A solo vacation in Bali, eh? I know what you are thinking. Nah, I’m not trying to relive Elizabeth Gilbert’s EPL journey and have no interest in visiting Ketut in Ubud. I sort of already did “that soul vacation” in Bali 10 years prior to Liz, before soy lattes and dot com explosion. I didn’t find love with a Brazilian, but does a 3 day romance with Aussie I met on Kuta beach count? Okay, maybe not. Instead, I fell in love with a British man that I met in Hong Kong who later became my husband. I missed the boat when I forgot to write a book or a song about it. I’m sitting on my patio at the same homestay in Candidasa. It’s hardly recognizable now. New bungalows now replace the landscaping, and the name of the homestay has changed along with the owners. Still, the spiritual and cultural essence of Bali radiates profoundly throughout the land. I met an Indonesian woman during my first visit to Candidasa in January 1996. I was sitting on a black sand beach and she showed me her traditional style paintings. If you haven't traveled to third world countries, you become numb and put up your walls with the touts. Ni Wayan was different, she stood out. The soulful depth in her eyes captured my attention, her features were strikingly beautiful and what she said to me sent a tingle up my spine. She told me how I was lucky to live in America because there is more opportunity and how she dreamed of a better life. It broke my heart. I told her I was an artist as well and that it was my second year out of university. Her eyes brightened with excitement and she gave me the biggest smile. She said “You artist, too. That is good. You do well, k? You work hard, k? Someday you become famous, make lot of money selling you art and come back to Bali.” I laughed. Her expression changed. She nodded her head with seriousness and said “Yes, Jan-ey. Not possible for me. But, FOR YOU possible!”
Love this artist, her thoughts and her amazing creative spirit. Worth reading and following!