Living the dream?

We`ve asked ourselves several times lateley; are we living the dream? The answer is a long one.

I went to pick up Dina at a friend`s house this evening. I had never been there before and for some stupid reason I managed to reset the Google map pin as I was roaming around trying to find the place. Eventually I gave up and headed back home in order for Morten to go get her. As I sat down afterwards, numb to my fingertips of frustration I pondered upon why I reacted as I did. I could have asked someone for directions or asked to use the internet of one of the restaurants I passed. I chose to give up.

Later on I was supposed to help Dina in the shower. As you might know she cut her forehead when she failed after endless successful backflips in to the pool on Saturday. So, she was anxious about her stitches as she was about to enter the shower. Every nerve in my body were immediately triggered. I had to ask Morten to take over before my frustration got on to her. 

Again, I find myself wondering why I react this way? I think I am considered rather calm and patient. However, internally I feel like I am in some sort of battle with my own frustrations. Bali has not done this to me all the time, and for long now I have actually been quite happy being here. But from time to time this is  how I feel and recently it has been quite distinct.

Bali joglo
Our beautiful, Indonesian home on a cloudy day
Joglo porch
This 150 years old joglo, built for a Javanese royal family is very beautiful and very different from the beauty we are used to

Challenged aestethics

I think it was naïve of us to chose to live in a very Indonesian house. Although I still see the beauty of the garden, the carvings and teak and the architecture, I find that the very different beauty is hard to get used to. My aesthetic senses need something calm, soothing and light to be nourished, I am after all used to and prefer Scandinavian minimalism. I try to focus on the fact that by living in this kind of beauty, my aesthetical sense is broadened and from that, all of my senses benefit. However, when I am at home and inside, I find myself resting my eyes on the one white, soothing thing in the room; an orchid.

I rest my eyes on the orchid
Our livingroom view
Whereas Morten rests his on the view from our living room

Input overload

We have made many new friends. Morten is a master of socialising, and I benefit from his social skills. All the interesting, talented people are amazingly intelligent and reflected. My intellect, my attitudes and opinions are challenged every day. It is satisfactory and fun. But it is also exhausting, like an input overload almost. We attend talks at the coworking station and we get names, books and articles we should read to catch up on a subject, thrown at us every day. I somehow expect myself to be insightful in all the various themes and wish to prove myself as a reflected person to all the people we`re surrounded by. However I very often feel like the underdog and wonder why the h… this very interesting person even wants to talk with me, let alone spend some spare time with me. -And in advanced English discussions I even find it hard to follow what these articulate people are saying.

The enthusiasm

Around me I see enthusiastic people. They are seemingly superhappy with their transition. Their kids love school and do never want to go back to where they came from. Our kids find school ok, and it gets better every day. Karla just recently acknowledged that everyday life back home is far more boring with homeworks, busy, working parents etc. Despite that she would still rate their school back home as better than Green School. The rational me knows that our different backgrounds influence how we as Norwegians perceive the Bali life differently from let`s say an American family from Silicon Valley. Regardless, I wish I was just as happy about being here as “everyone else.” -And I feel guilty when I don`t.

Happy kid
The kids love their Bali life more and more

The climate

I love tropical climates and knew very well that I was facing a full year of 30 degrees flat. I thought I`d love it. Right now I wish for rain and snow and cozy evenings in front of a fireplace with a cup of tea. I dream of skiing and my mother`s homemade “komper” or “ertesuppe”.  Not to forget to cook proper meals in my well equipped kitchen back home. As the rainy season has just started, I spent last night on the porch loving the sound of rain, thunder and wind. The breeze had a gentle touch of coolness, which was fantastic. I really hope the sticky, hot weather with dust and airpollution is about to end and that we get more days like that from now of.

Mt. Agung
Morten pointing at Mt. Agung from the top of Mt. Batur. The crisp air up there was wonderful!

The soothing nature

Bali`s nature is lush and beautiful. After a mid semester break together with my parents and a round trip of the island, I feel like we have seen and experienced much of Bali`s serene nature. We have even climed Mount Batur together with a bunch of our new friends. However, in our everyday life we spend most of our time observing this nature. We are unable to be in it, use it and benefit from the soothing effects of it. We realize now how important those jogging tours in the forests or hikes in the mountains are to us. Some of my most happy moments in life are from gazing out on endless mountain tops, miles away from the nearest road or settlement. I miss it dearly.

Sunrise on Mt. batur
To see the sunrise from the top of Mt. Batur was beautiful, but as you can see, we weren`t exactly alone on the summit….

Are we living the dream?

So, as we ask ourselves if we are living the dream, the answer is technically yes, practically no; as we are actually doing it, it is no longer a dream, but a dream come true. And dreams come true are seldom exactly as you dreamed they would be. Although all the practicalities are as expected, or maybe even better, something inside of me just can`t settle in and enjoy it fully.

PS: I wrote this yesterday. Morten didn`t quite reckognize my experience. We are after all mostly happy here. All those of you who follow us on Instagram, know that we are doing tons of fun stuff. I guess the combination of our Instagram story and this blog is a better picture of us “living the dream”. I blame my feelings on the “post honeymoon phase” of transition and still believe that I will settle more in and become at ease with this life. Cause frankly; this life is technically exactly what we dreamed of. If not even more, and I feel like a spoiled snob when I nevertheless keep complaining. Am I never able to be content?

4 thoughts on “Living the dream?

  1. You will only be content in moments during your midlife crisis, it comes from the term it self that you first will become all content when the crisis is over 😉
    (But just face it, you’ll never really be fully content, but hopefully more 🙂

    1. Haha, guess you`re right TJ! I am working on it though, and I do think that once we get back to Norway I will need less than I used to 🙂
      Hugs to Cath from me, ok?

  2. Oh Nina you are human! Open, warm honest and lovely. I have two daughters currently “living their dream” in Bali on a gap semester. The younger wanted so much to attend Green School in high school! She applied and was accepted but things didn’t work out for our family adventure.. I told her she could take a gap senester in Bali before college, .and she is!! Lol I so enjoy reading your posts. Keeps me closer to her, them and the missed possibility of life there…Thank you ☺️

    1. Thank you Lisa!
      You sure are missing out on an adventure! A strenous one that is. I sometimes just want to give up and head back home. Then I remind myself that changes and growth requires oneself to move out of the comfort zone. Hence; it will be uncomfotable and must be in order for us to take full advantage of this. So on times like Monday last week, when I really feel like heading back to my comfortzone in Norway, I write. -And it helps 🙂
      I am so glad my writing can be useful for you and others too though!
      Have a lovely day!
      Greetings from Bali with love!

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