All photos by Alida Zimmerman
Those necessary steps include the following:
- Moving abroad to Argentina for 2 years
- Living out of a suitcase for 3 years
- Launching a campaign with an airline and taking the winner (a complete stranger at the time!) abroad for 2 weeks…with me as their guide 🙂
- Continued growth and learning about the world, myself and others – whether that be through a massive surgery or yoga teacher training
- My first hire to The Road Les Traveled
- Creating our very first intentional escape to Bali with a group of 14
I firmly believe that all of these steps were imperative in order for me and my team to make this series a reality. And to think it almost didn’t happen in the end… 😉 Here were some funny, and not so funny, setbacks.
-Lost my passport 24 hours before my plane left for Bali. HahahhahHAHHAHHAHahhahaaHHHHAAAA. Yeah, not so funny in the end. I found out this horrific news 30 minutes before I went on stage to speak at a breast cancer event (hello breathing exercises) and proceeded to call the front desk at the Grand Hyatt where I stayed the night before… and guess what? It was there, but it took an arm and a leg to find that out. After finally getting the good news, I bought the nice woman behind the desk a bottle of champagne because I WAS GOING TO BALI. Let’s continue.
-Arrived to the airport 5 minutes before check-in closed.
-My assistant was “initiated” to The Road Les Traveled when the security line was SO long and the time until departure was SO short…so she had to be THAT girl to ask to cut the line. She was the second to last person on the plane, right before Paris Hilton
-Our baggage overage charges surpassed 4 digits but we ended up only paying $100 total somehow – thank you beautiful baggage gods
-Our last flight into Bali was delayed due to an earthquake in Indonesia. Yes, an earthquake. Bali was unaffected.
-The Customs & Immigrations line was longer than anything I’d ever seen before, and we almost weren’t let in due to the amount of items we had for our group (I’m looking at you, swag bags and box of 14 yoga mats).
We know because we go, and that’s when lessons become learned!
It’s always quite the adventure starting something new for the first time, and this was the official beginning to my new travel series dubbed LimitLes – intentional escapes for those looking to travel with like-minded people who crave movement, purpose, connection, difference and change for the greater good. This isn’t your average vacay. From yoga to exploration to giving back in an exceptional way – we definitely make an impact: not only on the local community but on our participants, too!
If you’re interested in joining my #LimitLesInBali 2019 trip or just so happen to be going to Bali soon and need some must-dos, here are the group’s favorites from Bali 2018 🙂
All Things Local…
But First, Yoga
This was my first taste at what it’s like to teach yoga every single day for a week…and I loved it! As a new teacher, I feel more grounded when I prepare the night before a class. Even though I was beyond exhausted from the day’s events, I would stay up building out classes each night and feel more prepared the following morning. Knowing that the women came away with a stronger practice and saying things like, “I’ve never been able to touch my toes…and on our final class together…I did it!” makes my heart sing. Of course, yoga is not about touching your toes, but I felt empowered with these women as they explored their mind, bodies and souls through yoga.
Hidden Hills Wanagiri Swing
Sure, off-the-beaten hidden gems feel like an untapped reserve where tourism hasn’t hit yet. Those are great. And then there are photo-worthy swings that make for good Ista-worthy content. While I kinda hate myself a little bit for even typing that, the group had a lot of fun and laughs here. There’s a swing entrance fee and each station has different attractions including a nest, multiple swings and some kind of bamboo lookout. As cheesy as they are, these swings make for a beautiful view and allow the Balinese people to find work thanks to tourism (and social media).
Banyumala Twin Waterfall
Personally, this was one of my favorite activities from our trip! Banyumala a stunning waterfall and a bit outside the touristy center. Located in northern Bali, it’s not exactly a hop-skip-and-jump away from hot spots like Seminyak and Canggu. It took us a little over two hours to reach and then another 15-20 minute hike down to the actual falls. It does have an entrance fee, and even though I had on flip flops, maybe wear sturdier footwear for the hike down/back up! The path isn’t great, but the plunge pool below the waterfall is insanely relaxing and a nice respite from the Bali heat!
Toya Devasya Hot Springs
I feel as if the above photo says it all…but these healing hot springs were magical. Coming in as a hot tip from our driver after we finished the sunrise volcano trek up Mt. Batur, our exhausted minds and bodies happily obliged. We visited before the entire spa was completed, but I don’t think anyone cared about the minimal construction going on. Minerals from the colorless and odorless hot spring and yummy drinks from the bar really did the trick in getting us back to 100% from that 2am wake up call 😉
Sound Bath Healing with Katrina
After our volcano hike and hot springs rejuvenation, I thought a bit more self-care was needed. The remainder of the day was spent getting massages and partaking in sound baths and crystal prescriptions. I met Katrina while in our Aruba YTT together, and I’m convinced this woman is a unicorn sent to breathe sunshine and fairy dust into humankind. Lucky for us, she was still living in Bali at the time and performed a beautiful sound bath (that had me bawling through almost the entire thing). The best way I can describe it is a meditative concert that supports states of deep relaxation where stress release and healing can occur.
