From Nothing to a lot.

I am not quite sure what is the worldwide percentage of people who does not know how big and beautiful this world is, so much to discover, so much to learn, so much to see.

I was not supposed to be part of the percentage that does know, I can assure you that, I was supposed to stay at home, in my little hometown, have a job, have my hometown boyfriend and get married, live day by day, watching movies, see the world through the flat screen and never get out of that cycle. I am not saying that is a bad thing, how many people that actually live this life are happy? I am sure many are, and that’s great too.

I was very shy, not comfortable by being alone among a crowd, always hiding behind my Mom or schoolmates and friends, not doing anything by myself or even take a bus to go somewhere, trust me not even local buses.

But one horrible event changed my mode, turned off the switch, suddenly this unexpected event changed the course of my life forever, I lost the most important person in my life, the one that I loved the most…my Mother.

Once she was gone everything else inside of me was gone with her, my beliefs, my traditions, my way of thinking, my inside softness, until one fine day my best friend called and heard me talking nonsense about not wanting to live, I want to die, life is worthless etc, she heard probably every single word from the depression dictionary, she decided to invite me to company her to travel South America, at that moment, the idea of traveling sounded as excited as doing the dishes by yourself after a big family reunion on a Sunday night. But I had nothing to lose and I said YES.

I must say that even though I was still sad and depressed while in South America I did enjoy and appreciate it, I only visited Argentina and Brazil but people, it was enough for me to understand that we are so small, we are so many, We are such Marvelous beings, so different and so equal at the same time, all the different accents and folklore, colors, smiles, we are so alike but at the same time so geniusly different that I wanted more. We went further, we picked Southeast Asia as our next destination, and that my friends, was the beginning of the most unexpected metamorphosis from a small town girl to solo Traveler of the World.

My best friend and I took separate ways, she went to Rumania and I stayed alone, and there is when my story really kicked off, my first destination as a solo traveler…BALI.

I could not even believe how easy it was for me to go to the airport, go through the process of Immigration and Security and get to the Gate, I mean WOW, that was a HUGE Yay for me I must say, years before that I could not even get into a local bus without company.

Bali helped me a lot, I am not going to lie, I got depressed there too, there was when I learned that if you are in a very dark place, please surround yourself with people, be social, make conversation, make new friends, that can be a great support system and it can even save your life trust me, even if you don’t feel like it DO IT, you won’t regret it.

Bali was easy, I had a little trouble getting used to the Money, it took me a few days to be honest but then I had it. I found it a little over priced but still affordable, not the end of the world, I became a fan of the Bintang beer, you can find many cheap places to eat as well, food is amazing, if you like Pork try “Babi Guling” you mind find it interesting and delicious, I personally loved the “Nasi Goreng”.

I was impressed about the Rent a Car thing, I paid $14.00 USD for a 4x4, full tank for 1 day. I was so lucky to make friends with two locals, a couple that until this day I still believe are Balinese Angels, they took an entire day off just for me. This is how I discovered that the people from Bali are the nicest people on earth, they are so polite and so loving and always willing to help you. They took me to the main temples in Bali, among them the beautiful Uluwatu temple, and my favorite Tanah Lot Temple.

Buy souvenirs can be tricky, they will always try to give you the highest price, always be careful, especially if you are first time solo traveler and with a budget. I do try to understand that they are working and trying to bring food to the table, we all do, but they will try to charge you as much as they can if you allow them to. If you get to know any local get advice about t-shirts, sandals and other popular souvenirs you see everywhere, they can help you with prices, you can come to an agreement with the store people by letting them know that you won’t be paying that much for just a t-shirt, but that you can do it for less than that, they will do it at the end and give it to you for a reasonable price.

Ubud is beautiful, the rice fields, waterfalls, the Yoga Barn, the Monkey Forest, the vibe and air you breathe there is amazingly spiritual and blissful. It can be crowdy, depending on the season, but still lovely.

There I was, spending 3 weeks in Bali by myself, going to the supermarket, looking around, walking down to the beach, taking the sun alone, having a cold Bintang while watching the sunset at the Seminyak beach, this moment was priceless, so far away from home, surrounded by complete strangers, feeling comfortable, I took a deep breath, looked up in the sky and said…Cheers Mama, I am changing, I am starting to feel grateful to be alive and I know you are the one to blame..I hear ya.

My lesson right there was, if you are afraid of something, if you don’t go to go after something challenging, do it anyway, you don’t necessarily have to travel outside your country, just get out of your comfort zone, travel around, see the World with optimistic eyes,you have eyes right? Used them, you will grow, you will learn something new, and for the Love of God, be social, be humble, be love and you will be loved, surround yourself with good people and you will find more the one reason to live. Until next time.