Days 13 - 16 : Bali, Indonesia & Nusa Penida Island

It's my last day in Bali, Indonesia and I am sitting in this local coffee shop drinking a tropical lemonade (much different and, in my opinion, better than your usual lemonade), eating a roasted chicken pizza with peppers and pineapple, and drinking a hot latte. Going out with a bang, eh? Speaking of... I have a very big story to tell. 

I'm sitting here thinking and trying to process all of my emotions. I am feeling so many things at once; I am always feeling so many things. I am an emotional, feeling being who is very sensitive to all of the energy around me. So what is it that I am feeling..? I feel eager, excited, and a little impatient to be home. I feel overwhelmed by all of the revelations that have come to me within the past 3 days, and at the same time I feel so much relief because of them. I feel tired and exhausted, yet restless and energetic. I feel inspired, and a little fearful, and I feel so much physical pain on the left side of my body. But most of all, I feel like I could cry tears of joy, tears of gratitude, and tears of finally overcoming what has held my head under the water for eight months now. I see the light. I see the transformation!

And so here is my story... 

Saturday am.

I woke up with the blues. I wasn't entirely sure of what I was feeling. A mixture of things, I guessed. Loneliness, confused about where my life is headed, sad about the past mistakes I've made, and so afraid of what is going to happen in my future... The day went by extremely slowly. We made plans to have free surfing lessons from Farrah's old high school teacher, Tristan, who now lives and teaches here in Bali with his wife and three kids. I wasn't too sure if I was even feeling up to it anymore. I opened up my laptop and began watching a documentary called "Be Here Now." Simply and shortly put, It was about this family fighting cancer that had been found all over the dad/husband's body. I was looking for perspective and I got it. 

3o minutes into the movie Nathan knocks on my door to ask me if I am ready to go. I grab my bag, throw my shoes on, and grab my keys as I walk out of the door. The drive made me feel fresher and better as I tried to hold onto the feeling I was having during the movie - everything happens for a reason and life could be so much worse, so be thankful. That was the feeling I was having. We arrived to the beach we planned to meet Tristan at an hour early. I decided to loosen up and have a couple of beers. I had nothing in my stomach so I caught a buzz pretty quickly. Yet another perspective that I needed - look at all of the freaking beauty around you!!!

An hour later Tristan arrives with three surfboards and an Australian friend of his, Joshua. What the hell, let's surf! Farrah stayed in the bar holding and watching our things as Nathan and I stripped down to our swimsuits in all of the sudden pouring rain. Tristan gave us a few quick lessons of how to kneel then stand on the board, and in no time we entered the warm ocean. Things started off brutally as I tried to push my legs into the strong current to get back to the starting point for surf and carry this heavy board along with me. I was being thrown around like a rag doll in the waves and then, at one point, I ended up behind my board (a big mistake) and the wave threw the board in perfect alignment right to the side of my head. BREAK TIME! I sat out for about 5 minutes until I decided to go back in for more. This time I really got the hang of it, especially with more small tips from Tristan and I was getting up on my own! Catching wave after wave. Okay, this is addicting. We stayed out there getting beat up and using every muscle in our bodies to catch the waves until the sun began to set. I felt joyful again, I felt the present moment again, and I felt my yearning to stay on this island longer. I carried my board back to Tristan's car to help him load it up, I thanked him for everything, and we chatted a little about our passions in life. He seemed intrigued by my passion and then invited me to someday bring a group back to Bali for healing workshops and retreats. Ahhh...

Sunday am.

