I took a trip to Bali two weeks ago. I LOVED it! Bali is such a magical place… full of happy smiles, sun, sea and art.

There are many aspects to the island – there is dirty Kuta, hip Seminyak, beautiful Nusa Dua and cultural Ubud. So many contrasting personalities in one place.

However, after a few hours in Seminyak, I felt that the whole community just existed for the tourists and there was nothing really defining about the place.

Ubud had its own energy and its own purpose – people actually lived in the place to make a livelihood for themselves – they cultivated their paddy fields, they created art and dance and music and yoga… there was an air of assuredness from the place. I got the sense that Ubud would continue to exist long after Bali stopped being a tourist destination, that it had a higher purpose than just existing for others. I fell in love with the place and I am really looking forward to going back to live there for a extended period of time.

While customer service and tourism are probably considered worthy ideals for most of Bali, it didn’t feel too genuine to me. Bali is going to be a hot tourist destination only until some other place comes along, boasting a better selection of restaurants and beaches and an even higher level of service. I think a community needs something more meaningful and innate to sustain itself and attract others.

That led me to reflect on my own life. I am probably going to be a lot more interesting and attract a higher quality of work and people to me if I defined my ideals and lived up to them. Living just to please others seems like a waste of potential. “Tourists” will come and go but ultimately you need a higher goal for yourself and work towards that to be self-sustaining.

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