Seminyak | My Travel Adventures Part 3 & Saying Farewell to Bali

Those of you who follow me on social media will know that we left Bali on Monday and made our way to Australia for the second leg of our trip.

After a relaxed first week in Ubud and a very funny trip to Gili T in the middle, our last week in Bali was spent in Seminyak at the incredibly beautiful, Legian Hotel.


The Legian is one of those hotels that when you walk into, you never want to leave. From cold towels to welcome drinks, insence burning outside our door, and an upgrade to an amazing suite and free champagne, our trip here was pure luxury and relaxation from beginning to end.

We did have plans to keep exploring Bali while in Seminyak, but apart from a few trips out to the locals shops and a wander around the streets, we didn’t do a whole lot and that was perfect! We knew we had a busy month ahead travelling around Oz so we decided to make the most of chilling out in the gorgeous hotel surrounds while we could.

The hotel faces out on to the beach giving you the most gorgeous view as you lay on your sun lounger soaking up the rays. They offer free afternoon tea everyday from 3.30pm, and there is full pool service if you want to enjoy a cocktail or two throughout the day too.

Many evenings we would lie on our sun lounger in pure relaxation to take in the stunning sunset views and watch the sun going down over Kuta beach. The sunsets here are some of the best I have ever seen, truly beautiful.

One amazing thing the hotel does is protect local wildlife, in particular baby turtle eggs laid in the sand in front of the hotel. They are at risk from being killed by the many tourists wandering the beach, or from other pray who kill them. So the hotel protect and nurture them until they are hatched and old enough to go back into the sea.

During our stay, eighty baby turtles were being put back into the ocean and we were invited to take part in the whole thing. We were, one at a time, given a bowl of water with a baby turtle in it and allowed to gently let it go on the beach where it made its way into the water safely.

It was such an incredible experience to be part of and by far, is one of the coolest things I have ever done!


This hotel was just perfect from start to finish, we have stayed in some gorgeous hotels before but this one might just be the best of them all. It made our stay in Seminyak absolutely amazing and we would definitely go back if the opportunity ever came up again.

Kuta beach, the area where our hotel was situated, can get very busy with tourists, and the whole area of Seminyak is a bustling tourist hub. Hundreds of shops, restaurants and bars line the streets – it is much more built up than Ubud and doesn’t have as much culture on its doorstep the same way Ubud does. Therefore it may not be to everyone’s taste.

However, there are lots of tours you can book with your hotel or local tour companies to temples nearby, and they also do day trips to Ubud and other areas of Bali if you want to base yourself in Seminyak and explore from there.

We loved our stay in Bali from beginning to end so if it’s on your travel bucket list then I would say to you, don’t hesitate anymore, this beautiful place is definitely worth a visit. It really has something for everybody.

Sorcha x

Scandal Eyes with Rimmel

Before I came away, the lovely people in Rimmel London sent me some of their Scandal Eyes products to try out. As I was busy packing for my trip, the products couldn’t have arrived at a better time so I added them to my holiday makeup, excited to try them out while in Bali.

I have a funny relationship with Rimmel, I absolutely love some of their products like the Kate Moss Nude Lipsticks collection, their brow pencil but I haven’t got on too well with some of their mascaras in the past, that was until I tried out this Scandal Eyes Reloaded mascara.

It is very similar in packaging to L’Oreal’s  Miss Hippie mascara which I love, so when I first started using it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this too.

The bristles are very soft, and though the brush head is quite large and thick, flexibility allows for a very even application. The formula is not too wet so is very buildable, you do need a few coats to get good volume, but layering doesn’t seem to be a problem. 

I’ve been wearing this almost every day of my ten days so far in Bali, and it has managed to withstand 32 degree heat and 90% humidity every time I wear it. My lashes look full and thick, and I’m loving how they last so well in the sun.

At the bargain price of €9.99 I think this definitely is a winner from Rimmel.

