I arrived safely in Bali! The flights were really not that bad, considering the length. In all, it took us about 26 hours to get from Charlotte to Bali. We’ve been here almost a week now and I feel like I’m just now adjusted to their time. 13 hours (12 after spring forward) is a big change. So we’ve taken it pretty easy to allow ourselves to adjust and are finally settled in our villa, after moving around two different places. It’s half outdoor living and beautiful! Very minimal and simplistic, which is great. We don’t even have a shower curtain. Lol. But we do have a pool, and are 5 minutes from the beach, so I’m not complaining!
I’m really enjoying learning more and more about their culture here. We are in a very touristy area, much more so than I expected. The people here are all so nice. Except they drive like maniacs! The most common transportation is by motorbike, there are so many, everywhere. They don’t have stop signs and I have only seen two traffic lights. There is no speed limit and they drive on the other side of the road, except I’m not really sure anyone knows or cares about what that line in the middle of the road is for… At intersections you just slow down and weave around others, there’s no waiting your turn, it’s everyone’s turn, they’re very aggressive drivers. So with all of this, you can imagine my fear when I learned I would be driving a motorbike around. Yikes. I’ll admit I’m not the best driver to begin with, and that’s in the states with a car. This is a whole other can of worms. But I do feel better about having control driving versus riding on the back of it. So despite my concerns, I’ve been driving it (only in daylight and short destinations), with Van on the back and it’s actually pretty fun! Definitely scary at intersections, but it’s a lot of fun.
Speaking of vulnerability and new experiences, I learned to surf today! The instructor was helpful and clear, I got up on the second try. I have always LOVED the water and swimming. Surfing has been on my wish list for so long, it’s so much fun! Being in the Indian Ocean, the largest body of water in the world, is putting myself in a very vulnerable place. I often resist vulnerability but am experiencing how much I can really gain, with immense freedom, from leaning into the unknown and embracing life as it comes; embracing waves as they crash in and trusting in the stability of my Self.
We’ve also done a lot of walking around. The architecture is really beautiful. There’s a lot of mini temple looking structures all over the city. The local women make these coconut leaf flower baskets with an incense in it every day as an offering to the gods. These baskets are EVERYWHERE!! You really have to watch where you’re going because it’s likely you will step on one. Some are on the ground in the entry ways and some are up higher in these mini temple structures. They’re called “Canang Sari” and are a Balinese and Hindu ritual of giving back to the gods what has been given to you and appreciating the richness of life. They pray three times a day in these sacred places to the gods. It’s really beautiful! We have a whole list of temples that we’d like to see during our time here, one man told us there are hundreds of temples in Bali. We won’t see all of them, but as many as we can!
The yoga here is a little different than in the west. We went to one studio that was absolutely beautiful and practiced in a circle, all facing the center. The teacher practiced with us in the center of the circular room and didn’t talk much. He began with a short meditation focusing on breath retention and then began with asana. There was no air conditioning or fans, only a few windows open. I walked in and first thought, “oh, its traditional, natural hot yoga”. My goodness, it was HOT! But really felt great. He called breath and pose, no alignment cues or theme weaving, because it’s expected that you are already doing your internal practice on your own. So there are very few distractions. Little words and no music, only breath, movement, and an awakening of connection to Self and the Divine.
I really miss my cat, Reesee, but while embracing this journey, I am also looking forward to going to more yoga studios and exploring the culture! We’ve got quite the list of temples to visit, nature to adventure through, and animals to interact with. And of course, more beach and surfing! I will have many stories to share with Reesee, and you all, when I get home. 🙂