The Healing Heart of Bali:

A Writer’s Journey of Renewal for Body, Mind, and Spirit

June 5 - June 19, 2024

14 of 14 Spots Claimed


As of August 8, 2023

Both of my Bali retreats are currently sold out. To join the waitlist for either retreat, click here.

If you’re longing for a restorative creative journey to one of the most beautiful, welcoming, deeply spiritual places on earth, join master writing teacher Laura Davis, traditional healing expert Made Surya, Bali scholar Judy Slattum, and a supportive community of fellow writers for a deep dive into the healing arts of Bali beneath the tourist façade.

Photo Credit: Julie Sheehan
Photo Credit: Julie Sheehan

This could be you . . .

Slumber peacefully in a beachside bungalow with a luscious private outdoor shower. Awaken to a perfect morning: warm, moist, delicious air caresses your skin as you slip into the turquoise infinity pool and savor the gentle lapping of waves from the Indian Ocean against the shore.

Eat a luscious breakfast of perfect ripe tropical fruit and whatever else catches your fancy. The food is fresh and clean and delicious. An hour later, snorkel in warm tropical waters, delighting in multicolored fish darting before your eyes.

It's your first morning in Bali.

Open your notebook. Open your heart. Open your mind. Let words pour out from your very center. Start the journey back to your spirit, your creativity, your true voice. With a master teacher by your side and a safe, loving circle of writers surrounding you, discover the stories that need to be told. Remember the joy of writing, the transformative healing power of words.

It's your first afternoon in Bali.

Lay out on the craziest, biggest outdoor couch you've ever seen, relaxing on a riot of brightly colored pillows. Gaze up at a sky full of stars you've never seen before.

You're kicking yourself. You can't believe you are finally here.

It's your first night in Bali. And the magic is only the beginning . . .

Writing Retreat Vietnam Writing
Photo Credit: Laura Davis
Balinesian Dancer

Does this sound good? Let me tell you more:

    • Did you know that the Balinese believe that every child is an artist? They just wait to find out what kind of artist she is going to be.
    • The Balinese create beauty wherever they go. Everywhere you look are small altars made of flowers, leaves, rice and incense-lovingly made and quickly discarded. What matters is the act of gratitude.
    • You thrill to the clanging of the gamelan, the steady beat of drums, the precise eye movements of the dancers in their vibrant glittering costumes.
    • You are so grateful you said yes to yourself. Yes to this sacred place, these profound experiences of healing, this magical dream.
    • In the morning, you are blessed in a ritual by a Balinese priest and spend the afternoon at the feet of a master healer watching him treat your new friends, awaiting your turn for his lifetime of practice and attention to be focused on exactly what you need. You have a unique healing experience unlike any other. In the evening you get to write about all you have felt, learned, and witnessed, and are filled with gratitude.
    • You eat a magnificent eight-course meal at the 400-year-old compound of our guide's family. Afterwards you watch a sacred mask carver at work.

You hike through clove and coffee plantations, and hold raw nutmeg and cacao in your hands. Around the bend, you reach the waterfall . . . slip under its tumbling waters if you dare.

And in the afternoon you write.

Before dinner, you relax in a brilliant green rice field with a dozen new friends, savoring a brilliant sunset over the vast Java sea.

You're so glad you said yes to this trip, to this life-changing adventure, to this journey back to yourself.

Your body feels more relaxed, strong and alive than it has in years. Your mind at peace. Your spirit set free.

Photo Credit: Eliza Davis
Photo Credit: Eliza Davis

Join me in Bali for a deeply healing trip of renewal at every level of your being.

Bali Behind the Mask:
The Traditional Healing Arts of Bali

Bali Healer

This trip offers an in-depth excursion into the culture of Bali through the eyes of the Balinese. You will observe, appreciate, and experience traditional healing methods.

It is impossible to visit this enchanting island without being aware of the devotion the Balinese show every day in the practice of their religion. With its roots in Indian Hinduism, Bali-Hinduism is a blend of that, Buddhist philosophy, and elements of Animism as well.

