If falling in love with a place, letting it grip your soul and leave you with memories you wish you could bottle sounds like the kind of feeling you want in your life, look no further than Gili Trawangan (Gilli T to its friends).
Lucy, my partner in crimes of loving life, and I had grand plans to do and see so much of Bali "we'll climb the volcano", "we'll visit the monkey temple", "we'll check out the floating temple in the sea" ... 10 days later we've sacrificed all of these beautiful plans for Gili T "we're stuck, we'll leave but not today!"
If my passion for this slice of paradise hasn't quite shone through just yet, read on for my 11 tips on the "perfect Gili T experience" ..
1. Stay at the infamous Gili Backpackers hostel for a guaranteed meeting of legends of your holiday/ your travels / your life.
The dorms are hotter than what I imagine hell to be like "we're melting" but stuff it, it's worth the discomfort for the f u n!
I spent one of the best nights of my life in one of the private rooms too, if you've got extra money to cover it then go for a private room .. room 15 will welcome you with open arms, see if you can have as much fun as we did (pretty sure that's not possible but you can give it a go, good luck!)
2. Spend a night at a Surf Bar party, ask the barman who looks like Simba from the Lion King to give you the "strongest shake" he has and then proceed to enjoy the journey that follows .. with any luck you'll be transported clean off the Gili's in the highest sense of euphoria .. we visited another world at the Dark Moon party on Thursday night, I can't put into words what happened - it was unreal. "That little Buddha DJ is an absolute weapon! Is he for real? Is he taking the piss? What a man!"
3. Spend a day "professionally lounging" at Horizontal Bar on the beach front. Those "comfiest bean bags in the world" won't lay on themselves! Get your treasured ones and new friends around you for numerous Bintangs and endless laughs.
4. Drag yourself away from the island itself and go on a glass bottom boat trip for the day (100,000 IDR / $10 / £5). Our boat saw an 8ft shark, turtles, loads of fish and a shipwreck.
We went for lunch on Gili Air, lovely little island that is !! (Try not to choose a stormy day like we did ... a little wooden boat in the eye of the storm is scary, especially when you're hungover, which you're bound to be).
5. Eat at Scallywags on the beachfront, Lucy had Mahi Mahi fish and I had Butterfish. For once we both ate really slowly to savour it, it was Sam Divine! One of the best meals of my life and that's saying something .. it was a steal at 300,000 IDR / $30 / £15 "the view is amazing, I can't get over it!".
6. Rent a push bike and explore the island, check out the swing in the ocean and head for the Sunset Bar as evening draws in. Keep a look out for the "seahorses" too .. one of our friends did a night ride and came back with a tattoo of a bike on his side, he had such a good time he wanted to save the memory forever!
7. Get a full body massage (160,000 IDR/ $16 / £8) at a spa on the beach front, there are loads of luxury places to choose from .. take your pick, lay down, relax, listen to the sea while your body gets a well deserved pamper after your nights out.
8. Eat the street food at the night market, the range of choice put on by the friendly staff at the Green Cafe is amazing !! Dirt cheap too, we loved it (20,000 IDR / $2/ £1)
9. Skip a night on the strip and stargaze from the Gili Backpackers "watch tower/ sky tower/ skyer tower/ treehouse/ David Attenborough's spy place" yes friends we spied on you all trying to pull each other when you got in at 5am, sorry - not! Ha ha.
.. anywayyyy, call the tower what you will, climb the "tricky steps" to the top, lie back and watch the world tick by the for the night with your music on (Glen Horsborough podcasts are the perfect soundtrack). Shooting stars aplenty to be seen over Gili T, as the stars fade the sun comes up, every sunrise is as special as the last.
10. If you've got cash to splash go shopping in the boutiques, so many things I wanted but couldn't justify "we'll get it cheaper in Seminyak"
11. Saving one of the best tips 'til last here .. go on a Drunken Monkeyz boat party, with a reputation as "the best boat party in the world" it didn't disappoint! As soon as we stepped foot on that massive wooden "pirate ship" I knew it was going to be one of the best days of my life "I've got goosebumps all over".
If you like house music and love dancing you're in for a treat, we missed sunset we were so lost in the party. So damn good we did it twice! "We can't afford it, whatever!"
Gili T has most definitely stolen a big piece of my passionate heart, I'll never forget the people who have made it so special, the many many laugh-crys I've shared with them, the being unable to breath for laughing, the golden moments of clarity, the pure happiness, "I love my life, I love it so much I almost can't believe it"
Gili Trawangan, you absolute beauty, you've over-delivered 1000% .. the only thing I don't like about you is having to leave ..