Happiness is only real when shared
I chosed the quote „Happiness is only real when shared“ by Christopher McCandless for this post because in the second week of my journey I realized that no matter how much you pay for your accomodation and no matter how clean it is, if it has a pool or not, if you are alone then you are alone and there is nobody to share all the experiences you made along the day. And every evening this feeling killed me inside.
A short time after I published my last post I became so homesick. Of course I had my credit card back but then I had to wait for my passport which was in the immigration center at that time for my visa extension and those people I met until then were already off to discover other cities in Bali. Then I met Antonia from Berlin who wasn’t at home the last 2 ½ years and has already been in New Zeeland for 1 year and in Australia for 1 year and is now in Bali to wait for her visa for another time in Australia. She wanted to go to the Nusa Islands next but I already made a booking for another time in Ubud so everything seemed like I wasn’t able to follow her.
On one rainy day in Ubud I spent the day in the villa I rent myself in hope to feel better but I didn’t. I really wanted to go with her so that I won’t be alone anymore. As my will for freedom finally won the fight against my good sense I packed my backpack and moved to a hostel in the city centre of Ubud. This amazing feeling I had when I decided not to care about the money and to follow my heart was super good. I felt so free and I loved that I chosed to follow my heart rather than my good sense. In my society you are always taught the other way around and maybe that’s why I love not acting like this. I think the most people wouldn’t agree with that but if they really think about it they know it’s the truth – good sense over heart.
After the night in the hostel a perfect time was going to start. I think my time in Ubud was very good especially for getting into the local life in Bali and to realize how friendly the people on this part of the earth are. But now I was excited to spend some time with like minded people. Toni and I already booked a ticket to Nusa Lembongan the day before and early in the morning we drove to Sanur where we met the psychology student Max from Munich. Together we drove about an hour with the speed boot until we arrived in Paradise (so for me it was like paradise because I love sun, beach and the ocean and this was all waiting there for us). For the next 7 days our plan was just island hopping. First Nusa islands, then Gilis.
As we arrived in Nusa Lembongan we weren’t able to enjoy it directly by the minute we came there. We haven’t booked an accomodation until then so we just took a taxi to the city centre where Max already booked his homestay. We were sure we would find something for us around there – so sad we didn’t. The city centre wasn’t really a centre it was just one shop with 7 shampoos, 3 bags of chips and 1 bottle of petrol (ha ha). And everywhere around there was so much trash (so Bali is not always paradise it’s beautiful nature on the one hand and a lot of trash on the other hand because the local people don’t know how to get rid of it). Anyway we drove back to the harbor to find an Airbnb place and as we came back there we realized they were all full already. So a few locals said „I have small room for you in my house“ but the moment they said it they started laughing so I think they realized this wasn’t what we were looking for. Our mood was getting worse so we went back to the people that are always shouting „taxi taxi taxi“ at you – so that we can go back to the other part of the island.
After 1 hour of carrying our backpacks from A to B and after twenty drives in taxi we came to the most beautiful homestay ever. With a small bungalow and a bath for our own and amazing breakfast views to the ocean where the waves were crashing into the rocks every second. It was really really beautiful! We just lay down there on a poster bed and listened to the waves while I was thinking – yes, this is how I have always imagined the whole thing in relation to my journey.
On our second day in Nusa Lembongan we drove with the scooter (at that time it still worked out) to Nusa Ceningang. The islands are connected to each other by a small yellow bridge and there we had our best day so far. We just raced with the scooter along the way and everytime there was a stone we just hopped 10 metres away from the scooter. I was screaming „wuuhuuu“ and we started laughing. We drove on the small streets of the island and whenever there came a song to our mind we just started singing even though none of us is a good singer but that doesn’t matter here because we had fun and I felt the beautiful freedom running through my whole body. Free of norms and values, without any limitations.
We spent the day in a super cute beach cafe where we discovered a swing in the middle of the water, got some food and drank fresh coconut. Yes, it was like a perfect day.
The next morning before we left to the next island, Toni, Max, Ruben and I went snorkeling where I discovered my love for the beautiful ocean. By the way it was the first time ever for me to go on a snorkeling tour therfore I was so excited the evening before how it would be to swim with all those fishies.
After a short breakfast (I had banana pancakes I guess it’s nearly the only thing I eat for breakfast since I’m here because it’s included in every homestay I’ve been to :D) we started our tour. As we arrived on the first bay I was sitting on the boat for like 5 minutes with the whole snorkeling equipment on realizing I am too afraid to jump into the water. Then I said to myself that I’m about 15.000 km away from home, I have to deal with everything alone since 2 weeks, I had no money for food for like 2 days and this shouldn’t be a real challenge for me. After I finished my thought I jumped into the deep ocean and was surprised by what was waiting there for me. When I looked to my feet for the first time I saw two mantas so close to me. And they were sooooo big! So sad I hadn’t enough breathe and GoPro knowledge so I wasn’t able to take a good picture, but Toni did a good one and she allowed me to use it for my blog.
