Meeting the locals is one of the best experiences you can have on any adventure in any foreign country. To me, it is right up there alongside discovering a hidden beach, coming across a raging waterfall, or hiking through famous landscapes, where the scenery is nothing short of sensational.
Travelling is more than discovering a country’s own beauty, a trait that we understandably get lost at times. A country’s own values often comes its very own people, the locals. The very same folk who make the country we visit that much more memorable.
Therefore, I ask, do you ever stop to have a good chat with the locals on vacation? Not just a basic, “g’day, how you are doing” chat. But a genuine conversation. It may surprise you what you can learn about an individual and their upbringing in the country they are from. I can guarantee you at times it will be fascinating.
In this new series of meet the locals. I will take you to different countries and introduce to the fantastic men or women I have met on my adventures. In this edition I head to Bali, where I had the privilege to meet some amazing people who made my visit that much more enjoyable.
Wadi is a barrister at a little coffee box in Ubud, The Monkey Cave. A neat little coffee shop I was able to stumble upon on my way to the Monkey Forest. Wadi, who makes a mean coffee, had been working at the shop for over a year and it was the best coffee I had tasted in Bali, without a doubt.
Wadi travels an hour every day from his home to get to his job ad he does it without regret. He loves his work and takes great honour at meeting people all over the world and delivering top class brew. If ever in Ubud, make sure you get to the Monkey Cave and say ‘hi’ to Wadi, the best barrister in Ubud. Maybe Bali.
Chatting with Hari
Hari works the pool-bar at the Sakala Resort in Tajung Benoa. An honest worker, trying to earn an honest buck. Hari likes his job at the Sakala but he longs for a different life eventually and that is working as Indonesian coast guard.
I spent a few hours chatting to Hari over a couple of days. He taught me about life growing up in Bali and on a very small wage. I learnt about customs and the strict rules applied in the country. Chatting with Hari was certainly fascinating and I wish the young man all the best in his endeavours to get into the coast guard. We also became friends on Facebook.
My very own personal driver – Wayan
I met old man Wayan by chance (Wayan is a popular name in Indonesia), walking the streets of Tanjung Benoa. Obviously in Bali, it is not hard to find a driver, the hurdle is negotiating a fair price. Anyway, Wayan became my driver after a brief chat and the rest became history, taking me to Ubud and then to the airport when it was time to leave the country.
Wayan was bubbly on the streets telling me about his wife of over thirty years and his two kids. Yet on the road, he was concrete and very focused on navigating the busy streets of Bali, making sure I get to my next destination safely. It was a pleasure to meet Wayan and an honour to make him my brief driver during my stay in Bali. I certainly got his contact details for future visits.
And a whole lot more
They were a few of the notable locals I met in Bali. Although meeting the locals in Bali ran deeper than that. General workers on the street who were willing for a photo, or a pretty waitress in the restaurant happy to serve you a beer. Bali is full of great people, honest people, and they are more than worth your time if you give them a chance. Happy travels.
Have you met some great locals on your adventures? Please comment below and let me know and let me know about your experience when meeting the locals.
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