Just recently I had been working online doing graphic design. While in the past I chose to only do it for the fun of it and I chose who I worked with so that I can ensure the funness of it all. I had been working for this company for 5 months. It was for a new boutique hotel and they required many things. Sure I have no problem doing these things and some were very challenging but I was open and willing to make it all happen.
I took off a couple of days for New Years Eve and Day. I went outta town without my laptop and realized how exhausted I was and how miserable I was. I hadn’t been able to focus on myself at all. Sure a little self care here and there but nothing like I am used to. It was in that moment, solely because I had 2 days of not working, that I realized that I was no longer having fun and I missed ME.
I told my boyfriend that when I get back I am going to tell them that I am leaving so I can figure out what it is I really need to do. I really don’t like confrontation but it had to be done. Of course the people I work for are so amazing and super supportive so I was feeling guilty for hanging them out to dry but I really needed to focus on self and my future. Not to mention my time was up at the place I was living so I needed to move out as well.
For me, I am one who likes to start things on a Monday and I love when the numbers align. I had come to realize that the beginning of the year started with a full moon and at the end of January was a full moon. I was so excited to come to that realization that I decided that I would leave this position at the end of January and start focusing on me in February. Which gets even better because Feb 1st is a monday! And the full moons for me are about releasing and letting go.
So I claimed February 1st as my New Year and New Years Eve I moved out and went to the beach for a BBQ and a beautiful sunset.
I am typically aware of what goes on in my life and what is happening with me; but during that transit, I couldn’t see anything till I stopped for those couple of days and became aware. I realized I was no longer following my heart’s desires. I was not put on this planet to do graphic design. I do that because it brings me joy until it doesn’t. That’s when I realized I was done and by becoming aware of this I have the power to change it.
My suggestion to you all, next time you feel something just isn’t right, take the time to become aware of why. Become aware of the emotions you feel when you think of what is happening, your attitude towards it, your sleeping and your eating behaviors’. Those are all clues that you are not in alignment with what you are supposed to be doing…which is following your heart. Trust your intuition, it will never steer you wrong.
Awareness is key, it’s the first step to a happier self. Only you have the power to change….
I am so beyond grateful to have been able to take the ride to the East Coast. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to ride there via motorbike. I went with my friend Jason, whom I met in Ubud when I first got here. I left my home in Semyniak and we met in Canggu.
We left somewhere around 10.30-11. It was a hot morning. My first ride following for a long ride. I was excited to take it all. My friend likes to fly, I am so used to cruising; I did my best to keep up, because I most definitely didn’t want to lose him.
We rode through Denpasar and the last time I rode through there I was on a gojek and so glad I wasn’t driving. So today I went, surprisingly I was quite relaxed cruising through the heavy traffic of the city. It seemed like forever we were in city limits, but when we finally made it out I could breathe better.
We took the coastal route as it is less traffic and trucks. But there were still many and had to be careful of their presence. When we were finally able to see the coast the roads got smaller and moved to one lane of traffic. Some spots were open road and then there were congested areas. I have learned to pass vehicles when this happens, otherwise it will take you triple the time to get to where you are going. We stopped half way in a place called Candidasa. Beautiful place, we stopped at a little warung and had lunch. I had chicken satay with rice, the peanut sauce was sooo good! We sat there for probably about an hour, resting our rumps. That was a long hard ride. I had to figure out how to sit on the bike so that my butt didn’t hurt.
We headed out and continued our travels. We rode through small villages, mountains and rice fields on one side and ocean on the other. Breathtaking. I had to contain myself from looking in every which direction because I was still driving.
We pulled over at a temple and Jason pulled out his drone. He got some incredible footage of the temple. Where as all I could get was shots between trees. The Temple was closed, like everything else but you can still feel the presence of amazement. We were standing on the side of the road for probably 20 mins. Our feet were on fire from being in the sun. So we left.
