Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


I’ve never seen so many sunrises as I have in this country.  I used to stay up partying in Kuta until 5am, now I wake at the time because my jetlagged babies are raring to go at dawn. It’s fair to say traveling with our 2.5yr and 7 month girls has been a beautiful yet exhausting week so far.

7 years ago fell in love with Ubud after a daytrip here. I’ve always hankered to come back to do a silversmith workshop, check out vegan cafes, browse for Balinese cushions, be almost be convinced I don’t hate yoga….

Obviously this is all still on the wish list as my babies allowed me to do non of this.

Instead we experienced travel from a toddlers agenda; lots of time in the pool and eating our own weight in tropical fruit. They have life sussed. Every other picture in my camera roll is us posing with coconut juice or smoothies. We also discovered the joy of acai bowls, which we ate Udud style in a plush cushioned swing.

My top tips for Ubud with kids under two…..

1) Avoid the famous monkey forest, and 1/2 km radius of monkey forest Rd. Wild monkey vs wild toddler….i’m not sure who my money would be on.

2) Scooter traffic and South East Asian pavements (or lack of.) Negotiating the manic roads with my two little ones scared the s#!t out of me. The only time we actually got to use our double pram was for our 5am walks to the local fruit market when the streets were less crowded. During the daytime our baby hiking carriers were a travel essential. It felt much safer and more nimble negotiating the narrow streets. Plus they slept happily cocooned on us as we browsed the busy flee markets and snuck in cheeky Bintangs.

3) Discover all of the tiny ramshackle warongs and the more quiet places to grab an evening meal where kids will be welcomed with open arms. Literally, a team of nice Indonesian women were happy to grab our baby from my lap and entertain her in a rice field whilst I ate. You know what they say; It takes a village.

 

4) I’m going to pretend I loved adopting a “if you can’t beat them join” attitude of being woken by babies louder than roosters for a three hour walk before breakfast. We experiencing the beauty of silent rice fields at sunrise, the traditionalists of the fruit market, and saw Ubud from a rarer perceptive….Who am I kidding, I value sleep! Although one of the nicest benefits of such an early start was being in bed by 7pm which i secretly loved. What a difference 7 years makes :)

Where we ate….
http://theseedsoflifecafe.com/

http://cafepomegranate.org/

https://acaiqueenbar.com/welcome

Where we stayed….

http://bucuviewubudbali.com/

 

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Farewell St Kilda. Hello Eltham.

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In two years I’ve moved from the the bright city lights of Singapore, to beach-side boho St Kilda, and now to a new family home in leafy suburb of Eltham, Victoria. Change is good! Here are 5 things I’m looking forward to in our new Australia neighborhood;

1) Having an open log fire

2) Being barefoot in the grass in our own garden

3) St Andrew’s bohemian local hippy market

4) Living across the road from Edendale community farm

5) Starting a veggie patch.

 

 

 

 

Travel with an 8 month old baby…

One of my favorite pictures. 8 months old, 30 degree heat, first holiday and she's happily asleep on a loud, choppy speedboat traveling to the islands from Belize city...

One of my favorite pictures. Our 8 month old daughter fast asleep on the back of a loud, choppy speedboat traveling to the islands from Belize city.

‘You’re traveling to Central America and Asia with an 8 month old?’ ‘You’re traveling by bus overland across the Mexico Chetumal border?’ ‘You’re taking a baby away for 6 weeks?’ were all questions people asked even more than ‘You’re eloping in Belize?!’

To anyone that knows us (my visit list is up to 65 countries now, hubby’s 35) the answer was ‘of course we are – our 8 month old will love it!’ And she did.

Our route was AustraliaLA – Belize – Mexico – UK – Singapore – Australia. 45 days, 8 different beds in 5 countries, 52 hours of flights, hundreds of new faces and experiences.

I’ve honestly never seen her more curious, more happy, or more adaptable. What surprised me the most is how natural it comes to them. She got more sleep on our long haul flights & dealt with jet-lag quicker than both of us! Watching her dip her toes in the Caribbean, charm Singaporean strangers on the MRT and scoff Mexican tacos till her heart is content was utterly worth it.

We found 6 weeks away with a baby a crazy, exhausting adventure, but most of all a huge bonding experience. Our daughter relished having both mum & dad (and grandparents) around her, as well as the overwhelming kindness of doting strangers. Everyone loves a baby. I’d of had one long ago if I knew how useful they are for nabbing the best seats on buses and cutting boat queues :)

There’s so much written about the negatives of travel with children, about baby routines, about jet-lag adjustment schedules etc. People often stress about whether such young babies will miss home or feel secure.

Before we left a friend gave me the following advice, which I absolutely love (in the context of travel and just motherhood in general); “You are their home. You are their safe place. Make all the lists you want of tips, advice, things to pack. All they really need is you. “

Beautiful. Simple. True.

 

Pic of the week; Singapore Stopover

A short and sweet 5 days in my favorite to show our baby where mum and dad first met 2 years ago. Well, that and to break up the marathon Australia flight in Asia and take the edge off the jetlag. And to show off the baby with our remaining friends over a boozy brunch at Cafe Melba. AND because we love a (third!) round the world trip…Ok, any excuse to revisit this city :)

Our Belizean Wedding…

20151228_191726.jpgIf we had a dollar for every friend and family member that asked ‘Why Belize?’ we’d be a very rich couple. Our wedding – or more of an elopement really – was low key, no shoes, no fuss, completely unique and absolutely perfect for us.

The answer is; because it’s slightly off the radar, it’s hard to get to, it’s legally straightforward (for an English / Australian couple) and home to one of the best scuba diving sites in the world at The Blue Hole.

Our venue; Xanadu Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, was a rare combination of luxury and ramshackle. It was beachfront and rustic, with flawless customer service. Plus, we will forever enjoy singing the Olivia Newton John classic hit every time we fondly think of it.

Highlights included screaming with laughter as we jumped from the Xanadu pier into the warm Caribbean at sunset (i’m a less than $100 dress kind of gal.) Our wedding brunch was local jerk chicken from Robin’s roadside hut, and dinner featured rum chocolate cake & cerviche from the candle lit Hidden Treasures restaurant. We discovered it down a back alley the day before when they let us shelter from a thunderstorm. We successfully and gracefully perfected the art of releasing Chinese lanterns after many a glass of champagne. Finally our wedding photographer Efrain was all sorts of awesome in indulging my requests for NatGeo style travel shots in our location shoots in downtown Belize City and Mayan temple Altun Ha. I just couldn’t resist a cheeky homage to travel Instagrammer #followmeto.

 

 

 

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Previous Older Entries

An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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