Sometimes a girl’s gotta take matters into her own hands.
As much as it would light up my world to take every trip with a group of my nearest and dearest, it doesn’t always pan out that way. More often than not, I’ve run into roadblocks when trying to plan getaways with other people -- we often find that our timing is off. Or our budgets don’t align at the moment. Or we have different travel styles. Then there was that time I wanted to move to Thailand for a while and couldn’t get anyone to join me… Hmm.
So, I found myself jetting off in a party of 1 on a handful of journeys over the past year. Being by myself in a new continent has forced me to shed my shyness more than I ever had before. As a result, I’ve entered countries knowing no one, and left having gained unforgettable experiences I got to share with others, lifetime friends, and people who I wouldn’t hesitate to hit up whenever I return to their city.
Once I dreamt up the idea to move to Thailand, I was so set on moving assoonaspossible that I didn’t allow myself any time to second guess it. I didn’t even wait until my LA apartment lease was up -- I found someone to replace me, bought my ticket without waiting for permission, and set the plan in motion to get up and go. Looking back, it happened so quickly. It seemed like just when I started to tell my friends I was moving overseas, I was up and out before they really had a chance to grasp what the hell I was doing.
I remember how anxious I was to go, right up until the day before I left. All types of anxiety kicked in, poking my brain around asking, “Who exactly do you think you are?”
Bali is a gripping place. It can't quite be accurately depicted by words or pictures, but there are so many special things about this piece of paradise that must be felt and experienced in person. Its energy is prevailing, it's culture overflowing, and it boasts enough views to last a lifetime.
Below I'm breaking down what I spent during my 8 day trip here, with the hopes that it can help you map out your future Balinese getaway. If you weren't planning one already, add it to your travel list and start now. This country, this island in particular, is a must visit, one of a kind destination. Fortunately, it's also incredibly affordable. Whether you're on a super tight budget or if you have some room to ball out (or somewhere in between like me), you are bound to live it up on this energetic Indonesian island.
"I hated the 9-5 grind and my monotonous day-to-day routine, so I quit my job and took off for a life around the world." But what about those who actually love their job and their deluxe downtown life? When the nomadic impulse calls and the desire forms to seek more oomph out of your existence -- do you pursue this peculiar plea, or do you ignore it and settle for the occasional vacation as long as you otherwise get to live a fabulous life?
Sometimes that internal calling rings so loudly that you see no other option but to answer it. 'FREE YOURSELF. JUST GO FOR IT.'
Erica Smith is one brave lady who answered. She's currently gallivanting the globe with her husband, Corey, while they both hone in on/develop skillsets that will allow them permanent location-independence.
I moved to Thailand last August without knowing a soul in Chiang Mai and with only a hint of a plan as to what exactly I'd do for the ~6 months I'd be there. My goal was to learn as much as I could - both technical skills and lifestyle tidbits - about creating an online-centered career, while taking the opportunity to travel around Thailand and Southeast Asia while based there. I wanted to live out my dreams, even if temporarily, of living in a completely different country.
8 months and a 29 hour flight later, I'm back in the US after the whirlwind of a journey hoping I can adequately process all that I've experienced, learn, and seen. What a chapter!
I was hoping I’d make it there at some point during my time living in Southeast Asia. In fact, Bali had been in the back of my mind as the place I’d possibly move to after 6 months in Thailand, or whenever Thai immigration stopped letting me re-enter their country when my visas would expire.
Did I know anything about Bali? Other than what I’d seen half-paying attention to Eat, Pray, Love...no. I just knew it was beautiful. I knew it was a life-changing destination for some. I somehow knew experiencing this little stand-out Indonesian island would just feel good for the soul.