. March 28, 2020 .

In today's post I want to talk to you about Hypnotherapy. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to have an amazing session with a lovely human called Richard Maule out in Bali, which helped me shift some old stubborn behaviours and thoughts I had related to body image.

Right now it’s extra important to look after our mental health, being stuck inside indefinitely can feel overwhelming and a particular struggle for those suffering with things like anxiety, depression and eating disorders. So today I wanted to share my hypnotherapy experience with Rich, our session really helped me and if any of you are facing struggles right now hypnotherapy might be something to consider.

What we worked on isn’t something I’ve talked about a lot (if ever) on this platform – I try to keep this a super positive place and especially when it comes to things like self love and body confidence. But my road to self-love has definitely been a long one and I’ve faced a lot of internal struggles along the way. In my late teens I struggled with an eating disorder. Im well ‘recovered’ and have been for several years now but, when you go through something like that, it’s easy to retain some stubborn negative thoughts in the back for your mind – despite the fact that nowadays I consider myself a generally happy and healthy person.

And so when Rich asked me what problem I’d like to target within my hypnotherapy session, it saw it as a sign and opportunity to finally see the back fo these negative thoughts and behaviours for good.  Hypnosis works by tapping into your unconscious mind (where these thoughts and behaviours of mine remained) and redirecting these thoughts to help you achieve your goals and essentially what you want out of life.
To go deeper into yourself and access your subconscious, you need to enter a hypnotic state. This part of my experience with Rich was the most crazy/ surreal/ interesting/ amazing. I was guided into a hypnotic state, but was still aware and remember every part of the session. During this state, lots of suppressed memories and experiences came up, some I’d suppressed so much I’d almost forgotten about but were obviously still playing a part in my struggles. But letting them out, releasing them with Rich’s guidance was very cathartic and as I let go of them, sad tears turned to happy tears. We then worked on redirecting my subconscious to thoughts of self love, health and kindness towards myself.

I left the session feeling incredibly happy, like a weight had been lifted. I remember riding home on my scooter with the biggest smile plastered across my face and happy tears rolling down my cheeks at the internal shifts I was noticing so immediately. And as the days followed, it amazed me how the shifts were having such positive impacts, for the first time in years I felt happier looking in the mirror, I felt more drawn to things that made me feel healthy and a lot of guilt I struggled with around food had disappeared.
I’ll forever be grateful for this experience, and if you’re struggling with something or even just want to improve your thinking around certain aspects of your life I definitely recommend looking into hypnotherapy and in particular the wonderful human that is Richard Maule – thank you Rich for helping me make such positive changes. Let’s use this time to be kind to ourselves, be mindful, show ourselves love and if you want to work deeper, maybe even try something new like Hypnotherapy.

Rich is hosting a guided visualisation, meditation and breath-work tomorrow morning at 11am UK time on his Instagram Live  (6pm Bali time) so if you’re interested in his work you can join tomorrow from anywhere. I for one definitely need this right now and can’t wait.

Lots of love and stay safe everyone 💕
Bali, Indonesia

. January 24, 2020 .

Bonjour my angels. Happy 2020, it's been a minute. And an even longer minute since I've blogged about my beloved Bali land. I think I've avoided delving into it so thoroughly before because the amount of content and things I have to say about Bali is so overwhelming I didn't know where to start. Long-time followers may remember my love letter to Bali I wrote before my first stint living there in 2018, which is still my most read post to date.

And now, as if history is repeating itself, I'm off again next month – solo. Except this time I'm a little older, a lot wiser and this time I think I'm in it for the long hall. Stay tuned for more of a personal post on my plans for the year ahead, but for now I wanted to kick off my highly-requested Bali series. Yep, series. Like I said, I have SO much to share and I'm SO passionate about it all it's about time I do this properly. Place by place, topic by topic, I'm getting into the nitty gritty of all things Bali and I'm so excited to finally share all the good stuff with you. I already have a lot drafted and planned, but it will hopefully be a great ongoing source for you to keep coming back to! I'll be doing area guides of the best places you HAVE to see and stay, but also covering topics like digital nomad life, cost of living and staying safe as a solo female traveler in Bali/Asia. Any more ideas – shoot me a DM.

So, after that bloody lengthy introduction and without further adieu, I'm kicking off the Bali series with 10 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Bali. These are the basics I go through when giving the low-down to friends or followers that message me asking for Bali advice.


Whether you're off on holiday or doing some solo backpacking or digital nomad-ing it's important you understand the do's and don'ts when coming to Indonesia. Bali is an incredible slice of the world and your trip will be amazing – but you don't want any last minute issues or hiccups at the airport stopping you from having the best trip. Indonesia can be strict when it comes to things like passport condition and how long you're planning on staying in the country. 

