It Wasn’t Quite Eat, Pray, Love

Warning: This will be quite a long post so please bear with me.

Life really has funny ways of  teaching you a lesson – or so it seems sometimes.

After my last post Bali On My Mind , I actually got a job offer in Bali. However, the whole process was unfolded way too quickly and way too suddenly.

At first I thought “Hey, wow! Awesome! What a blessings! Thank God!

I took the job in an instant and moved to Bali in a matter of days. Of course the hardest part was leaving my boy behind, I even wrote about our last night together and of how many tears were shed in the last two days before I left.

In my excitement of a new job, of a new possibility to build a new life in Ubud – my favorite part of Bali – I failed to be meticulous about the job itself.

In my pursuit of a new life…I grabbed the first opportunity to leave Jakarta. Maybe I was sick of Jakarta. Maybe I wanted to run away from all my problems. Maybe I just desperately feel I need a new beginning. After all of these years of living under my parents’ roof I desperately wanted to have my own life.

I was full of excitement, hope and dreams as I packed my two suitcases with only the things I needed to start a new life. I dreamt of writing many a great story from Bali. Ubud is after all a writer’s paradise. Remember Eat, Pray, Love? Yes, it was partially set in Ubud.

On my last night in Jakarta, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was  full of so many thoughts and since I had an early flight, I thought pulling an all nighter was no biggy. Boy, was I wrong!

Welcome to Bali


The company sent a driver to pick me up at the airport. He dropped me off at what was supposed to be my room, my rental room that turned out to be a huge disaster. I politely told the owner that no thank you the room is not for me.


Long story short, I ended up left alone  to find a room to stay. I was disoriented being in a new place I’ve never been to before.

But the universe sent me great kind hearted people who came to my rescue and helped me along the way. From the sweet smiling lady named Made who drove me around for almost half an hour trying to find a room I can rent, to the family who owns Santana Homestay that took me in like their own family member.

I spent one night sleeping in a pitch dark room where I could hear the next door neighbor as she went about her business in the bathroom and hearing all her Skype conversation with her boyfriend in broken English while trying to sleep on a mattress so thin I could feel the board underneath it.

I was scared for my safety as the guy who owns the first room I checked decided to stalk me. The day after I met him, he text me asking if I want to go out with him and called me multiple times – I didn’t answer! Imagine, that first night alone in a room that is supposed to be my temporary ‘home’, he called me well after 10 PM! Eventually I text him telling to stop contacting and calling me. I told him I have a husband. To my horror this guy replied back saying “If you are married why are you looking for a single room?” That just freaked me out! I barely sleep that night.

My faith was shaken that night…

I doubted everything…

I questioned my in the spur of the moment decision to move away…

But I held on and I thought I just need to toughen up.

The next day I ran into more trouble with work and then it hits me.

The job is not for me…

I am not the right person for them.

Dan and I discussed everything and he was eager to rescue me – he had been rescuing me there since day 1 really – and always wants me to be safe. He had been so stressed out and worried sick about my well being since I landed in Bali. I had never seen him that stressed before, ever.

At first the stubborn Pisces in me felt to return home to Jakarta would feel like a failure. Heck, I just posted on my personal Facebook that hey, I am living and working in Bali now. I felt embarrassed! Maybe I should just give it a try? Even when deep down I KNOW that it was a big mistake to take the job.

Just a couple of days before I left Jakarta, I got an email from one of the best five stars hotels in Jakarta for an interview and I turned them down. So, I emailed them that day asking if the position has been filled. They responded instantly. No, they are still looking. Without even thinking I told them I will be returning to Jakarta soon and I am looking forward to seeing them for an interview.

Later that day I gathered all my courage and faced the owner of the company. I explained the situation to her and apologized for quitting after only 2 days. She took it well and said she understands even telling me if I were to change my mind to give her a call.

As devastated as I was seeing my Bali dreams come crashing down, I felt light as I walked away from her office knowing in the deepest part of me that I am doing the right thing. By the time I got to call Dan from a café somewhere in Ubud later, I just broke down and cried. I cried so much in those days. It has been one hell of a whirlwind crazy week of an emotional roller coaster. If it really was meant to be things will unfold in just the right way. Whereas, for me things started on the wrong foot since the moment I landed there.

