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Plot Twist! How I ended up in Bali...

Plot twist...I moved to Bali! In this episode I tell the story of my seemingly spontaneous sudden move to Bali...which has actually been in the works and in my dreams for the past five years! I have relocated to Bali for November & December to try things out and see how they go! In this episode, listen to all the things leading up to my decision and what my plans are next. The great thing about the MLPC is that I can run it you can still join me live on Zoom for yoga daily!

Follow me on Instagram @alexmcrobs and check out my offerings in yoga, meditation and coaching at

Are you a fan of Sober Yoga Girl Podcast? The podcast remains completely free, and free from advertisements, however, it has monthly production costs. If you are able to, please subscribe to become a monthly podcast member to support our show. As a member you get invited to a once a month mocktails night and hangout with Alex on Zoom (rotating times to accommodate our many timezones!) Please subscribe here to support us!

Full episode


Welcome to the "Sober Yoga Girl" podcast with Alex McRobs, international yoga teacher and sober coach. I broke up with booze for good in 2019. And now I'm here to help others do the same. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of "Sober Yoga Girl". Now, I'm super excited about this episode because it's actually the first solo episode that I have done in forever. I normally love to have guests on the show. I like to interview them, hear their stories, learn about their journeys. But I decided today to jump on and give you a special solo episode because I think I need to tell you the story of how I ended up where I am now, which is in a tiny little Villa inside Ubud Bali, where I just moved last week. So before we jump on into this story, I want to tell you about how the heck I ended up in Bali. I just want to mention a few couple of things. So first of all, something I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is that we are asking for people to contribute to the podcast. If you are able to, financially, Sober Yoga Girl remains an ad-free podcast. We don't have any advertisements, we don't have any sponsors, but there are regular production costs for it. I have a podcast producer who helps me edit, produce the show, produce all the snippets because I cannot really do that on my own. And we ask for people to contribute $10 a month, $20 a month, or $30 a month if possible. And I just want to give a shout-out to Matt Ellis, and Marty Hennum, and Leanne Golding, and Brittany Burnett, who became the first Sober Yoga Girl podcast members. Really, really appreciate your support. Friends, if you do have $10 a month to contribute to become a podcast member, I would super appreciate it. And if you do become a podcast member, you get invited to a special once a month Zoom Mocktails Night with me and I will be rotating it to work for different time zones every month. I will teach you how to make one of my favorite mocktails from my kitchen in Bali. So not to be missed, super pumped about that. Other things I just wanted to mention coming up next week on The Mindful Life Practice, we have a free Rediscover Yoga Week and this whole week is going to be free classes on Zoom with our yoga teachers from all around the world in all different time zones. So if you're on the fence about trying yoga, maybe you've lost your yoga practice. You want to rediscover it? Please, please come check out our free Rediscover Yoga Week and we're kicking it off with our Halloween party, which is going to be a completely free four-hour yoga class from on the 31st. We will do 20 minutes classes with our teachers from all over the world. So check that out. After the free Rediscover Yoga Week, there's two big things happening, and the first is that I am running two yoga teacher trainings, one of which is going to be in Evenings North America. So this is going to take place from 06:30 p.m. to 09:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday for seven weeks Eastern Standard Time. So these are evenings for North Americans. These are mornings for me in Bali. You can become a yoga teacher in seven weeks. It's going to be transformative. And then I'm also offering a second group that is happening in Europe in the mornings. Well, I mean, they're happening all over the world, but this is going to work for the European time zone as well as the Southeast Asia time zone. So for Europeans, it is going to be Saturday and Sunday. For the UK, it's 08:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. For people in the Middle East, that's 12:00 p.m. to 04:00 p.m. For people like me in Bali or Australia, it will be somewhere in the afternoon, evening. I know Australia has a zillion different time zones, as I figured out when speaking to one of my yoga students today. But anyway, if you were on the fence about becoming a yoga teacher, I don't know when I'm going to be offering this program again in 2022. I have not laid out my plans for 2022 yet. So if you do want to become a yoga teacher, do not miss out. The time is now. Sign up for one of these training programs. And if you do have any questions about it, let me know. The other thing happening is the late fall season of yoga, which is going to be eight weeks of yoga classes. You can join us once a week. You could join for an unlimited membership. Definitely, check it out. Okay. All of that aside, I want to tell the story of how did I end up in Bali. So I just did a podcast interview tonight, actually with Alex and Lisa from Bee Sober. And they said to me, you know, the