Bali, Bali, ooooooh Bali.

2014 was a tough year for me. I tirelessly questioned every aspect of my life – my career, my relationships, my social life, my city. I was constantly torn between the desire to take off and do something different and my gratitude and love for my life here. This may sound ridiculous, but I tend to think of it as the gypsy in me being at war with the small town girl I grew up identifying with.Between my personal struggles and my emotionally taxing job, I needed an escape.

So I turned to drugs. Hard drugs. All of them.

Just kidding. I planned a trip instead.

I started planning my trip to Bali about a year ago. Why Bali? When I lived in Hawaii I remember some of my friends taking surf trips out there, and coming back with Bintang singlets and coozies and BRIGHT Indonesian art. I remember them saying how ridiculously cheap it was and how the surfing was sooo incredible. I knew I wanted to take a long vacation but I was a little concerned about the cost of my adventure. Bali seemed to balance exotic + affordable just right. In addition to the affordability factor, Bali marries my love for the beach and yoga just perfectly.

I spent months researching hotels and villas and bungalows and different places to visit while there. I have read thousands of hotel reviews on Trip Advisor and can likely tell you how the breakfast is at most of the hotels there. I’m not kidding. I actually found it to be quite entertaining – people write the craziest things when reviewing establishments, and it is so interesting to see what they found most notable about their experiences. Seriously though, people love to complain about the free breakfast at hotels. It blows my mind.

But anyways, I planned and planned and planned some more. I made multiple, detailed, intricate itineraries. Differing options – did I want to stay in Seminyak and then Canggu and then maybe pop over to Lombok? Gili Islands? Get really crazy and fly up to Thailand? I mapped ALL of it out. Literally. All of it.

And I talked about it. All the time. Every chance I could. Yes, I read all of those crazy hotel reviews, but I can promise you that the women I share an office with can tell you what hotels in Kuta have the best happy hour and what bungalows in Ubud have crap breakfast.

I dove so far into the planning of the trip that, for just a minute, I started to worry that I was building up my expectations far too high, and that I was trying way too hard to create the perfect trip. I still managed to build a detailed itinerary but decided to leave myself a few days open, knowing that the trip was not going to be what I was making up in my head.

Preparing for the trip was just as detailed as the planning. I took my time deciding which bag I was going to buy, going back and forth between The North Face Base Camp and the Patagonia Black Hole. (I went for the Black Hole and I absolutely LOVE IT- review will come later). There were many trips to REI and many online shopping carts that went un-purchased. I got vaccinations that I probably didn’t need (to be fair – that visit to the doctor was one of the few times I didn’t cry before they stuck me with a needle…I was that excited). I bought DEET filled bug spray, luggage organizers, and started doing workouts built for surfers. I was determined that this trip was going to be the best trip of my life.

And it was.

Really. It was. It was not what I expected at all, but at the same time, it exceeded all of my expectations. But what I realized, and I realized this on my flight out there, was that the trip itself was not the “escape” that I had sort of framed it in my mind as. When I started planning the trip, I wasn’t in the best place emotionally, and planning the trip was something to distract me from that, it was something to look forward to. But while I spent so much time planning and obsessing over my glorious “vacation,” I was also growing, learning, and doing a lot of work on myself and my life in general.

By the time I left for Bali, I was ready for an adventure. But I wasn’t escaping from anything. I remember being on the plane and thinking about my friends, family, and all of the love and support I had received from them. The emotions were a bit overwhelming, although I’m sure the copious amounts of wine the Aussie flight attendants were feeding me amplified those thoughts. (Qantas, I love you). A friend of mine has recently posted on social media the phrase “roots give you wings,” and it has really resonated with me. I absolutely love it. I have those strong roots she’s talking about – I have so many people that love me, and most importantly, I love myself.  The result – I arrived in Bali feeling grateful, excited, and open to whatever the f* was about to happen. And that is why my trip was so incredible.

I will be writing much more about my trip, but to give you a sneak peek, here’s what I had planned versus what actually happened…

The Plan

  • 15-17 May: Semara Resort
  • 17-23 May: Rapture Surf Camp
  • 23-25 May: Gili Islands
  • 25-30 May: Sri Bungalows, Ubud
  • 30 May- 1 June: Singapore (I was dying to go through Changi airport)
  • 1-2 June: Singapore – Sydney
  • 2 June: Sydney – Charlotte

What happened when I abandoned the plan:

  • 15-17 May: Semara Resort
  • 17-23 May: Rapture Surf Camp
  • 23-24 May: extend Rapture
  • 24-25 May: Seminyak
  • 24 May: Cancel Seminyak. Extend Rapture Surf Camp
  • 25 May: Day trip to Kuta
  • 24-29 May: Rapture Surf Camp
  • 29 May: move to villa down the road from Rapture Surf Camp, cancel Singapore Flight, book flight from Bali to Sydney
  • 30 May: Day trip to Seminyak
  • 31 May: Day trip to Ubud
  • 1 June: red eye to Sydney
  • 2 June: Sydney – Charlotte

side note: I absolutely LOVE that I strayed from my plans. no regrets whatsoever.

I’ll leave you with that. More to come on my love affair with Rapture Surf Camp, surfing, and Bali in general.


in the meantime, check out Rapture Surf Camps