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Things to do in Ubud Bali: 5 activities that changed my life

Living in Bali.June 20, 2018
By Vera Markova

Vera is a dreamer, creator and future entrepreneur. With her passion for photography and journalism, she shows the beauty of the world, shares her adventures and seeks to answer age-old questions.

It’s no secret: Ubud is magical. There’s a special energy here that brings us to question our lives, challenge our beliefs, take the leap, explore and embrace new ways of living. Vera, writer and photographer from Russia, has been through that blissful roller coaster. She joined the Hubud Team as Events Management Intern. She truly lived Ubud and Hubud, and here is how.

I was born and raised in a society, where people follow what I call “the system circle”: go to school, enter a university, find a job, have children, and if you accomplish all those steps, you are considered a happy person. But, are you really?

I first asked myself this question when I moved from Russia to Germany to do my Master’s Degree.

Unlike all the other students striving to work for big consulting firms, I went to do Internship in a social startup in Brazil. I believe we can decide to live a different life full of empathy, love and joy, where we can follow our passion. But before we should answer one question: “What is my passion?”

It is easy to be joyful in the land of carnivals and capoeira, but when I came back to Europe, the dullness of the place, mindset pulled me back in the circle again.

In order to find the answers to my countless questions, I came to Ubud to cover the role of the Event Management Intern at Hubud Coworking and Community Space. Ubud gave me much more though – it changed my way of thinking at its core. In this article, I would like to share five activities that contributed to it.

Discovering Bali nature: Ubud walks

Walking in nature has a wonderful effect: we start to listen to ourselves. There are so many distractions and noises outside, we unconsciously follow them and later we wonder where does that uncomfortable feeling deep within us comes from. What made me wake up every morning at 6 am? Campuhan Ridge has become the most essential part of my daily routine.

Meeting like-minded people at Hubud coworking space in Ubud

Coworking spaces generally attract like-minded people: I have never seen so many inspiring individuals in one place, who live their lives with joy on their own terms while nailing their businesses not because they have to, but because they genuinely love what they do. Being part of the Hubud family (now that I’m more than 1000 km away, I still consider myself part of Hubud family) has taught me to believe that there are no limits to our mind.

Dreamlife is not a dream, it’s the reality.

Slow living: healthy food and yoga lifestyle

Let me tell you a story: I never went to a cafe by myself before coming to Bali. I’ve always thought that I would feel uncomfortable: cafes are about socializing and meeting friends. If I go alone, people would think that I have no friends. I remember that once my Ubud buddies invited me to have dinner with them, and I refused because I wanted to go have dinner on my own – let’s say, to have a date with myself. Well, I really enjoyed that date – I put delicious healthy food in my stomach, appreciating every bite and chew, sitting in silence trying to catch that sweet aftertaste. Being aware of what we eat and how we eat it. I have started practicing this practice everywhere.

Dancing in the flow of the ecstatic dance

I was relatively new to yoga when I came to Ubud. Is Ubud really considered the Asian mecca for yoga and meditation? I’ve never heard of it before I moved to Bali. You can find different amazing places to practice yoga there, but one year ago the Yoga Barn was one of the few places that organized ecstatic dance (apparently, now there are more). It is a free dance form, where people can express themselves through their body. For the first five minutes, it might feel slightly awkward, but that feeling quickly goes away as we turn off our mind and let our body get lost in the most unexpected moves we could ever think of, not being judged and considered weirdos for that.

Getting around Ubud: driving a bike

The feeling of ultimate freedom while driving a motorbike/scooter is known to everyone who owns one. But if you are new to it, the feeling is ten times stronger: excitement, fear, speed, wind, – this combination made me feel better than anything else. I got addicted right after my first drive. Forever. Now, one of the first questions I ask if I travel to a new country is: “Can I rent a bike here”?

Everyone experiences Ubud differently. Some people come here for a couple of days to take Instagram photos, visit the main tourist attractions, swim in the jungle pools and put a tick on the “travel to do list.” Others stay here much longer. They become fully committed and involved in its peaceful life. For me, it was an experiment, which had gone successfully.

The seeds planted in Ubud keep growing now. For example, I recently completed a ten-day Vipassana meditation course in Sri Lanka, something I would have never done if I hadn’t been in Ubud. When there’s good weather in Berlin, I always take a coup – a scooter people can easily rent to drive in the city. I gave up on eating and watching Youtube videos at the same time because the experience of eating has become so crucial to me. And yes, a strong determination to live my life to its fullest, and don’t settle for what I don’t feel like doing

that I am practicing for more than a year now. While working at Hubud, I started my own website, where I express my passion for photography and journalism. Thank you, Hubud, for having me as one of your interns over a year ago. I guess that was one of the best choices I’ve ever made.


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