Sunburnt, but Happy: a Walk Among Rice Fields in Rural BALI
Traveling solo is great.
You get to decide where to go, what to do and when to do it. Nobody is there to tell you NO... except from your bank account, which is always there in the background judging your every move and occasionally crushing your day dreams.
However, traveling solo as a photographer is even more rewarding.
We all know how annoying it can be traveling with that friend that loves to take pictures and always ends up slowing down the entire group, because they're either waiting for "the perfect moment" or looking for "the perfect angle". I may be in love with my camera, but I do still experience both sides of the story.
I have to feel inspired to take photos, and inspiration is something that I lack every so often. Might have something to do with my tendency to get bored doing the same thing over and over again... or, you know, simple laziness.
When I arrived in Ubud for the first time, my enthusiasm to explore and take photos was sky high. After spending months looking at videos and photos of Bali, being finally there had me feeling like a fat kid at the largest candy store in town.
So on my first day there, I grabbed my camera, a bottle of water and my trusty cheap sunglasses and embarked in a rather long walk around the wild side of this tiny town in the middle of the most popular island in Indonesia.
There was nothing but green.
My eyes needed a moment to adjust to the amount of greenery that they were looking at. There were palm trees, banana trees, rice fields and another million different types of plants surrounding me, and all I could do was think of how happy I was to be there, not just because I had wanted it for so long, but also because I was on my own and I could take all the time I wanted to take all the pictures my
camera batteries allowed heart desired.
The walk consisted in a little path that went through numerous hills and rice fields, providing me with spectacular views that I had to stop and stare at for a while to take them all in. I walked for hours and I only crossed 4 people in total, excluding the few farmers I saw from afar working in the fields. You can imagine my joy for having the place almost all to myself!
It was slightly cloudy, very humid and very hot, just like most days in Bali. I had worn sunscreen, but there's only so much it can do when you're walking under the sun for an entire afternoon.
You should have seen the charming shorts and farmer's tan I got to parade for the next few days... so beautiful.
It was worth it. I saw wonderful landscapes, took a bunch of pictures and I even got to enjoy a delicious lemon juice at a nice cafe located in the middle of rice fields.
I was sunburnt, but I was happy.
I'm not gonna be cheesy and say that it was the afternoon I had dreamed about having in Ubud, but it certainly satisfied my soul as a traveler and as a photographer. Little did I know, I would be walking the same path a couple of months later in the company of great friends I made during my travels -- another wonderful thing about being a 'nomad'.