Today we had to ride our scooter from Canggu to Nusa Dua (about 50 minutes) to go to the immigration office. The journey was a little less than pleasurable. It was hot. The roads were super busy. And the fumes from all the cars and bikes was pretty sickening.
It was on the ride that I thought “Man I miss the fresh air in New Zealand”.
It’s funny how the simplest of things can bring you some much pleasure and satisfaction. It’s funnier still how it’s only when these things are taken away from us do we actually come to appreciate them. Sure, I’ve been for walks in New Zealand and enjoyed the fresh air. But the feeling of appreciation is heightened ten-fold when the fresh air is taken away.
This reminds me of one of the simplest stoic teachings – practising negative visualisation. The idea here is to visualise your life without certain things or people so you learn to appreciate those things right now. This isn’t supposed to be an unhappy exercise. This practice helps us to be happier by helping us to appreciate the things we already have. By imagining life without certain things, you learn to not take them for granted, you appreciate them more and it even helps us to avoid feelings of regret, should those things be taken from us.
With this in mind, I’m glad the air here in Bali is as clean as it is. Sure, it’s not the purest air (like New Zealand) but look at other countries where you have to permanently wear a face mask and the smog blocks the sun. It could be worse…