Bali from Within

Bali from Within
March 2-14, 2020
Bali, Indonesia
Guides: Trebbe Johnson with Wayan Suriada, Rucina Ballinger, and Nyoman Sutarya

(Click here for a complete itinerary: Itinerary Bali 2020.)

Every visitor to Bali is struck by the mystery: each day, the Balinese people can be seen engaging in what is obviously a vibrant, creative, spiritually intact culture in full view of—yet rarely including—outsiders. Where are these people going? What does it all mean?

For thirteen years I’ve been partnering with Balinese friends to offer a 12-day journey dedicated to getting to know this beautiful and resilient culture, where nature, art, and spirituality are intricately entwined. The trip is open to a maximum of four participants. Together we penetrate the scrim of colorful, often enigmatic impressions… and we discover Bali from Within.

You’ll meet a master craftsman of Balinese sacred masks, a gamelan musician, a woman who weaves exquisite songket fabric, and a visionary man who works with local farmers to rebalance Bali’s ancient agricultural practices. You’ll visit private homes and temple compounds and take part in ceremonies inaccessible to most visitors. You’ll take guided hikes that meander off the beaten path and into the dense green heart of the island, where you’ll discover immense waterfalls, bamboo forests, and native fruits and flowers.

New for 2020: Giving Some Beauty Back to Bali

Unfortunately, Bali’s immense beauty is increasingly under threat. Many farmers have sold their land to developers, who are turning rice fields into hotels. Hundreds of small rivers have dried up as spas claim more water. And climate change is causing havoc to the crops, as the rainy season drags on for months each year.

Ever since Radical Joy for Hard Times’s first Global Earth Exchange in 2010, our friends in Bali have participated in this annual event of giving gifts of beauty back to ecologically challenged places. During Bali from Within 2020 we’ll visit three of these “wounded places” and offer gifts of beauty to them. Two ceremonies will be led by our Balinese guides and one we’ll enact on our own. These sites will likely include:

  • a river that is drying up
  • a clove forest that has been damaged by excessive rains
  • Tanah Lot, one of Bali’s most sacred and scenic temples, slated to be in view of a multi-million dollar hotel and golf course proposed by Donald Trump

Time for You

And of course, Bali from Within always gives you plenty of time to yourself—to take a walk, visit museums, shop, get a massage, take a Balinese cooking class, or simply sit on the balcony of your bungalow reading and looking out over the exquisite landscape. Nights, you’ll stay in small hotels where members of our group are treated as old friends: small bungalows with tiled roofs, private garden showers, beautiful views, furnishings made of local woods, and smooth white sheets on which fresh flower blossoms are sprinkled in the morning.

On this trip we make time to share how the rich experiences of the day have affected us personally. Every night the members of our small group share in a “council” session, in which we speak one at a time and from the heart about what has touched us, disturbed us, perplexed and delighted us.

Bali From Within is not for those who wish to pack as many sights as they can into a few days. We seek depth—not only in the island and its people, but in our own responses to what we discover. This trip is an exchange—of interest, information, inspiration, and friendship between the Balinese people and ourselves. Come discover Bali from Within and experience anew how beauty and meaning can shape a life.

Ten percent of the profits of the trip will be donated to Tamblang Sacred Springs Conservation Project, Munduk, North Bali.

Cost: $3,880 [Includes twelve nights lodging (single occupancy; if you can share a room, deduct $250), dance performances, entrance fees, honoraria to speakers, transportation within Bali, guides, drivers, preparation materials, and all meals except three dinners and three lunches. Does not include international air travel, personal tips, and fees to events not included in the group trip.] A $750 deposit is required to hold your place. For more information or to register, Trebbe— trebbe (at) trebbejohnson (dot) com.