Ahhh… I’m back in Bali for another Eat Pray Love tour. These trips are really amazing – just when I think this will be our last one, more people sign up, another tour date gets added – we’ve already got ten people joining us in September! I cannot imagine that Liz Gilbert thought for a moment her book would engender such a following when she sat in her little hotel room in Ubud six years ago, journaling her experiences. After leading five Eat Pray Love tours I can say it resonates, that’s for certain. Of course, there’s something about getting away. Far away from your daily life, from the neediness of your family or your work, from the things you “should” do. And Bali is a whole different world, full of people who get to live their spirituality five times a day as they pray, until it is beautifully integrated into their lives every moment. This is a powerful awareness for our guests, seeing how the Balinese live and worship.
I think the most amazing shifts come from the book’s themes. We have a different one each day, chosen by me as an experiment the first time I led the tour: things like Forgiveness, Acceptance, Embracing… and each comes with a reading from Eat Pray Love. At first, I wasn’t sure whether people would like the themes, let alone whether they resonated. But they have become the backbone of the trip. They help to shape people’s experiences so that it’s not just about seeing a gorgeous Balinese temple, visiting a local family’s village, exploring the wild countryside, or eating some of the delicious macrobiotic cuisine. It’s about connecting all this with WHY you came on this journey in the first place, and what you need to leave behind that no longer serves you.
Bali has an incredible capacity to love, and I believe people feel that deeply here on the island. The gift of Bali is the help those who visit remember to love themselves, to shift back to a time when they knew how to relax and what was truly important. So many of our guests start the trip not understanding how they got to this point in their lives, or masking deep pain. Often, they arrive recovering from an important, but unhappy, life experience. All of them leave having reconnected with themselves profoundly. To me, that’s what makes a spiritual journey worthwhile and keeps our guests coming. And as long as they need this healing, we’ll keep bringing them here.