February 22. The comrades leave.
It was a repeat situation of exactly two weeks before, when I waved mum and Jed goodbye one last time through the glass separating Bali and the rest of the world. As the last two of my school friends made their way through security and into the airport, I was left solo. I guess the situation was inevitable, being left alone at one point or another, seeing I was always intending on travelling Indonesia with just myself. But the feeling was strange. It was a first. Never before had I been in a different country companionless. It was me, myself and Bali. And Bali suddenly felt a whole lot bigger.
As I made my way back to my humble hotel room, the feeling of loneliness left and was replaced by the strongest sense of excitement and apprehension for what was to come. I was free to roam where I pleased, when I pleased. And Bali was my stomping ground. Tomorrow I would hop on my scooter, get lost, find a beautiful beach and do what I came here to do: Explore.
Annnnd I think that maybe I got a little bit too ahead of myself at that point because I completely forgot that I was sick as a dog anticipating death in the coming few minutes.
Hello hospital! We certainly are no strangers but I sure don’t want to have to see you too much, sorry. But there I was, sitting with a needle jabbed in my vein sucking blood out of my body. The pain in my back, legs, neck and head – this isn’t how every solo backpacking experience begins, right? Certainly it wasn’t what I planned. Heck, I was sitting in Starbucks about to confirm my ticket to Papua in 2 days time before I found myself taking a taxi to the emergency room instead. So, mum, I guess sailing through life and leaving everything to the last minute sometimes does work in your favour. Because 4 hours later I received the exciting news that I had dengue.
Bali, I’ll be seeing a lot more of you than I had planned to. The next 7 days consisted of living in a house without any wifi or decent phone coverage, handing over money every other day to have someone take more blood from my body, eating, sleeping, eating, sleeping and sleeping. Doing nothing might be amazing if you’re doing it in Adelaide, but man, doing nothing in Bali sucks! So when the doctor told me I was dengue free after my 5th blood test I was out of that hospital and back in my natural habitat in a flash.