We woke up really early to catch the boat ride from Bali to Nusa Penida which is a smaller island about an hour away, depending on the speed of the boat and the the heaviness of the driver's foot. We arrive there, rent scooters, grab a bite to eat, and set out on a full two days of adventures beings we only have those two days planned to stay here on this island, which thankfully, is much smaller than Bali. Smaller, less people, less traffic, and a lot more mountain driving and basically craters for roads. I mean, there wasn't a single road that did not have a pothole. I glanced at some of the most spectacular views I've ever seen in my life. And I say glance because anything longer than that takes my attention away from driving which equals EXTREME DANGER. It was 1:45 pm when I was steady following Nathan and Farrah on their scooter and I was thinking about all of my worries back home. I felt extremely lonesome and very, very alone during this time. This island, which is very uncivilized, gave me some intensely dark vibes, and made me feel farther away from home and myself than ever before. I can remember my exact thoughts. I was thinking of how I can love myself and others better. My mind was racing and my thoughts would not shut off, they were only increasing. I remember thinking, "please stop worrying. Please stop thinking. Why am I thinking so much? Why am I all the way over here, on this magical side of the planet, and I am completely stressed and worried and full of fear." Screeeeech, BAM

I hopped up quickly! I thought to myself and mumbled beneath my breath, "you're ok. You are ok." What just happened? 

I was turning the corner with all of these mad thoughts spiraling out of control in my mind when a huge truck taking over the entire road comes out of nowhere into my sight, maybe five feet ahead of me, and honks his horn. I immediately brace my arms and shift the front wheel to my left so quickly that I hit a pothole full of tiny little slippery rocks and in less than a second I lost control of the entire bike and at about 35/40 mph it slid beneath me throwing my body directly in front onto the blazing hot pavement. My knee hit first, then my thigh, then my shoulder, my left hand somewhere in between all of this, and then lastly, the bottom of my jaw and side of my face planted at full speed onto the road. Like I said, I hopped up, told myself I was okay, and Nathan and Farrah pulled over immediately. I asked about my face and teeth. Both were fine. My entire body was shaking as I paced the side of this road while the truck driver and three other couples on scooters stared at me. 

About five minutes later all of the strange drivers drove away assuming I was okay because I was up walking and talking, and then Nathan asked if I needed a minute. I knew I had to drive beings Farrah isn't comfortable with driving here on these scooters, so I said no knowing that everything was going to swell and begin hurting pretty soon. As we were driving I slowly started to feel the pain after the shock had settled in and the blazing sun was beating onto my open wounds. I was angry. I was angry at the constant pace of danger I was having to follow. I was angry at these dangerous roads and scooters. I was angry for feeling so alone. And I was angry for being on this island with no pharmaceutical resources. And even if there were resources, I had no way of knowing how to get to them, nor could my body keep going anymore. I just kept telling myself drive slowly and carefully, we will be at the bungalow soon. Twenty minutes later we arrive and there is no ice. There is no water. And there are no bandages. I was beginning to spiral even further. "Why? Why did this have to happen? Why me?"

Nathan and Farrah proceeded with their plans for the day and asked me to join a few times, but my gut was screaming, "NO! Stay put." So I did. I went into our room, cleaned up my wounds, and lay on the bed. My head was pounding and my body was so tense. I fell asleep within twenty minutes after they left. I was in and out of sleep as the electricity kept cutting on and off. There was only a little stand up fan to keep me cool and the air circulating. I prayed as much as my mind could at the time. I thought of so many things. Why this happened.. because you know, everything happens for a reason. I tried summing up that the reason was for me to stop. Stop putting myself through the extreme, stop thinking so negatively, and to see how truly powerful and strong I really am. Both mentally and physically. I kept thinking of my mom. How did she do life after being shot in the face and losing her sight forever, at the age of 21? How did she do it? My God... how? I thought of everyone who has cancer and is living with horrendous diseases in their lives. I thought of all of this, but the pain didn't subside. It wasn't the physical pain that I felt unbearable, it was the emotional pain.

My life flashed before my eyes. I was going deeper and deeper into the darkness of these moments. I woke up to Nathan and Farrah walking into our room four hours later and it was pitch black outside. There are no street lights to keep the night awake. They seemed frightened and voiced how bad the drive was, how much worse the roads got the farther they went, and how scary their drive back in the darkness was. They told me how they were so happy I decided to stay because I would have probably hurt myself even worse, and been terrified. I was so relieved that I knew how to listen to my intuition. 

