Enthusiastic readers have heartily endorsed Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 memoir "Eat, Pray, Love" by giving it an amazing 170 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List, and a film adaptation starring Julia Roberts is hitting theaters soon. Now, devotees are increasingly following in Gilbert's footsteps by engaging in Asia travel in Bali.
Gilbert's spiritual journey took her on a culinary tour of Italy and a spiritual tour of India before she found love on the island of Bali. It's a fact that the Bali Tourism Board is using to attract guests to the region.
"Not even Italy or India could give her the peace she longed for," the website says. "And she found it in Bali, island of gods and goddesses."
According to Time Magazine, several companies have launched tours based around the book, many of them centering around Bali. Some even include a session with Ketut Liyer, a Balinese faith healer who Gilbert met during her journey. Others take travelers on tours of locations from the book and film. But almost all encourage the spiritual growth that Gilbert herself found on the island.
The centerpieces of the journeys are trips to sacred sites like Tanah Lot, which encourage meditation and self-reflection.
"It's a thing we want to promote because those activities bring peace to mind," says Nyoman Suwidjana, deputy chairman of the Bali Tourism Board. "And Bali loves peace."
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