Roll with it, re-group, change of plans – travel demands flexibility
“Mount Agung, in Eastern Bali, spurted clouds of grey and white ash across the Indonesian island and sparked a dangerous flow of debris”, according to the headline news. That’s not good. After leaving Cambodia, we were hoping to spend a blissful month in Bali.
The Indonesian Island stop was a key component of our trip, replacing our usual beach time in Mexico. Bali was booked first, of the whole travel year and is highly anticipated by all of us. We are looking forward to amazing villas, in 3 different locations, on both sides of the Southern beaches and the jungle in Ubud. Securing a good deal, in such a sought after location required so much patience and research.
As it turns out, Bali is not the only location people are heading to at the end of the year. Much like Mexico, most of the destination sun spots are fully booked. At least in our price range. Sigh. So that is a bit of a problem. We can get a refund for most of our Bali accommodations and our airline is being very flexible, but where to go instead?
Unlike most people who are planning to spend the holidays in Bali, they have the option to just stay home. Just as we would have, for each of our previous Christmas Mexico vacations. But now, we are kind of unique, because we can’t even go home, let alone stay put. We are nomadic. Which is not a typical thing for a family of 4 to be doing.
So what would a nomad do? Keep going, I imagine. After a quick bit of research, it turns out we have options. If we can’t fly directly to Bali, the best travel plan involves an alternate destination by plane, then a train, and finally a bus on a ferry. The overland and water portion adds approximately 12 hours to the trip. We would have all types of locomotion covered. All told, it would take 2 extra days to travel the 2,800km – but what an adventure!
Of course I’m not wishing for this change of plan to materialize. I am going to pray to the travel gods that we are able to proceed as planned. But, if the winds are not in our favour, we will need to be flexible. At least I know it is possible to get to Bali, without flying into Denpasar.
Let’s hope the prevailing South-West wind returns and we are cleared for take-off. Before that happens, the thousands of people currently stranded need to find their way home as well. I’m hopeful for a change in the wind. For now, that’s all I can do, along with everyone else. Wait and see what mother nature decides.
I guess what this also teaches me is that I need to be flexible and become better acquainted with uncertainty. I might even go as far as getting comfortable with the fact that much of travelling life is anything but certain. I might have to roll with it. Make the best of it. Re-group and change our plans. And most of all, I need to be OK with all that. Which is not something I am very good at. I do well with certainty and life rolling out according to my plans. Which makes me a strange person to be travelling. Particularly since this whole adventure was my idea.
What I am learning is to overcome all these fears. Just being OK with uncertainty is a daily struggle, which I am always happy to go to sleep and shut it all down, some days. Other times, when I have overcome something that inevitably happens, when I am able to play it cool, I am so proud of myself. I never thought I would be able to do any of this, back when I first had this travel year idea. And now, here we are, waiting in limbo to see what happens.
We’ve made it through a political crisis in Barcelona. We are facing some unrest in Phnom Penh over the actions of the government. There is a volcano in Bali threatening to undo that entire stop for us. Such is the life of a traveller.
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: : “Fruitless at 40: Rediscovering My Creative Power”
: : Turning a midlife crisis into a creative manifesto
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Our travel year:
: : We are a Canadian family, on a year-long trip, planning on 32 cities, 18 countries over 4 continents.
: : Dad is working in Europe and Asia, Teens are doing distance education for grades 11 and 9, Mom is keeping it all together, writing, taking photos and making videos.
: : Join me, Christine on a quest for a creative life, everyday.
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