I decided to call a friend and tell her. I needed to tell someone. I didn't want to worry my family, nor did I want to call crying to anyone because I wanted to be strong. I didn't want to be weak and make it seem as though I couldn't handle my choices in life. Absolutely not. So I fought the feeling until I was ready to laugh a little about it and explain the story. She cheered me up just by being there for me. Once I finished about my day, she proceeded to tell me about her weekend which was extremely monumental and transformational for her, and even myself. I won't go into details because I don't think it's necessary, and things can get really clouded, but I will say this: It has been a very, very long past 8 months of my life. I have felt very crazy and chaotic many times. I have held onto the guilt of a past relationship and the formation of a new relationship. I have held onto the thoughts of being hated and seen as a monster by the people I have loved. I have held onto the thought of those people being better than me. Being more loved than me. Being happier than me. I have fought with myself for the past 5 months and my up and down feelings and emotions, and trying to 1. figure them out and 2. control them. I have failed to love myself and others time and time again. I have been in and out of darkness, and I have searched in every corner for my happiness. 

Monday am. 

Nathan has a flat. A Godsend because he decides we should just return the bikes and sit in this little restaurant and wait four hours for our boat ride back. This was God looking over me and the entire left side of my beaten and bruised body. 

Finally, 3:30 arrives and we are boarding the boat back to Bali. I knew I still had a full day ahead of me to get back to my room, have a minute to recuperate, and then drive the original bike of mine an hour back to it's home. It was time to retire this exhilarating, stressful mode of transportation. With a blue and swollen hand, I was still able to do it. Hallelujah. We took an uber to our favorite restaurant, ate some pho, and then took an uber home. I was able to see Tristan one last time, thank him again for everything, and reach out to him about someday connecting and possibly returning with a group of people from my community for some good ole' service work. 

This day somehow saved me. The moment I stepped back into my comfortable, homey room I began dancing and singing. I made it! I am beat up, I fell into one of the darkest spells of my life, I have had so many unbelievable adventures, and yet I am here, alive and breathing with a healthy beating heart. I am grateful for that. 

Tuesday - My last day in Bali.

My bags are packed, I am about to take my last shower in this room, and then have a last good look at Bali. These two and half weeks have both flown by and lasted an eternity at the same time. I look at myself in the mirror and I see my strength. I see the reliance in my caramel brown eyes, and I am proud of myself. I know I have a long road ahead of me, because well, that's life, but I have come so far and after sinking into illusion after illusion, I have found the truth. I see the light. I prayed for this and I got it. The truth is, I am not hated, I am very loved. The truth is, I am very strong and my emotions are little messages from God. The truth is, I am a really strong person with a very, very big heart. The truth is, I have so much compassion for others and so much love to give to everyone. The truth is, I can see beyond the fear and put myself out there to love more; whether it is in my relationships, to strangers on the street, or myself; I can love deeper. The truth is, all of the guilt, the fearful thoughts of being unloved and rejected and being crazy and chaotic, it is all false. It is all an illusion. Those are lies I have been telling myself for a long time now. The truth is, I have a light inside of me and I have all of the tools I need to continue burning it brightly, and to continue being myself. And the truth is... I am love. I am compassion. I am inspiration. I am everything that I am and that I need to be, to be happy and live a life of meaning and purpose. 

Healing Our Hearts - Oh Yes the Activity Heals.

6:43 am

I woke up to read a quote by Eckhart Tolle that said, "All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence." Following this I watched a weekly YouTube video by a silly astrologer who goes by the name Kaypacha Lescher, and all he spoke about was letting go of the past, letting go of what is leaving your life at this time, and allowing yourself to be still and quiet while we wait for the new to come and replace the old that we have now let go of.