Since the early 1970s, there has been a dynamic and extended movement in the west to explore traditional medicine from many ancient cultures. The study of Asian medicine has been at the forefront of this movement, particularly Chinese acupuncture, herbal medicine, and the practice of Feng Shui. This healing arts trip will introduce you to the philosophy and use of traditional medicine in Bali: both internal and external, material and spiritual.

Our guide into Balinese spirituality and healing, Made Surya, the son of a priest, was given special training in religion as a young man, and continues his lifelong studies to this day, researching and reading lontar books. He will be your intimate guide into the multi-layered spiritual practice which permeates every aspect of daily life in Bali.


In Southeast Asia, local people have long held their traditional healers in high regard. These healers are called Balian or Dukun in Bali. With the advent of western medicine, traditional healers have not been discarded, but are seen as adjunct and complementary to what western medicine offers. Besides visiting a western-style doctor when ill, the Balinese consult a Balian, a traditional healer. These men and women work in different ways: some mix herbal remedies; some create drawings of magical inscriptions and symbols to protect the wearer; and some (while in trance) communicate messages from the Bali Hindu deities who dictate certain offerings and ceremonies. Tantamount to understanding Balinese medicine is to understand the magic of the Left versus the Right, the Visible and the Invisible.

You will learn about the history of traditional medicine. Every Balinese knows how to make the simplest medicines for common colds, flu, headaches, and wounds. Made from basic ingredients found on the island, these remedies have been time-proven over the centuries to be effective. Most Balinese grow their own herbs, but they can also be found in the local markets. We will go on an herb walk, learn about mixing herbal medicines, and observe the use of these medicines during visits to Balinese healers. We will also learn the art of making a temple offering.

Bali Healers Tirta

Purification ceremonies are an important part of Bali Hindu religious cycles. Usually held during times of stress, plague, transgression, or as part of the rites of passage, these ceremonies often involve sacred masks, most of which are held in the village temples. Each member of our group will experience a purification ceremony.

Our exploration into Balinese healing arts will be accompanied by daily writing workshops, led by 7-time author and master writing teacher Laura Davis, providing participants with the perfect opportunity to record their experiences and integrate their learning while benefiting from the transformative power of a safe, intimate writing circle.

In each location we visit, we will also hike, snorkel, or go on nature walks, taking advantage of the beauty and cultural riches each region has to offer.

Bali Healers

Does This Trip Have Your Name on It? Would You Like To:

  • Study with a master writing teacher who will free your voice, teach you how to use writing as a tool for healing, and help you create a moving record of your experiences of both inner and outer Bali?
  • Learn about the deep spiritual underpinnings of Balinese society, where every aspect of life—even architecture—is sacred?
  • Drink in the sensory sights, sounds and smells of Bali through physical adventures in one gorgeous setting after another - hikes, treks, and snorkeling?
  • Immerse yourself in the historical, cultural, artistic, and spiritual riches of Bali?
  • Learn about Balinese culture and healing practices from insiders who will show you a side of Bali most tourists never see?
  • Get the inside story on sacred masks, homemade herbal remedies, and Balinese dance?
  • Travel with a warm, fascinating group of creative people who share your passion for writing, healing, culture, and adventure?
  • Enjoy writing, learning, adventure, and cultural exploration in the perfect balance day after day?

Size of Trip: This is an intimate tour, limited to 14 people, with a minimum of 9.

Physical Requirements: Bali is an island full of stairs and uneven pavement. Our trip includes many beautiful hikes in nature. We will be walking on city streets, small roads, village pathways, loose gravel, wooded trails, small streams, muddy paths, and through rice fields. This trip is appropriate for anyone in reasonable physical health, who enjoys walking and is able to traverse irregular terrain without the assistance we take for granted in the US, like hand railings or standard step heights. To comfortably participate, you should be capable of walking on uneven surfaces, both on city streets and in nature, at a relaxed pace, for up to two-three hours at a time. The optional hike up Saranguara, a sacred mountain in West Bali, is a more rigorous hike for those who want a greater physical challenge.

