Long distance sucks balls. Especially when the significant other is on the other side of the world. But what doesn’t suck about it is our excuse to travel. Specifically, we love meeting in new destinations around the world.
One of the reasons why Angus and I’s relationship works so well is our mutual love for traveling and the outdoors. Long distance challenges us, it forces us to be independent, it gives us a reason to go to the places we go. And it has led us to some pretty amazing places in the world. One of these is Bali.
Our original plan of action was that Angus would book a flight to Colorado in late March/early April to visit. We looked at flight prices every day for a few weeks. Sales from the UK to Denver weren’t coming in, and flights seemed expensive. One day, Angus and I decided enough was enough; we were going to book Angus a flight on our next Skype date. We logged in, looked through prices, and just before Angus clicked the ‘book’ button, I stumbled upon an amazing flight deal from London to Bali, Indonesia.
Somehow, the flight from London to Denver transformed into a flight from London to Bali. After not so much deliberation, Angus booked his flight, and I booked mine with all the points I had accumulated with my Chase Sapphire card. We outlined our itinerary, booked our hotels, and that was that.
We were heading to Bali.
After a 20 hour layover in Guangzhou, China (more details of that on another blog post), I met Angus at the Denpasar Airport at 1:00am local time. Our first stop was the Sense Sunset Hotel in Seminyak to catch up on some zzz’s to prepare for the next day’s adventure: surfing.
Despite living in California for the first sixteen years of my life, I had never learned to surf. I have always wanted to. Naturally, I woke up at 5:30 in the morning the next day, excited to catch some waves.
We headed to the nearest beach, Seminyak Beach. It’s well known for its white-grey sand and is less crowded than the nearby Kuta or Canggu beach. Bali is infamous for its surf and world-class surfers come out here to catch some big waves. However, since I’m a complete novice and Angus has only gone a handful of times, we opted for some smaller breaks.
We spent two days on our 8 foot and 7 foot foam rental boards. I paddled tons, got lots of salt water up my nose, caught some waves, learned to stand and even practiced turning. By the end of it, Angus and I were confidently riding the surf across Seminyak.
During our time there, the Balinese held Nyepi, also known as Day of Silence. More on that in another blog post, but basically we spent our third day lounging in our hotel watching movies and eating instant noodles, as we weren’t allowed to go outside. I guess it was a somewhat forced day to relax and spend quality time with each other, am I right?
The day after, we checked out of Sense Hotel and headed straight for the 2.5 hour motorbike drive to Amed. We stayed at Soka Amed Beach, and let me tell you, for what we paid you couldn’t have asked for better treatment. The bungalow we stayed in was gorgeous, spacious and the service was incredible. It was manned by a few people that were definitely much younger than us, greeted us every time we came in and out and went out of their way to give us a comfortable experience.
We spent two days in Amed free diving at the sites there such as Jemeluk Coral Gardens and the USAT Liberty Shipwreck in Tulamben Bay. The water temperature was perfect at about 28 degrees C, the visibility was incredible and the sites were just plain awesome. I got way too excited when I saw some sharks and turtles that I may have started chasing them down… but they weren’t too interested in this weirdo human being.
Unfortunately, a lot of the diving portion of the trip had to be cancelled because we both got sick. We have no idea how, or what caused it but we both has a massive fever and stomach issues for days. We spent about a day and a half in the hotel room. However, that didn’t kill all our fun!
During our sickness, we dragged ourselves out of the hotel room and went to Pura Lempuyang. It’s one of Bali’s oldest and most highly regarded temples on top of a mountain. Picture this: two people with stomach issues trying to tackle 1700 steps up to the top of this thing. It wasn’t the most pleasant, but we made it and it was so worth it. I mean, just look at this view.
On our last day in Bali, we headed for the long drive back to Seminyak to return the motorbike and prepare for our long journey back to the UK and the US. Ultimately, this trip happened because Angus and I made it happen. We knew we wanted to go, got creative and planned around our schedules. We kept it flexible.
Sometimes, life doesn’t always go as planned. I was unemployed and still looking for jobs. Angus had extra holidays to take. Colorado flights were too expensive. So why not meet across the other side of the world? Sometimes we’re too scared to take the plunge.
We’re afraid of the “what ifs”.
What if I had secured a job and couldn’t go to Bali anymore? What if I had to attend an interview?
As a matter of fact, I hadn’t been able to secure a job before Bali. I did have an interview, but managed to reschedule it for the day after I came back. That interview turned into a job offer that I accepted. If I had let the “what ifs” get to me, I wouldn’t have gone to Bali. I wouldn’t have learned to surf, or witnessed Nyepi, or hiked up Pura Lempuyang. I chose adventure.
In your life, you have a choice to make. You can go the straight path and play it safe. Or you can get flexible, take some risks and choose adventure. I urge you to choose the latter. You won’t regret it.