Scrolling through the few photos I have from Bali still gives me the high from the trip. I never planned going on an out-of-the-country trip for my first sabbatical after residing in Abu Dhabi for 20 months. But, being the spontaneous me, I said yes when Thea asked me to join-in before anxiety could even say abort mission. This trip was booked six months prior and there had been adjustments here and there, including myself almost not going but I’m glad I pushed through!
Note: I don’t have a lot of photos because I was enjoying myself. I even plan on not taking photos myself — or even using my phone at all — and just soak into every single minute of the trip, but I know I will thank myself later on if I have at least a few. And sure did I! Yayy! 🙂
Day 1 — first time meeting 60% of the crew. Of course first things, first, we had lunch at the nearest restaurant we could find because we were too starving and exhausted. I was feeling a bit awkward at first, but, we eventually eased into laughters and of course mild — harmless — bullying. Stayed in the villa to rest and have a few laps. Had a few conversations by the pool. And then dinner at Motel Mexicola. Oh, and I learned something — I still am a very extravagant eater… Either I have a strict budget plan the next time I travel or I set aside a huge chunk for food. Lol.
Day 2 — Oh, this is an epic day! First off, Angel Billabong is one surreal bit — and so is the Broken Beach! It’s hard to believe these views did not come from a movie.
During high tide, waters would come into this elevated ocean-like bit that is Angel Billabong. The waters were peaceful when we got there after quite a bumpy ride. Worth it! It’s too picturesque and just surreal. Being the daredevil me, I went down to have a dip. Ahh! Too good! Photos here and there, then, in a snap we were taken by a huge wave. I feared for my life because I was only a few meters from the huge rock and the edge and dearie me if that wave had been stronger I would have been smashed against the rock and god knows what happens next. Of course mother nature was having fun so she sent a stronger wave. !!! A few moments later I felt my foot hit a VERY sharp edge and so I gathered all my strength and walked up to the edge to climb up. Well, that was the first time I’ve ever seen something, myself rather, bleeding under water. You could really see the blood gushing as if you were watching Jaws and a shark would magically appear in front of you because — hello — blood! We managed to get me to a safer surface as I continue to bleed half my foot to drought. This won’t sound right but I was pleasured seeing myself incessantly making trails of blood wherever I go. Lol. The wound was horrendous. I thought my foot would have that dent f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Thea was panicking and wanted me to receive first aid ASAP. But we were not fortunate to have access to one. The tour guide took some leaves, did his magic, spat on it(!) and put the traditional medicine against my wound. Jaerron wrapped it with a cloth and we continued hiking. Hah! Sahh fun for me albeit the pain and discomfort. Also, Mark sprained his foot in the same place and that’s how Team PWD started.
We continued with the trip and I even managed to pose for a photo hanging on a tree and another by the edge of a cliff. Lol. Also, thanks for water-proof band-aids in Bali I still was able to swim at the end of the day!
We had a smashing good lunch at — guess where — Angel Billabong restaurant! The coincidence hurts. Lol. Oh, the Nasi Goreng and Chicken Satay in there is O M G hands up THE best!
Oh well, still thankful for the gift of life and friends! Def a banga day! And I quote this guy from dinner who had been dancing shamelessly for like an hour — “how cool is Bali, eh?!”
Everyone on their phones whilst waiting for the food. We also played Jenga and that’s how we concluded our night.
Went through insane trails to get to this majestic, untouched, halley guacamole, amazeballs, beautiful paradise! The place is unreal and the hike was major major but it is definitely worth it! Prime spot for surfers in Bali for waves as insane.
La Plancha to see the sunset/ blue hour/ cutesy umbrellas.
Day 4 — Tanah Lot, touching snakes, and diving into an insane lunch buffet! We ordered for 10 people, we were seven dining, and I think I consumed food for three pax.
Day 5 — Ahh it’s Heaven’s Gate day! Everyone entering the temple must wear a sarong to cover their lower body. We were fortunate to witness their prayer time and everything in between. Also, just look at how majestic the temple gates are. It’s beyooooond.
How cute are group photos, right?! I am feeling some huge sepanx from the crew right now.
So, after the temple, of course we went to the beach! I had about two bottles in between swimming so, yeah, you can only imagine how much fun I was having whilst riding the waves and swimming my way through each. This was the time when I was reaaaaaally really loving Bintang. Also, I guess because I was kind of out of my head, I was hit by a really strong wave and — oh dear me — I was laughing so hard because I was literally smashed back to the shore. There were definitely pangs of pain but who cares that was so cool I was alive. Lol. Another fun part was when we played beach volleyball until I injured myself. One local was trying to hit on me after the game and I said no in the nicest way possible. Lol.
I think this is also the same day we decided we will pursue the Ata Bag business. Fun times!
