My plane touched down in paradise after midnight and my groggy self was excited, relieved and quick to completely mess up my incoming visa process. Visa on arrival is pretty darn easy in Bali and yet I still did it wrong. With the help of some very friendly immigration officers, all was resolved quickly and I was sent on my way with an extendable visa and a warning not to wear my “bling bling” earrings to the beach. Duly noted.
After grabbing my masses of luggage, I wandered through the crowd to look for my pre-arranged ride. I was met with a wall of drivers holding tiny, creatively spelled signs for people and hotel destinations. I thought I was forgotten about but eventually found my driver and headed outside where I immediately started sweating. Yummy.
My first hotel was a great place to start. The breakfast was fabulous and I could watch the street and beach below while hiding behind my coffee and pile of food. I watched the beach wake up every morning with vendors, local dogs and surf instructors setting up their spots. I would watch a lady making her rounds of setting out little offerings of food and flowers. I was eventually spotted by some locals on the beach who began waving and dabbing emphatically. What happened to being able to creep in peace? I wasn’t sure how to respond to this so I waved back and quickly hid behind the safety of my coffee again. I wasn’t ready to interact with the outside world quite yet.
The first few days I kept it simple. I happily ate my breakfast in creeper mode overlooking the beach, slept off my dizzying fog of jet lag, contacted people at home, floated in the rooftop infinity pool, followed the US election drama as it unfolded, watched the sunset and surfers from the roof and got some work done on the rooftop cafe while rain poured down around. It wasn’t exciting but it was perfect and that roof made my intro to Bali a great one.
The adventurous side of me was a little disappointed with my uneventful first few days but I quickly realized that the beauty of not having an end date to my travels is that I’m able to take things in slowly and savour them as they come. My introverted and overthinking side was having a fabulous time slowly testing the waters and settling in at my own pace. No pressure to see it all and do everything all at once. No urgent need to be super adventurous. I was so tired and a bit overwhelmed by a backlog of work that this ended up being the perfect way to start my new little journey. Relaxed, refreshed and caught up on both sleep and work.
I was a non-adventurous rooftop creeper and it was wonderful.