We chatted with travel influencer and photographer, Andy Austin (@andyaustinphoto) about his recent trip to the breathtaking island of Bali, and why keeping an open mind is the key to an authentic, life-changing vacation.
Hi, Andy! What inspired your trip to Bali?
Last year, I got my first taste of Indonesia when I sailed for two weeks from Bali to Komodo. I fell in love with the good vibes in Bali despite only having been there for a couple days, but I told myself I’d be back for an extended trip.
How long you were there for?
I spent three weeks on the island of Bali before hopping around between Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines for the next three weeks.
That sounds incredible. What did you do there?
I spent my first week teaching a workshop on photography and branding. Then I went to Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali, for a week before moving to the coast in the surfer’s paradise of Canggu. The trip encompassed everything from rafting, climbing volcanos, exploring rice terraces, to the beautiful Hindu temples and more.
Why is it important to have an optimistic outlook when you travel?
Travel never quite goes to plan. Things happen! Taking an optimistic approach assures me that missteps don’t ruin a trip, but adds to the story.
What were some lessons you learned from this trip?
I discovered how happy I am going with the flow and taking my time in a new destination. I debated doing a whirlwind trip of southeast Asia by exploring as many different cultures as possible from Thailand to Vietnam to Cambodia and more. But in the end, I fully immersed myself in Bali by staying for three weeks. Soaking in the slow pace of life that Bali’s famous for was worth it.
What advice can you’d give to someone who’s been thinking of going to Bali?
Take your time! But don’t let the small size fool you. For a small island, Bali has endless spots for adventure around every turn. Ubud is in the center of the island and is home to countless waterfalls, volcanoes, rice terraces, and jungle forests. The west coast is where surfing originated, and the east coast is home to divers from around the world. Bali is not a place to be rushed!
Why are the following Life is Good Superpowers important to take with you when you travel? (Courage, Openness, Fun, Gratitude)
Travel is the great equalizer and can forever change our lives. Everything about travel encompasses all of the Life is Good Superpowers. Courage is needed to step outside of our comfort zones and to experience a culture far different from our own. Openness to embrace these cultures in an unbiased outlook, that will lead to authentic travel experiences. These experiences have increased my ability for compassion and love for not only the people in my life, but for strangers around the world.
Any other thoughts or musings on the importance & power of travel?
Every destination leaves its imprint on my soul. I am not remotely the same person I was five years ago after college. And I have travel to thank for that.
Got any travel tips or want to share your travel experiences? Tell us #SOMETHINGGOOD here.
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