September always feels like a turning point.
Maybe because of all of the productive virgo vibes and the shifting of the seasons.
There’s a newness in the air with new people cycling into my life and new projects on the horizon.
This month has been jam packed.
Starting with a luxurious date with myself at one of Bali’s most renown resorts, a week long of birthday festivities and then finally ending up teaching yoga at Bali Silent Retreat while simultaneously launching my course that I have been so diligently working on.
Yep, it's been a whirlwind alright.
Let's get into all the nitty gritty details.
With so many expats fleeing Bali with stricter lockdown regulations, it struck an all-time scare for businesses here.
Hotels launched unheard of deals. Restaurants got creative.
It felt like survival of the fittest, which is heartbreaking for this predominantly tourist island.
So when I saw Samanvaya, a luxury resort here in Bali, had a crazy epic deal for 2 nights, it felt like a disservice NOT to take them up on it. :)
Plus, I’ve been itching for some glorious, rejuvenating time to myself.
I figured why not make a vlog called “Taking Myself on a Date at a Luxurious Resort in Bali.”
When I reached out to Samanvaya and told them my idea, they were happy to gift me two packages: a 2-hour trekking tour and a scooter tour to 2 waterfalls in the area. (I turned both of these into vlogs!)
Have you ever had euphoric blissful moments where there are no worries and you are just in awe of everything around you?
That is what happened for two days straight.
Getting the chance to immerse myself in pure beauty was extraordinary.
From the innumerable rice terraces, to the epic waterfalls, to the hot bamboo massage, to the attentive staff — I never wanted my stay to end.
It was exactly the recharging that I needed.
When this trip ended, I wasn’t quite ready to go back to my villa.
I was an hour away from one of my favorite chill spots on the island: Amed.
So, I figured....why not keep the blissful vibes going?
I popped on my bike and drove one hour through scenic nature to stay at a little guest house on the beach.
I ate at my favorite restaurants, swam in the ocean, went snorkeling, and did two sunrise missions.
The first mission was a sunrise boat tour.
One of my absolute favorite things to do in Amed because the sun is rising while the grand Mount Agung is in the background.
The water is also pristine to swim in.
It’s fun to go out on a little boat with a local fisherman.
No worries... I filmed the whole trip too. So there will be way more details in my vlog (aka my favorite new hobby).
My second sunrise mission was going to an epic lookout point called Lahangan Sweet.
This is a little treehouse with the huge volcano Mount Agung in the background.
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I learned my travel lesson here.
Nowadays with social media, travel can seem sensational without any complications or worries.
Oftentimes, we don’t get to see the behind the scenes of the travel.
For example, all of the pictures I saw of Lahangan Sweet were incredible, so I wanted to experience it for myself.
Except, when I woke up at 4:30am to go for sunrise, I didn’t realize that it is very difficult to get there.
I got lost so many times and had to have locals point me in the right direction.
When I finally did find the right way, the hill up to the top was so steep and rocky, I was shaking in my boots.
I was so nervous to ride my motorbike up the hill that I got halfway up, pulled over and walked the rest of the way.
When I finally made it all of the way to the top, I was so excited.
This excitement quickly faded as I abruptly realized I was up in the clouds.
I held onto some hope that when I got to the treehouse there would still be a view.
The weather had different plans.
Mount Agung was covered by gray clouds--not to mention it was so windy and freezing.
I waited it out for about an hour with no luck.
This is the best photo I got hahahaha.
Instead of getting frustrated, I just had a big belly laugh.
Yes, traveling can be exactly how I described my luxurious date….but it can also be full of pitfalls and disappointments.
Some completely out of your control.
It was a great lesson in taking everything as it is, and trying to make the best out of it.
As for the epic photoshoot I was excited for...well....maybe next time.
Every year, I never know what I want to do for my birthday.
I always put pressure on myself to have this big birthday celebration.
So instead of putting all of my eggs in one basket, I opted for a birthday week.
Sounds ridiculously princess-y, but hey….it worked out pretty spectacular.
It started on Tuesday, September 14th with $4 all-you-can-eat pizza night with some girl friends, and snowballed from there to Thursday boxing and fancy dinners and desserts.
A good friend of mine came to stay with me, and we splurged on a 6-hour Friday Spa Day.
We dove into hot tubs, cold pools, and saunas, and then got pampered with 2-hour massages and facials.
It was the gift that kept on giving.
We rounded out the day at what I award “The Best Restaurant in Bali” also known as Mason.
It’s a bit more expensive than the traditional, cheap Balinese meal, but oh goodness is it worth it.
The best lamb shank I have ever had in my life. Period.
Ya gotta come to this island to try it for yourself.
Finally, my birthday arrived on Saturday.
Time zones are a peculiar thing. Because technically, if I was born September 18 at night in Illinois, I should’ve celebrated September 19.
Time is weird, and birthdays are also kind of weird.
Having all of the attention on you for one day.
It’s socially exhausting.
But, I did it. I took the pressure off by laying beach side all day at one of Bali’s most popular beach clubs, Finn’s.
Friends from all over the island came to celebrate me, and then we somehow ended up at an English pub dancing to 80’s and 90’s tunes.
Honestly, wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Just when I thought the celebration was over….. I was swooped and taken to Ubud for a Full Moon Ceremony with my friends.
We threw cornmeal into a fire as a ceremonial release of anything not serving us, and listened to a 60-minute gong sound healing.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.
I feel like this is an infomercial.
The next afternoon I was whisked away to a hotel overlooking the jungle and woke up to a floating breakfast.
Grateful is an understatement. Bold it. Underline it. Capitalize it. Increase the font.
There we go. Much better.
Thank you to all of you who reached out with beautiful birthday wishes.
I felt all the love from all over the world.
It was quite the way to ring in another year.
The birthday exhaustion is real.
I was beyond pumped to spend lots of time recuperating and teaching at Bali Silent Retreat.
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Well, there ya have it.
My September in a nutshell.
Or more than a nutshell.....more like "My September in a Mediocrely Long Newsletter."
As always, feel free to reach out and share.
I love hearing from you.
Again, thank you for your remarkable support always.
I'm in awe of this community each and every day.
Your love and support goes the longest way. So thank you, thank you, thank you.
Much love to you all.