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

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

 

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.

Travel Thursday | Beauty Around the World

Well, I can’t believe I’m writing this, but today marks just three weeks until Dave and I head off on our big adventure to see the world. Many of you will already know this if you’ve been reading my blog posts of late, but if not, then let me fill you in.

In three weeks time, Dave and I are embarking on a two month trip around the world. Yes, I really just said that. I can’t believe it myself. Eeek! When I say around the world, I really mean the other side of the world namely, Bali, Australia and Thailand. We’re just packing up, heading off, cameras and suncream in tow, and going to see where the adventure takes us. Somewhere good I hope…

As amazing as my trip is going to be, I don’t want to let my blogging fall by the way side while I’m gone, so I’ve decided to set a few blogging challenges for myself. Hence the purpose of today’s blog post.

I blog mostly about beauty and lifestyle, with a little bit of travel thrown in here and there when I visit different places, but because I’m going to be gone so long, I was concerned that travel posts may take over and not all of you will be interested in reading those posts. So, to make sure I cover topics everyone will be interested in, there will be a beauty challenge, a lifestyle challenge and of course, a travel challenge (the last of which let’s be honest, should be a doddle).

While I haven’t decided on all the challenges just yet, I have decided on one and that is, the beauty challenge. The first challenge is for me to discover, trial, test and blog about at least two beauty products or rituals native to each place I visit. So whether it be buying makeup from a local cosmetics company, having an amazing facial or massage experience, or giving a weird and wonderful local old wives tale a try, I’m going to challenge myself to embrace, blog and put them all to the test.

I’ve started researching beauty and skincare in each of the countries I’m visiting and already I’ve come up with a few gems. Here’s a look what awaits me:

Bali

Image: Tripadvisor

From what I’ve read so far about Bali, inner beauty is deemed just as important as outer beauty, in other words, healing and looking after ourselves from the inside out. Apart from regular massages, yoga and mediation, many Balinese use herbal heeling recipes, or Jamu it is known, to keep them healthy and glowing.

Image: Pinterest

Jamu is said to be full of anti-oxidants with amazing age-defying properties so needless to say I’m intrigued. I plan on routing out some Jamu filled products during my stay to see what all the fuss is about. I think there are Jamu teas and drinks too.

Image: Pinterest

There are also several Indonesian cosmetics brands, one in particular I keep coming across is called, Caring Colours. Now, I’ve no idea what the products are like, I’ve tried using google translate to learn more, but unfortunately I think I’ll just have to wait until we get there to suss it out.

Australia

Image: Pinterest

Australia is way ahead of the curve when it comes to certain beauty products and rituals. They do beach waves (and I mean the hair kind) better than anywhere else, they embrace natural beauty both in their look and in the products they use, and there are just so many Aussie brands I am dying to try out.

I’ve been in Australia before, I spent three months there about six years ago. But, it was my last stop on a ten month trip around the world and I was pretty broke. So beauty and makeup sadly didn’t get much of a look in back then, but I’m going to make up for that this time around.

Image: Pinterest

Perhaps the most famous products to come out of Australia is cult favourite, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, which is said to be a miracle ointment made from 100% natural ingredients. It is good for chapped and cracked lips, minor burns, sunburn, insect bites – you name it. And it was even voted ‘Most Popular Lip Balm’ in Tripadvisor’s 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards – who even knew there was such an award? It sounds very similar to my trusty Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour cream, so this is first on my list of products to try when I arrive.

Apart from Lucas’ Papaw, there are so many other Australian cosmetic and skincare brands I’m sure I’ll discover during the trip, but what intrigues me even more are some of the natural beauty remedies or old wives tales that are still used to this day. From applying almond oil all over your body after a cold shower; to putting apple cider vinegar in your hair for extra shine; to using basil to get rid of spots and blemishes, the Australian’s definitely know how to embrace the alternative. And although a bit apprehensive, I think I’m going to have to give some of these a try to see if they really do work.

