Hello my friends, I can hardly believe it is already November, which means my time in Bali has come to a close. October 2016 has been a month that brought about growth, excitement, relaxation, friends, and a new extended family. I cannot give enough thanks to Craig and Valarie Glenister for making me feel so welcomed and allowing me to experience your beautiful resort nestled in the jungle here in Bali. Your space at Alassari Plantation, along with your staff and your kind hearts has left an impression never to be forgotten. It has been an alternate reality from the last 11 months of hostels and dormitories, and for that I am forever thankful.
For those of you wondering how I landed at this amazing resort: I met Valarie’s youngest son, Anton, while on a cruise in Antarctica (video of our expedition below). He and I became fast friends (as gingers do), and continued to travel together for a month before our paths split somewhere in Valparaiso, Chile. Val and her husband Craig have since continued following my journey, and invited me to stay with them when I got to Bali. I had no idea what level of accommodation awaited me, but I was open to whatever was provided. When I arrived, they picked me up, took me to eat, then brought me to their newly opened resort and said, “stay as long as you want”. Not sure they expected me to stick around for the entire month, but I did and it turned out that I was able to help with their staff training a tiny bit as well as puppy sit while they traveled off to Australia for 9 days. In terms of the resort it's a 5 star retreat nestled into the rain forest far away from the hustle and bustle, way beyond anything I could have hoped for. They even welcomed my friend, Nick, to come for a week with the same open arms. Without going on forever, Val and Craig you guys are amazing and I will see you somewhere down the road and I appreciate everything you have shared with me and also with Nick. For everyone else, I will post a link to their website at the end so you can check the place out, you won't be disappointed.
Aside from my home base at Alassari, I ventured (by moped) to other corners of Bali. No matter the destination the Balinese have been the nicest and most welcoming people. Every curve in the road brought more smiling faces and giggling school children. I was fortunate enough to stay beach side at Istana Balian, as you may have seen in the last post (Workaway in Bali), and even saw a few of my friends while here (it seems I am not the only one who is drawn to this paradise). My buddy Madison and his friends from LA made me welcome for a night out in Canngu; Drew, my high school partner in crime, and I, met for lunch while in Ubud, and I even hung out with one of my best friends, Kylie, in northern Bali. What was supposed to be a day trip to meet her and her boyfriend turned into them inviting me to stay at their amazing villa for two nights (I’m thankful for you both!).
If all of the above wasn’t enough to convince you; on the way home from Ky and Mark’s beachside villa, I passed small river that was begging to be photographed. I stopped, found a route through a rice paddy, and made my way into the shallow water to snap some pictures. After stumbling around the uneven river rocks for 20 or so minutes, I heard someone yell, ‘hello!’. I turned, saw a few people above me on the far embankment and waved back. They welcomed me up to have a coffee or beer when I was done. Without hesitation, I accepted. The woman's husband met me on the bridge and showed me to their house. Turns out that whole area was their property and instead of shoo-ing me away they invited me in (what a concept!). We carried on to swim in their pool, share stories, enjoy a few beers, eat lunch and they also offered me their spare room if I wanted to stay. Suffice to say, in the midst of the crazy US election season, humility and humanity is live and well here in Bali.
If nothing else let this serve as a reminder that life is a choice. Everyday you can either stay in bed and keep dreaming, or wake and make them a reality. I appreciate each and every one of you for keeping up with me along the way. Welcome to the new readers, thank you for being here. Cheers to new friends, wild adventures and spending the next month in volunteering in Malaysia.
Stay tuned and Stay wild.
Alassari Plantation : www.alassari.com