IWSG – Nov 2020 – Grand Bali Hotel Nusa Dua

A year has passed since my trip to Bali. It’s a different world now. For all of us. The new reality. In adapting to this new reality, I pledge to become even more accepting, appreciative, and grateful for all I have.

They say that no matter how you view the world, you’d be correct. If you see it as a beautiful place, it is. If you don’t….

In answer to this month’s question, I write suspense thrillers that draw on the complexities in the parent/child relationship. Why? It’s really all I know.

As for Alberta Camus’s quote: ‘The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself,’ shouldn’t he have also acknowledged photographers, artists, musicians, singers, teachers, comedies, and aboriginal storytellers? Oh–and grandparents?

Here are links to the previous posts about my trip/journey to Bali. They are sort of a legacy for my family. Today I’m sharing photos of my stay at the marvellous Grand Bali Hotel Nusa Dua. I hope these pictures bring you joy.


The bridge to Benoa reminded me of the Confederation Bridge in Nova Scotia, Canada. Minus the palm trees.


It took more than 90 minutes, but that was fine with me. I couldn’t get enough of Indonesia. There are more photos in my 4 previous posts linked above.


I saw many, many temples.

I believe this is Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning. She’s everywhere.

Grand Bali Nusa Duo Hotel


On the way to the shuttle for the beach, I only got lost twice.

My room was two steps from the pool!

The terrace for my room is on the left. The restaurant and bar area–at the far end. The pool is U-shaped. If you look closely you’ll see the rooms beside me had ladders leading into the pool. I had steps!

When I first arrived they had me in a large suite upstairs with its own terrace. I told the young lady that chances were I wouldn’t be back and could I please have a room on the ground floor. I think she thought that strange because all they had left were single rooms. I explained that my legs, knees, and back needed a vacation. “Ah,” she said, and I knew she was thinking of her grandmother.





My Tahitian room.

I sat at the desk nestled in the corner of the windows and wrote every day.


The tub looked wonderful, but I used the large shower (room for 4) not shown in the picture below. The tile floors were extremely slippery when wet, and so, I didn’t test out the tub.

In the mornings I swam, wrote until noon, swam, lunched at the outside bar, chatted with the kids that worked in the hotel, (we’re all friends on Facebook now) then worked on my WIP most of the night.










The only people I heard speaking English were the staff. Many of the guests were from Asia, Russia, and the Middle East.

Speaking of food: Delicious, and yes, I sampled everything. Once or twice I made a mental note: OOOH, I’M NOT EATING THAT AGAIN!









I was literally the first person for breakfast each morning. Apparently, people sleep in on their holidays. Who knew?

Every other day I went to the beach and chatted with the employees. I was pleasantly surprised at how much they knew about Canada. They were surprised I travelled alone. One of them told me his grandmother, whether she liked it or not, had an entourage of family wherever she went.

The young woman in the green uniform below had just started at the hotel.  She and her boyfriend were new to the area. She was very homesick.

These kids work 7 days a week, with the odd day off. The three young men at the beach said most everyone comes from somewhere else because jobs are scarce. They share accommodations with 5 or 6 roommates because they can’t afford the rent.














Each hotel has its own spot on the beach with shuttles that run every hour until 5 pm.



I took 5 million rupiahs just in case. Most of that went for taxis and restaurants. I did buy a few paintings, a mala (prayer beads), and shell bracelets.















I’ve been trying for a year to interpret the impact of my trip to Bali. I’m not sure this will make sense but I went because I felt the need to reconnect with me. I thought the only way I could do that was by attending a spiritual retreat. Over the years I felt as if I’d lost myself along the way. I left Canada seeking; I returned home content. What does that mean? I’ve learned that you control your happiness and that you can and you will be happy anywhere if that’s what you choose.

IWSG was created by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh — because Alex understands we need a safe place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.

On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.

If this sounds like a good place to be, sign up here.

IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, a question is announced that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

November 4 question – Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

The awesome co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

Please take time to stop by and thank them for their time.



ps. A trick for getting the most out of your photos regardless of how bad your camera is, place your sunglasses over the lens.

Comments 22

  1. WOW! Amazing photos, and it sounds like you had an incredible experience. Traveling somewhere to write is a dream of mine. I write when I travel now but not as much as what you describe. I am either traveling for work or have family in tow. Sounds like your trip was life-changing.

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  3. I’m going to try the sunglasses, Joylene! Wow, I love the story of this trip and getting to see some of the photos is an added bonus. Great to round it off with your perspective now, too.

  4. You look so happy in your photos, Joylene! I think I’d like to try a retreat. I’ve been thinking of the Hebrides, but you make Bali look so inviting. Hebrides vs Bali ~ I’m must be crazy to even be weighing it. Don’t you love the people of Asia? They are so open, gentle, and friendly. I long to go back. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos! I’ve never gone across Confederation Bridge. I’ve always taken the Wood Island Ferry. Of course, the last time I was in PEI was in 1976 ~ Way too long. I need to go back to my MacBeath roots. I’ve been taking a fabulous course on Indigenous Canada. It’s been fascinating, and I have a much better understanding of the Mėtis people now. I surely hope that you have more books in you! Take care, my friend! Hugs to you!

  5. I agree with your statement about happiness. I’m living that lesson now. Huge changes in my life. Depending on my focus, the changes are rewarding or open a sense of loss.
    I’ll try the sun glasses idea.
    Snazzy digs!

  6. I read your adventures in Bali, by yourself, and I am always in awe of your courage and strength to take off on your own. This sounds like a dream to me to be in such gorgeous surrounding s and eat and sleep and write when you want to. Such a cute story about how you became friends with all the kids who work there. Canadians truly are good people.
    This is a memorable take-away from your post. “What does that mean? I’ve learned that you control your happiness and that you can and you will be happy anywhere if that’s what you choose.”

  7. Definitely going to try the sunglasses tip!
    I love the photos – I feel like I’m sinking into another reality – so beautiful.
    I wish the workers you spoke of had better lives – we need to keep working to make this world better for everyone!

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