Marking 2 months in Bali
This time two months ago I had just landed in Bali to spend the next few months and time is flying. It feels like just yesterday we got off the plane, and yet so much is different. I want to hold onto this time just a little bit longer and at the same time, I cannot wait to get home.
I have always been a fan of slow living, the feeling of a constant state of holiday mode in my day-to-day life. Spending time in fast-paced environments is not for me – I’ve always said I want to live in a little house on the beach where the sun shines and there’s a lounger waiting for me. The aim of my life; feel like I’m on vacation every day.
So being in Bali for 8 weeks already has felt like the extended break I very much needed and I most definitely feel the holiday vibes. Honestly, most of the past 5 years of travelling have felt like a massive holiday, while also working and growing at the same time. I am not sure if it’s the suitcase I carry with me or if it’s taught me to live more in the present. However, now that I know it’s possible, I don’t really plan on going back to the mundane living-for-the-future.
Before I came to Bali I was a mess. Life had been moving so quickly and I had a lot on my plate. Looking back on that person getting on that plane feels strange. Whenever I enter a new place I shed an old version of myself, I let go of people and comforts from the past and prepare to readjust and start blank, so it’s not surprising that I find myself shape-shifting more often than most.
If you read my previous blog, you’ll know it was an adjustment period. I have let myself totally relax and live in 24/7 holiday mode – minus my 8 hours of work a day of course, but there’s usually a cocktail waiting for me at the end of it.
Moving so slowly has been such a privilege. I am so aware of how lucky I am to be living in one of my bucket-list destinations and I am not one to take it for granted. We spend around 4 weeks in the same hotel/guest house and that kind of stability is bliss. I love being able to unpack, settle in and find the best coffee spot for my 6:30am wake-ups.
It’s funny, when you’re very much in love – well me anyway – I don’t feel any need to go out and find people to get to know, I find myself so looking forward to a night in the hotel ordering dinner and dessert and watching Netflix with Lior. My body and mind have totally grown up, I no longer crave the late nights and stranger’s sweat on a dancefloor. I do crave 9pm ice cream, and 9:30pm bedtime – sometimes even rushing home to do just that.
So far we have stayed in Canggu, Uluwatu, and are now in Kuta. We are only in Kuta for one week as we wanted to take a trip to the dentist. I had a fairly traumatic experience at the dentist in Sydney three years ago and since then have not been able to go, but spent nights awake dreading the inevitable moment.
Yesterday, I faced that fear. I was nervous for the whole day but I felt such an owing to myself and I knew that I had to lean into this fear – my friend, Camilla, once told me that when she feels nervous about something, or that there is something she can’t do, instead of running from it she will lean into it. The only way to grow is to step out of your comfort zone and get a bit uncomfortable. This is always in my head whenever I feel scared or nervous.
So I leaned in and, with Liors hand, had a successful trip to the dentist. A cleaning, filling, and $100 later a weight was totally lifted from my chest, I almost wanted to hop in the Tardis and shake myself for the past three years. The moral of the story; is just do the scary thing, it can’t be as bad as it is in your head. I had convinced myself that all my teeth would need to be removed.
While I was nervous in the lead-up, I could feel such a difference in my body compared to two months ago. It’s almost like I can feel that my nervous system is more relaxed. I had symptoms of anxiety – I always will – but I was able to manage it a lot better and I feel so proud of myself.
Working from 7am-3pm has given me so much freedom and time to work on myself. Arriving in Bali at breaking point – and not the first time in my life I’ve been here – I had no choice but to look in the mirror.
Now therapy is part of my weekly routine and is one of my favourite parts of my week. I find things happening during the week and my first thought is “I can’t wait to talk to Trish about this”. The beauty of having someone impartial to totally share with, and I am not sure I would be in the same state of calm as I am now without the tools she has given me.
I am a person who can very much get stuck in my head, overthinking every single detail. I overreact and chain myself to other people’s opinions and feelings, always putting them before myself.
Recently, I have allowed myself to think of myself first. It has been a wonderful adventure, treating myself with love and kindness. I don’t usually have a lot of patience, and have a bit of a control problem, but I have really gotten back into going with the flow. If ever a plan doesn’t come to fruition, I no longer hone in on it and I allow myself to say “it’s not meant to be”. It’s really amazing what trusting in the universe can do for you. I am unable to have that kind of faith when I am overwhelmed with anxiety – which is when I need it most. Funny that it takes calming down to be able to activate the things that would actually help you calm down in the first place.
Halfway through my time here, it is so nice to reflect. A lot of my days look the same: work, pool/beach, sunset, dinner, sleep. In between that is a lot of listening to myself, spending quality time with Lior, writing, scrolling, and allowing myself the meal that I wouldn’t have in the past. Although I am still struggling with looking in the mirror and wanting to restrict my consumption the next day, it’s a work in progress.
I have a long way to go, and I fear that this lack of anxiety is just a product of my environment. An ideal place to be for relaxation, no idea what happens when I am faced with “reality” and increased stress factors. I am abolishing this from my mind, working with the tools I have, and keeping myself healthy and body full – of food and love. I am feeling very grateful to be exactly where I am, right now.
After all, everything that is happening is happening for a reason.