Tomorrow (June 12) marks my first month in Bali. But, because tomorrow is Philippine Independence Day, I’m saving that for a different special post. #FilipinoAndProud #HappyIndependenceDayPilipinas
For now, it’s all about my first 31 days living in the Island of Gods.
(Apologies for being MIA but at least now you’ll know what I’ve been up to!) Here goes…
So, as you may or may not know, I recently decided that I was going to pack up my life and move to Bali. Why? Well, because I needed a change… because I wanted to learn how to be independent — truly independent (i.e. no maid to clean up after or cook for me on a daily basis, budgeting my own money and actually paying rent, having real adult responsibilities — no more sheltered life). And in the 31 days that I have been living in Bali, I’ve learned valuable lessons that I know will benefit me in the long run. I’ve learned to fend for myself (stand up to people who have tried to rip me off), cook (kinda), clean, and also embrace different people and their way of life.
I’ve met all sorts of people in Bali. I’ve met entrepreneurs who are working hard to get their start-ups going, tattoo-covered individuals trying to turn their life around, “halfies” looking to get in touch with their roots, friendly Balinese/non-Balinese locals who never fail to invite me for lunch or offer a cup of coffee and say “Hi Reby, where are you going?” every time I walk past, and well, sadly, the occasional bad/arrogant “bules” (foreigners) too. Bali is definitely a melting pot, and as long as you keep an open mind, stay friendly and just have a genuine interest to meet new individuals, you’ll never run short of friends everywhere you go — Kuta, Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak.
Aside from being Miss Congeniality (jokes… are half meant), I’ve also been busy with random writing and research work here and there. Contrary to what most people think (that I just hang out at the beach all day long), I actually do have to work. I mean hey, I gotta pay the bills somehow. And because I like to keep busy and help out whenever I can, I’ve also volunteered my skills and knowledge to help out this local restaurant here that sells THE MOST BOMB fish tacos. (Shout out to DA Kahuna Shack — Aloha!) They don’t get the recognition that they deserve so hopefully we can sort that out. Shameless plug: follow us on Instagram @da_shack_bali.
On my days off, I like to explore, go to the beach, and just relax. I’ve rented a car and driven up to Ubud (boy, that was an experience), tried driving a scooter (need.more.practice), and cycled around just to see the local neighborhood (and to get some exercise in). I’ve also had a few friends come on holiday so I joined them in a few of their touristy activities — trip to the rice paddies, a weekend of water sports and ATV rides, coffee tasting etc. There’s never a dull moment in Bali — always something to do.
As for eats, I love Indonesian food and I’ve been trying out all that they have to offer. My favorite? Nasi Campur — bit of rice, noodles (carboload much?), ayam (chicken), kangkung, chayotes — ENNAK (yummy)! I do have to work on my spice tolerance though — although I think it’s better than most of my friends.
Occasionally, I crave western food (not gonne lie) and upon arriving have actually had steak, a burger, and fries here and there. In the next months to come, I’m looking forward to trying more delicacies and am excited to discover more good Bali eats.
Bali, the island of Gods, has definitely been good to me this past month. And the people, even better. Terima Kasih, Bali, for being a great new home. I look forward to more adventures with you.
Peace Love and Lipgloss,
And now, for the photo dump. Enjoy!