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Hello! My name is Candace, and I’m a sketch artist with a passion for helping you connect with the world through art. Pull out your sketchbook and watercolors and find your favorite view — I’m glad you’re here!

Hey ya harmony: Love song to Nusa Penida.

Posted on Nov 2, 2012 | 11 Comments

A month ago, I’d never heard of Nusa Penida, an island off the southeast coast of Bali.

Indeed, I had to zoom in at least 23 times on Google Maps just to find out the name of this little blob of land that seems so intent on staying off travelers’ radars.

But I’d been looking for the perfect place to spend my week in between the start and finish lines of the Indonesian Rickshaw Run, and once I knew its name – and once I’d read on Wikitravel that, “For the adventurous, a side trip to Nusa Penida island will get you well off the beaten path” – I knew I had to go.

I could never have imagined the world that awaited me there – a world of early mornings in Sampalan’s market, of dance lessons and gamelan practice sessions, and of afternoons at the Bird Sanctuary, where the air was constantly filled with the beats of guitars and bongo drums.

And I could never have imagined the sense of belonging I felt throughout my week on the island, one that even now has me itching to be back on its rugged shores.

One of the volunteers at the sanctuary was 21-year-old Will, who spoke humbly of his guitar skills but couldn’t hide a voice not dissimilar [in my opinion] to that of Marcus Mumford. When I told him I loved singing harmony, he suggested we try out an acoustic version of OutKast’s old hit, “Hey Ya.”

Nusa Penida travel

It was as we were playing it for the first time that I thought more about what harmony requires of you. In music, it has you simultaneously focused on what notes the person singing the melody is hitting, as well as your own notes.

And, really, couldn’t much the same be said of harmony in travel? Not only staying aware of what notes a place is striking, but conscious of the notes in your own journey as well – two melody lines, two journeys, and [hopefully – provided no one’s off key, of course] one beautifully agreeing arrangement.

So as I continue on in India, I thought it’d be fun to put together a short video of my footage from Nusa Penida, set to none other than Will’s and my rendition of “Hey Ya”…


  • Linda Squibbs

    Candace, what a beautiful video! I’ve shared your website with many people and I continue to be so impressed with what all you are doing with your young life! I always knew in heart that you were blessed with truly unique gifts and I’m so thankful you are using them to full potential. Be well.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Mrs. Squibbs! They really mean a lot, and I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the video – it was a lot of fun to put together 🙂 It’s wonderful to hear from you, and I hope all is well with you and your family!

  • Is there no end to your talent Candace? You play the guitar and sing as well?! I’m so impressed, and really enjoyed the video. Beautiful 🙂

    • Aw, Hannah, you are way too kind! I’m so glad you enjoyed the video, though…sometimes I find it’s just easier to put words aside and let videos do the talking when describing a place – especially when it comes to things like gamelan and Balinese dances 🙂 Hope all is well in Goa!

  • Pingback: Monday travel inspiration: Love Song to Nusa Penida | canada.com()

  • Aww, I loved watching this! I like how you combined the Hey Ya with the traditional performances. It looked and sounded wonderful! 😀

    • Thanks so much, Audrey! It took a bit of time figuring out how to separate the video and audio files, but I was determined to weave other shots of Nusa Penida in with the song 🙂 Really glad you enjoyed it, and I hope all is well with you!

  • Emm

    Awww, Hannah has already said what I was going to say – is there no end to your talents?

    This post really struck a chord with me and that was in no way meant to be a silly play on words. My days of solo travel are hopefully drawing to a close because I travelled so much without Ste and now want to travel with him. But we often don’t get on when we travel! So this post has made me realise that it isn’t about me at all anymore (by my own design) and I need to get in tune with his experiences and feelings when we travel. Silly, but I have a feeling I never quite appreciated that before.

    • Mandy, this comment was so cool to read. I hadn’t quite thought about the idea of travel harmony in terms of harmony between two travelers, but that is a fantastic aspect of the analogy. And I love that it’s made you think about traveling with Ste in a different light now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  • Jen

    aww candace, how did I just now discover this? I thought I was all caught up but it looks like I had missed a couple posts. Such a beautiful rendition and video-loved those native dances the little girls were doing-so fun.

    • Haha, that’s alright, Jen! I’m horribly behind on my favorite blogs (one of which is yours!) and keep vowing to get caught up 🙂 So glad you liked the video though – I loved putting it together! Hope you’re feeling better, my friend.