Ubud is lush and green and golden, blanketed in frangipanis and filled with kind people, monkeys and food offerings. I think I had this perception that Bali wouldn't be all that spectacular. The plane alone, full of surfing Aussie bogans headed to Kuta to catch waves and to make them cemented this idea. Steering clear from that direction, I was pleasantly surprised.
I took a two hour taxi to the town of Ubud for the Writers and Readers Festival that's happening this weekend. I'm staying at Ubud Bungalows on Monkey Forest Road, a supposed 'budget hotel' that is perfect in every single way (hello pool?!). I have a bungalow in the treetops with three beds and I'm paying less than a single bed in a hostel room of 8+ in Sydney. (Except it's purely honeymooning couples. Come on, where are the single, solo and liberated young people relaxing?)
I'm already so comfortable here, and have been spending a lot of time by the pool writing and reading (currently: The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr), visiting restaurants in town and drinking litres of watermelon shakes. With uni over for the year, this is the first time I've travelled and it's felt like a holiday. No pressure, no end goal, no responsibilities. Bliss.