We have just arrived in Bali and I've broken a thong. That's a "flip flop" for you americans and a "jandal" for you New Zealanders. This may not seem important but my faithful double pluggers have been with me for many years and have accompanied me on many an international adventure. Their demise on our very first day here is not an auspicious start to our time in Bali.
Approximately three months ago we arrived back in Australia wanting to spend time with our families and to be tourists in our own country. We succeeded at one goal. Three months ago I was also the proud owner of two thongs. Happy days.
When you are from a place its easy to overlook whatever attractions it has. They're right in front of you but you don't see them. We know someone who grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland but who didn't visit Edinburgh castle until they were well into their twenties. This is despite the castle towering over the city and being clearly visible from absolutely everywhere. In Australia the big attractions are beaches, wildlife and climate rather than castles. Having grown up with them we probably don't appreciate them as much as we should.
Why yes the sun reflecting off the pristine ocean and the white sand beach is a bit tough on the eyes. If you need me I'll be inside with the curtains closed.
This time we said it would be different. We would look upon our home country with fresh eyes and explore it as we have done so many other places.
And then we didn't. In reality three months flew by and we filled it entirely with family and work and never quite got around to doing touristy stuff. Here are some pictures just to prove that we did actually go at all.
After three months of failing at being tourists and we have once again headed overseas. This time we haven't gone quite so far afield and have set aside two months to get to know Bali.
Both Tanya and I have visited Bali multiple times before. We've had mixed experiences. The climate is pleasant, the scenery is beautiful in parts and the food is good and cheap. On the downside the visa situation is a drag if you want to stay long term, Internet access isn't fantastic and this place certainly isn't short of Australians. It's never really been a favourite place for either of us. We don't hate it but we don't love it either. There is however one big thing in Bali's favour.
Bali is just so damned convenient from Perth. If we could find a way to make Bali work for us it would be wonderfully convenient and cheap to pop home regularly. That's becoming increasingly important to us so we would love to love Bali.
So here we are on Indonesia's most famous island. We have 60 days in Bali to see if we can find somewhere we'd like to come back to repeatedly. Right now we're in Legian trying to cope with the loss of my beloved left flip flop. In a few days we'll move on to Sanur. After that Bali is our oyster. Ubud, Candidasa and Lovina may feature in our future but nothing is set in stone.
This Bali trip is all part of a grand experiment. We're juggling family, career and financial obligations in a way that must seem "ambitious" from the outside looking in. I'm not sure what the outcome will be. We won't really know until we try but we're willing to give it a go. You know. For science.