When entering Bali you'll need and outward flight leaving the country in under 30 days (the Visa exemption period) or 60 days if you're getting a Visa on Arrival (more on this next). Most airlines won't let you board the flight without this. If you're just visiting for a holiday then you'll naturally already have your return so no dramas here. But if your trip is open ended you will still need your outward flight, if you're unsure of your next destination I recommend searching SkyScanner for the cheapest flight leaving Indonesia (there will usually be one to Singapore or KL for around £30) and purchasing so you have no nasty surprises at the airport – like I did and had to panic book an expensive flight to Aus, oops.


As mentioned, all trips under 30 days for most passport-holders are covered under a free, 30-day visa exemption you get on arrival so no need to worry about visas there – but remember if you do over-stay the penalty is 1,000,000 IDR (£50-60) a day so make sure you count your days correctly! You can find more info on visas and entry here.

For trips longer than 30 days you can get a Visa On Arrival which will allow you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days but requires visit(s) to immigration to extend from 30 days to 60. This is purchased at a desk (just before immigration) at the airport for $30USD and paid for in IDR cash. You will then need to extend this yourself by either visiting Bali Immigration Office 3 times for photos, fingerprints and passport assessment or, you hiring a local agent to do this for you but you will still need to visit immigration once. This is correct to the best of my knowledge but please make sure to do your own research to make sure you have the right visa you need! Read this article for some useful info on visa extensions.


Most general medicines and even antibiotics you can buy over the counter in Bali but I'd recommend coming out with everything you need just incase, especially for longer trips. I usually stock up on things like painkillers, Immodium and senna tablets (Bali belly can happen), cystitis sachets and antibiotics, contraception etc. Also ladies, tampons and pads are one of the few things that can be expensive here for some reason! So make sure you bring enough tampons or even better (for less waste) a menstrual cup from home.

Insurance – this is a biggy. I know most people are smart enough to never travel without it but one thing I've learned through travelling in Bali is that it's SO important to have but also SO important to choose a quality provider. World Nomads Insurance is what I will be using these for my upcoming venture. It's 100% worth spending a little more.

Bali on the whole is very safe and I've never had an accident personally in my 7+ months of being there, but accidents do occasionally happen and no one really talks about this stuff – I want to encourage you to be as sensible as possible! If you ever do need to visit a hospital, ask them to take you to BIMC, this is an amazing private hospital (I spent a lot of time visiting a friend in) and they will work with your quality insurance company and handle everything properly. 


Okay, thats enough of the official heavy facts! Time to get into the good stuff. Getting around Bali is super easy and I'm going to split this point into 3 sections for clarity.

This is my favourite way to get around. You can hire a scooter for around 50k (£3) a day, it's fun (traffic willing) and will give you a great sense of freedom. Of course, safety is key, ALWAYS wear a helmet and only ride if you're confident enough to do so. If you'd like to learn, my local friend Dio runs some great lessons at Bali Motor Bike Lessons (send them a DM on insta here) – most people are confident and riding within a couple of hours. I've had some great adventures with Dio and he's a super lovely trustworthy guy! Of course, make sure your insurance covers you for riding a scooter.

Also, you need to hold an International driving licence to ride in Indonesia, worth remembering as a lot of scooter rental places don't ask for it even though it's required! If you are planning on long distances and travelling on the main roads it's likely you'll be stopped by police and potentially fined if you don't have one. But for just riding around quieter neighbourhoods and smaller roads (like in Uluwatu or Canggu) it's very unlikely you'll ever get asked for it. I personally don't do long journeys or ride after dark alone, but for getting around shorter distances during the day it's perfect.

So, getting a scooter may not be for you and that's TOTALLY fine. There's lots of other ways to get around, the best being Go-Jek app (especially for shorter distances). Go-jek is essentially like an Indo-Uber, but you can order anything from regular taxis, to cars or bike taxis (the cheapest and most effective way to get around) to ordering food from incredible restaurants and even groceries, medicine or a massage! It's the one app you MUST download upon arrival. I always use this in the evenings incase I'd like a sunset drink and it's great. Ordering a bike taxi will bring a local right up to your location and you can jump on the back to your destination, most 10 minute journeys in and around Canggu for example are around 15k (85p!). You might have to barter a bit for longer trips but that's where I'd recommend finding a trustworthy driver.

