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!
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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

 

 

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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:

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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 
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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
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Sound Healing with the Gong

Sound Healing with the Gong

Travel with Alice Pyramids of Chi

Sound Healing with the Gong: I recently took a couple of Gong Workshops. I have always been interested in sound healing and for one reason or another, I have never taken a course. I have been to quite a few gong and sound healing sessions whilst in Bali, but never really thought about taking a workshop to learn myself.

I heard Mehtab Benton a Gong Master was doing a workshop in Ubud and I remembered his name as my Yoga teacher in the UK had recommended him in the past and so when I saw he was in Bali I jumped at the chance to experience a gong workshop with him. Well, I wasn’t disappointed I had an amazing day with Mehtab and his wife, such lovely people and a really special day.

MEHTAB BENTON GONG MASTER

This led me to another workshop with Sanj Hall,Gong Master who was doing a last minute one-day workshop at the Pyramids of Chi.  I had experienced a Sound Healing at the Pyramids of Chi and so I was excited to learn more about the Gongs and the Singing Bowls. The workshops had spurred my interest in learning more about gongs and a yearning to play the gong myself.

Recently I attended the New Moon and Full Moon Sound Healing Meditations evenings held by Peter and Lynn who created the Pyramids of Chi.  It had such a special energy and atmosphere at the place. Each sound healing session is different and special, you never know what to expect but just to be open to whatever comes up and what you experience in the session.

An additional bonus for me is that Peter and Lynn help so many local Bali dogs, so you can often find a dog to cuddle or stroke. They have re-homed many dogs found near or around the Pyramids. They care for them and find them new homes. They recently helped Jack a puppy, who is now safely re-homed and rehabilitated into his new life.

Not only do they have amazing Gong players and Singers at the Pyramids but they also have wonderful food and the events are truly special evenings; bringing people together to share their very special space and the energy of the pyramids.

Read more about the Pyramids of Chi on their website about how it came about to build to Pyramids in the rice fields north of Ubud, in Bali.

Sound Healing at the Pyramids of chi

Book an event at the Pyramids of Chi

Pyramids of Chi - Moon Phases
www.pyramidsofchi.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding what you want in your life

Finding what you want in your life

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Finding what you want to do in your life…

Finding what you want in life. I have never really known what I wanted to do in my life. Not having had a clear direction or a really strong passion to follow has meant that I have fallen into a variety of careers. It has made me try out new areas I would never have imagined and I have often changed jobs in between traveling and trying to live abroad. I am once again at a new crossroads in my life where I would like to learn some new skills and utilize the ones I have.

Ask yourself the question if you could have your dream life, where or what would you be doing?

I do believe we all know deep down what we would really like to do in our lives, but often we leave it buried deep within and don’t make the effort to get out of our comfort zone for one reason or another.  We find excuses that hold us back, so make some time NOW to really take the opportunities available in our lives and to live out our dreams. I am working towards some of my dreams and I plan to build on them in the next year as 2018 is around the corner.

My Dream of Living Abroad 

I have always wanted to live abroad and I am currently in Bali, Indonesia, it’s taken some time to get here.  I am now living here and I love it. I couldn’t ever imagine living in the UK again. There are so many other places I would like to live too.

Find what you want in your life Travel with alice

My life and career hasn’t been dull and I have managed to work in lots of different creative industries over the years, but I never really found my niche in any of them. I have come to realize I am a bit of scanner, I get bored working in one area and so I need to do a variety of things and above all be creative. I enjoy the challenge of learning new things, not that I always find it easy, but I always have ideas about new avenues I would like to explore!

My last retraining was in Graphic Design Post Grad in Visual Communication at University of London 2011) which I absolutely loved with a passion, along with photography, they are my two favourite things. I find the constant use of lap-top though really doesn’t quite work with me that well anymore. My arms don’t like being on a keyboard constantly and my necks often aches from this. I have found a few solutions for this and my body is really benefitting from it.

  1. Using a mouse – I can’t use a laptop pad, it aches my hands in no time. By using my Mac mouse – it makes my life so much easier.
  2. Using my Satechi stand which is highly portable and won’t break as it super strong metal, which makes it light and stylish.
  3. Using a separate lightweight Mac keyboard, again super light and helps my posture no end.
  4. Using earphones and not holding my phone for conversations, it aches my hand, and you end up putting the phone in between your ear and neck and that creates tension in the neck area.
  5. My Muji laptop bag fits everything in and it gives me the option of creating a backpack or a shoulder bag, especially as I have an old Mac Book Pro – it’s heavier than the new MacBook’s that are out now. I love Muji for their stationery especially gel pens, and all the handy travel bottles and bags you can buy which are so handy when you are traveling.
  6. Whilst in Bali and having run out of my simple Muji notebooks I have found some really beautiful stationery at Saraswati Papers.  The journals are handcrafted by local Balinese women and made with recycling paper. They don’t use bleach or unsustainable practices. You can read about their educational programs. Visit here: Flagship Store Kado – Ubud Jalan Dewi Sita (corner of Gautama) Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Open Daily 10 am – 8 pm +62 361 886 3338
  7. Of course remembering to take breaks regularly, stretch your arms and move around a bit, and  I like to do a little meditation now and then for 5 or 10 minutes so I don’t get overwhelmed and it helps me keep my focus. I am a fan of doing five minutes of Yoga – no pressure to do a whole hour – a little is better than none at all.

