Disconnecting to Connect

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

This past week has been equal parts busy and calming…

I had to go back to Denpasar to keep going through the Visa process at immigrations. Luckily, I spent less than 5 minutes in the immigrations building, had my fingerprints and my photo taken and the rest of the day was for adventure. Our first stop was Tirta Empul. This is a picture of a holy water pool – it was so fascinating watching the bubbling water. It was so clear and pristine. You can walk into a large pool and bathe yourself in this holy water.

I didn’t do the cleansing this time because there were so many people and I can’t tell you how many people were standing in large groups taking pictures and selfies everywhere I looked. I wasn’t in the right headspace to really feel the intention of the cleansing. I’d love to go back on an early morning when it is quieter and a bit slower. Really take my time with it.

Next stop was brunch. An all-you-can eat buffet…with the most incredible view of Mt. Batur. Mt. Batur is a smaller volcano on Bali that last erupted in 2000. It was amazing seeing the scars of the lava from way back when.

One of the most memorable and delicious lunches I’ve ever had.


After lunch, I walked through Pura Batur. I’ll let the photo speak for itself…

In the afternoon, we drove along a road that I don’t think any tourists go on. When the locals saw me, they looked at me like they had never seen a white person before. It was such a cool feeling being somewhere that was true, authenticย Bali. At the end of the road is where I think the color green was invented.

Sunset Point has the best seats for the nightly show. The ladies of my warung walked up the hill to enjoy a drink and the sunset. It was such a sweet view.

Everyone has nicknames in Bali and at our warung. Here we have Mo, Mom, and Mama.

Months ago when I was telling people I was going to Bali, I heard the same phrase over and over again: “It’s your Eat, Pray, Love journey!!” Truth be told, I’d never read the book and I saw the movie when it first came out in 2009. It was a little surreal watching the movie while in Bali. It was so funny how my life paralleled this story, in a slightly different way. I’m sure it’s a common theme in many people’s lives.

You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control. – Eat, Pray, Love

The cherry on top was having this cuddly kitty hang out with me during the movie. Love, love, love.

I looooove peanut butter and there aren’t a whole lot of peanut butter items in Bali. I decided to get my own little jar of peanut butter and use it when I see fit. Like on this coconut pancake…

One of my all-time favorite meals is chicken piccata. When I saw it on a menu here, I immediately ordered it, but was kind of nervous about what would actually show up on my plate. You never really know what you’re going to get. Like when I ordered my first “burger” here…I wouldn’t have necessarily classified it as a burger. Much to my delight, the chicken piccata was AMAZING. And also, an addition to my list: “Things Cheaper Than a Starbucks Tall White Mocha” (about $5).

While at this restaurant, I saw the owner of Diver’s Cafe and had a nice talk with him. His daughter is actually the one who cooked my chicken piccata. This little town is very little. Ketut and I talked about the way Amed used to be and how it’s growing. One of the things that stood out to me is that he said people in Bali are very lucky because of the weather. “Always sunny and always happy.” Then he said, “Americans are lucky because they are very smart. Very advanced. We are not lucky in the head.”

The thing is, after so many conversations with so many different Balinese locals, they all have a similar thought process. It’s all focused on happiness and no worries. I’ve heard several Balinese say out of the blue: “Happy life!” I’d say they are smarter than they give themselves credit for.

Yesterday, the wi-fi dropped for a good amount of time. It ended up being one of the most lazy, relaxing days I’ve had yet. I sat on the beach the majority of the day and snorkeled a few different times. I love going into the underwater world at different times because each chunk of the day brings new fish and new lighting. It’s absolutely incredible that some of the best snorkeling in the world is right outside of my home.

I frequently swam to the underwater temple and watched all the different schools of fish. There are 4 large fish that all float in perfect alignment in front of the temple…it’s like they’re the guards. I loved diving down and being on the same level as them. As I stayed in the water longer, schools of these beautiful purple fish would all swarm around me. I loved feeling like a fish.

I swam for so long that I completely lost track of time. I can’t remember the last time that has happened to me. Not knowing if it was noon or 4pm. Based on the sun’s placement, I was guessing 3pm or so. I decided to take a nap since a lot of my energy was drained (who knew relaxing and swimming could be so tiring?!). I woke up and remember thinking, “This is heavenly.” I grabbed my phone off my nightstand and took a picture of exactly how I woke up. I wanted a picture of my version of Heaven on Earth.

Back to the beach…

I was looking at the line between ocean and sky and thought about the language here. Water = Air. Makes sense…

‘In the Wind’ by Lord Huron was on repeat as I zoned out. This song has some of my favorite harmonization and as I looked at the harmony between water and air, I took many deep breaths and felt complete relaxation.

I don’t think I would have had this relaxing of a day if it weren’t for the wi-fi going out. So I started reflecting (it’s easy to do that here)…

The woman that I mentioned at the shell museum who had said, “This is a place for healing” after I asked her about wi-f instantly popped into my head. I also remembered a time when a friend posted about how her phone broke and she traveled all around Seattle to get it replaced and went through all these hoops to get connected within hours of losing her phone. It amazed me the troubles we go to if we don’t have easy access to e-mail, texts, social media, etc. If you really think about it, we’re creating a world that’s nearly impossible to live in without some sort of internet connection. I also cringed a little bit because of my huge mission to find a room that had good wi-fi. Maybe I need to be healed…

So I have a challenge for myself. I’m going to go 5 days with no technology. I’m going to put my phone on airplane mode and only use it for pictures and music. I want to go back to a time when all the answers weren’t at our fingertips. When we weren’t hunched over our phones, looking at minute-by-minute updates. It was funny when I talked to my Mom about my little challenge, when we said goodbye, it was like this drawn out, “Ok, good luck…talk to you in a while.” It was funny that 5 days with no technology seemed like such a big deal. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but I don’t think I’ve gone 5 days unplugged since I was a child. One time in college, I did an assignment which was a day without any technology. It was such an abnormal thing to do that I was invited to do an interview on the radio about my experience. When was the last time you fully unplugged for an extended amount of time?

5 days doesn’t seem too long, but since time moves sooooo slowly here, it will feel much longer. I’m so excited for it.

Oddly enough, I just remembered the very first photo I took once I landed in Bali…

My friend Tane said it best: “Goodbye to the internet world. Welcome to the real life.”

Talk to you in a while…


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