last time we spoke to you, you were like all settled in Abu Dhabi. That was a few months ago. What happened? And what happened is this. So for anyone that has known me really well, I don't think that this whole spontaneous move to Bali would be a shock for anyone because I have dreamed about living in Bali basically all my life. So when I first became a yoga teacher, I was interested in doing my yoga teacher training in Bali. At that point, my experience of the world was pretty small. I was raised in Toronto. I spent a lot of time in the Americas. I did travel to Europe, and I did travel once in the summer to West Africa, to Benin. But the idea of coming to Bali seemed like really, really far away and really scary. And I ended up choosing a yoga teacher training in Mexico, which was incredible. And that's what I did in 2014. And so then when I became a yoga teacher, I ended up moving to the Middle East, and I was living in Kuwait. And again, I had this Bali dream. So I said, you know, I'm going to do my advanced yoga teacher training in Bali. So I searched for yoga teachers and training in Bali. I found one that lined up with my summer vacation from being a teacher at school in Kuwait, and I decided to book that trip to Bali. Now things got kind of complicated at this point because this was back in 2017, and I ended up meeting my partner at the time. And my partner and I got into this really serious relationship really quickly. You know, we were kind of casually dating as two ex-pats in the Middle East, and all of a sudden, things changed with our circumstances. You know, things happen with his workplace. He had to move in with me in Kuwait. You could not be living together unless you were married. And so for a lot of reasons, our relationship rushed really, really quickly and we ended up progressing into more serious engagement/marriage, which I have not talked a lot about on the show or in my life on Instagram. But anyway, the whole point of the story is that we were planning our honeymoon to Bali,. And we had been together for, you know, it was about two months after we got engaged/eloped, which I will tell that story more in my book, which I am working on publishing. But anyway, we were meant to come up to Bali for our honeymoon. And then I was supposed to do my yoga teacher training. And the night before the flight to Bali, we ended up breaking up. And it was very traumatic. I was very sick at this point. I had a mood disorder. I was not being properly cared for. One of the problems in the relationship actually, which by no fault of my partner, he just had the mindset of he didn't really comprehend mental health. And maybe that's shifted. Maybe it's changed with age. Maybe he has more awareness. But when I expressed to him that I was struggling, he said to me, you know, you're a normal girl. You're fine. I don't see anything wrong with you. I had a friend who had depression and he was in really bad shape, and you're doing a lot better than him. Because of this, my mental health spiraled pretty quickly because I kind of felt as a person that was in a serious relationship that I was supposed to turn to my partner for guidance and help and support. And so I stopped turning to the other people in my life, like my sister, who had been a huge anchor for me in my mental health. And I ended up kind of collapsing into, like, a really serious mental health breakdown. And so I ended up not being able to go to Bali for that yoga teacher training that I had dreamed of for years and years because I had to go back to Canada for mental health care. And so I flew back to Canada. I was trying to get a refund on this yoga teacher training that I had paid a lot of money for. They were not going to refund me. They were not going to budge. They really wanted me to fly. When I presented the documents about my mental health, they ended up agreeing to postpone the trip, which was great because I was not in a state at all to go on a yoga teacher training. I was not well. And they were able to post on the trip a few months. So fast forward, I ended up quitting my job and flying to Bali. And it was the most amazing thing. I ended up getting a new job in Abu Dhabi. But this island for me, just became this place of, like, healing. Right? So I had gone through this pretty intense mental health breakdown and breakup of a relationship in June of that year. And then I spent July and August and September getting Western medical treatment, which was like so invaluable. And I always say to people, I take meds for my mood disorder. I also practice yoga, and I also do kind of holistic wellbeing, and I really feel like it's not necessarily one or the other, and we really should have a mixture of both. So I did my Western healing, and then I did my Eastern healing here in Bali. And so I did my yoga teacher training. I spent a bit of extra time in Ubud, which was where the yoga teacher training was. I walked around the town, went to yoga classes at this place called the Yoga Barn, and I just fell in love with this island. I think anyone who has been here would agree that it is just this vortex of like spirituality, and wellbeing, and happiness, and like magic. Like it's just this place, I cannot even describe what is so special about it. But there is something very special about here. So when I was here, also, something that was really intense for me was that, you know, anyone who's experienced the state of depression knows that depression can make you feel nothing. They get numb to the world. You don't want to touch people. You don't feel sad or happy. You just feel nothing, right? I was kind of sitting on my mom's couch eating