Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
As I see it, there is only one way to truly step outside yourself, separate yourself from your daily routine, and experience the world through the eyes of another. More so than 5 dollars worth of quarter martinis or a round on the fastest roller coaster or even a round of mind-blowing, electric light flashing, tantric sweaty all night sex. These are easy. No... what I am referring to is travel.
And I don’t mean a weekender off to the nearest mountain. This perception-altering adventure can’t be had at the end of a fishing pole and you won’t find it at the bottom of a umbrella-laden coconut... unless it takes you no less than 18 hours, a plane, ferry, train, shuttle, cab ride, meandering trek through a dense forest, and a language translating application on your iPhone to order that fruity cocktail. To sincerely be reborn, you must work for it.
My first travel installment takes us to Bali, Indonesia. More specifically, a small mountain village a hour or so outside of the airport called Ubud. For me, heaven. I fortunately didn’t need a shuttle to get there. I found a cab driver who spoke mostly understandable english (even though for days I though his nickname was catpiss - learned later it was catfish), and for the low low price of $15, he was my personal driver for the day.
Contract metaphorically signed, destination secured, hand shake out of the way, off we went. Catfish was a fascinating man who lived on the island his entire life in a remote insignificant town far from a tourists eye. But as he spoke about it, it suddenly became the largest city on the planet. The light he emitted while speaking about his family and friends was infectious. I found myself drawn to a place moments earlier I had never even heard of. Alas, perhaps another time.
I was focused squarely on Ubud.