About my new friend I met in Bali



Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 20/05/2024, 18:15

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

I know I owe you a post. The reason why I haven’t been in touch is that we (well, mostly my poor sister) have been working on my new website and we’ve been having some technical issues. I was hoping to have the site ready by now and that’s why I haven’t been posting anything. Well, it turns I need to wait for the site to be ready, so for now will be writing here.

This post is dedicated to my lovely friend Sylvia, who I met in Bali. Enjoy!

I met Sylvia when I was cycling around Gilli T. It started raining and I was looking for a place to hide. From a distance I saw some trees and thought that there was no other choice than to hide underneath. When I got closer I noticed that there was a small table, lined up with coconuts and a few simple benches made out of fallen trees.

“Coconut! Come and have a coconut!” someone shouted at me from one of the benches. That was Sylvia. I stopped. She was sitting with another girl, both having coconuts, inviting me to join them. The seller and his wife were smiling broadly. They handed me the fruit.

Sylvia was from Austria. She was in her 50s and a few weeks back she had completed her tantric massage course in one of the ashrams in India. She could talk about the massage techniques and its advantages for ages. She was travelling alone and, just like me, she was looking for a person to spend the time with.

Einstein said once that “the age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter”. I didn’t mind Sylvia being my mum’s age. I rather enjoyed her company. She was free spirited, her tiny figure expressing all her emotions and feelings. She made friends easily and laughed like there was no tomorrow.

I went for drinks with her. We talked about boys and life, meditation and her life in ashram. We went for a massage, had a dinner and in the evening we went out. If you think that Sylvia went home at 1 am you’d be so wrong. We had a couple of beers and she danced to the reggae music better than any young girl. Her moves were not restricted by anything. It was just a pure flow of positive energy.

We were approaching one of the bars and a man without a t-shirt on emerged from it. “Oh!”, Sylvia shouted, “Naked boys! Let’s go there!” Yes, my new friend was just this free spirit that didn’t care about what people will think. She was having a great time and no one would have been able to stop her.

I always say that everything happens for a reason. I believe that I met Sylvia because I needed her. I needed a little bit of guidance, a meditation fast course, someone who was comfortable within themselves, but who also, just like me, sometimes felt lonely during their travels,  and who thought that it was completely normal to feel like that.

Some people have this beautiful personality that others are attracted to straight away. It’s almost like they’re in tune with themselves, they are happy with who they are. That’s how I felt about Sylvia. I wish that through this journey and my trip I will finally experience this unison between my body and my soul and be as free as my new friend.