Traveling is truly one of the most transformational things people can do for themselves. Whether you travel near or far, there’s a guarantee you won’t feel the same or be the same. It’s been two months since I left Bali, and I still think and dream about it every day.
Thanks to technology, I have all my memories saved as a constant reminder every day to keep my transformation alive. Combined, the boys and I have thousands of photos from our trip and hours of footage recorded on Alvin’s GoPro. In addition, I have a day-to-day diary of my trip that I’ve documented via this blog, with very detailed (sometimes redundant) descriptions of what went on and how we were feeling.
So coming home, I made sure to do two things. First, make a photo album with all my favorite photos from our trip (which was really hard because I had so many pictures of monkeys and bowls of curry that I wanted to include). 200 photos definitely didn’t feel like enough to capture 6-weeks worth of travel, but my album turned out absolutely perfect. Second, make a travel video. I hadn’t dabbled in any video editing in years, but I was ready to tackle the project. I sifted through hours worth of footage and Alvin selfies, and was able to condense our trip into twelve minutes. Watching the video was like reliving a dream. I wasn’t sure it really happened or of the places we visited were real.
Back to transformation… I’ll admit, it’s really easy to forget. I wanted to travel because I intended to find myself and recreate purpose within me. A month after being back home, I found myself already lost in my own confusion and self-doubt. Luckily, I took the time to put all the things I’ve learned and all the memories I’ve made into an album and a video. Every time I find myself in my own pit of negative thoughts, I come back to the great memories I made, not dwelling on the past, but using it as a reminder of how great my future can be.
For anyone traveling or planning on traveling, I highly recommend taking the time to put together an album with your favorite photos, or recording footage for you to show your friends and family when you get back home. And don’t procrastinate! The longer you wait, the more likely you’re never going to do it. So this should be the first thing you do when you get back from traveling. I promise it’ll be worth your time.
Turns out we came to Bali at a pretty good time. All week, the locals have been preparing to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day in people’s homes, at temples, and pop-up night markets.
We started our day with some spontaneous snorkeling at the beach near our Villa. We haven’t been in water in about a week (which for us feels like forever), so we were excited to get back in there. A man and his wife picked us at 8AM up on two motorbikes and took us to the beach. We got in his boat, that looked just like a Philippine banka (boat), except without bamboo sticks. We drove out on what seemed like the calmest water. There were hardly any waves and a very light tide. We snorkeled for about an hour with hundreds of fish right beside and below us. Our boat captain through some bread into the water and the fish went crazy and swarmed right under us, which kind of freaked me out because I’m secretly afraid of fish.
From Lovina we moved to Singaraja, just one city away. We got to Warung Bamboo, our Airbnb, a little early so we had lunch and I FINALLY got my wifi fix. I also finally got to have more Indonesian curry, which I had been avoiding since my case of the Bali Belly. We tried renting motorbikes, but couldn’t because they were all booked in the area. We took this as a sign of just needing to lay back and chill. So I posted more to the blog, while Josh and Alvin were reading and hanging back as well. Josh and I eventually walked 20-meters down to the beach where we sat on rocks and read to each other. We waited for sunset, but it was too cloudy and the sun was barely peeping through.
For our night’s festivities, we wanted to check out the local night market. We didn’t know that there was actually a huge celebration going on for Independence Day, and that the night market our driver was taking us to was actually one that only happens once a year. It was a pretty cool surprise, because hundreds of locals were there celebrating. There were street food vendors, merchants, carnival rides, games, and live music and dancing at the big main stage. We walked around and tried some potatoes (which looked safe to eat) and we’re glad we got to say we tried something. We sat and watched a group of young boys perform Balinese music. Josh was really amazed by them, and even wanted to buy their CD (which we weren’t sure they had).
We walked around more and bought stuff for super cheap. Everything was sold at the local price, so incense was only 5,000 IDR for a pack of 60 incense sticks, which was a bargain compared to vendors who sell to tourists. We bought some massage oils and medicinal oils as well for a very cheap price. Going around here was a lot different than in the tourist areas. There were barely any English speaking vendors, which was great because it forced us to learn how to say “Aji kuda niki?”, meaning “How much?”. The boys and I definitely came to Bali at a very good and eventful time.