Of course all of this was so appropriate for this time in my life, and after having nightmare after nightmare this couldn't have been more perfect to wake up to. I read about constant nightmares and dreaming of death right before watching that video and it said that when we dream of death it means there is a huge change coming in our lives. Once again, totally appropriate.

I am thousands and thousands of miles away from home and I've learned that our problems and our fears follow us. Everything that is inside of us comes with us no matter how far away we travel from our homes. It has indeed been a little lonely at times in this room, or when I feel like I need a certain person in my life here, or when I just want to be held, but honestly I wouldn't have had this trip any other way. I needed this alone time for so many reasons. To learn how to be alone so far away from home and to listen to what my inner feelings are trying to tell me.

The things that followed me here have haunted me in my sleep, and in my waking thoughts. Over the past six months, I have struggled to let go of somethings and someones and move on and start anew. I have let it totally and completely immerse and fill my conscious mind with fear. Fear of the past and fear of the future. Eckhart Tolle's words were spot on for me this morning.

Although these things may have followed me here, I have learned to deal with them head on because of it. I learned something amazing throughout my journey and time here, which is still not over might I add; I learned that if we teach ourselves to wake up every single day and push ourselves to find the time and energy to do what brings us the most peace in the present moment, then in those moments we will learn more than we can by sitting and overthinking and dwelling. 

Take a child for example. Children are constantly playing, full of energy, and they are always laughing and smiling. A child will get upset and cry over something and then not even an hour later they will move on and forget that that event ever happened and be right back to playing. They don't sit on the steps of the porch dwelling about the mistake they made last week, or the money they lack in their piggy bank, or the friend they lost a year ago. They move on so quickly that there is not time to do those things, nor is there a want. Children are always present because that is where the fun is.

So my point is, while I have been here, I have been like a child, for the most part. I have left my overthinking in my lonesome room, and gone outside to ride my moped, swim in the ocean, catch waves on the paddle board with Nathan and die laughing when I fall off and my top unhooks, slam down an Uno card for the win, see how fast I can swim from one end to the next in the pool, jump in the freezing cold waterfall pool, hike up the steepest literally breathtaking (I felt like I needed an inhaler) mountain back to the bike, and listen to the conversations being had in this very moment. All of these moments have literally pulled me right back into the present moment and I feel no anger there. I feel no judgment, anxiety, sadness, unforgivingness, or any fear. I feel free and I feel peaceful, and I feel INSPIRED. 

I feel inspired to let go and move forward! That is one of the hardest things in the world for me, and maybe most of us to do. But I see that I can do it and have been doing it. So yes, I am still learning just as we all are, but if there is one huge thing that I have taken from this trip so far... it is to stay active and healthy, and learn to give yourself permission to be joyous in the moment. Doing whatever it takes to give yourself that. 

And if you go back to my first blog post while here in Bali you will read at the very bottom that what I hoped to take away from this trip was to learn to live joyously in every single circumstance.

It is all going to be okay, there will always be better days ahead, and lastly, we are so powerful and resilient that we CAN learn how to forgive, how to be at peace, and how to live totally joyous lives.

Traveling 2 Bags Too Perfectly

My Packing List (The Essentials):

All The Stuff That Can Fit In Carryon

  • Laptop, Laptop Charger, Journal, Notepad, 2 Books, 2 Pens
  • Film camera, Film, GoPro & Charger, Headphones, iPhone & iPhone Charger
  • Wallet, License, Passport, Itinerary, Money
  • 1 Pair of Sunglasses & 1 Hat & 1 Watch

All The Stuff That Can Fit In Clear Waterproof Bag

  • Zyrtec, Tylenol, Any Other Meds, Bandaids, Q-Tips, Cortisone Cream, Neosporin
  • Tweezers & Fingernail Clippers
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, Face & Body Lotion, Chapstick
  • Floss, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Razor, 2 Extra Ponytails, Deo
  • Nighttime Glasses, Contact Solution, Extra Pair of Contacts
  • OFF, Body Spray, & Sunscreen
  • Face Cleanser, Bar of Soap, Tampons
  • 3 items for Make-up

