As I write this I am sitting on a cafe balcony hovering over the shores of Bingin Beach in Bali, watching bodies float up and down with the currents, watching shadows riding the waves as the sunlight cracks the blue waters open, turning them into diamonds flickering from the distance. I’ve come a long way since I started this journey. It’s been almost a month since I’ve arrived in Indonesia. I’m overflowing with stories I want to share with the world. So much goodness has happened, I feel it about to burst out of me into words and pictures. But I will move backwards slowly, rewinding all the way back to where it all began.
My last week in California had me spinning and flying through time. I blinked then I found myself hugging my mother and sisters at the LAX airport one last time, not knowing when exactly I will see them again. I know I won’t see them for a long time, which is something we’ve all accepted. I’m just another woman following wherever the wind leads. Blink. My sister, my blood, my best friend, wrote me another tragically beautiful letter as I wandered around the airport with salty tears streaming out of my eyes. Blink. I am inside an airplane, somewhere in the stratosphere, beginning my 35-hour journey to Asia of layovers and turbulence. Blink. My five hours in Tokyo was a haze. I sat and edited photos for clients, bobbing my head to my music while a beautiful stranger sleeps by the window in front of me. Blink. I arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the airport was almost completely empty. I look at the space before me and it resembled a starry night sky, I walk around and settle down somewhere to practice yoga under the artificial cosmos. Blink. I watched the sunrise as I walked through the airport, the light unraveling the greens of Malaysia. I thought to myself, I need to come back and explore this country. And I will one day soon. My thoughts are interrupted by a voice echoing through the airport. Blink. Flight to Denpasar Bali is now boarding. Blink.
Here I am now, wide eyed and floating. In the island of the gods.
I come back to Asia the same way a lover slips back into your bed when you’re sleeping. Almost as if they never left. Almost as if you were never apart. They climb into your bed without wanting to disturb you. You wake up and they’re there. Forgetting the time you’ve been apart. Blissfully happy to be together again. That’s how I arrived in Asia. Just like that.
It all rushes in. The sights, smells, sounds, permeate all my senses and come to me, waking me up from the year’s slumber. I walk and feel the weight of my belongings perched on my back with nothing but the seductive unknown before me, waiting for my dive. I feel so god damn alive. My favorite feeling in the world. I am back home. On the road I call my home. And everything is in its perfect place. It always is. No matter what. It all always is.
Gravity pulled me straight to Ubud. The taxi driver sped through the winding roads as I stuck the tip of my nose on the window, looking out the same way I would look out the window as a child. Brimming with childlike wonder and curiosity, I get out of the taxi and walk into the community, saying Selamat Pagi to the locals I come across. I walk into this brick compound with colorfully painted walls, gardens, yoga space, hammocks, and people with good energy.
My days flow like honey. I ride with the boys up north to the mountains. We flew through perfectly manicured rice fields and carved through rugged, windy roads in search of beautiful lakes and waterfalls to explore. I put my earphones on, set my music on shuffle and each song perfectly matched the scene as if we were in a film. Music flooded down my spine. I clung onto the back of the bike with one hand and set the other one free and let the wind lead. I tilted my head back as I watched my hair dance around clouds and trees, breaking the sunbeams as Ollie speeds to catch Arthur and Serbam, dodging the onrush of traffic coming straight at us. I smile and watch everything unravel before me. All in its blissfuly chaotic perfection.
Each day has its own rhythm. Rooster crows wake me up in the morning. I do my yoga & meditation routine. Serban makes us Jasmine green tea. Lena sings beautifully in French as she makes herself breakfast. I go to our neighbors and they make me a delicious meal or walk around the village and eat at the local warung. The same lady walks up to me everyday and holds my face and my hands and says things to me in Indonesian I cannot understand. But I understand her kindness. Met with two lovelies, Nirrimi and Rose one night and ate raw food and mouthgasmic raw chocolate desserts as we chatted about our lives and giggled our way through dinner. Most of daytime is spent with the boys riding and carving through Northern Bali’s curves, chasing mountains, volcanoes, falls, lakes, ancient temples until the light turns into gold then we go back to the community at sundown. I fall in love more and more with Bali as each day passes. It’s starting to feel like home.
I’ve had to pinch myself a few times since I’ve been here. Sometimes it’s hard to decipher if this is just a dream or if it’s reality. I feel like I’m floating in and out of a delicious reverie. Then I bring myself back to my breath, to the present moment, to here, to being alive and smiling at life carving itself beautifully in front of me.
Bali is constantly brimming with magic. And I’ve only graced through the ripples.