2017 – My Year in Digital Travel Postcards

2017 – My Year in Digital Travel Postcards

A review of my 2017 in digital postcards. I had a year of travel which took me across southern India down to the tip of India, to Bali in  Indonesia, then back and forth to  Australia.

A journey to find a new home and to experience and see the wonders of life and living in a rich and beautiful planet. What did I learn along the way? What’s next? Read on…

mala mantra maker
After a year of exploring and discovering new places and practising just being! Finally finding my way into creating Mala Mantra Maker – coming to you in 2018. Here’s 2018 being a wonderful year!

Travel with Alice   Explore, Discover, Create, Be.

Mala Making in India
Travelling in India January 2017 – Chennai, Pondicherry, Malapalapuram, Kanakamuri, Varkala, Kottayam, Kochi. Finding inspiration to make my own Mala’s – under Mala Mantra Maker
My 2017 year in Digital Travel Photography
Discovering my new home in Bali, Indonesia. Exploring the rich culture of Ubud and the island of Bali.
northern beaches the elements
Enjoying swimming in the sea.  Spending my birthday month of May in Sydney on the Northern Beaches. Thanks to Annie I spent time in Newport Beach, working on designing a new life with Screw Work, Let’s Play the course with John Williams. Celebrating my birthday and rebirth into my new life.
A year in digital Travel postcards
Starting a new life in Bali, Indonesia.
TANAH LOT BALI
Exploring the rich culture Bali has to offer and my new home
Sound Healing at the Pyramids of chi
Discovering my one of my favourite places in Bali, The Pyramids of Chi. Connecting with the Gong and attending several Gong workshops. A big thank you to Peter and Lynn a wonderful caring couple who run the Pyramids and to the Gong workshops with Sanj Hall and Drow.
ALASARI PLANTATION
Exploring the wonderful Alassari Plantation in Bali, the most tranquil place to be. Being touched by the kindness and wonderful hospitality of Craig and Valerie Glenister. Thank you!
What you want in life
Exploring a new life in Bali, Indonesia.
Marsh the dog 14.8.2017 RIP
Losing our beloved Marsh, who we all loved very much. He was the kindest, most gentle, loving dog I have ever met. Who inspired me to love dogs and not to afraid of them. They only want love. Much love and you will always be remembered. xx
Blue Mountains postcard
Exploring the beautiful landscape of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia
NARABEEN Dog Sitting
Getting to spend more time on the Northern Beaches and caring for Milo a beautiful dog. Enjoying dog sitting and walking a dog again! The best Christmas gift I could receive this year. Thank you, Georgia and Matt!
NATURE IN NORTHERN BEACHES
Having time to explore the beautiful nature of the Northern Beaches region of Australia. Such inspiration and joy to see so much rich and colourful nature. I love those trees so much!
A year in Digital Travel Postcards
To top my year off spending time at Beautiful Palms, in Palm Beach thanks to Bobbie. A cottage with amazing views over Palm Beach and Barrenjoey Headland. A person couldn’t ask for a better view of the beautiful Northern Beaches, Sydney. It’s heaven!

Dog Sitting in Narrabeen Sydney

Dog Sitting in Narrabeen, Sydney

Dog sitting in Narrabeen

Dog sitting in Narrabeen, Sydney is one way of getting a dog for Christmas. This is my first official dog sitting experience in Australia.  I am so excited and I have already taken Milo the dog I am sitting for a walk. Not only will I get some great exercise, I get to live on the Northern Beaches for even longer!

As you may have gathered I love the Northern Beaches and I would love to live here for a few months here and there every year! I am lucky enough to be able to get a 3-month visa and stay in this beautiful part of the world. Thank you, universe!

There are lots of things to do in Narrabeen, due to having the lagoon and the sea, it’s perfect for SUP – (that’s Stand Up Paddling), kayaking, walks, cycling, surfing (of course) and swimming in the rock pool.   Due to the walking the dog, I haven’t managed to get over to it yet! It’s a very chilled out place to live with plenty of cafe’s and restaurants nearby.

