I fell in love in Bali. With the people, with the natural beauty, with the culture, with travel, and with myself.
A Balinese friend told me yesterday that “everyone leaves Bali with a broken heart.” To some extent that is true, that once in Bali, no one wants to leave Bali.
My experience was a bit different. I am leaving Bali with a full heart. I completely fell in love with myself during my journey here. I fell in love with my ability to make a dream come true, and then live that dream fully, with trust, adventure, non-judgment, acceptance, humor, and wild abandon. To those of you who have not yet experienced falling in love with yourself, this may sound conceited, or cliché. When it happens to you, you will understand what I mean – and it can happen countless times over. I will dive deeper into the experience of falling in love with myself at another time. I am enamored by the way my heart expanded. The more I loved and trusted, the more love was given to me, in unexpected, miraculous ways.
…to the old, long-haired hotel manager who took me for a wild shortcut ride to the Uluwatu temple on that back of his motorbike – his long, unwashed hair whipping in my face, yelling to his workers digging ditches for water lines, weaving in traffic to get me there quickly, and teaching me about the Uluwatu traditional village on the way. I held on for dear life to that motorbike and prayed for our safety, and we made it laughing the whole way! It was supposed to cost IRD 150. When I handed the cash to him, he gave me IRD 100 back and said “for you, no worry.”
…to Agung, who made my 33rd birthday a surprisingly epic day. His thoughtfulness and patience when I initially was very guarded, helped me to trust. He’s such a sweet soul with an infectious smile. Agung looked after me and made sure I was safe. We will eat at Mama San when I’m back in Bali!
…to the person who stole my ATM card and my money, you are forgiven. This experience taught me a valuable lesson. And at some point this person will learn a valuable lesson as well.
…to Lina, who opened her brand new villa home to me. I fell in love with Toraja Bambu! She guided me around the area, even taking me on her scooter to a sunset yoga class! Lina’s beaming smile, Brazilian accent, and girlish laugh are contagious and so endearing. She doesn’t miss a detail and has a heart of gold. I know that was the beginning of our adventures, Nepal to see the new Buddha is next!
…to Made, for immense patience driving me all around Bali on my 10 hour tour, including a few extra stops. I loved hearing about your family! Thank you for taking so many photos and capturing breathtaking moments!
…to the security guard who left his evening post to drive me home on his incredibly old motorbike through the dark, winding road when we couldn’t find a taxi. Sorry for missing the turn! We went on a wild ride and he was quite patient with me pointing directions from the back of the bike. At one point I seriously considered the ramifications of jumping off if we started rolling backward. We made it though!
…to Shamantara for opening up her home to me and showing me her sacred space. There’s something magical about that land. Thankful for her quickly arranging for me to stay, hardly knowing me at all! Bless her and her travels.
…to Wayan Eka for his hard work and teaching me how to make banana pancakes. I hope he keeps learning to cook. Grateful to him for reassuring me I was safe with the wooden stick lock!
…to the woman at the Ubud Market who sold me my “magic pants” and jumper. I had so many great laughs at her shop! Thankful to her for creating a beautiful memory with me.
And to everyone else in between who guided me when I needed help, shared a smile, a “halo,” tried their best to speak English with me, and wished me well on my journey. Each person, animal, and place created a miracle with me, allowing me to truly open my heart and love.
Bali, I leave you with a heart overflowing with love and gratitude. See you again soon! XO