To Those I Love So Dearly:
This is my first attempt at blogging. Please hang in there as I learn to navigate the online terrain. I have arrived safely in Indonesia. I was a bit shocked to realize that I have been here for a total of six days at the time of this posting.
The last few days have been a bit foggy. I have not had any inclination to pay attention to what day of the week it is. There is something about not having a paper due, exam to study for or a meeting to attend (remnants of my old life) that make it easy to forget the day of the week. I have also managed to live in the moment. In the realm of time, I often have no idea what time of day it is. (side note: for two very specific reasons: military time and my MAC books inability to convert to the Indonesia time zone, and secondly, the people of Bali seem to have their own version of time – i.e. all clocks in every location are set at different times).
I spent the first two nights in a small hotel in a small city in Denpasar. It was a quaint little place with a price of $34.00 per night (likely the most expensive place I will stay during my Indonesian adventure). It was a great place to rest as I prepared the launch to Ubud. It was also a great place to reorient after the long flights through San Fran, Denver, Teipei and finally Denpasar. I cannot say with certainty that I am/have struggled with jet-lag. I tend to roll to my own drum in waking up each day at 4 a.m. each day (something I secretly hoped might disappear if I tricked my body by moving exactly 12 hours behind my normal body clock – didn’t work!).
I have so much to share. I will do so in the coming days. My goal for today was to create the blog and make/post an entry. Goal Complete!
The departure from Dallas was intense and filled with emotions. It began weeks before I actually departed. It was a true blessing to get to see and reconnect with so many of my close friends and family before launching. The ability to share this dream with so many of you was a wonderful experience. I am an incredibly blessed woman with a wonderful group of people who have and continue to love and support me through the many endeavors and events that have riddled the past six years of my life. Beginning with a divorce, my decision to leave my corporate job, the return to academics, and now my decision to travel to Indonesia for two months – with every hope and intention of keeping on keeping on while exploring/traveling, and meeting new people on the journey of life.
I wish to thank each of you whom have stood beside me, loved me and told me to keep following my dreams. I am doing so. Your part in each of these decisions including the tribulations and joys will never be forgotten. There are FAR FAR FAR too many of you to call out individually. You know who you are. You know the role you played. Please know that I love each of you. I will continue to support you in your endeavors. Now, go make them happen!
I will share with you that packing and my first traveling friend are of significant importance at the time of this writing. I made the decision to shed an incredible amount of “stuff” prior to this launch. This included clothes, furniture, my car, and many other miscellaneous items. The process began weeks before the actual launch (at one time – my things were spread into crafted little piles in three rooms of the house). In the days before my departure, I had made it to one room and my car (with more that needed to GO).
It was by true design that I waited until two days before my departure to sell the car (which happened with the second person who responded to my Craigslist posting). I must take a moment to give thanks to that wonderful car. It was 12 years old and had 222k miles. I was the original owner. I never spent a dime (other than routine maintenance). The car now belongs to a young woman who I believe is starting her own academic endeavor.
Now, it was time to pack the BAG. I purposely waited until 3:00 a.m. the morning of the flight to start packing (too much time equaled to many thoughts of what I could not part with). The great news is that I started with two fifty pound bags filled with enough luna bars to feed an entire village in Indonesia (again, thankful for friends who could convince me that I didn’t need that many luna bars, a rather large box of Band-Aids, and every vitamin I had ever owned). I had a hard time parting with two things – my blow-dryer and my hair straightener (one of them made the trip with me). I arrived at the airport with my backpack and my bag having NO idea of the weight of my bag. As I placed it on the scale, I was fully prepared for a forced removal of items at the airport. It weighed 50 lbs exactly! I was on my way! Now, I have to admit that I brought far to many clothes. I am sure I can find someone/somewhere to off load the excess.
My traveling friend update. One of my biggest fears about this solo mission was how to overcome loneliness (should it present during my time off the grid). I am happy to report that I have met many fellow travelers during my short time. I am 100% confident they will continue to show up. So, I met a family at the airport in San Fran. The elderly woman was making the trip from San Fran to Tei Pei. Her daughter asked if I would consider changing my seat and accompanying her mother on the flight. I agreed without hesitation. I told her I would watch out for her mother and ensure that she arrived safely to Teipei. We made our way to the gate and I proceeded (after a 3:00 a.m. wake up in Dallas) to fall into a dead sleep at the feet of this woman. I slept the entire three hours that we waiting for our flight, and then continued to sleep next to her much of the flight to Teipei. At one point during my slumber on the floor of the San Fran airport, I looked up at her and she smiled and said you are o.k. I am right here watching over you. This woman was my guardian angel (and here I thought I was signing up for the good samaritan award). It was a beautiful experience.
This truly is a brief recap of the events leading to my departure. A friend mentioned that my launch was reminiscent of watching a space shuttle launch. I concur – the emotions of leaving my life for whatever this time will be felt a bit like a shuttle preparing for launch.
My love to each of you who elect to follow me and my soulful wandering.