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A Couple's TravelCircle to Bali


APRIL 8-18, 2024

Welcome! I’m so very glad you landed on this page and are considering this special trip. In general, every trip we lead is focused on two main experiences: the best sightseeing in the country and connecting with women. (And in this unique case, we’re including the romantic partners of our women! xoxo)

Our love of sightseeing means an itinerary that is as full of local culture as we can fit into an intimate, fun, and experiential trip. We want to see everything that is well known in that country, when we can, and we also want to make sure there are some small and special experiences that leave us touched and connected with that country in surprising ways!  We want to see the “must-sees,” but it’s also crucial to us to get off the beaten track and really connect with locals and their lives. To support that, we want all of our travel to live up to the highest standards of sustainability and ethical travel, so we place special emphasis on meeting the locals, supporting their causes, and making sure we frequent their businesses/hotels/restaurants to ensure our money is reinvested back into those who live wherever we visit. Plus, we've got our eye on adding the "little things" that really make a trip feel special: making your own perfume scent at a perfumeria, visiting a local spa, arranging for beautiful walks and hikes, attending rooftop concerts, sampling artisan chocolate, etc.

And when it comes to connecting with women, we’re expanding this trip to not only be about friendship, but also about love! This particular trip is super special as we’re opening it up to be for couples—which means it’s a trip for women and the people they love. So while we want to connect with, and support, women in every country we visit, in this case, we’ll expand our focus to loosely look at gender roles, romance, marriage, and love! I will be accompanied by my husband Greg Nelson (see more below) and together we’ll also facilitate occasional experiences that invite us to intentionally self-reflect, build friendships with the other couples, and deepen our own romantic relationships.

So if you love travel and want an incredibly special curated trip with a group of amazing women and their lovers you're invited to join us! xoxo

While there are over 17,000 islands in Indonesia, none is more famous than Bali! Of course it is known for its stunning beaches, but it’s for the rich culture that visitors flock here—to experience the warmth of the people, the nourishing food, the deep religious traditions, the creativity and arts, and the stunning beauty. Powerful conversations, memorable experiences, and transformational insights and healing can come from the ceremonies, temples, and spectacular nature, including breathtaking mountainous areas with lush greenery, gorgeous waterfalls, scenic rice fields, splendid flower gardens, sacred rivers, and misty lakes. And we want to see and experience it all!

We start our 10-day trip with 5 days in Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali, before we take a 4-hour road trip (with fun stops!) across the island over to Pemuteran for a couple of days filled with iconic beaches and snorkeling at one of the best reefs in the country, then we end at a beachfront hotel in the seaside town of Sanur.

Health Note: The participants who will enjoy this trip the most will be those who feel comfortable with moderate activity (i.e. being able to walk a couple of miles) and who are prepared to be in heat (average 80 degrees, but could be hotter).

  • Stays in 3 different cities to minimize moving and maximize experiencing different places: Ubud, the cultural and arts hub of the island; Pemuteran, the fishing village with world-class dive sites; and Sanur, a seaside town with a long beach and great shopping!

  • Enjoy 2 scenic drives with frequent stops that will show us around much of the island, giving us the opportunity to experience the beauty of the mainland.

  • Go on a private tour of the renowned ARMA Art Museum with the founder Agung Rai.

  • Walk through the lush jungle and terraced rice paddies to learn about native healing plants.

  • Attend an exclusive Royal Palace tour and dinner at the Peliatan Palace.

  • Enjoy performances of traditional Balinese Legong dance and music.

  • Join in meaningful and fun ceremonies and rituals for our love at various temples (including an optional fire ceremony)!

  • Try your hand at traditional wax drawing and dyeing, dance, and cooking at a variety of workshops designed to help us experience local culture and play together as couples (including a very fun couples cooking class!).

  • Enjoy a couples' massage at a beautiful spa in the jungle.

  • Experiment with a laughing yoga and meditation session led by Kadek Suambara, one of the youngest people in Balinese history to be selected as a high priest.

  • 2 days of snorkeling and/or enjoying beaches in Pemuteran with world-class reefs—including a boat day to Manjangan Island which is home to one of the world’s most biodiverse array of coral reefs and marine life in the world!

  • Plus, lots of dinners on beaches, visits with special people doing awesome things, and plenty of downtime to restore your soul(s).

