I made a short video showing snippets of my two months in Bali. Giving viewers a glimpse of what it was like attending a training with the Be Woman Project, where I lived and some sites I visited. I sadly didn’t get clips from my yoga teacher training as that was very intense.
This time away was not a holiday, it was a pilgrimage. I never got the chance to take a gap year in my early 20’s. So I took the opportunity to allow myself to rediscover who I am when my life in Plymouth collapsed around me back in summer 2018….
My time in Bali began in February 2019 and was life changing, it healed and nourished my spirit and I’m really proud of myself for having the courage to lead such a magical year of self love, adventure and studies. I met such amazing women during my entire stay in Bali who have shown me such love and friendship, I’m so grateful.
This is a time in my life I will never forget and plans are being made to go back.
I want to show my wonderful partner this place and the people and I’d love to teach out there too. Perhaps as a guest teacher on a retreat or facilitate my own training?
Out of all the places in the world I have visited Bali and Cyprus remain my two favourite destinations. Cyprus is like my second home and I really resonate with the Greek Cypriot culture and yet Bali has my heart, it connects to me deeply like a mother healing my inner child.
Ubud, Bali enriched my life so much that it changed me and my outlook on life.
The last couple of months I have felt a collective purge happening. Anyone that is on their journey of “awakening” or slightly conscious of their path has had to go through, or is going through, what I believe is a huge clearing, of sorts. And for those that aren’t in alignment with their truth will be in all sorts of crazy around this time. Emotionally, mentally, physically, things are surfacing to be seen, there is no more escaping from the truth, and things are needing to shift NOW, as this new energy of 2020 comes in. If you want things to change, you don’t want to be carrying this old shit with you into this new cycle. And it’s been strong. It’s been uncomfortable and confronting. Personally, it’s meant shutting myself away and getting quiet, a lot of self-enquiry, a lot of tears, and a lot of physical pain as things shift throughout the layers of my being. Continue reading →
Cyprus holds a special place in my heart, I spent 4 summers in this beautiful country in my early 20’s and I consider it a second home. Cyprus is very dear to me because I really connect with the Greek Cypriot culture and its ancient history that fused with ancient Egypt and other countries of the Middle East. This is the island of Aphrodite, where she was born of the sea and rose from the foam in Paphos and therefore this place is symbolic of love and beauty.
I was given the opportunity to revisit Cyprus for a friend’s wedding. Having not seen this close friend for over ten years, I jumped at the chance! I figured this would be a wonderful way to celebrate the end of my travels, with being in Bali for 2 months and Australia for 3 months. Good friends opened their homes to me and I was able to stay in Cyprus for a month and relive moments from my twenties with the eyes of a woman in her early 30’s.
I spent most of the month in Larnaca and places situated nearby. In the near future I intend on going back (obviously) and visiting other towns and go on even more day excursions so that I can blog about it for you all!
Staying on the Goldcoast for my last month in Australia was pretty special and I will forever have lovely memories of my time there. Mainly because I was able to spend time with four friends that I met back in 2014 in Morocco.
It amazes me that friendships can remain strong, even when so far apart. The fact that a couple from San Franscico (Ken and Joann) happened to be in Australia the same time as me and wanting to meet up with Peace (from the Goldcoast) and Caitlin (from Yass), is pure magic. We just HAD to meet up! It would be rediculous not to, what are the odds!
During my stay in Australia, I spent a month in Coffs Harbour. Many Aussie’s laugh at me for wanting to stay in Coffs Harbour for that long, but actually I really loved being there and I was also visiting friends. For the other two months I was in Bundaberg, Brisbane and the Gold Coast which I will write about in other posts. My time in Australia wasn’t necessarily to backpack around, but more a time of rest from all the trainings I did in Bali and also to meet up with friends again. Which is why I didn’t go to many places, I do not regret this choice, I know I can go back if I want to for a trip that is more adventurous in the future.
This is a lovely sleepy seaside town with pockets of bohemia within its local communities. Situated between the ocean and national parks that make you feel like you are in New Zealand, this place is actually really lovely. I stayed with a good friend who lived a five minute walk from the beach and a two minute walk to a river with woodland footpath. I was in Coffs for May 2019 which was during the end of Australia’s Autumn season. The nights and early mornings were slightly cold but during the day, most days were bright and sunny with warm temperatures, so much so that its common practice for Aussies to walk into their local super markets totally barefoot. I felt like I was in heaven as I really don’t like wearing shoes.
For the majority of travellers though I will suggest thinking of Coffs Harbour as a base to visit nearby areas, as really there isn’t much to do here, even though the drive to Coffs is pretty. It’s a very quiet town. The locals here don’t have many prospects or opportunities either. Some people are starting up bohemian and alternative buisnesses, this includes yoga related retreats and workshops. But it is slow, and many people who were born here, never leave. So it has this forgotten town vibe to it. That being said, it is a safe place to visit and if you are passing through, I do highly recommend spending a day here. There is enough to see for about a day or two. Continue reading →
Canggu, is a city in Bali known for its nightlife, beaches, the surf and resorts. Ubud is pretty much boho central, Canggu is more for the party animals, most of the tourists are Australians on their annual holiday. Although during the day there are plentiful yoga studios, Vegan cafes and holistic centres and this is where I did my yoga teacher training. This was not my favourite place although it was wonderful having sea and sand on my doorstep.