Thailand

Image: Tripadvisor

Well, we all know that in terms of beauty, Thailand is probably most famous for its massage. I cannot wait to get a real, authentic Thai massage. I’ve heard they are sore, uncomfortable and a bit awkward, but I’ve also heard that you feel feckin’ fantastic afterwards.

Image: Pinterest

Spa culture is big in Thailand, and it’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to about our trip there. Because of this, several high quality holistic, natural skincare brands have shot to fame over the past number of years and by all accounts, they are amazing. Two of the most recognised and seemingly popular brands I’ve come across through my research so far are Siam Botanicals and another brand called Thann.

Image: Siam Botanicals

Aside from the fabulous spa culture, the Thai women also have some secret beauty rituals of their own. They believe mango is the cure for, well, pretty much everything from spots to cuts; Tamarind pulp is apparently a great skin exfoliator; while seaweed is reportedly their secret to shiny, bouncy hair. I’m not feeling very brave right now, but I’ll just have to man up – all in the name of beauty as they say!

Who knows if I’ll come across any of these brands whilst on my travels, I may discover many other weird and wonderful rituals and products instead, or I may discover none. But that’s my challenge, and I choose to accept it.

I’m hoping I might learn a thing or two, and maybe come home with incredibly gorgeous glowing skin just in time for Christmas? Or maybe I’ll have a few disaster stories that will do nothing more than give us all a great laugh! Either way, it’ll be an experience.

The countdown is well and truly on now, so be prepared for plenty more travel posts coming your way soon. And if you’re not into the travel posts, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with lots of beauty and lifestyle too.

Sorcha x

Travel Thursday: 8 Weeks To Go, Help!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you will know that shortly I am heading off on a very big trip. A trip that let’s be honest, I had no idea would take place this year, but somehow the stars aligned and it is really happening. Eeeek!

I know many of you will have heard me talking about this already, it’s not really new information, but last night I endured the stark realisation that we are leaving in less than eight weeks. Eh, what?! I don’t know where the Summer has gone to be perfectly honest with you, once I finished up work at the end of June I had so many plans and now it’s almost the end of August and I’ve only achieved about half of my goals.
But sure look it’ll be grand, there’s nothing I can do about that now, and now that our trip is so close, it’s time to forget about Summer goals and start planning for that. But, by planning I’m not actually talking about the trip itself, that’s all done and dusted (being the organisation freak that I am). The planning I am actually referring to here, is, wait for it… PACKING.

Packing. Where to start? What to bring? How can I pack for a whole two months and not bring every single thing I own?! I’m one of those ‘just in case’ people, you know the ones who bring everything away just in case they need it and it sits at the bottom of the suitcase for the whole trip? Yep, that’s me.

I’ve travelled before, I spent almost ten months travelling the world about six years ago, so I should be a pro at this stage. But, things were different then, I was backpacking, I was on a budget, and anything that came with me was basic, multi-purpose, and cheap. But not this time. This time it’s not just backpacking, it’s suitcases, it’s hotels, it’s nice restaurants, all of which mean I will need nice clothes, good makeup, clever accessories, great books, and even a pair of shoes or two.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this trip is not going to be all luxury, no. It’s going to be a mixture of budget and beautiful, and therefore I need to plan everything meticulously.

So this my lovely readers, is where you come in!

I need your help. I want to know all your must haves for travelling, the good, the bag and the ugly. I have a fair idea of what I need but the best advice anyone can get is from those who have been there, and done that. So, please, please, please help a sista out and let me know the following:

  • What was your must have makeup for travelling?
  • Any skincare you couldn’t live without?
  • Did you regret not bringing something with you?
  • Best books to read while seeing the world?
  • Your favourite item you brought that you used over and over again?
  • Best piece of advice you were given about going on your trip?
  • One thing you couldn’t have survived without?

I need every little morsel of information you have, stories, products, tips, whatever.

If you have specific tips for the places we’re going to which are Bali, the Gili Islands, Australia and Thailand, then please send them my way too. All the info on our trip is in my original travel post which you can read here if you want to know all about it.

