Where on earth do I even begin? When I planned my trip to Bali, I was in serious need of a true vacation. Last year after taking myself to Hawaii for the first adult solo trip I've ever taken, I made a pact with myself to go on an adventure every year. This trip had been planned for almost 10 months, excitingly enough my dear friend Jaime decided she needed an epic adventure as well and chose to come with.
Last year was filled with lessons; lessons on how to be ok with not being ok, lessons in patience, and ultimately lessons in how to let go. At the tail end of the year I decided with the loving support of my amazing boss and coworkers that my time with the company (of 5 years) had come to an end and it was time to take a leap into something new. Now any of you who know me, know how much I love comfort. Im not a big leaper, I am a creature of habit and a big supporter of stability. But after much consideration I realized, to grow I had to leap.
Bali was the start of my leap year, On February 8th I headed off on my big adventure. To be honest if the trip hadn't been planned and paid for, I would have called it off after leaving my job. I would have said, now is not the time for an adventure... But thats not what the universe had in store for me. Stepping off the plane and into the main lobby of the Denpasar Airport I was struck by how familiar the smell was. My parents had taken my brother and I to Bali when we were young and I wasn't sure if I would recognize anything... but the smell of the island was brilliantly familiar and I felt the pull to return, had been fulfilled.
The day we arrive was the first day of Galungan, a balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma where the ancestral sprits visit the earth. There are 10 days of ceremonies and on the last day, Kuningan (it is said )the spirits return to heaven. The spirituality of Bali is palpable, offerings were scattered around the city in a beautiful messy way.
What struck me most was the smiles on everyones faces. If I smiled at someone, they smiled back bigger and brighter. There was so much love amongst the people, so much kindness. I realized that to the balinese people I have so much, here I am stressing on the daily about having enough money to buy bullshit and their they were content with so little. They put all of the money they have into their family temple, into their place of prayer. In America we get so wrapped up in the clothes we wear, and cars we drive. In Bali, they work every single day to ensure their families have enough to eat, and that they have some left over for offerings. I am truly inspired, and plan to bring back the idea that I have more than enough already.
It felt like from the moment we arrived we just kept going and going, we wanted to feel and sense and touch every part of this amazing place. Touring temples, beaches, massage spots, forests, rivers, even the Gili Islands. We started in the south and traveled up the east coast, Diving in Amed, boating in Lovina, and finally 5 days before our journey back we settled in Ubud. There is a sweet seductive calmness in Ubud, Im sure thats what brings so many expats and tourists. In the last few days I found the euphoria of roots, of grounding down and staying for a while. I walked with a heavier step knowing that this place was full of magic and I was soaking that magic up.
Adventure is exciting and spontaneous, both of which are not common descriptors I would use for myself. In my true Kapha nature I am steady and grounded (and tearful, I am always crying). This trip shook me from my core, begging me to try something new on. When I look back, I feel proud of Adventure Anna. I feel proud that my body that held back pain (daily), blisters, bites, sun burns, and scratches kept going and kept laughing. I even feel proud that when there were days when I was in such awe that I forgot to breath, and maybe even disassociated from myself a bit, my body was right there with me. No matter the day, the challenge, or the blessing my brilliant amazing strong body carried me through. On days when I had searing backpain and just wanted a new body, my sweet heart reminded me of the blessings and millage this body has in it. I was reminded each day to stay here, to stay in this moment. Had I known what this adventure would have held before hand I might have said no, I might have been too scared to throw caution into the wind and travel without a detailed itinerary... I might have missed out on the chance to see how amazing I truly am.
This trip has taught me trust and gratitude, it has taught me that I am strong and independent. It has taught me that I can do so much more than I think I can do, and that I fucking love tassel malas. I am so grateful for the opportunity to take a leap in life, and to know that I really can't fail. I may make mistakes, and I may feel discourage, and then again I may find miracles and a life far beyond my wildest dreams. So I guess.... I choose to trust and say "Thank you Bali, I am blessed".