We started riding through the mountains. Wow… I wish I had a go pro for riding because it was so beautiful. The whole ride. We rode through some very small villages, seeing dogs, chickens, cows, pigs, cats, and monkeys. Granted you see those animals almost everywhere but this was the first time I saw little piggies. It was fun to see the monkeys while riding on the bikes. Last time I saw monkeys I was in the monkey forest and in a car driving through the mountains up north.
We stopped at a little spot my friend knew about, a small temple that overlooks a little island. As we pulled into the area, there were people dressed for ceremony. I felt like we were intruding so we kind of stayed back and found another spot to gaze out. It was cool to watch everyone prepare. They were so kind and all smiles. I am absolutely in love with this place and the people and culture.
We didn’t want to disturb them so we left and continued our adventure… We rode through more windy roads and small villages and then we came across this…
We stopped at a few different places to see if any hotel/ bungalows/ homestays were open. The first several were closed. But this is the view from one of them..
We eventually came to one that was open, we just so happen to be the only guests. We had a nice little room and the place was on the beach. At this time the beaches were closed so we had to be aware of the times we went on the beach.
If you are a fisherman you are allowed. The authorities would come around and check in with places and make sure everything is in order.
We were lucky enough that the authorities already came by so we were able to go for a walk on the beach and watch sunset. So we took a walk and we went around the bend and there was Mount Agung…So beautiful..
So magnificent. We found a spot and hung out.
We walked back and the host made us fresh mahi mahi. OMG so good! We hung out for the rest of the evening star gazing. During this time I had come to the realization that what I truly want out of life is a simple life.
Through many conversations and observations I see the Balinese live in the moment. They are grounded and dedicated. Many only have what they need and don’t need more. After being here for as long as I have, living out of my bags, I don’t need much. All I really need is what I have with me. Of course I’ve picked up some things along the way, I have everything I need.
The next big question is what does that look like? What will fill my time? What is it that I want to do with this life? These are the next questions I have been asking myself.
Today I leave Ubud and head to Saba to meet Aric. Today we are heading to Turtle Island and Uluwatu Temple. First I need to figure out how to leave Ubud as Nyepi Day just ended and mostly everything in town is still closed. In Ubud, Gojeks and other Uber type transportation is frowned upon, so having a driver comes in handy or usually the hotel can help you out. I did try anyways for a Gojek just to see if anyone was around, that was a big fat no. So I contacted Rai whom I have been using and gratefully he only lived 15 mins down the road in Ubud.
Saying goodbye to the new staff, as the staff for the past 2 days left sun up, I was happy to leave this isolation and ready for a new one. As I was walking through the property another snail made his presence known and I said so long to him as well.
I was walking down the alley way where they were doing construction, I stopped and noticed all the bamboo holding everything up, I can’t help but wonder if it’s actually part of the construct of the building or if it’s just temporary. Either way, it was very interesting to see. I made it to the the end of the street and Rai was just pulling up.
It was about 30- 45 min drive to Sanur. There was hardly traffic, we made it there by 930am which allowed me 30 mins to chill and drop off all my belongings.
10 am sharp Arik’s driver came with a friend and we took off immediately on our adventure. It seemed as though the drive took forever, I had no idea where we were vs where we were going. I just knew to go with the flow and have some fun, which is exactly what I did. We finally pull up to this place called Bali Coral Dive and Water Sport.
No one was there except the people working and locals hanging out. We seemed to be the only tourists around, in South Kuta.
Aric was doing all the negotiating with the price and wanting to include his driver Eka and friend Ayu. When everything was finalized we hopped in a boat off shore and cruised around to the other side. Where we were greeted by a woman. We were told it’s an island, but it’s not and that was ok.
We walk in and there are like basins where a few really large turtles stay and looking beyond that in a pond kinda deal were tons of other turtles. First of all, we were the only people there, so we had the whole place to ourselves. We hung out and fed the turtles, she said they release them into the wild and for a month and bring them back (which doesn’t really make sense to me- but what do I know about turtles).
She guides us over to cages on the other side, which were birds, bats, and a muskrat. For those of you who know me, I was mortified for these creatures. I had no idea that it was going to be like this. I don’t believe in cages for animals and especially flying creatures. But I was there and I went along with it, I thanked them all for allowing me to take pictures and I sent them all love and light. It was neat to see these creatures up close and personal, but I felt sad.