Stepping into a new world

So I have decided now is the time to retrain again in something where I don’t have to spend all my time at a computer keyboard.  I am not sure what this will be but I hope my time in Bali I will find the answers to my new life and career.

Having said that I recently decided I would have a go at writing a book and although it is far from complete, I have a shape of a story in my first draft. I wrote the draft by hand, as it felt the most natural way to write, as I enjoyed connecting directly with a pen on paper I could feel the flow of writing, as opposed to writing it on a computer.

Again, I am stepping into another unknown world. I have practised many changes in my life and this I guess is just another one along the way

A tool that I learned recently from a webinar with John Williams –  Author of Screw Work Break Free is to write in a notebook every day – I WANT… I WANT… and practice this muscle so you will hopefully have a clearer idea of what you want to create in your life. Then after a few weeks look back at what you are wanting to bring into your life. I have found it quite interesting after only one week of doing this task. Some of the so-called “wants” I already had and others are some ideas for me to follow in the future.

Embrace change and find more joy in your life! Finding what you want in your life.

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Finding what yo want in life

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Finding home

Finding home…

Finding Home Ubud, Bali

Currently living in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Finding Home: It’s nearly a year since I left the UK in search of a place to call home. What actually is a home? Is it a place, or the people that reside it in. I guess I was thinking that it would be a place, as I have only myself to live in the home. Without going in to any unnecessary detail I have suddenly found myself, single again and in search of a new country and place to call home. For now I have found myself unexpectedly and happily living in Ubud, Bali, a place where I feel a sense of belonging and connection.

It came as a surprise to me that I would feel so at home in Bali, a  place centred around family life when I am alone.  I think it must be the people as they so friendly, happy and kind.  The place has a feeling of acceptance and encompasses people from all over the world. It feels here that it doesn’t matter what has happened in your past life, it’s all about new beginnings and living in the moment, alongside the daily Balinese rituals of gratitude through their offerings. 

Finding a  place to call home?

I have realised I am looking for a place to settle for a while to call home but the real home is the search within myself, it’s more a feeling, and an emotional connection that makes me feel at home and maybe it’s not the actual place after all. Although living in Bali helps a lot as it’s such an uplifting beautiful place to be, especially Ubud as it seems to draw you into a vortex of positive energy.  I am finding a place within myself, a place to feel safe, a sense of belonging, a sense that people care and in return I can get to connect and care too! 

This month Reading:  Lion by Saroo Brierley

“ As a five year old in India, I became completely lost. Twenty five years later in Australia, I finally worked out how to find my way home” Saroo Brierley

I have just read the book Lion by Saroo Brierley and I found it quite an emotional book. You can easily connect with Saroo and his journey to find his previous home and family.  For me having gone through the long process of adoption myself,  I felt a deeper connection with the book that I had expected.  I can also relate to him in being lost and trying to find a place of safety and the right people to help him.  It is quite amazing how a young child of 5 years old and me as an adult can relate to the feelings and dilemmas of this small child. I often find the book I happen to be reading relates directly to my current life. Find the book here

Excited about: Ubud Writers Festival coming up in 25-29th October 2017

Buy tickets here and get 20% off

Lineup:  Check out the writers who will be speaking including Ian Rankin, Saroo Brierley… to name a few.

If you can’t afford a ticket you can always volunteer 

If you need help with finding some nice Accommodation try www.booking.com – I find it really easy using this app on your phone/or their website and you often have the option of a free cancellation so you can change your mind too! Click on my link and you get £15.00 your next booking.

There are lots of lovely Guest Houses in Ubud.

Here are some of my favourites:

Merthayasa Bungalow 2 – Jalan Hanuman – Central Ubud – with a pool

Uma Kutuh 2 – Jalan Tirtar Tawar – overlooking rice fields – 10 minutes out of town – with a pool

Junjungan Guesthouse – Jalan Tirtar Tawar – overlooking looking the jungle – with a pool – 15-20 minutes out of central Ubud.

If you fancy a place to get away from it all in total luxury and relaxation visit: Alassari Plantation 

Bali, Indonesia

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