One thing I really love about dog walking is that I tend to notice all the different trees and I just have a few moments to snap a tree, plant or flower along the way!

Here’s some I found on my dog walking trips.

Postcard Explore nature in the Northern Beaches
Explore nature in the Northern Beaches

Milo was such fun to care for, she was no bother and besides a morning tease when trying to put on her collar, she was a dream to look after.

In the New Year I have a new dog assignment and this time it’s in Manly. I little dog this time called Pepper. I can’t wait for that either… dogs bring so much love into your life.  I met Pepper at Christmas and she is a very different type of dog to Milo – she is quite snappy and moody apparently,  we will see!

Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s to creating an amazing 2018!

Peace, love and harmony to all xx

Other blog posts read more It’s all about dogs and Digital Postcards from Travels with Alice

PALM BEACH travel with Alice
Looking to stay in Palm Beach, Beautiful Palms is a lovely 3 bedroom cottage with stunning views of Palm Beach book through Airbnb.com

 

 

Mala Mantra Maker

 Mala Mantra MakerMala Mantra Maker

Introducing Mala Mantra Maker: Mala’s are spiritual beads strung on a thread of cotton or string, 108 beads all together. Historically the 108 beads represent the 108 names for god. One large bead called the Guru bead meets the bottom with a tassel. 

There are many reinterpretations of the beads. I see the thread as the life-force holding our mind, body and soul together and the beads representing the hopes and dreams of our lives; whilst we live out our life on the physical plane.

Making Mala Beads In India

When I was in India early this year (now last year as it was January 2017) I visited Auroville, in Tamil Nadu near Pondicherry and I attended a workshop to make my own Mala beads. We were given a piece of A4 paper and after a meditation, we painted or drew on our paper – writing messages – having the freedom to express whatever we wanted onto it. I loved it. I put in all my hopes and dreams of 2017 and looking back now I can see a lot of it has come true for me!

Mala making india beads

 

After making the painting we then drew lines across it and cut it all up into strips and with glue and cocktail sticks we slowly curled them into beads. Later we strung them together to make a bracelet or necklace – depending on the time it took to make the beads during that class.

My bracelet held all the energy and wishes I had to create a new life in 2017 and to find myself somewhere new to live in the world, at the time when I had absolutely no idea what life would bring – a blank canvas.

Mala Making in India

I have carried this bracelet on my journey and worn it from time to time. I still carry the extra strips to make up a Mala necklace – when I get some spare time which has always been an intention but never quite materialised. Last month I found it again and started wearing it and felt really happy to be wearing it and remembering my wishes for 2017 – then I suddenly lost it and when I found it, it had gone through the washing machine – all washed up.  It’s funny as now I am starting to make Mala’s myself and to share the powerful energy of wearing a Mala and repeating Mantras.

I was lucky 2017 brought me to a place where I felt at home in Bali and I lived there for 8 months last year. It was there I had the inspiration to share my love of Mala’s and the together with the power of mantra, to create my range of mala’s and I have called it Mala Mantra Maker.

Mala Mantra Maker created in Bali

My first range I made in Bali. I wanted to inspire people to connect with mantra through my mala making, not only to inspire women but men too. As once you know the power of using mantra in your life you will feel your own intrinsic harmony with your life. I use semi-precious stones that hold an uplifting energy and the power lies in the wearing of them.

mala mantra maker

Welcome to: http://www.malamantramaker.com – the website is coming soon!

I am also making them in pairs so you can buy one for yourself and give one to your loved one as a special soul gift 💝

The range will be available from March 2018, if you are interested in finding out more join my mailing list and you will be notified when the range is complete.

To find out more and join the mailing list  and we will let you know when the site is ready, join here: 

http://eepurl.com/df6zfT

http://www.malamantramaker.com

Read other blogs post in Bali,  Australia, find out about Love your Work or view my digital travel postcards.

Mala Mantra Maker

 

 

Inspiration in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

BLUE MOUNTAINS

Inspiration in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Wow – it’s been a long since I have been to the Blue Mountains, in NSW and I wasn’t disappointed with my weekend break in Katoomba.

