I don’t even know where to begin.
The last couple weeks have been completely and utterly awesome.
I guess I will start where I left off, in Portland, Oregon.
I stayed with 2 different CouchSurfing hosts in Portland. The first one was a super cool asian snowboarding Christian dude with blonde dreadlocks. He was extremely hospitable and not only listened to me talk for hours, but was also very interested in everything I had to say, which was apparently a lot! Haha
The second CouchSurfing host was, without a doubt, a soul-mate meeting. I felt like we were right on the same page on just about every level. I felt at ease and at home in his presence. We could talk for hours and simply doing nothing together was thoroughly satisfying. He introduced me to a few of his friends and they took me to The Good Foot (which I was told is the heart and soul of Portland) for some live music. It was interesting observing people’s behaviour objectively being with someone else who sees things similarly. I got some good reflections in a few short days.
All in all, I loved Portland. I will most definitely be going back there sometime in the near future.
Next, I took a bus ride up to Seattle, Washington, where I stayed with another CouchSurfer for the night. We had some delicious food, went for a walk and he took to me to a beautiful viewing spot of the city. We made it down the hill just in time for happy hour at an awesome (and usually very expensive) restaurant before heading home for some wine and good conversation. It was a short visit, however I definitely think we made the most of it!
From there I took another bus ride back up to Vancouver. Home, as I once knew it as, not so long ago. I loved being back in the city, still being in travelling mode, seeing it with a fresh perspective. It really is a beautiful place.
Seeing family, friends, and my cat, Dick, even for a short period of time, was revitalizing and refreshing before taking off again.
And then, 48 hours after arriving in Vancouver, I was leaving again. The flight to Bali was painstakingly long, however I did end up with a whole row of seats to myself on the second leg (from Guangzhou, China to Bali, Indonesia) so I was able to get a pretty good sleep for the 5 hour journey to my first home in Bali, Kuta.
Arriving in Bali was… interesting. It was 1am local time and although I had arranged a ride from the airport to the hostel I had booked, I couldn’t seem to find my name amongst the sea of names written in black felt pen on white paper so I got bombarded with hundreds of Balinese men repeatedly asking, “Taxi? Taxi?” and even after saying no what felt like a million times, still being followed and pursued by a man who was finally told to leave me alone (I can only assume because I don’t speak Indonesian haha).
Eventually, after a couple of very nice men tried to help me get in contact with the hostel, without success, I accepted a ride from one of them, which ended up costing me double what the hostel charges, but I was so tired and just wanted to get there that I didn’t care to argue about it so I paid him 200,000 rupiah (about $20) and was happy to arrive at an air conditioned, comfortable, extremely welcoming and hospitable H-Ostel in Kuta ($15/night).
Even though I had a decent sleep on the plane, since it was 1am, I figured I should try and sleep a few more hours to help adjust my internal clock. When I woke up though, I felt completely lost. My experience at the airport had left me afraid to go outside alone, the check out time was at noon, and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to spend another night there or move on to another place. Since I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t do anything.
I resolved to taking baby steps so I extended my stay another night and decided to go for a walk to the beach since it was super close to the hostel. On the way there, wouldn’t you know it, I got bombarded with Balinese men trying to get my attention so I would buy something from them. The third or fourth one ended up being very keen on me and walked with me to the beach.
We walked along the water and he took a few photos of me with some beautiful Balinese architecture and statues and ended up being someone I spent a lot of time with while I was in Kuta. It was also a great experience in practicing expressing my boundaries.
There are no insignificant relationships.
Everyone you meet is a perfect reflection of you.
I also met a few other people at the hostel, 3 of which I have spent a lot of time with as well. Tom from the UK, Jose from Mexico, and Jeroen from Kelowna, which is super close to “home”.
Jose and I ended up renting a motorbike and going on an adventure to Uluwatu Temple a few days ago. Driving was an insane experience, and absolutely worth it. The temple was breathtakingly beautiful!
Then, a couple days later, the four of us rented motorbikes and went on an adventure to see an abandoned plane, Uluwatu beach and caves, and Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park.
Though I was a little sad to leave Kuta as it was starting to feel like home, I was also happy to leave such a busy city. I will continue to push myself beyond my comfort zone.
Since Jeroen and Tom were planning to head to Ubud next as well, we made a plan to all go together to make the cab ride cheaper. It took about 1.5 hours and cost us roughly $9 each.
Now, being in Ubud is much more chill, however still fairly busy in the main streets. The rice fields are beautiful and the view from the Puji Hostel ($10/night) is amazing!
After arriving here yesterday, we went for a walk. On our walk we discovered a path to a rice field and decided to explore. Continuing on the path through the field we ran into a peaceful, quaint little restaurant where we stopped for a delicious, freshly made juice. We loved it so much we ended up going back for breakfast this morning!
When we got back to our hostel last night, the rest of our roommates had arrived and bought face paint for Halloween! I ended up painting everyone’s faces and we went around scaring the Balians and eventually arrived at the first and only promoted Halloween party in Ubud. Jeroen and I entered in the beer pong tournament with the team name “Canada eh?” and won second place!
Even though I had a lot of fun, I won’t be doing it again any time soon. Drinking like that is definitely not my thing.
Today everyone was a little sluggish, however I did manage to make it to the monkey forest after breakfast. The monkeys were jumping on people to steal their water bottles and bananas if they had them! They were so cute! I love monkeys.
I have been attempting to connect with some locals on CouchSurfing, and I was finally successful today! I arranged for Jeroen, myself, and another Indonesian woman from our hostel to head up to Mount Batur, a volcano about 45 minutes away from Ubud, tomorrow. We will stay there with a local for a night or two. He said he will take us to check out a coffee plantation and hike the volcano to watch the sunrise! It’s going to be so beautiful, I can’t wait!
However, I am realizing that I am not taking enough time for myself. It’s a little hard to spend time alone when staying in hostels and it might be a little lonely to get my own space, and definitely more expensive. However I need not worry about money, I have abundance in life and love. Maybe I will treat myself to a night or two in a nice place alone after Mount Batur. We’ll see how things flow.
I’m going to start writing blog posts more frequently though. This one was much longer than I want them to be.
Until next time.
Much Love ❤