Recently I took a three-week trip and flew to Bali, Indonesia to meet a friend. Never in my life have I been to Southeast Asia, or traveled that far from home. For almost a year before, I had been saving every penny I could find for the trip, and it was worth it. I flew into Bali at two in the afternoon, and stepped off the little plane into thick, humid air. I had left behind a lingering, cold winter in North Carolina, so the damp air’s warmth felt good- at least for the first few days. After day three, I began to relish the cold showers I was taking three or four times a day to lower my body temperature. I also began to feel really grateful I had packed mostly prAna clothing for the trip.
In my bag I had the Dreaming Tank, Shauna Dress, Mantra Pant, an old Chai Tee, and a full bathing suit complete with the Aleka top and Millie board shorts. prAna had also sent me the Revolution yoga mat for my trip. Yes, I realize this yoga mat is extremely heavy and large (the biggest they make!), but with the Tantra Mat Strap, I was able to navigate through Bali with my giant mat with no problem. From yoga every morning to surfing every afternoon, my yoga gear stood up to the test of a three week adventure involving cheap hostels, moving every few days, and heat that would ascend like a suffocating blanket everyday.
Full of colorful people and an exotic language, Bali has it all: cheap delicious food, yoga, surfing, and nestled in the center of the island, the hippie-yoga-healthy lifestyle Mecca of Ubud. While in Bali, we spent most of our time on the beach while I learned to surf. Every morning my friend, a yoga teacher, led us in a morning class on the porch of our room. My Revolution mat had plenty of grip for my sweaty palms and room for my lanky limbs. The rest of our days were spent surfing and exploring the surrounding beach towns on our scooter.
I have never surfed before, but knew I would love it based on my love for water sports. At home I’m an avid whitewater kayaker, so I feel comfortable and at home on the water. The ocean is unlike anything I’ve experienced. The best ride I had was two weeks into our trip on the island of Lembongan. We had taken a ferry out to the island and were staying in a small villa with a yoga shack. The crystal clear water looked like the photos out of a travel magazine, complete with a cliff wall in the background. The break is over a coral reef, with beautiful fish and colorful coral you can see through the clear water. I caught a beautiful glassy wave and rode for the longest I had gotten yet, after watching the fish in the clear water beneath me. As I paddled back out to the break, I saw the island of Bali with the lazy clouds hovering over the volcano. This was truly a beautiful place.
My beloved prAna clothes stood up to the test of traveling. I washed the tanks once halfway through my trip. They dried overnight, and were good to go the next morning. Despite dripping with sweat most of the day, the tops rarely smelled. The lightweight fabric helped keep me cool and covered during sweaty yoga classes, pummeling surf conditions, and hot, sunny afternoon exploring. The Shauna dress was a dream come true during the hot days. After a shower, I could simply slip it on and be ready to hit the town in style.
My trip to Bali was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My days were filled with yoga and surfing, and a good break from the busyness of life at home. Traveling helps us hit the reset buttons in our lives. Returning to my regular life after a few rewarding weeks of playing hard, I am reminded why I love my job in the outdoor industry. Creating a life we love and filling it with friends, yoga, and traveling is a lifestyle. I am lucky to be able to have the opportunities and the gear to support such a dream.
*Discalaimer: This is a review on prAna products I used while in Bali. I received a free yoga mat from them for my trip as well as a discount on clothing through my job in the industry. I am reporting my honest opinions here, they have not asked or influenced my review on the gear itself. They are a great company with roots in climbing and yoga, and a focus on sustainability and fair trade as well as durable clothing made for adventure and traveling.*