Photo Credit: Laura Davis
Photo Credit: Laura Davis

Endorsements for Laura and the Bali Retreat

"Your trip provided a wonderful blend of touring, history and activity, writing , massages and shopping, being in nature and seeing the culture and arts of the 'big city.' I loved that each place we stayed was so different, and that we had time in each place to 'do our own thing.' I loved Laura's writing classes and Judy and Surya's deep knowledge. I recommend this trip wholeheartedly!"

—Elya Braden, Santa Monica

"I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You created an experience that touched my soul and opened deep levels of creativity and inspiration. Your trip to Bali is a gift that will keep on giving for my entire life."

—Elya Braden, Santa Monica

"Take a vacation with two wonderful leaders if you want to learn about yourself and the beauty that lies outside your daily life."

—Julie Goodman, Santa Cruz

"Your retreat provided me with great adventures, a healing connection with others, the chance to deepen my writing, and the opportunity to heal my mind, body and spirit. I got to experience and connect with a wonderful nourishing country and its people. Your magical retreat taught me to never give up before the miracle."

—Allison Summers, Casuarina, Australia

"This was a fabulous eye-opening, educational trip with wonderful people. Bali is stunning and the Balinese are amazing people. The snorkeling was fantastic. The yoga was great for my body every day. All the leaders were outstanding."

—Susan Hillyard, Santa Cruz

"This was a beautiful cultural experience, an opportunity to reach deep inside and to get clarity, especially coming as I do from an overscheduled, outer-focused world."

—Annette Naber, Monterey, Virginia

"I felt a sense of peace I haven't felt before."

—Jerry Scribner, Greenwood, CA.

"An immersion in Balinese customs, culture and history with a daily opportunity to write your way through the things you discover about yourself while traveling to a distant place."

—Amy White, Providence, Rhode Island

"Every time I come to Bali, I receive the beauty and harmony of the Balinese people-their life and spirit in a deeper way. If you're considering this trip, don't hesitate. Open your eyes and your heart. Let go of false identities and come home."

—Karen Zelin, Santa Cruz

"Leave all of your inhibitions at home. Come with an open mind so you can absorb the amazing smells, sights and sounds of Bali. I'm so glad I came. I will admire the Balinese culture for the rest of my life."

—Gilda Zelin, age 84, Santa Cruz

"The opportunity to be surrounded by a community of soulful people is what makes transformation possible. This trip gave me renewal of my body, mind and spirit. Thank you for giving me such a gift of healing and transformation."

—Marci Drimer, Baltimore

"I was delighted with the weather. It was ever changeable but soothing whether sunny or raining."

—Jerry Scribner, Greenwood, CA.

"Thanks again for the wonderful experience that was Bali and holding the space for everyone to have their own unique experience."

—Annette Naber, Monterey, Virginia

"I would recommend this trip, without a doubt. I had a blast on so many different levels. Just go! It will be a healing trip for you, regardless of what you're looking for."

—Rosemary Christian, Santa Cruz

"This trip is unique. It's more than a chance to explore Bali; it's a way to go deeper into yourself, to be awake and aware. This was a complete travel experience: learning and seeing the culture and history, action and adventure (snorkeling and hiking), self-care through yoga and massage, facials and pedicures. And this is key, the writing with Laura helped me experience the trip more fully and to become a better writer. It was a wonderful way to connect to the other participants."

—Elya Braden, Santa Monica

The Place


Bali, the justly renowned diamond in the necklace of islands that makes up the world's largest archipelago, is well-known for its inner and outer beauty. Its stunning geographical wonders include majestic volcanoes surrounded by terraced rice fields that gently spill into an azure sea. And Bali's rich cultural heritage and deep reverence for life is legendary.

