I have purposely left out any photos from this page because this is how empty my heart felt on our first day and I don't want to sugar coat it for you... *tries to be dramatic*
It's okay to feel overwhelmed when you first arrive to a new place. Before I left Canada, I knew Bali would be a place where I would leave my heart and want to return again real fast. But here's what happened when I first got there...
Day 1: We went to the Ubud Traditional Market. Traffic everywhere, filled with tourists, restaurants left and right, scooters zooming past us & store owners grabbing my hand and pulling me in and convincing me to buy more pants... (it worked.. left Bali with over 10 pants.)
Later on we went to find scooters to rent. I was so excited to rent scooters because it is all people online say to do because using a scooter as your mode of transportation in Bali is "the best way" to get around the island as you can get through traffic faster and you can also stop wherever you want. It's true, they aren't lying. But here's what they don't tell you: traffic in Bali in INSANE! Cars and scooters are zooming past you everywhere, the roads are not well-paved and nobody actually drives in a proper lane. Sometimes you will even see scooters driving up onto the sidewalk to get past traffic. So after we finally found the scooter rental place in Ubud center, we walked up to the counter and told the lady we want to rent 2 scooters. She asked us if we had ever ridden one before. I lied and said yes. (Never been on one in my life, let alone drive one). I was afraid that she wouldn't rent to us had I said no. She asked a few more times if we knew how to ride because she said many tourists say yes and then they go onto the streets and they get into a car accident. Again, I lied and said that I have before. I was also afraid she would ask for a motorcycle license, but she didn't. She took our money, made us sign some waiver, gave us our helmets and took us to the scooters. She was giving us a short "tour" of the scooter and how it turns on, the gas, and the breaks. Stupid me asked her how to put the scooter in reverse... I know, you can stop laughing. For those who don't know, you don't actually put a scooter in "reverse" like you do a car. You just walk it backwards with your feet. She looked at me like I was an idiot because less than 10 minutes ago I told her that I knew how to ride a scooter. Oh my god ok next step was us getting on the scooter. For someone who was so confident in saying they knew how to ride a scooter, you would expect that they would know how to ride the scooter. IN MY DEFENSE, the person who told me to rent a scooter had been living in Bali for a couple months and told me that it is very easy to learn after you practice for about 20 minutes in the place that you get the scooter. So that's what I thought was going to happen. The woman gave us almost no chance to practice. She quickly realized that I had lied to her, took off our helmets, put the scooters away, gave us our money back and told us to leave. Well, that was a fail.
All this was a lot to take in after just arriving from a 5AM flight. Suddenly my heart felt heavy. Why did I not feel the excitement right away? Why did I just want to hide in my villa and not come out? I was sad. I was sad because I was extremely excited about renting a scooter and driving around the island with it. I had so many plans with it and a lot was cancelled. Now, I know I sound like a brat for saying that I got extremely upset because I couldn't rent a scooter but all it takes is one or two small things in a brand new country for you to feel extremely overwhelmed, especially in a place that you felt like would be where you would leave your heart.
We ate lunch at a restaurant in the centre of Ubud and we went back to the resort to spend the rest of the day at our villa where we ordered room service for dinner (AMAZING by the way and so cheap!). It was nice to just be in my comfort zone for a little bit and relax, swim in the pool and just take it all in. The next day I felt MUCH better!! Why? Because I decided to chill out. I should not have just thrown myself into the hustle and bustle of a brand new city while knowing almost nothing about it, especially after a 5AM flight.
Because we spent the entire day at our villa, we had to cancel one of our day plans of other activities. I know that when you have such little time to travel, it's easy to pack a lot of activities in just a few days. But arriving in a new country where you have no idea what the culture is like at first, can be super overwhelming, no matter how much you have traveled and how much of the world you have seen. Don't let it stress you out. Just breathe and take it in. Drop some of the activities you planned, it's okay. Trust me, you will enjoy it SO much more! Travelling isn't about seeing as much as you can in very few days. It's about really enjoying the few things you do see...
And yess, I did leave my heart in Bali.❤