We were there for about 30 mins and it was time to go back, the boat ride was like 10 to 15 mins. Aric asked the guy if he could drive and they let him, he was stoked. We get back to shore and realize how hungry we were. We pulled over at a restaurant that was still open, the only one, and had a big lunch. It was so good.
After lunch I was looking both ways to cross the street and realized no one is anywhere. Very rare sight for where we are, but I am sure everyone around the world can identify. We began our drive again towards the Uluwatu Temple. When we finally pulled up to the gate, there were road blocks and guards making sure no one enters. Uluwatu Temple is a Hindu temple which is one of 6 ley lines in Bali.
Uluwatu Temple, the Rainbow Serpent (Great Female Dragon), is the starting point of the ley lines where the energy passes through and is purified. Earth is represented here at the Uluwatu Temple. ~Jodi Louise
As we had to turn around we began driving back to Saba. We tried to find anything open, including Padang Padang Beach, it to was closed. But we were able to stop and check out the view. We saw little monkeys playing in the trees and swinging onto the beach, it was awesome. A picture perfect place, only to be seen from the bridge.
When we left here there was a huge temple that you can see all the way from Canggu. We saw it as we were driving and Eka thought we would like to see it, since we couldn’t see Uluwatu Temple. He took us as close as he could, as the actual temple itself was closed as well. We went a little off roading and came to a clearing next to an abandoned hotel.
After this stop we made it to the grocery store. Eka thought we might want to check out this particular grocery store. We walked in and it was like walking into a version of whole foods, everything all fancy. But they didn’t have a very wide selection of veggies, but the fruit… We walked around looking for everything we may need for the next couple of days before moving again. We ended up spending $34 USD for 2 hamburg patties (huge), pound of bacon (freshly sliced), watermelon, eggs, pocari sweat, lettuce, onions, bananas. dragon fruit, snakeskin fruit, honey, ginger, candy, and smokes. Quite amazing, the place was more for tourists and expats as it was higher priced than the local warungs (which are also little shops and some sell food. I am learning as I go).
We finally made it back and we were exhausted and hungry, especially after grocery shopping. We sat back and relaxed for a few minutes before getting started in the kitchen cooking. When we finally did, we made this awesome dinner that was so good and all fresh ingredients. I was stoked, for all of you who know me, it brings me zero pleasure in cooking; Then I came to Bali….everything here is good and I enjoy figuring out how to cook new things and I actually eat tons of fruit and don’t mind peeling or cutting or anything. Even the salads here are so much better. Everything is better when you are in Bali.
For the record, I have misspelled Aric’s name thus far. I changed what I could find but I do apologize…lol
Today I woke up and I was tired. I got out of bed at 530am. I was awake at 445 but I was tired. I think subconsciously my energy was sad that we were leaving the most beautiful place I have ever been too. My emotions were heavy hearted.
I got up and finished packing and the girls made me a delicious breakfast as usual. I showered and laid down in bed until about 915 because my driver, Rai was to come and pick me up at 930. I just laid there resting my eyes and couldn’t sleep, so I got up at 915 and to my demise my driver was sitting downstairs hanging out on his phone. Gratefully he hadn’t been waiting long at all.
I gave him a tour of the treehouse, said my see you laters to the girls and we went on our way. We made a few pitstops on the way to Kuta. The first being immigration office, as the world is shutting down I need to know what I can do to stay. I went to the one in the north, I knew that one would not be busy at all. The one in Kuta, that would be crazy busy. Rai took me and helped me figure out how to get seen. I waited patiently as I only had 3 people in front of me. Whe I finally got up there they told me there was a restriction till March 30th. So I plan on making my plans and then calling back on the 31st. And see if they have lifted the restrictions. Otherwise they say I need to leave by April 9th. That is not going to happen. I am supposed to be here and I’m just gonna go with the flow. Everything always works out…
After we left there we went to Gigit Waterfalls. It was very beautiful but nothing compared to the Blue Lagoon and the waterfalls there after. Rai didn’t come on the tour with me, which I was bummed by because he’s cool and extremely helpful. I had another guide who was cool, Ketut.
