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  • Writer's pictureAnne McCormick

What Stories Do You Want to Tell?

Before I travelled to Bali, I felt like I was running out of things to talk about. My life wasn’t terrible or anything, but it was the same old, same old. With people I knew well, the conversation landed on the same topics– gossip about so-and-so, home upkeep, family updates, and quips about work, gas prices, things like that.

My stories followed my routine– a routine I only recently realized had been making my world smaller and smaller.

The first time I saw Tanah Lot, I knew I had a new story to tell. The world became a bit bigger.

Tanah Lot is a temple in the ocean. Walking towards it from land, the first thing you see is a huge traditional Balinese entrance, with giant, intricately carved pillars on either side. As you walk through this ancient doorway, you feel as if you’re walking into a new world. And there, suddenly, is the wild ocean, waves crashing chaotically against rocks that have been worn smooth by the ever-lashing water.

Out in the middle of the water is a small rocky island, with a temple tucked safely in the middle, protected by a few trees on one side. As the tide comes in, the waves crash against the rock, covering the temporary rocky land path you can take during low tide to get to the temple. At the highest point of the tide, the temple looks like it’s floating like a ship in the water, and anyone at the temple must wait until the tide goes out to return.

I love visiting this magical place at sunset, when the temple floats on an orange and pink ocean reflecting the sky. A blanket of calmness descends on me when I’m here, as I watch all the ocean rescuers in training surf in the half light. I take the time to explore the walking paths in the area, which are bordered by flowers and lead to more temples tucked in the greenery. This is a popular place to visit for both tourists and locals, but away from the temple you can find solitude. I sometimes prefer to share the beauty with those around me anyways! George Orwell once said “Beauty is meaningless until it is shared.”

For me, this is why travel is truly priceless. It is a true gift to go somewhere new, to see the sunset over a new ocean, to surround yourself with a new language, learn new stories from people you meet, and to allow yourself to be filled with childlike wonder.

Bali has made me think about the stories I want to tell, and continue telling– what I want to contribute to my everyday conversations.

I would love to hear your travel stories. Choose one of your favourite moments and tell me about it in the comments below!

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