My morning meditation sitting on the deck overlooking the jungled ravine, the aroma of sweet wafting incense and rotting vegetation, the waters gushing down the sides of lichen-covered walls and alongside crooked and broken pathways. Numerous exotic insects screech at each other across the ravine in competition with the distant hum of scooters and cars. Birdsong joins the fray, chiming bells and rapid-fire twittering. Lush leaves and fronds compete for light, reaching out to capture the falling raindrops and seeds. Butterflies float and flutter and dragonflies dart about the rice stalks.

I arrived in Bali in the first week of January 2023 to rekindle a romance I have been having with this island since 2012. The pandemic interfered with my dreams of sharing the experience of this place with my colleagues in July 2020. Finding that in 2023 Bali is ‘business as usual’ as far as safe tourism goes, I am finally going to make this happen in July 2023 for a lucky group of 10 who will join me on retreat in Ubud. The connections I have made over the years with Balinese people and ex-pats are still intact and the experiences I had planned for the group are still available. These include rice field walks, cooking classes, dance performances and participation in ceremonies. On this trip I have also added an excellent waterfall walk in North Bali and a snorkelling trip in East Bali as excursion options.

The hotel I had carefully chosen for the group, Alam Indah, in beautiful Nyuh Kuning village has honoured my deposit and of the 7 rooms booked, 3 offer twin share for those with budget restrictions. Since I was there last, Nyuh Kuning has even more options for international cuisine and has several places that serve excellent espresso coffee for us Aussie coffee snobs. The main road in the village is vibrant and busy with locals and tourists, however Alam Indah offers an oasis of beauty and tranquility with excellent service from the same staff I met when I first started staying there over 10 years ago. Guests come back many times over the years to stay there and there’s a good reason for that!

In terms of the professional program, I had the opportunity to try out some of my ideas for facilitating a group process and provide a forum for an exchange of ideas and solidarity in the Snowy Valley in April 2022. What I learned from this experience and other team facilitations since will help shape this Bali program, which is largely about providing a safe scaffold for conversations about our work while at the same time ‘letting go’ of expectations and giving people a chance to breathe and have their own journeys.

I notice that airfares are pretty pricey at the moment and from the research I have done this will be the case with travel across the globe all year. A tip I have heard recently is to search for flights on a Tuesday as the airlines put out their discounted fares on Mondays. As a rule fares are cheaper mid week, so that may be something to consider if you’re thinking of joining us.

If you’d like to know more about this retreat 5th-11th July, 2023 please contact me at price to attend is $1,200.00 per person if not sharing a room.