However if you want laid-back tropical escape, Canggu is the place to be. During the day it has a boho vibe, café culture, and surfer style, and by night it has very stylish clubs near the seafront to dance the night away. Located twenty minutes north of Seminyak, Canggu spans from just north of Seminyak to south of Tanah Lot. Canggu is one of the most up-and-coming areas and features an eight-kilometer-long beach and sweeping rice fields.
Bali as a whole is a very safe country to visit, even solo travellers feel super safe here. Whilst there is crime, it is very minimal and you are more likely to get attacked in London than you are in Bali.
There is less Balinese culture in Canggu though, there are more tourists in Canggu than Ubud and it feels more like Ibiza or Ayia Napa (Cyprus). So if you want to be drenched in tropical jungles, surrounded by beautiful Balinese people, temples, monkeys and flower offerings then Ubud is better suited to you. Continue reading →
Ubud, Bali which is a well known Indonesian island. Famous for its yoga, holistic and vegan retreats and centers world wide. It is a haven for yogis and spiritual seekers.
At 34, I consider myself reasonably well travelled, I believe I have visited over 20 countries, lived in a few and backpacked around 6 destinations. So I am not being biased when I say this: Ubud, Bali has to be one of my favourite places to visit and not only that, it felt like home and I plan to go back.
Ubud stole my heart, and I am planning to go back sometime in February to mentor on a teacher training and reconnect with friends. Everywhere you turn there is beauty all around and this beauty is considered sacred by the locals. Every step you take there is a woman giving offering in her Kabiya with flowers adorning a statue, the front of the house, waterfall or family temple.
My best friend Nic and I ventured to Padiham for a mini break together. We hadn’t seen each other since Bali in February. Our time together was short, we only had 3 days and 2 nights but we crammed so much into what time we had, that it felt special and meaningful. Every night we were going to sleep at 3am in the morning because we had so much to discuss and on the last night we gave each other a healing session, Nic gave me an Ayurvedic massage and I gave her a Reiki treatment. Both of us brought crystals, our altars, our oracle cards, essential oils and our current favourite witchy books.
This is Emerald beach and it will hold a special place in my heart for many reasons. When I was 15 years old I dreamed I walked on a beach exactly like this one and on the rocks stood a Hindu woman wearing an orange and red sari. This dream was so vivid, it was as if I was there and it left a lasting impression on me, that I even created an entire art installation for my Fine Art degree in my mid 20’s, in honour of that dream and of that woman for it really cemented my spiritual practice. I believe in dreams, destiny, synchronicity and every day magic.
Finding accomodation in Ubud, Bali can be both easy and have its challenges too. It all depends on your budget, if you have no problem renting out a luxurious villa for yourself or group then you will see a variety of places to choose from and this is because Bali has sky rocketed to fame due to Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat. Pray. Love” so this means prices have shot up too. Bali is still cheap in comparrison to Western standards however a lot of Western business owners living in Bali expect tourists to pay Western prices. Most budget travellers will struggle to find something lovely that isn’t a hostel and isn’t close to Ubud town centre. My advice would be to find accomodation owned by locals, prices will be reasonable and you are supporting a Balinese family who will most likely love and care for you much more than the Western businessman who is only after making a profit.
After many hours researching, I found the perfect place- Gerebig Bungalows! The price is reasonable, its architecture is based on traditional Balinese huts, breakfast can be included in the price if you wish and that includes an array of fruits, pancakes, cooked spinach, egg with toast and so on. Scooters are available to hire, airport transfers can be booked and the managers can also assist you in planning day excursions.
Since last summer of 2018, I was already planning my trip to Bali to do two trainings that were pretty much back to back. The first one was another women’s circle training with the Be Woman Project and the second was to finally do my yoga teacher training. The reason I wanted to do another women’s circle training with my teacher Sharada is because even though the first training I did with her in Ibiza was life changing, I felt I needed to deepen my knowledge a little bit more. Since it was on a work exchange contract I spent some of my time needing to help assist in the training whereever help was needed, whether that was in the kitchen, making social media content or tidying up the altars. I felt that if I was going to go on to lead my own women’s gatherings, I need to really consentrate and be fully in the moment.
Finding out my teacher is running a women’s circle training in Bali got me thinking to do my yoga teacher training there as well so I kill two birds with one stone and enable myself to live in another country to really intergrate with the culture and feel settled. But that’s another story for another blog post….
My best friend Nicola has done so much for me over the years and although she has never asked for anything in return, I have always felt guilty for being unable to give back. I’ve always wanted to be there for her the way she has been there for me. Since, as a musician she performs and organizes a women’s performance night once a month called “We Want Women”, I felt she’d truly enjoy and deserve a spot on the women’s circle training happening in Bali and it would be a fantastic opportunity to have a best friend holiday since we’ve never been able to do anything like that together.