The next product they sent me to try was their Scandal Eyes Precision Micro Eyeliner pen. Now, I know not everybody is a fan of felt-tip eyeliner pens but I love them. My all time favourite in life is MAC’s Penultimate Eyeliner pen and this offering from Rimmel really holds its own against it.


The pen nib is quite long with a very fine point at the end meaning feline flicks are so easy to achieve! I did find that the forumula was a bit watery at first, but in fairness I think that was more down to the heat than the formulation itself.

After a few coats the pen was still wet which is a major bonus as a lot of pen style eyeliners tend to dry up very quickly. 

I don’t know that I love this as much as the mascara, you have to keep your eyes closed for a minute or two after application as it smudges quite easily if not left to dry. But at €7.49 it’s a good budget buy for an on-the-go liner.

Have you tried either of these? If so then let me know your thoughts.

Sorcha x

Gili Trawangan | My Travel Adventures Part 2

After our five days in Ubud, we left the luscious, mountainous countryside and headed for some island living over on the Gili Islands in Lombok. We were ready for some beach time and chilling out on an island paradise.

There are three Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Labak and Gili Air, all of which are located off the coast of Lombok and about an hour and a half away from Bali’s Padang Bai harbour by fast boat.

When deciding on which Gili Island to visit, we opted for Gili T because it has a reputation of being a fun island and houses some of the nicer hotel accommodation of all the Gili’s.

We were collected early from our hotel in Ubud by our fast boat company, Blue Water Express, and I really couldn’t recommend them enough. From our transfer from Ubud to Padang Bai, on to Gili T, then back again and our transfer from Padang Bai to our hotel in Seminyak, the whole process was seamless, comfortable and enjoyable. The staff were very friendly and professional, and made everything so easy for us. All we had to do was show up!

Anyway, we arrived on Gili T around 13.30pm in the afternoon, giving us plenty of time to explore the island throughout the day. We only had one night on Gili so we wanted to be sure we had time to enjoy it.

When you first step off the boat on to the beach you are greeted by a big colourful Gili Trawangan sign with lots of people drinking, hanging out and watching the world go by. Waiting for you to come off the beach are swarms of locals who immediately start haggling prices with you for a lift to your hotel in the only used form of transport on the island, a horse and cart. It is both charming and crazy all at the same time.

We agreed a price then hopped on board our cart and began the short journey to our hotel, Aston Sunset Beach. 

The horse and cart ride was one of those experiences where you kind of pinch yourself to see if it’s really happening. The horse carts are decorated in the brightest, colourful silks and Pom Pom’s, and our driver was super friendly and chatty. As soon as he found out we were Irish, he spent the next ten minutes saying ‘What’s the craic?!‘, delighted with himself that he could greet us in our own ‘language’! I taught him a few actual Irish words like Slainté, and told him any Irish person would know what it means. His enthusiasm was infectious and he kept us laughing the whole way to our hotel.

When we arrived at our hotel we checked in and were brought to our room. Just as we had begun to settle into the relaxed island life, we were quickly shaken back into reality. Oh, dear, god! 

The room was dark, dirty, and worst of all the burgundy colored sheets had very questionable stains all over them. Certainly a step down from our Ubud mountain oasis. We decided to forget about it, and head out to the pool for a swim and a cocktail. Again, oh, dear, god!

The pool was filthy, and after a quick dip we had to abandon ship for fear of what we were swimming in. At this point, we just started laughing because what else could we do other than make the most of it. At least the cocktails were good. There and then we decided the only thing for us to do now was get drunk and enjoy it!

We made our way down the beach to the Ombak Sunset Hotel and the famous swing in the sea. I have been dreaming of sitting in that swing in the sea for many, many years now and if I’m honest, is probably the only real reason I wanted to visit Gili T. But the minute I saw them everything else washed away and I was just bursting with excitement.


I made my way out to the swing as the sun was starting to go down, and got some amazing photos. I also somehow managed to convince Dave to swing on the double swing with me, and a lovely German girl took photos for us. While Dave wasn’t that enamoured by it all, I was in my element and it was definitely a highlight moment that I won’t forget.


