Day 24 ~ The journey home
It will take us 27 hours to get from Singapore to home. Singapore is where we started this journey and today as we walked through the airport we remember the point where we collided, our eyes full, and hugged each other tight. We had the same full eyes as we set off today. Its been an incredible adventure. As always there is the push and pull – we want more time but we miss our loved ones.
As the two of us cry we are so thankful for an amazing journey. It went by far too fast…ahh but it won’t be the last time we have one of these Pickle and Pie Pie adventures so we hold hands and drag our luggage through the airport!
As I type Mariah and I are making the long trek home.
It seems as though the month has flown by.
On the one hand we want to stay and linger and keep traveling and on the other, home is calling and our hearts are missing our loved ones.
When we planned this adventure 9 months ago we were in much different places than we are today.
Mariah was in the first half of her 3rd year and very focused on school. She was uncertain of what she would do for work/a career after she graduates and true to her historical character this stressed her as everything was not figured out! I think now she is in a different place. Her university minor – gender studies – is becoming her life major. Her future after graduation next year though still not figured out is no longer stressing her out to the same extent and her path is unfolding – its great to see her go through all of this but now with a much gentler, wiser ease.
And 9 months ago I was running an agency I co-founded and was stressing over how I was going to leave my team for a month. I felt guilt when I even thought about leaving for a month. And then, things changed and I left my agency in January. So, for the first time in my working life I travelled without worrying about work – and it has been great!
When we started writing Gypsea Diaries it was about an adventure with one of the loves of my life. And a truly amazing adventure we have had! It put some other areas of my life into perspective. I am legitimately less stressed about the small stuff, have even less time for BS, and there is better clarity on relationships that are and are not working and what I am prepared to do/not do. I am less stressed about work and next steps as everything is or will fall into place. I am getting better at trying to let things unfold and when I feel tension building I remember the Medicine Dr.’s sage advice….”Stop Thinking!”
I don’t know what will be upon me as I land – but I do know that loved ones are picking us up and right now all I can think about are their hugs and kisses.
XO See you on the other side
Throughout South East Asia at temples, at doorways, in walkways, on statues – literally EVERYWHERE, there are offerings. An offering is usually a small bamboo basket that holds flowers perhaps some coins, sometimes a piece of food like a cracker or rice.
An offering is given daily – devoutly!
It is a means of giving thanks and you are taught and are expected to give thanks daily.
I think in the Western World this would be akin to counting your blessings and noting for yourself the amazingness in your life.
And I think this is the biggest difference that I have noted…
Most (though I want to type everyone) in South East Asia are happy. They have very little and work hard to sustain their families. Sustenance is a good day. And they are happy and everyday they give thanks. They have family temples that they have built that they reside over – these temples are their sanctuary for prayer for gathering, for celebrating. Their plots of land are designed around where to put their family temple then their bedrooms then their living and cooking areas. There is not a religious official who resides over these premises – they do this themselves.
Though they have very little according to Western thinking, they have what they need and this makes them happy – and they are thankful.
I have always been a striver. Pushing myself to work harder, get further, make more and often I have missed smelling the roses and truly counting my blessings. I do think there is something to be said for making the time everyday to methodically prepare a conscious offering of thanks. To me this means taking stock, noticing the beauty and ‘amazingness’ in my life and savouring it,…being thankful. I am also hoping that this will help me to alter my expectations, chill a little more, ‘need/want’ less and help me to restore balance in my life and enjoy the peace that is increasingly daily.
Thank you for reading! Have a great day!!!
Day 23 ~ Meandering through Ubud
Our last day in Ubud we decided to spend the day walking. We literally walked the entire town. We checked out stores, temples, yoga shops, the market,…
We just held hands, walked and talked.
A very fitting end not only to our time in Bali but our adventure. The next few days would be full of trains, planes and automobiles as we head home. So we savoured these last moments.
We both noted though that this is what we do well. We are totally insync with each others rhythm and pace. There is an ebb and flow to everything that we do together and time and place does not matter. We do this as easily in Toronto as we do wherever we travel.
Its always bittersweet when we travel or spend a day and have to return home. While we both cherish home we also very much cherish our time together.
Throughout this adventure we have been taking a ton of photos. We even bought a selfie stick – which has yet to come out of the bag?! Neither one of us consider ourselves photogenic nor do we really like having our picture taken. That said we have used pictures as a visual diary where in fairness words fail. And while taking pictures of the places and spaces we visited has been the priority, we have tried to insert ourselves appropriately to vindicate our presence.
So, it was not only a pleasant surprise but so insanely Mariah and Nicole that while in Bali, of all places, we would have a photoshoot!
In the spirit of “everything happens for a reason”, we met Katy and Mark the day we arrived in Bali. Mariah and I arrived at our hotel in Jimbaran, Bali and decided to walk around the magnificent property. As we were checking out the place we literally bumped into Katy and Mark. The four of us were “ooooing” and “aaaaawwwing” over a rock cliff swimming pool. Katy was snapping photos and we were all gasping at the magnificence. We exchanged contact info because in the brief conversation we got along so well and so easily but clearly this planted a seed in my mind that Mariah jumped on.
Over dinner I asked Mariah if she thought it would be okay if we asked Katy if she would take some professional shots of us. Mariah said send Katy an email and see what she says. And so I did and Katy’s response was lovely and we all agreed to meet the next day for a quick shoot.
Three girls, the beach, the waves – honestly we got along so well we spent more time chatting than “shooting”. While I truly believe that thanks to Katy the pictures will be great the real magic was the time and the conversation. We ended up having drinks then dinner, which Mark joined in for and chatting til quite late. It was an awesome evening and one we are all certain is a sign of many more to come. Thanks to having very recently fallen head over heels for a Brit I think I will be in the UK sooner as opposed to later so we will be spending a day visiting Brighton with Katy and Mark. And Katy has never been to Toronto so we need to find a reason to get her over here so we can reciprocate and take her around town.
Regardless this will all play out in due course and we will be sure to share the pictures after Katy works her magic!
Day 22 ~ Ubud as a spiritual epicentre
Ubud is said to the be spiritual epicenter of Bali so it made sense that this was where we would not only end our stay in Bali but also bring to a close our trip.
Thanks to Mariah we were staying in a beautiful villa aptly named “Sanctuary” that was a 5 minute walk to the center of Ubud.
In order to get to the villa we were picked up by their resident driver and he proposed that we spend a day with him and he would take us to the key requisite sites but also to the artisan villages and a place where locals go to cleanse their spirits, pray and to a certain extent, bless themselves and their families.
No surprise we seized this opportunity and had a very full day.
We visited a few temples and some amazing woodworking and painting workshops as well as some interesting local Balinese shops, but the best part of the day was when we went into the mountains to participate in a very local ritual.
Our driver, Made, took us up into the mountains where we changed into sarongs and got in line with the locals to walk along a river bed to a very refreshing waterfall opening where we would bless ourselves with the fresh and holy water from the mountain. We would then get out and pray in front of an alter.
This was likely one of our favorite moments in Bali.