Checked Bag (For Me & If Needed) Or Potential Carryon

  • Beach Towel & 2 Shower Towels
  • 3 Sports Bras, 1 Push-up Bra
  • 3 Swimsuits, 1 Covershirt 
  • 1 Pair of Sandals, 1 Pair of Walking Shoes, 1 Tennis Shoe (wear on plane), 1 Pair of Water (Vibram toe shoes, etc.) OR Hiking shoes
  • 3 Light to Heavy Sweatpants
  • 2 Pairs of Tights
  • 5 Sleepshirts
  • 12 Pairs of Undies
  • 5-7 Pairs of Socks - Short to Long
  • 1 Light Hoodie, 1 Heavy Hoodie
  • 2 Flannel/Button-up
  • 2 Dresses, 1 Black Long Skirt
  • 2 Nice Shirts
  • 8 - 10 Light Shirts - Tanks to Short-sleeve tops
  • 2-3 Longsleeve shirts
  • 1 Curling Hair Wand

This is my packing list. Would I change it? I think if I were to make the decision to travel for a much longer time than three weeks I would continue with this list above. I have everything I need, and sometimes it feels like more, and others it feels perfect. This is truly living simply, and it could be even simpler. It all depends on what you're comfortable with, if you want to check your luggage in the airport, and how long your travels may be. But for now, this is the list that holds the foundation for my long-term travels. I hope it helps you travelers and/or pursuing travelers out there!

Day 5 - The Faces of Bali

Friday, 4.10.17

Beautiful, kind, happy faces.

I rode on the back of the bike with Nathan today and I watched. I simply just watched. Sweet round faced babies with big bright curious chocolate eyes lit me up. The smiles and giggles and laughs all rapidly passing me by. Filling the atmosphere with joy. A celebration of life, if you will. I am touched. I am moved every single time I give the slightest grin, I receive a huge, white-teethed smile in return. It took all of my fear and melted it with pure love. 

I am inspired. I want to meet and greet with these faces. I want to hug and love and kiss these faces. I want to help and be a walking physical being of love every single place I may touch. This is what I say today on my bike ride.

Today it was just Nathan and I and we headed off to the beach. A different beach. Probably my favorite one so far. He calls it "the secret beach." It's about an hour away, but 30 minutes with Nathan's driving and the starting point is on the top of this cliff mountain. We parked our scooter and began walking down. It was steep and rocky, but the tropical breeze allowed it doable. I felt like I was in a jungle as we were walking down this naturally paved walkway.

As soon as you get to the bottom of this beach there is nothing but soft grasslands and palm trees and lively greens all around. As you keep walking, about 100 feet you enter the beach. There were probably 15 people all spread out at this beach. It is truly the "secret beach." Nathan and I laid in the shallow clear water by the edge of the shore and talked for hours. The sun was beaming down on my body and as I looked around I realized how at peace I am. How peaceful and healing and magical nature truly is.

We decided to go out further and I was so thankful to have my water shoes because the coral was very painful. We played in the waves for a bit, drank unwanted salt water, and laughed as the strong current pulled us under, and then went in for some shade and water. It was then, in this little area, that I met Ketut. According to the Balinese culture, people receive names in a birthing order and Ketut is the fourth born name. I really don't know much about what else it means, but I do know that this Ketut encountered me with a presence I would never forget. She was gentle and I could see the wisdom that lies in every crease of her face. Pure beauty. She sat next to my towel with a basket of pineapple, dragonfruit, and handmade bracelets. She called them "for good luck" and immediately I was sold. I bought 5 bracelets for 100,000 rupiah. I definitely got the deal here. I left this day feeling exhausted in all the best ways. I have nature and all of the love around me to thank for that. 

Indonesian currency

Indonesian currency

Ketut

Ketut