Last week I had the most wonderful opportunity to travel to Bali for the very first time to attend the Beautiful You Coaching Academy Inspiration Day. As you may already know, I’m the DEI Trainer for the academy and I cannot speak more highly about their work. It’s the only Life Coaching Academy I recommend to friends because my life took a significant turn since I enrolled to become a coach and I now have an online business that brings me immense fulfilment. And the cherry on the top is I can work from anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection.
When it comes to international travel, I often feel a sense of trepidation because being a Black person the process of travel isn’t always the smoothest. The extra security checks one has to endure often borders between whether it’s simply routine or indeed racial profiling.
What was interesting upon arrival at Denpasar airport, was how straight forward the process of immigration was. Not once was I questioned or pulled aside to be security checked. As I proceeded to exit the arrivals terminal, I scanned all the names on the boards that had been lifted, in anticipation of seeing my name as the hotel I was staying at had organised a driver to pick me up. I’ve never been so excited to see someone I don’t know with my name on a board held high. Suka was his name and he was just as excited to see me if not more. “Welcome Miss Annie,” he said. “How was your trip?” It was great I responded, just very humid and warm here in Bali. He proceeded to take my bags and we made a beeline for the car park.
As we exited the airport any fears I had about travelling 90 minutes to the hotel in Ubud in the middle of the night in a foreign country began to fade away. Here I was in Bali…I was determined to soak up every moment.
Upon arrival at the hotel I was met with smiles, a cold drink and a rundown of the activities. I was then taken to my room and it was breathtakingly beautiful. All open plan with a huge stand alone bath in the middle of the bathroom. I was home.
Let me let you in on something… to travel internationally to a country that is not predominantly Black and not be reminded that I’m Black but simply human is rare and Bali made me feel so welcome nothing was too much trouble for them.
But the best part was yet to come. The following day I met up with Abby, my online business manager who has been supporting me for almost 2 years. She’s truly my right hand person and to meet in person was a gift I’m truly grateful for. It’s not everyday you get to work with someone who cares about the work you do and shows up everyday ready to execute. And my business has thrived because of the support Abby continues to give me.
If you are wondering, when do we get to the inclusion part Annie? Well, it was everywhere I went. It’s how I was made to feel, it’s how I was treated, spoken to, seen and listened to. One of the best parts of the entire trip was making my way into the accommodation where my friends and fellow coaches were staying. As my sandals slapped the steps down towards the pool…I could hear their merry voices deep in conversation…then suddenly someone yelled out, “is that you Annie?” “Yesss It Me!!!”, I yelled back. And it was just pure joy to hear the cheers and excitement.
I never thought that I’d find a group of white and brown women where I’d truly feel comfortable just being me. In fact the thought just never occurred to me because of how foreign the concept was to fathom. Yet here I was in what felt like a family reunion. People genuinely excited to see you.
As my time in Bali progressed, my level of comfort deepened. I literally let my hair down. My freezy mane made its debut appearance and I wasn’t even bothered about it. Why? Because I felt SAFE being myself. And when you feel safe you are able to take in what is being offered without looking over your shoulder or trying to fit into something you are not. In short, you are able to receive and when you receive, something within you expands.
Bali expanded me in ways I didn’t expect because I was made to feel welcome and safe. Can you say the same about your business or your services?
If you are an online business genuinely wanting your clients to experience the expansion I speak of, I highly recommend my brand new free resource The Inclusive Business Audit. It’s a template that will help you evaluate how inclusive your business is from the attraction phase right through to off-boarding your clients. It’s an absolute must have and an eye-opener you want to keep in your back pocket.