The thing about a holiday is that it has to end. And I always forget what happens to me when I get home.
I feel miserable.
I take days to settle and mostly I feel a little low and a little weepy.
I have feelings that I just don’t recognise.
Except, I need to recognise these feelings because they are not new.
Even when I’m ready to come home, I’m never quite ready.
Bali was brilliant. The ocean, the food, riding on the back of mopeds, dodging falling coconuts, dodging a threatening volcano, ice cold Bintang beer, yoga, massage and the best swimming, snorkelling and hiking. It’s a fantastic holiday destination and one I would highly recommend.
The roads are mad and in some areas the huge tourist buses can drive you nuts (Ubud, believe it or not, is packed with Chinese groups and their cameras) but the rural villages, the rice paddies, clear blue ocean, volcanic mountains, chickens everywhere, the best street dogs, street food, fabulous markets and the most interesting of people, are all perfect.
I didn’t quite find the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing, but I didn’t expect to. I did meet a few people who’d moved to Bali to live a simple life and I get it. There’s no stress. Tourists carry yoga mats or surfboards and Balinese carry flowers, incense and an intense belief in the gods. Life feels gentle and it all feels real and genuine and ugh I LOVED IT.
I mean, it wasn’t perfect. I spent a fair amount of time having either volcano anxiety or falling coconut anxiety. We drove through a few evacuated villages and in Candidasa we were close enough to Mount Agung to feel the earth shake a lot but god, it is so beautiful and so peaceful and while I did have my volcano airport route all worked out, I’m glad we didn’t panic and move.
Also, the Balinese were all calm and cool and so we took our cue from them.
Calm and cool in Bali.
I didn’t write a single thing when I was there. But I did read two fantastic books, both by author Rachel Cusk. She writes with incredible detail and the one thing I have brought home with me – apart from hand-made paper, beautiful yoga artworks, condensed milk and one exquisite dress – is the determination to write.
Write more, write in detail, write everything down.
And write a book.
Maybe this time I’ll do it.
For now, I have to deal with my after holidays feelings. I know they’re about reality and responsibility but they’re also about a craving to explore more, to have more adventure, more delicious food and more experience. I’m a little greedy. And of course I am totally delighted to be home with my boys and my dogs and my friends and FINALLY, to have a good cup of coffee.
I feel a bit better just for writing this down and in fact am suddenly quite glad I didn’t go down in a sea of volcanic ash. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I’m going to gently gather some flowers and petals and put them outside my front door.
I shall pretend to be Balinese for a little bit longer.
Om Swasti Ustu.
Peace and Greetings.
And thank you. Sanur, Candidasa, Ubud and Changgu. You were a perfect Balinese holiday.