Making the decision to move to Bali came in two parts. At the risk of sounding cliché, my body and soul knew it, before my mind did. Mother Nature granted me an extra week in Bali and all flights were cancelled. I had heard about this town called Canggu, a surfing mecca where east meets west.
Because I was with a big group of friends, we had spent the previous week in Seminyak, the tourist hotspot. But once we had more time, I pushed for us to more further out to Canggu.
I remember one night fondly.
As we watched the waves roll in, we let our responsibilities wash back out with the tide. We were free, and so was our conversation. No filters, no fear of judgement. We all understood each other. We’d slowed down. And with that came sudden, jarring clarity. I wanted to move here.
My best friend, Cass, felt it too. It was like we were meant to be there, sitting on that beach, awakening to a potential new lifestyle. Every plane I boarded, all the exotic food that touched my lips and each new person that made my heart skip a beat – it was all leading up to this moment.
We flew home on a recovery flight one week after, but this was just the start of the journey with no end date.
Have you ever been on a trip, regardless of how long it was, and come back entirely renewed? Seven days was all it took to change the course of my life altogether.
The difference between want & action: Resistance
Steven Pressfield says it well: “Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance. I was standing in between my reality, the life I was living, and this yearning, unquenchable desire to move to Bali.”
It wasn’t how I had envisioned moving overseas. I thought I’d end up in London, doing the city thing (I’m now living in New York). But it was a feeling of destiny that I couldn’t ignore. And it was all the sweeter with my best friend by my side. We eased the level of resistance for each other.
If I look back on the last 29 years of my life, the next four months were probably the time when I felt the bravest. Cass and I gave up our house and prepared ourselves, mentally and physically, to leave everything we had built behind. Cass quit her job and I started to come to terms with not seeing my new nephew for months, maybe years.
Before big changes, our minds seem to get more imaginative. Fuelled by the anxiety of the move, I replayed every possible scenario that could go wrong in my head, like a movie trailer showing the worst parts instead of the highlights.
What if lose all my clients?
What if my friends forget me?
What if I hate it?
What if I love it and never come back home?
We try to control things because of what we think will happen if we don’t. In other words, control is rooted in fear. 99.9% of these scenes never come to fruition. The thing that got me through was this.
Time will continue on, whether I go or not. The clock doesn’t stop. You either take the chance and see what happens or you don’t. I asked myself what’s the worst thing that could go wrong. The answer was this: I’d have to come home.
I looked at this sentence over and over, probably 100 times. The more I stared at it, the less fear I attached to it. I made an agreement with myself: Go, try it out, and don’t put a time limit on it.
It turned out to be the best decision of my life and nearly two years later, I’m still travelling. Moving abroad was always something in the back of my mind, even from my late teens. I knew it would happen, but as I journeyed through my 20s, the time was never quite right. Something didn’t quite click, until I sat on that Canggu beach, with my best friend.
That was my time. 27 years old.
Wait for that feeling. And when you do, don’t ignore it.