This is my fifth trip to Bali, but my first time arriving on a domestic flight at night. And I’ve never arrived after an hour and a half boat ride, and two flights, both within Indonesia.

Having been up since 4 AM, by the time I retrieve my baggage and meet my driver at 10 PM, everything is a blur: the hundreds of scooters—and their incessant honking, and all the billboards in English and Indonesian on the way out of the airport.

I no longer have beginner’s mind; I am returning to a place I love.

However, in huge cursive letters above the toll booths exiting the airport is a giant sign I’ve never seen or noticed before. In English, it says, “Let’s wander where the wifi is weak.”

Ten minutes after passing the airport gates, we pass a car carrying other tourists marked, “Taksi” and a big green and white Starbucks logo. I’m glad we will quickly drive out of the most touristy part of Bali.

Mostly, I am drowsy. But I do make one passing observation before I nod out. Could it be that ALL the scooter drivers I see are now wearing helmets? That certainly wasn’t the case when I was last here teo years ago.

And that’s when that wonderful traveler’s curiosity kicks in. “Why are they wearing helmets now? Was there a new law passed? A crackdown on the existing law? A massive public education campaign?”

And I’m immediately reminded of one of favorite things about traveling: that wonderful sense of discovery.

More to be discovered tomorrow!

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