As we awaited our speedboat ride from Amed, Bali to the island of Gili Air, Lombok, the beach was a frenzy of activity as women separated luggage by destination and carried suitcases on top of their heads to load them on top of the boats. We watched this organized chaos with wonder.
When they called us to board our boat they had all 20-30 of us place our shoes in a fraying red plastic laundry bin so we could wade out to the water to climb aboard the boat. Luckily there was a strapping 20 year old Dutch man behind me who held my tote bag and hand as I pulled myself up. Michael was lost in his own world assessing the thong bikinis that surrounded him!
Like most things in life, even though the events are fixed, our experience of them is unique unto us. So as Michael sat in the back of the boat laughing with the crew as water and waves sprayed him, I curled up in a ball, popped Dramamine, clutched a plastic bag and prayed for the ride to be over. One hour later, thankfully, it was.
As the boat pulled into Gili Air, a crew member instructed us to climb up and scale the entire outer length of the boat to disembark. I must have looked at him as if he were insane. But he just grabbed my tote and my flip flops for me and with as much grace as I could muster, hanging on for dear life, scale the boat I did. With a sigh of relief we grabbed our suitcases and climbed on a tiny, rickety cart pulled by an old rickety horse to take us to our guest house.
Welcome to Gili Air.
You see, there are no taxis on this island, no cars, no motor bikes, and for that matter, no roads. Only a sandy, dirt path which runs the perimeter of the island and takes about one hour to walk.
As we bounced around on the cart, holding onto our luggage, Michael looked at me with that look that said, “What have you gotten us into this time”? I wasn’t sure. But I told him, “The place is $18.00 a night, has AC and breakfast is included”. “EIGHTEEN DOLLARS”, he exclaimed, and settled right down.
The cart dropped us off on the path and the driver pointed us down a dirt alley which at home you wouldn’t walk down on a bet. But we were in it now. “Let’s go”, I said with as much bravado as I could muster. At the end of the alley, there was The Aloe Vera Bungalows where we were greeted with smiles and welcomes and a mango smoothie. They escorted us to our garden bungalow, the smell of the frangipani flowers scenting the air.
So, let me tell you what $18.00 will get you in Gili Air. A clean as a whistle bungalow, with AC, big bed with mosquito net, a small fridge stocked with water, a room fan, and an electric kettle with coffee and tea. A simple, comfortable room. The bathroom was large and like many bathrooms in SE Asia, the shower head is on the wall, a part of the bathroom. So, yes, when you shower, everything gets wet. There were decorative cut outs on the upper wall which allowed a breeze to come in, as well as bugs. Happily there was a sturdy door that separated it from the bedroom.
At about 30 meters from the “road”, the place was always quiet except for the sounds of the roosters’ morning call at 5:00 AM and the faint melody from the mosque at the same time. We slept soundly, and happily awakened to a delicious breakfast. My go to was watermelon juice and an exquisite banana pancake, Michael had creamy iced Vietnamese coffee with a vegetable omelet. We never had such a well spent $18.00 before. Of course, this had Michael calculating what his monthly rent would be if we never left!
What you can’t get for $18.00 perhaps, is a bungalow situated on the island’s “good” beaches, those with clear turquoise waters, and views all the way to the bottom. We are on the part of the island known as Sunset Beach, which in all honesty is not the most beautiful beach on the island, the water filled with seaweed and toe stubbing coral. But come twilight, people begin arriving on foot or by bike to take their seat on the beach, cocktail in hand, awed into silence, as this glorious sky transforms itself into a spectacular tapestry of color.
I’m not entirely sure what makes one place magical and not another, why sometimes we feel it and other times it eludes us. But here on Gili air, we did find magic. Part of it is surely the effort it takes to get here, the dreamy landscape, and the total absence of vehicles, everyone making their way by foot or bike save the occasional horse cart. The food helps, the warm, clear sea and of course the kind smiles and laughter of the people.
And those sunsets, those astounding riotous, sunsets. It is impossible to really know a place that you are touching upon for a only brief period. But this we do know. Gili Air has a kind of magic and we are happy to be under its spell.
+ Because we don’t have great Wifi from our current location in Bali we had to push the start of our Wingman Mastermind group back to Thursday, May 25th. Join us, and start manifesting your dreams.
++ You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.
+++ If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for individual on-line sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.
