You can’t help but think about LOVE in Bali! Ever since Eat, Pray, Love (both the book and the movie) came out, Bali seemed to be the place to find love. I didn’t come to Bali with the intention of finding love.
In fact the very opposite!
On my last long term travel adventure I meet and fell in love (still not sure if that is the right word) with a charming Catalonian. After meeting on the Camino de Santiago it seemed like a perfect love story. I then continued on my travels around the world! While I was in Cuba it got messy. He wanted to continually talk to me while I was there. Internet is both expensive and difficult to obtain in Cuba so after wasting many hours trying to find it and waiting in lines I was frustrated with him and the machismo culture. He wanted to join me when I got to Mexico but I tried to persuade him to wait till after I had finished a few things I had planned to do.
In the end I got sick of the accusations that I was cheating on him because I didn’t want him to come now but rather later. Instead of doing what my gut told me which was tell him ‘fuck off!’ (sorry for the swearing but it was what I felt), I invited him to join me in Mexico. From the second day I knew I had fallen pregnant and that I really didn’t want anything to do with him.
What a horrible position to be in. Previously, I had meet a great bunch of fellows who inspired me. No I hadn’t meet another man but more a group of women that inspired me and whom I had a lot in common with.
To cut a long story short over the course of the next 6 months in Belize, Guatemala, Mexico (where I had a miscarriage) and Australia we fought and tried to keep it together at the same time. It all looked like our world was great on Facebook but I was miserable. Why I didn’t tell him not to come to Mexico the first time or subsequently to Australia after the miscarriage is beyond me.
In the almost 2 years since then I have been reluctant to open myself up to a relationship. The few times I did date, I got burnt. I have to say that my heart wasn’t really in to finding love but more finding what I desire.
The desire I sought and seek is in relation to my life not necessarily desire in relation to an intimate relationship.
I want to know what makes me giddy with joy, what causes me to stay up late without eating because I am so engrossed that I don’t even think about food.. This will be a tall order given how much I eat.. I want to feel alive! Travel makes me feel alive and that feeling was very much part of my decision to spend nine months traveling.
I have dreams, goals and desires for these months. Including launching a business, publishing my book (finally) and running an ultra-marathon. So when I arrived in Bali I didn’t expect to be confronted with those old feelings of misplaced desire. I wasn’t honouring my desire but rather people pleasing. Thankfully fate intervened and I was back to knowing romantic love or lust wasn’t what I desired.
When the offer was presented, I jumped at the chance to visit a healer. The negative feedback I had heard about the Healer from Eat Pray Love had turned me off though. Same advice for everyone…. Instead of seeing him myself and a fellow female digital nomad went to visit, Cokorda Rai. This 87 year old Balian – Tradition Balinese Healer was a bit of a trip!
At the start we weren’t really sure what the hell was going on. Vera went first and he picked up on a lot of things. I won’t go into her story but she had to lay down while he used what looked like a chopstick to test points on her feet. It looked cool!
Bring on my turn!!!
He and his trainee were fascinated by a tattoo I have between my shoulder blades. It is the Chinese word for Goddess and a celtic symbol for the three phases of a woman: Maiden, Mother, Crone. This tattoo honours my heritage and my feminist values. That said he eventually started applying pressure on my head and some bits hurt like bloody hell. It was here he told me I had a lot of stress from a previous job but because I wasn’t there now it would be better soon! How on earth could he know that I had just finished a contract and was in transition.
Next he placed a finger in both ears and asked me to open then close my mouth! It felt like something exploded in my left ear and then the blast went out the top of my head. I have no idea what happen but I felt calmer and clearer. He didn’t want me to lay down but he gave me a little lecture on following what I truly desire and that would bring my passion back.
I am a long way off truly knowing just where all my desires lay but one thing is for sure since arriving in Bali I am more enthusiastic about my studies and personal development. Less so enthusiastic about my running, it’s hot, humid and pollution makes it uncomfortable running but I have a goal I want so well it is a case of jogging on!
No doubt over the course of my travels more random and unexplained things will happen but I am looking forward to going inwards to see where my desires really lie and what passion will bring with those desires. Life is a roller-coaster that I am intending to take full advantage off.
What does your heart truly desire?