For our 12 days in Bali, I made some rules for myself:
1. Coconuts. Drink and eat as many as possible.
2. Fruit. Again, eat as much as possible. Yum!
3. Time. No watches, no checking the time. I vowed to spend less effort caring about the time in accordance to when we should do something, but instead to focus on when I wanted those things. An effort to be more attentive to my internal clock rather than the manufactured idea of time and the social pressure to be busy, even while traveling.
Difficult, some would say nearly impossible, rules 😉
After the bustling streets of KL and the busy schedule we kept in an effort to see the city, PT and I decided to slow the pace to something a bit more suitable to beach life. Existing within the chaos and haphazard ways of Bali, our little routine consisted of the simple: yoga, eat, beach, read, shower, eat, relax… We had our favorite spots for food, fruit and coconut, sun bathing, yoga and working out, a comfortable pattern of places we came to love.
The beach life is the life for me: yoga, fruit, coconuts, sunshine, waves… I feel strong, vibrant, exuding health, the kind developed from a lack of stress, an abundance of sunshine, and never ending platters of fruit.
We spent the afternoons on the beach, under the sun, in the waves. After hours of soaking up the sunshine and salt water we felt as if we have been brining, deeply salted and lightly cooked. Feeling especially savory after a few hours of surfing lessons. Patricio was unsurprisingly a natural, standing and riding all the way to shore on his first attempt. While it took me four waves before I was able to stand for more than a few fleeting and panicked seconds. After standing that first time, the ride became easy, flowing and moving with the ocean. The trick is simple and well-worn: breathe. Just when you’re mounting the wave, right before you make those hopeful movements to stand, you must exhale. Get all of it out, let all of it go. Then, as your anxiety goes out with your breath, you can stand with easy confidence, riding the waves. Exhilarating and fun, we stayed in the waves until our arms couldn’t paddle us out any longer; then, as reward for our efforts, we sipped succulent coconuts and feasted on mountainous platters of fruit.
Despite our lack of watches, staying up late, and beachy exhaustion (the best kind, I think), I continue to wake up with the sun around 7:30am, undeniably the most inspiring time of day. I decided to take advantage of this typically unappreciated habit of mine by venturing out to take some photos of the golden morning light. There’s something special about morning rituals, the quietude of routine. Locals, with eyes closed and mouths moving in prayer, give offerings to God. The tired ones sip coffee, deliberately, lovingly clutching their elixer of life. Surfers eye the surf with methodical deliberation, craving the rush of riding along side the sunrise. Each holding the special silence of those early morning hours in dedicated reverence to their routines.
In each of our destinations, I feel myself becoming more and more comfortable with the backpacker life. I am happy here, on the road: feeling open with myself and delving deeply into my own creativity, letting the raw fragments of myself see the light. Brimming with smiles and relaxed confidence, I am inspired.