As a preface to this piece, I used to work in the resources sector in Australia. My job required me to work away for between 2 to 3 weeks at a time, 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Whether this makes you cringe or is something you can immediately relate to your everyday grind, it gave me the benefit of excellent pay while affording me 10 to 14 days off after each shift. This was the ultimate work life balance for a single male in their mid to late 20’s. Flying home was not as appealing as turning my attention towards foreign shores in the hopes of leaving the red Western Australian dirt behind, replaced by days spent by the beach, swimming over coral reefs, treks through jungles, visiting ancient temples, and weeks spent up to my armpits in snow in the Japanese Alps.
This was my dream manifested.
That being said, I have recently read an interesting post by wayfarerkate about travel flings and romances, which threw me back to a chance meeting by the pool in Indonesia just over 2 years ago. I was subject to these flings and romances during my explorations on my time off, with varying degrees of intimacy. I’m happy to say that most of them (with the exception of one) came to a natural conclusion, usually on a good note. The exclusion is not reference to the way in which the relationship ended, rather of how it continued, flourished, and is something I definitely did not see coming. So gather round kids, take a seat, I have a story to tell.
It’s R&R. FINALLY.
After 3 weeks of Northwest Australian heat, flies and invasive red dirt, it’s time to pack up my backpack and get the fuck outta here. Camp work is routine incarnate. I love routine, but fuck these flies though. Three straight weeks of work, sobriety, and everyday gym sessions will soon be replaced by pools, Bintang, dancefloors, scooters and the summit of a mountain. Not to mention being able to look forward to having my ears, mouth and nose vacant of the entire insect population of this small, remote island that I work on. Seriously guys, what benefit do you gain from being in my ear canal? On second thoughts, please don’t lay eggs..
Right. Bags packed, passport out, buckle up, nothing to declare. Taxi driver you must be kidding, I’m not paying 120,000 rupiah for your cab.
I had booked into hostel in Bali, just outside the throbbing party scene that is Kuta, in the locale of Seminyak. I thought I would leave a little space between myself and sleepless nights this time around in Bali, but not too much space though. It took roughly 2 hours since my arrival and I was on the back of a scooter drinking my way to the dance floor in a nightclub, in you guessed it, Kuta. I was catching up with an old friend and it was a fun night out by all accounts. Getting into my bunk at 4 am left me rather disorientated and eventually led me to falling asleep on a beach bed that had the side benefit of an intense workout on my tan. Fortunately I woke up before needing medical attention, time for a massage.
Travel tip #1: If there is a massage parlor that offers you a massage for the equivalent of $1 AUD less than the other establishments adjacent, do not take it.
Ignoring the above, I opted to keep that extra dollar in my back pocket and see what regret felt like. After being greased up, slapped around for a couple of minutes, then politely having to refuse sex and various other sexual interactions, with prices starting at the equivalent of a 20 oz Mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks, I decided it was time to put on my pants and look for the exit.
Walking back to the hostel, greasy, un-massaged, and burdened by my extra dollar, a girl from a group of solo travelers chatting in the pool invited me to come hang out. Thank you, girl. It must have taken courage to approach a scowling greased up stranger and invite him to the group. As the oil slick spread around me while I soaked up the pool and started chatting with all the other solo travelers that were gathered, something caught my eye. My periphery detected a beautiful girl, one insanely flattering bikini, and a fork in the road that would be revealing itself in about a month.
It didn’t take much to convince me to tag along on a little road trip down to Uluwatu to check out the popular cliff’s edge bar, Single Fin. This is the place to be on a Sunday afternoon, letting that cold beer cool you down while the sun sinks below the horizon. It gets a bit hazy after this, but I can assure you there was tequila, dance floor squat jumps and enough beer to drown a fish. As we make our way back to the hostel, that fork in the road slowly begins reveal itself …
To be continued …
Thank you for reading this far! It seems you have a taste for adventure. Make sure you stay tuned for the next part of story.
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