Our trip will bring us into three distinct regions of Bali. We will stay in small, locally-owned hotels-away from the tourist scene-so you can fully immerse yourself in this unique, evocative culture. Each day our guides will give us an insider's view of Balinese spiritual life, dance, music, art, and sacred ceremonies. Daily writing workshops will help ground your experiences and give you a place to bond, integrate, and reflect.

We will begin our journey with four nights at the peaceful, pristine, beautiful Lotus Bungalows resort, perched right at the edge of the Indian Ocean. This small East Bali hotel is the perfect place to land and decompress from your journey. We will spend four nights in Candi Dasa, beginning our writing workshop with Laura, our explorations of Bali, and our life together as a traveling community. This is where you will begin to learn about the Balinese people-their language, their culture, their deep spirituality, and their way of life.

During the middle portion of our trip, we will spend four nights in Ubud, the cultural center of Bali. There, we will attend two purification ceremonies and meet with local healers. We will also visit the home studios of a sacred mask maker, savor a multi-course meal at our host Surya’s family compound, and be spellbound by an evening Kecak dance performance at a stunning local temple.

And this deep experience of hands-on learning will be enhanced through the use of writing as a powerful tool in its own right for healing, self-discovery, and transformation.


During the final part of our trip, we will leave the upbeat energy of the city and travel north to Munduk and the cool volcanic mountains of North Bali-a stunning region of rice fields, coffee and cocoa plantations, where myriad tropical fruits and spices are grown. You will experience first-hand the unspoiled agricultural and village life that Bali has to offer.

Our final five nights will be spent at a beautiful, restful eco-lodge, overlooking verdant working rice fields: a perfect place to hike, write, relax, and get healing massages. In Munduk, you will have the unique opportunity to interact with the local villagers, who use the hotel as a community center for children's dance classes and other aspects of their richly spiritual, creative daily life.

At the end of your fifteen days in Bali, you will return home deeply connected to yourself, your voice, your body, and a remarkable new community of friends. You will leave, as most visitors do, pledging to come back, full of love for a land and people certain to touch your heart with beauty.

Daily Itinerary

The Healing Heart of Bali: A Writer's Journey of Renewal for the Body, Mind, and Spirit

June 5 - June 19, 2024

Bali is famous for its friendly hospitality. Beyond the high-rise tourist hype found at the resorts on the southern tip of the island are back roads never traveled by the conventional tour bus. There are native villages where a foreign face is still an unfamiliar sight.

This transformative vacation will feature a deep dive into writing with Laura Davis and a supportive, intimate community of fellow writers seamlessly woven into an exploration of all that Bali has to offer: cultural riches, the opportunity for physical adventure in one gorgeous setting after another, and an intimate, experiential entrée into Bali’s sacred treasures: purification ceremonies, visits with healers, daily lessons in how spirituality underlies every aspect of Balinese life.

During our 15 days in Bali, participants will expand their bodies, minds, and spirits in a stunning, inspiring country with a deep spiritual heart.

Excursions include rice field hikes, treks in rain forests, snorkeling in a tropical coral garden, walks through coffee and clove plantations, visits to lush waterfalls, and a mountain hike.

Participants will be offered seminars on a wide range of topics, including Indonesian language, dance, sacred masks and their spirit sources. Bali's spiritual richness is responsible for an abundance of elegantly carved temples, a proliferation of music and dance, and a rich variety of arts and crafts. Visits to temple ceremonies and the home-workshops of artists and artisans will delight and absorb you.

To immerse ourselves in this unique culture, we stay where the tourists aren't - in small, locally owned hotels known for their charm and warm welcome.


"I return home from each of Laura's trips a little wiser, a little more open, and a lot more compassionate. I greet my family, friends and daily life with sparkly, clean energy and a renewed patience, brought about by way of re-writing old stories that I needed to let go of. I come home ready to move forward in my life.

A retreat with Laura Davis is one of the best gifts I ever received and gave myself. It took many years to realize that I was worth the time and financial investment, but now there is no looking back."

