As he would’ve termed it, it was a “Chilli Billi” day at the beach. :’)
After a short Sunrise Flow yoga session earlier in the morning and a vegan frozen fruit Sunrise Smoothie to follow after (As I was typing this out, I realised I had a little ‘Sunrise’ trend going on for me that day hahaha lovely), I was feeling pretty energised and I desperately wanted to hop on a bike to make my way to the surfers’ paradise at Echo Beach, Batu Bolong.
The resort extends wonderful transport services to its guests – free-of-charge renting of bicycles included! However to my utter dismay, I sprinted out of the resort only to discover a lack of bikes on the bike rack. Early birds really do catch all the worms, huh. 😥
No worries though, for My Mum and I opted for a short taxi ride to the beach and this particular trip turned out to be a magical one. For some reason, words in the form of graffiti on concrete walls seemed be screaming for my attention from all directions.
“Wake up & live!”
Truth be told, I was left speechless. I mean, what were the chances that I would find myself seated in a taxi driving through a place 1,676 kilometres away from home? I could be anywhere else but here, yet fate brought me to this very place. Deep in my heart, I do recognise the issues I have with achieving a grounded status for I have not found my place in life yet. I do question my decisions, I do question my choices. Simply put, I overthink. It felt as though the words had arms outstretched, with its fingers gripping and shaking me at my shoulders, motioning me to get a grip and my move out of my comfort zone for that is where life truly begins. Life isn’t about playing it safe, that isn’t what ‘living life to the fullest’ means. It’s about putting ourselves out there and exhausting every outlet with the aim of discovering an orientation at which we can eventually fit right into this jigsaw we call life.
The laid back nature of this form of transport led me to taking in more of my surroundings and as a result saw things I wouldn’t have otherwise seen if I had ridden a bike instead. What I initially deemed to have been an stroke of misfortune turned out to be something insanely uplifting. Amazing how life works, don’t you agree? Without the slightest hesitation, I’d say that this occurrence rung true to the saying, “Everything happens for a reason”. A little tear made its way down my cheeks. It was gut-wrenching yet beautiful at the same time.
I think it’s about time that I stop hovering and simply land wherever my heart finds peace.
They weren’t kidding when they told my Mum and I that Echo Beach is a surfers’ paradise. There were more surf boards than people. Plus, there were more people riding the waves than eating in the nearby restaurants, and this says a lot about any location in Bali, considering the much celebrated eating culture. Impressive.
I could get used to this.
My Mum and I took our sandals off, letting the warmth of the grainy sand massage the soles of our feet before venturing out to the deep blue where the waves washed over our mildly sunburnt feet.
Isak Dinesen once said, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.”
I closed my eyes and kneeled down onto the ocean bed as I let my fingers swim through the current washing in. At that very moment, I wanted to let myself feel more than perceive. With each explosion of freshness on my bare skin, I felt a similar tingling sensation in my heart. I inhaled the salty air as I let the tranquility of the sea envelope and engulf my entire being.
I felt alive.
Pushcart stalls were neatly lined up along the shore of Echo Beach, with shopkeepers urging passers-by to have a look at their products, hoping that they would be able to score a purchase or two. It was a heart-wrenching sight to watch – witnessing how some shopkeepers were at their wit’s end, desperately trying to sell using their limited English vocabulary. With the little that they possessed, they tried, they really did.
“Please, harga bisa turunin! (price can be brought down!)”
“This one, this one ya? Atau (Or) that one?! Anything you see you like? No worry Miss can find something.”
I couldn’t help but feel bitter over the fact that some tourists took advantage of the superior role which had clearly been bestowed upon them by the shopkeepers. These tourists were rude, demeaning and snappy to say the least. The shopkeepers merely want to make a living, don’t they have as much right to be respected as anyone else these tourists encounter?
My Mum did something I’ve always admired her for – she slowed her pace, took a seat, and struck up a conversation with a shopkeeper, from whom we had purchased coconuts. It wasn’t so much probing, but rather genuinely being interested in getting to know the shopkeepers better.
The numerous occasions during which my Mum has done this enabled me to understand the concept of helping others achieve a sense of relief (if only momentarily) through finding an outlet (aka. the listener) to release what they may have been bottling up. Allowing them to speak about their story – what brings them joy/ what troubles them daily – not only provides them with a moment of catharsis, but also gives the listener greater understanding of the reality of life in parts of the world other than their own. Their stories are never identical to one another, not even close to being similar. I adore the way their eyes can sparkle or demeanour lighten up instantly when they approach a topic which they undeniably hold close to their heart. Beyond simply sightseeing, this is what travelling is about, isn’t it? To see the hearts, learn about the lives and connect with our fellow men.
“The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
Writing about this particular occurrence during my trip, I was reminded of a Chinese Idiom I came across in the past.
It means to kill two birds with one stone/ to have one action producing two results – very much like how my Mum’s initial approach brought relief to the person in question and insight to my Mum and I. This isn’t very relevant, but I’ve always found it mind-blowing how the Chinese language manages to compress a heaps of meaning into a short idiom.
Simplicity is simply beautiful. :’)
Time was a luxury we had that afternoon for my Yoga session and my Mum’s Energy Healing session were scheduled for much later in the evening. Thus, walking the 2 kilometres back to The Chillhouse was a rather easy decision to make. Besides, this meant we could shift our pace into a lower gear and properly take in every detail our gorgeous surrounding as we trudged along the pavement along the side of the road.
The Earth has music for those who listen. ॐ
The pictures above feature the Naga Bowl which I had for lunch at The Betelnut Cafe. I slurped up the beautiful hot pink mess a little too swiftly, but I mean, how was I not to? It had a wonderfully puréed base of sweet pink dragonfruit, frozen ’nanas (Auto-correct just corrected ‘nanas’ to ‘nannies’ oh dear HAHAHA) and coconut milk, generously topped with homemade vegan granola, shredded coconut, freshly picked strawberries, cashews and mint leaves. Sounds good supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (yes, this is a real word!!), no? 😉 My Mum had a dish called Nasi Gila, which directly translates to Rice Crazy. It had an oriental mix of both western and traditional Balinese influences. Pretty gnarly! This cafe got a 5/5 from me, oh blimey I’ll be back! 🙂
As my Mum and I resumed our little adventure back the resort, I suppose my heart couldn’t contain the bliss surging through my veins for it overflowed – my lips curled into a smile.