I’m so looking forward to reading your comments, tips and stories, I would massively appreciate it if you could comment below with them all. MASSIVELY!

So on that note, I shall sign off and await all your comments with baited breath.

Sorcha x

A Different Kind of Travel Thursday

Over the past few weeks Dave and I been away on a few little mini breaks, but this time rather than us heading off on our own, these trips have been spent with good friends and family. As someone who loves going away, and loves seeing new places, I’m always excited to head off on an adventure whether it be near or far, for a night, or a week, but trips I get particularly excited about are those spent with friends and family.

You may have heard me mention last week that we spent a couple of days in Spain over the August bank holiday weekend with some of our closest friends. There were ten of us in total, plus their babas, and it was one of those holidays where you really sit back and take stock on how important friends are. I love my friends very dearly, we have all been friends for an incredibly long time, we’re in similar stages of our lives and it’s wonderful to be able to share these stages together.

Long breakfasts in the sun, kids playing in the pool, lunches al fresco, BBQs and wine, endless amount of chatting, laughing, joking… What more could you want from a holiday? Nothing in my view. It was the perfect few days away, and made me very grateful for the amazing friends I have in my life, those who were on holiday, as well those who weren’t.


After only being home from Spain a few days we set off on our next adventure which was a weekend away with Dave’s family. His two brothers, their wives, their kids and his Mum. It’s a little tradition that they began a few years ago and it’s one of the things I look forward to most each year. As someone who’s siblings all live away, I have really learned to relish and value the time you have together with family, and this weekend was one of those times.

We were staying in apartments which were part of a hotel and they were lovely. There were great facilities for the kids, the boys had golf, and us girls had chats. Lots of chats, a little bit of wine, but mostly chats!

With all our lives being so busy, it’s so rare that we get to spend quality time together catching up, reminiscing, telling stories of old, talking, laughing, doing all the things that make being part of a family so wonderful. It’s one of those moments when you think to yourself, why don’t we do this more often? Because you have such a great time, and you realise how great being with your family is.

Tomorrow, for our third weekend away in a row, we are off to Kerry to celebrate one of our dear friend’s birthdays. It’s a big birthday, so our entire group are packing up and heading down there for a weekend of celebrations and quality time. Knowing my friends, it’s going to be a weekend to remember, as our time away so often is.

There will be laughing, there will be drinking, there will be singing, there will be dancing, there will be joking, there will be gossiping, there may even be a bit of crying! But one thing I know for sure is, it will be special, it will be brilliant, it will be memories in the making.

Because isn’t that what it’s all about really? Sharing your life with family and friends, making memories, celebrating life, enjoying the good things, being grateful for each other, and most of all, being happy?

I’m sure you all know by now how much I love travelling, I’ve spent much of this year visiting new places, and my travels don’t end here. But nothing can compare to the travelling that you do with those you love most.

Sorcha x

 

 

Hello World, I’m Coming To Get You

It’s official, it’s real, and it’s happening. Eeek! Those of you who follow my Instagram will perhaps already know what I’m about to announce, but for those of you who don’t then here it is – the Year of the Holiday is about to get epic!

As most of you will know by now, for our first year of marriage, Dave and I decided to travel to as many places as possible, to see the places we’ve always wanted to see, to experience new cultures, to go on lots of adventures, and over the past seven months we’ve managed to pack a lot in. But now we’re taking it to a whole new level.

In October we’re going to embark on our biggest adventure yet and go travelling for two months. TWO MONTHS! To some of you that might not seem very long to see the world, but we’ve both been travelling before and the purpose of this trip is to get to the places we didn’t get to last time around. It’ll also be our first time travelling the world together.

Our first stop? Bali. Beautiful Bali.

We both have friends and family who’ve been to Bali travelling or on honeymoon and I’ve never heard anyone say a bad thing about it. From its beautiful green rice fields, to incredible culture, from amazingly friendly people, to white sandy beaches, Bali sounds like it has got a little bit of everything worth seeing.

