It’s the oldest cliche in the book – I went travelling and my life changed. But it actually happened.
But this year, something changed. I went away for a week to a country where I knew no one and came back a completely different person.
In March, I spent a week at the ridiculously lovely Club Med resort in Nusa Dua, in Bali. I was terrified before I left – there were nights when I couldn’t sleep because I was so scared about travelling by myself and on the day I left, my mum called seven times “just to check in”. But after a week, I returned to Australia independent, self-sufficient and happier than I’ve been in years.
I was forced to talk to strangers and make new friends (something that I’ve always found tough). I did crazy things like dance in the rain with people from all over the world and even attempt to trapeze.
And the food? Well, for someone who lives off nachos and Tim Tams… eating noodles out of a banana leaf was certainly an experience I’m unlikely to forget.
I left Bali with new friends, a new perspective on my future and what felt like a lifetime of experiences.
Here were the best, best parts of my trip: ranked.
1. Being pushed out of my comfort zone.
I left Sydney excited and slightly terrified. When I cleared customs in Bali and went outside to find my driver, I almost had a panic attack. I had memorised the faces of others on this trip (from stalking them online, of course) and knew they were on my plane, but I couldn’t see them here. I started frantically texting my mother and almost cried – all while locals tugged at my bags and got in my face, asking if I needed a taxi. It was scary, and I was so uncomfortable. But as soon as I found my group and met everyone, any fear I had went away. I met some of the most brilliant, wonderful, kindest people through this trip – people who I now call my friends.
A year ago, I would never have gone on an overseas trip by myself. I was once too shy to ask a shop assistant where the closest bathroom was. But now? I’m not scared of much.
2. The people.
At Club Med, the staff are made up of incredible people from everywhere. They worked crazy hours – dancing with us until 3am, then getting up and starting again at 7 – but there wasn’t one moment where they weren’t smiling. They were also all ridiculously good dancers and let’s be honest, if I could dance like Beyonce I would be smiling all day too.
3. The activities.
There are roughly a billion activities that you can do at Club Med. Just be wary of the random on the beach promising you a kayak ride – that is not a thing.