Josie & Ian’s South Pacific Retreat Pt. 1 – Swimco’s Globetrotters

Our amazing photography team Josie and Ian from Pure Souls Media (based in Vancouver) came home reenergized from their recent trip to the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. This was part one of their adventure, in Bali!


Where did you travel to?
We visited Bali, Indonesia, for most of our trip, and then we spent two weeks on a tiny 5 km by 8 km island called Norfolk Island two hours flight east of Sydney, Australia. It’s a paradise but that’s for another blog.


Can’t wait to hear about it! So have you been to Bali before?
This is our second time back, the last time was 2010 and it was amazing. It’s rare we revisit a place, but Bali was calling us. We were leaving over Christmas holidays and wanted a place to clear our heads and step back from our day to day life in Vancouver.


So aside from rejuvenation, what keeps drawing you back to Bali?
The Balianese practice a unique version of Hindiusm even though the rest of Indonesia is predominately Muslim. The island is covered in Hindu temples, and offerings are put out multiple times a day with ceremonies for different gods and spirits occurring everywhere. We believe this contributes to the unique energy on the island and the warmth of the people’s smiles.


That sounds beautiful, and very peaceful.
Yes, a relaxing getaway was just what we wanted. On our last trip to Bali we saw the sights and adventured everyday on our scooter, so this time we felt comfortable moving at a slower pace. Our visit here was basically a big new year’s reflection on what we’ve accomplished in 2015, and where we want to go this upcoming year. The sun, beach and tasty food were nice bonuses.


So you did get to a beach?

After spending a few weeks in the historic and cultural capital of Ubud, which is in the jungle closer to the center of the island, we spent our last week in Canggu which we heard wasn’t busy and had good surfing. The vibe in Canggu was a relaxed surfer getaway with expats living in the area as well. It doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of the bigger tourist spots such as Kuta, which was perfect for us!


Some tranquil beach time mixed with surfing would be great!

It was, and it was nice to bring multi-purpose clothing for all of our activities. Ian had three shorts with him (two Billabong and one Hurley pair) and they worked for morning yoga, exploring cafes, and of course, surfing.


Any other packing essentials?
A travel converter. We had laptops and camera gear with us so being charged up was super important.


Any surprises on the trip?

Actually, we ran into three friends from Vancouver in Bali! So we got to ring in the New Year with old friends! Plus, there was a Michael Franti concert on New Year’s Day at the Yoga Barn. That definitely beats a polar bear swim back home.


Any advice for those of us who want to visit?
As with a lot of Asian countries, get your bargaining hat on. Coming from Canada, it’s something that we don’t get a lot of practice in. Another tip: don’t learn to ride a scooter here. It’s popular for tourists to rent scooters, but it’s a little chaotic. I recommend practicing at home first! Lastly, settle into a slower pace to really absorb the flavor of the local culture.


What would you put on your list for the next visit?
We’d like to travel further up the cost to check out the tiny villages in big fields of rice paddies. Anytime we can spend time with the locals is always well worth it, especially if you can stay in their home and share meals together.


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