Crystals with Amanda
Crystal prescriptions with Amanda from The Crystal Boutique was eye-opening. I’d only skimmed the surface of crystal basics before visiting Bali, but when in Rome… 🙂 The semi-precious stones connect us to Earth as soon as we come into contact with them, and they have healing powers for cleaning, comforting, guiding, amplifying, and the list goes on. Whatever you need, I think there’s a crystal for it.
Tirta Empul Temple
This holy water temple was a spiritual journey from the moment was cloaked ourselves in sarongs to following our guide on Instagram afterwards because he was such a ray of light. The temple is a place to observe Hindu devotees purifying themselves by means of ritual bathing. After paying an entrance fee, we walked around and listened to our guide Kadek tell us about the site, its symbolism and finally landed in the purification pools for the purification ritual which we all partook in. After leaving a offering and a little prayer, we proceeded to the left waterspout in the first pool and continued to the next spout until the 13th, skipping spout number 11 and 12 as these spouts are only for “Pitra Yadnya”, a ritual for the dead. I forgot this important piece of info and did them all…oops. Ritual goes to say a little prayer, splashed your face three times and dip your head with the holy water at each spout.
The temple is located in Tampaksiring near Ubud where there is so much exploration to be had!
Bali Pink Ribbon 5K Walk/Run
On our last full day together, it was finally time to do what we’d come here for. Every LimitLes trip has a purposeful component, and seeing how it was Breast Cancer Awareness month, it was the perfect time to join forces with Bali Pink Ribbon. A portion of everyone’s LimitLes ticket was donated to this breast cancer non-profit, and on our last day we participated in a 5K walk (while some brave soul braved the Bali heat!) to raise awareness. It was insanely special to do with such a caring group including two survivors and two previvors.
As I write this post months after we’ve been home and returned to our daily routines, it’s with a heavy heart to say that one of our very own LimitLes girls lost her battle to metastatic breast cancer just a few weeks ago. After a long and courageous fight, 33-year-old Margaux Untracht passed away on March 16th surrounded by her family. For nearly three years Margaux battled an aggressive form of breast cancer with an unbelievable amount of grace and strength. I’ve written a piece dedicated to her so that Margaux can live forever on The Road Les Traveled as well as in my memories. Her story is seriously a true inspiration, so I urge everyone to read more about her and listen to her powerful words here. The 15 minute video is something everyone must see.
After our goodbyes were said and the villa was empty, I felt it: total and complete exhaustion mixed with pure elation. I was riding this high full of emotions. Connection was made, depth was had, volcanoes were hiked, yoga was practiced, laughs were abundant, tears were felt. I was exactly where I needed to be. I was doing exactly what I was meant to do: facilitate connection and community through travel.
I know LimitLes must continue for as long as it can. It’s a NEED-to kind of thing. Seeing the after effects solidified that for me, and it’s one of the most beautiful occurrences I’ve ever witnessed. These women go back to their lives with a clearer mind, a heightened inner confidence, a new sense of inspiration and lifelong friends. Oh yeah, and a love for yoga 🙂 It’s wild to think about the kind of impact and transformation 7 days can have on a person, and I’m completely taken aback by it. These women continue to FaceTime each other, travel together, organize book clubs and meet each others families. I think a common trend amongst adults, especially as we grow older, is that we crave community and connection. LimitLes is exactly that.
I could never begin to articulate the magic that happens on each LimitLes trip, and I won’t try to do so. Real life has no adequate paper trail, and I think a certain bit should be contained for each special group who made the physical, emotional and spiritual connection together. There’s a lot of effort that goes into each trip, not only on our side but on the participant’s as well. Traveling alone, meeting total strangers, trusting someone who you’ve never met (ME) to build a trip of a lifetime for you. That’s throwing fear the middle finger and judgement to the wind, two things I totally admire. Let’s all continue doing that 🙂
I’ll end with a very special shout out to my Bali teammates Emily Kronyak and photographer Alida Zimmerman. Emily and I crafted this trip from scratch, and I couldn’t have pulled it off without her. Alida captured every last moment so beautifully, and I’m forever grateful for the memories that will last a lifetime.