I also have a romantic view of Bali from reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s adventures there in Eat, Pray, Love. I may have mentioned this before but that book had such a profound impact on me. Not because I think a medicine man is going to dramatically change the course of my life or anything, but because I love yoga and meditation, and the dreamer in me wants to find myself a little bit.

And being brutally honest here, I am the type of person to give a medicine man a visit too.

Our plan is to spend five nights in Ubud soaking in the culture, then head over to Gili Trawangan in Lombok for one night. I’ve heard to Gili islands are really worth a visit, and I’ve been longing to stand on the swing in the sea at sunset for quite some time now!

After that we go back to Seminyak and relax by the beach for five nights before heading to our next destination, the grand old continent of Oz.

I’ve been to Australia before, as has Dave, but while he spent a short bit of time around Cairns, neither of us travelled the East Coast. I spent most of my time in Sydney working while I was there, and apart from one weekend visit to Melbourne and Brisbane, didn’t get to see anything else. So this time the plan is to hire a car and spend a month travelling from Cairns to Melbourne. 

There are so many things we want to see and do. We want to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef even though the thought of it fills me with fear, we want to sleep on a Whitsunday island, we want to try to surf in Byron Bay, we want to go to a show in the Opera House, we want to eat delicious food in Melbourne and drink beer on the beach in St. Kilda. We want to do as much as we possibly can.

After Australia we make our way to Bangkok where we plan on spending two weeks discovering Thailand. Again, it’s probably not a huge amount of time to see everything we want to see there and so we’re sticking to the west side.

We will spend two nights in Bangkok to get our bearings and of course soak up the madness that is the infamous Koh San Road. Having spent three months in South America a few years ago, as well as a few weeks in India a few years before that, I’m used to the culture shock of different places, I absorb it, I thrive on it. I’m excited to see Dave’s reaction though as he’s never been anywhere like it before and I imagine the culture shock will be somewhat the biggest in Thailand. 

From Bangkok we will fly down to Phuket for a few days to relax in a nice resort before then making our way to Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and finally the last stop on the trip, Railay in Krabi. 


I’ve heard the beaches in Railay are incredible so we decided to finish our trip there in a gorgeous five star hotel as it will also coincide with our one year wedding anniversary. What better way to end our trip and celebrate being married a year than on a beach in Thailand?!

Writing about it now, I still can’t believe it’s going to happen. But it is. Although it’s been in planning for quite some time now, on Friday we booked our flights and made it all official.

Simply Sorcha was never intended to be a travel blog, my regular readers will know I write about everything from beauty to fashion to anxiety to meditation, and to travel. It’s a blog about all the things happening in my life, and things that I love. But for two months of this year, it will most certainly become a travel blog.

I’ll take you all with us, I’ll share our stories, our experiences, our favourites and least favourites, but I’ll try keep some beauty and lifestyle posts in there too. 

So there you go, our big news. To say we’re excited is an understatement, it’s literally a dream come true.

I’m currently lying in the sun in my back garden, taking in the joy that is a sunny Dublin day. So for now, I will say goodbye as it’s time for me to get back to my travel guides.

Hello world, I’m coming to get you…

Sorcha x

Rome, Arrivederci…

Well our trip to Rome is over and all I can say is, when can I go back?! For those of you who read my posts while I was away, you’ll know that I instantly fell in love with the eternal city and enjoyed every second of our time there.

From the moment we arrived, I was sucked in completely. Everything was just so fantastic, the atmosphere, the culture, the history, the food, the energy, the passion, the friendliness of the Italian people, the whole experience.

We were staying in a cute little boutique hotel just off Piazza Navona called the Palazzo Navona hotel. It was a simple, basic but clean hotel, the staff were very friendly and helpful, and the location could not have been better. Everything was so close to us, we could walk everywhere from there, and we did.

We did and saw so much that I’m not going to go into every detail, but here are some of the highlights of our trip:

The Vatican


Whether or not you’re religious, its hard not to be impressed by the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square. The buildings are so beautiful and the architecture is both intricate and grand at the same time.

