On our first day in Ubud, Sabrina found a free class at a place called Yoga Barn.
“Interested?” she asked me.
“Literally not at all” I responded. “Yoga is weirdly stressful for me.”
We laughed and didn’t mention it again.
I, however, kept thinking about it. Everywhere we went there were yoga studios and everyone looked so fit and calm and boho and I wanted to be all of those things and fuck, we were in Bali. It’s like, where people go specifically to do yoga. Who was I to pass up that opportunity?
For whatever reason I kept putting it off. The timing didn’t ‘work’ for me (which like, how is that even possible when your only time commitment in the day is to nab some free breakfast before they stop serving). Who knows. All I know is when we arrived in Canggu with only three days left in this magical country, it hit me that it was now or never – and on Wednesday morning, I decided it was now.
“Can I join the class tonight?” I asked at the front desk of our villa, noticing they had an offer for yoga on their rooftop.
“No yoga today” they told me, but they reco’d a place nearby.
I obviously couldn’t find it, and 25 min later drenched in sweat I called it quits. After a tropical smoothie in this funky, bamboo cafe, I set out again and quickly found a spot, where they told me what class to come to if I wasn’t very good. Stoked that I would officially get my Bali yoga experience within the next 5 hours, I left.
I went to the beach. I went to this dope bar called Lawn, which is literally just a big lawn with bean bag chairs and swings and everyone chills out and watches the surf (basically Bellwoods, but you’re encouraged to drink). The day was perfect, and on my walk back to grab Sabrina I passed a sign that said Yoga 6pm. It was 4 dollars cheaper. And on my backpacker budget, this meant it won.
At 5:52 I showed up.
“Can I join the yoga class?” I asked the receptionist.
“Yes,” he said, waving me upstairs. “Go that way.”
I walked up to this beautiful, roof top terrace yoga studio. There was one Australian couple waiting.
“Are you the instructor?” they asked as I walked across the floor.
If nothing else, this single comment made this whole experience worthwhile. My heart literally started beaming with the notion that I looked good enough to be a full on yogi. “No,” I said. “But that’s literally the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.”
We laughed, and then we waited.
At 6:20 we went downstairs.
“Is this yoga class happening?” the Australian girl asked the receptionist.
“It’s at 6.” was his response.
We looked at the clock. He looked at the clock. He looked back at us. He shrugged.
“I guess they didn’t come.” he said.
“Do you think they’ll still show up?” she asked.
He shrugged again. “Sometimes, there’s a problem” was his sole response.
SOMETIMES THERE’S A PROBLEM.
Like, literally the best explanation I’ve ever heard as to why something didn’t happen.
Dunno man, sometimes there’s a problem …and then you leave it at that.
The three of us walked back to the original studio I had found, hoping to join their 7pm class, which we learned upon arrival had been cancelled.
So I went back to the villa.
“How was Yoga?” Sabrina asked as I popped open a beer.
Oh you know, I said. Sometimes there’s a problem.
And it was so bizarre how hard this was because yoga is literally the easiest thing to find in Bali. Like, everyone is doing it at all times – on the beach! On a paddleboard. On a rooftop. At the bar – and it is so weird and funny and STUPID that it took me five billion years to figure out how to make it happen. But as they say – life simply doesn’t go as planned.
Fast forward to today, when sometimes there’s a bigger problem.
It all started when I was born, and the world decided that I didn’t need a logical, regular brain.
I’m at the Bali airport (after finally finding a yoga class and yes – having it be everything I imagined it to be), and the guy checking me in asks to see my Australian visa, which I obvisouly don’t have because I figured a three week vacay down under didn’t warrant a visa. But you still need one – which any put-together human would have known with a quick Google search after booking their flight. But I am not that, so I didn’t have a visa.
Thankfully, he helped me. “This probably won’t work when I send it to you,” he said, showing me my approved visa app and yawning as he spoke. “So take a quick picture of it.”
He was right about that – which opened up another can of worms – but that’s a whole other story.
He then checked my bag – and this is the part that I’ll never understand. After it had already been sent into that black hole beyond the conveyor belt, he told me I wasn’t allowed to check a bag. I hadn’t included that in my booking. And I’d need to pay $160 in order to check.
I mean, what kind of airline charges ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS for one 16kg piece of baggage? And why he sent it into no mans land before telling me this is beyond me. His mistake, my mistake. I’ll never know and I’ll never care. What I do know, is I had to sit and wait on this tiny box for 45 min while they retrieved my bag from downstairs. And as he brought it back to me, he proceeded to tell me it was 6kg too heavy and I’d need to lose some weight in order to carry it on. Which like, that’s a lot when you’re carting around so little. But after tearing up Indo like a king and knowing I still had almost four weeks of travel ahead, I was desperate to save some bank. So I simply started throwing things out.
My shampoo. Face wash. A thing of sunscreen. And then everyone got involved, helping me calculate how much money I was saving by throwing things out vs. a $160 checked fee.
“There’s hardly anything in here” the flight man said, shaking my moisturizer bottle. “This isn’t even worth ten dollars!” He tossed it.
“Throw that out” his colleague said, pointing to a giant flannel shirt taking up precious space in this bag. “It’s too big.”
So I did. I threw it all out. I literally threw out a bag of laundry because it was gross and I was desperate.
My bag came in at 10.1 kg.
“Way to go!” the man said, patting me way too enthusiastically on the back.
Another man gave me a high five. And it was so funny and so embarrassing and like, what are we even high fiving about?
Sidenote – if you’re ever bored and/or sad look up ‘high five’ on Wikipedia. The first paragraph is the single funniest Wiki definition I’ve ever read.
ANYWAY. I almost made it. After a quick layover in Cairns I had to go back through security where they informed me the rules were different at this airport and I had to drop 13 more kg from my total baggage in order to carry all my bags on the plane.
“HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DO THAT?” I desperately moaned to the new, poor soul whose line I unfortunately ended up in.
“You probably can’t” was his response, “unless you throw some things out.”
Having ALREADY DONE THAT, I ended up back where I began, shelling out a gazillion dollars to check this mother fucking bag.
And so, here we are. I’m in fucking Australia, and all that Yoga zen I so desperately sought out is gone but WHATEVER BABY. As a very dear friend so wisely messaged me, “don’t worry about anything. It’s already happening. These are the stories that last way longer than money ever will”
And is he ever right. So my point is:
- Always read the fine print
- Save yourself the trouble and always accept the initial offer of a free class at Yoga Barn (I mean, maybe this is where everything unravelled for me in the first place). But most importantly:
- LIFE NEVER GOES AS PLANNED. And yeah, that’s stressful and annoying and sometimes makes us cry in public simply because we feel so lost and defeated. But own it, baby. The unplanned moments are the ones that always stick with you; that make everything you’re doing what it is. That make life what it is. An unplanned life is, perhaps, the only way it’ll ever work. So embrace those baggage fees because it’s unfortunately – but assuredly – all supposed to be part of it.