As we are continuing our travels, we are slowly but surely learning: our mistakes, experiences, and afterthoughts help teach us. Traveling always changes with every place you stay.
We did some serious schooling in Amed. Since it was placed in the middle of nowhere, this was a good idea and we did go there with this purpose. Still, the beach was nothing special and we were “trapped” in our beautiful hotel. Schooling was the goal, and we did reach this! However, we slowly did get bored and when we left for Lovina, we were all glad to be able see some more of everything. And we’d come up with a lot of expectations for this everything. Emilia had been promised a go at snorkeling (in the pool), we’d imagined a better beach we could go to, a place where we could see and explore, and a large enough town where we have more choices. Choices… we wanted choices! Not to be stuck on this one little road.
Well, we arrived to a great deal! Around 50 euros for exquisite, lush grounds, and a pool. The detailing and the care put into everything made you feel like any amount of money would have been a deal. We, especially my father, relished in the idea that we had paid less than we could have elsewhere, especially for such beauty. Things were looking up.
However good a deal this was, we still drove through Lovina to get there and weren’t really amazed by what we had seen. It was a busy road with some sparse stands and shops in between. We drove by a dirty beach and people hanging out that were probably going to badger us with “one more sarong?”s until we had had enough of tidak, or no. But we put this aside and thought of our little oasis. Again. And now we have learned: this is not the feeling you want to have. While traveling you should be able to go, be adventurous, go exploring and experiencing. Not hiding! After a walk down a filthy beach and an even filthier and unappealing street, we didn’t exactly yearn for another outing, nor did we actually go on one.
And while we were in Lovina, some decision making had to be made, with stomach-aches in between. Where are we going to go next? Originally, Java and Yogyakarta were planned. However, after frustrating hours of searching, all hotels were booked, thanks to Chinese New Year. So where now? We didn’t want to stay in Lovina, there’s no place in Yogyakarta, and we are quickly getting extremely antsy and bored. We were stuck. Round and round the thoughts went… we could do this, this, and that, but no this doesn’t work and that doesn’t either…
We decided for Seminyak, the southern part of Bali, where we were guaranteed more life. Until now we had always planned to go to a place, check it out, and decide how long we wanted to stay depending on how much we liked it. We had imagined a lot, too much actually, and were disappointed too many times. So doubtfully we approached Seminyak. Here we found boutique after boutique, the kind where we know we can’t buy anything but are happy that they’re there, and people! We have found a beautiful villa and have our own kitchen. It’s almost like having a home again, where we make breakfast (I didn’t know I would miss grocery shopping!) and have our own flow. And now we also have a plan. We are staying here (on Bali) until after Chinese New Year and will then try Yogyakarta and Java, until February 4th, where we have a set, written-in-stone, non-negotiable flight to Singapore.
It took us a round trip around Bali to figure it out, but if there’s something we’ve really figured out, it’s to be flexible. I apply this to everything in life. Be flexible about how long you will stay and where. Be flexible about how. If you like the place you are in, maybe you will configure your plans and stay there longer. And if not, stay longer somewhere else. If we are a it’s-going-to-happen-this-way-and-no-other-way people, traveling around with a rough sketch of a plan isn’t going to work, and you may find yourself staying longer in a place you don’t want to be.
So now that we have a secure feeling once again, we can start exploring more and also think about our major decision: where we are going to live after the trip. Let the suspense (and agonizing round and round thoughts) begin, or better put, continue…