I have always loved to travel. I experienced my first wild and wonderful Atlantic crossing, on the Queen Elizabeth, when I was only 8-years-old.
Since then, I have stayed in luxury rooms in major cities and dusty ashrams in remote villages. I have travelled by train, car, camel, donkey, plane, foot, ship and everything in-between.
My travels have taken to me to places where I felt completely at home and locations that I felt like a complete stranger. Both extremes taught me more about myself than I could possibly write here.
Last week, I wrote to you about my experiences in the Balinese jungle. Now, I’d like to tell you about a very different experience entirely – my stay at a luxury beachfront property called Tugu.
At this hotel, I had time to reflect on the ways in which travel nourishes your body, mind and spirit – especially as an older adult.
Setting the Scene – What Makes Tugu Special?
Tugu is a unique hotel. Ok, that’s probably putting it mildly. From the second you set foot on the property, you realize that something is different about this magical place.
Surrounded by cafes and hotels that are popular with the surfers who come to ride the waves in nearby Canggu, Tugu is on a mission to celebrate the history and heritage of Bali and its people.
In some ways, Tugu is a property frozen in time. As you approach the property, it’s easy to find yourself being hypnotized by the number of shades of green in the nearby rice fields. Then, you enter the lobby and the color palette shifts; green fields become dark walls, accented by red and purple textiles. As you walk, soft golden light guides you to another place and time.
It’s not just the colors that draw you in, while visiting Tugu. It’s easy to get lost in the art, history and culture that it on display on every wall and in every corner. Bali is more than sandy beaches and yoga lessons. It is a magical place with a rich history and culture.
As I sit here, cup of honey ginger tea steaming in front of me, I am reminded of how transformational travel can be.
Here are 5 ways that travel nourishes your body, mind and soul as an older adult.
Reconnecting with Nature
The Indian Ocean is just a few hundred meters from the hotel. I don’t know about you, but, I just love listening to the crash of waves. It reminds me just how small I am in the great scheme of things.
As older adults, it’s easy to get stuck in the house. Society certainly expects us to spend most of our time in front of the TV.
Getting out into nature is something that almost all of us can benefit from. Even if you have a medical condition that makes travel difficult, there are wonderful places nearer to home to be explored.
There are also simple ways to bring nature into your life on a day-to-day basis. As my kids will tell you, I’m terrible with plants. After this trip, I am determined with paint my thumbs green. I will bring some beautiful plants into my home and learn how to treat them right.
I also plan on listening to the sound of crashing waves as I fall asleep. One quick search on YouTube and I’ll be sent spinning back to my time in Bali.
Connecting with New Cultures
As we get a little older, we often find ourselves surrounded by people just like us. Many of us live in the same community that we raised our kids in and we have no intention of moving. There’s nothing wrong with this. Some of us genuinely enjoy being around people who share our values and ideas.
At the same time, our personal growth can be limited when we only spend time with people who share our culture. Travel – especially travel to exotic locations – helps us to gain perspective on the world. More importantly, it helps us to gain perspective on ourselves.
The Tugu Hotel is filled with art and artefacts from another time. But, what I have enjoyed more than the objects themselves are the stories behind them. I love seeing the way someone’s eyes light up when they tell you a story about their country’s past. I am swept away by the mythology, history, religion and language.
Traveling to places like Bali is the best way to shake yourself up a bit. But, there are also ways to experience new cultures from closer to home. Try to cook exotic new foods. Go to events at local embassies. Look for people of different backgrounds and cultures to befriend. You’ll be glad you did!
Finding Fabulous Food
I love great food. From crocodile in Australia to squid in Greece, I’ve tried pretty much every taste imaginable. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but, I definitely don’t remember turning anything down.
There is an energy that comes from trying new dishes. It’s almost as if our taste buds get used to the food that we present them on a daily basis. They crave variety.
Tugu serves dishes from all over Indonesia. They offer mysterious Jamu drinks and recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. My personal favorite? I absolutely loves the satay, shredded chicken and purple potato cake! The flavors were just as bright as the colors.
No matter where your adventures take you, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try the local food. Don’t be the person looking for a burger and fries in a foreign city. Give you taste buds a break from the ordinary. There are so many wonderful options to try!
Forming New Friendships
There is something different about the friendships that you form on the road. They don’t always last a lifetime. After all, distance can make staying in touch challenging. That said, I always remember the people I meet when I travel, even if we don’t manage to stay connected.
I stayed at Tugu for 2 nights. During this time, I met people from the United States, Europe and Australia. There were mischievous children, loving couples and inspiring single travellers.
I also made friends with the staff, each of which made me comfortable and taught me something unique. One memory that stands out particularly strongly is my cooking class. My teachers, Wegi and Ibu were just wonderful!
Every time I travel, I feel energized and empowered. I love how travel forces me to face my fears as a single older woman. I also love how certain places help me to feel comfortable, calm and nurtured.
At Tugu, I learned more than I could have imagined about Bali and its wonderful people. I hope that this article – and the video that I recorded – inspire you to get the most from every single trip.
This journey was arranged by BookGreener. Book your stay at Tugu here.
What do you love most about travel? Do you appreciate the new friendships that you make? Do you love trying exotic dishes? Do you like taking time to learn about the local history and culture? Please join the conversation.