My Recipe for Turning 30: The Unforgettable Balinese Adventure – The Prelude




Even just reading those words can make anyone in their late 20’s want to cry and jump ship.

Life regrets, responsibility and wrinkles, OH MY!

Thirty –  the age you grow up thinking is the end of all ends!!!

Thirty –  the age girls turn at least twice!


Thirty –  the age that is all fun and games for others to turn until the year it becomes your reality and you are like:


As a person who struggles annually during their birthday month due to over analyzing life,  and possessing abnormally high emotions ( I recently cried at the end of Magic Mike 2.. seriouslyturning 30 I knew, could turn into a train wreck.

Even for normal girls, this is the year women have all those “shoulds” in mind.

I should  be married..

I should have kids..

I should start wearing socks that match.. I should stop eating ice cream from out of the carton…  I should start putting things “away” where they “belong”.

To help avoid all that complete nonsense,  I needed to do something new for my birthday. Not a  party… not going to the bar... Not cruising the harbour with strippers likes I did last year….though, that was quite interesting 🙂

But something MORE that would help distract me from all those stupid “shoulds” and more importantly grow who I was as a person.

Some adventure? Or relaxation?

Maybe some spirituality? Bring on a new challenge? Face some fears?

 I was thirsty for an adventure that represented who I was after 30 years of being crazy me.

So I knew…

I needed  to do IT ALL!

But where?

Bali, let’s do Bali!


The morning of my departure I was ridiculously excited and ready for this adventure I had organized for the past 6 months.  Birds were singing, the sun was shining, I woke up without bags under my eyes.. I just KNEW it was going to be an amazing day!

That was until I checked the news and found out all flights from Australia where cancelled to Bali, keeping thousands stranded in Bali, and thousands locked out. This was all due to a lovely volcano erupting nearby, conveniently stealing my birthday THUNDER.

Unable to get to Bali, unable to get a refund on my flight or hotel, unable to get a new flight out for an entire week, and unable to get a hold of my friend who was trying to fly in from Los Angeles – it is safe to say I was left at home in my room cursing the volcano gods and having a bit of a mental eruption myself.

And what I mean by a bit was..



After a few hours of  letting all my little brat tears flop out, I slapped myself out of my pity bath and forced myself to find a solution.

So I asked myself….If Australian airlines wont fly in due to safety reasons..I need to find an airline that will… An airline, that just doesn’t give any shits…

What is that one airline that is not allowed over European airspace due to unsafe procedures?? And is also the same airline that keeps losing planes?


So…my solution, not the safest solution, but my solution:

Fly into Bali from Malaysia




That next morning I was no longer feeling upset about the situation, just a bit apprehensive for what was going to be in store for me. 

I have never been to Asia…Is culture shock going to punch me in the eyeball? Will the airport re-open in time? What are Malaysian’s going to be like? And by the way..where the F is Kuala Lumpur!?!

Besides watching the Oscar worthy performance from The Governator in the American classic, Kindergarten Cop, I spent the rest of the 10 hour flight reading.


 I didn’t want to waste any more time feeling worried or negative, so I made it my sole priority on the way over to Malaysia to train my brain accordingly.

Philosophy books, Buddhist teachings, and an array of mediations were consumed to accomplish this,  placing me back into a positive, stable and grateful mind frame.   

Just in time for me to take my first steps on to Asian soil.


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Once landing in Kuala Lumpur’s hot and humid night air, I headed to my hotel to attempt to take in as much Malaysian culture as I possibly could during my nano second of a visit. Which really just meant,  FOOD!

At the hotel restaurant I witnessed what appeared to be the biggest dang buffet FEAST I had ever seen. I started walking through the land of food but without recognizing  any of the dishes. Have I never ate Malaysian food before? Ehhh, I think not.

It looked like a mixture of curries, odd meats, and tasted like Indian and Asian flavours all blended together. I enjoyed almost everything I tried, but I did awkwardly smell each spoonful before it touched my plate juusuuuusssstt in caseeee.


And I definitely DID NOT hold back when it came to the desserts 🙂



I woke up that Sunday morning with a clear head and excited for whatever the airport gods would have in store for me. Keeping in mind the lessons and practices from my books,  I knew now that no matter what, I had the ability to make the best of whatever may come.

That ultimately, I held the power to be happy 🙂


I arrived at the airport 3 hours early just to ensure I would avoid all the madness from crowds of people trying to get to Bali.

I marched straight to the gate and just sat their like a good little girl until it was boarding time (practically unheard of).

 But then it became boarding time.. and…uhhhh…where the hell was everyone????