Following our swing, we found ourselves a cosy spot on the beach where we sat on beanbags, ordered more cocktails and just as we were about to settle, realized there was a wedding about to take place right beside us and we had a front row view. So now we had the beach, sunset, cocktails and a wedding – a full night’s entertainment, what more could you want?!


From the bride walking down the flowery isle, to their personalised vows, drinks reception, group photos, dinner and later the speeches, we got to be part of it all and it certainly made for a memorable evening on Gili T. Kim and Steve, if by some weird coincidence you ever happen to read this, thanks for letting us crash your wedding! Oh and Kim, your vows were hilarious!

I wish I had some cultural wonders to share with you all about the island, but our culture that day and night was alcohol. The beach and the alcohol saved us, and if I’m honest there’s not much else to do there.

When we did finally return to our hotel room, no amount of alcohol could help us stomach the thought of sleeping in the multi-stained bed and so we upgraded our room to the highest level available and managed to get a few short hours of sleep.

After a quick stroll and bite to eat the following morning, it was time to say goodbye to island life and make our way back to Bali. 

So should you visit Gili T? Definitely if you’re not fussed about accommodation and want to party the night away. There are also a few nice boutiques and some hotels have spas, they are pretty basic but what you would expect from an island I suppose.

The other Gili islands are apparently much more chilled out so they may be your best bet if looking for a quieter island escape. But be warned, the accommodation is 3-4 star at very best. I think even saying 4 star is a push to be honest.

All in all, we had a great time on Gili T, mostly because it gave us a lot to laugh about, and many funny (and weird) stories to take home with us.

Sure what is travelling for if not to make memories and tell stories?!

Sorcha x

Ubud, Bali | My Travel Adventures Part 1

Well, today marks one week since we jumped on that Emirates plane and began our two month trip around the world. As many of you know by now, Dave and I got married last December and decided that our first year of marriage would be spent having a ‘Year of the Holiday’, and basically just one big honeymoon.

We have been to some incredible places already this year, but really we have been gearing up for the main event, a two month trip taking in Bali, Australia and Thailand.

Our first stop was the beautiful cultural town, or more specifically district, of Ubud in Bali. Apart from my Eat, Pray, Love notions about what Ubud would be like, and some stories from friends who have been here before, I really didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t long before I fell for its charm.



Ubud is rough and ready in many ways, but to me, that’s what makes it so beautiful. Luscious, vast green fields, paired with palm trees sprawled along road sides, make it every inch the tropical countryside you imagine it to be. It is beautiful; it is warm (in both senses of the word); it is friendly; it is spiritual.

We arrived late last Friday night to our hotel, Uma by Como Ubud, a paradise hideaway in the middle of what can only be described as the mountains. Again, luscious greenery accompanied by the sounds of many birds and insects, made us feel very much part of the tropical surrounds.


Our hotel was the perfect place for a bit of rest and relaxation, but close enough to the town so we could explore as we wanted.

I could talk for days about all the things we did, and probably bore you half to death, so instead I will share my highlights with you all:

Yoga

Every morning our hotel ran a free yoga class from 7.30-8.30am to start the day off in a calm, spiritual way. Overlooking the hills surrounding the hotel, it is easy to feel at peace and settle your mind for the day ahead.

Unfortunately I didn’t get quite as much yoga in as I would have liked, but we only had five days here and had a lot to pack in. I would say however, if you’re looking for a yoga and meditation retreat style holiday, then Ubud is the place for you.

Hindu is the main religion, but Buddhism is also widely practiced as well as varying forms of meditation.

Rice Paddies

The rice paddies are something that really have to be seen to be appreciated. Yes, I had seen many pictures of them before I left for our trip, but nothing quite prepares you for their expanse.

We visited Tegallang rice terrace, which like all rice terraces, is made using a unique Balinese irrigation system, and produces four different kinds of rice.

The layers of terraces are so perfectly landscaped, you can only imagine the time and effort that went into creating them, but apart from being obviously practical, they are incredibly beautiful to look at too.