As I have been here for a week, I have learned that Ketut means that the person named Ketut was the fourth born. The first is Gday (Gede), second is Kadek, third born is Komong and the fourth is Ketut.
Our walk to the waterfall was short and sweet, however it is well over commercialized and what I mean is that there are so many little shops on the way down and back up and they will not stop harassing you. I say that because we walked by so many women and children trying to sell me stuff (as I was basically the only one there, due to corona virus). After we walked by so many apparently we came up on his own family’s shop and said to me, if you decide to buy something then we would appreciate your business. I told him I didn’t need anything but I would love to help out, as everyone is hurting for business.
When we get to the waterfall, breathtaking. So beautiful, it was too chilly and about to rain to actually get in the water. I just wanted to take some pictures and sit back and enjoy it. He asked to take pictures of me, which was something I do’t hear like ever and was hesitant by his words. But I gave in and was totally stoked to have someone take a picture of me. My last guide did too and I was glad for that. However I am not an instagram photogenic person. I’m so used to being behind the camera, so when the time came for pics I stood there awkwardly. lol. It’s fine…something I am going to work on…
As we made our trek back he reminded me that his family’s shop was right here so I decided to look around anyways. Knowing I need nothing, a woman can always find something. And I did. I found a beautiful batik sarong purple and gold…I saw it and said I LOVE that. she tried selling me pants and a tank top which I knew I did not need. I kept looking and saw bags. I actually did need a bag so I didn’t have to continue to take my backpack everywhere. I began to make a pile. Which included the honesty fruit tea, mangosteen and tumeric. I wanted to make the same drink the girls were making me at the treehouse (I call them girls because they are young and this was there first job). I finish my pile and I ask how much, she tells me 900k rps. Which I’ve been here for a week and know that is way too much. I tell her I only have a certain amount. she kept on, I said no thank you and tried to walk out. Apparently everyone but me knows not to buy anything when going to places like that. I really thought I was helping his family, but then she got aggressive. I said 200k and that is that. She gave it to me because I was probably going to be the only tourist feeding into her. Meaning, that would be the only money she makes that day and with everything going on, probably the only money she will make for a while. I wasn’t trying to be rude but 900k is criminal.
We finally got back to the car and I was so happy to see Rai! We left the mountain in a heavy down pour. Still saw monkeys and dogs all over the road. Our next stop was supposed to be the rice terraces but it was raining buckets and there was no way we were getting out to walk around. So he took me to this restaurant that over looked rice terraces. Wow…and we got to stay dry. For me, that was priceless. Sure it would’ve been amazing to go see but It was cold rain. We had a buffet and I had a glass of wine. They say that when you have a driver that takes you distance like that, it’s customary to buy them lunch. I definitely have no problem doing that. He’s been super amazing. He took me to all these amazing places and didn’t add the detours to the bill.
Again, pouring buckets we pull up to the famous candi bentar, in front of the golf course. He was telling me that normally there is a line about an hour long just to take a picture. We pulled up and I shot a picture from the car. Not the same but for me it’s all about my eyes seeing beauty, not necessarily the camera. It was beautiful, but they are literally everywhere in Bali. So I didn’t feel guilty for not getting out and taking an instagram pic.
We then went to this beautiful temple on the water, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. Wow, incredible. Again I was told that there is usually no parking and the wait is more than an hour, normally. Today, it was empty according to Rai. We walked around and took some pictures and then it started down pouring. Everyone ran for cover. I had my nice camera out so Rai and both ran too. We all huddled under the canopy where they prepare their offerings. I sat there looking at all the offerings, ducks, chickens, and others. I asked how they do it and during the ceremony they slit their throats.