Now, the KL airport is very very big and the use of loud speaker announcements are constant and LOUD. Flight details and gate changes are getting reported every 5 seconds but none that I could ever understand due to woman’s strong Malaysian accent. 

Well that was the case until I heard….

“Attention passengers, will Metchel Tebelt immediately report to gate L16, there has been a gate change”

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shitttt that’s meeeee!!! I think?

As I sat up from the floor and grabbed all my belongings in a panic, a boy parked in a cart nearby asked if I needed I lift.. and I screamed:

“YES YES!!! I am Metchel Tebelt please take me to gate L!!!!”

“My name is Stan, Jump in!!”


I get in to a golf cart type vehicle and we began driving across the KL airport as if we had just robbed a bank, on a mission to get me to my gate with just 10 minutes before it closed. He was honking left and right, almost running over small children and people who I just knew had bad knees. 

 Stan was the MAN!

 I could just tell that Stan lived for these moments!

 As you will witness in this video 🙂


We arrived at the gate moments before close off, allowing me just enough time to run like a crazy person to the actual gate and get on the plane.

PHEWWW  I made it!!!!!


Relieved, thrilled, and kind of on a adrenaline high from what felt like a 10 minute car chase, I sat on that plane as it was taxiing on the runway with a big smile on my face,  looking out the window with glee and thinking:

“Bali, see you soon you little pain in the ass!”

I think Bali actually heard me say that, as seconds later:

“Attention passengers this is your pilot, we are returning back to the gate, Denpasar has just announced an airport closure,  all please exit the aircraft”


I sat there continuing to look out the window with a smile on my face, as at this point, I only could laugh at the situation. 

Sadly, I think I was the only one who felt that way as everyone on the aircraft was in panic. People were freaking out, crying, frantically making phone calls.

Pretty much.. they were all experiencing what I already had the pleasure of going through 2 days prior.

We were all escorted off the aircraft and into a little holding room while we were waiting our next instructions. Keep in mind, this entire time, I had a friend coming from LA who was flying into Jakarta to the Philippines, to Singapore then Bali, and I have not been able to get a hold of her.


 I plugged my dying phone into a unused check in desk and called my friend asap.  Relieved she answered, I found out she was just put in the same situation in Singapore.. in a holding room, waiting to hear what her future would hold.

After an hour of waiting we were told that our flight has been “delayed” till 5pm and we were finally set free out of our cell BUT not the airport.

I lucked out that when I walked back in the main hub I ran into Stan, Stan the man!

So during my 7 hour layover I kicked it with Stan. He ever so kindly escorted me all around the airport.. even behind the scenes just like at Disneyland, but with very very odd toilets.  


It was nice to have friend while I was stuck in this airport, even though it was killing me I couldn’t be outside exploring.   

It came to boarding time,again, and I said goodbye to my new found friend and once again said hello to Bali!

 I felt Bali at this point, was just like me thinking of turning 30 as a kid,  and was just never going to happen!

I called my friend to tell her we are taking off and she was completely surprised as her airline refused to fly with the bad conditions. She was screaming:

“Michelleeee, I don’t think your airline is supposed to fly?!??!”

But we did…. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh how we finally did!  

Thank you Malaysian airlines for living up to your irresponsible reputation!


It was the best yet most terrifying flight of my life, filled with heart-stopping turbulence and ashy skies.   

I made a promise to myself that if and when I made it to Bali, I would make sure to make it most unforgettable, phenomenal, and enriching 10 days of my life.

And that is exactly what I did 🙂

  <3 Michelle

Stay tuned till next week as I start going through the ingredients: Facing Fears, Unique Creative Experiences,  Animal Bonding, Embracing the Culture, The Enlightenment, Giving Back and Let’s Talk Food,


This is my first Trilogy.. BE EXCITED 🙂


  1. Ha,ha, loved this – did your friend make it to Bali, or are you going to tell us the answer in the next part? Loved this story 🙂

  2. Wonderfully Hilarious I am glad you made it “safely”. Turning 30 is not bad, just wait until 40-then the sh**t really hits the fan!! he he.

  3. I LOVE this! I did Amsterdam on my 30th but Bali is something else – what an adventure! 🙂

  4. Wow, what an amusing story for arriving in Bali. You through a lot of interesting things. 😀 I smell more interesting story to come.

  5. Good Lord Michelle as soon as I read you picked Malaysian Airlines my heart sank. The blog is posted so I know you made it. Why didn’t you get your money back if your flight was cancelled? I thought that was something they had to do?

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