Stranded In Bali

BY Amanda Smith


29 December 2015

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Flight JQ128 9/11/2015 from Denpasar is cancelled due to volcanic activity.

It was the email that started a night I’ll never forget – or fully remember. The Bali Twelve, as we smartly named ourselves, were “stranded” in Bali. A little too excited at the thought of being on holidays indefinitely, at the mercy of mighty Mount Rinjani, we celebrated at Grass Terrace – the local bar at the end of our street.

Before we knew it, we were 72 mojitos in and travelling along very nicely. Six hours later, we fixed up the $216 bill (yeah, incredible right?) and made our way down the gravel path towards Echo Beach. Stopping every so often to marvel at the street art on the concrete wall to the right, from Canggu’s artistic travellers.

As we watched the waves roll in, we let our responsibilities wash back out with the tide. We were free. And so was our conversation. No filters. No fear of judgement. We all understood eachother. Everything was so clear. We’ve slowed down. And with that came sudden, jarring clarity.

We flew home on a recovery flight one week after. And although it was exciting getting an extra week in Bali, the lessons learned were far more valuable. My ‘why’ became crystal clear…

Why I had left the 9-5. Why living a creative life is worth the struggles it loves to throw at me. Why it’s absolutely crucial to forge my own path, even if society tells me it’s not “right.” Whythere’s simply no other choice for me, than to be free.

I didn’t want to live a life where I holidayed – where getting an extra week away was like winning the lottery. I want to make a life of it.

A life where my career and travel are two of the same. They go hand in hand. No luck, just hard, hard work. A life where I find home in many people, not one place.

Like the freelance life, the nomad life isn’t for everyone. And that’s ok. It’s not meant to be. Having established myself now as a freelance writer, it’s now time to stop flirting with the thought of location independence – and fully commit to a relationship with it.

First stop: Canggu. Where it all began.

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