It’s been 48 hours since I left Hong Kong to live (up to) 60 days in Bali. Not being in the greatest place when I left Honkers, I decided to use this time to re-connect to the old me. That includes finding an awesome new job in Asia, losing some weight and flipping the chip in my head back to always being in a positive place again.
The fact that I’ve started blogging more and have hired a team of three power girls to help me grow my travel website in India has indeed helped to start flipping that chip. Aside from travel, these are my favourite hobbies so imagine landing up new to Bali on top of that. Life on the surface feels pretty good right now.
On the flight over I had envisioned my time in Bali as productive during the day and with lots of time out in nature in the mornings and sunsets spent simultaneously exercising and contemplating life. I’ve sworn off wine for a month and have exercised morning and evening Day 1 and 2 like planned so rock on! But I thought I’d have … you know… alone time, me time, time to re-group and acknowledge what I really want in life and make sure I’m on a good path.
But the locals in Bali have another plan!
Turns out that the Balinese are off-the-charts friendly. Sure they all seem tremendously friendly on the high streets, driven by the entrepreneurial spirit as a way to engage people and help bring business through their door. Yet it’s not just those driven by commercial-friendliness that I’m talking about. And it’s so night-and-day different to Hong Kong that it’s freaking me out a little bit!
In fact, walking around in Seminyak reminds me of the small village in Spain I lived in back in 2003. It was unheard of to pass someone in the street without saying hello (well, hola!), to enter a shop without sounding out a greeting intended for everyone inside, or sit down on the train without greeting the people around you. And so seems Bali.
Walking down the street, locals in alleyways or busy streets often take the time to say hello or nod. Shop attendants strike up small talk. And when I took my laptop to dinner last night to write a blog post, the sweet waitresses kept coming up to chat, making it impossible to really focus. Even the guys at Circle K seem to have 100% authentic smiles for every customer entering. I mean, come on! Where is that commonplace?
Although I hope to take some of their gracious nature and friendliness with me when I leave Bali, I really do need to get away inside my head a bit. So on to Plan B tomorrow, which is I’m going to try to wake up at 6am and head to the beach and see how that goes. If that doesn’t work, my plan the next day is to walk out to the rice paddy fields or maybe hop a bus to the hills but that seems like too much work and that it might require something other than sandals so I’m hoping Plan B or C work great!
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