Road Trippin’, Airlie Beach & The Whitsunday Islands

I’m finally getting back into the swing of things when it comes to blogging, life has been so fast moving on this great adventure of ours, I just haven’t had a second to sit down and write about it all. Writing is one of my favourite things to do as many of you know, but I really wanted to make sure I embraced every single opportunity that came my way during my travels and because of that, writing has taken a little bit of a back seat.

But I’m back, and still reeling in the excitement that was Airlie Beach. I had a little taster of the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, but like the reef, the Whitsunday Islands have been on my bucket list for such a long time now so needless to say I was super excited to arrive in Airlie and begin discovering the Whitsundays.

We had four days to explore so the first thing we did after settling into our hotel, Coral Reef Resort, was check out all the different tours on offer and decide what we wanted to see and do during our stay. Whitehaven Beach was top of our list, but we also wanted to do some more snorkelling and so after lots of research, we decided to go with a tour company called Whitehaven Xpress.

Whitehaven Xpress offer a one day tour to Whitehaven Beach, and passes by the other Whitsunday islands on the way, including Hamilton and Daydream islands, followed by a BBQ on Whitehaven beach and an afternoon of snorkelling on the one of the reefs nearby. A jam packed day full of everything we wanted to see.

On the morning of our tour we left early to began our hour and a half boat trip out to Whitehaven, the beach considered to be Australia’s purest and most beautiful, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Although we knew this, you can’t imagine how beautiful it is in real life until you’re there, standing on that fine, dust like sand, feeling it squeak beneath your feet and looking out on that crystal clear water. It is beautiful in every way imaginable and as I lay on the sand, I closed my eyes, turned my face to the sun and felt so much gratitude for my life in that moment. It was magical.

We ate a delicious BBQ and spent a few hours chilling on the beach before making our way to the northern tip to visit the hill inlet. The inlet is that infamous view you see on postcards of Whitehaven, where the fresh water meets the sea water and creates more shades of blue than you can imagine. It is truly breathtaking and something everyone should experience because it really has to be seen to be believed. Nature at its most beautiful.

We stood at the inlet looking out over the water and sand, in what felt like a very surreal moment. I’m not joking when I say I pinched myself to make sure I was really there! Because WOW! How did I get here? But it was real and I was truly awed by the whole experience.

After coming down off my cloud nine bubble, we all made our way back to the boat to go snorkelling. We were a bit concerned about snorkelling in the Whitsundays because the water is much more shallow there meaning the sand swirls in the water making it cloudy and not as easy to see coral and fish. But really there was no need to worry, because even though the water was a little cloudy, we still saw so many amazing fish, and they were huge! This guy in the below photo, a Humphead Wrasse, was almost the same length as my leg!

I just loved the whole experience all over again in Airlie and am beginning to think snorkelling may just be my new thing!

Without a shadow of a doubt, that day was one of the best in my life. I loved every second of it and am so grateful that I was able to do it.

If you read my earlier post this week on my Great Barrier Reef plane adventure, you’ll know what else I got up to during my Airlie Beach stay. But apart from the reef, we had so much fun wandering around this quirky beach town. This truly is a place made for tourists, and everyone is super relaxed and chilled out here. The laid back vibe is contagious and we made sure to soak it all up while we could.

Airlie was also home to one of the most delicious meals we’ve eaten on our trip so far, so much so we’re still talking about it! Walter’s Lounge is a small spot tucked away in the middle of Airlie Port and has an Australian/French food mix. Their ethos is to share everything and there’s no distinction between starter and main courses, so you order a few different plates and share. I loved this idea!

We had everything from slow cooked beef rump, to baked camembert, and sweetcorn croquettes to braised pork belly, and every single bite was heaven on a plate. To top it all off, the dessert of pineapple, mango and vanilla was one of the best desserts we’ve ever eaten and the perfect end to an amazing meal. Not to mention the delicious cocktails!

Leaving Walter’s and Airlie, we definitely had big smiles on our faces. We had so much fun, discovered new places, ate great food, laughed, drank, played… All the things that make a trip somewhere so great.

I know that sounds similar to how I finished my post on Cairns, but the thing about travelling is, it’s all experiences, great experiences – and thankfully all our experiences have been great. Reality goes out the window, responsibility goes out the door, and life walks in. All the amazing, incredible, wonderful things about living life to the full.

We’re over half way through our trip now and I can’t believe it. But every day that I am here, I am so thankful to have had this opportunity.

The world is an incredible place just waiting to be discovered. What are you waiting for?

Sorcha x

Great Barrier Reef Aviation Adventure | Airlie Beach

Hey everyone! I’m back, it’s been a week or so I know but I’ve been busy exploring the beautiful world that is the East Coast of Australia…

If you read my last travel post on Cairns, you will know that I experienced the Great Barrier Reef there for the first time, and it has been one of the best things about our trip so far. In fact, I think it’s been my favourite of all the things we’ve seen and done up to now. I’ve basked in all the cultural delights that Ubud had to offer, soaked up the rays in Seminyak, lived the island life in Gili T, and so much more over the past five weeks, but seeing the Great Barrier Reef has really been a highlight for me.

