Isabel spent her first weeks in Bali surfing in Canggu and doing yoga in Ubud with other travellers. As she had no plans for the next weeks, she started asking around what to do.

“It was not an option for me to go to Kuta or Seminyak or other super touristy areas. I wanted to get to know the local culture and get involved.”

She met Daniel, who shared her aspiration of finding a different kind of experience than what was in store in the popular areas.

“As I only had 4 weeks in Bali, I could not wait for the moment it would happen to me but pursue it by myself. It turned out to be pretty hard to get in touch with local families in Ubud.”

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After finding out about Duara’s village experience from a fellow traveller they decided to go for it.

“I thought that ok, this is where I get to see the real Bali – not on the beaches or doing yoga all the time. There I only see other Germans and people from Europe.”

The only hesitation was that Duara was an agency, and Isabel had never booked anything through an agency before. She was used to organizing her own adventures.

“Agencies usually just want to get a lot of money. With Duara it was different, I didn’t feel like I was overcharged. Instead of feeling like a westerner going to a village to feel better about myself, I felt like being part of the culture in Munti Gunung.”

“Also, since I was travelling alone my mom was happier when the agency knew where I was.
It felt safer.”

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Isabel and Daniel were the first Duara travellers to stay in Munti Gunung. Isabel admits that their week in a village where other travellers never go to had its hard days as well. 

“Sometimes I asked myself what on Earth I was doing here. Sometimes there was nothing to do or I didn’t understand what the locals were saying.”

“But Now I feel like that week was the part of my trip I will remember all my life. I learnt to be happy with simple things, because i saw the kids were happy with simple things. Seeing them playing cards and smiling and laughing was really amazing.”

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Back home when her friends were asking about the trip, Isabel noticed something.

“I could tell them about surfing, but it was so much more impressive to tell them about Duara.”

“Next time I go to Asia I will probably see the same temples again but I will never have the same experience I had in Munti Gunung, not like this, not with the same family. I will never forget it.”

Pictures from Isabel and Adi.