The conundrum of the eat-pray-lovers

Staring at posters

There are people here who pray as they eat. Palms upturned beatifically, and beaming orgasmically with every bite. These people aren’t Balinese but a different breed of Ubudian — the spiritual seekers, here to find themselves in what has become a magnet for the esoteric.

You see these people in the bounty of health food restaurants that scatter the town — Alchemy, Kafe, Clear — poised crossed legged before their superfood-laden plate. Perhaps there’s a crystal around their neck, a yoga mat beside them, and The Power of Now in hand.

I find it hard not to scoff. Read more

Posted on July 16, 2013 by Victoria in Bali, Destinations, Don't knock it til you've tried it, Thoughts 24 Comments

A rare review: Mas Can Batlle

Mas Can Battle lounge

We don’t often write whole posts dedicated to a place we’ve stayed, but sometimes a rare find pops up that is so darn wonderful (and photogenic), it has to be shared, and Mas Can Batlle in Santa Pau, Catalonia was one of them. It’s the product of a young couple’s dream and for that reason it was something we could relate to. For the past nine years, Albert and Cristina have been transforming what was an abandoned farmhouse into a designer guesthouse that skillfully retains the charming character of the building’s history. Best of all, neither of the couple have any formal training in architecture or design, but what they’ve produced is worthy of designer accolades, and is testament to their vision, dedication and stunning attention to detail. We went there for the night prior to our hot air balloon flight, and it was truly is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever stayed. Here are the photos to prove it.  Read more

Posted on July 11, 2013 by Victoria in Destinations, Spain 20 Comments

Attack! An involuntary invasion…

House near Monkey Forest, Ubud

It looked so idyllic…

“Why didn’t I like this house? It’s beautiful”

“You said it felt like the type of place horror movies took place. I wasn’t going to argue with that.”

“Ah, I was probably just tired. Let’s take it.”

Those words were said the day before. Now, 15 minutes after moving in, we’re sitting in the upstairs bedroom, glass doors tightly shut, plotting our escape. Read more

Posted on July 9, 2013 by Victoria in Bali, Destinations, Thoughts 35 Comments

Who are you, wonderful reader?! Tell us to win a 15 pounds Amazon voucher

Victoria and Steve face off

Us fighting over whether or not Steve is eligible to enter the contest (he’s not)

So, as the title clearly states, we are bribing you. And it’s wonderful because who doesn’t want a £15 ($22) Amazon voucher? You could even buy a real CD with that, or fifteen 99p e-books, or perhaps a small unicorn.

Read more

Posted on July 1, 2013 by Victoria in Travel tips 7 Comments

On healing, guilt and self-discovery – part two

Mum and I on the beach

A continuation of last week’s post, On healing, guilt and self-discovery – part one

It’s a guilt that comes from the knowledge that what I am doing is a luxury. I’m confused and I fret about what I should do next, but the very fact I can ask that question is a wild privilege that I struggle to accept gracefully. It’s partly a matter of cultural privilege, but a personal one also. I can afford to sustain my current life because I bought a house with my parents’ inheritance and am able to live partly off the income. It isn’t a long-term solution. I don’t want to rely on that money and I work hard to earn my own, but I also have to work hard to allow myself to make the most of the opportunity that has been bequeathed. Read more

Posted on June 25, 2013 by Victoria in Thoughts 23 Comments

On healing, guilt and self-discovery

Victoria in Tuscany

There’s nothing like a trip home for a case of the ‘Who am I’s'…

I approached it with trepidation, and was left with a sinking mix of guilt, confusion and unease.

Trips of old had taught me that a return to the UK was always a disorientating experience— new lessons and growth struggling to stay afloat and mesh with habits of old.

This time held different challenges. Whereas in the past, I have always travelled with something to come back to — the start of uni, a new term or a new job — this return was merely a stopover on an unconventional journey with no apparent destination. Read more

Posted on June 18, 2013 by Victoria in Thoughts 22 Comments