I decided to start my trip off in Bali with a detox. Traveling for two and a half months had definitely started to take its toll on me. Part of traveling is experiencing the people, culture, and food. At home, I’m used to my routine of rigorous workouts and mostly healthy eating. I still incorporated some workouts on the road and tried to do as many outdoor activities at possible. I went through phases of eating really healthy, but I enjoyed trying all the different foods and for some reason people love to feed me…
Any who, Gede picked me up from the airport, and we embarked on the 90-minute journey to Ubud driving through small towns, tropical rain forests, and hundreds of temples. I arrived at my hotel and had a massage booked an hour after I got settled in. Ngurah came to my room and gave me the best massage I’ve ever had. I was relaxed and ready for bed after we finished. I tossed and turned and slept little before it was time to wake up.
I headed for a yoga session a ten minute walk away. There were two other ladies in our class with Violeta. Our class was different from any other yoga class I’ve ever done. We used tennis balls on pressure points and throughout our stretching. It was more of an internal yoga than an external one. I felt super connected and in tune.
After the class, I went for a walk into Ubud. I walked around the Monkey Forest on a narrow road with motorbikes occasionally speeding past me. The trees hung over the path with monkeys swinging and playing on the branches. I’m not a huge monkey fan, and what I saw next confirmed why. A dominate male monkey grabbed a small female and started humping her as she swatted and screamed, eventually pushing him off and running away. I just witnessed monkey rape, and I felt violated.
I decided to take a scenic route outside of town to see some of the surrounding beauty and connect with nature. I ended up on this steep uphill climb between trees and rice patties. It was hot out and I was sweating a lot. Everyone driving by looked at me like, “what is this girl doing?” One guy pulled over on his motorbike and asked if I wanted a ride.
“No, I am good thank you,” I said with a smile thankful for his kindness.
“Hop on. I want to show you something,” he said confidently and persuasively not breaking eye contact and somehow reminding me of a Russian Jesus.
I found myself on the back of his motorbike winding up the road and swapping stories of our homelands and travels. We ended up in front of a stairs leading down a long pathway. I followed him down the hundred steps and into this beautiful bohemian home on the side of a cliff. I have never seen anything like it. He shared with me the vision of the home and who it is for. He asked me what I scene in Ubud so far, and I really hadn’t explored much. He took me to a wonderful juice cafe and we exchanged information before I began my journey back to the hotel. I found my way to a main road in town and to my delight saw that Ubud is full of artsy shops, cafés, yoga clothing, organic eating, and juicing. There are tons of hippie looking couples walking around and half of them with a baby strapped to either the mom or dad.
A couple of days later, Gede took my two new yoga friends and myself to see a healer. They wanted to give us an authentic experience and steer away from the tourist scene that Ubud attracts. We drove quite a ways outside of town and through small villages. The rice terraces were captivating me with every shade of green possible and had me thinking I could live here. We pulled up to a house in the middle of nowhere and offered some tea. We sat overlooking this exotic land not knowing what was about to take place. We were soon lead down a path to a small covered area and told to sat.
The Healer was dressed in all white waiting at a table with different elements place in front of him. He began by cleansing everything with sage and chanting. One by one, we were also cleansed. As I stood before him, he poured water on my head while speaking over me. It was cold and purifying. We sat as he performed another ritual over each of us. We got to sit with him for a while and hear his stories and share his wisdom. I asked him about meditation, and he taught me how to center myself and connect. He also talked to us about flying and the powers of this world that he has witnessed and the spiritual battles he has fought. I left there feeling so small yet infinite. The beauty, the people, the healing, and the feeling deep within me somehow felt foreign yet welcoming. I had no idea what was coming next in my life, but I felt I could handle anything.
A couple of days later, someone on Facebook saw I was in Bali and tagged their friend from Vegas in a comment to me. Michael had been staying in Bali for a few months and invited me to do some activities with some friends. I met Michael, Keith, and Serena at a cafe in town. I knew Michael looked familiar, and we quickly figured out that we worked at the same hotel one summer. I was the only one who doesn’t know how to drive a motorbike, so I hopped on the back to head to the Treetop Park. It was nice chatting with him on the way since we have so much in common…. Vegas, jobs, traveling. It’s always refreshing to meet another soul with a similar mindset!
We found the park and had to do a practice course using our clips and shot(a climbing tool) before we could do the real thing. After that, the next couple hours were full of walking on wires, swinging on ropes, zip lining through the trees, and many other obstacle courses while laughing hysterically. It really is an adult playground and a great work out!! We finished with scrapes, bruises, and smiles on our faces!
The rain clouds were heading our way, so we put our raincoats on (mine was more like a giant trash bag), and headed for our hour and a half drive back. The rain pelted us for a little while before letting the sun through again. We made back just in time for Ngura to come over. Oh Ngura! How I love her. She truly has healing hands.
The next day, I roamed the streets of Ubud trying to find authentic souvenirs to bring back. One thing I have noticed is that you’ll find the same trinkets, bracelets, and knick-knacks in every country. I got browsed around the shops too long and was in a hurry to get back for my appointment with Ngura.
“You need a taxi?” a teenage boy asked.
I replied, “yes” as he shuffled toward his Kawasaki dirt bike. I thought this would be an interesting ride and of course, hopped on. It definitely wasn’t as comfortable as the motorbikes, but I made it to my hotel in one piece.
After my massage, I went to meet up with Michael, Serena, and Keith. When I had Wi-Fi at the hotel, I got the name of the place we would meet. The taxi drivers always say they know where they are going even if they have no clue. After cruising the streets, stopping three places and asking for directions, and 45 minutes later, we found the bar which five minutes from where I was staying. We hung out for a while before calling it a night. Michael offered to give me a ride back to my room. I went to get on his bike and found I had put my helmet on backwards for the second time when riding with him. We both laughed as I realized how real my struggle is.