It is said that life is what happens while we are busy making plans.
I planned my trip to Bali, planned what I intended to achieve while there, planned the various yoga sessions I wanted to attend at the Ubud Yoga Centre and Yoga Barn. The weekend beach trips, the meditation sessions, the book writing hours I needed to complete and of course the multitude of restaurants and cocktail bars that needed me to pay them a visit. I had certainly made a lot of plans.
What I had not planned for, was to be home, back in South Africa, on the 13th of March having spent 12 days in Bali, 5 of which were in hospital and 2 in a cast.
Having a titanium plate and 8 screws inserted into my wrist in Bali was definitely not on my itinerary. A tattoo on my wrist, now that I could have worked with.
Celebrating Nyepi, the Balinese New Year, which takes place on the 7th of March, was one of the highlights of the month of March. On the evening of the 6th, when the parade of ogoh-ogoh dolls made by the Balinese people takes place, we all joined the parade but it had been delayed due to severe rain and after a couple of hours a few of us decided to go to the Laughing Buddha before going back to the Villa since it had been a long, wet night.
I decided to go back to the Villa around 10pm and on approaching the entrance (I was about 20 steps from my room) I slipped in the rain and took a nasty dive towards mother earth. Jumping up with a wild scream and looking at the way my wrist was hanging I immediately knew that this was not going to be a simple sprain. Pain was searing through my arm and although I had initially thought about pushing through the night and reviewing the situation in the light of day, once I got to my room it was clear from the blood gushing from my wrist and the excruciating pain that I may need assistance on a slightly more urgent basis.
Imagine my emotional roller coaster. Strange country, no one I really knew and here I was being rushed to hospital in the middle of the night, with an angel at my side. A true, real life angel, Christy, the experience leader of our UnSettled, month long experience, was amazing, not leaving me for a minute and on arrival at the hospital, while drips were inserted, pain medication administered and x-rays taken, there she was. She was joined by a number of other angels, David, his wife and Alam, all part of the Outpost and UnSettled teams and together they helped me through having to make some tough decisions in terms of where to have the required surgery done etc.
They made me feel safe. It’s easy in difficult times for people to say the right things but it takes truly amazing humans for a person to feel the care, to feel the support and love.
I ended up being taken by ambulance to the International Hospital where I had my surgery done and not for one minute did Christy, Alam and Kelly leave me alone. Coming out of theatre, Alam wiped my tears and got me the sweetest, most amazing machine Cappuccino (apparently that got me to stop crying). Poor man, what I put him through.
All the time while in hospital I received constant messages and pictures from the UnSettled team back in Ubud.
What is key to remember is that I had literally known both the experience leader, the location managers and the participants for 5 days and yet they all treated me with the most amazing unconditional love I had ever experienced from strangers. Needless to say, they are no longer strangers.
The hospital staff and doctors were incredible and the treatment I received was of the best quality. I saw an orthopaedic here in Durban today and he said that the work done on my wrist was of exceptional quality.
What I learnt was that although you cannot always choose the manner in which events play out in your life, you can always choose how you approach them, how you allow them to affect you and what fingerprints you allow the experience to leave in your life. I learnt that sometimes strangers can show you love in ways that astound you and leave you forever changed.
I learnt that travel insurance is a MUST.
Never travel without travel insurance.
Although I would have preferred completing my one month experience in Bali, the gifts of unconditional love I received will be treasured deep in my soul forever and will draw me back to Ubud and connect me to an UnSettled tribe across the globe.
I learnt that love does not have to be earned.
I realised that you are not supposed to know what the future holds. If you know where the path leads you are on someone else’s path. It is in the embracing of what you don’t know that you find a life that is greater than what you could previously have imagined.