How a Solo Trip to Bali Empowered My Life as a Woman
I remember the day I left for my solo adventure in Bali; it was just so surreal. I had an evening flight, so I spent my day tidying up things, giving perishables to my doorman and dropping my dog off at her sitter’s. The whole day, I thought: I can’t believe I’m actually doing this! Did I mention I only had one giant backpack?
When you’re going to be a nomad and explore Bali, you can’t be carrying a lot of shit around with you; it’s a great metaphor for life as well.
As a woman taking a solo trip to Bali, packing was actually easier than one might think. I didn’t need the perfect outfits with a wide array of shoes. Because of the warm weather in Bali, I was able to pack very light clothes, along with one pair of flip flops, one pair of old tennis shoes, a few items of makeup, journal, iPhone and of course my favorite ginger grapefruit comfort tea and a few granola bars.
You know that feeling when you’re going on a great first date or interview where you just know that the whole trajectory of your life could change for the better? That was how I felt the day I left for Bali. I knew that Bali would be part of my soul searching. I was nervous, yet calm in the same breath.
As I sat in O’Hare airport eating my “last meal”—a burger and beer of course, for extra courage—I received a call from a guy. He was a guy I was friends with, but we had talked about dating and had even gone out on one date. We weren’t in the same space that we needed for things to go well, so it kind of fizzled. He was calling to see if I wanted to meet for drinks…on another date! Out of the blue, he was professing all sorts of readiness for a relationship, etc…. The timing was so beyond coincidental, as we hadn’t talked in weeks. I told him that I was leaving for Bali and he was surprised. Somehow, this made me even more attractive.
What was the universe doing? Here I was, ready to go on the adventure of a lifetime and now the guy I liked is finally interested in me?
No, I had to keep moving forward. I was leaving and doing this trip for me; nothing was changing. If things were meant to be, we’d figure it out when I got back.
My first leg was Chicago to Dubai— a 13+ hour flight. I jammed out to music on my phone, feeling so free…a feeling that was entirely new to me, over 10,000 feet in the air with no responsibilities, and no obligations. I was ready!
In Dubai, I was happy to find some comfort food and and ice cream at the airport. Then I was off to Singapore, another 7 hour flight. With all the time changes, I arrived in Singapore just in time for breakfast. My last flight to Bali was only a little over 2 hours and it flew by. We arrived oceanside at the Denpasar airport, which fortunately provided me with transportation, so I stopped to exchange money and found my driver.
When I was planning my travel itinerary for Bali, I had splurged a bit and chosen a mid-priced hotel right on the beach in Kuta. As we shuffled through the streets and the shopping areas of Bali, I thought, Is this safe? Will I be okay? I arrived at my hotel mid-day and was greeted in the traditional Balinese way in which hands are put in prayer-like fashion and the head is bowed. My bags were held by the bellmen as I checked in with reception and provided my welcome drink.
It was then that my heart filled with reassurance. I knew I would be okay; the universe had guided me exactly where I needed to be. The next morning, as I sat in my outdoor bath, all I could think was how blessed I was, how lucky I was to be really “living the dream” as I like to say, experiencing this new culture, embracing my fears and pampering myself.
It was time to explore my new home.