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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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 
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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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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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