It rained the first day and as I was only fitted out with summer clothes so I retreated to the lovely cafes along the main street and visited a variety of small art galleries. The Bear Gallery was my favourite – definitely worth a walk further down the road to the larger Gallery space, in a white washboard house. They consistently show the work of 40 artists from around and connected to the Blue Mountains who live there or have lived there.

My favourites were the work of David Millbank – large abstract landscapes,  in particular this one which is a card. James Blackwell   – intricately cut and repetitive patterns and an amazing Glass blower Kayo Yokohama .

Blue Mountains postcard
Postcard from the Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre I had the pleasure of seeing an exhibition of some early etchings but he British Artist David Hockney at the City Art Gallery. Alongside a permanent exhibition of the Blue Mountains range.

Some of the sights and experience of hanging out in the Blue Mountains for a weekend. I enjoyed the cafes, restaurants and art galleries in the area; not forgetting the amazing landscape of the unique Blue Mountains. The amazing cloud formations and amazing amount of trees and just being in nature. I enjoyed an afternoon at Blackheath pottering around the shops and taking photographs of the streets and nature.

For more images of the Blue Mountains visit my Instagram account.  www.instagram.com/travelwith_alice

There are lots of nice cafe’s to choose from on the main street.  I really liked this little quiet Korean restaurant called Sanwiye
172 Katoomba St, Katoomba, New South Wales 2780, Australia
+61 405 402 130

Enjoy Sydney and the landscape and nature of beautiful Australia

Read about Love your Work, Books I love or my Digital Postcards

Native Flower of Australia
Native Flower of Australia

Christmas Time Frenzy

Christmas Time Frenzy

Christmas Time Frenzy

Christmas time frenzy, it turns up every year and in the last few years, it’s been a very different experience for me and I never really know what to expect or where I will be. Alongside that, I  never really know how I am going to feel on the day.

This year I have found myself in Sydney, Australia. I was here six months ago and I will be dog sitting on Northern Beaches. So one or two dreams will be coming true for me. Firstly I will be able to experience the beautiful beaches again, surely some of the best in the world and secondly, I will be caring for a dog, so in effect will be getting a dog for Christmas, be it a temporary one.

mala mantra maker
Mala Mantra Maker – Making Mala’s for creating harmony and well being

I have just returned from a trip from Mudgee (more about Mudgee in my next post) where I came across a Centre for Loss and Grief (NALAG) where you can just pop in and have a chat with someone. I just thought what a wonderful idea, no pressure just pop in and have a chat and connect with people. We often forget that Christmas can be a difficult time for a lot of people and these are there five tips for coping strategies from NALAG :

  1. Do something in memory of the person who has died. (Light a candle, place a special ornament on the tree)
  2. Plan your time so that you are under a little amount of stress as possible.
  3. Plan your “escape” if need be, don’t over commit.
  4. Let your friends and family know that you need to take things slowly and as it comes.
  5. Share your memories and stories – as it’s okay to cry or laugh
  6. Do something special for yourself – treat yourself to a massage or buy yourself a present.
  7. Seek professional help if required.(copyright of NALAG National Association for Loss and Grief (NSW) inc  www.nalag.org.au

To find out more about how to help people or yourself download this brochure

For those of you who have lost a Dad or Grandad, I have attached a link to the little book my sister and I created some years ago. It’s always nice to remember the loved ones we have lost at this time of year and offer a thought or prayer for their well-being and express our continued love for them.

My Dad used to dress up as Santa and give out presents at the local Catholic club, which he loved.  We used to celebrate our  Xmas on Christmas Eve and stay up late opening presents, and chatting after Midnight Eve Mass  –  those magical moments have gone. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing – how we choose to remember the past!

