Monday, November 17, 2014

"I was born very far from where I'm supposed to be, so, I guess I'm on my way home."

I know I haven't blogged in forever, but I thought I'd try to catch up a bit and share some of my adventures.  I originally wrote this several months ago with slim hopes my photos would be recovered and with no good news as of yet I only have a small amount of photos from my iPod.  If by some miracle my photos are saved I will put them up ASAP.

So I left South Korea at the end of February when my former roomie and adventure buddy met me for a couple days before we would begin out Southeast Asian ultimate adventure!! I couldn't believe my year in Korea was over! What an experience!  After 2 flights and a layover in China, we landed at our first destination: Bali, Indonesia!  A place I've wanted to go for years now!

With visions from travel blogs' photos,  Eat, Pray, Love, and months and months of daydreams filling my head nothing could compare to the views zooming outside our taxi windows.  We arrived around 4 in the morning to a torrential downpour and thunderstorm.  But as the hours passed by and the skies cleared, the sun began to rise and my eyes were greeted with a truly magical sight!  The luscious greens of the rice fields, the volcano looming in the distance, markets bustling to life at the crack of dawn, and colors so brilliant! I was simply dazzled by this new world around me and couldn't stop smiling!

We were headed to the east coast to the tiny coastal town of Amed.  Our place was THE tropical oasis, still thinking about I can't believe we were actually there!  Glistening from the morning showers, flowers and unique plants weaved their ways along the pathways to the bungalows.  This was a spectacular place: the views were unbelievable, the food so delicious, and the owner and family/friends were bubbling over with hospitality and
smiles.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the daily life of the locals in this small town.  Something that caught my attention were the offerings (Canang sari) they made each day.  It represents their thankfulness for peace in the world and the effort and time put in to make it signifies their self-sacrifice. They were so intricate and colorful, I loved seeing them everyday.  It was fascinating to see their daily practice and devotion. Unlike the rest of Indonesia, which is Muslim, Bali practices Balinese Hinduism with influences from Southeast and South Asia, Indian Hinduism, and Buddhism.

During our time in Amed, we chilled on the beach, hiked to a waterfall, snorkeled above a Japanese shipwreck overflowing with all kinds of fish, listened to live music and watched traditional dancing at our place's restaurant.
After a couple days we headed to the "cultural heart" of Bali, Ubud.  Yet another bungalow oasis complete with a charming front porch, outside shower with fish pond, all surrounded by tropical plants and flowers. We meandered our way on the paths through the Monkey Forest, nearly escaping a frightening mini stampede. There were moss covered temples, hanging vines, and monkeys looming on the pedestals, branches, and temple walls.  A bit outside the town the rice fields provided an escape from the hustle and bustle.  The fields glistened in the setting sun as the light illuminated the shades of green and water within the rows.  It was an extraordinary sight.  I remember just closing my eyes and savoring the I truly didn't want to forget.

Bali was quite an enchanting place, with its ridiculous natural beauty, tasty cuisine, and intriguing culture, it is definitely somewhere I'd like to to return. 

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