Real Life: Meet Ana, an artist, a lover of life & a wise soul.

Picture a radiant grey haired, Mrs Santa-like woman complete with twinkling blue eyes, a smile from cheek to cheek and a magnetic charisma which is gentle and warm. This is Ana, an eighty six year old artist from Holland who was in Bali with her German soul-mate for another life adventure.

Every day Anna would come down for breakfast with her sketch pad and colours and swiftly transform strokes of pencil marks on her note-pad to incredible works of art. Her fingers could draw what her eyes could see, watching her was incredible. Looking at her makes you feel like you’re witnessing a real life fountain of youth complete with sparkling stars and glowing twinkle lights. Her art speaks volumes, it has the power to break boundaries and attracted all the hotel guests to her like bees to honey. Philippe, her romantic partner and love of the last quarter of her life (as she described him) was soft spoken, elegant and debonair. He adored Ana and his eyes just couldn’t keep how much he loved her a secret. Every evening they would go for a stroll hand in hand, like two teenage lovers playfully discovering each other for the first time.

Life Lessons from Ana

One hot afternoon I spotted Ana on swing right in-front of her cottage and I waved at her, she invited me to join her. I asked her about art, her gallery in Holland and her travels. She asked me about my yoga, my writing and my work. There is a fifty year difference between the two of us yet it felt like I was speaking to a very dear friend. Later on we talked about what we loved most about beautiful Bali and when I quickly hinted that I will probably be back she told me that this was her first and last visit. Her reply shocked me. She had shared so many lovely stories about her holiday here and I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t want to come back. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked. Her answer was striking and simple. ‘Dearest’ she said ‘I won’t come back because I still have so many countries I’d like to visit in my last decade or two. I need to explore Vietnam, try my luck at the poker table in Las Vegas and go on a cruise to the magical Caribbean to start and there are so many more magnificent countries I’d like to experience’. As she gave me her classic twinkling smile I had a new type of admiration for this incredible woman.

Ana is eighty six years old and is full of life more than people a quarter of her age. She was not merely existing and letting time rob her life yet she is fully immersed in the gift of life spending her days traveling the world with her chosen one, dedicating time to her art and leaving trinkets of wisdom every where she goes. Now I know you must be thinking ‘Ana can afford to travel not everyone can’. Well that’s not the point. My treasured eighty six year old friend has the spirit of an eighteen year old, the imagination of a five year old and the passion of a thirty year old. She celebrates her decades ever so graciously and spends all that she has saved over the years, all the money she has worked hard for to travel. She is determined to live to the fullest and won’t let her age get in her way. Ana is fierce, my dear friend is sensational and above all my wise teacher of life has cracked open the secret of living a majestically beautiful life.

I can’t wait to hear about Ana’s next adventure, until then, I will forever cherish her sketch of our swing which was positioned perfectly on the green grass right in-front of the entrance bridge surrounded by so many flowers, lady birds and butterflies. The swing holds all our deepest secrets and wishes, and is a testimony of the amazing friendship which blossomed between a vibrant woman from Holland and a thirty something year old soul, both on a quest to discover how grand the world is.

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