Think back to your favorite day in your life. Was it expected or planned? Did you already know what was to come? When I look back, my favorite moments are always those I stumbled upon and experienced by chance. When an average day turns into an unexpected adventure or a wrong turn leads you to your new favorite hideaway. When I travel, I love to research ahead of time to know certain restaurants I want to try or attractions I’m dying to see, however, I make it a point to never plan my trip out to the T. Traveling can be stressful, it’s almost guaranteed that something will inevitably go ‘wrong.’ It’s not about trying to avoid these issues that make a perfect trip, but rather embracing them when they happen.
I was lucky enough to visit Bali recently, which quickly became one of my favorite locations I’ve ever been to. During the trip, I wanted to save time to hike after hearing about so many incredible trails. The day before my girlfriend and I had planned to hike, we decided to search for a little cafe we heard about. All we knew is that it was off the main strip in Ubud somewhat near our hotel. After passing the ally several times we finally noticed a sign that we thought might be leading us in the right direction.
Since the trip was during the rainy season in Bali, this pathway was pretty much just a long strip of puddles. It took a bit of maneuvering but we eventually made it to the Sweet Orange Warung Cafe where we had one of our favorite meals in Ubud! After waiting out a rainstorm we decided to leave the cafe in the opposite way from which we came for the sake of exploring. Little did we know, this would lead us into a 2.5-hour trek through the jungle, rice fields, and random neighborhoods. (Bear in mind we were only about 15 minutes from our hotel). As we were walking and getting further and further away with no end in sight, I had a random epiphany about me and my girlfriend’s attitude. At no point did panic or argue or stop enjoying the day simply because we were flat out lost in a foreign country. We stayed calm, enjoyed the scenery and truly relished the excitement of the unknown.
I was constantly overwhelmed by the kind nature of the locals throughout Bali. At one point during the adventure, we stumbled into a small neighborhood surrounded by rice fields. After taking several wrong turns a man shouted at us and pointed for us to turn around. Once we reached where he was standing we apologized and thanked him for pointing us in the right direction. Once we passed him he started to follow closely behind which made us both a bit nervous. Once we reached the main street he waved us off and explained how to get back. In the world we live in today it can be scary to blindly trust others but it was heartwarming to know that there is a country full of kind, caring and genuinely helpful individuals.
Overall, don’t sweat the small stuff. Traveling can be stressful but if you roll with the punches you’ll discover epic adventures, hidden treasure spots and maybe even meet some lifelong friends. If you ever have the opporutinity to travel to Bali, do not pass it up. You will leave with an entirely new outlook and appreciaton for life and people.