Hey! Soooo, I just took a trip (alone) to Bali to find myself. Cliche, right?!?!
I even re-connected with my old personal trainer 4 months prior to this trip, not so that I would look amazing in a bathing suit - more so that I would be able to walk down to the pool whenever I wanted without getting winded.
What I found on my trip was….
When you're mildly depressed, and you leave the country - even to go to a beautiful paradise - well, you're still: mildly depressed.
I found that when you allow your life to stretch you to your absolute thinnest (and no, I'm still not talking waist size here haha), what you end up with once your finally able to take a deep breath, relax and let it all go is: a nasty cold that lasts almost your entire vacation (a cold that you just KNOW your body had been holding on to for months because the stress of your day to day life wouldn't let it rest for nothing).
I found that you can prepare as much as you want, but if you're only going through the motions and not doing things with purpose and really being present - well 4 months of personal training can actually add up to 5 extra pounds to carry around in the end. And yes, I indeed was still getting winded making the long trek from the hotel room to the pool (in my defense, at one of the resorts, this was actually a decent distance and amount of stairs haha).
But - my vacation definitely wasn't all bad! Among other things:
- I got to dive for the very first time.
- I rode on a quad through the middle of a Bali forest with quaint farming villages at each side. **And then tubed through a river even deeper into this forest.
- I got to befriend a fellow solo traveler (russian) who helped me face my fear of diving into the Indian Ocean (the waves were pretty crazy, and I had a previous incident in Hawaii a few years ago that still had me scared).
- I got to sit at a beautiful outdoor rock bar (literally a huge bar/restaurant carved into the huge rocks near the edge of the sea), order a super fancy 4 course meal with a $2.4 million bottle of champagne (ok that's in Indonesian Ruphia, but it's still like $166 USD which is more than I've ever spent on champagne before)!
- I got to order at my first swim up bar. Daiquiris of course.
- I got to enjoy my own private villa WITH my own pool for a few days.
BUT I said I went to Bali to find myself. So did I?!?!
Well… it was on the very last day of my trip that I finally did. Only for a brief moment. But hey, that’s where it has to start sometimes. So here’s the moment:
My last day was the quadding and tubing trip. First was the quadding, where we were able to ride our very own quads (after some practice) - but I declined even trying on my own and just opted to ride with the guide. There was no way I had the courage. I just knew it. After this, I got into a fourwheeler (similar to the quad, but a bit more sturdy) with another guide and was taken to the river where we would be tubing. It’s slower season in Bali in May, so I actually had two guides for the river tubing all to myself. One stayed in front of me and one behind me and they did amazingly at making sure I didn’t fall out (but once anyway lol). Which was great, because I was gripping on to the tube as it was, totally afraid of falling out (yes, me, after years of white water rafting where I didn’t give a hoot even if I did fall out, although the alcohol always helped too, lol).
Anyway, still haven’t gotten to the moment yet - but it’s coming! Quadding and tubing were fun (or fun-ish). But it wasn’t until I was on the four-wheeler again with the guide driving away from the river (we were all done with the adventures for the day) that I realized how much fucking fear I’d been living in lately. There on the four wheeler, whizzing through a forest and then a small village in the middle of Bali, I shed just a few tears. I really had lost myself.
Diving scared me. We had to practice first, and it was the breathing that I was worried about. I thought for sure I’d be sent into a panic once we were way down under and then what?! But I made it! Then the strong Indian Ocean waves scared me. And they were actually pretty rough, but again - I made it lol. Then the quadding/tubing adventures scared me too (which just meant that I didn’t have nearly as much fun as I could have).
But this isn’t my nature. I’m a risk-tasker, adventure-seeker, and while I’ve always had my limits - I usually love a thrill. But here I was afraid of everything. And not just these more tangible things, but more important things too. I was feeling fear of real connection with others. Fear of losing control. Fear of the unknown. Fear of making the wrong choices in life and business. Fear of change.
And it’s interesting because I know I didn’t get where I am in life right now being guided by fear. I’ve taken the risks. I’ve put myself out there. I’ve stood up to the larger-than-football-sized tumor, fighting through until I found the treatment that actually worked - against all odds. I started the businesses. I published the book. I left the love of my life, that just wasn’t the one for me no matter how much I wanted it to be so. I left the dayjob. I hired the first employee. All of these took so much courage. SOOO much freaking courage. And suddenly…. I felt that I had no more courage left?
Anyway….. in the end, is this a sad story about a vacation gone wrong? Maybe! But I actually believe, instead, it's just the beginning to a new story. My next story. I can't tell you what's going to happen just yet. But I can tell you it will be even more amazing than my last. Because when I’m really honoring my truth, I can easily tell you that I’d rather lose EVERYTHING than spend the rest of my life continuing to be guided by this fear instead of living with the courage to fight for exactly the kind of life I want to be living.
I hope we all live through SOO many stories in our lifetime. Some good, some bad, some hard as hell. But no story, at least not the not-so-good ones, lasting forever.
So …. I guess I really did find myself in Bali. And now the question is, what am I going to do now that I’ve found her again? And my answer? Well you'll have to wait and see! And you can believe in me or not. That's never stopped me before.
On to the next big adventure 🍾🍾🍾💃!!
PS: As usual, I didn't take nearly enough photos, but here are some highlights!