Here’s to wonderful adventures in 2018

Download the book Once Upon a time a Story of a Grandad

FREE e-book Once upon a time...0

Read about Love your work and Books I love or you can download a digital postcard from Travel with Alice

 

Ubud Readers and Writers Festival 2017

Ubud Writers And Readers Festival 2017

Ubud Readers and Writers Festival
Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2017, Bali, Indonesia: Reflecting on my time spent in Bali this year one of the most memorable times was attending Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.  I felt so inspired by the 4 days of interesting talks and finding out about so many books I would like to read.
My days were action packed and started at 9 am and by 5 pm I was happily exhausted by all the discussions and presentations that I had attended. I continued into the evening on a few occasions too!
We had amazingly hot weather and no rain! There was so much packed into the 4 days it felt more like a week, then all of a sudden after being submerged into listening to dozens of inspiring writers and poets the festival was over.
On the first evening feeling still full of life, I made it to Casa Luna to see Osamah Sami talk about his latest film Ali’s Wedding and his book The Muslim Boy and he had us in stitches with his stories. He is a really talented writer, comedian, actor and it was the first time I had come across this guy.

These are my top 3 recommendations from the UWRF17:

love your work

Jung Chang – A beautiful soul and the inspiring writer of Wild Swans
Jung Chang talks were (China’s Women and Writing Modern China) 

I was so looking forward to Jung Chang, as I think alongside Ian Rankin she must be the most famous person here at the festival. When I read her book Wild Swans back in the 80’s and later Mao I was enthralled by her dialogue and story. At the time this encouraged me to read more about China and Japan and give me the passion of all things Asian.
Jung Chang did not disappoint during the two sessions I attended.  She is a woman with a beautiful aura and presence and an intelligent and engaging speaker. She was able to bring to life the book Wild Swans through personal stories, showing at one point her grandmother’s tiny shoe from having spent her life with bound feet.  She really captured the audience with her passion for writing and life generally. She is an inspiration and to listen to her stories was amazing. Her research on her subject was thorough and with the help of her husband an Englishman and what this brought to life in her books. Her storytelling is gripping and of the struggles in her life and the life of her family is both shocking and amazing.
Jung Chang – author of Wild SwansMao and her new book The Empress Dowager sounds fascinating to read.   Based on a true life story of a Concubine born in China (1835) has a fascinating story how a woman impacted Chinese history.  We all need to laugh at ourselves AND the tragedy of our lives sometimes and this one I think is really going to do just that.
Osamah Sami – Iraqi born who moved to Iran and later to Australia
Ubud Readers and Writers Festival

Osamah Sami must be one of the highlights for many people who came into contact with him and listened to him talk. He came across as a thoroughly lovely guy and hugely talented. Not only was he hugely funny but passionate, and humble and able to tell some tragic stories about his life. Having written his book the Good Muslin Boy, was the winner of 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Award. Later the film Ali’s Wedding which I can’t wait to read when I visit Australia this month.

The Northern Irish born playwright and writer Paul Mc Veigh

The Good Son by Paul McVeigh – a very touching piece he read from his book at the Festival, so I can’t wait to read his book. The blend of humour, detail, living in war-torn Northern Ireland from a young boy’s point of view and the need for survival during the troubles.  Paul came across as a lovely guy, full of energy, humour and intelligence just like this book I am sure.  A think it will be a gripping read!

I need to buy and read on a kindle so here is the deal on this one only £1.89. A bargain!

I had such a wonderful time at the festival. There is so much to share and if you want to attend next year here are the details: Ubud Writers and Reader’s Festival 2018 and Books I love 
If you would like to download our FREE Illustrated book called A Story of A Grandad please subscribe here:

A Eureka Moment

A Eureka Moment…

A Eureka moment

I can’t recall the last time I had a eureka moment. Well, this morning I can confirm I had one. Oh, what joy! You go around in life wondering what you are doing next and now I know. Whether I like my answer or not, it came and so I am going to give it a go.

I have been thinking what am I am going to do in my new life… but I am unsure and just going with the flow and trusting I will find my feet.  I am hoping that the new ideas that I have, at least one of them will stick. Today I am hoping I have the answer, (well at least for now).