popcorn, Chicago mixed popcorn, watching, you know, all these old Netflix shows and movies. And when I came to Bali, it was like my senses were awake for the first time. And I could taste the fresh fruit. I could smell the rain. I could feel the dirt on my feet. I could see the sunrises and sunsets. And, you know, I could hear the monkeys, and I could hear the bullfrogs. And I just felt so alive. So at the end of October, I ended up getting a job in Abu Dhabi, and I ended up flying to Abu Dhabi. You know, I wanted to stay in Bali forever. This is 2017, but I didn't have a plan. I didn't have a job, I didn't have a way to make money. So I was like, okay, I have to get a job. So I, very fortunately, got a job in Abu Dhabi. And this is like a paradise for me. Abu Dhabi, again, is like one of a really, really beautiful city. I love Abu Dhabi. It is an incredible, incredible place. And so I moved to Abu Dhabi. And the funny thing is that I actually arrived in Abu Dhabi, and one of the first people I met was Gemma Dulie. And Gemma is a member of The Mindful Life Practice. She's come on a couple of yoga retreats. So if anyone has ever joined The Mindful Life Practice classes, you would know Gemma because she has been regularly attending with us forever. And so Gemma said to me very recently, she was one of the first people I met because we shared a carpool. And she said, she picked me up in the morning, got in the car, and I was talking about wanting to move to Bali. And so that's amazing because that was like five years ago, right? So I went to Abu Dhabi, was working my job, and this is where my partying massively accelerated. So for people who have heard my story with alcohol, you know, I had been through so much kind of trauma with my relationship. I was really discreet about what had happened with the school with my mental health breakdown. I didn't want anyone to know in Abu Dhabi what I had been through. I just wanted to clean the whole slate and seem like I had it all together. And to be honest, it also felt for me, like life after death in Abu Dhabi, because I had been through the most hellish depression and the most toxic work environment and the most, you know, a great relationship that ended horribly and had so much tremendous guilt for this heartbreak. And so Abu Dhabi for me felt like life after death. Everything was a miracle. The school was amazing. And I think I also kind of annoyed people a little bit because I was so happy and so positive. And that came from a real, authentic place, right? Of like, I was just genuinely so happy to end up where I was and to be where I was. I ended up working in Abu Dhabi for a few years. But my drinking massively accelerated, my partying massively accelerated, and I hit this point where, you know, I ended up choosing sobriety and my whole sober journey. You can hear about that on another podcast episode. I'll put the link to it in here. I'm not going to go into full details. But I ended up choosing sobriety and a few weeks into my sober journey, I met Dan, the psychic. Dan said to me, you know, Alex, you were never meant to be a teacher. You were meant to be a healer. And he told me that I was going to open a yoga retreat center one day in South America. And I cried and cried and cried because this has been my dream all my life, a dream that I just didn't think I was capable of, right? I thought you know, who am I? There are so many yoga teachers in the world. What makes me special? What makes me unique? I can't do this. And I was holding myself back that whole time. And when I met Dan, it was not like he made up these ideas that I never had because it was always my dream to live in Bali. You know, it was always my dream to stay here. But I just didn't have a way, I didn't see it possible. And Dan made it possible. So I started building The Mindful Life Practice, became a life coach, did more yoga teacher trainings, did more bar instructor trainings, studying, studying, studying, and started really putting The Mindful Life Practice into motion. Never thinking that it would become what it is today, right? This was pre-pandemic. I had no idea that Zoom yoga would become a massive thing. I had no idea that Zoom even would become such a huge thing. I ended up building and building and building this thing. And at the same time, I was like, clinging to Abu Dhabi, right? I was holding onto it with this tight grip, and I eventually build a Mindful Life Practice up enough to quit my job. And I remember saying to Dan, you know, Dan, when can I move to Bali? And Dan said to me, and this was in May of 2021, he says, now. He says, Just pack your stuff, put it in storage and go. And I'm like, I can't do that. Abu Dhabi is my home. I need a home. I need to have an apartment here. And as I did that, I signed an apartment in Abu Dhabi. Everything started going wrong. You know, Sign the wrong apartment lease, unable to process a new visa, having so many struggles with forming the business, which should be a pretty simple two-step process. The bank account is taking me forever. And I'm going through hurdle after hurdle after hurdle. And at the same time, I'm saying to Dan, hey, when can I go to Bali? And Dan says, now. And I remember this being significant because I've said to him in the past, you know, when can I go to Bali? And he says, you know, you're not ready yet, or when can I quit your job? You're not ready yet. And this time I said to him, when can I go to Bali? And he says, now. And so something happened, this was in maybe May or June when I started asking him about it, and something happened in October. So Dan came down to Abu Dhabi, or he came to