by Bart Edson, Polson, MT
Bart's Dream Trip
Bali, Vanuatu, and New Zealand
There is one destination that I would like to visit above all others: Bali. The stories I've heard from people who have visited Bali tell of a deeply spiritual people who radiate happiness and peace and bring up their children in the most amazing ways. I would like to meet these people, observe their traditions, and above all to photograph them! I have never been to Indonesia and would also like to experience the geography, climate, architecture, history, and simply what it's like to be over on that side of the planet. A trip to Bali would be a spiritual and photographic dream come true.
My dream trip would start in a country halfway around the world that I've heard my fellow travelers talk about in glowing terms for years: Bali. The resort I'd call my home base is the Amandari, where I'd stay with my wife and 10 year-old son in a thatched-roof suite with its own swimming pool. Cultural exploration would be the focus here, where we would visit temples, stroll through marketplaces, and view the wealth of arts and crafts in the area. Local guides would introduce us to places not on the main tourist trails, and we would be happy to hike, bike, or even take a ride on an elephant as a means for exploring the surrounding countryside. And of course we would want to interact with the Balinese people, who are known for possessing a harmony and inner peace that is so uncommon in today's world.
From Bali, we would take to the sea on a three-day luxury sailboat adventure, complete with captain and chef, where we'd island-hop, swim in the sea, and cavort on unspoiled tropical beaches.
After returning from our sailboat adventure, we'd fly to Vanuatu where we'd relax in a five-star, kid-friendly, beachside resort.
From Vanuatu, we'd hop down to New Zealand to stay in a luxury resort near Lake Wanaka, where we'd explore the surrounding countryside, and if conditions permit, go heli-skiing in the New Zealand Alps.
Finally, satiated and changed forever, our family would return home to Polson, Montana in a stupor of incredulousness at the amazing adventure we had just concluded, compliments of Condé Nast Traveler.
Bart's Travel Tips
• Obtain currency of the country you'll be visiting before you leave, so that you have taxi or shuttle bus fare, and you can buy something to eat or drink soon after arriving, without having to worry about immediately changing money.
• Write down the name and address of your hotel before setting out to explore in case you need it to find your way back or show it to a taxi driver who does not speak English.
• Pack a collapsible bag in your suitcase that you can fill with souvenirs and check as luggage on your return trip home.