The next 3 hours we had a lot of fun while we made different stops at different bays. On each there was a beautiful part of ocean waiting for us. We used my GoPro until the battery died just to make sure we save every beautiful moment. I was just thinking how beautiful it would be to dive for 30 minutes without a break and no need to breathe so that I would be able to swim through all these colorful fish over and over again. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. To watch the animals in the environment they belong to – so beautiful, so peaceful, so free. It was a very beautiful experience for me as I said and I asked myself why I have been so afraid before. But if we are true to ourself it’s often like this, isn’t it? We are so afraid of the unknown and as we find out how it is it’s never that bad as we thought before, right? We just have to overcome ourselves. When I think about the time in Germany before I left to Bali I thought about so many bad things that will happen to me in the country I didn’t know until then and now everything I have to deal with is homesickness. And that’s just in my head and not the country’s fault.
After our snorkeling trip we went to Nusa Penida with a small boat. And yeah we are still asking ourselves why we went there. As we arrvied we were so tired and just wanted to chill and eat something. We searched for the city centre and realized that there weren’t a centre and no restaurants to have some good dinner. So we walked to a supermarket – the nearly only store we saw around and got some water and chips as suddenly the electricity stopped working. We were starring at each other and each of us was ready for this adventure we bought some candles and went to a warung to maybe get some dinner there. So sad that the electricity came back then (so no adventure for us) . Toni and I had meat in our food so we were ready to let this day come to an end. I mean, when you are traveling you are constantly trying to get the best of every situation but at that time we didn’t know what will follow the next day. As we came back to our homestay we just felt in our bed to get some sleep.
The next day we gave Nusa Penida another chance. We were so motivated to explore the island: Angels’s Billabong – Broken Beach – Kelingkind Beach. Instagram made us nearly crazy about it because of all these beautiful shots people took there. And i’m sure we would have get some nice shots if they had streets in Nusa Penida. This is the part you don’t see on instagram and I really ask myself how all these people get there without hurting themselves. We drove about 20 minutes on a more or less normal street and after that there was a road with sand and a lot of stones but not like those in Nusa Ceningan where we had fun. No, the stones were so big and there were also holes in the road so the scooter was always crashing on the ground (happy that none of the owners really care about the condition of the scooters).
Our motivation to get to those attractions was so big that we really made it to the place where we just had to pay the parking fee and just get downhill. The same second we thought about walking instead of driving down to it, the scooter slided away and I fell on the ground, next Antonia and then the scooter. She pushed it away to get off me but she stand up to fast and her circulation failed. What a drama! We were lucky that the people who came from Angel’s Billabong stopped to help us and a few locals also came and put leaves on her wounds. Okay that’s how they do it.I After we cleaned her and my wounds and we got back to our homestay by taxi and were happy that we didn’t broke anything. But we were definitely finished with Nusa Penida. Now we wanted to go to Gilis to snorkel and just lie on the beach.
The following day we went to the Gili islands. For Antonia there was not enough time left in Bali so we had to chose one of the three islands. We decided to go to Gili Air. As we arrived there again we had a bungalow for our own, explored the island and ended up in a restaurand as every evening – eating and taking photos are the main things we do here I think.
The next morning we got some smoothie bowls for breakfast (first time no banana pancakes :D). After that we looked for a good place at the beach and the oceans water is really beautiful! But it’s not only paradise – there are broken buildings, places with trash, and small horses carrying people with all their luggage – what I don’t like. I spent the whole day worrying about my GoPro because the day before in the evening I saw that it was stolen. But then I realized that these thoughts take me away from enjoying the island so I stopped worrying. It wouldn’t change anything, right?
What I loved about the time on the islands was not only the stunning nature but also the people I had around me. When I think about the scooter accident, my lost GoPro, meat in my food, homesickness – the only thing that makes everything better was being surrounded by good people. We never know which date it is and the monday hast he same worth like the friday for us and it really doesn’t matter which day it is, that’s so fantastic I think.
The day after we went to another snorkeling trip and there the water was clearer than this around Nusa Lembongan. We drove around all three Gili islands with a stop in Gili Meno to have some lunch. On this trip I saw a wild turtle for the first time in my life. What an amazing experience. And I thought about the coral riffs how sad it is that we (human) are not able to go to beautiful places and admire it without destroying it.
Now I am sitting in a hostel in Seminyak and I know my time with Antonia will come to an end tomorrow and there will be a new chapter for me on my journey. I met great people the last week and I discovered new things about myself. With the fact that I lost my GoPro I realized that I am still so materialistic even though I should knew it better. And I also realized how much I love home, my whole family, my friends and of course my love. I miss spending time with each of them.
I also want to say something at the end of this post: I still remember the thoughts I had back home and that I was thinking everything will be perfect when I’m in Bali. And now I am here and I miss my home – sometimes so hard that I cannot enjoy my time here in Bali. What I want to say is that I think it’s time for us to enjoy life wherever we are. There won’t be any better time in the future or somewhere else. We just have to love the moment right now. No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing ♥