The book that I have been working on, but also not working on.. whoops! I feel I have been given the right direction and now I feel totally sure of the title, I say confidently at last.  The image hasn’t been settled on. I can confirm the title is going to be Don’t Let My Dandelion Die…

Don’t Let My Dandelion Die

It’s such a relief, I was avoiding the whole book thing but now I know that it must be completed whether I like it or not. My eureka moment came this morning when I realised all I want to do is write. I haven’t been making the time, as I have been distracted by paid work and helping others. What I really need to do right now is to help myself and focus on doing what I had previously planned; which is preparing myself to pitch my book idea next week. So with a week to go I am going to get back on track and putting my heart and soul into this project.

The other idea that came to me today was what is my purpose in life onwards? I know I want to help others, but I wasn’t sure how to. Now I have decided I want to Coach people to help people reach their dreams and do what they love. It’s important to follow your own dreams and not the dreams of others or maybe you don’t know what your dreams are. Well,  I think deep down we all have a dream or two inside us and I would like to help bring that dream out into reality.

To read a bit about me or to look at the people and places I like in Bali, visit Love Your Work  and Books I Love 

Ps. If you are wondering about the pitch well it didn’t turn quite as expected…

Ps. Well watch this space and see if magic happens!

The Power of Sound Healing

The Power of Sound Healing

The power of sound healing

We all know the power of sound, whether it’s through our favourite song or band we love to listen to; we are temporarily transported to another place, time and feel the joy the music creates within us. Most of us can remember where we were what we were doing and with whom when we hear a particular song. Music and sound have a powerful element within our subconscious. The power of sound through music transforms our mood and gets us to get up and dance and feel the joy of life, so it probably comes as no surprise that sound is extremely healing.

Sound Healing with Kristen Firpo 

Our bodies are made up of 70 percent water and the vibrations of the sounds can have a direct input on our bodies on many levels, moving around the fluids and in doing so, moving our emotions.  Kristen demonstrates this on her Kristen Firpo

THE POWER OF SOUND HEALING
Kristen Firpo Sound Therapist / A workshop at Samadi Yoga in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

A lovely yoga centre in Canggu, Relaxing and beautifully created. Samadi yoga centre, in Canggu, Bali.
For more details on other events and classes visit: Samadi Yoga Centre

A 2-hour group sound healing session with Kristen.

Wow what an amazing day we had.  It was so gentle yet powerful experience and left me feeling blessed, my body and soul could experience the sound vibrating through my body. The energy of the wind gong, the 5 crystal bowls, Balinese bell, and set of Tibetan bowls were just some of the instruments Kristen used, and what amazing sounds she made with them.

Kristen uses her intuition to guide sound healing sessions -as she plays her bowls, all around the room.  She uses Tibetan Singing Bowls, the gong, Balinese Bells, Freenotes (similar to the Xylophone). One singing bowl she has is truly amazing, it’s made of quartz crystal and is covered in gold. It’s stunning looking and the sound is beautiful too! It’s so pure in sound it’s quite magical. It was made a very special company in Ubud.

www.kristenfirpo.com – Here you can find out more about Kristen and her story of how she came into Sound Healing and how she is taking it to the corporate world. www.healanywhere.com 

Thank you, Kristen

Why not try Kirtan?

If you haven’t tried Kirtan yet, why not give it a go?  You get to sing your heart out and it’s really meditative evening. There are Kirtan sessions at Samadi Yoga Centre, Canggu, Bali you can see their website for listings. At the Yoga Barn in Ubud, they holding weekly Kirtan sessions with Greg or Punnu.  www.yogabarn.com

A Trip to Tanah Lot – on the Tourist trail

Sunset or no sunset? Still a lovely place to visit and have dinner with friends.

TANAH LOT BALI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can read a bit about me

Postcards from Bali

Postcards from Bali  – 2017

I have been in Bali, Indonesia since March 2017, with a trip to Sydney in between. These are a few postcards I have created from my travels. You can read about my time in Sydney or in Bali.  I am on a journey to find a new life and a new home, and I have no idea where this will be. I didn’t know I was coming to Bali never mind, staying here all this time on a Social and Cultural visa. I hope you enjoy the images and the stories of my  time here in Bali. Bali is the one place I actually feel at home, which has surprised me it has such a perfect combination of life experiences here.