—Julie Sheehan, Livermore, California

Teachers & Guides

Laura Davis (Writing Instructor)

The author of seven non-fiction books, including The Courage to Heal, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, and I Thought We'd Never Speak Again. Laura's groundbreaking books have sold more than 1.8 million copies around the world. Laura has also worked as a columnist, talk show host, radio reporter, radio producer, blogger, editor, and speaker. Words have always been at the core of her work and her self-expression.

Laura's newest book, The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story, tells the story of her dramatic and tumultuous relationship with her mother from the time of Laura's birth until her mother's death.

Laura has been mentoring and supporting writers for the past 25 years. It is truly the work of her heart: "I love teaching. I love watching my students find their natural voice and their rhythm. I love it when they find their true stories and discover the courage to put them on the page. I feel like a midwife as my students birth their stories, and I feel honored to witness their bursts of creativity and pure life energy pouring out on the page. Our writing circles are safe places where skills are honed, tears and laughter are welcome, and each writer is seen, heard, and deeply known."

Laura leads weekly writing groups online and in-person retreats in Northern California and internationally. She has taken writers to Bali and Scotland, Greece and Vietnam, Italy and Spain, Laos and Cambodia. She documents these trips to the delight of many readers in her blog, The Virtual Vacation.

Laura Davis

Praise for Laura

"Your steady, centered presence allowed each of us to unfold as writers - and was magnificent."

—Julie Anderson, San Francisco, CA

"You have the distinct and very special gift of drawing out what is in the hearts of everyone in our writing circle."

—Asma Fischer, Evans, GA

"You are a born leader, a born writer. Your straightforwardness, your strength, your discipline, and your love of what you do make for such a 'rightness'."

—Susan Vorhand, Los Angeles, CA

"Thank you for your brilliant, tailored instruction as a writing teacher, a woman and a human being. Thank you for being the catalyst for some needed changes in my life. Not only are you gifted. You are a gift."

—Julie Sheehan, Livermore, CA

"Laura is warm and caring. She pushes people to challenge their limitations without pushing too hard. She helps everyone grow in their writing."

—Lisa Rizzo, San Mateo, CA

"The best part of the trip were the writing classes. It was where we went deep and worked at writing from the heart, and at the same time with description and craft. I was surprised by the warmth of the group and the level of sharing we experienced."

—Jerry Scribner, Greenwood, CA.

"I learned that writing doesn't live as far from my soul as I thought it did."

—Amy White, Providence, Rhode Island

"I'd strongly recommend Laura as an excellent writing teacher and a wise, capable, sensitive journey host."

—Tamara Oxford, Sonora, CA

"Laura brings both head and heart of the gifted weaving of a writer's group. She lends her own words as examples of real and raw writing and adeptly inspires others to do the same, so that healing and connection are inevitable."

—Lisa Mitchell, Sacramento, CA.

"I was delighted with Laura's ability to pull a group together and to get us to write deeply about our truths. I learned that I have a distinctive voice and an important story to share."

—Betsy Witherup, New York, NY

"Laura creates a safe, inviting place to write. She taught me volumes about improving my writing without ever critiquing it. Like magic."

—Sharon Eakes, Sewickley, PA

"Laura is a serious, thoughtful writing teacher with fanciful prompts, fitting poems, examples and clear instructions."

—Adele Maze, San Rafael, CA.

Trip Organizers/Leaders

Judy Slattum MFA and Made Surya B.S. are professional tour organizers who have been leading study tours in Bali since 1985. For a wonderful article about their travel company, Danu Tours, check out this article.

Made Surya
IMG_6974 (1)

Madé Surya would be considered a unique individual in any culture. Born in Denpasar, the capitol city of Bali, his father was a freedom fighter against both the Dutch and Japanese. After the war his father became an undercover policeman, until his nightly meditation sessions revealed his calling as a Hindu priest. A religious scholar, his studies eventually placed him in the Office of Religion, Parisada Hindu Dharma. As his eldest son, Surya was given private religious instruction to prepare him to take over as head of the 400-year-old family compound. His parents, with help from academic scholarships, managed to put Surya through graduate school.

