Ironically enough, I had avoided coming to Bali for the thirty-three years that I lived in Perth, Western Australia, because all I had heard about was the partying crowd in Kuta.
I preferred to venture off the beaten track to Burma, Cambodia, North Vietnam and other remote locations in South East Asia, so joining a bunch of beer-swilling Aussies (and yes, I was one), didn't really appeal to me as an adventure.
Later, as it transpired, I was a Project Manager living in Singapore, when we won a project in Western Australia and our counterparts in Perth, decided to meet halfway in Bali. I arrived at the fancy hotel in Nusa Dua, not a true reflection of the amazing Balinese culture, but nonetheless, I was immediately struck by the palpable, balanced energy that pervaded the island.
It was all meetings and formality, with no time to explore the culture in any depth, but at least I left Bali with a very favourable impression of the people, their smiles and hospitality.
Some months later, I found myself in Bali once again on a combined business – team building, long weekend, where we white water rafted down the famous Ayung River and this was to seal my destiny!!
The Ayung appealed to my intense love of nature with its waterfalls, forest canopied ravines, lush greenery and smiling, waving villagers we passed on our downward journey.
Backing up a little, my wife, Lita and I were looking for a place to develop a retreat centre and were considering Costa Rica for its spectacular environment, Australia for its familiarity and Cyprus for its location in the “Med”, as we were both yachties at the time. The trip down the Ayung River sealed our decision and later we were to have our honeymoon in Bali and settle.
I am reminded of the sage words, “That which you resist, will persist” and so I guess I owe my resistance to visiting Bali and to it turning into our place we call home!
However, there was another influencing factor involved with our decision. We were in West Africa on what was to be my last project at the time, and we both felt we were being “called” to Bali. It was something that makes no rational sense, except a deep, inner, intuitive feeling that we were supposed to be in there.
And so, as two people who follow their hearts and intuition, we packed up in Africa, I said goodbye to twenty-three years of corporate work and we headed off into the unknown. Talk about a leap of faith!!
We built our Centre, people came and still do and we are firmly entrenched in Bali and living happily ever after.
In the five years we have lived here, we have embraced the culture, contributed to the education of under-privileged Balinese children, opened a Metaphysical shop in Ubud and had twin girls who are now two years of age and I am supposed to be retired, sitting around the pool sipping Margaritas!!
For a little about our Namaste Retreat Centre, please visit: www.spirituality-bali.com