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

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

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