When you think of Bali, what comes to mind?
Everyone’s got this idea of Bali - that it’s full of:
breathtaking rice fields,
pristine white sandy beaches,
and trendy restaurants that serve avocado toast and smoothie bowls.
And everyone’s right, it’s full of all these things. But what people don’t realize, is that in between the waterfalls and the rice terraces and the jungles and temples and trendy restaurants, there are hole-in-the-wall grocery stores and mountains of garbage and abandoned motorbikes and cow poop. Lots of cow poop. I’m not trying to poison your idea of Bali or make it any less, but I’d love to show you what it’s really like.
For the same reason that people don’t air out their dirty laundry on social media, people also don’t post photos of the dirty streets or supermarkets of Bali - no one cares. No one cares that you and your once BFF, but now arch nemesis had a falling out. No one cares that you had a bad day at work. No one cares that your car broke down. And no one cares about the garbage, stray dogs, and motor taxi stalls that line the streets of Bali. Instead, what we see are the picturesque backdrops of the beautiful scenery the island has to offer. And the chic little shops that sell overpriced bikinis. And the avocado toast, because well, it’s trendy AF. I’ll be the first person to tell you that social media is such a great tool. It can be used to research places to visit and things to do, it can be used to stay in touch with people you wouldn’t otherwise chat with had social media not been around, and it can be used to find all of the cool things you can buy online. But if not used cautiously, it can also be toxic. We see only the extraordinarily perfect lives of others, because that’s all people want to show, which is totally fine - I’m guilty of it too. But life (and travel) is far from perfect. There are struggles and worries and lows and downs that we don’t see portrayed on social media. And for this very reason, I was shocked when I came to Bali. But not for any reason other than naivety. After eight months of endless scrolling through perfectly crafted Instagram feeds of Bali’s picturesque backdrops and chic cafes, I was led to believe that the entire island is made up of that and ONLY that.
Kev and I took a scooter ride around the trendy neighbourhood of Canggu in Bali and here are a few shots of what the streets look like. Keep in mind, this is a well-kept area because it’s super touristy and (to all my Ottawa homies) it’s basically the Westboro of Bali.
I hope that among all my perfectly planned Instagram shots that are taken in breathtaking backdrops, you’ll also get to see the real side of Bali.