Bali, Relationships, Travel & Wanderlust

The Power of Connection

July 4, 2016

I hope the boys from Bubu Racok Homestay don’t mind me using this image of them below from my recent trip to Bali.The photo basically sums up what I felt the whole time I was staying at this beautiful homestay. Connection.

I contemplated the power of connection a lot during my week in the little village of Amed, far on the north east coast of Bali. Amed is far from the bars, the lights, the messy Australians found in the south. A simple seaside town, open to tourism but still retaining traditional life. Sure, I noticed the bad points. The poverty, the rubbish on the road, the lack of infrastructure, the kids out of school. But I also I noticed the smiles.

Most of all, I noticed the smiles.

I wondered, are the Balinese really this happy with the little material possessions they have?

The answer is yes, I think, because of connection, not only to each other, but to a purpose. I watched Wayan and his family in awe during my week, at the end of which, I felt like part of their family. I almost howled when I left. I watched how they worked together and helped each other out for the united aim of being the best homestay in Amed, and in my opinion it is. Not because of the rooms, or the air-con, or the banana pancake, which is ACTUALLY the best. But because of the feeling you get when you are there.  I watched as everyone worked together to solve problems and tasks. Sons and their girlfriends, cousins and friends. Nothing was too much for anybody. From cleaning to driving, to cooking, to helping fix a broken seat, to coming together in the evening to BBQ for their guests.

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 4.52.06 pm

Between busy times, I would watch the family sit together, and just talk. Or sit, and just be together.  I can’t remember the last time I sat with my husband, just in each others company. Without Netflix, without talking about bills, the cats, this DVA claim looming over or heads….the list goes on.

Just connecting.

Just because. 

It rubbed off on me and I found myself talking to strangers during the week, connecting in the sunset, having real conversations.

The deep kind. I did not watch a single show or movie in ten days.

Something else that struck me was the connection to the spirit. It is something that you see everyday. It is not talked about, it is not pushed on people. It is lived. It is life. The week I was in Bali there was a series of festivals, people would return to their villages, for days of offering and thanking the Gods. Small baskets of flowers, rice and incense are put in front of people’s homes and businesses three times a day, every day. You will see them all throughout Bali on your travels, during festival time or not. This is a ritual based on thanks, and expressing gratitude, rather than on fear. The freediving team even held a ceremony to make sure that we are all safe in the oceans and to express gratitude for their business.

How amazing is that?

I can’t help but notice, back sitting in my cubicle, surrounded by people, how alone I feel.

Most of the time, I am surrounded by people. Sometimes, I’m actually squashed, whether it be on the bus or in the coffee shop.

But at the same time, I feel like we are all so alone. Together but disconnected.

Have we got it wrong?


Ashleigh XXX

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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  • Yes, we all need downtime like this. I love those times when the hubster and I just spend time together, whether it’s walking along a beach, having a cup of tea, or a deep and meaningful conversation – life can get so busy sometimes that the little things get overlooked, and yet they make life worthwhile x

  • I can totally relate to being surrounded by people but feeling lonely and disconnected. I think we forget to connect with each other rather than gadgets and tv etc. I often think live would be more fulfilling if it was more simplified. #teamIBOT

  • Denise Mooney

    It looks so beautiful, this is why time out is so important- to give you a different perspective on life.

  • What a beautiful post. “Together but disconnected” love that. I think sometimes, in parts of our day, we do have it wrong, very wrong xx

  • I think I need to get to that very place, emotionally, geographically. Love/hate relationship with technology…. and with our western ideas on wealth.

    • Honestly, I could have lived out of my backpack for another two months. Really reflected on how much ‘stuff’ I have too!

  • Very true, we’re all desperate for connection, but struggle with how to achieve it. Sounds like an incredible place :).

  • Sounds like a lovely place to visit. I do think connection is so important. We are so connected online that we struggle to connect face to face. I know I talk to heaps of people online but in person I’m almost overcome with shyness.

  • I think technology is such a paradox, it’s connected us in so many ways but disconnected in others. I think that feeling of being surrounded but yet feeling so alone is such a city thing, and I think that we’ve all become so connected to our devices, like TV’s, computers and phones that in many ways we’ve lost the art of connecting with each other. We think we’re so fortunate with our big cities, busy jobs and all the “stuff” that we have but I think it’s communities like Wayan’s who are rich in the truest sense of the word.

  • I think some of the best times I’ve had are sitting in my MILs backyard around the fire. We don’t really do anything. Sometimes having newspaper ball throwing contests into the fire….

  • The Balinese could teach us a lot!

  • Ashleigh you and I are on the same page about disconnection and now I see Sanch is also writing about it too. It is definitely all this division in the world that brings it home – Brexit, divided politics in Australia and the politics of division in the US. And our lives – wired together but not connected. Fiji reminded me just as Bali did you.

    • There is a theme this week! We are all feeling it I think. So many people in the world but everyone out for themselves. No concept of local or global community.

  • Ok…this is freaky shit! I am in the process of writing a post on my writing blog about disconnection!

    I’ve been noticing that a lot and in fact, had a cry about it earlier today to Mr Imperfect…about how disconnected I feel from everyone. I’m fine at home by myself and the kitties but when I’m around other people — travelling to work, at the gym, at work, sometimes even with people I know — I feel so alone. I notice Sydney is a bit like that. I think everyone is so busy trying to outdo one another and live fast-paced lives, they actually don’t have the time to connect. And then, for people like me, who have no connections here to begin with, it becomes quite a hard process. I think that’s why I keep wanting to move to the south coast {or Central coast or Sunshine Coast…anywhere where people like to connect}. I think here {or cities in general} everyone wants to remain at a superficial level without truly connecting.

    • Twins again! Totally get how you feel. And when I open up sometimes it is like I am too deep or too raw or people look at me like I am nuts. But a lot of it I think is on a superficial level… totally with people all the time but talking bullshit. Definitely in smaller places I think you would feel a sense of community. We have a great unit block I am thankful for.