Never let fear determine your future
I’m one of those people that likes to make a plan and try and stick to it. As you can imagine planning a 6 month trip is a bit of a hefty task for my brain to comprehend, it naturally wants to plan the trip to almost every detail and make sure nothing is missed! After speaking to many friends and family, the advice I kept getting was leave it as open as possible, you will want to be flexible. Going against my natural instinct has been a struggle but also an exciting one not knowing exactly where we will be gives complete freedom and spontaneity!
Sharing this excitement with friends and family has been very important to both Jonny and I. It has been a shock that some of those close to us have not understood why we would want to do anything like this and have given remarks such as, “you should be settling down, getting a stable 9-5 job and having children.” My initial reaction to these comments was that they just didn’t understand or perhaps ever think that they would want to do anything like this. Everyone has different outlooks and opinions but this was still hard to hear especially from those you would hope would give you their support and share your enthusiasm and excitement for something you’ve wanted to do for such a long time. I don’t completely understand why they think their opinion about how our life should be is more important than what we know we want it to be. What will it change? Nothing. Only we truly know what we love. It hasn't been a last minute decision, I’m not that kind of person. Regardless of all that, would you question or criticise someone's decision to have a baby or would you be happy for them and offer support? Feeding fear is not the answer. It has made me really appreciate those who support us without question, this is so important to make people feel loved and supported. To build hope, trust and respect not tear it down. Do you need permission to follow your passion? No, you don’t, but boy does it make a difference when those you love support your dreams and hopes in life and don’t hold you back or stop you from doing what you really want to do.
Let’s be honest, it hasn’t been the most straightforward trip to plan, we had and still have commitments at our church, we have a house, jobs and a cute cat to name a few. We couldn’t just say off the cuff “Let’s get outta here!!” We had to do our research, give notice and be pretty darn organised to get it to actually happen. We had difficult dealings with letting agents which only made it all the more difficult, and to top it off one week before departure we read the news that Mount Agung had finally erupted after months of rumblings. Flights had been cancelled due to the airport being closed as ash was making it dangerous for any planes to fly. The pure frustration and frantic worrying that after all this planning and time we might not be able to fly out to our first destination Bali which was coupled with worry for the livelihood of those in Bali. We closely monitored the weather, air traffic control and media to see whether the situation would change and whether we may have to start making a contingency plan. It wasn’t looking good, local media were broadcasting the fears that the volcano may erupt again bigger than previously.
The moment of truth arrived and there was no news of any cancellations, which were showing previously. However, there was still a worry in the back of our minds that the volcano could erupt at any time and we would either be delayed or diverted. Once again anything could happen. The media were reporting that the imminent eruption would be the end of humankind as we now know it (source from a highly reliable newspaper always dramatising everything and truly factual - notttt). We had a stopover in Dubai and the first leg of the journey was complete. Once we set foot off the plane and checked the information board we couldn’t see any flights to Bali! We found out that it had changed to a day later without any notice that we would be stranded in Dubai airport for the next 12 hours. After some negotiating we managed to get to stay in a hotel and do a very quick trip into the city, seeing first hand the huge Burj Khalifa (largest building in the world). Our flight to Bali was difficult to catch up on sleep as we flew right through a storm and it was very turbulent with a sporadic feeling of dropping which kept waking me up from the sleep my body so desperately needed. But we made it!!! I have been amazed by the friendliness of the people here, the food, culture, sun (perhaps a bit too much on our first day!) and breathtaking views. It’s been worth all the struggles and difficulties we’ve had in coming here. Tourism in Bali is one of the main incomes of the island and because of the eruption many locals have really struggled to make a living, as this time of year is usually one the busiest. Fear and inaccurate reports of the danger of the volcano has ruined the income of many families on the island. This however has had an added benefit to us, there are less tourists which means we have a lot of the beaches to ourselves and was worth the effort in getting here. We can see the volcano from where we are staying and watched it have a very minor ash cloud eruption this afternoon. The volcano is still a long distance from any tourist areas and is safe for many on the island. It’s a shame to see that fear has been triggered by unreliable sources in the media and has affected the wonderful people of Bali and it is hard to see them struggle in such circumstances. Let us not let fear determine our futures.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our next blog post all about our adventures in Bali. If you have any recommendations on things to do or places to stay let us know we would love to hear from you.