Fortune and Flops in Bali

The next day we found our companion to be in better spirits so the three of us walked one minute to the beautiful Jimbaran Beach, where we spent the morning soaking up the sun. Well actually I avoided the sun while Maggie and Matthew slowly baked into a beautiful bronze color.

Boats on the beach near Jimbaran Bay.  

Boats on the beach near Jimbaran Bay.  


Eventually we got so hot that we had to go for a dip. The waves here were not near as big as the ones at Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast, but they were still a good size for fun. Pretty soon Matthew had the three of us body surfing on the waves. We ran and jumped into the waves at just the right time, allowing our bodies to float the waves into shore. I had so much fun that I lost myself in the body surfing. I ran and I jumped and—felt something course scratch across my stomach, briefly knocking the wind out of me. I wiped the water out of my eyes and put my hands beneath me, only to realize I had ran and jumped straight on to the shore. I turned around and joined Maggie and Matthew as they laughed and laughed at my mistake. I hadn't realized I was already on shore. Luckily all I got for my stupidity was a good laugh and a scratched up belly.


Perhaps the best part about this particular day was that it was a monument for me. I almost missed it, had I not been thumbing through an old notebook. It was on this very day one year ago that Matthew, Jacob and I sat around a table in Oklahoma City and talked seriously about the opportunity of working and living in Australia. In my journal I wrote about my goal to live and work in Australia by August 2016. I wanted to be somewhere exotic, working seriously on my writing and doing casual work in the meantime. And now, a year later, here I was, so close to living out my dream. Only a few days and one job stood between me and my goal and I was hopefully that these things would fall into place effortlessly.


Later that night I was pushed out of my self satisfaction when Matthew gave me a harsh reality check. Our time in Bali was coming to an end in just three days and yet we had no real plan for Australia. We had a few almost-plans that seemed to be falling through on us. Maggie didn't really have a plan either, but she was staying in Bali an extra week and she also owned a car.  Matthew and I weren't so prepared.

The severity hit when Matthew said Oklahoma was our last resort. I had never thought as drastically as this, but he was right. If we ran out of money and didn’t find work, home was the answer. I missed home but I wasn't ready to end my trip yet. Matthew's sister and our friend Jacob were coming to visit in September. They had bought their plane tickets last week. What would happen if Matthew and I weren't here in September to greet them?

With this realization, Matthew and I decided to cut the selective crap and open up our minds to anything. Instead of only targeting Darwin and the Northern Territory, we started applying for jobs, house-sitting positions and volunteer opportunities all over the country. We were willing to fly three to five hours in order to make something work.  

Still, I chose to remain positive and hopeful. Having both prayed enormously on the subject, we were sure whatever would happen would be all part of God’s plan. I messaged 17 people on on a work website. I had messaged 13 a few days earlier and I would message 15 more before actually finding something. So after multiple emails, applications and a $50 membership fee to a house-sitting website, we decided all we could do was sit and wait for responses.


With only waiting left to do, Maggie and I of course decided we needed to pass the time wisely. We talked Matthew into driving to Kuta for dinner and one drink. The night went so well that we stayed out until two in the morning.  This was our first big outing as a trio and I'd say we nailed it. 


In the morning the three of us would share a cab ride to the airport where we would say our brief goodbyes. Previous conversations had prepared us for the inevitable. This could very well be the last time the three of us were together. The uncertainty of the future told us that we may never see Maggie again. Of course, her and I were planning on traveling together in a few months. We also planned on giving her car back to her in a week. But with the lack of plans anything was possible. It was a reality we all had to face.