A really popular thing to do is hire bicycles and cycle through the paddie fields, and I think it would be a great way of seeing them up close. However, if like us you’re short on time then don’t worry because a quick walk through will give you just as great an experience.

Casa Luna

Casa Luna is a restaurant located in the centre of Ubud town, and was recommended to us by my Sister who had been before. 

If you read some of my earlier travel posts, you’ll know that one thing I was very much looking forward to trying out in Bali was some local Jamu. For those of you who don’t know, Jamu is a type of herbal medicine that is believed to have healing properties for both mind and body. It comes in many forms, but one form it comes in is in a healthy juice.

As soon as I saw it on the menu in Casa Luna I knew I had to try so I ordered it, not quite knowing what to expect. I was told their Jamu was a combination of Tumeric, Lime and Honey, full of antioxidants and apparently good for fighting cancer and healing the liver. 

So being the good sport that I am I took a big gulp, and tried not to wince as I swallowed. The flavour was let’s say, unique, and I only managed to consume half the glass before I had to give up.
I convinced myself that half was still good enough though and was happy with my Jamu experience. I don’t think I’ll be having it again though! Lime and honey absolutely, but the amount of Tumeric was just a little much for me. Ah well,  when in Rome as the saying goes… 

Ubud Market

I’m not a big one for markets, especially in 33 degree heat, but the Ubud market is famous for both its products and haggling so I couldn’t wait to pay a visit and see what it was like. And it didn’t disappoint.

It was everything you imagine a bustling market to be; busy, overcrowded, and loud, but at the same time had a calmness about it in a way that I find hard to describe. Like everything in Bali, it somehow manages to be peaceful and crazy at the same time. 


As we wandered through the streets admiring everything from bright silk scarves to beaded necklaces and copious amounts of incense, we soaked it all up and enjoyed haggling with locals as we did some shopping.

It’s not a huge market so you wouldn’t need more than a few hours to cover it all, and is definitely worth a stop during any trip to Ubud.

Elephant Cave

I didn’t know what to expect when visiting the Elephant Cave (Goa Gojah), a Hindu Temple dating back to the 11th century. Goa Gojah is essentially a holy place where locals and tourists alike come to give offerings to the Gods and practice spiritual meditation.


The temple has many stone statues of Buddhas and Gods, which all surround the actual Elephant Cave. The cave itself has a scary looking face at the entrance and is said to be an Elephant’s face based on the face of Ganesh, a Hindu lord worshipped by all who visit.


The temple is quite a peaceful and extraordinary place to visit, though bustling with tourists and locals alike, it has managed to keep a calm and still atmosphere, and the burning smell of incense makes you feel like you are in a different place and time. 

I asked our tour guide if locals get annoyed with all the tourists visiting holy places such as these, but his immediate response was that Hinduism is for everyone, Ganesh is for everyone, Sing Ken Ken! (meaning, no worries!).

And that for me, just sums up Ubud right there. It’s the people that makes it so special. They are happy, they are always smiling, they are friendly, they are chatty; quite simply, they are as charming as the town they live in.

It is a special kind of a place. I remember when I went to India for the first time, I was young and had never been anywhere like it before, the initial culture shock took some getting used to. But by the time I was leaving, I had become accustomed to the local way of living and didn’t want to leave. That is how I feel about Ubud.

I can see why so many people pack up and move here to lead a yoga and meditation filled spiritual life, it certainly is peaceful. 

But that’s not for everyone and although sad to say goodbye to Ubud, I’m now excited for the next stop on our adventure.

Sorcha x

Hello from Bali

Well, after twenty five hours of flying and travelling, last night we finally arrived in gorgeous Bali. It was unfortunately late in the night when we arrived so we didn’t get to take in any of the beautiful surroundings, but got our first taste of Ubud beauty this morning.


As we are still struggling with jet lag, today we decided to enjoy our hotel, lay by the pool, snooze and generally just have a lot of relaxation. And it has been glorious!

