It’s that old saying of when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. For me, it was when you hit the ground with the side of your ankle really bloody hard, it’s time to start accepting the help that’s offered to you on your journey back to Pai and then to the states.
What happened to my ankle
As I was leaving my lovely bungalow in Gili Air, my two dear friends, Jess and Brent had offered to help me with my bags. “No”, I said, “I’m a strong, independent woman and I think if you pack it, you should be able to carry it!” Just as those words left my mouth, my left foot went sideways and I came crashing down. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with an injury like this, so it was a really weird experience for me. It was a sudden reminder that it’s ok to accept the help that’s around me – that I can let people help me with my bags and I can still be a strong independent woman.
Leaving Gili Air
My stubborn little self, hobbled down to the harbour (this time, accepting the lovely help of Brent and Jess) and got on the boat to head over to Bali for two nights. The boat ride ended up being horrible too as I found the shock of the injury wearing off and feeling incredibly sick. I moved to the back of the boat but I was too far gone by this stage. When I got to the harbour, I had to carry all my luggage to the road where the shuttle car picked me up to take me to Ubud to see some friends. Halfway there, I had to tell the driver to stop so that I could be sick again.
Once we got to the main centre of Ubud, I got out of the car and just burst into tears. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a low like that – that feeling of absolute hopelessness and feeling lost, but not in a good way. All the Balinese taxi drivers were very kind and rubbed my ankle and told me it was going to be alright… before charging me a ridiculous amount to go 10 minutes down the road to my friend Tarryn’s house. To be fair, I wasn’t in a spot to be able to argue.
Tarryn took me in, fed me tea and pain killers and let me sleep it off for a while. When I woke up the next morning, although still in a huge amount of pain, I felt better. I felt that I could mentally take this on. This was just a little set back to make me go a little slower, rather than rushing around all the time.
I felt well enough to head down to southern Bali and see my extended family on their holiday. We enjoyed an afternoon by the pool with the kids (who are convinced that vegans eat little boys!). It’s really lovely to be able to see some family over here when sometimes I feel like I’m on the moon.
My last night in Indonesia was surrounded by friends at an open mic night which was just too special – I felt so at peace with everything. My friend, Will, who I met on one of the commercial shoots, got up and sung which was amazing. I went home feeling fulfilled and so happy with everything, except this little busted ankle that makes me hobble around everywhere.
Shoutouts from Gili Air
The 3W team, Max, Nico, Nat, Dan, Devi, Cami, Nabil, Yassin and Carlos. Nez and my fire sister, Megan. Brent and Jess for helping me out. Mama Julie who organised Slow festival. Justin for letting me burn whenever I wanted. All the social media blitz kids, Pim, Tash and Rebecca. My yoga sisters, Shannon, Christine (yes, you still count), Gemma, Tanya and my Guru, Emily. All the gorgeous boys at Flowers and Fire who I had handshakes with. All the crazy beautiful souls I met at the slow festival and in my yoga classes and a really special mention to my mermaid sister, Suzie.
Shoutouts from Bali
My extended family, the Deniers for feeding my cocktails all afternoon and not telling my mum that I left on the back of a scooter (yes, I was wearing a helmet). Will for serenading me, Tony for dancing and my gorgeous girl gang Reigan, Steph and Sophie. Aquila and Dada. Tarryn and Faro for putting me up for two nights and taking such good care of me when I really needed it. Thank you.
Thailand and Pai
I then flew to Thailand to visit my lovely Pai family for a week. Mike, a friend I met in GIli Air last year, met me in Bangkok for one night which included delicious vegan food, massages and so many snacks whilst I rested my ankle.
I then headed up to my mountain home, Pai, to see all the old family. Cassy picked me up from the bus stop and I stayed with her and Kevin for that night which was amazing. They have a beautiful place out of town a bit which overlooks the gorgeous mountains.
Now, it’s best to mention here that I am an absolute beach lover. I remember being a kid and going down to my dads’ beach house every summer – It was what I looked forward to every year. And I always saw the school down there and wondered how fabulous it would be to live down there and go to the beach whenever I wanted.
As an adult, I realise that I’ve been living on little islands for a year in Indonesia. Dreams achieved, one might say.
But there was something really special about being back in the mountains of Pai – It smells like mountains; green and alive. It’s also really nice to have space! Those little islands, although beautiful, can get a little claustrophobic at times.
Playing with fire… or not
It was so gorgeous to reconnect with so many friends in Pai. It was difficult as well as I had to sit out a lot of playtime with the fire toys due to my ankle (which was another lesson in patience) but I did get to perform on my final night there… in three numbers. Maybe I did get a little carried away with it all as my ankle is now a little bit sorer than it has been, but it was SO worth it! I got to perform a gorgeous piece with Astryd, Faith and Kayla who’s pregnant, to bless her unborn baby. Ryan and I did our brilliant magic/clown act, and I got to do a badass solo which I enjoyed putting together, just as much as everyone enjoyed watching it. Watch it below!
It was wonderful to choreograph something again. It’s been so long since I did that – maybe about 5 years. I loved to process of listening to the song again and again and the muscle memory you have to rely on when on stage. And also, performing!
This time leaving Pai, I left with an enormous smile on my face. My dear friend, Manuel, gave me a wonderful tattoo right before I left of the mountains, so this time I feel I am taking them with me instead of leaving them behind.
Shoutouts from Pai
Ryan, thank you for holding the space for me once again. All the fire family, old and new – Kayla, Faith, Xander, Tani, Manuel, Brandon, Dylan, Iris, Ravyn, Jordan, Mike, the clowns, Dusty and Talon, Bec. Cassy and Kevin for letting me sleepover and be a bear for a night. My soul sisters and inspiration, Adi and Kimiko. Tom and Mayuki. Max and Flo. Michael and Remy. Almog for being gorgeous and my hero, supergirl, sister, best friend and badass bitch, Astryd.
I’m now on a long journey to the United States. And I cannot emphasise the word LONG here enough.
A three-hour bus from Pai to Chaing Mai
A night in Chiang Mai with my gorgeous sister Rachel (thank you again for housing me)
12-hour bus the next morning to Bangkok
4-hour flight from Bangkok to Guangzhou
8-hour layover in China which was weird and strange in which I nearly had my fire toys taken away
5-hour flight to Chengdu in China
10-hour flight to Los Angeles with a 2-hour stopover somewhere else in China (see map below)
It’s crazy, but that’s what you get for wanting cheap flights. Anyway, I’m pretty good in airports now with finding little spots to huddle down and entertain myself. And it also gives me some time to write this.
So, off I go on another adventure! I’ll be in the U.S. for about two or three months I think. Then, if all goes to plan, I’m hoping to settle somewhere in central America – Mexico, Guatemala or Nicaragua maybe, but unsure yet. I just know wherever I land, it’ll be exactly where I’m meant to be.