It’s pouring down rain. I rode a motorbike through a Bali downpour to get here, and I am still dripping with warm rain water. “Welcome to the rainy season” is what the locals like to say. When we walked into the coffee shop, a lady brought us napkins to dry ourselves. It was not as effective as one might think.
I sit across from Kacie, watching water fall from the sky, drinking tea, stuffing our faces, laughing, and exchanging thoughts about our big ideas. These ideas have been the centerfold for most of our conversations lately.
We sat in silence. She stared at the temple across the way, as I watched the last drop of Moroccan Mint tea go from the teapot to my cup.
Out of nowhere she muttered, “I think coming to Bali is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I just realized it.”
“Why is that?” I asked.
“I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so comfortable in my own skin. I feel like a new person.”
Last night we found ourselves at a skatepark bar. I was sitting next to a new friend of mine, Dewi. She travels all over Asia taking photos of everything she sees. Over the loud music, the echoes of laughter and talking, the sound of skateboards clapping, and wheels hitting the tile on the sides of the bowl, she told me that one of her favorite things to do is drive around on her motorbike. She explained that her mind is clear while she is driving, so she always has great ideas and crazy realizations. It was then that I noticed I caught myself with the same thoughts.
Lately I find myself distraught by the thought of only having 25 days left in Indonesia. I’ve been staring out at the rice fields, as we drive by on our motorbike, yelling over to Kacie about all of the people, places, and things I am going to miss here; along with what we have yet to do, and reflecting on what we have done.
The words Kacie muttered about Bali really hit home. I came here to work for a philanthropic adventure marketing campaign. I thought I would become a better graphic designer, make some contacts, find myself in Chicago three months later, and then head off to Spain.
Little did I know I would finally have the courage to start something of my own which I have dreamt of for years.
Little did I know I would find people here that support my idea and want to be a part of it.
Little did I know I would be surrounding myself with others who have the same interests and passions as myself.
Little did I know I would find mentors for both photography and graphic design, and suddenly be flooded with requests to design logos for different companies.
Little did I know my Saturday evening would be spent in an art gallery supporting a friend.
Little did I know that the girl who I briefly met at my apartment in Rancho Palos Verdes two years ago would become my great friend and business partner.
Little did I know I would find a place that felt like home 8,384 miles from my actual home.
Little did I know I would find myself saying “bagus” instead of “good” when Ketut, at the coffee shop, asks how I am doing in the mornings.
Little did I know I would catch myself telling people I will be back in 10 months.
Little did I know.