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The Real Beauty of Bali

In spite of what many may think, the beauty of Bali actually is not found within luxury villas. Nor is it found in breathtaking beaches with water so blue it leaves you to question the legitimacy of your own back home.

The beauty of Bali is found deep within, yet not hard to spot at all. Within the streets of Ubud where culture and art collide. Within the architecture you’re greeted by at the homestay you booked last minute. Within the heart of the Balinese people who work so hard to care for and protect their families, yet somehow, still manage to welcome tourists into their country with open arms.

Truth is, I came to Bali expecting it to change my life. I thought sitting by the water, enjoying the fresh breeze would somehow heal me. As if my pain were simply a stain in my life that could be washed away by the surrounding seas. – I was wrong.

Bali didn’t change my life. It changed my heart.

Visiting Indonesia put a lot of things into perspective for me. My journey forced me to not only talk with God, but to listen to Him. It’s shown me how much more there is to life. I dwell on things so small, the people here would probably laugh if they heard of some of my “struggles” back home.

I chose to spend my time in Indonesia living as the locals do. I took advantage of Homestays. I tried local dishes and even street food. I wanted the full experience and I got it.

A lot of the struggles I faced here, I probably wouldn’t have faced back home. – And if I did, there would have been a quick fix. I reached for the fix here and instead of receiving it, I got a smack in the face by reality. Their reality. The reality of what it means truly be a native. Things I tried to fix, to them, weren’t broken at all. The things I feared were essential aspects of the Indonesian / Balinese lifestyle.

While I so appreciate the beautiful bodies of water surrounding this amazing island, it’s the congestion, the hustle, the people, the mold… it’s those things that I learned from. That I grew from.

Follow my journey in HD on video here!

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What They're Saying

"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy."

Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02-04:00
"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy." Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017

"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."

 

Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017
2017-09-08T14:21:19-04:00
"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."   Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017

"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29-04:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16-04:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58-04:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019