20 October 2011


A few months ago I set a goal to take advantage of my Asian-central location and do something crazy like visit 12 countries in 12 months. With my birthday in October, I thought that it would be the perfect time to start my adventure and celebrate my accomplishment next year.

On April 1, I received my very first passport stamp when we landed in Singapore with three suitcases, some cash in our pockets and all of our hopes and dreams, just like all of those “American Dream” stories. On October 18, I received passport stamp number two when two girlfriends and I landed in Bali for a relaxing week just after my 29th birthday.

Bali is amazing and that is all I can say. I definitely feel like I am in a foreign country but there are still a lot of people who look like us who keep showing up everywhere.

It was dark when we landed; the sun had just set. When we walked outside the airport in search of our villa transport, I was expecting to see a handful of guys with signs like in any major U.S. airport. Instead, there were about a hundred young and old Indonesian men with signs I could hardly read all holding them up and shouting like they were in line for The Price Is Right.

We found our driver, an Indonesian man who was likely in his 30s named Nyoman – even he had done more travelling than I.

Though it was dark, the roads were packed with vehicles of all sizes. As in most Asian countries, motorbikes ruled the road like I have never seen. My friends and I somewhat freaked when we saw newborn babies in between parents on a motorcycle without any protection. One bike had a 10ish-year-old girl in the front, her father behind, a boy around age 7 behind the father and then the mother sat in the back. It was so strange to me.

On the ride to the villa, I exclaimed that I had lost all sense of direction. I had no idea where we were headed, where we had been or which way we had turned. I was just glad I was not driving.

I became more and more apprehensive as we became closer and closer to the villa because the area did not seem resorty at all. My mind was put to ease, however, when we stepped into our villa for the first time. I stopped in my tracks as my eyes widened to see four lounge chairs facing our private pool.

To our left was a very large kitchen and even larger outdoor dining and entertainment area. To the right of the pool on a platform was something resembling a king-sized bed with drapes around each side, lit as if it were a gift from heaven.

Two rooms were enclosed, each our bedroom. The doors to each bathroom led to a semi-enclosed space. I have to admit, the thought of peeing “outside” freaked me out a bit but the showering somewhat outside ended up being peaceful.

To be clear, the bathrooms did have walls but the walls did not meet the ceilings and there were plants on either side of the wall.

A few pictures of paradise follow; more will be added as we continue our adventure.    

As if people didn't know

GREAT seafood restaurant where most of the items are cooked on an open flame just meters from the water.
Outdoor bed and second bedroom

Villa pool, where I am this second

Outdoor dining and entertainment area

Bed, just in case you were wondering

Partially-outdoor bathroom

Amazing shower.

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