At the moment I am in Bali and taking a scooter tour around the island. The plan is to travel for the 2 weeks leading up to my birthday and also traveling within, to hopefully gain some new insights, inspirations and answers. Because of that I am not online as much, so I am sharing about the journey in this blog post.
All entries are collected from Instagram where I post a daily update. Hoping to take you a little bit along and inspire you to also follow your own ideas and intuitions, no matter how crazy or unconventional or uncomfortable they may seem! So here we go:
☆ BALI BY SCOOTER – DAY 1 ☆
So I recently had the crazy idea to take a scooter road trip in the 2 weeks leading up to my birthday. After some doubts- because I also needed to work- I decided to just make my work part of it and to literally go for it as in #yolo.
The idea was to do it on my own, a sort of vision quest. A lot less extreme than the Native Americans would do (lots of beautiful infos about that on google) but with the same intention. Basically a journey to reconnect with myself and hopefully get insights and inspirations for on the journey through life.
My modern day version of it is that I’ll have one social check-in moment per day… as a sign of life for some dear people who asked
And so today was the first day! .
From Sanur to the area of the Bali Safari and Marine Park, just because I was curious as I always saw the sign on the road. But as I read up online and saw how they seem to treat some animals as photo objects I decided not to visit. Having lived in Kenya when I was young, I also find it hard to watch these majestic animals in captivity somehow.
So after some other stops, I went to the beach instead. The first black sand beach so far in Bali! And ended up at apparently the only beach club there. Totally relaxed by a dancing palm leave… (it’s true! If you swipe to the end you can see for yourself in the video)
☆ BALI BY SCOOTER – DAY 2 ☆
And wow… what a day. It started at the one and only local Warung (=small, local restaurant) for my first Indonesian breakfast with rice, egg and veggies. Not bad actually and a good foundation for what turned to be a total of about 4 hours on the scooter. .
As I was embarking on my journey to find my accommodation (note to self: only book guesthouses that are actually on Google maps!), I got a little lost and realized I was really close to a retreat center run by the friend of a friend. So I decided to simply take a look there, also since one of my clients will be hosting a retreat in Bali next year and well, who knows. And the center was so great.
There was also a river running through the property and of course I couldn’t resist diving in, so refreshing after the scooter ride! Then I ended up meditating in the garden and someone joined who was about to give a retreat there soon. We had an inspiring talk and she gave some great Bali tips that changed my loose travel plans a little.
Then on to continue the search-the-guesthouse trip. Feel like I spend most of the day on the scooter but such a retreat with amazing views of rice fields, green mountains and valleys and villages. Then on my phone’s last batteries I managed to message the owner and he picked me up on the main road there. The moment he saw me he said: ‘I saw you at the retreat center today’. Seriouslyyy. #smallworld .
The accommodation indeed turned out to be in the middle of absolutely nowhere… So everyone in the little village was of course staring as I rode by on my scooter, haha. But such a beautiful little oasis here. Perfect timing to go offline and go within again #visionquesting.
☆ BALI BY SCOOTER – DAY 3 ☆
Can’t believe it’s already day 3… and at the same time it’s starting to feel as though I’ve been in the road forever. .
Today the flow took me to Besakih Temple, also called the mother temple as it’s the most important and holy temple of the Hindu religion in Bali. Featuring everywhere the three gods: Brahman (creator), Vishnu (protector), Shiva (destroyer). This time the temple was beautifully decorated in their colors for an upcoming ceremony.
Then on my way to my accommodation (this time it was actually on Google maps!), my battery went empty. As I was contemplating what to do, I drove past a massage salon. Perfect pitstop to recharge my phone’s and my own batteries. When my phone was charged it turned out it was only 12 minutes to the guesthouse I was staying in tonight, which turned out to have an amazing view on the rice field (see images).
I love how traveling magnifies certain areas of your life that need attention. For me it’s the work-life balance and I’m intending to ‘do’ a little less and ‘be’ a little more over the next days. Would love to hear how your work-life balance or which area in your life can use a little attention and intention?
☆ BALI BY SCOOTER – DAY 4 ☆
Woww… today was my favorite day so far. Waking up to a misty sunrise over the rice fields and moving on to a water palace that turns out to be only 2 minutes from my accommodation.
The water palace was amazing… like an Indonesian fairy tale. Especially when a traditionally dresses couple walked around for a photo shoot. The exotic plants included a dancing lotus (see video!).
Upon entering I saw the stepping stones that were just tickling me to walk on them. But nobody did. So after checking if it wasn’t actually prohibited, I started walking. And literally after 5 steps or so everyone around on the stones too. So funny how sometimes someone needs to take the first step. Literally.
It was so hard today to select 10 photos to share as there so many magical moments. There was a little garden corner with gods and goddesses statues. Palmtrees in the water. Huge water lily leaves.
I think I stayed for about 2 hours, meditating and walking around… and left feeling more refreshed than after the sacred temple yesterday. The healing power of natural beauty medicine.
I also recorded a video from the scooter but will share it in another post as there was no more space!! .
Meanwhile I arrived in Amed. A coastal town with a slight Carribbean vibe. My first thought was that this is what Ubud might have been like many years ago… had it been by the ocean. Can’t wait to explore, so soon more…
☆ BALI BY SCOOTER – DAY 5 ☆
Today I had decided to stay in Amed. A nice, relaxed little town by the sea. I really liked it here and was looking forward to some time at the beach.
