Time goes by so fast! We arrived in Bali, Indonesia in June 2016 and it hooked us. A planned year of travel put on hold by rice fields, warm weather, refreshing breezes, a smiling and amazing culture, and veggies! A lot of fresh delicious veggies (not often available on budget in our Asian travels).
This brings us to June 2017… with an unsatisfied itch to continue travelling and see a few more destinations before our Canadian provincial health care expires, we have made the decision to get on the road again.
As a Canadian in the province of British Columbia, we had to request to maintain our provincial health plan while on extended leave out of the country. This was required to purchase travel insurance with private insurance companies. This was approved, but only for a maximum of two years. Although we pay the monthly premium of $150/month while out of the country, we lose our health care at the end of December 2017 unless we return to Canada.
With this in mind, we have recently set out without a plan but with the intention of visiting Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and maybe some gems in between such as the Maldives.
We have enjoyed everything Bali has to offer. Mark has satisfied his passion for renovating by transforming the villa we leased. It helps the owner and his family in the future and we learned how inexpensive it can really be to live the Bali lifestyle.
Before the reno…
Bali pickup truck!
We made fantastic friends and life long memories. We both learnt how to ride a scooter in a country with no traffic rules and where the locals start driving in elementary school and can just buy a license. Even Freya loved going for a scooter ride.
We experienced Nyepi, a celebration to ward off the evil spirits with 24 hours of no lights and no loud sounds… you can’t even leave your yard. Even the international airport in Bali is closed for a day! The stars at night were breathtaking.
We have our favorite beach and village, Amed, an area that Mark may even prefer over Ubud.
With a wide-open villa, trails to walk and only a scooter for transportation we lived every moment outside. We loved having our foster companion Freya around. She is the most difficult to leave behind.
We sold off the rest of our villa lease so we leave Bali as we arrived… unencumbered. Only, other thoughts weigh heavily. Did we really just leave our beautiful villa in the rice fields to wear this infuriating backpack again? Are we ready for Asian public toilets again? Do we want to live out of a backpack? Did we really just leave a brand new washing machine for hand washing every day? Are we getting too old for this? Between the two of us, we have aching backs, shoulders, arms and necks. Abdomens are a bit softer and feet more weary. As we travel over the next few months, wrapping up with Christmas in Alberta, we will be thinking about health insurance and whether we continue travelling or return to work and re-integrate into the Western world.
What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet (Anne Frank).
Happy 150th Birthday Canada!
Mark and Christine