1/ Sunset on the beach in Seminyak 2,7,8,9,10,13/ Infinity pool at Ayana 3,5/ Birthday drinks for my mum at Rock Bar 4/ View from Ayana (wearing Asos top and shorts) 6/ First sunset at Ayana 11/ Fresh fruit breakfast 12/ Kubu beach 14,15/ Ayana 16/ Breakfast at Sahana Villa (Asos jumpsuit, market clutch) 17/ Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng for lunch! 18/ Supermuse by the pool 19/ Samudra horizons 20,21/ Sunset from the W Hotel 22/ Indonesian breakfast! 23,24,25,26,27/ Sahana Villa pool (Asos bikini, Karen Walker sunglasses, Samudra clutch, Giant Swan) 28/ Wise words along busy Seminyak streets 29/ Sunset from Potato Head’s pool 30/ Cocktails and lunch at Cafe Bali for my sister’s birthday 31/ Bliss 32/ Streets of Seminyak 33,34/ With the beautiful staff at Sahana Villa 35/ Sunset from W with my baby brother 36,37/ With my sister (wearing Asos top, Lover shorts, See by Chloe sandals) 38,39/ Sunset drinks at W Hotel’s Woo Bar 40,41,42/ Dinner at Sardine amongst rice paddies (wearing Asos dress and sandals) 43/ Perfect dinner setting for…one? 44/ Flying in to Sydney 45/ Sydney airport (wearing Lover jumpsuit, See by Chloe sandals, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag)
I flew to Bali just one day after arriving home from Germany, and my mind was left somewhere up in the air along the way. It was displaced by a bad experience with Virgin Australia and Etihad triple debiting mine and my partners account, (which even now a month later hasn’t been reimbursed) left us both broke.
As my luck/absent mind would have it, I somehow was distracted by a Balinese taxi driver yelling at me while I was finishing using an ATM. He wouldn’t stop hassling my brother and I so after I took my money, I turned around and asked him to stop. I’m not sure how it happened, but somewhere during the distraction and verbal abuse my bank card disappeared without me knowing. Later that evening I found someone had used it for over 15 transactions, completely draining my account of over $2,500.
After having Etihad wrongly triple debit, and this money stolen with my account there is absolutely no way I would have been okay if my family wasn’t there. Someone said that they couldn’t believe how much bad luck (3 items/money stolen in 2 years) but for how often, far and solo I travel I am actually thankful and surprised it hasn’t happened more, or god forbid something worse. Travelling is always a gamble and with the highest of highs of seeing the world, some bad experiences happen along the way. I couldn’t stress more how important it is to have good travel insurance. I’m not writing this to whinge at all but my readers need to know that as with life, travelling isn’t always as wonderful as it looks in filtered snapshots. I have my fingers and toes crossed that my bank will get my stolen money back, but dealing with Etihad and Virgin Australia has been disgustingly impossible.
Bali was a conjoined celebration of my mum’s, sisters and brothers birthdays, and also our first family holiday together in over 12 years. It was amazing to be able to spend time the rare time together but I do wish my mind wasn’t elsewhere trying to beg for any money back. My original plan of seeing Gili Islands and Ubud was rain checked for a hopeful next time, but every single day was still serene to see the sunset on fire with a cocktail in hand.
My Bali recommendations from this trip-
Ayana Resort and Spa- My family and I stayed for only 2 nights as mum’s birthday treat as it is (what I consider) extremely expensive. I absolutely recommend it for weddings or honeymoons, as the grounds, cliff top views and staff are completely out of this world. Our favourite thing about Ayana is of course the Rock Bar built in to the side of the cliff, whom saves their best seats for hotel guests.
Villa Bukit- A brand new villa on the island of Nusa Lemongan that we made a last minute, and only one night dash to. We all wished we could stay longer in this enormous and beautiful villa nestled amongst the trees on the mountain. The staff organised our snorkelling boat trip, and showed us around the island on motorbikes. It was our favourite time in Bali, and felt so removed from the craziness of Seminyak.
Sahana Villa- This was definitely my favourite villa, with three separated large rooms conjoined by a huge open living space and kitchen. As soon as we entered the villa each time we would completely forget the busy streets of Seminyak were just a hundred metres away. I personally adored the beautiful staff, and spent a lot of time talking with them while they spoiled us with incredible Indonesian recipes.
(I personally loved eating Indonesian dishes prepared where we were staying, but also went exploring a few places that were recommended to me;)
Sardine - Set among the rice paddies but only five minutes drive out of Seminyak, this feels like you’ve somehow been transported to Ubud for the evening. Every single member of my family also voted it the best food we had in Bali.
Motel Mexicola - A fun and quirky Mexican restaurant, very suitable for young adults to have a relatively cheap but delicious meal and cocktails/tequila shots before going out.
Cafe Bali - I loved Cafe Bali thanks to its incredible pumpkin gnocchi and cocktails. I was surprised at just how cheap it is for great food and atmosphere compared to everywhere else surrounding. And the menu is huge!
Sarong – This restaurant is recommended very highly of but isn’t for me. I am obsessed with their entree of chicken with chilli, wrapped in beetle leaf but I think the vibe and prices are aimed at more mature adults than I.