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Every morning Balinese women make flower offerings to the gods and goddesses

A year ago today (can it really be that long ago?) I wandered around Honolulu airport, nervous excitement coursing through my body. I was about to embark on an adventure I’d dreamed of for so many years. eleven hour flight on Korea Air would land me in Seoul, Korea and by midnight the following evening I’d land in Bali – almost a mythical place in my mind.

I’d longed to visit that country since Ciel was a baby and I’d sit at my kitchen table nursing her while friends freer and more adventurous than I regaled me with stories of the sweet nature of the Balinese people, the treasures they’d discovered in the market, the beaches, the art, the temples, the next-to-nothing cost of living (once you’d forked over the cash for the plane ticket halfway around the world.) Even my more conservative aunt had glowing stories of her long-ago trip to Bali with her husband.

I’d never been to Asia, and had not taken any trip lasting longer than three weeks since college (the first college stint, age 19, when I backpacked around Europe after a semester studying French in the south of France. That time, determined to see as much as I could, I spent no longer than two or three days in any one location, taking night trains to save money. This unfortunate choice resulted in spending the entire trip in a state of exhaustion.)

This trip would be different. I had no specific itinerary, just a couple of guidebooks and a plan to fly over to Thailand at some point during the two months.

The two and three-week travel adventures of the past years had left me longing for more. Now finally I had the chance to really stretch out, get past that unwinding time and let myself explore the inner and outer horizons that a journey exposes. Two months seemed like plenty of time to do this (and it was all the time I could afford.)

I didn’t anticipate how life-changing that trip would be. Turns out two months is not much time at all. I’d thought I’d spend some it volunteering somewhere, have plenty of hours for writing in solitude, in addition to meeting the people and exploring the cities and countrysides of Bali and Thailand.

Time did slow down during that journey – as each day brought new knowledge, new adventure, new inspiration, new dangers, new friends. (If you missed some of my stories of these adventures, check out the Bali and Thailand tags in the sidebar.) But it never moves slowly enough. I realized that I’d need a much longer time period if I wanted to do more than just explore.

I found myself regretfully boarding the plane home far too soon – happy to be soon reunited with family of course – but mournful to leave this adventure behind.

And, oh, the food! So good. And so cheap!

The travel bug bit me a year ago – and I’m still working out how to manifest another, hopefully longer,  journey. Slowly I’m figuring out how to arrange my life so such a thing can be possible. Even a Round The World trip  perhaps.

Meanwhile, I’m making it a priority to get away on shorter adventures – and I feel so blessed and grateful that the Universe has offered me opportunities to do this. But I like to think the days of 2-week vacations are numbered. I’m ready to incorporate the journey into my lifestyle – not just make travel a separate aspect, something to enjoy aside from my ‘real’ life.

Where this longing will take me I’m still not quite sure. But I do know it will lead me to uncharted territory – and I don’t mean just in the outer world.

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