As I don’t send postcards anymore, I thought it would be nice to create some on my blog instead. Read about finding my new life here in Bali – finding a new life – New beginnings

What do I love about Bali, the people, the prayer, the beauty, the kindness, the smiling faces, the peace, the flowers, the being here now.

I hope you enjoy my blog. You can sign up for my free e-book a story or love and loss of a Grandad – Once upon a time.. a story of a Grandad. Just sign up for the mailing and  I can send it to you.

Namaste Alice x
ALASSARI PLANTATION

postcard back to Bali new beginningsSound Healing at the Pyramids of chiTANAH LOT BALIFind what you want in your life Travel with alice

New beginnings

New beginnings – 30 Sept 2017

A milestone day for me

NEW BEGINNINGS

New Beginnings:It is exactly 3 years to the day that I woke up to a completely new life. So the 30th September 2017 is a really significant day for me, it became my New Beginning. This day symbolizes a transition from one life into the next. Trust me, building a new life didn’t quite happen overnight, but after some shocking circumstances, I have made it through to the other side.
To help me into my new life I am found myself living in Ubud, Bali, in Indonesia  – something totally unplanned but a perfect place to be. This whole town seems to be made up of people going through some kind of transition and so to be living in this community of people seems like the most accepting place to be.  Everyone is here to heal something, Ubud in Balinese means healing and you only have to experience the energy of the place to feel the special healing energy –  it’s in the air. I am sure many people are living here who have probably been through a load of crap and now taking some time out to fully integrate into a new life or just on a holiday from their normal life ( which is often crap too).
new beginnings
It has been really helpful being away from the remnants of my old life, allowing me to freely move onto something new and allowing the time for the healing to take place. Back in the UK, as much as I love my friends and family – I felt dead, and I no longer fit into that life. There was no place for me and seeing me, was seeing the crap that had happened and no one wants to be reminded of that, including me.  I feel I have been given the greatest gift of being released into a new world, and for now the island of the Gods that is Bali; has called me be here. The beauty, the people, the weather, nature, everything… including the unpredictability of Mount Agung potentially going off at any minute this last week and especially today as I write this; the anxiety and trauma people may feel is not unfamiliar to me.
Going back to my story, I was told early one morning whilst half asleep in bed, some life-changing news and my only job from that day onwards, was to try and survive the events,  work on myself and eventually move into a new life.  I can safely say I have survived, it has been a long journey, but I am now happy and grateful for the new beginning – although it is not what I had in mind. I am making the most of it and I am living with the unknown as we do and accepting what is… (Thanks to Byron Katie).  I do not know what it will bring or who I will meet,  but I feel I am now equipped as best I can to move onwards.
I lost a lot in the last few years, not only my family home, husband, children, but my sanity, my freedom, extended family and close friends. I have gained enormous resilience ( although there was not a lot of choice in this, it came in useful) and now I have new friends (and old), a new temporary home, a new temporary Bali family and a life worth living.
I was given some unconditional acts of kindness on my way through in the darkest parts of my journey, and I have many people to thank for their unconditional support and I am grateful for their ongoing love.  I think you will know who you are so I would just like to say thank you Earth Angels – although I thought I was alone there were people appearing to help me, in the strangest of guises.
I am writing this to say that I now accept and forgive what has happened and I would firmly like to put it in my past; it’s just a story and one which is no longer relevant to me. I have embraced life and that is all that matters now. I am on a new adventure and writing is one of them. I have grown through this and found I can do it… but it so much nicer when others can help and be there too!
I love people and I just hope in writing about this I can help others who are struggling with their shit, I just want to say you can do it too! You can lose it all and somehow it can make your life richer in embracing a new life and letting go of the past one. Don’t give up and one thing I have learned which is the hardest thing to do, ( and I am still no expert ) is to ask for help. It does arrive, just keep on asking and it is given. The key is to listen and go within.
 
Life is for living and compassion and empathy are available you just have to look in the right places and start with yourself. One person who symbolizes all of this for me is the Dalai Lama and he helped show me the path to finding peace within myself. Namaste
DALAI LAMA
 

There is always and only hope

New life and new beginnings….
NEW BEGINNINGS