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October 21, 2014

Mimba Village, near Padangbai, Bali, Indonesia

The immediate reward of travel is perspective and being forced to let go. Don’t learn quickly and BOOM! You’re down.

It didn’t take me more than 60 seconds on my freedom-loving motorbike to – crash and hit the dirt road.



Just like last time, 2 years ago. When I had a head on collision.

Ok, this time it wasn’t head on;  just a hop on the bike 5 minutes after arriving at the very remote rural villa in the dark, after a 22 hour flight (left Sunday night, arrived Tuesday afternoon, losing 15 hours across the international date line), a simple forgetting NOT to use the right front wheel hand brake, and zzoooom, slide out on the unstable rocky road. And BOOM! Down goes the “boulay”. (That’s me. “Boulay” being the affectionate Indonesian word for “gringo”).


At least this trip I wasn’t met at the airport by my wife’s sister telling me that the wife had life-threatening “dengue fever”. And was to be in the hospital for a week with bone-crushing pain and 106 fever! Count my blessings, right? Things are getting easier in the 3rd world. Still… the lesson is driven home – hard and clearly – when you’re lying on the ground. Or maybe a bit later, after you’ve gotten up off the road, dusted yourself off, and realized that YOU could have ben “road kill”, but instead you’ve escaped again with your life. How many left? I mean I’m a cat-like Leo, but I’m sure that by now, I’ve used up more than half of my 9 lives!
So… what’s the point of all that worry, all that anxiety, that I wrote about in my last post… when… you could be down… and permanently out… with the skid of a wheel? With a poor decision? By a “simple twist of fate”? And that’s what travel, and being out of your routine and comfort zone, constantly teaches you: that like Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman always said, “What, me worry?” Meaning, what’s the point of all your fear, all your tedious planning, when ultimately, “life is what happens while you’re waiting for your plans to work out”?
And… just on the other side of fear and worry is… letting go. And Being in the moment. Appreciating life’s beauty…
In the middle of a remote coconut and banana field, with red succulent bananas tree flowers hanging off the trees in graceful, lazy swooshes, much more transcendent and meaningful that Nike’s same-named logo. Such a stupid thing to worship and aspire towards. Brand names and logos, when… “Just being part of the all” is so much more meaningful… And powerful… And soul-satisfying.
Come to Bali, amigos! To dig what I be talking about……
Bali, 2014: Chapter 2, 9 Lives and Letting Go in My Banana Field
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