But in between all of that fun was a not-so-fun story.
In the midst of having all the fun in the world, I had a panic attack. I couldn’t explain what I’m feeling and I am beyond any help my friends could offer. I was shaking and I wanted to cry but I couldn’t feel anything. It’s no joke. And to think I had an attack whilst I was in an environment where I am having so much fun and enjoying myself, you can only imagine how it feels in a stressful and uncomfortable environment.
The feeling was building up for three days until it bursted and I was all over the place.
Take care of your mental health. Stop pushing yourself too hard. It may not feel much today but it will take a toll on you one day and you wouldn’t want that day to come.
Still thankful I come out alive from each attacks I get — cheers!
Day 6 — THE DAY I REALISED I HAVE AN OBSESSION FOR SWINGS HANGING BY THE EDGE OF A CLIFF OR BASICALLY JUST DOING STUFF THAT WOULD GIVE MY FRIENDS SOME SOLID HEART ATTACKS.
That’s our classic Ata Bag! Lovely, innit!?
Probably the only selfie I had from Bali. Having too much fun!
The team went to another temple afterwards where of course we goofed around taking cutesy photos. Here is one of the behind the scenes. Hahaha!
Of course I need to have one. Thankful for supportive photo-ops friends!
Group photos yayyyyy!
I just realised we were all wearing floral clothes?! Botanical, if not floral, okay. Except Mark. Eghhh, Mark you need to coordinate next time. Lol.
L–R: Rand, Mark, the me, Jov, Thea, Jaer
Ahh! I miss the group!
The night was for going around to buy souvenirs. Excuse me, I’m taking this mirror home. Thanks.
Day 7 — Technically our last day in Bali. We stayed in a backpacker’s inn near the airport since our flight is scheduled early the next day. It was the only day we slowed down during the trip. Also the last day we were with Wayan, who wasn’t just our tour guide. Oh, this sweet little man. I’ll put his contact number at the end of this post so you could contact him for your trip! He speaks English very well, is very helpful, very generous, and very loveable I’m telling you!
I had a chance to meet two interesting women in the inn. Angie, from France, has been touring Bali for two months by herself. She is this typical French girl who is petite and soft-spoken. The other one is, uh, Vivian? Oh wow I forgot her name, I’m sorry! Anyways she’s German and has been backpacking for quite a while also.
Whilst in there, I had time to slow down and notice the people around me: the friends I made during the trip, that is the crew, and the people at the inn. Life looked so peaceful and simple. I wanted to start a conversation with everyone I bump into but it’s getting really late into the night. Although I had a few words with Angie since she is my roommate.
Maybe there really is something about late nights, simple dinners, and people. I felt kind of emotional. Suddenly, I wanted to do this more often, travelling — backpacking, actually. I thought if Angie and Vivian could do it, why couldn’t I? I kind of had time to think about things and write on my journal. Oh, this was the only day I had time to write on my journal. I’ve been doing it since morning whilst we were in Starbucks.
I realised I think what I needed was to slow down in my life and appreciate the little things around me. I have been so occupied with a lot of things I no longer have time to notice my breath or my heartbeat. And now I had a brief time to notice the little things around me: How life could be lived simply. How people could be so fun to be with. How you could feel content by just being here, at the moment, eating a 20.000 IDR Nasi Goreng together with your new found friends underneath the stars breathing fresh air.
I realised I was willing to trade a comfortable life with a life lived simply like this. I’ve never felt so peaceful.
Day 8 — Flight back to Philippines. A longer journal entry. Until this time I was pondering on a very important decision.
I am a sleeper inside aircrafts. The moment I sit on my chair, I just automatically doze off — of course after checking for the air sickness bag. Ehehehe. But this time I couldn’t sleep. I was so pumped up with ideas! I was drafting stuff for our Ata Bag business. I came up with our brand name mid-air. I have made plans for the next weeks. I am ready to go through things! Toughest and roughest decision I made but I was finally at peace and happy.
We landed safely in Philippines at around 12 noon. Finally getting my phone off flight mode, I received a text that says someone sent me credit. And, wow, it’s perfectly timed as if that person knows my exact flight itinerary. Funny though no one out of all the people who knew my PH number sent me credit. Hmm, weird. Up to this day the culprit has not presented himself/ herself.
That’s it! Sums up our 8-day Bali trip! Itinerary, well, did not go according to plan and we’ve been improvising since day 1 and it’s been fun! Rough estimate of my expenses were around 22,000 php all-inclusive.
Wayan’s contact number is: +62 812-3616-7724.
Please tell him Irish, Alyssa, Ron, Mark, Rand, and Jov said hi!
Thank you for reading! For any questions, feel free to reach out via the contact page!