When we landed we took a deep breath & I myself got very emotional as I was not sure why but I felt like I had come home after years...First we went to a friend’s place to stay but we wanted to be alone, to have peace of mind so after one night, we took off and went to a little place I found on the internet called Rumah Roda. It still exists today but has been upgraded now. We got the pre-upgrade version and we loved it. It was so basic, so simple, so much love... The room was so simple; it had a double-bed, a closet to put some stuff in, a fan, electricity & an outside shower and toilet. We also had our own porch with a bamboo two-seater but that’s it! But together we experienced so much peace and quiet; it was like heaven to us. I slept for 3 weeks... I’m not joking, I slept and I slept, and when I was ready sleeping, I slept some more, I was so tired...
We had with us a little laptop that was filled with relaxing music, jazzy-tunes, lounge, & chill out. That laptop played day & night and sometimes, I woke up in the middle of the night and I heard my friend (the laptop) playing a relaxing tune. I’d listen to it but before the next tune started, I was sleeping again…this went on for about 3 weeks. Those 3 weeks of sleep I needed very much as I was so tired of all that had happened in the last 6 months. I really needed & started to recover in Bali. Music was a healing factor for me, like it always was. After 3 weeks of isolation, I slowly came out of my safe-zone & I really felt better every day & wanted to go out again... and to meet the people!!
So, we did. ;-)
The only black page of our Bali adventure was that my wife became sick. I’m happy to say she recovered completely, but she also got the feeling that she missed things that was so common and normal in the Netherlands but that were rare in Bali. We came to a point that Bali was not the place for us, not the place we wanted to live, so we decided to go back to the Netherlands.
We did a lot of shopping before we went back & I bought a lot of chill-out albums, because that was my new line of music that I adored. Back in the Netherlands, I tried to hang on that Bali feeling as much as possible, always in the back of my head the idea about a lounge café… So when back in the Netherlands, the Lounge café I wanted that was meant for Bali, but why not started a Lounge café over here in the Netherlands?
Well, I liked the idea, but didn’t have the finances for that. So I started to do lounge mixes instead. This was mainly to amuse myself & a few others on the MixCloud and SoundCloud sites. I also started my Facebook group “Guido’s Lounge Cafe”. By doing that I got more involved in the Lounge scene, met a lot of people like myself, people who were just as in love with Lounge music as I was. I then started to create a weekly mix called “Guido’s Lounge Café Broadcast” which is now broadcast on several web-radio stations.
With that my network really started to grow with both artists and record labels. Very soon the Group was too big and we could not make it an open group anymore, so we had to create a new & equivalent group that is now called “Guido’s Lounge Café to Chill & Relax”, this is the group as it is today.
I feel that this is the story of me, where it all happened and why it began the start of a new era in my life. It’s a feeling I hope I never lose...the feeling that we took home with us when we went back to the Netherlands from Bali.
Guido Van Der Meulen
In those 3 weeks I breathed, slept and ate relaxing music. I called it relaxing music because that was what it was. The next couple of weeks I got active again, often woke up at night and started to write about things I wanted to do, Ideas that I had. I hadn’t felt that creative in years!! Because I felt good...No, I felt great! people started to notice, that circle of people became bigger and bigger & I made a few friends for life. One morning Astrid & I were strolling the streets of Ubud. We walked into a little restaurant called ‘Warung Kopi Ubud’. The restaurant at this moment is 4 times as big but the owner and his wife are still the friendliest people I ever met, and we became friends for life. I helped Gus with improving his little restaurant and he and I went together in a little business deal that grew & exploded into even more friendship and trust. We also liked to go out for dinner so we had our regular places that we visited for good food and company. At one time I had a CD with me that I had burned on my little laptop with some very nice relaxing tracks so I asked the waiter if they could play it. So they did, when we went home I forget about the CD and left it there. After a few weeks I came back to the restaurant and the owner asked me if I could burn CD’s like that on a regular basis..So I did, for a free meal.
We didn’t always stay in same place. We also liked to travel around Bali and one of our favorite places was ‘Pondok Bambu Bungalows Candidasa’ where once more, the owner became a good friend to us & at that place we found the relaxation and peace. Fantastic location, close to the sea, beautiful people work there, also, it was the kind of place where you feel more like family and a friend rather than simply a customer. Often when we were there, I liked to wake up early and go to the Ocean. I’d sit there watching the sun rise and listening to my little friend the laptop with his relaxing tunes. There I slowly started to think about a lounge café...
“The Guido’s Lounge Way of Life”
I’m going to tell you a little story of the background behind how I first started to get into & discovering Lounge music, I going to be honest and frank. It all started 2007, I fell ill.. And I really needed some time off. The job was disappointing, or better I was disappointed in myself. Call it what you want, I was doing not good. I was stressed-out, needed a break from it all. So I did.. No, WE did, my wife (Astrid) and I. So you must know, my wife is I think the most understanding wife in the universe, she knew just the way I felt, and she wanted me to get better again. So we took a big step and put our house up for sale.
We had long talks about what we wanted to do & we knew right away that we wanted to make a fresh start on the island of Bali (Indonesia). So we started to make practical plans for taking some time (on a sabbatical etc). So when the house was sold, I quit my job, we sold our cars & started to empty the house. We only kept 14 boxes of personal belongings like pictures and stuff. Everything takes it’s time, so when everything was ready we left the Netherlands in July 2008 and went to Bali…