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  • Writer's pictureVedashree Khambete Sharma

Alive and Kicking... Kinda.

I'm so sorry! have been AWOL since March and boy do I... wait, did you guys even notice? Never mind, don't answer that. I had promised subscribers to my site at least one post a month and a promise is a promise and I should've written in April. And May. But you know what, I'll make it up to you.

So, for two weeks in May I went for a vacation to a Bali and I survived to tell the tale! This is a big deal for three reasons. One: the last time I planned a vacation abroad, I got my second slipped disc episode. And as if that weren't enough, in case I decided to clench my teeth and go anyway, Jet Airways, the airline I had booked our tickets on, went out of business! Literally 45 days before we were supposed to fly! So yes, me getting to put a foot out of the country? Kinda big.

Second reason: Indonesia is hard work. Everywhere you go, you walk. Or climb. Or hike. Or do all three put together in one exhaustive bloody sundae. The cherry on the top is big, red and hot - it's the Sun. Which, put together with the insane humidity means I was exhausted every single minute of every single day. Now, this may not seem like too much trouble if you are young and fit - which every other tourist in Bali seemed to be, by the way. And they were ALL King Julien from Madagascar:

I'm not King Julien. Back home, I work out every weekday in a desperate attempt to keep my health above sea-level. So I think it's perfectly bloody reasonable to want to relax on a vacation. I don't see why I need to walk 10,000 steps a day to have a good time. IT'S A VACATION! WHY IS CARDIO INVOLVED?!?

But involved, it was. Which means, so were my knee braces. So while all the other young, fit Instagram-influencer type women were posing in flowy dresses and strappy sandals, long hair streaming behind them aesthetically as they sat on various Bali swings, this was me:

Yeah. Pretty much.

But to be honest, it wasn't all dehydration and self-loathing. Bali is gorgeous. Just one massive flex by nature. Huge green leaves, beautiful flowers, clean streets and hardly any traffic noise. I had amazing sea-food, fell in love with iced coffee and brought home some lovely curios we have absolutely no room for. I also got thrown about like a rag doll in five-foot tall surfer waves, got the stink-eye from an Indian aunty for wearing a swimsuit that goes against our sanskriti, and had the second-best strawberry daiquiri of my life. So, all in all, a good trip.

If you're good at maths, you have probably noticed that I haven't mentioned the third and last reason yet. It's the fact that this trip almost didn't happen. See, our fight was supposed to leave at 1 a.m. the night of 13th May. And I totally forgot that 1 a.m.13th May happens an hour after midnight on 12th May. So we were preparing to leave on 13th May - Saturday - when the flight was on 13th May, late Friday night.

Have you seen that scene from Home Alone where the entire family is running through the airport manically? That was us - Rook, Pookie and me - that night. And because - somehow - my addled brain had decided we were landing on the 14th, our hotel booking was for the 14th. So we essentially landed in a whole different country none of us had been to before, where we knew absolutely nobody, without a place to stay. Yup.

Thankfully, it all worked out. And we returned from the trip, safe and sound. I, in particular, came away with a valuable realisation: Spontaneity? Not my cup of tea, thanks. Still, I think you'll agree with me NOW, when I say again that this trip, us going, us reaching and actually returning in one piece?

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