Balilicious by Becky Wicks

A quick rundown… Becky is back on a new adventure, this time in Bali. She’s out to explore and find herself, in ways you’ve never imagined possible.

Strengths: So funny at times! Also makes you think – what is important in life?

Weaknesses: Snorting with suppressed laughter on the train is not cool.

Why I read it: Loved Burqalicious, this copy was kindly sent to me for review by Harper Collins Australia.

Pages: 325

Published: 2012

Publisher: Harper Collins

Setting: Bali

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Hands up if you’ve ever thought it would be kind of cool to take a sabbatical to find yourself, relax and perhaps even meet Mr Right in a tropical paradise? Hands up if your work/family/life would never let you do that. Well, this book is for you, because Becky Wicks has done all the hard (yes, hard!) work for you (except for the Mr Right bit, but there’s enough romance there). She’s done months of yoga, shaken until she’s dropped and had vaginal steaming, all in the name of work.

No, the last item is not a typo. It is entirely possible in Bali.

As an Australian, I tend to think of Bali as one of the outer suburbs of Perth. Dozens of flights leave for Denpasar every week and you can immediately pick those heading there – or heading home – by the thongs, Bintang labelled clothing, braided hair and henna tattoos. It’s portrayed as a place where school leavers go (buying monkeys is optional) and where the focus is partying. Becky reveals to us a completely different Bali – one away from the pirate DVDs, fake surf shirts and Rhonda lying on a beach being served a cocktail by Ketut. This is a kind, spiritual Bali where life is at a slower pace and everyone appears to be on a mission to find themselves. She’s done something amazing – convinced me this is a place I should take the time to explore, rather than fly over. (I am one of the five Australians who have never been to Bali).

Written in fairly short blog like posts that when joined, flow so well that you don’t even notice, Becky tries everything spiritual Bali has to offer. (She also tries the local alcohol, scuba diving and a range of cuisines, from raw to traditional to organic – this book is fun, not a midlife crisis!) There’s the kind of cool (yoga) to the kind of weird (shaking repeatedly for hours on end). There are sides of the Balinese culture the foreigner doesn’t experience on package holidays – such as cock fighting and blessings. Becky also meets one of the Bali Nine inside Kerobokan Prison. There’s also some pictures (black and white) scattered throughout.

This book has some serious laugh out loud moments – from the gecko that’s watching Becky in her bedroom to the comment after she completes her Lotus Treatment (that’s vaginal steaming). There’s also passages about the Balinese spiritual rituals and the effect of growing tourism on the island. Becky writes in a confident, friendly style that makes you feel like she’s your mate, recounting her travels.

The things that Becky and others try in the name of ‘finding yourself’ or ‘improving your spirituality’ have some humourous moments, but there’s also a message here – think about what’s important to you in life. If you’ve ever dreamed of trying something completely different and taking time out for yourself, this book is for you. It’s not Eat, Pray, Love – it’s a zillion times better.

Part travel memoir, part Bridget Jones’ diary (I mean that in the nicest way – Becky’s writing is funny, honest and not too serious and I really relate to her) and part fun – this book is a fantastic way to travel on your armchair this Christmas.

(Becky will also have a book out in 2013 about her travels in South America, Latinalicious).

Please keep an eye out for a Q&A session on the blog with Becky and a Balilicious giveaway coming up soon!


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