As senior researcher for the Balinese Society for the Study of the Afterdeath, Surya interviewed 25 of Bali's foremost religious authorities regarding Bali's belief systems, recording previously undocumented information. Through this work, Surya became familiar and close to some of Bali's foremost healers. For eight years, he has conducted trips for the Institute of Noetic Sciences on traditional healing and family and community relations in Bali.

Lonely Planet has declared him the local expert on Balinese traditional healers.

But there is more to Surya than his deep knowledge of Balinese spirituality and healers.  Laura likes to describe him as a Balinese Renaissance Man. Surya has traveled and scaled volcanoes in most of Indonesia's inhabited islands, assisted scholars, researchers, tour groups, and film and video crews in Bali and Indonesia on such subjects as Hindu religious rituals and practices, vocal music for ceremonies, traditional architecture, and herbal medicine. He is frequently asked to sing Kawi religious texts at ceremonies, carves his own traditional masks, and has performed mask dance at many colleges, universities, and museums, including the Asian and the De Young in San Francisco. Surya has also led culinary tours, been a guest chef at several restaurants, and his recipes are found in several cookbooks. He is currently working with Dr. Adi Putera on the first book in English on traditional healing practices in Bali.

Thirty-one years ago, Surya married Bali scholar, Judy Slattum, and for the past three decades they have been organizing and leading trips for visitors to Bali.

Surya loves sharing his deep love for his country and its spiritual gifts with guests from all over the world. We are very fortunate to have Surya as our guide into the world of Inner Bali.

This will be Laura’s sixth trip to Bali with them as guides, the first with a focus on Balinese spirituality and healers.

Judy Slattum, MFA

Judy spent 14 years as an academic before starting her own educational travel company in 1985. She has organized and led study tours to Bali since first visiting the island on sabbatical to study mask dance in 1978. Judy has published many articles on Balinese culture and her book-Masks of Bali: Spirits of an Ancient Drama (Chronicle Books, 1992)-was featured in Time Magazine, has sold thousands of copies, and was reprinted by Periplus Editions in September 2003. Her museum exhibition on Balinese Masks toured the USA as part of the Festival of Indonesia for 5 years and has now relocated to Bali. Judy will handle all the pre-trip arrangements for our group.


Praise for Danu Tours

"Judy and Surya are perfect for leading and organizing a trip to Bali. They have lived in two worlds at a deep level. They are thoughtful and caring, knowledgeable and skilled. I cannot imagine a better team and doubt one exists."

—Jerry Scribner, Greenwood, CA.

"Judy and Surya helped us know and understand this amazing culture. I know so much more about Bali than I would have if they hadn't led us."

—Lisa Rizzo, San Mateo, CA

"Judy and Surya delighted me."

—Jerry Scribner, Greenwood, CA.

"A very good introduction to Bali. I liked the general informality of the learning process, your enthusiasm for Balinese culture, your inherent spirituality, and the fact that you yourself are an artist of several kinds. Thank you, too, for so many personal touches throughout the course."

—Agnes G. , Lower Hutt, New Zealand

"Judy's selection of activities was pitch perfect. We had a better experience because she and Surya love Bali and want to share it. I saw things, did things and know things that other tourists would never see, do or know."

—Amy White, Providence, Rhode Island

"I loved the walks through the countryside, especially the walks to the waterfall and through the rice fields. Surya's knack of having friends throughout the island opened many doors for us that would otherwise be unknown: the village ceremony, his teacher in the village, watching musical instruments being made, having him participate in the dance performance, enjoying a meal at his family compound. His passion and firsthand knowledge of everything can't be matched. Having the flexibility to change the itinerary to take advantage of local events was a real plus! I will always remember the beauty of Bali and the friendliness of its people ---- and --- the one and only Made Surya!"