Today’s Wingman Minute Practice
There's a great story in Jewish and Buddhist circles about the Jewish mother who treks to Thailand in search of a famous guru. After an exhaustive 24 hours of travel, by plane, train, Songthaew and Tuk tuk, she makes it to Wat Arun, the famous temple in Bangkok. An...read more
Today I bring you a great practice live from Thailand! I've videoed myself doing my one minute, "I'm a lucky guy" practice, so let's have some fun together and get some good luck going all over this world! Join with me in doing this exercise to improve your luck,...read more
Tonight on Talk-n-Angels, Michael and his wife Janet, an LCSW therapist, will discuss the most common thinking distortions, and how to eliminate them. One of the biggest factors, and reasons for anxiety, nervousness and depression are the falsifications our minds play...read more
If you're in Bangkok for Songkran, the start of the Thai New Year, please join me for a Wingman, "Live Your Dream, Build Your Inner Team" workshop at Omroom, "the wellness spa in the heart of the city". Live Your Dream Build Your Inner TEAM Thoughts, Emotions,...read more
Today I bring you day 1, part 2 of my meetings with the Venerable Jung Bong Mu Mu from South Korea. For those of you who missed the first one, http://beyourownwingman.com/perfect-emptiness/, this is the second installment of my conversations with him. These exchanges...read more
Are you looking to live your dream? It all starts with being positive. After my last Increasing Your Positivity course, many of the participants wanted to continue. Therefore I have decided to create a daily positivity coaching program. I've seen what it can do for...read more
One of the highlights of my 4-month trip to Thailand has been the 4 amazing days Jan and I spent with the Venerable Moo Moo Sunim and his 2 disciples from South Korea. The lessons I learned from him on Buddhism, life and enlightenment were too precious for me not to...read more
We started our visit to Chiang Rai in bad spirits. I had broken my glasses and Jan had an episode with a wild dog that had left her unnerved. After a long morning trying to find an optical shop that could fix my glasses, and a visit to the hospital for a doctor...read more
"Almost Paradise", a story Janet wanted to share. After six weeks of the excitement and chaos of Chiang Mai, it was time to head north for a change of scenery and some exploration. We decided to return to Chiang Dao for a couple of days. We caught the 8:00 am local...read more
It's been a surreal week as Jan and I met with the Venerable Mu Mu Sunim and his disciples from South Korea. We met by chance, one year ago (http://beyourownwingman.com/truth-from-zen-master-moo-moo-sunim/) and stayed in touch via email. I'm still trying to process...read more
It is 510 steps up the mountain to Wat Tham Pha Plang, a Thai Buddhist temple built into the Chiang Dao Mountain. We were staying about 500 yards away in a bamboo hut that was surrounded by jungle. We had planned on staying only 1 day but it was so beautiful we...read more
I'm flying solo on the Talk-n-Angels radio show tonight as Rita is taking the night off. I'll be discussing what I'm learning about Buddhism, how it's impacted my wingman philosophy, and how it can help all of us in the Western world. Listen in, or even better, call...read more
A belated happy Valentine's Day and a sweet memory from Janet. After four days of being on the road in northern Thailand, hiking through mountain villages and taking mini bus rides with 800 sickening, gorgeous hairpin curves, we arrived back in Chiang Mai, exhausted...read more
The Monk’s Trail... my wife had read about it on Pinterest. A concealed trek through the forest to Wat Pha Lat, a temple rarely visited by tourists. Perhaps that’s because it’s halfway up the road to it’s much more famous sibling, Wat Doi Suthep, the most well known,...read more
Wingman "Increasing Your Positivity" Home Course Starts this Monday, February 1st, 2016. Registration ends Sunday, January 31st. I'm starting another Wingman Home Course this Monday, and I'm certain it will help you increase your positive energy. The results have...read more
Thanks for all the return emails from my Sawadee Kap post (http://beyourownwingman.com/sawadee-kap-from-thailand/). I so appreciate the comments and well wishes about how things are working out for Jan and me. They are, and we're both very grateful. My hope now, is...read more
Hope all is going well and you've been seeing swans since my last post. Our trip's been going very smoothly. We were in Bangkok for 5 days but I wanted a break from the big city, think New York on the hottest of summers, only hotter, more crowded, and more street food...read more
So I'm in Providence last week, taking my morning walk along the Seekonk River. It's crazy foggy outside, I can barely see. It's also a bit muddled inside my own head as my personal demons are having a bit of fun with me. They're throwing doubt, questions and other...read more
It was 25+ years ago. I was in the investment world, literally one week from earning a giant paycheck. Instead I got broke. And I got broken. The details aren't important, although they sure seemed to be then. I was crushed. And it went down from there. I ended up...read more
So you're riding the wave of higher frequencies. Enjoying everything coming your way. The challenges, the successes, even the lessons learned. You notice you're smiling more. You're feeling, "You da man, Billy Tan" a whole lot more. You're on a roll, in the "zone"...read more
Great article in the New York Times about how choosing to be grateful will make you happier. Just in time for Thanksgiving... http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/opinion/sunday/choose-to-be-grateful-it-will-make-you-happier.html?_r=0 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled...read more