The Island of Gods

Bali, Bali, Baliiiiiiiiiiii –– The Island of Gods

Sooo I am truly, madly, deeply in love with Bali. I mean like head over heels!!

The crazy thing is that, in theory, I was not supposed to be in Ubud right now, according to my plans. But yeah who was I fooling trying to have a plan and expecting it to work out just as I had set it out? This was the first lesson and it took place months before I arrived.

I wanted to be in India from January to March but things did not work out and so for some reason the Universe wanted me here. I can’t be grateful enough.

Now, I can’t imagine a better place to start this new adventure. By adventure I don’t only mean my travels but my journey inside. The adventure of getting to know myself better than ever before, learning to love my own company, and opening myself up to a new way of life.

 Photo Credits: Ivana Kojic

Photo Credits: Ivana Kojic

Like I mentioned before I have never really traveled “solo” with no friends or family meeting me somewhere. Although I consider myself to be very open to change, new people & places, I have to admit it was scary at first. At some point I had several episodes of self doubt: if I was going to make friends, if I would find comfort in spending so much time alone, if I was going to like my new teachers..I don’t know just so many things eventually crossed my mind.

You know, the mind always trying to mess with you.

I did not let these things really get to me though, I observed them and let them pass as if in meditation. I kept my hopes and spirit high and set out to make the best out of every moment and luckily Ubud made it very easy.

—- Ubud is the Balinese town I’ve been living at for the past three weeks —

This place is mystical, warm (in climate as well), and so incredibly beautiful in so many ways.

Here you can see and feel the beauty, The way the town is build around jungle and rice fields is so unique and special. But the energy is hard to put into words. It is just so extraordinary. It makes me feel inspired, safe, happy, and motivated at the same time. It has shown me to trust that everything will be ok and that contentment with the present moment is the biggest gift you can give to yourself.

 

I’ve not been the best “tourist” in Bali and have definitely missed many of the “must go” places but honestly the places I have found within me are 1000 times more authentic and magical.

You will not find pictures of me in the incredible waterfalls known to Bali because I did not go. Instead I found myself in an empty river being blessed by a local healer without even asking for it or playing with local kids in a local dam having a real balinese experience without any other tourists, just me and a friend.

I did not pay to go see the local dances you might find online but I went to a wood carving workshop and had a one on one session with a local master.

I did not really go shopping for elephant pants and colourful shorts but I did (one time) wake up at 4 am to be at the food market by 5am to shop for fresh goods with all the local people. This is a market that only takes place from around 4:30 am to about 7:30 am and after that it all disappears and becomes the mecca for souvenir shopping in Ubud.

Probably the most authentic experience I had was attending a beautiful ceremony in my neighbourhood temple. I was invited by the Balinese family I rent the house from. They dressed me up and very proudly took me along with them to the neighbourhood temple and guided me through the whole thing. It was so unexpected and  so so soo special .

I have indulged in delicious food: fresh fruits & vegetables, local cuisine, everything from raw vegan to vegan buffets, and oh so many desserts. I will miss the Durians, the dragon fruit, the $3.75 all you can eat buffet, and simply having too many options to choose from! The food was definitely a highlight here in Ubud.

Some of my favorites: Moksa, Dayu’s Warung, Yellow Flower, Sayuri’s Healing Food, Tuki’s Coconut Shop (best coconut ice cream ever), the unnamed Daily Vegan Buffet next to Veggie Karma, Seniman Coffee, Seeds of Life, Sari Organik, and Kafe! These are only a few of the hundreds one can choose from. Also the local Warungs are very good, cheap, and have many veg options.

What also makes this place beyond incredible is the people.

The people  that are attracted to this place are (mainly) amazingly open, loving and kind. Also, the locals are the nicest people I have ever met; always smiling and laughing and trying to make you feel at home.

— I mean like everywhere in the world you can find some bad vibing individuals but you learn to stay away. You learn to be sensible to the energy you wish to avoid and the one you want to be around.

Within my second day here I had already made amazing friends and another lesson I learned very fast is that I didn’t need many, I just needed the right ones. I’d like to mention that I am the only latina almost everywhere, which is also a first for me, and it feels nice because I am hanging out with people with backgrounds completely different to mine and we have become an awesome tribe. They are not only my friends now but they have been my teachers in so many ways. They have inspired and motivated me, they have showed me different ways to look at life, and have helped me understand what areas in my life I can work to make better. . I am so fortunate and grateful to have them be a part of my life now — I love you so much and will miss you!

And of course I have to take a minute to talk about practice and my teachers Prem & Radha Carlisi. W A O. I really wasn’t expecting anything when I came here because I had just taken an opportunity that was given to me, but these guys are incredible. Something felt right since the first day I walked in to Shala – Ashtanga Yoga Bali Research Center.  I feel like I have found a spot where I want to keep coming back. Their traditional way of teaching and their commitment to the students (even if we are only passing by) is what hooked me. Their way of teaching resonated with me and their dedication to each student is so admirable, plus the Shala is so nice!. I can’t wait to go back to this beautiful space.

I could say a part of me is sad to be leaving but right now I feel so much happiness and love inside. I feel complete, like I don’t need anything else. I cultivated beautiful relationships with others. Myself, and this amazing place. I really can’t explain how I feel haha but it is sort of as if my heart is about to explode in a good way.

 

Dear Bali, suksma for the delightful adventures, for turning me into a very decent scooter driver, for the inspiration, for showing me that one can live in peace and calm in this crazy world, teaching me not to take life too seriously, and bringing me together with wonderful wonderful people.
Sampai Djumpa –– See you soon!

**This time around I set my camera a bit to the side but here are some nice memories of my days in Bali.  

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