But… ‘life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’. So in the morning it turned put I couldn’t extend my hotel room because someone had meanwhile booked it. So morning was spent looking for new place and moving (ironically after I had settled a little for the first time!).
The good thing is that the place I found had even better wifi which I’ll be needing this evening as I get to interview one of my awesome social media clients for the last part of her webinar series. Her name is Marya Norell and she does beautiful, transformational, inspirational women’s work. Her latest website and online course (+free registration for webinar) is at: www.blossomingwomen.com.
So that was also part of this day, preparing for the interview/ webinar.
Then as I finally made it to the beach… it started raining. I did have a quick swim though. But also that was ok as I got to a coffee shop with a roof terrace with view on the ocean to do some inspired writing. The photos show though that everything does look better with sunshine…
Theme of the day: ‘When life gives you a lemon, make some lemonade’. Or lemon tea as I’m having right now. .
Highlight of the day: after driving almost 30 min to soothe my coconut water addiction (hadn’t had some in a week! hihi. Luxury problems, I know), I arrived at new place and told them and as I came down… they had somehow managed to find a coconut! So sweet!!! And yummy.
What was your highlight today?
☆ BALI BY SCOOTER – DAY 6 ☆
A rainy day made me stay…
Today I was feeling really exhausted. I had done my first webinar interview with an amazing client, Marya Norell (www.blosssomingwomen.com). It was such a great experience and there is a free webinar replay, it was for women about ‘Flowering Into Your Full Feminine Potential’. But it did involve getting up at 1am (time difference) and some Coca Cola which I hadn’t had in ages and so it kept me up the rest of the night, oops!
Since this scooter trip I is also a vision quest, it means turning inwards for answers, insights and inspiration for life. So apart from the outer journey, there is also the inner journey. Not always fun, as travel seems to magnify certain patterns in life, but so helpful for personal growth, and it has been giving me many insights so far. One of those insights is how easy it is for me to be in ‘doing’ mode and how difficult it is to simply ‘be’. Anyone recognize?
So this morning as I was deciding what to do and where to go that day, there were so many options. Going to the one of the Gili islands spontaneously or to the next stop I had in mind or even back a bit for a beautiful beach that I had missed… or staying in Amed to snorkel (which everyone recommends but… do I really want it)? I know, luxury problems again, but what I am trying to say is that they somehow symbolize the many choices we need to make in life every day. And it can be tiring. There’s even a word for that: decision fatigue!
For me today the rain brought the answer… to stay on Amed one more day… get a massage, rest (or trying to rest despite restlessness), go to new fave rooftop cafe again to work… and wait for hopefully some sunshine (which finally arrived in the late afternoon). The moment I had made the decision to stay, the guesthouse owner asked if I wanted another room and I was like sure, why not. I have been sleeping somewhere else every night so far anyway. This room turned out bigger and smelling like frangipani and with partly ocean view and the sound of waves in the background.
I just choose to see it as a confirmation that this was the right decision, hihi.
☆ BALI BY SCOOTER – DAY 7 ☆
Today was day 7 of my journey. The first week has passed so fast!
It didn’t go entirely as planned. Well, not that I had any concrete plans, but I had definitely not planned to be on the verge of getting ill for the past two days… It started yesterday with feeling really tired the whole day, the rain didn’t really help, and then today it kind of continued. So listening to my body I decided to take it slow and stay in Amed for one more day… not that it’s a punishment or anything!
But it was really hard in many ways as it confronted me with some of my patterns. For instance, it’s really easy for me and I love being on the move. Constantly busy with something, thinking about things, ideas or working on something. And I love my work for sure, but this trip made me clear that I still haven’t really found my work-life balance. Because even though I might be lying on a beach chair like yesterday, my mind is still moving towards work… or deciding what to do the next day… and so I am not really present in the moment and with myself.
That’s what I realized today as I was feeling lonely for the first time, not necessarily because I missed connecting with people because that part is perfect so far, but because I missed connecting with myself.
That’s what I love about traveling though. It is so symbolic for the journey through life. Especially traveling with a conscious intention like on this trip, then almost everything becomes a mirror for life. Of course it’s not just traveling that has this effect. In fact, almost everything can become a symbol for life, whether it is dancing tango or diving, playing golf or driving… everything can teach you something about (your) life as long as you do it with awareness and a conscious intention.
But back to Bali. So this morning I had finally made the ‘tough’ decision to listen to my body and stay in Amed. And as I had breakfast about 5 minutes later, I was talking to the guesthouse owner. He told me about a ceremony today, and I had seen it earlier.on the streets that seemed to be filled with Balinese people dressed in their temple clothing. In fact, I had been thinking to myself that I would love to join such a ceremony once and now, only a little later, the guesthouse owner asks me if I would like to join. Of course!!!
So off we went. On my scooter behind him, we arrived just in time. I wasn’t the only non-Balinese as two French girls were also sitting there and I joined them. They were super nice and gave me some flowers for the ceremony.
The ceremony turned out to be one of the most important ones for the Balinese, called Galungan, when it is believed that the ancestors visit the earth and connect with their families again.
And then the ceremony started. Such a beautiful experience…
It all took place at the family temple with about 50 people including many kids, all dressed up in their festive clothing. it involved holy water and prayer, putting flowers in your hair and burning incense… but what really touched me was the atmosphere. It was so peaceful and it connected with a sense of inner peace which lasted for hours after.
I didn’t want to make photos out of respect but hope that the peaceful atmosphere still comes through in the words.