We are staying in Ubud for four nights in the gorgeous Uma by Como Ubud hotel, and so far we are loving every second of it. The people are amazingly friendly, and the hotel surroundings are just stunning.

A lot of my blog posts while I’m away will be micro posts, given that I won’t be able to write full posts daily. I do however promised to share one full post at least once a week. 

Now we’re off to get dinner and have a cocktail or two so I shall be back with more posts soon!

Sorcha x

So Long, Farewell

I can’t believe the day has arrived, the day when Dave and I jump on a plane to the other side of the world and embark on our two month travelling adventure. Some of you may already be sick of me talking about it, some of you may only be coming across my travel posts for the first time; either way, I hope that you’ll come along with me for the ride.

A pipe dream that we never really thought would come true is today becoming reality. We are throwing caution to the wind, letting go of all adult-ing responsibility, and heading off for an awfully big adventure.

We start in Bali where we will spend two weeks touring around soaking up cultural delights, visiting temples, doing some yoga and lying by the beach. Then, we make our way to Australia where we will spend a month driving down the east coast, taking in all the breathtaking wonders that the Great Barrier Reef and other islands have to offer. Finally, we leave Australia and head to Thailand for one last hurrah, where we plan on doing some shopping, diving and lots of boat trips, not to mention a little sunbathing.

Needless to say we are brimming over with excitement, a little bit of nerves and anxiousness, but mostly excitement. It’s going to be one hell of a trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait to share each step of it with you all.

For now, I’ll say goodbye, only to see you all on the other side… the Bali side!

Sorcha x

Holiday Prep | My Travel Essentials

Now that our big trip is just a few days away, I’ve been busy shopping for, and packing, all the things I’m going to need. For those of you who may have missed my previous travel posts, this Thursday, my hubby and I are off on a big two month travel adventure so there has been a lot of list writing and much to organise.

For me, it’s not the easiest thing to pack for holidays at the best of times, so packing for two months away has definitely been a challenge. I always pack far too much, I think of every possible scenario that may or may not happen, and pack several outfits and accessories for each. I just can’t help it, and I envy those who can just throw a few staple pieces in a suitcase and go!

But this time I’ve had to reign myself in and give myself a good talking to because frankly, one suitcase is all I have and it will be home to all my possessions for the next eight weeks. Through all my meticulous planning and preparation, I’m really hoping that I’ve packed just the right amount of everything (I’ll revisit this statement once I return home to let you know how successful I was!).

I’ve divided this week’s travel posts into two, today’s post is all about my basic travel essentials, while the second post is on all things beauty and toiletries, how I’ve managed to narrow down what makeup to pack, as well as some staple beauty items that I’m bringing.

For me, the below items are things that no trip would be complete without; things I couldn’t live without. So here’s a look at what travel essentials are top of my list to go in my suitcase:

My camera


Anyone who knows me, knows I love photographs. I’m not an amazing photographer, but I couldn’t live without my camera. One of my favourite things to do is sit and look through my photo collection, allowing each image to invoke memories of a time and place. I would have a house full of photo walls if I could!

Anyway, for this trip, and because I’ve been thinking about it for a while, I decided to treat myself to a new camera. After a lot of research I opted for the Olympus Pen EPL7 camera which is big in the blogging world, has an abundance of settings, and both photo and video options so I can both blog and (hopefully) vlog my trip. I’ve never done a vlog before, so I’m going to give it a go, and sure if it’s a complete disaster, then a least I’ll still have some pretty pictures.

A good sun hat


This is both a practical and fashionable must-have. It’s going to be pretty damn hot in some of the places we’re visiting and although I’m a complete sun worshiper, I always take a good hat with me to keep my face protected from UV rays. It’s also a good way to keep your face cool when walking and touring around in the heat.

This little one is an oldie I picked up in a Spanish market a few years ago and goes with absolutely everything. It’s seen me through some great trips and now it’s coming along for another.