I wrote in my last post about my first snorkelling experience, how incredible it was, and how as I was snorkelling, I could almost hear the voice of David Attenborough narrating everything I was seeing as I saw it. It was a surreal, life changing experience and one that I will never forget.

After we left Cairns we made our way to Airlie Beach to continue our reef adventures, and while I’ll go in to all the Airlie details in my next blog post, today I wanted to tell you about possibly one of the best hours of my life, a flight over the Great Barrier Reef. Okay it sounds a little dramatic, but my god is the reef just as incredible from the sky as it is from under the water.

I had seen and read a lot about the helicopter and airplane tours of the reef before I got there and I knew without a doubt I was going to go on one, so one of the first things I did when I arrived was booked my seat on a one hour scenic flight with GSL Aviation. Dave has a fear of flying, so opted to stay behind on this one, but there’s no way I could have missed out on the opportunity of seeing one of the wonders of the world from the sky.

So when the day arrived, off I went excited and a little nervous to Whitsunday Airport and got myself ready to take off.

When I arrived I found out the plane seated seven people not including the pilot, and as everyone else was a couple, I got to ride up front, right beside the pilot, steering wheel (is that what it’s even called on a plane?!) in front of me. There I was, the closest I was ever going to get to my Maverick and Goose moment and I was in my element! *Queue cheesy 80’s movies quote; I feel the need, the need for speed… *E-hem*.

Anyway, off we took nothing but blue skies in front and beside me, and it was amazing.

Nothing can quite describe that feeling as you take off in a small plane, butterflies of excitement that almost catch your breath as you begin to see everything from an entirely different point of view. Then, just as you begin to breath again, as if out of nowhere the reef begins to appear.

It is spectacular, and so big. I mean I knew it was big but seeing it with your own eyes just makes you realise its expanse. We flew low so we could all the reefs, coral, and varying shades of blue up close, and it is beautiful. I’ll never forget that feeling, and the wonder I felt as I took it all in. As we flew along of course I snapped away on my camera, trying not to miss a thing, but even if I hadn’t taken one photo I’d still never forget what it looked like.

We saw the Whitsunday Islands, we saw Whitehaven Beach, we saw coral, we saw the infamous heart shaped reef, and it was quite possibly one of the best experiences of my life. One which I will never forget.

Airlie Beach was so much more than just my plane ride, and I’ll share all the details of our trip there soon. But for now let me just say, if you ever find yourself in Airlie and wonder whether it’s worth doing then yes it is, it really is.

It’s Wednesday in Oz so happy hump day, I’ll post more soon!

Sorcha x

Cairns, The Great Barrier Reef & My First Snorkel Experience| My Travel Adventures Part 4

I can’t quite believe it’s been over a week since my last blog post, for two reasons really. Mainly because I’ve packed so much into the last few weeks, it feels like a month’s worth of blogging, but also because time is flying by and for just a moment I would like it to stand still so that I can bask in the incredible beauty that is the Great Barrier Reef.

After Bali, we flew to Cairns in North Queensland, known for its crystal clear waters and spectacular coral reefs. Though the Great Barrier Reef reaches much further North than Cairns, this seaside town is where most of the reef tours and adventures start from, with most guide books recommending it as a good place to begin your reef exploration.

Cairns is a small seaside town, and during the day can appear deceivingly quiet. But don’t be fooled, the many hundreds of tourists are all spending their days out in the deep blue ocean. It took us a few hours for the penny to drop, at first we couldn’t figure out why there wasn’t anyone about as we strolled along the Esplanade on our first day. But, fast forward a few hours to bustling bars and restaurants and the streets full of people, and it all began to sink in. Ah! They were all out on the water. Of course they were, because that’s why most tourists come to Cairns; that’s why we came to Cairns.

Although I had done a lot of research into the different types of tours you can do before arriving, we decided not to book anything until we got there because frankly, there’s no better advice than that of the local guides who can tell you how things really are. Thankfully, our hotel had a tour desk so we ventured down there after getting our bearings to book our first reef tour.

We were staying in the DoubleTree Hilton (a far cry from the luxury of Bali let me tell you!), and although the hotel itself wasn’t great, the tour desk was brilliant. Sue, the woman running the desk, is a seasoned diver and knows everything there is to know about the reef, snorkelling and the best tours on the market. We were worried we may not get a good tour as we didn’t want to dive, but we needn’t have because the tour we ended up booking was absolutely incredible. Thanks Sue!

