You are currently viewing Eat, Pray, Love 2.0?
Property of author

Eat, Pray, Love 2.0?

To provide some context: I departed for a brief exploration of Komodo island, anticipating it to be the highlight of my Indonesia trip (there is a separate story on that). While it may have scored below my expectations, that couldn’t be the reason for stepping into nostalgia upon my return to Bali. As soon as I arrived in my beloved Ubud, it felt like coming home, not my permanent residence but rather a second home, akin to the grandma’s place: a welcoming space that remains the same, familiar, imperfect yet cosy.
This unexpected sense of emotional comfort is frankly indescribable and certainly something I had never experienced in any of the places I visited before. There is a chance that the “Eat, Pray, Love” book I bought just before the flight back somehow contributed to such a bizarre state that I found myself in. What confused me even more was a notion of fear and anxiety, realising I was in Bali for my final two nights before leaving for good. Could this be a sign for Eat, Pray, Love 2.0?

Property of author

In case someone doesn’t recall, the protagonist of the famous book began her journey in Italy, where food took center stage — because we all know that learning Italian was just an excuse (the things we do for food). Afterward, she flew to India to spend some alone time in a remote Ashram, where her Guru lived, and lastly (well, after a quick Christmas and New Year’s break in the States) she returned to Bali. I say returned because she had been on a “business trip” to Bali years ago to participate in and write about a yoga retreat. There she met Ketut, the ‘Medicine Man”, who predicted Liz would be back to Bali for 3–4 months to live with him and learn everything he knew. In addition to all the adventures, the author also fell in love with a Brazilian man. With all that, I reckon the title of the book is pretty clear.

Property of author

I am probably not the only one who thinks that certain books appear at certain times for a reason — to the extent that the relatability is suspiciously spot-on. Just like the protagonist in the famous book, my year kicked off with a trip to Italy. Though I guess not all roads lead to Rome, as mine led to Venice and Florence. I imagined that combining travel and work for a few days was going to be a kind of two-birds-with-one-stone win, but the stone went past and scared all other birds. Rushing to study the monuments from my sightseeing list in between work calls was nothing short of madness. Instead of indulging in the celebrated Italian cuisine, my meals dwindled to hasty bites — thanks to both time constraints and the appetite-numbing powers of stress. With that in mind, contrary to Elizabeth, I didn’t really fulfil the “Eat” part, at least not in Italy.

My year of travels continued through other countries including UAE and Sri Lanka, before reaching India. I went there to visit a good friend of mine, and, well, maybe secretly hoping to find the advertised yogic peace or even reach enlightenment (you never know). But what reached me shortly after arriving was a severe migraine, so I took it as a hint that probably I should begin the peace pursuit work in level 1 locations, not go all way to level 10 to Delhi’s madness (I am saying this with admiration). Putting the migraine aside, I met a bunch of brilliant people, had the greatest birthday surprise and also received a 3kg mini Ganesha statue, small but powerful if you will. Traditionally, Ganesha is described as the ‘Lord of Obstacles’, and upon hearing that I thought “oh Lord, don’t think I need any more of those”. It turns out that his business area is actually to remove obstacles, and I must say he deserves a raise, though the time management skills could be improved (pardon my corporate yapping).

No, this is not the gift I received. Property of author

There were more adventures in between, but lastly I too ended up in Indonesia, where the Island of Gods treated me like one of them — one of the goddess that is. In this enchanting paradise, I rediscovered love and gratitude, in depths I didn’t realise existed. And peanut sauce. How come no one talks about peanut sauce addiction? There should be an official term already, like bumbu-kacang-mania or similar.

Property of author

To be continued.