I have tried writing posts that are more segmented throughout my trip but I can't seem to find the time to focus and finish them. (I know... how could I possibly be saying I can't find the time?!). When I'm not doing yoga you can find me drinking tea on my balcony, sitting by a pool/the ocean or eating (probably eating), but somehow I just don't feel like writing. But here is a short little recap of each spot and hopefully the pictures will load (a constant struggle with this app) and they can give a better impression of my time here.
Sanur - first stop on the trip. I spent the days on a quiet area of the beach and became a regular at the restaurant next door. One day a new girl was working and she tried to sit me down with a middle aged man who was also alone, and both of us looked at each other and were like "oh no- we're not together". The rest of the staff started laughing and gave the server a hard time for the next few days. Who knows - perhaps it could've turned out to be a lovely dinner date and the beginning of the servers career as a professional matchmaker but that was not the case. Regardless, I really enjoyed my time relaxing and checking out the Indonesian food which is definitely my new favourite. I returned to Sanur in the middle of my trip and at the end of my trip to break up the yoga and enjoy a few beach days. There were free surfing lessons one day and it was so much fun! I actually was able to stand up and stay on the board for a while and it made me so happy. But on the last wave I twisted my knee weird so now I'm back to being a grandma which is unfortunate! But still I can't really complain.
Nusa Lembongan - I took the 30 minute boat here with the hopes of going scuba diving to see manta rays. It turned out it was an AMAZING spot and I saw 9 different manta rays all swimming around the area at one time. It was probably my favourite dive to date, although I feel very fortunate with all of my diving experiences so far! One of the guys I was diving with had this amazing underwater camera and he sent me a couple of pictures so you can check them out! Way more detail than the ones on my GoPro.
On the boat trip over I met Megan from Colorado and we stuck together on the island. One day we explored on bicycles (I thought she was renting motorbikes so I quickly had to overcome my fear of bikes) and it was a great way to spend the day. Casually cruising around, sneaking in to cool off in an infinity pool that overlooked the beach, grabbing a smoothie overlooking the seaweed farms, and going over this tiny bridge to get to Nusa Penida.
The rest of the time there I relaxed on the beach! (Bet you wouldn't have guessed that).
Ubud - While in Ubud I moved hotels five times... I guess I secretly like unpacking and repacking. All of the places were nice and served their purpose; one was nextdoor to yoga, one allowed me to have the puppy, one was very quiet a quick bike ride away from yoga, and the other two were good transitions and close to all that I needed. It also helped me to see more of Ubud and try out different restaurants. #priorities
I discovered a couple weeks before arriving that The Yoga Barn was undergoing renovations and not offering their month unlimited pass, so I went to Radiantly Alive instead. Although I've heard great things about Yoga Barn I couldn't be more happy with how things turned out. Radiantly Alive has amazing teachers, they offer a wide range of classes (including a roll and release class - basically exactly what I need since I haven't used my foam roller in the last four months), it's in a great location and has such a good vibe. I was going to two or three classes a day and never got sick of it.
One of the teachers there has really inspired me in so many different ways... She recommended the complaint free challenge (which I can tell is helping me become more positive), and she always puts things into perspective. At one of the meditation classes she runs she mentioned how she lost her brother two years ago in an accident. I was already emotional as she discussed being grateful for all that we have (something I'd recently been feeling immensely) and then she mentioned that. I immediately felt connected and we had a great talk after class about life and death and carrying on after tragedy... It was so powerful for me to see someone who had gone through something similar and yet continued to live such a positive life when she could have chosen differently. She has inspired me to continue trying to live my best life not only for myself but for Derek too.
I also got to experience Nyepi, the day of silence. The night before there was a huge celebration with all these handmade sculptures of demons. I don't fully understand the holiday but I know that the day of silence was meant to trick any of the bad spirits. Since it was quiet and no one was moving then the spirits would think the island was empty and they would leave. Tourists are allowed to move within their hotel grounds, but no one could go out onto the road. No lights are allowed outside at nighttime too so this made for a beautiful view of the stars. This was my last full day with Roscoe so we just hung out and I read some Harry Potter to him in my horrible British accent (mainly reading the parts involving Dobby).
After enjoying lots of time to myself for yoga and reflecting it was really nice to be joined by some friends for a while! Amanda, who I met volunteering with elephants in Sri Lanka, came with her friend Garrett from Alaska. It was great seeing a friendly face and seeing her around at yoga classes! She joined me in eating too many desserts and even found a place with a movie theatre and popcorn!! How hadn't I discovered this yet in my 3 weeks there?!
Alix and Cielle also arrived in Ubud at the same time. One afternoon the three of us took a cooking class where we got to make a bunch of Indonesian dishes (and then ate ourselves into a food coma), and the next day we rented a van to tour us around. We saw the rice terraces, a waterfall, and then we went down to the coast to see Tanah Lot Temple which is on the ocean. We watched the beautiful sunset before driving back to Ubud for a late dinner. It was really fun joining in on some touristy things that I otherwise wouldn't have done because I didn't want to go alone... and it was nice seeing faces from home all the way around the world!
"Roxy" aka Roscoe - this little guy gets his own section cause he was so darn cute. I saw him on my first day volunteering as a dog walker at BAWA... He was sitting in his own little cage and he looked so sad since he had almost no fur. I was drawn to him right away so I spent some of the time cuddling him and staring into his cute little eyes. I decided to switch hotels so that I could foster him, excited to see how much he'd heal in a home environment with some extra love and care.
Unfortunately, like most puppies, he barked a lot whenever I left and the people at the hotel next door complained. Instead of having him for three weeks it ended up being just one, but already there was progress with his fur and his energy! He was the sweetest puppy ever, and by the end of the week he was learning how to play and we would chase each other around my room. He loved being held and whenever I picked him up he didn't squirm at all, just relaxed and sat there. And somehow he was already potty trained! So no work there. 👍🏽
He will make a great addition to a family so I really hope he finds a good one! And as much as it was hard to leave him I think it might have been a blessing because we were both becoming too attached... Another two weeks and I may have brought him with me to Australia and we can only imagine how that would've gone!
Bali Spirit Festival - what an amazing experience! I feel so blessed that I won tickets to be a part of this! Because of my knee I wasn't able to do many of the yoga classes... I still tried some but it was kind of difficult to do transitions or any of the lunges/warrior poses. But there were so many cool seminars and workshops going on so I was able to check out lots of those! There were some really powerful meditation and breath work classes that really brought upon a new state of mind. There were also lots of women only classes about feeling empowered and secure with ourselves. The importance of love and positivity was apparent in everything and you could feel it in the energy there. I felt comfortable opening up to people and sharing thoughts and feelings which is huge for me... And I even danced around sober and enjoyed it! That is crazy! But it was such a welcoming, open place with no judgement so I felt comfortable to be myself.
Each evening there were different dancers and musicians performing too. My attention had actually been brought to the whole festival because Nahko and the Medicine for the People was headlining so I was excited to get to see them live! The messages in all of their songs are meaningful and important and it's such feel good music. It was the greatest ending to my 5 days at the festival! I'm so happy and grateful I got to be a part of this! I also met lots of amazing people throughout the festival and it's always nice to hear people's stories and passions and learn about the great things they are doing for this world. Overall it was such a powerful and motivational festival to be at, and an amazing way to end my time in Bali!