness in the small things, from a pretty sunset to the first warm sip of your favourite coffee in the morning, rather than indulging yourself in temporal materialism. The key to contentment is simplicity, something we should be committed to embodying more often.

girl white shack bali

Hati Hati

Hati translated in Indonesian means “heart”, and Hati Hati means “take care” or “take it easy”. They use it mostly in the context to ‘slow down’. In our modern fast paced lives we rush everywhere and never take the time to appreciate a moment or fully embrace being present in our surroundings.

In Bali everything is Hati Hati, the Balinese simply go with the flow and everything is done mindfully. Even in the chaotic road system with no road rules and crazy traffic, there is no rushing, with no driver tending to go over 40km/hr even when the roads are clear. My whole trip to Bali was very much in the spirit of Hati Hati; nothing was planned as such, and every day we decided to go with the flow. Even though there were some challenges, we all learnt something valuable from our mishaps.

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Girl looking out onto sea in Bali

Take time for spiritual practices and mindfulness

The majority of the Balinese people are Hindu and as part of this belief system they create offerings to their God three times a day called canang saris, which are beautifully constructed displays. Their spirituality can be seen deep inside them from the way they live in harmony with everything around them.

Witnessing this made me ponder what is my own personal ‘canang saris‘? Even though I don’t identify with a particular religion, I believe in my own inner divinity and a personal destiny, so I am recommitting to my yoga practice and mindful manifestation as my exercise of reverence.

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Girl waterfall

Money isn't everything

There’s no doubt that Western society has associated the meaning of life with money, and the more we focus on it the more it distracts us from the important things in life. Despite money not being plentiful, the Balinese people are very caring and generous people.

Share what you have and don’t be greedy. Even if you as a traveller aren’t well off enough to be overly financially generous, a smile and your friendliness is always more than appreciated. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercial way of life revolving around money and work, but values such as family and friendship are priceless. Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

Have you learnt something new whilst travelling, or have your travels opened your eyes to a new way of thinking? Share you stories through our community contributor program and you could see your work published on six-two.

Girl with monkey

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  • Vera Karan

    Great article Mira! I love how you write about Bali from a different tourist perspective. Instead of focusing on the shopping experiences and the Bali party culture that many Aussies go for, you write about the feelings that Bali evokes and it’s beautiful culture.

  • Being a travelling freak will like to say that this is a really cool stuff which have shared with all of us.

  • Siti Maliha

    couldnt have said it better ♡ ive learned and felt the same way when i was in bali , and as an indonesia myself born in west java, i couldnt be more proud of my country