June 14, 2017
We woke up early.. smiling, cuddling, and loving each other.
We decided to go to the beautiful beaches that were on my wishlist today. We showered to wash away the remnants of our love. We had coffee and toast with apricot jam and packed a backpack with sunscreen and water. We squeezed the bag under the seat of the Scoopy scooter and headed out to explore the island.
The weather was flawless.. Azure skies, sunshine with some wispy clouds, and a soft breeze.
Riding on the scooter with my arms wrapped around my love and my chin resting on his right shoulder, I took in everything around me. The scent of incense, drivers filling up their scooters with gas out of Absolut vodka bottles, the aromas of mee goreng and nasi goreng coming from kitchens, locals wrapped in sarongs carrying trays of daily offerings. My senses were suspended. The atmosphere was intoxicating.
We knew it would be kind of a long ride for a scooter and unfamiliar roads, but so far all of the roads we have ridden have been slow, narrow, and easy-going. After fifteen minutes of riding, we entered a busy, speeding highway. Fear fogged my vision, and I became hyper anxious. Eric wasn’t that experienced on a scooter, and even if he were.. I would still think it was very dangerous… especially on a speedway. My heart was racing, and I was holding on tighter.
“Baby, I’m really scared. This is really dangerous. It’s not worth it.” I said.
“It’s okay, love. I’ll be very careful.”
“Please slow down.” I asked.
“I have to go with the flow of traffic. Trust me.”
I trusted him. But I didn’t trust all of the other vehicles that were whizzing by.
Eric weaved through spaces of traffic just big enough to fit a single scooter. I tried unsuccessfully to shrink myself. Eventually we got into a flow, and could breath easy again. I helped navigate directions while he drove us through places we’ve never seen before. We ended up seeing so much more of true Bali, completely untouched by tourism. It felt risky, but I trusted him. It was exhilarating.
“Together, they were afraid of nothing.” -Emily Bronte
We rode an hour and a half to Belangan Beach. It was breathtaking. I couldn’t stop smiling, and couldn’t look away as I tried to absorb as much of its beauty as I could. We rented two chairs and an umbrella, which was a treat for us because we usually just sit on one of my tapestries. The waves were strong, so there weren’t many swimmers… but I couldn’t resist.
We rode the scooter to the cliff overlooking the beach. It was magical and dreamy and stunning. We kept saying.. “I can’t believe we are here. I can’t believe this is our life.” It was one of those views that feels like an illusion. Standing at the edge of the earth, we became enveloped by feelings of wonder.
We stopped by a little market and purchased a cold water and a refreshing Asian pear. It was so nice to be exploring at our own pace, following our own desires. Then we headed to Dreamland Beach. Instead of high-rise hotels and expensive commercial restaurants, these beaches were bordered by cliffs, trees, and shacks selling coconuts. I couldn’t believe how beautiful. I rotated around in a complete circle and all around me, there was beauty. Eric’s eyes were the color of the cerulean waters, and I was enchanted. Our spirits were elevated.
Playing in the waves, I laughed so hard. I was so grateful when Eric played with me. We tried to ride the currents to the shore, but they were smashing us, causing me to tumble under water. People nearby probably thought it was my first time seeing an ocean because I couldn’t contain my excitement. We kept getting tons of sand in our bathing suits… I mean soooo much sand….my bathing suit was sagging. It was almost impossible to get it out without getting beat up by another wave. So it became a game of us versus the waves as we tried to dip under before another one rolled over us.
Dreamland wasn’t completely secluded, but it also wasn’t as touristy as Echo or Seminyak. It still possessed it’s natural beauty. The people around us were all smiling and enjoying the waves. I kept staring at Eric. We were becoming golden. My heart was as bright as the shining sun.
On our way back to Canggu we drove through authentic Bali. We were the only tourists for miles. Families handwashing clothes outside and young men standing chest deep in rivers with fishing nets. We came home, showered, then went to dinner.
Earlier while we were laying in the sun I said, “Want to go to the dim sum place we saw?” And we planned it. It was nice to not have to look up where to go, or read reviews, but to just follow our gut and go.
It was a five star food experience. Sitting beside a window that allowed us to watch the chefs folding the dim sum and preparing them fresh, we tried 39 different varieties of dim sum. Then we ordered more of our favorites.
To me, traveling is tasting. Food is culture, and dinner is more than a meal. There’s a sense of anticipation when I am trying something for the first time. It’s an experience to take in the ambiance, acknowledge the art and creativity of cooking, figuring out how to order when there are language barriers, and activating my senses… smelling the aromas of spices and garlic, seeing the presentation and colors, tasting the flavors, and feeling the textures.
We were present for every bite, and present for each other. We savored the flavors and the moment. Our table was completely full and so were our bellies. And our hearts.
We woke up with a smile and a kiss, and fell asleep with a smile and a kiss. It can change the direction and destination of your entire day.