In November 2017 I was lucky enough to have the opportunity, to spend some time in beautiful Bali. It is my second favourite place I have been to so far.
What’s number one you ask? Australia! I haven’t been anywhere that has beaten that just yet. That adventure is for another blog though.
This was my first long-haul trip by myself. I was a little nervous but it was almost like a test for myself, to see if I could cope travelling alone on the other side of the world with no friends or family to lean on. I really didn’t think I would cope at first. I couldn’t get to grips with the currency at all. I found it confusing and when my friends left to head back to London I told them I was worried I would be robbed blind. I had no clue where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I had done research but nothing really sank in! So I was freestyling the whole way. But somewhere along the line I stepped into survival mode and just dealt with the challenges that came.
Bali is by far the most spiritual place I have been. The Balinese people are so friendly and happy. They live with a lot less than we do in the western world. It really opened my eyes and really made me grateful for all the things I have. In my humble opinion I think the Balinese are richer in many other ways, physical and emotional health for one because they live off what the land produces and not imported processed crap like what we have in the UK. There is a great sense of connection with earth and spirituality. I had a lot of time to immerse myself in the culture while I was there, I felt a real connection to Bali and felt so grounded.
Mater Leadership Program
I’m sure some of you reading this will be familiar with the term ‘personal development’. Well the Mater Leadership Program (MLP) course was exactly that! It brought a whole new perspective on learning. It was extremely intense and I was challenged to push my boundaries and step into everything uncomfortable. That how we best learn right?!
The course is run by the Ed JC Smith of the Champion Academy who also runs a shorter 4 day course called Ultimately Leadership Program. This however was an indulgent ten days of working on my own beliefs, strategies in love and relationships, and learning a lot about psychology, tools to help grow your business and neuro linguistic programing techniques. I continued to learn new things about myself and others each and every day and I really love that.
I connected with a lot of great people, who in day-to-day life I might not have. I made some wonderful new friends and met many likeminded souls, who just want to make the world a better place. What I began to realise after interacting with people all day long was no matter how different we are from others, we fundamentally all want the same things in life: love, connection and a sense of purpose.
We had a couple of trips as part of the course, one was to a special needs school. It was a humbling experience. We got to sit in on some classes and see how they are taught. I found the cooking class particularly interesting as the young people seemed to know so much without the actual practical experience as they school was not equipped with the facilities. They kids also spoke English very well, but it was quite overwhelming.
Often, we don’t realise how lucky we are until we see those less fortunate. But I think the Balinese people have happiness ingrained in their blood, they seem to just take everything in their stride. They live with what they have and still manage to smile every day, even though they live with the threat of things like volcanoes and other natural disasters. If they can stay positive in the face of these challenges why can’t we?! We could learn a thing or two about learning to cope in a crisis from these people I tell you.
I learnt so much throughout the course and I will always be thankful for how empowered I felt, when I started believing in myself. I felt the magic of teamwork, I saw how powerful it can be when you are supported by people that support your personal growth and help you break boundaries that keep you confined. The course helped me realign my focus with my personal goals, it challenged me to speak more in groups and be my authentic self.
As a farewell, a large group of us went out for a nice meal in Bali Collection. The food was lush and gave us a chance to relax and unwind after all the intense learning we had been doing. Just as I was finishing my meal I felt the urge to use the lavatory. I was in such a hurry I walked smack into a pane of very clean glass in front of the entire restaurant! I literally felt the earth move and I quite surprised I didn’t break the glass! You know when you want the floor to open up and swallow you? It was one of those moments!
Oh what fun that was! My incident with the glass was caused by my haste to get to the loo. I unfortunately had picked up ‘Bali belly’. It’s a type of bacterial infection that can give you a major case of the squits! Because Bali is so humid, particularly for us Brits and other foreigners, we are prone to pick up infections through the air and from the food. The travel guide always tell you not to drink water abroad, and be careful with fresh fruit and dairy etc. this is especially true here! Ignore this advice and you may end up with an expensive medical bill for some antibiotics like I did. Make sure you carry hand sanitiser with you and gel before you eat and after handling money especially.
Here in the western world we are so very fortunate, we have access to things some people in the world don’t. Personally I came to a realisation that I actually have more than I need in my life and that I should learn to live with less. But, it is relative depending where you live in the world I suppose but anything is possible.
I take it for granted that most places I go in the world the GBP has more value than most other currencies especially in the east. To those that live there we are like millionaires! Why do I need fifteen pairs of shoes and forty outfits? Why do I need a basket full of natural hair products that I never use, these are the kinds of questions I have been asking myself lately.
Do I need it? Can I live without them?
Maybe I have got it wrong all these years, constantly wanting more when really what I need, is what I already have.
More fun and frolics in Part 2 - next week