  • What are TravelCircles?
    TravelCircles are international trips, hosted by author and social relationships expert, Shasta Nelson, and organized by Altruvistas travel agency, designed to bring people together for meaningful travel. These are group travel experiences with the primary intention of seeing as much of the “must-sees” as possible in our destination countries, but with a secondary intention of meeting new friends and having fun together as a group. We take special delight in planning magic moments off the beaten path, curating meaningful conversations with locals, and scheduling unique hands-on experiences in each country, and similarly, we are just as intentional about fostering belongingness among those who choose to travel with us!
  • What is the focus of TravelCircles?
    These TravelCircles are unlike any other trip you could ever go on because of two special features: ​ Bond with new friends! Most travel is either with people you already know or with groups of strangers where you're herded like cattle . . . Ours is a beautiful mix between the two: a small group of strangers committed to traveling as new friends! With social relationships expert Shasta Nelson as our host, her goal is to help us connect in casual but meaningful ways. We love the diversity of ages and backgrounds that come together to share their love of travel with each other. We keep our groups small and meaningful—anywhere between 10-16 women—which ensures our circle is small enough to connect and yet large enough to ensure there is always someone excited to go with you on a side excursion (the group doesn't have to be together all the time!). Enjoy the focus on women! We'll still see all the famous sites and experiences of every destination, but we're also being super intentional about adding some experiences that will connect us with women in each country: cooking classes, visits to agencies that are helping women's issues, dance classes, meaningful conversations with local women about their life in that country, etc. So we're not just traipsing through a country; we're doing so with some intention to respect and meet our sisters in other countries!
  • Are these trips for women only?
    Historically, these trips were women-only trips and our goal is to always have 2 new trips every year for women. However, in response to demand, Shasta also occasionally invites her husband, Greg Nelson, to join her and opens those trips up to both men and women! Watch the list as it’s our intention to have at least 1 trip each year that is also open to men!
  • What is the style/philosophy of travel?
    Eco-consciousness & Social Responsibility: Our travel partner Altruvistas is committed to making sure that as much of our travel money as possible is used for supporting the local economy. Their goal is that we really connect with the country and people by getting off the tourist trail, connecting with locals in conversations, and supporting philanthropic organizations along the way. This means, for example, that rather than stay in familiar US hotel chains, great care is given to stay in locally owned hotels that, on a rare occasion in certain countries, may be more humble than we’re accustomed to in the US but will always be chosen because they are clean and safe. Diverse Itinerary: Some groups cater to the outdoors/adventure, some to literature and art—we try to do a little bit of everything! That means we will always see the famous sites and pick a few important museums, try to show you a bit of the country, connect you with a few community organizations so you can find out the needs of the country, and then schedule some really special moments like a cooking workshop, a craft class, or a concert. Plus, there is always time for meaningful shopping excursions. Multi-Generational: Some of our best feedback has come from women who were surprised how much they loved the multi-generational connections made on these trips. There is something really magical about reminding ourselves that we can connect and love far more people than those who are most like us. On most trips we have women spread out through ages 21-65! Loving Connection: Shasta, a social relationships expert, hosts all these trips to help facilitate some connection and foster healthy group dynamics. Our goal isn’t just that you travel with others, but that you get to know them and love them! You’re an adult! We trust you! While we hope everyone is as conscientious of the group as possible (i.e. showing up on time, being kind), we most definitely don’t see our role as babysitters! If you need a day off—take it! If you would prefer to skip the museum and sit in a café instead—do it! Just let us know what you need and prefer—we’ll aim to please!
  • What sizes are the TravelCircles?
    Our groups can be anywhere between 10-16 people. That means we’re small enough to rent our own private van, fit into cute restaurants, and not feel like we are lost in a huge tourist group, but we're also big enough to find someone we relate to, to learn from each other, and to ensure we can schedule special features only available to groups.
  • Who exactly is in charge of these trips?
    While social relationships expert Shasta Nelson chooses the destinations and approves the itineraries of every trip, it is Altruvistas, a registered and licensed travel agency, who will oversee our trip. Altruvistas is an eco-conscious and socially responsible company in charge of communicating all trip details, answering your questions, hiring guides and translators, contracting all lodging, ground transportation, and activities, etc. We chose Malia and her team because of their integrity, strong reputation in the ecotourism industry, and passion for scheduling local experiences that are off the beaten path. All your liability forms are with them directly and we are covered under their insurance. Once on the trip, you are in the care of two people at all times—a local guide who oversees logistics (hired by Altruvistas) and Shasta, who is there to love on you and foster healthy group connections!

We are a proud partner of Altruvistas, the socially responsible and philanthropic travel company that is organizing all our details. We are thrilled to have Malia and her team overseeing our trips to ensure that our itinerary is as authentic of an experience as possible while making sure that our money is spent in an eco and socially-conscious way. Malia and her team will work with you one-on-one to make sure you are all ready for our amazing adventures.

If you have questions about this trip, please email

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