Like many Cairns tours, Tusa Dive offer full day tours to the reef for both divers and snorkelers and provide all equipment as well as food and drink for your day out on the water. But what made the tour so great for us was the crew. They honestly couldn’t have been more helpful, professional, or encouraging, especially to us newbies scared of the open water.

We boarded our Tusa Dive boat early and were so relieved to know there were many others in the same boat (excuse the pun!) as us. Most had never snorkelled before, and apart from some very shallow snorkelling in the Maldives last year, I have never snorkelled properly, let alone done a dive, so this put my very nervous tummy at ease so I could sit back, relax, and settle into my day at sea.

We started our morning out with tea, coffee and muffins on board as well as running through the day’s events and safety demonstrations. The plan was to visit two reefs, the first being one called Pretty Patches. The two reefs you visit on your trip are only decided on the morning, weather and water conditions obviously playing a part in the decision. We were extremely lucky to get a very fine, clear day meaning we could sail out to the furthest reefs near the continental shelf, and crystal clear water.

Nerves were building as we got fitted for our wetsuits and flippers and before I knew it, it was time to get in the water. Eek, holy crap! Like any of these scary moments in life, it was time to bite the bullet, get over the nerves, and embrace this amazing opportunitiy right in front of me, and so I took a deep breath and jumped right on in.

I’m not going to lie, the first minute or so I was a bit panicky. You jump into the water in the deep blue, no reef below you, nothing to see. Obviously the boat can’t go right up to the reef so it pulls up as close as you can and you swim over. For someone who never, and I mean NEVER, swims in the sea, this was scary. But once I got my bearings I calmed down, put my head under water and swam. And oh, was I glad I did.

As you swim, the reef suddenly appears out of nowhere, colours you can’t even imagine shine up at you like something out of a David Attenborough TV series. I’m not even joking, I could almost hear him narrating what I was looking at as I swam over many different types of coral, fish and other marine life. It was quite literally breath-taking and nothing like anything I had ever seen or done before.

We spent about half an hour in the water, took loads of under water pictures with my adventure camera, then headed back to the boat for lunch. I got out of the water and as sad as this may sound, I almost cried! It was a feeling of pure elation, and pride for what I had achieved. It may seem like a small feat to most but open water and me? I just never thought I’d have the guts. But I did, and it felt amazing!

We had a gorgeous buffet lunch on board as we left Pretty Patches and made our way over to the second snorkel sight of the day and do it all again. I found the afternoon snorkel a little tougher as the current had picked up and was quite strong – swimming against it certainly took strength and concentration. But never was I concerned because the instructors and staff on the boat were keeping a close eye on us.

As we sailed home and the sun began to go down, I was full of adrenalin and happiness from the day. It was so much more incredible than I could ever have imagined it to be. I loved every minute of it.

I knew the Great Barrier Reef would be amazing, I knew snorkelling would be amazing, but honestly, I never dreamed it would be as incredible as it was. I had imagined what it would be like for so many years, but seeing it in real life with your own eyes is another thing entirely. It is something I’ll never forget.

Obviously there was a lot more to our trip to Cairns than just the reef, we also visited Cairns Zoom, an indoor Zoo on top of a Casino, sounds strange I know but this place was incredible. I met Ruby the Pademelon, Goliath the four meter long Croc, and even got to have a cuddle with Micro the Koala, an experience pretty high up on my list of best things ever! We also strolled along the esplanade, ate some great food, drank, laughed, and pinched ourselves more than a few times.

We arrived in Australia with the best bang ever and our adventures have been incredible so far. We left Cairns and made our way down towards Townsville for an overnight pitstop before making our way towards Airlie Beach and the next big adventure on our trip.

The road trip is well and truly underway…

Sorcha x


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

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:


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.


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!


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


Travel Thursday | One Week To Go

You may have noticed my blogging hasn’t been quite as frequent over the past few weeks as it usually is, you’ll have to forgive me but with my sister getting married last weekend and planning for travelling, time has quite literally, been slipping away from me.

I’ve been working on lots of posts which will be live over the coming days, but for now I just want to take some time out to digest that fact that today marks just one week before I embark on my big trip around the world.

This day next week, my hubby and I will jump on a plane to Indonesia, and from there we will visit Bali, Australia and Thailand. Eight weeks, three countries, two continents. Wow. Every time I say it out loud, I can’t believe it’s happening. Is this my life? It appears that yes, it is…

This is the kind of trip that happens once in a lifetime, I always dreamed of doing it. I’m lucky enough that I have travelled before, but there were still places left on my list that I hoped one day I would get to see. And that day has almost arrived.

There are so many things I want from this trip – I want experiences, fun, adventure, laughter, discovery, but most of all I want memories. New memories for Dave and I; we’ve never done anything like this together.

So as I begin all my packing, list making and preparations, I’ll leave you with some of my favourite travel pictures for this, my last Travel Thursday before I go.


Sorcha x

*Images taken from my Pinterest board.