—Wendi Lancaster, Altuna, CA

"Marcia and I talk about our time in Bali every day. I can't wait to tell others about it. Surya, you were a huge part of it, because of who you are and what you share, but there is more. It has to do with Bali itself, with the energy and spirit of the place and the people, that continues to affect me on a deeper level."

—Ray Charland, Santa Cruz, CA

"Overall, the trip was fantastic. It truly was a Back Roads trip, and I enjoy that type of travel. I loved the chance to see a very different side of Bali. My fondest memories will be of Surya dancing in Munduk, seeing your home in Ubud, hiking through rice fields and snorkeling. I will cherish the time we spent together."

—Joan Pindar

"I love Surya's obvious pride in his country. I will remember the cultural and spiritual richness of this lush, scenic wonderland and the warm, friendly people. Thanks Surya!"

—Deborah Shulman, Santa Cruz CA.

"What an incredible adventure. It was beautiful, spiritual & physical journey. I will remember our guide, Surya, for sharing his enthusiasm for Bali with us. I highly recommend Danu Enterprises. Our group was great too."

—Alexanne Mills, Carmel CA.

Travel Details



We will first meet as a full group in the late afternoon at the Lotus Bungalows hotel in Candi Dasa on June 6th. This will mean booking a flight that arrives mid-afternoon on June 6th. You should book your inbound travel accordingly.

Note: The flights from Eva Air and China Airlines arrive during this window, between 2:30 and 3:20 in the afternoon.

Most return flights to the US leave in the afternoon and we'll be sending you information about when to book your flight so we can all leave our final hotel on a shuttle together.

You can expect to spend approximately $1400-$1600 for a round trip ticket from the United States to Denpasar during high season, although this will vary depending on when you book and your departure city.

More information about how and when to book your flights will be sent after you register.

Please do not purchase airline tickets until we have informed you that the minimum number of participants has been met.

We encourage you to book your flights with our travel planner, Michelle Campillo, so arrival times, departure times, and ground transit can be coordinated. Michelle can also help if you want to arrive sooner, leave later, or add other destinations. If you need assistance, she will be able to help you purchase the required travel insurance for this trip.

Michelle is available most weekday business hours and is on Pacific Time:

Michelle Campillo
Scandia Travel
57 Post St. Ste. 612
San Francisco CA 94105
(415) 552-5300

Passports, Visa & Health:

A passport is required, valid six months from date of entry with proof of onward transportation. You must have at least two blank pages on your passport that have the word "Visas" in small print at the top or you will be turned away at the airport. Indonesian visa for 30 days granted on arrival to US citizens for $35.00 fee.

As of June 2023, the requirement for two inoculations against Covid have been lifted for entry into Indonesia. This may change again by the time of our trip in 2024. To check current requirements, please visit:


Beautiful bali asian portrait women in traditional costumes
Rock on Impossible Beach in Evening Light, Bali Indonesia.

What's Included:

  • Airport transfers (if you arrive and depart with the rest of the group)
  • Breakfast every day. Lunch at Senang Hati Foundation and at the home of your guide Made Surya. Family-style dinners of Balinese cuisine each night in Munduk.
  • Daily writing workshops with Laura Davis
  • A copy of Laura's memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars
  • Snorkeling expedition in Candi Dasa
  • Visits to Tanganan aboriginal village
  • Tirta Empul Temple with purification ritual in healing waters
  • Intimate visit to your guide's 400-year-old family home
  • Demonstration of mask carving in the home studio of an expert
  • Tour of the Ogoh Ogoh Museum in Mengwi
  • Tour of a medicinal garden
  • Walk to one of Bali’s most breathtaking waterfalls through cocoa, vanilla, and banana plantations
  • Rice field trek to the Mystical Rock that Grows
  • Visit to Tirtagangga Water Palace
  • Visit to the home of high priest and priestess with purification ritual
  • Visits with two traditional leaders
  • Performances of Kecak, Jegog, and Balinese classical dance
  • Seminars on manners and customs, Indonesian language, Bali Hindu caste system, Bali-Hindu Rites of Passage, traditional healers, sacred architecture, the magic of the Left versus the Right: love potions, black magic, and their relationship to illness, Chakras and western misconceptions of tantra, trance mediums in Balinese healing, lecture/demo on Balinese dance
  • Four nights at Lotus Beachfront Bungalows in Candi Dasa
  • Four nights at Ubud Wana Resort
  • Five nights at Puri Lumbung Cottages in Munduk Mountain Village
  • All transfers to different locations in Bali
  • Services of Made Surya and Judy Slattum, professional tour organizers/leaders specializing in Bali
  • Extensive pre-trip information
  • A wonderful experience of community and connection with a creative, adventurous group of fellow travelers
  • Multiple opportunities for deep relaxation, personal insight, pleasure, intimacy, adventure, and joy

