Welcome to Ubud
Taxi? Transport? Where you go? (x1000000)
It's taken a while for me to write this entry.
Truth be told I'd left Ubud and Bali weeks ago, and returned to my home country of Singapore. I'd been retrospectively updating the blog entries for my Balinese escapade, until this one. And it's taking a while because it's been dawning on me that this could be the last entry of my two-year Southeast Asian/Southern China adventure. Yes, from 14 May 2012 to 22 Apr 2014, from the first nervy flight I took to Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia, absolutely clueless as to what the immediate (and distant) future would present, to the last one I took back to Singapore, it's been quite a trip. I guess it's kinda fitting that very early on in my adventure (Day 5 to be precise), I'd arrived in Bali, wandering around Poppies Gang 2 in Kuta for a cheap guesthouse, still apprehensive and excited about how a prolonged (I hadn't yet really conceived that it would actually last two years!) trip would turn out, then over 700 days later, I was back in Bali, revisiting some of places I'd been in those early days...
And even though I'd returned home to Singapore
Decked out in preparation for some Balinese Baller's wedding.
several times sporadically during the course of my travels, it doesn't quite feel the same this time. The other times, I'd already planned to continue travelling, and roughly knew where I wanted to go and so forth. It was at once exciting, and stressful, but all the planning occupied my thoughts, and there wasn't quite a need to think too far out into the future (well, there would be more
travelling!) I kinda knew it probably had to end one day, but didn't quite want to think about it yet. Well, it turns out, the day might have arrived.
In fact, I don't even quite know why I think it has ended. I had to return to Singapore to attend to some personal matters, but conceivably, I could hit the road again in a couple of months. There are still huge swathes of Southeast Asia I haven't even touched, let alone the rest of the world. Is it really possible to just keep going?
Unsurprisingly, throughout the course of the last two years, I've met with a barrage of raised eyebrows and curious questions about what I was doing, especially from people I knew back home. Was I
Ibu Oka Babi Guling
The one and only "Sparated" set -- cardiac arrest on a plate.
just taking a break from work? Was such a long break really necessary? What about your career etc? Was I running away from something? Was I looking for something? How could I do something so crazy? And the list goes on.
The funny thing is, strange as it seems, going on the trip seemed like the rational thing to do. I wasn't enjoying my job at all, I'd saved up enough money, and long-term travel was something I'd always had at the back of my mind (I think I caught the bug on my first 10-day backpacking trip to Vietnam in 2005 - lying on the bed in the dark in the dingy sleeper cabin of the rickety overnight Reunification Express from Saigon, for some reason I thought to myself how fantastic it all was). And clearly this is something easier done as a single guy, who still doesn't have a wife and kids etc. So why would I not
have done it while I had the opportunity?
Some people with a more practical bent ask me what I've learnt on this trip, sometimes with an expectation that I must have absorbed some potentially profitable (money-wise) knowledge, to
Balinese Baller Wedding
You know you're important when loads of people send these things to you on your wedding.
have made it worth my while (hey I was from finance after all). The truth is, I know I must have learnt something, I just don't know exactly what. And is that really the point? What I do know is that I had a hell of a time learning these unknown and perhaps ephemeral lessons, and reminiscing over some of the highlights never fails to bring a smile to myself...
And so this is it, here I am signing off (for now?). Thanks for being with me all this while. It's been quite a ride!
Stayed at Kari House.
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