I read a book.
An inspiring, page turning, educational yet adventurous, so much freaking fun I absolutely couldn't put it down and now I feel like a whole new person book.
um... maybe I'm setting the expectations a tad bit too high. Let's come back down to reality....
I shared a few posts ago that I bought a new book. It took me a little while to actually read it, but once I started I couldn't stop. I found myself day dreaming during the day about what would happen in the chapters I would read that night.
Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman made me realize things about myself that I didn't even know. I feel as though my eyes had one of those clearish sticky sheet protectors over them that this book peeled off.
I want to travel.
I want to learn.
I want to experience different cultures and see the world with eyes wide open. I don't want to see pictures from a book, or images from the tv (although our tv is so freaking huge that it almost makes me feel I am really there).
I want to sell everything I own, except for what fits in a backpack and see where life takes me.
I feel almost my faith in people in general has been slipping lately. I encounter and read about so much ignorance and arrogance on a daily basis that frustrates me beyond belief. I haven't watched the news in weeks... I just can't stomach it. At times, I let the frustration get the best of me. But reading this book and hearing about Rita's adventures and connections with strangers-turned-friends gave me a renewed sense of hope. Her stories of learning new languages and living in new cultures, being open minded and relishing in the experiences that arose... they made that little voice inside me yell "I want to do this!".
If voices could jump up and down and grin from ear to ear, mine would have done just that.
I actually stayed up until 1 am last night to finish reading it. That's how you know a book is good... if I'm sacrificing beauty sleep for just one more chapter, then just one more after that, until I finally finish it.
The only bad thing about the book was how it altered my love of Bali. When I read Eat, Pray, Love Liz sugar-coated Bali and put a big juicy cherry on the top of it for me. When I read Tales of a Female Nomad, Rita gave me the bitter with the sweet.
Yes, Bali is beautiful.
Yes, Bali is peaceful.
Yes, Rita stayed in Bali for years and felt more serenity there than any other place.
she also said that women in Bali (pretty much all of Indonesia) aren't considered equal to men. The feminist inside me was heartbroken and angry at the same time. I guess sometimes, our eyes open to things that we don't want to see. I imagined Bali as a paradise where I could relax and sip the natural, peaceful beauty every day, like one of those fruity drinks with the pretty colorful paper umbrellas and a rim of sweet in the raw sugar, while letting go the pressures and expectations that suppress and stifle my creativity.
But women have equal rights in paradise.
At least they do in my paradise.
Can't we all just get along?
I still want to visit Bali. It's definitely on my list of places to go, but my image of it is partly cloud with a slight chance of rain. Who knows, I might get there and love it. I might not, but at least now I'm looking at it from a more realistic perspective.
So thank you Rita, your words allowed me to lower my expectations and quite possibly saved me some heart break.
Your words also inspired me.They shaped me and molded me. They were a fresh breeze through an open window on a beautiful summer day. They were a wake up call and a glimpse into my future.
Now I just have to finish school, pay off my student loans, and figure out a way to make my travel dreams come true.
p.s. Remember Cleo, my loveable baby kitten that I raised and now lives with my friend Miranda? You can read here for a Cleo update :) Miranda has a fun blog where she shares her story with you by choosing different questions to answer on each post. She's incredibly creative, we're both Leos (born a week apart... I'm the old one!) and she always makes me laugh... and I've known her since 1st grade (almost 25 years... gulp).
Day 35 - A picture of your favorite place to eat
mmmm... my mouth waters just thinking about the delicious pizza and hummus with all those fresh yummy ingredients! oh... and they introduced me to the absolute best local craft beer ever...seriously. life changing. local really is better.