A few thoughts on travel before I leave for Bali. Bali. It sounds romantic and so “eat, pray, lovish.” Let’s set the record straight. I’m not going to Bali because of Ms Gilbert’s book. While I found her journey somewhat interesting and a bit whiney, I truly believe there are more interesting anecdotes about sappy transformation. She ain’t Carl Jung. To those of you who worship her journey, you can all throw rotten tomatoes at me when you meet me.
And while I am on the subject of eat, pray, love, Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem? Please. The guy Ms. Gilbert fell in love with on Bali was much older than she and fully Brazilian. Even though the movie comes out on Friday the thirteenth, it will be a great hit because most females between the ages of 20 and 75 have read her book – except two of my friends and my step-daugher, Camille, and these are ladies whose taste in literature would put book critics out of business. I hope Bali isn’t over-run with over-wrought females looking for redemption with that shaman she chased and a Brazilian hunk she fell in love with. I understand from my traveling companion’s friend – who just came back from Bali – that her shaman is not a celebrity who says the same thing to everyone who pays him gobs of money to release the evil spirits from their souls. “You will always find happiness.” He should work for Hallmark.
I’m laying in bed and beginning to grasp the amount of time I am spending in the air to get to Bali. Probably around 22 hours with a layover in Taipei. My legs are already buckling under me. I lose a whole day crossing the international time line. And I’m leaving at the hideous time of 2 am Thursday morning. I’ll sleepwalk into the cabin of the plane, try to get settled in my seat, realize that I have never been so uncomfortable in my life and ask myself why, oh why, I decided to vacation halfway around the world. Answer; it seemed like a good idea at the time – when my friend, Carol, told me on the stairwell of the Math and Engineering building on the UCLA campus after my yoga class that she and Adrienne were thinking about going to Bali for their vacation. I just jumped right in and invited myself. I wasn’t even going to take a vacation this year. I was going to wait out 2010 without leaving the U.S
Impulse can be a good thing sometimes. It can be creative and engaging and even exciting. I’ve been impulsive many times in my life. But as I look around my bedroom with piles of clothes spread out everywhere and a bathroom that looks like tweens have been playing movie star with all my cosmetics and makeup, I’m having more than second doubts about leaving beautiful Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean. Of course, one cannot swim in the Pacific, so what good is it except to gaze lovingly at its tepid shores.
The energy it took to prepare for this trip, the work I had to finish on marketing my book, getting substitutes for class and giving them detailed instructions about where I teach on campus (min-boggling), engaging my neighbor to water my plants and pick up my mail, excessing about all the details have thrown a damper on my travel excitement. Will it be worth it in the end? All will be revealed when I step off the plane at Denpasar in Bali. Wayan, our driver (almost everyone in Bali is named Wayan), will meet us inside the airport with our names on a sign and I hope I will begin to feel that I am ready for my adventure. After all, my traveling companions and I have outlined in detail all the places we want to go, all the restaurants we want to eat in, all the events we want to attend.
So this once in a lifetime trip is going to be great, right? I am hoping that tonight as I fall asleep, I will begin to surrender to the inevitable.
One more thing. I’m leaving my computer behind. I have not been without my computer for over a year. It has literally become my brain and that’s pretty sad. It’s time that my MacBook and I separate. It’s not a divorce, mind you; it’s just a 10 day separation and I can handle that. I’ll blog when I return. I’ll tell you all about my wanderings. And I swear I will not fall in love with a Brazilian.
PS My new granddaughter, Penelope Sweet, is doing very well. She is eating well and is even gaining back some of her weight. I will miss my daily updates on her progress.