Living on Indonesian Island Time

Three and a half years into my degree, and I have somehow found myself in the middle of the jungle in Ubud, Bali, on a co-op work term. To be honest with you, I have no idea really how I got here.

Bali is probably just what you think it is: a version of everyone’s paradise. It looks exactly like the postcards, and let me tell you, the smoothies are even better. For me, this time in Bali is not only about my work term, and giving back to the community, but it’s about finding a little bit of myself, too.

At the famous Balinesean Water Temple, blessing ourselves in the holy water. (One of the many amazing pieces of culture we got to experience during Orientation week.)

People from all over the world come to Bali to go on expensive yoga retreats, eat a lot of smoothie bowls, relax on beaches, and get world class massages. Bali is known as a sort of spiritual haven, and all these things in mind, I coordinated a co-op here so that I could take a step away from my life and sort of see who I could be in this promised land.

Part of the volunteer crew on our 2am sunrise hike of Mt. Batur, an active local volcano. It was worth the early wake up call!

When you’re in University, you’re doing-doing-doing. As my new yoga teacher said (ha ha, I know I’m already falling into the trap), sometimes we get so focused on this that we become human-doings, rather than human-beings.

I wish I was more able to step into myself in the present moment, instead of always ruminating about the past, or stressing about the future. The Balinese people have got the “simple life” down, and as I walk down the street I see grin after grin of the local people as they smile and wave at me, testing out their English skills as they ask me how my day is going. I want to know — can I be that happy and relaxed all the time? And, if I can achieve that here — how can I bring that home and into my daily life?

The magnificence of the nearby rice fields. Everything here is so green!

So, here I am, the cliched tourist who has already bought her three month yoga pass, set up her hammock, and has already indulged in many a mango smoothie. Most days, I wake up early to get in some exercise by running stairs or going to “Morning Flow” yoga, eat breakfast, plan my health education lessons, eat lunch, go to the school to teach, eat dinner with my housemates, and come home to read and write before going to bed early. I’m trying out the simple life for these three months — and in contrast to my usual University life, I am eager to see how I will feel.

Uluwatu Temple. (By far one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen – also features some very aggressive monkeys – RIP Rachel’s glasses).

Halo and Dha-Dha (bye-bye) from Ubud!

P.S. For those who are interested, I just finished my first week of volunteering, and will try to get a post up soon about the work I am doing here in Bali!

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