My Kindle


I’m an old fashioned book kind of girl. I don’t believe reading from a Kindle is anywhere near as enjoyable as sitting down with a real life book, breathing in that book smell as you turn the pages. Reading is probably my most favourite thing in the world to do, and the first time I used a Kindle, I did feel a little like I was cheating on my favourite pastime.

However. I read a new book every couple of days while on holiday, and even I have to admit that it’s not realistic nor practical to pack six or seven books. I simply don’t have the space or the weight allowance in my baggage, so I’ve succumbed and am putting all my current reads into this. I did it for honeymoon last year and survived, so I’m pretty sure I’l survive again now.

There is something quite magical about reading when you’re in a new, strange or different place. When I think of a book I’ve read, I always remember where I was when I read it, and while my book list for this trip isn’t yet complete, I want to read as much as I possibly can while I have the time to do it.

An underwater camera

I have wanted an underwater camera for so long now, when we were on honeymoon in the Maldives last year I was so gutted I didn’t have one for all our snorkelling, so when we confirmed this trip I knew it was one of the first things I had to get.

Thankfully my lovely hubby bought me this Vivitar one for my birthday along with an array of accessories for touring, swimming, taking selfies – you name it, I’ve got the accessory. This camera is very similar in spec to the GoPro but was a lot cheaper, so is a great option for anyone new to these cameras like me.

I’m so nervous of the sea, but now I’ve no excuses. I’m going to brave the open water and hopefully get some amazing shots in the Great Barrier Reef with this baby. Eeek!

A backpack

I don’t know how many backpacks I tried and tested out for this trip, I just couldn’t decided on whether I wanted big or small, satchel or strap. But finally I decided on this midi size option from Zara. I previously had bought a mini-backpack from River Island, but it was too small and not practical for everything I need to fit in it on the plane etc.

This one is nice and soft, has gold zip detailing and fits a decent amount. And while it’s not technically going in my suitcase, but on my back, I’ve a feeling it’s going to be my best friend over the next few months.

iPhone back up charger


If like me, you constantly use your phone for social media updates, you’ll know that the battery doesn’t last long when flitting between Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Snapchat in particular completely drains battery life so the one thing I had to have for this trip was a power bank / back up charger for my phone when on the go.

I came across this one from good old Penney’s last week for the absolute bargain price of €9! So far it seems to work pretty well so fingers crossed it’ll keep me charged up. After all, I plan on sharing lots on my social media while away.

A comfy pair of sandals

We’re going to be doing a lot of walking around, and while a pair of trainers is the more practical option, I can never resist a cute pair of sandals for wandering around and discovering new things.

I picked these ones up in the Aldo sale earlier this year and they are very comfy. The tan colour means they will go with everything too.

A multi socket plug adaptor


Yes, it’s boring I know. But, as we’re going to three different countries on two different continents, an multi-socket plug adaptor is most definitely a must-have. Each of the countries we’re going to have different plug sockets, and let’s be honest, I couldn’t live without my phone or camera being charged, so this is one of the first things I ticked off my list.

Sunglasses

Many of you may have read about my new Tom Ford sunglasses in a post I shared a few months back (if not you can catch it here). Long story short, I had been lusting after them for so long and after them being out of stock for what felt like an eternity, I finally got my hands on them at the end of August.

The fact that we’re going to be in a lot of sunny places means we will be wearing sunglasses pretty much everyday, and therefore I wanted a good sturdy pair that could withstand a lot of use. This pair while gorgeous, are not too delicate, so I’m hoping they will see me through the entire trip and beyond. They’d want to for the price of them!

Music

Okay while this isn’t really an item, no trip would be complete without a great playlist. Over the Summer I’ve been writing lists of some of my favourite songs, old and new, many have a Summer vibe to them, so that I can combine the ultimate travel playlist before we go. I haven’t got around to doing this yet, but trust me, it’s next on the list.

So there you go, my ultimate travel accessories. It feels so surreal writing this post, I still can’t believe this trip is happening. Someone pinch me, seriously!

Watch out for my beauty travel essentials post which will be live tomorrow, and in the meantime if you think I’m missing anything important off my list then please let me know.

Sorcha x