We started our tour of the Vatican by walking through the various Vatican museums, taking in all the beautiful art and sculpture that it has to offer. But if I’m honest, I don’t think we fully appreciated all the incredible art there because we were just so excited to get to the Sistine Chapel, something that has been on my bucket list for many years now.

When you enter the Sistine Chapel, the artwork literally takes your breath away. I stood for ten, maybe fifteen minutes just staring up at the ceiling like so many others, amazed at the detail, the beauty and the colour. It took Michelangelo four years to paint what he did, and I can’t even begin to imagine how much dedication and concentration went into each day of that four years.

Unfortunately you are not allowed take photographs in the Sistine Chapel, but actually, I think it’s just one of those places that you have to see in real life to really understand just how incredible it is. No matter how many pictures you see, it’s just not the same as standing there and experiencing it in person.

Pantheon


The Pantheon unbeknownst to me, is a temple. I don’t know how I didn’t know this before as I’m usually good with history and famous buildings, but this one took me by surprise. Like many of the wonderful sights in Italy, the Pantheon is located in a beautiful square, surrounded by restaurants, gelateri and bars, not to mention the many tourists.

From the front of the building you’d be forgiven for thinking it was square in shape, but once inside, you are greeted by a massive circular space.  A concrete dome towers over the top with a centre opening looking up into the sky.

The structure of the dome is beautifully made up of a series of stone arches, and is still the worlds largest unreinforced concrete dome. Now used as a Catholic Church, the building is still very much in use and is definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Rome.

Piazza Navona 


As mentioned above, we were staying right off Piazza Navona which is such a beautiful area. Apart from the Piazza itself, the streets are small and narrow, with cobble stone roads and flower boxes hanging from apartment windows, exactly what you imagine when you think of Italy.

As you walk up the tiny streets, vespas passing by you, you can’t help but smile. There is so much character and charm in these streets, you just want to sit and watch the world go by as you sip on a nice Chianti. And that is exactly what we did on so many occasions. A midday aperitif, a long lunch, an after dinner drink on our walk home… We just couldn’t help but revisit it every day of our trip.

The Colosseum

As much as I was in awe of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square, the Colosseum was the place that had the most impact on me. I was literally starstruck as I stood and gazed at this wondrous structure. As you walk up the street towards the Colosseum, you feel as though you are entering a different world with ancient ruins surrounding you on either side. Everywhere you look there is a little piece of history there beside you.

I knew Rome had ruins, I knew it had history, but nothing can quite prepare you for the grandeur and scale of what has been left behind. The pillars, the stone, the structures – it is really quite incredible.

When entering the Colosseum I almost became emotional, there were hundreds, maybe even thousands of other tourists there, yet when standing within its walls overlooking the old cells and ground below us, there was a quiet stillness all around us. I can’t explain it. The atmosphere was almost peaceful, and profound in its silence. People just looking, and I imagine doing exactly what I was doing, wondering what on earth it must have been like to have stood in that very place thousands of years ago.


We spent several hours wandering around the different levels in the midday sun, taking it all in, because it’s just the kind of place where you have to do that. A quick visit won’t work for you here, you need to breath it, smell it, experience it, look at it. You have to give yourself time to take it all in because it is just that breathtaking.

Of course we saw so much more too, the Spanish Steps were unfortunately undergoing some restoration works while we were there so we had to admire from a distance, and the Trevi Fountain, although stunning, was swarmed by so many tourists we could hardly take it all in. But nevertheless, it was still a sight to behold. I think next time I’ll go back at night to get a different experience, and maybe sit for a while in admiration.


We went sightseeing, we drank prosecco, we ate antipasti, we walked, we laughed, we admired, we people-watched, we drank wine, we ate pizza, we adventured, we devoured ice cream, we ate pasta, we drank beer, we took many photographs, we travelled, we experienced, we loved.


We loved every single second of our trip, I’ve been to many places all over the world, and only once before has a place exceeded my expectations in such a massive, massive way.

For now, Rome, it’s Arrivederci, but I know I’ll see you again soon…

Sorcha x