Biking Bali

Bali – ‘Journey Not Destination’

Every single day presents an infinite amount of options.  When you look back at life you will understand that it is simply a network of pathways or roads that you choose to take.  Each road leads to the next phase.  Some roads will be fun, adventurous and make you smile, while others more difficult, confusing and hard.  Some risky, some secure.  All roads will teach you something.

We were riding scooters from central Ubud in Bali and heading into the mountains.  Our proposed destination was Lake Bartar, approximately two hours away in the north.  Lake Bartar is home of Ulun Danu Batur Temple, Bali’s famous signature shot of the temple upon the lake.  For me though, the destination was not of importance because the journey there is what it is all about.  The roads that get you there are always more inspirational than the end destination.


One of my best mates from University, Daniel was out in Bali for the first time.  Yesterday was also his first time to try a scooter and as expected at the start he was sceptical and a little nervous.  We went for a short ride and it can all be a little daunting especially in South East Asia traffic with the crazy road manner.  However, after about forty minutes of riding, we were on the decline, a rice field to my left and I looked in my mirror.  All I could see was Daniel grinning his chops off; he noticed me glance and I then heard “This is f**king awesome!”  He’d just caught a dose of the dreamer’s disease.  Within ten minutes, we were heading back up the mountains with two German girls from our hotel on the back.  Probably a bit risky for his first day on the bike, but that’s the road we decided to take!

Two wheels is a fantastic way to explore a country.  Immediately you remove yourself from the main tourist hub and within twenty minutes we were meandering through the rice paddy fields of Bali.  Passing through the traditional villages, local kids run out at you, wave and smile.  They carry a look in their eye, an essence of what it means to be young, free and happy.  Have you noticed how many adults seem to lose this freedom of their soul?  They transform from a fearless child to an adult living in fear.  I find it sad, so in the words of Marley “emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!”

The roads wander endlessly, one leads to the next and then maybe there’s a minor crossroad.  I don’t really pay too much attention to the destination as I try and appreciate the environment that we are in.  People here live an uncomplicated life, sustainably live and work off the land; it’s a main principle within the Hindu philosophy of life.

biking bali

A few hours later with the help of a ripped map, a sat nav phone and a few local people we reach Ulun Danu Batur Temple.  It’s very beautiful and peaceful, gracefully situated upon a lake.  I had total confidence that we’d reach here in the end, that the chosen roads would lead us to our desired destination.  It’s the same as life; the universe will take you to exactly where you need to be, but try not to worry too much about that and instead focus on appreciating where you are.  The journey is the destination.

Try and be more like you were as a child, live fearlessly, choose the risky road every now and again.  Trust me, it’s the one where you’ll reap most rewards (and definitely have most fun!)



bob marley