Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Bali has another plague to torment you: the Blue Planet syndrome.
Bali is well-known for its breathtaking beaches, stunning mountains, and laid-back vibe, but in recent years the island has been ravaged by a dangerous virus that has caused countless numbers of visitors to become gravely ill.
Recently, the number of cases has decreased as a result of preventive measures, and healthcare workers are working hard to ensure that more people aren’t infected. However, this hasn’t stopped Bali from becoming one of the most dangerous places to travel abroad, especially since the island’s most popular beaches have been taken off of the tourism map.
Thankfully, not all is lost. Thanks to a small but determined group of travelers who are taking the step to seek medical help before their visit, Bali is still a destination that you can enjoy with minimal risk.
One of these travelers is Zoe Kravitz. A few months back, Zoe spent a week in Bali as a companion to actor Robert Pattinson on the final leg of his world tour with the Great British Bake Off. While their time there was entirely uneventful, it didn’t lack adventure, and thanks to Zoe’s efforts to seek medical help before their visit, they were able to enjoy Bali without any worry.
Now that she’s back in the UK, and just days away from returning home, Zoe stopped by our offices to give us a sneak peek at her upcoming travels and the steps she’s taking to ensure that her next destination is as safe as possible.
Seeking Help Before Visits
Thanks to the wonders of social media, we were able to track Zoe down and get a small peek behind the scenes of her trip to Bali, including the steps she’s taking to prepare for her travels and the advice she’s sought before setting off.
Zoe is a firm believer in being smart about the places that you visit, especially since some of Bali’s most popular beaches have been closed to visitors due to the outbreak. She says that she’s made sure to contact the British consulate in Indonesia as well as the local authorities in Bali to ensure that she’s aware of any risks that she might encounter. Additionally, she’s spoken to two travel doctors about her plans and gotten their opinion on the matter.
One doctor advised her to take a full course of antibiotics before travelling to Bali, while the other advised her to spend two weeks in isolated luxury before setting off for the island.
Zoe is also taking time to learn more about the disease that has plagued Bali, and the measures that have been put in place to combat it. She’s made it her mission to share as much information as possible with others who might be visiting the island, and advises that those who are thinking about travelling there should do their research and take the necessary precautions.
Taking Steps To Avoid Stereotypes
In the same way that some people might get scared or uneasy at the thought of going to an Asian country, Zoe wants to make sure that people aren’t fooled into thinking that all Balinese people are sickly. She says that she’s heard too many horror stories about tourists getting sick or injured on holiday there, and doesn’t want to contribute to the stereotype.
Zoe is doing her best to educate herself about the outbreak, and the circumstances that led to it. While the majority of cases are a symptom of travelling to Bali and not having enough money to pay for healthcare, Zoe is aware that poverty can sometimes lead to health problems that compound the issue. She doesn’t see herself as a token tourist in Indonesia any more than she would in any other country, and is proud to fight against the stigma that comes with being a traveler.
Taking Advantage Of Local Resources
One of the biggest problems for tourists who visit Bali is getting around. Even though the majority of cases are a result of travelling there and not having adequate healthcare facilities available, the island is a fair bit off the beaten track, and getting to some of the more remote areas can be difficult. This is why Zoe is taking advantage of the local transportation available in Indonesia and getting to the places that she wants to see with the help of a tour guide.
Zoe has listed her top priorities as visiting child psychologists and getting a better understanding of how to support people who are living with depression and anxiety. She also wants to get as much information as possible on climate change, and how to mitigate the effects that she thinks that the island is experiencing due to global warming.
Continuing To Explore
Since returning from Bali, Zoe has continued to explore Indonesia, and doesn’t see herself as a tourist any more. She’s traveled to more than 20 other places, including Palawan in the Philippines, and Banda Islands, off of the coast of Papua New Guinea. Additionally, she’s visited both the Hindu and Buddhist temples in Bali as part of her research into the island’s culture.
Zoe is continuing to document her travels on her blog, and is looking for other ways to contribute to the tourism industry in Indonesia. She feels that the best way to help the local population is by drawing more people to the island, and believes that those who are considering traveling there should do so only when it’s safe to do so.
Even though Bali is on the verge of recovery, the island will always have a dark spot in its history, and it’s good to see that tourism isn’t being promoted just yet. With the right precautions and research, it’s possible to have a good time and not put yourself at risk.