In 2011, I seized the opportunity to travel solo to Bali, Indonesia. I envisioned staying far from tourist spots. I used Bali-Homestay.com - a family run business in the Tabanan region. Their website promised airport pick-up, room, all food, tours, hikes, bikes, cultural lessons, and more for an extremely reasonable price.
I had one of the most unique & wonderful experiences I've ever had. Everything they promised they delivered - with a smile. I was the only tourist that I could see, & I always felt safe, respected, & comfortable.
People repeatedly ask, "How did you find them?" I reply, "I typed 'Bali cultural exchange' in the search box, & it was the first and only thing I found." Inevitably, the next question is, "How did you know they were legit or safe?" My response is, "I didn't."
I trusted these strangers half way around the world with my life, & they provided everything plus more. They were not out to cheat, hurt, or lie to me.
When I recount my adventures, people often bristle at the idea of trusting so many strangers - fearing the worst. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
Because I trusted these individuals, I hiked through rice paddies, biked through native villages, learned how to make offerings, visited temples, ate delicious, home cooked meals, & interacted with real, local people. I truly had a paradigm shift based on these interactions.
Between my ability to trust & intuition, I have happened into an ever growing pool of new friends & amazing adventures. Start local or start global, either way, the world is full of genuinely good people waiting to be met.
* I have countless examples related to this topic. I will write more on it because I am that passionate about breaking the fear & distrust of others.
* Please feel free to share in the comments if you've had similar experiences. I'd love to read & share them.
*** Also, if you enjoy my writing, please feel free to share the link. I am unsure if I will continue writing due to low levels of readership - despite my joy of writing. Thank you for reading, & I look forward to many more.
- Sasha ***