Travel Roulette No. 5: Flowers on the Streets of Ubud, Bali
There were flowers all over the streets in Ubud, Bali when we were there. In fact, there were shrines and temples everywhere too. Locals put offerings out on the streets in front of these sacred places daily. Sometimes it even seems like they are just decorating the streets in flowers and woven baskets with offerings to imbue the entire town with sacredness.
It works. One walks these streets with a little more care and a little bit of a lighter heart. You want to pay attention to where your feet are going because you don’t want to accidentally step on anything (you also want to make sure you don’t fall off the sidewalk or into a hole either, but I prefer to remember looking out for the offerings, instead).
Ubud is a place full of lush greenery, beautiful flowers, sacred spaces and lots and lots of Western tourists. At times you feel like you’re just part of this big tourist machine and trying on the customs of another culture. At other times you feel so absorbed in the lifestyle of heat, humidity, yoga, abundant healthy eating, flowers and spirituality, that it’s easy to forget you are not from here.
Tourism can be a tricky thing. Something I think about a lot as a full time traveler. I remember heading to Bali not to tour and see the monkeys or temples or anything else, but to do what I always do. I went there to do some yoga, smell the flowers, taste the food and be inside and outside of myself all at the same time. I did this and so much more while there. These flowers just brought me back to the vibrancy and peace that I experienced while in Ubud.