Story time! Let’s rewind back to the time when I had just arrived in Bali.
I was itching to get out of the busy Seminyak area and get started on my exploring. Seeing a pretty beach that was free of crowds and people selling things was also at the top of my list. Luckily, I had made contact with another fellow traveler who was staying in Canggu nearby who wanted to get out and do some exploring outside of the city as well. I had no idea how much of an adventure this was about to be.
She met me at my hotel and we walked down the road to a cute little coffee shop called The Library. Lindsay (@_traveloholic_)was also from the US and doing the digital nomad thing too. She had been travelling around for quite a while already so it was fascinating to me to hear how she started and gain some wisdom and advice from someone who had been doing something similar to what I was trying to do. It was massively comforting to listen to her talk about her past and how she was developing herself and her life along the way.
After coffee we determined our route and planned our attack. Conquering the beautiful Nyang Nyang beach was our mission. I jumped in an Uber and she jumped on her scooter and we made the trek out to the south part of the island. The extra adventurous thing about this part of our journey was that we didn’t have a way of contacting each other once we arrived and our meeting point was based on a google map view of the area near the trail to the beach. The whole hour long trip I was checking my screen shots of the map and praying we’d actually find each other at the end and that my driver would find where we were supposed to go (because he hadn’t heard of it of course).
As we drove, the roads became smaller and less road-like. So much so that he tried to drop me quite far away from my destination. My scared puppy dog eyes and attempt to show him a map of where I was supposed to meet my friend must have gotten to him so he continued on. We bumped down a little winding dirt road fit for one car, passed some chickens and cows and eventually arrived at a villa that looked very much like the one in my google map picture. I breathed a sigh of relief, watched him drive away and promptly began to panic a little that Lindsay would be lost now and have trouble finding me. I sat down on the steps in front of the villa to ponder my fate and not even five minutes later she pulled in. Perfect!
To get to the beach we had to walk around the side of this villa and down a little dirt path through the trees and down a little path down the side of a cliff. After successfully making our way down, we came out into a grassy field full of cows staring blankly at us. We made our way through the cows and down a bank of sand to get to the beach. In front of us was sparkling blue water as far as we could see and to either side of us was deserted sandy beaches. Behind us was the lush cliffside rising up imposingly and looking like something out of a movie. It was breathtaking.
We did end up seeing a handful of people while we wandered around but for the most part, this beach was a little slice of heaven. Nothing like the overwhelming Kuta beaches I had seen. Gorgeous rocks jutted up on one end of the beach and tons of tide pools full of colorful shells and weird creatures stretched out before us. The beach even had some remnants of shipwrecks which added a hauntingly beautiful feel to the view. What a way to start out my adventures in Bali. It was mesmerizing.
After a sweaty climb back up the cliffside, I jumped on the back of Lindsay’s scooter and we scooted to another cliffside in nearby Uluwatu where we were able to snag a table overlooking the ocean, surfers and sunset. It was picturesque perfection to my tired eyes and I decided this was bound to be a favorite spot to escape to. I was right, I still can’t get enough of that view.
To get back to my hotel in Seminyak was not as easy as getting out to Uluwatu. Turns out that the Uber, Lyft and Grab all stay away from Uluwatu due to local taxis and I was out of luck for a cheap ride. The taxis wanted a ridiculous amount to take me home so Lindsay came to my rescue and bravely offered the back of her scooter for the winding and long ride home.
To add to the adventures of the day, Bali decided to bless us with a downpour of rain as we drove around downtown Seminyak searching for my hotel. Of course there was traffic too so there we sat, in pouring rain, dancing to the music coming from the bar next to us while tourists took pictures of us and the kind staff offered us a place to park and take shelter. We were already drenched and really just wanted to get home so we passed up their offer and drove on. We laughed so hard as we finally found my hotel and pulled into the car port.
Definitely a memorable first adventure in Bali. I feel so blessed to have met a fellow traveler who broke me out of my safe little bubble and has been an encouragement and inspiration to me. We were able to meet up a few times before she left Bali and just recently my friend Nina and I were able to visit her in Australia.
Moral of the story: Keep meeting new people and accepting new adventures that come your way. You never know how much they might impact your journey or someone else’s.