Day One: Unexpected surprises and embracing adventure
A few months ago I was feeling restless and wanted to do something that would signify change in my life – I decided that I wanted to head overseas to do a wellness retreat as it would replenish me ready for some big changes that I have needed to make to move forward.
With this in mind my dearest friend Sue thought she would like to join the journey with me – one Saturday afternoon we stumbled into a travel agent, thinking Fiji would be lovely only to find ourselves booking into a luxurious resort in Ubud Bali.
The weeks passed with very little thought or planning except to know that in July we would be heading off on a trip we felt would be significant in changing the direction on our lives (my life anyway – with Sue by my side to reign me in when needed).
As time drew closer both of us began to count on our Bali adventure – to refresh and reframe our respective lives. Hectic work schedules meant we still didn’t look at the tickets. We just talked more about our expectations and excitement leading up to our time away.
Enter volcanic ash cloud. Eight days before we were to depart, mount something in Indonesia erupted. We ignored it. Completely. Sue and I continued to flaunt our holiday excitement to everyone around – as you all recall I even managed to wear my much loved kiss me Ketut TShirt – very sad now when I reflect on the events that have unfolded in the last few days.
Friday 10 July dawned fresh and clear in Toowoomba. Perhaps a little brisk but we could tolerate it easily as we were only one day away from Bali. Throughout the day, many people suggested to us Bali was off the agenda. We scoffed. Some said we were in complete denial. A large ash cloud was hovering over Denpasar. No we said. We are leaving on Saturday regardless.
We made a moonlit trip to Brisbane on Friday night after receiving official word that Bali was on – only to discover into the evening flights had been cancelled. Saturday was out but Sunday was on and we were booked in for the 12th. The roller coaster ride began.
Saturday was a day very much in limbo as we waited for official word on the fate of our Sunday trip but never giving up hope. We did have the foresight to discuss lacklustre alternative plans should Bali be off the agenda. Many a google search ended with wishy washy ideas of what we might do; not quite wanting to settle on any alternatives as we still knew we were going to Bali.
Saturday afternoon exciting news came in the form of a text from Virgin confirming the cloud had lifted – ash cloud what ash cloud – and we would be travelling on Sunday. Yay we said and did a little happy dance and rechecked our passports.
Over dinner at a local Indian restaurant we discussed what we intended to do in Bali. By this stage we had actually looked at our itinerary and resort stay and had reviewed local knowledge provided by our many lovely friends. Early to bed only to toss and turn all night with excitement at the following day’s journey.
Sunday morning dawned and our day had arrived. Eagerly we showered and dressed, gathered our many belongings together and made the short journey to the airport fortified by coffee. We noticed our flight wasn’t posted but eagerly joined the check in queue confident all would be right. Unfortunately this was not the case as shortly after an announcement was made that the ash cloud had returned – ash cloud what ash cloud – and all flights were cancelled until at least Wednesday with no guarantee even then.
A moment of complete disappointment we shared as we realised our journey was off. Gathering our belongings and our strength we retrieved the car and returned to Highgate Hill to decide our future. Never girls to throw in the towel, not easily defeated we decided to jump right back on the horse and create a whole new adventure.
Life is full of unexpected surprises and both Sue and I have become adept at rising to the challenge of these moments as we have shared many throughout our history together.
As girls of the 21st Century we put our need for a new destination on Facebook. Many amazing ideas came forth. By the time we reached Highgate Hill the universe spoke and 1770 was where we were destined to be. A cup of tea and a google search had us booked in and on the road by 10. Thus began the road trip filled with 70s anthems, loud singing and frequent stops. We took in the scenery, we rejoiced at the cows all framed by beautiful mountains as we drove into 1770 eight hours later. Thelma (Shelley) and Louise (Sue) had embraced the adventure, had a wonderful day and began the journey.
Shelley Myatt is the owner and operator of Shelley Myatt Fitness and Well-Being, Columnist, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker based in Toowoomba, Qld.