It slowly stopped down pouring but was still raining. Rai and I both agreed that we were not going to melt in the rain so we walked out and took some more pictures. On our way out I wanted a picture between the candi bentar. My phone had died so Rai was pulling out his phone for me and while that was happening a group of women from Jakarta jumped in the center and started taking pictures. I was standing watching them and they looked at me and motioned me to come in the picture with them. I laughed and was so happy too. I got in the picture and we all went our separate ways. Rai told me that they were from Jakarta and they were going to go home and tell everyone how excited they were to take a picture with a foreigner. I had no idea… but I love it. He said because nobody is here, they haven’t seen many tourists.
We continued on our journey to Kuta. It was a beautiful drive, through the country side and through all the villages. We entered the city and I knew it. The energy, the air and so many people. I was taken back and I guess not ready to leave the mountains. I miss it a lot.
We made it to the hotel and Rai and I looked at each other and we were like, wow this place is fancy! Lol. We went our separate ways once again. I went to my room, 108=9. Loved it, except that the tv was on and it was crazy loud. I immediately turned it off, and laid down. I was so tired. I was to meet a fellow GLT’r for dinner somewhere in the evening. So I took a nap for 40 mins and got dressed and ready to go.
I downloaded the GoJek app and was on my way. GoJek is the Uber of Indonisia, only they have motor bikes and cars. I ordered a bike. My third ride of my journey. We met at a spot called Lia Cafe. Literally on the beach. It was awesome and she was cool. I loved meeting her from a facebook group! That was awesome. In order to get back to we had to walk down the street to the main road and only then can we order a gojek. I finally found my driver, or actually he found me.
Made it back to the hotel and sat by the pool for a bit longer and went to bed. I so appreciated the air conditioning and the clean bed I was about to dive into.
Today I woke up at 5am, seems to be a theme for me here. I stepped out onto the front triangle deck and pulled out the thai mat, meditated and did sun salutations as the sun rose. In the valley of the waterfall, which is beneath me, I can hear the sounds of a man singing somewhere along the valley lines. It was quite beautiful and tranquil.
Today was my day to just sit in peace and do me. I had no desire to go anywhere, as my legs are ridiculously sore from trek the previous day. Side note; I woke up at 2am and had to use the restroom which is downstairs. I cannot tell you how painful that was! So I took a shower and had some delicious breakfast and relaxed.
I opened all the doors and windows in my treehouse and let the air flow through. When the sun came out I would go and sit out there and bask in it. I spent most of my day going through all of my pictures from the waterfalls. It was so wonderful.
Lunch time came around and my new friend, Vipin, and I were to go have lunch; But then the rain came and it poured buckets…much like it is at this moment. And I ran downstairs and played in it…It was magical!
The rain finally came to a halt and we were set free. Vipin and I went to lunch at the koi pond. It was so pretty and green. The fish were happily fed as was Vipin and I. We hung out there for a bit and meandered back to the houses.
Vipin wanted to show me the other cottage in the rice fields so off we went on the motor bike. I enjoyed the ride, we are in a small village so there isn’t traffic everywhere like in Ubud. We drove country side and came to the property. It was quite amazing, staying in this little villa. The view was astounding. It was placed on the bottom of the fields, so all you see is rice fields- going up.
When we left we took a cruise through the rest of the village and came back. Where I picked up where I left off, on my computer. Just as dinner was being served, Vipin comes to me with a message talking about cancellations and such. So I start doing my research as I am eating. I am to go to Cambodia for 2 weeks on the 20th.
I find all my flight info and found that Cambodia closed it’s doors to tourists. So now I am in a panic, trying to figure out how to cancel my flight and get a refund; and then I realized I did not get a VOA when I arrived because I was going to Cambodia. VOA is visa on arrival. Which is if you want to stay past 30 days. Which now I will be. hahaha…nervous laughter at that time.
I start calling my mom and emailing my dad and contacting the airline. Then I stopped.
I said to myself, “Self, what are you doing, this is why we didn’t plan anything. It’s all about the adventure, the journey, the excitement of what is going to happen next. Everything happens for a reason and it is ALWAYS for your greatest and highest good. You might not be able to see it but it’s a fact. You already trust the process, and this is no different.”
So with having that little chat with myself I was able to get some rest, with ease and grace.