Dubai, and I drove down to see him. And said, when can I go to Bali? And he said, now. And it was like this epiphany of, like, holy crap. I have dreamed all my life of living in Bali. I have built this incredible online business. I could work anywhere in the world. Why am I choosing to do it in Abu Dhabi when I dreamed of Bali all my life? It was this "AHA" moment. And it was probably the most terrifying thing I've ever done because all of a sudden just started selling my furniture, packing up my stuff, applying for a Visa in Bali, and here I am. And I think to the outside world, this seems like ridiculous and spontaneous and like, it's come out of nowhere, right? Like, I just talked to Alex and Lisa from Bee Sober, who said, you know, last time we spoke to you, you're all settled in Abu Dhabi. And I'm like, yes, this probably does seem spontaneous and ridiculous, but for anyone that knows me super well, it doesn't seem that way because I have been talking about this forever. And it's just me finally putting my dream into motion. So as soon as I arrived here, oh, my God. It's like, I don't think I realized how unhealthy I was. And, you know, I was healthy. I was well, I was happy. Everything that I was doing for Mindful Life Practice, I was not putting on a show that was all authentic and real. I love what I do. I love my job so much. But also, being in a place where I was-- it was so hot, it was so dusty. I was driving everywhere. Driving the mall, getting food for delivery, sitting in my air-conditioned apartment all the time. Towards the end of my time in Abu Dhabi, I didn't have a lot of friends there. And that's not because no one wanted to be my friend, but because I just was not connecting and resonating with the people in Abu Dhabi. And one of my friends in Abu Dhabi said to me, he said, Abu Dhabi made you like a frozen doll. And I love that. I laughed so hard on that because it's true. It was like, I didn't want to date anymore because I would go on dates with people, and they were just not on my level. And it's not like there's anything wrong with that. They just weren't spiritual. They just weren't sober. They just weren't into meditation and yoga, which is fine. But I was never meant to remain in the Middle East, and I knew it. And so, yeah. So I packed up and left, and I spent five days in Quarantine in Jakarta, which I actually loved. To be honest, it was not that different than my life in Abu Dhabi. I was in a building receiving meals delivered to me, teaching yoga on Zoom. So I actually love the Jakarta Quarantine. I'm currently in this little Villa. That's right in the center of Ubud. I did post about it on my Instagram story. I have my little kitchen behind me. You guys can't see me on if you're listening to the podcast, you can't see, but I have this tiny little kitchen. I have this little bed, little living room with, like, a studio Villa and a lovely soaker bathtub. I have to have bathtubs, and I do have a little pool outside. I have decided to move from this Villa. So this is only a temporary week-long thing. And then I have found a place that's a little bit further out of town. It's bigger. It's a bit more spacious. It actually is a two bedroom, which is super nice and has a pool as well. And so that is my plan to kind of raft up there. And then where do I go from here? I mean, the amazing thing is that I run my Zoom business. Right? So I just pick up exactly where I left off and I run my classes and I do my coaching, and I will be doing it all starting next week again. So I will just continue to do The Mindful Life Practice, but in a different place. And then it is my dream in 2022 to start running live retreats, running live yoga teacher trainings, hosting groups here in Bali, and just inviting other people to experience the magic that is Bali and The Mindful Life Practice. Yeah, that's my dream. That's my plan. And it's pretty surreal to be living my dream right now. Like, it's just-- it's pretty incredible. What I've realized is that life is so freaking short, right? And we need to take risks. We need to take leaps. We need to be brave. We need to try things. And, like, what is the worst thing that's going to happen? Right? What's the worst thing that's going to happen? It will all fall apart. And I'll just get on the plane and go back home. Right? But you will never know unless you try. So if you have a dream like this, if you have a dream for your life, a vision for your life, something that you want to do, some wild risk, I would say just do it. Right? If there's anything that the pandemic has taught us, it's that life is too short and take a leap of faith. So thank you so much for tuning in, for listening to the show. Really, really appreciate it. Don't forget to check out the Rediscover Yoga Week. Become a podcast member if you can support us. And if you do want to do yoga teacher training with me, it might be one of my last ones on Zoom. I'm not sure. So do not miss your chance. Check it out. Evenings for North America, Saturdays, Sunday, Europe, mornings, Asia, Middle East. And then, yeah, just check all the time online because I could name off a million time zones, but it will not help very much. And check out our late fall season yoga. All right. Have a lovely, lovely evening, day, weekend wherever you are in the world. And I will chat with you soon. Bye.

Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of "Sober Yoga Girl" with Alex McRobs. I am so, so grateful for every one of you. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss the next one and leave a review before you go. See you soon. Bye.

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