Part One in a Series
Eat, Pray, Love was Number One on the Booksense Paperback Nonfiction List for more than a year. More than 5 million copies are currently in print. Described as “one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia,” it had been reviewed by 2,092 readers the last time we checked Amazon.com. And soon it will be coming to a theatre near you.
And yet, I had never heard of it!
Directed by Ryan Murphy and with a screenplay by Jennifer Salt, a movie based on the book will be released in the United States on 13 August 2010.
Starring Julia Roberts, who plays Elizabeth Gilbert, it follows the exploits of a woman described as “happily married,” who realizes that she needs to get her life back on track.
After going through a rather difficult divorce, she decides to circumnavigate the globe, making stops in a variety of exotic locales. As with many world travelers, she finds spiritual enlightenment on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Having visited Bali twice myself, I can certainly understand why. There is an authenticity to the experience of visiting that laid back island that simply does not seem to exist anywhere else.
The women that appear out of nowhere, laying flowers and burning insense at sacred shrines set amid five star resorts, are not putting on a show for foreign tourists. They were doing this before the resorts were built, and they will continue doing this after they have been abandoned.
Walk in the Footsteps of Elizabeth Gilbert
It is within this context that Ubud Hanging Gardens in Bali is inviting fans of the book and movie to discover the same “spiritual enlightenment and inner contentment” that Elizabeth Gilbert found on what some have dubbed the Island of 10,000 Temples.
Set amid the rice paddies, Ubud Hanging Gardens comprises 38 private pool villas. It is offering what it calls “spiritual journeys twinning exotic luxury experiences”.
Spa treatments, meditation, and yoga are being offered as part of an Eat, Pray, Love package, which includes daily breakfasts as well as complimentary mountain bikes and shuttle service into town. A highlight is a traditional Balinese dinner served at a Hindu temple followed by a water blessing ceremony.
Ubud: the Spiritual Heart of Bali
Located 35 kilometres northeast of Bali International Airport, Ubud is a bit off the beaten tourism track, attracting a more bohemian crowd than the hedonists that gravitate toward Kuta and Seminyak.
The town is chock a block with art galleries, coffee houses, second hand bookshops, fabulous restaurants, and fascinating boutiques selling locally made arts and crafts. Most businesses are housed in beautifully restored Balinese, Javenese, and Dutch Colonial buildings.
There are several very interesting museums. Boutique hotels are the norm. International chains have thankfully not yet discovered the zone.
Copyright: Michael Taylor
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