Peter Pan, the enchanting classic we all know and love. It truly captures the essence of childhood, imagination and dreams and for me and many other nomads it makes it seem that never growing up is actually possible. This blog is entitled Finding Neverland because of that very reason.
For years, I have searched for a place which allows be to be ‘free’ and creative and silly and basically act a lot younger than my years – I found it in Bali.
Funny thing is with expectations and dreams is once realised they never quite feel right, they’re never how you imagined them to be, something inside just feels off and you can’t quite put your finger on it – until you do. For me, Bali was a place of pure hedonism, selfish indulgence with barely any responsibilities, loads of fun and the idea that I was sticking it the ‘man’. And believe me for a while that feeling is fucking awesome. You feel like a rebel revelling in sun, sea, sand and sex and what sane person is their twenties wouldn’t want that? But the thing is, just like Wendy, the time has come to grow up. My secret kiss is no longer a secret, my youthful ‘looks’ are now weathered, I didn’t end up with a Gerard Butler lookalike, and all my drive and ambition that once consumed me has slowly diminished amongst the thousands of Bintangs and seductive sunsets.
It’s a very strange feeling, the realisation that life isn’t a playground. And one I honestly never thought I would feel. Even when I worked in the corporate world (finance would you believe?) I still went wild on my weekends and it was always just a means to an end – the end being travelling and never growing up. Maybe it’s because 30 is around the corner, maybe the pollution and traffic has just finally got too much, maybe it’s because I’m living on beans on toast in ‘paradise’ and can’t even afford a young coconut anymore…I don’t know? But I know the time has come to leave limboland. I call it that because most people who live here that I have the pleasure or displeasure of encountering always has a bit of a sad back story, they seem to be running away from true responsibilities – now some might say they’re not running, they’re simply living life unconventionally and that’s their prerogative and yes, that would be true if they actually contributed to society and fulfilled basic human needs and functions (according to Maslow of course). But most of them aren’t…trust me I was/am one of them. It’s taken hitting rock bottom to spring me into action but I’m ready for the challenge and believe it or not I’m going back to work! Or I’m at least trying…in Melbourne. I am still in utter shock about the whole thing, the anxiety dreams are haunting me every night (and siesta times), I go to an interview barefooted, bikini clad with salty hair and apologise profusely and blame Bali brain (yep, that’s a thing) this is how stressed I am about taking the plunge. But it’s necessary and I’m not a big fan of change and this is a HUGE change but if I can stay afloat maybe I can even sail and isn’t that worth the risk?
Today is my last beach day in Bali, my final sunset, my final Bintang and my final farewells to my Bali family. I have mixed emotions and it’s purely because I am inherently selfish…I love my friends here, I honestly couldn’t have lived here for this long without their support and I just wish they could follow me to Oz but of course they can’t. Then I think about all my beautiful family and friends that are back in the UK and the guilt at leaving them is even worse so I have double guilt and double sadness but I also have hope and a sense that ‘everything is going to be okay’. I know that a lot of travellers have this feeling when moving onto the next place but honestly I’m praying that for once I actually feel settled. I can’t believe I’ve just written that!!! Anyway enough of me waffling,
I’ll keep you posted folks, wish me luck in the big bad city!