I dreamt of Bali for years before I actually ended up going in October 2015. I planned two trips in detail that both fell through. I guess those times were just not meant to be, as I finally ended up going, when I was actually pretty reluctant to. I had had a break-up, which is hard enough and wanted to just head home. But I was persuaded, by others, and by the draw that if there was anywhere in the world to get over someone, it was Bali.
On my first morning, after a good night’s sleep, I woke up to beautiful weather, a glistening pool, fresh fruit and fresh coffee. And that along with the birds flying overhead, healed some of my heartache there and then. I was excited, and it's very hard not to be in Bali.
Ubud itself, is just about the most wonderful place on the planet. As a weary and poor traveller, who loves eating wholesome food, Christmas came early when I found super healthy “warungs” (local restaurants) with fresh, nutritious, delicious and cheap food! Favourite places included Dayu’s Warung (set a bit back from the main road, but well worth the walk). Bali Buddha is also a firm favourite. I also love the eco work they do!
I spent a whole week simply wandering the streets around Ubud, stopping in cafes (all with mind blowing, organic Balinese coffee) writing, checking out art in galleries, eating food, being attacked in the monkey forest, reading and getting massages from the loveliest happiest ladies ever. As cliche as it sounds, Ubud really did help in healing my injured soul. I’ve not been anywhere else (Fiji included) in which the people are so lovely and it’s so easy to be happy, on a euphoric level. I was inspired in Bali to do wonderful things. Walking down a street and children are playing and will wave and laugh and say hello. I think Ubud is such a wonderful place to be able to do nearly nothing (whilst doing so much). It’s so lovely to be somewhere that is warm, beautiful, healthy and filled with people that put you in a wonderful mood.
During that first week, I decided to see a “Medicine Man”- as a bit of fun! I was staying at a beautiful, cheap villa in the rice fields around 10 minutes outside of Ubud centre, when I met Jill. From The Netherlands, Jill was going through things herself, and we decided that although a week’s search had so far been fruitless for me, that we’d try together with the help of her scooter. A few days later (!) we found Made, a (surprisingly young) medicine man in a small village. I am very sceptical about things like this, but I admit I am to this day spooked by all the things he knew about me…
What my healing consisted of was:
I stepped into his temple, wearing the traditional sarong given to me, and sat on a bamboo mat on the floor. He prayed in the temple, before spraying me with holy water. He then went on look at my aura and chakras, which took about five minutes and a bit of hand waving above my body. After this, he knew- a lot about me. He mended my poorly chakra by digging into my chest whilst I held my breath (little bit scary- I won’t lie) and then sat down to tell me a few things.
One of the most immediate predictions that stood out was that I shouldn’t leave Bali for at least a few weeks. Pah.. Yeh right, I had hardly any money left, a ex-boyfriend who was coming to Bali himself in 5 days, that I was planning on avoiding, so knew immediately that was something he was sure to be wrong on. We finished, I was healed- my chakra was un-blocked… strangely had been feeling a bit “odd” in my chakra zone… anyway… and I scribbled down all the things he had told me about myself (all true about my personality I may add- lack of patience, tough few years etc) and what he predicted for my future.
Being the last minute booker that I always am, I headed back to the hotel and booked myself onto a flight home in 4 days time and headed off for a beer.
I am, extremely lucky in that about 30 minutes outside of Ubud, a dear friend and old boss has a BEAUTIFUL house. So, I planned with her that for 3 days I’d disappear deep into the rice fields, in her stunning house, where I could be alone with a paper and pen, coffee and delicious fresh food. A perfect end to Bali. Those days passed by far too quickly, and I felt inspired, happy and simply blissed-out. I caught a ride back into Ubud to check my flight status…
For reasons completely unknown to this day, my bank had blocked my booking. With one more night in Ubud before I was due to return to England, I checked flights and slowly began to freak out. Flights had rocketed to more than double the price, and I simply did not have the extra cash for it. That day, I have to admit I panicked and I wallowed. Staying longer in Bali is a dream come true normally, but not when you have your new ex arriving to the same place as you with his brother and girlfriend in a matter of days.
Long story short, my lovely friend took such good care of me and at 11pm on my second night back in Ubud had a driver whisk me away to a beautiful resort ten minutes outside of Ubud for the next few nights. Phew, would manage to avoid the ex (narrowly), and with flights hay-wire decided to book again in a few days.
Few days later, whilst enjoying a Bintang on my balcony, I sat down to book my flights. Whilst booking, emirates flights literally starting disappearing. What?! I was frantic, surely not again… Slowly but surely ALL flights back to England, and then to anywhere else began to vanish. Trying not to become frantic, I went to bed with the thought a fresh day would sort out the flight situation. When I arrived at breakfast pulling out my hair as flights were still all gone, I found out, a volcano on Lombok was erupting… all flights were cancelled. Emirates and other large airlines had cancelled flights for a week!!
Let me to tell you, it’s not a nice feeling to be truly stuck somewhere with very very limited money, no matter how seasoned a traveller you are. Thank goodness for my mum and bank transfers. After a stressful 8 hour wait for the time difference to call my mum, I sat back and relaxed in the idea that at least I had a loan to get me by on. I was stuck in Bali (paradise on earth and the place I felt enormously happy) and I should stop sulking and bloody enjoy it. I couldn’t help feeling though, despite my best efforts to avoid the prophecy, Made’s prediction was coming true. And as the flights got pushed further and further back, until the 18th November at the earliest, I realised he had been right.
I ended up having an absolutely incredible time in Bali over those next few weeks.
I don’t know if Made’s prediction was right, or if it was all a massive coincidence that I couldn’t leave. I don’t know if Made’s advice on patience has given me the power to do just that, or if I would have reached that conclusion on my own. But I do KNOW, that Bali is an utterly magical place. So if it wasn’t Made’s “healing” that has given me all the strength to basically- grow up- or just Bali itself and it’s honest giving people, but it’s medicine that I wholly recommend to anyone who needs a bit of health and happiness. Plus it’s quite good fun thinking that his next prediction may come true too (love of my life around the corner, I ask?!)
Disclaimer: Please be aware, if you travel to Bali you will utterly love it, and will most probably want to/ need to return ASAP.