What's Not Included:

  • Round trip airfare from your home airport to Denpasar
  • Laundry, additional excursions, optional classes, non-specified meals (meals range from $5-10 each)
  • Fees for passports and visas
  • Airport transfer to our first hotel and from our last hotel if you do not arrive or depart at the same time as the rest of the group
  • Tips for drivers and wait staff, house cleaners and hotel staff
  • Transportation not covered in the itinerary
  • Between meal snacks and alcoholic beverages
  • Personal, medical, and trip cancellation insurance (travel insurance is required for this trip)
  • Souvenir shopping, personal phone calls, massage, and spa services (which are cheap and plentiful!)
Balinese God statue

How Do I Sign Up For This Fantastic Retreat?

The Healing Heart of Bali:

A Writer’s Journey of Renewal for Body, Mind, and Spirit

June 5 - June 19, 2024

Your Investment:

Cost: $5,630 per person for double occupancy based on two people sharing a twin-bedded room.

Single Room Supplement: A limited number of single rooms are available for an additional $1,000.

Payment Schedule: A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 USD is due with registration. 50% of the remaining trip cost will be due by November 1, 2023. The final balance will be due by February 1, 2024.

Note: A dramatic change in the exchange rate may influence the final price.

Roommates: If you sign up for a double room without having a roommate in mind, we will try to pair you up with someone. If we can’t fine someone you will be automatically upgraded to a single and you will need to pay the price difference.

Small Group Supplement: We will take a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 14. If we end up with 10 or fewer, you will be charged a small group supplement of $400 at the time of your final payment.

Size of Trip: This is an intimate vacation with a minimum of 9 travelers. If the minimum number is not met, you will receive a full refund. The Writer’s Journey LLC will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred, such as nonrefundable airline tickets or passport fees.

Photo Credit: Julie Sheehan
Photo Credit: Julie Sheehan

Cancellations and Refunds: The initial $1,000 USD non-refundable deposit will be forfeited in all cases. Cancellations made between November 1, 2023 and February 1, 2024 will result in a loss of 50% of the trip price. Any cancellation made between February 2, 2024 and the trip departure will result in a total loss of all monies received and there will be no refunds. Exceptions to this cancellation policy cannot be made for any reason, including personal emergencies.

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is required for this trip. It will be the only way for you to get a refund should you need to cancel. In addition to medical travel insurance, you should choose a plan that covers trip cancellation in case illness or injury prevents you from going on the trip. Our travel agent can help you find a suitable policy. We recommend that you purchase it as soon as possible after booking the trip--pre-existing conditions are only covered if you purchase your insurance within two weeks of the time you first sign up for the trip.

More information about trip insurance will be sent after you register.

This retreat is currently sold out! To join the waitlist,

click here.

To read about one of the prior Writer's Retreat of Your Dreams in Bali, you can read Laura's blog, The Virtual Vacation. Now you can enjoy it, too, by clicking here.

Laura's Blog: The Virtual Vacation

Contact Laura?

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