From Ubud With Love

Yes, I love Ubud. The fresh air. The peaceful feelings of that part of Bali far away from typical Bali scenes. The abundance of healthy restaurants offering delicious food with very affordable prices. I love it there!

But it wasn’t the right time or the right job.

That evening I moved all my bags back into the Guesthouse – if you need an affordable place to stay in Ubud I would highly recommend Santana Homestay – and the lovely family welcomed me back warmly. The husband and wife sat down with me by the porch and talked about what happened.

Ketut, the husband told me that there must be precious lessons for me to learn with this experience. That there is a bigger plan for me from the Gods. “You will learn and gain wisdom from this experience. It may not be what you expected to be but it is all a great lesson to learn and you are going to the next level.” He also said now I have a family in Ubud. Bless these people!

I left Bali the next day.

Great lessons indeed…

I learned that in very stressful times our love really endures! Dan showed me how much he loves and cares for me in ways I’ve never seen before. I on the other hands learnt, to rely on him completely where before I was so used to do things my own way. To put on brave face. I learned that with him I didn’t have to do that. I realized I tried to push him away at times by acting strongly when I was actually scared. The experience brought us closer than ever.

What happened taught me if I didn’t value myself, my skills, my expertise enough then I cannot expect others to do the same. It made me realize my worth.

It taught me to stand up for myself. By saying no to that room for example. By facing the company’s owner instead of just running away.

I grew on that few days in Ubud.

And for that, I thank you Bali…you will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Thank you for the precious lessons.



  1. August 27, 2014 / 3:05 pm

    At least u tried beb!
    Pas bgt balik ke Jkt waktu alex jatuh itu yah? Hope u ll get ur dream job anytime

    • August 29, 2014 / 9:26 pm

      Yes, I wouldn’t know it until I tried ya bok 🙂
      Iya, itu pas banget gw nyampe Jumat, hari Seninnya Alex accident. I can’t imagine how panic I would be if i was still in Bali when that happened. Thank you dear!

  2. August 27, 2014 / 8:56 pm

    I’m sorry it didn’t work out in Ubud (one of my favourite places in the world), but it was clearly not meant to be. I wish you the best of luck for your interview in Jakarta! xo

    • August 29, 2014 / 9:28 pm

      Thank you Alison, it will always be one of my favorite places too. There’s just something I love about Ubud. I did my interview and now just waiting for a follow up interviews. Finger crossed. Thank you my friend!

  3. Ruth
    August 29, 2014 / 3:05 pm

    God allowed it to happen for a reason, even though it looked like a mistake and it shouldn’t even have been in the first place. May God give you wisdom to understand the beautiful lessons to be learnt in this experience. I do feel happy that you are back in Jakarta and be with your son. He is probably the one who missed you the most, no? 🙂

    All the best for your interview with the hotel! May God keep only the right door open for you and closes all others that is not right for you.

    • August 29, 2014 / 9:30 pm

      So true Ruth, God allows it for me to learned some really valuable lessons. I realized that I am no longer a 20 something girl looking for an ‘adventure’ to start a career. It just wasn’t meant to be. Plus it shows me how much my son needs me and we have been having some rough parenting patches so being back in Jakarta was God’s plans for me to deal with the rough patches too.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Ruth. Hugs!

  4. August 31, 2014 / 8:41 pm

    You don’t know till you try! Good luck with the hotel!

    • December 27, 2014 / 8:37 pm

      Thank you, girl! I didn’t get the job in the hotel too 🙂 But all is well now.

  5. August 31, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    I could imagine how you feel that night in Bali. Lucky that you have Ketut and his family. Hope the interview went well Maureen. And I may say the whole new adventure that you had in Bali, actually is how God’s shown His love to you.

    • December 27, 2014 / 8:39 pm

      Exactly, Juin. I am so very grateful to have met Ketut and his family. The interview at the hotel went really well actually. I was an inch away from getting the job but something happened I guess along the way – maybe it was God’s way of letting me know I don’t belong in the corporate world anymore. Thank you Juin! 🙂

  6. June 27, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Sesuatu yang terjadi pasti memiliki hikmah yang diselipkan tuhan untuk terus kita sadari dan sukuri.

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