Thursday, 16 November 2017

Why you should visit Bali. Once in a lifetime.

I had been curious about Bali for many years, it was the faraway place I had pinned to my bucket list repeatedly. My heart warmed to every ideal that Bali proposed: exotic climates, tropical fruit, spirituality and wellbeing at the heart of the island.

I remember proclaiming my love for Bali to my husband in less than 24 hours of arrival, I had stepped into a picture-perfect postcard – it was serene, green and just so transparent.

Ubud – Was a hub of happiness, like Elizabeth in Eat Pray Love had discovered before me, it was healing. There was no escaping the hustle and bustle of central Ubud and its broken pavements, but a few steps away, you are a stone’s throw from beautiful rural countryside. Mile upon mile of never ending rice fields, hidden guest houses and yoga studios. Bliss.

Then there’s the ~infinity~ pool scenario. I mean don’t get me wrong an infinity pool isn’t going to be the make or break of the trip. But, if there is one place to swim in an infinity pool in your lifetime, then it sure is certain Ubud. Taking infinity pools to the next level, immersed within the rain forest. 

Beji Ubud Resort
For the adventurer, Bali is full of its own landmarks and quirks. Hiring a scooter costs less than £5 a day and the roads lead far and wide. I remember passing hundreds of little shops, cafes and places I could happily have spent months exploring.

Then there is of course the food. I knew Bali would be full of the tropics that always excite me: dragon fruit, pineapple, mango, papaya and of course fresh coconut!

Lazy Cats Cafe, Central Ubud

But, I had no idea about the foodie scene which was so diverse and electric. I mean, where else can you find traditional Balinese alongside funky Japanese inspired sushi? Bali reminded me in many ways of Thailand, but the food scene had been given a lick of paint almost. Everything was fresh and had inspiration from all over the world. No word of a lie, I was in food heaven most days.

Sol Bowl @ Seeds of Life, Ubud
There’s the raw and organic side. I had researched a lot about the health scene in Bali – as it always got recommended as a whole food kind of place. My lust for a healthier lifestyle never dwells, and what I found in both Ubud and Seminyak was just delicious. Pure, organic and wholesome. The encouraging part of this was that the cafes were booming with people – locals, gap year students and tourists descended on the cool spots to grab lunch and read a book. So, so underrated back home.

The final piece of the Bali dream for me was the spirituality. I cannot even begin to describe how I felt when I reached Pura Ulun Danu Bratan – all the feels. Something passed over me, and out of all of my landmark travels, this was the one that meant the most to me. 


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Liberty Dreamin'

I don’t know any girl growing up who wasn’t into Barbie, my group of playground pals loved her, and so did I. I brushed her perfect blonde locks, dressed her in my favourite pint-sized outfits, and played her life out for her. Basically, I grew up in the 90s, I think it was only a right of passage to idolise Barbie at some point...

Twenty-something years later in a New York gift shop on Liberty Island I found myself venturing over to the novelties when I came face to face with my childhood hero. An immaculate and empowering display of Limited Edition Liberty Barbie dolls. I couldn't help but hide the excitement, and pure joy at finding such treasure.

It was the same magnetism I felt towards many childhood character of mine, I was one hundred and ten percent infatuated with this doll. So, there was no question of doubt that Barbie was coming home across the pond with me.

Only in New York there’s a certain kind of magic that allows a grown-up woman to buy a Barbie doll.

When I was younger there was one friend of mine who would receive a Barbie doll every year without fail since birth from her parents. I fell in love with the idea, and always stored it as a sweet memory. Maybe, I might pass Liberty on as a gift one day to my little one (if she's a girl), but for now she's all mine.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Taking Maternity Leave

at 32 weeks.

The most beautiful flowers from my work colleagues.
I left work for Maternity Leave on friday at 32 weeks pregnant. This was a decision myself and my husband had reached early on in my pregnancy. Commuting two hours a day was a struggle that began early on in my first trimester. I remember waking up with morning sickness, and willing myself not to be sick the entire journey to work. It’s almost laughable now, but at the time force-feeding myself custard cream biscuits at 6 am in the morning was a challenge.

Then the latter, the final few weeks came the panic and stress of making it home without wetting myself, of course there was a traffic jam just when I needed the loo the most. Cue becoming a regular at the services.
So, leaving work is a funny one. Because, when you are in an established 42-hour routine, suddenly, I have ALL the time. But, I’m sure all expectant mothers experience this at some point leading up to giving birth.

But, how about this:

I’ve definitely got a least 10,000 travel photographs to sort and edit.

And those blog posts I always wanted to write, but never got around to.

Also, that dusty K-Mix that hasn’t been used since… forever.

Those recipe books that I once poured my heart into reading.

And of course, that camera I once took everywhere with me.

It’s a funny one. It’s not unemployment, not a summer holiday, not an endless amount of inset days… rather a completely unknown.

But, I’m ready to sit down. Soak up all the baby love that consumes me every single day. And enjoy the final 8 weeks (who knows if we might get a Christmas/New Year baby), but I know that right now, it’s time to adjust and delve back into the hobbies I once loved. 
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