That’s right. I’m currently in Bali. And, unlike most of my recent travels, this isn’t for a quick two-day visa run. This is for a semi-lengthy two-month stint. It’s been one year (almost to the day) since I moved from Jakarta to Phnom Penh. It’s hard to believe I haven’t stepped foot in Indonesia since then. And it feels unbelievably good to be back in the country that has become kind of like a second home to me.
I realize that this news might seem like it’s come out of nowhere. And that’s because it has. I didn’t plan on this. In fact, for anyone who read my last blog post, I had very specific plans to spend the summer in Beijing. In that post I went on and on about how grateful I am for the stability that Beijing has given me, especially after a slightly rocky time in Phnom Penh. The fact that it’s stability I’m seeking might make it seem a bit odd that I suddenly up and left Beijing.
That being said, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that things in my life don’t always go according to plan. My life these past few years has consisted of a series of snap travel decisions to different cities and last-minute moves to various countries. And this visit to Bali is no different.
Two weeks ago I had zero plans to come to Bali. And then, well, a bunch of random things fell into place. I won’t go into the long and boring details of how exactly this move (if you can even call it that) came about. But, in a nutshell, Aaron will be spending the summer doing research in Indonesia, and I’ll be spending the summer working (and trying desperately to keep up with this here blog!).
So no, I won’t exactly have all the time and freedom in the world to traipse around Indonesia. But I will have the chance to rent an apartment somewhere in Bali, work from cafes and hotel pools whenever I feel the urge, and spend the weekends traveling to places like Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and the Gilis.
In fact, I’ll be in the Gilis later this week!
I really do have a lot of work to do. But hopefully I’ll be able to explore more of the main island, at least a little bit. I’ve visited Bali three times before, but somehow I’ve explored very little of the main island.
While I’ve been enjoying my time in Beijing, the reality is that I’ve spent the majority of my days working, commuting and feeling just a little isolated in my out-of-town apartment. So when the opportunity came around for me to spend the summer in Bali, it was just not an opportunity I was going to pass up.
Luckily I’ve been able to find work that enables me to temporarily work remotely. And for that I feel really lucky. Sometimes having a job that chains me to my laptop wears on me, but at times like this I love that my work can (for the most part) be done from anywhere.
I’m honestly just so excited to be able to see the ocean every day. As a California girl, it’s tough not to live next to the ocean. I’m excited to eat some of my favorite Indonesian treats like gado-gado and bakwan.
I’m thrilled to be able to communicate with people again, even if it’s in the most basic Bahasa phrases. And to be honest, I’m just excited for a change of scenery. I suppose this is one of the downfalls of having traveled long-term. It spoils you a little bit, and it makes staying in one place slightly challenging. So I’m going to spend the summer working my ass off, soaking up the sun and frolicking in the ocean. But don’t worry Beijing I’ll be back before too long.
So where are you going to be spending the summer?