Why You Should Go To Bali?

“Life, religion and art all converge in Bali. They have no word in their language for ‘artist’ or ‘art.’ Everyone is an artist.” – Anaïs Nin

The Atmosphere

There is something about Bali or all Indonesian/Asian countries that this so different to the western world. Having never been to a place like Bali before it was definitely an experience I will never forget and I would highly recommend it to anyone. There is so much traffic and noise and people and rubbish. It is extremely overwhelming to the senses to begin with but once you get use to not waiting for traffic to stop to let you cross the road, you have to just go for it and know they won’t hit you, once you get use to saying no thank you to every person trying to get you into their shop or taxi, once you over look all the rubbish on the streets and all the pavements that are in serious need of repair, once you embrace the fact that you are very far from everything you know, you will see this country and it’s incredibly friendly people are just perfect the way they are.

The Religious Culture

Coming from a largely Christian world and being an atheist it can be very interesting to visit a country where religion is a massive part of the culture and everyday lives of it’s people. In Bali the majority of the population practices Balinese Hinduism, there are dozes of temples and shrines on every corner, you will see Canang Sari, which is the daily offering to the supreme God, everywhere in Bali. You will have to step over many of them on the pavements as they are left on the ground outside every shop front.

The Food

I don’t think I have ever eaten so much cheap, beautifully arranged and incredibly tasty food in my whole life than I did in the 11 days I spent in Bali. As someone who loves their food and is willing to try anything (within reason) once, I was so excited to try Balinese food, my favourite dish was definitely the traditional Mie Goreng. My mum particularly enjoyed the Nasi Goreng.

Make sure to check out the previous posts on Seminyak and Ubud. I spent 11 days in Bali and even though we managed to squeeze a lot in, we barely touched the surface of what this country holds. I personally can not wait to return and explore some more. I hope these posts will inspire some people to give this incredible country a try once it is safe and the world has returned to some semblance of normal. You will not regret it

AWOL – Where I’ve Been And What Is Next

When I first started this blog at the beginning of the year I was so excited to share my travel stories, to become a part of the travel/lifestyle blogger community, to interact with readers and fellow bloggers and to basically starting writing again which is something I have always loved to to but then the world turned to shit.

I was not in the best place mentally at the beginning of the year due to complicated relationship issues then Covid-19 hit, the world closed down and it took all of my energy trying to deal with it mentally and to just keep myself sane. I just couldn’t think about travel and writing, I didn’t want to read about it so I assumed no one else did either so what would be the point in carrying on?

I am very lucky that I have not lost any family member’s to Covid, I have not lost my job or home but the thing that I did lose, that has taken months to come to terms with is Canada. It had always been my dream to do Australia, New Zealand and then Canada. I had my working holiday visa, I had arranged a leaving party, I had decided the date I was going to quit my job. My flight was booked for the end of April, that obviously got cancelled when Canada closed their boarders. As my visa had already been activated technically I could go once flights were up and running again and I didn’t need a job offer, which is their current requirement for people with inactivated visas, but so many people in the IEC Facebook group had actually been turned away at the airport. I did not want to risk that happening so I started applying for jobs, I was unsuccessful as most employees, understandably, in the hospitality industry (where I would of worked) wanted people who were already in the country and who didn’t have to go through 2 weeks of quarantine before starting.

My life like so many others had been placed on hold. I was furloughed from work, my mum wanted to move in with her partner to save money, (she was going to do this as soon as I left for Canada), so I felt like I was holding back her life as well. I was miserable, full blown depressed.

I had to make a choice. I could keep applying for jobs in Canada, move other there in the middle of a global pandemic, leave the security of my job here, hope that Canada’s cases didn’t get worse and I didn’t lose whatever job I had managed to get over there and then eventually have to leave Canada to return to he UK after only a few months to no job and no home.

It was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make but the most sensible option given all of the extraordinary unknown circumstances seemed to be to give up on the dream of living/working in Canada so that’s what I did. I decided to say in the UK and try to make a life here.

The hotel I work in eventually reopened, I have rented a little flat, this is actually the first time in my 33 years on this earth that I have lived completely alone and I am feeling a lot happier. I will always be sad about Canada but its not going anywhere and as soon as the world is back to normal I will be having the most epic holiday there.

Now that I’ve caught you up on what’s been going on with me for the last 10 months, I will get back to this blog and what I’m going to do with it.

I am still going to continue with my Australia travel blogs and start writing my New Zealand ones, the memories are getting further away and I will regret it if I don’t document the amazing times I had. Hopefully people will enjoy reading them and it inspires them to visit when it is safe to do so. I will also be moving more towards the lifestyle type stuff. I want to explore and show off the beautiful Shropshire that is my home, I’ll do reviews of local restaurants/takeaways, local walks and places of interest. And once restrictions have been lifted I want to show off more of the UK as well. I also have a great idea for a book vs film/TV show review series, combining my two favourite things, books and binge watching Netflix.

This was the plan anyway but as the great Robert Burns wrote “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”

2020 has decided to throw another curve ball my way. Just before Christmas I spent 5 days having constant abdominal pains, when pain killers didn’t even touch it I finally got a face to face appointment with my doctor who straight away decided that I needed to go to hospital, after an 8 hour wait in the surgical assessment unit, I finally got seen by a consultant at 1:30am who admitted me right away and arranged a CT scan. That scan showed a massive ovarian cyst so I was moved to Telford Hospital which houses the Gynaecology unit. I spent 4 days in hospital with them trying to come up with a pain management plan but to no avail , 9 days after being discharged I am still in constant pain.

At my follow up appointment yesterday I was told that I will be having surgery within the next 6 weeks to remove the cyst/cysts. Unfortunately due to many different factors and the size of the cyst (35cm by the way), it’s not going to be as simple as a normal cyst removal. Basically they don’t know what to expect or exactly how much they will have to remove, one ovary, both ovaries, maybe even a full hysterectomy, until I am on the table and they have opened me up. They also don’t know if the cyst is cancerous until it is removed. So yeah, I really found a great way to top up the shittiest year ever.

I will be attempting to document my cyst removal journey here because I believe that women’s gynaecological health is still seen as a bit of a taboo to talk about in public, It was something I previously never wanted to discuss with anyone, but that is exactly how I have ended up in this situation. If I can help to raise a little bit of awareness then I will.

I wish you all a very happy new year. Stay strong and know that this year is finally coming to an end, next year can only get better.

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