Beginning of a Journey

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Champuhan Ridge, Bali

My biggest fear is regret from inaction, falling short of excellence due to not trying. I am not special, most people fear this. However, excellence is different for everyone. To me excellence is creating and building something — a brand that represents living a life full of experiences and joy. I want to work tirelessly on something that I am passionate about and have a stake in, and I want these experiences to take place on different continents. I want travel to be a part of my life, a part of the brand I create. I want to ride segments of the Tour d’Afrique’s Bamboo Road Bicycle Expedition as a part of my life, not an escape from it.

This is just the beginning. There is a long, exciting journey ahead.

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Goodbye Bali, for now

My trip to Bali was exceptional. I tried to blog as much as possible during my trip, highlighting how the experiences, events and moments have shaped me. However, it has been impossible to post about everything and still have time to live it. Here are the highlights of my Bali sparkle that has not been mentioned in my blog thus far.

Jogging Campuhan Ridge

Campuhan Ridge Path

I finally was able to go for a good jog two days in a row, which was proven difficult because of the rain. My body felt it for sure, especially since jogging the Champuhan Ridge is comparable to running stadium steps at Doak Campbell in August. The heat will beat you down and the steep inclines will leave your calves and gluteus burning. Except Doak Campbell doesn’t leave you feeling like you are jogging in a tropical paradise surrounded by Alang Alang and palm trees. Champuhan Ridge allows you to get your head above the noise, literally and figuratively. I am so glad I had a chance to experience endorphins in such a beautiful spot on the planet.

Blurry vision jogging up one of the hills

Business (and Personal) Shopping Denpasar

The main clothing manufacturer, my family has used for more than a decade gave us a ride to Denpasar and Seminyak from Ubud to finish up shopping for the spring line of clothing at Rollick. We visited Double Six Street where I found a new purse and my cousin found some great items for the store.  The main attraction in Denpasar was a fabric store in the Denpasar market where my aunt and cousin regularly obtain the fabric for their clothing. It was so much fun! I think we spent more than an hour searching for fabric and developing ideas for the fabric. My creative side was enhanced during this expedition.

Fabrics at the Denpasar Market

Night out with Anika

My cousin and I went out in Ubud on Saturday night. After searching the city for a place that fit our taste, we found the Laughing Buddha Bar. On Saturday night it offered a Balinese Latino band called Buena Tierra. They were awesome and the vibe was great. We made friends with the bartender and one of the servers as well. They are both locals and I look forward to visiting them when I visit Bali again. It is always refreshing when you meet new people who are warm and make your night better as a result of relationships cultivated.

Love for Obama

President Barack Obama is a very popular man in Bali. Three times while I was there, the U.S. President received a shout out. As a child the president lived in Jakarta, so Balinese feel a connection with the well-traveled President.  When asked by a Balinese person where I was from I would respond with “America,” of course. Three times Obama received a shout out. The shout outs I heard were:

  • “Obama is Bagus” (Bagus = Indonesian for good)
  • “Yay, Obama!”
  • “Obama good man”

Drink Menu at Laughing Buddha

He even made the drink menu at Laughing Buddha Bar in Ubud. Arak is an East Asian liquor that is considered the local liquor of the island, like moonshine is considered the local liquor of the Carolina boonies. Arak Obama was a mixture of honey, cranberry juice and sugar. It was pretty good, but I like the real Obama better.

Fruit in Bali

I ate more fruit during my 12 days in Bali than I eat in one month at home, and I eat a lot of fruit. I ate fruit everyday for breakfast, along with a main course and usually had two fruit drinks throughout the day, such as the watermelon juice below, Yum!!

Watermelon Juice

I tried two different types of fruit while I was there. One was Mangosteen and one was Rambutan. They both were delicious. Fruit is like candy that is good for you.

Rambutan

Trip to Padang Bi and Bloo Lagoon

On my last night in Bali, we drove an hour on motorbike to Bloo Lagoon Villas in Padang Bi. Arriving stressed and soaked from the hard core rain and traffic, we realized this was worth the journey when we saw the view.

One view from Bloo Lagoon Villas

Another view from Bloo Lagoon Villas

Our villa was amazing. Often times as humans, we walk on the earth and not among it. We take animals and resources for granted and assume them for our needs and wants. In a place like Bloo Lagoon, it is impossible to feel unconnected to the earth as you here all the little animals (and bugs) during the night. We went for a walk, soaked up the sun (with SPF 50) and relaxed to the sounds of island. It was the perfect way to end my trip to this amazing island.

Villa bedroom

Patio at the Villa

21 Airtime Hours Later

As I type this I am sitting in a thatched roof covered bed by the pool in Seminyak, Bali. My aunt and cousin have left on the moped to do more shopping for their store, Rollick, in Atlanta. I, however, haven’t braved driving in the streets yet. There literally are no rules of the road, everyone honks and I am certain driving on the left hand side of the road will throw me for a loop. I will rent a moped when we get to Ubud, a less busy village on Monday. Listening to the pool’s waterfall and the wind from the storm rolling in blow through the elephant ears and palm trees offer the peace I am seeking at this moment.

Poolside:

Poolside in Seminyak

The first day (yesterday, January 6) we walked and shopped for seven hours straight.  I have never seen such incredible stitch work and creative design in apparel before.  Despite the runway designed clothing, the combination of the Bali heat, sore tailbones from the airplane and seven hours on our feet in sandals kicked us right into bed at 6:00 p.m.

Busy Streets of Seminyak:

We awoke at 12:45 a.m. and had an insightful conversation on our balcony that I am certain was fueled by the environment and the company. We spoke about the sparkle we have already ignited in our lives, such as our ability to embrace emotion. After all, what is living without feeling ALL of it, the pain and the joy?

We also conversed about the sparkle we wish to ignite in our lives such as the ability stop and allow ourselves perspective and insight among life’s clutter, or as I refer to it, life’s camouflage. Perspective and insight are nearly impossible to obtain in the fast pace life the three of us live without consciously hitting the pause button.

Last night’s spark – “Stopping and allowing myself the time to develop my own philosophies and embrace the energy around me is necessary for a bright existence.”

Preview of my next blog, my visit to Uluwatu – This is where I wish I could hit the pause button everyday: