The Best Things in Life are Free


Mercure Hotel Legian. This hotel is just a year old and is one of so many nice hotels where you could stay in Bali.

Our company went overseas a few weeks ago to do our annual team building.  This time around, we did it in Bali.

A few days before the trip, a colleague came to me and said he did some internet searching on “things to do in Bali for free”.  One item included in the “free” list was “sunset”.  So I thought, okay that’s nice.  Honestly, I can’t remember a time I paid money to see a beautiful sunset (Can you imagine yourself walking around wearing a metered face mask that will charge you for every bit of air that you breathe, much like the electricity and water that you use?).  I did however spend a bit on camera gear so I could capture beautiful sunsets.  On one occasion, I was forced to use the MasterCard feature of my ATM card (which I don’t usually do) so I could climb the top of KL Tower and see Kuala Lumpur at twilight.  But since the company is paying for this Bali event, I thought the list must be correct 🙂

And guess what?  I ended up shooting only sunsets.  That’s the problem you see.  Did I not mention back there that this is supposed to be a photo and travel blog and that we should take as much photos as we can?  My lame excuse for this is that it was a company event and there was only a small window for us to do our own thing.  It’s a beautiful place where you can do lots of things other than the free stuff.  But if you’re not into water sports and shopping (like me), you’re at a disadvantage.  Lessons learned?  Plan your own trip around the things you want to do.  But if you’re in a travel package, do as much as you can.

Children of The Light. Kuta Beach at Sunset.

But honestly, the free sunset was not bad.  In fact, the quality of the light was amazing.  The image above was taken at Kuta Beach during a bit of free and easy time.  A Bali photo contest was going on as part of the event, so everybody went scrambling to do their own take of this scene.  I was not allowed to join because I was asked to judge the contest based on my limited experience 🙂

The last activity was dinner at Jimbaran Beach (sorry I had to skip all the team-building and sports stuff).  We were too late to catch the setting sun for which this beach is famous for.  I knew I had to make the most of what will be left.  The sun already went below the horizon when we arrived but it left a beautiful underlighting of red, pink, and orange colors in the slightly overcast sky.  The water has receded a little and allowed the wet sand to reflect the sky colors above it.


Edge of Tomorrow. Jimbaran Beach at twilight.

After taking all these photos, I realized that maybe the best things in life are indeed free.  We were told that if we really wanted to see the real Bali, we had to go out of our way; outside the already commercialized Bali that we were in.  That I plan to do in my own time.  But by then, it will not be free anymore 🙂

See you in my next post.  Cheers.

(Equipment: Canon EOS650D | EFS 18-55mm | Manfrotto MK293A4-A0RC2 | Manfotto spirit level | Photoshop CC )

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