Wild in the light.

The past couple of nights have been difficult for me. My mind has conjured up insane ideas and I’ve felt trapped in my own surroundings because of bugs and because of my own expectations. This all may sound very crazy and very ungrateful. And, really, it has been. But, I think we all need to have these dark moments in order to see the light.

There have been several moments that I wanted to leave this little villa in the Ubud countryside. The critters have haunted me and I’ve allowed them to steal my sleep and a bit of my sanity. Fears are cruel and weird in that way. But I awoke today to find myself within a small paradise. Living amongst these things that have tormented me, has allowed me to face them. Instead of running like I wanted to, Eric urged me to face these fears and stay here. And I’m so thankful for him helping me through this and for us staying because I’ve already grown in the past week.

This hasn’t been the easiest stay in Ubud. I really thought Ubud would be a cultural center of rice paddies and green terraces. Instead, the downtown is full of tourists walking down hot, narrow corridors into shops that are not localized – they are geared at tourists. I would like to learn more about the Balinese, not have them change their ways to suit us. This has disappointed me. Coming back at night to a place shared with critters I am not used to has not eased any of my stresses.

But, today, I saw the light in all of this. The host of this villa, Julia, has helped teach us to be more open and fear less. She just went right over to the colossal face-sized spider and picked it up. I kid you not. She grabbed it by its leg to move it. Wtf! It was a kind of bravery I have not witnessed yet. But, in that instance, she helped me to fear less and understand more. I judged this spider so fast that I completely missed its beauty. The beauty that such a creature even exists.


Okay, maybe the heat has gotten to me (and it has – I’ll leave that to another post), but think about it with something a little less scary – in my mind at least: we have a gecko in our room on the wall. He’s tiny. Maybe three inches long. He’s actually pretty cute. But let’s say I feared this little guy. I mean, he is a foreign animal in my room and clamoring around at night. A bit otherworldy. Without him though, I’d have way more bugs in the room. This gecko is eating all the mosquitoes. Maybe this spider who wants nothing to do with me, is doing its part in keeping bug levels down. If I don’t want to judge people by their looks, why should I judge an animal by its? Alright, enough about the dang spider. Back to seeing the light.


Staying in this villa has been pretty wonderful in its own way. After getting what I can only guess was a mild case of heat stroke, we took the next day easy hanging out in countryside. Through this, we were able to talk with our hosts Julia and Eugene. Julia is so knowledgable about the island. The two of them together brought me back down to the moment. We had some great discussions about life and Bali, traveling and music. They kindly took us on their scooters to get lunch in a truly local warung where a Balinese family barbequed fish, ribs, and tofu right in front of you. We drank from real coconuts that they opened freshly before us. Fresh food that came from local hands and in total, cost only about $5 each in money and was priceless in experience.

The whole day made me realize how special this little stay is. Yes, all of Bali has not been what I expected, but this part especially. I feel like we’ve made a friendship with these nomads who are on a similar spiritual path, although all their own naturally. This has been a pleasant unexpectation (my blog, my made up words, remember?). And I’m truly grateful for these moments that have taught me to open my mind and spread wings from what I’m used to.

That’s what this trip is all about in the end for me: an open heart and an open mind beyond where I’ve been.
xx. Jillian


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