I knew it was going to be a heart wrenching farewell, but I never expected quite how much my heart would break, and quite how many tears I would shed when leaving this amazing Island.
I cried as I hugged my special friends, the week before, the night before, and as I got into the car, bound for the airport. I tried, and failed to keep my composure when I hugged my beloved Wayan, and found it so hard to let her go. My heart truly ached.
I cried for most the way to the airport, on the plane, and again when we were walking through the extremely clean airport in Singapore. Being in this new place, so clean and efficient, I couldn’t help but notice the differences all around me. I didn’t want to start comparing but I just couldn’t help it. Everything here was different, even within the first few minutes. It was all so super efficient and business like, even the taps in the toilets were run by sensor! (poor Deni couldn’t work that one out, and I’ve gotta admit it took me a minute and a bit of head scratching to get running water!)
It was so unlike where we just came from. Where in Bali the ‘officials’ would give you a cheeky smile, here you were lucky to get even a curt ‘hello’ from the stern faced men sporting super starched uniforms. I was missing the warmth and the smiles, and here in the Singapore Airport smiles were rare, just when I needed them the most. Liam asked me on more than one occasion how I was doing, he was fully aware that this was going to be a big one for me. All I could do was nod, I was too scared to speak for the fear that that simple act would start the tears flowing all over again. He also asked me a good question, ‘Why do you do this? Why leave a place that you love so much?’ I couldn’t really answer that with much conviction but to say, ‘I don’t really know’. Maybe it might become clearer once the sadness has faded.
There is so much about the last 18 months that has made my, or our experience so great. I found Bali, and in particular Ubud, a very easy place to live. Apart from a few creature comforts we never really went without much. And that goes for both the kids and myself. Good choice of restaurants, and cafes abound, great events and ongoing activities for the kids were aplenty.
Bali never failed to offer us loads of fun and adventures of all kinds. I lived with a great sense of gratitude each and every day.
Heading up to our departure, I’d been thinking a lot about what has made this time what it was, and it’s not only the tropical environment and location, it’s the people. From my crazy and gorgeous besties that kept me social (& sane), to the best neighbours anyone could ever wish for. I’ve met so many people here, all diverse in nationalities and cultures, and each and every one of them have added such a richness to my experience, beyond anything that I could ever write here.
Having Wayan become a part of our family has been just gorgeous – we love her so! We’ve been privileged enough to have been welcomed into Wayan’s family, and our love for Kadeks family has been able to grow deeper over this time. We welcomed our adorable baby Komang to the world, and shared another few Galungans and Nyepi’s with our Balinese families. Jed and Deni got to experience the true Balinese village life and it was all so natural.
We have all made ‘friends for life’, and there’s no doubt, and it gives me a sense of relief to know that somewhere along the way we will meet again soon, somewhere in this big wide world of ours. Friendships like this are just too strong and the connection too deep to say goodbye, as Jed told me once ‘I don’t like goodbyes Mum, I’d rather say ‘seeya later’ Well said, my boy – well said!
It’s been a few days now since our departure and between Singapore, Legoland, 3 flights, numerous taxis and a bus ride, I’ve finally had 5 minutes to reflect.
I’m pleased to say that the tears have dried up and I’m left with an almost overwhelming feeling of enormous gratitude to everyone and everything that made our last 18 months such an incredible experience.
Thank you … Thank you … Thank you … To you all – and ‘seeya later!’