I'd avoid the blue taxis and everyone hassling you at the airport if possible because chances are, you'll get ripped off. You can find local drivers via Facebook groups or ask a friend who's travelled there if they have a recommendation. My driver is called Pasta and he's an absolute diamond, super lovely and trust worthy and always offers a fair price. If you'd like his number please send me a DM I'd be happy to share! You can expect to pay a private driver 250k (£12) from the airport to Canggu, Uluwatu, Seminyak areas and maybe a little more for Ubud areas. For a full day tour or day trips (recommend for visiting temples, waterfalls etc in Ubud) you can expect to pay anywhere from 500k-800k depending on the hours needed.

There's loads of boats to the neighbouring islands such as Gili, Lombok and the Nusa Islands (which I 100% recommend doing if you have the time!) but it can get a bit overwhelming. You definitely want to get a fast boat ticket so you're not at sea for hours, I've tried a few but the best of the mid-priced bunch is Eka Jaya. You can get tickets either at the harbour (Padang Bai) or via ticket sellers either on the street (you'll see little boat tickets huts everywhere in the main hubs) or from your hotel and they should usually include transfers. A fair price for a return is anywhere between 400k-800k (£20-£40) depending on provider and transfer options. A word of warning Padang Bai harbour is pretty hectic and you may be approached by sellers and people wanting to carry your bags – just say a firm but polite no thank you or 'tidak makasih' in Indonesian.

For more of a stress-free experience I really, really recommend a company called Blue Water Express. Departing to the islands from the much quieter Serangan harbour, everything is seamless and organised from a stress-free transfer pick up, to a comfortable cafe waiting area to organised and comfortable boarding on a premium fast boat. They even give everyone a sea-sickness tablet! If you can spare the extra £ (starting around 1mil (£60) for a return) I'd always go with them.

Also stay tuned for storms and weather! In June last year the harbourmaster put a 4 day halt on all fast boats – meaning we had to get a 5hr public ferry (it was an experience, but only £2.50) to make it to our lovely pre-booked resort in Lombok.


Bali is a lot bigger than most people think, and there is SO much it has to offer – it kills me when first time visitors go and stay in one place like Seminyak the whole time. I'll be doing full guides by area, but think about what things you'd like to see and experience. Bali is so unique in the fact there's so much to see on and around one island is something you should take full advantage of. Moving around might sound like a bit of a hassle but honestly, you won't regret a minute of it.

As an example, over a 2 week trip I usually recommend starting out in Canggu for 3-4 nights for cute cafes, surf vibes, great nightlife and epic sunsets. Then you could go up to Ubud for another 3 nights to try out some of the beautiful resorts and spas and then get your culture fix – think rice fields, temples and waterfalls. From there it's easy to get to the harbours so you could spend the next few nights on an island (Gili T for party and diving, Gili Air for chill and Nusa Lem for beauty). After that you could then travel down to Uluwatu (my favourite part of in Bali) for the most beautiful beaches, surf lessons, epic clifftop views and sunsets and again amazing eateries – it's quieter down here but make sure you're there on a Wednesday or Sunday for the best party night at Single Fins.


I've mentioned these a few times now but I can't recommend them enough for helpful tips, especially for solo travellers, digi nomads or if you're going to be there for a little while! There's some great communities of expats and locals who share advice, news, accommodation and plenty of amazing events. My faves are Canggu Nomad Girls, Canggu Community, Canggu Community Housing, Bali Expat Jobs & Business, Uluwatu Community, Ubud Hood and Bali Digital Nomads. I can't express how much these have helped me (Canggu Nomad Girls in particular is a beautifully supportive group), from making friends with other female travellers to amazing events and even business opportunities. If you're self-employed/freelance it's worth checking out some of the events even if you're on holiday!


Bali is a wonderful destination (have I said that yet?) and you'll have an incredible time there, but it's important to help look after this special island too. Pollution and plastic in the oceans is a big problem in  Asia in general, but we can all do our bit to help. It breaks my heart to see wildlife affected or litter in the sea and on my last trip I made it through the whole time with not one bit of single-use plastic with ease, so there's no excuse to contribute to waste!

You can't drink tap water in Bali, but instead of buying lots of single-use plastic bottled water, bring or buy a reusable water bottle. Nearly every hotel, villa, hostel and restaurant will have drinking-water dispenser you can use. If you don't have a re-usable bottle purchase a glass bottled water so you can keep it and re-fill it (mine lasted months last summer!). If you see litter on the beach or in the sea pick it up and dispose of it, or even better join one of the frequent beach clean up events to help the environment and potentially make some friends! Oh and also don't flush the toilet paper, it messes with their drainage systems – use the bum gun (if you know, you know) and dry with tissue and pop it in the bin.


There's plenty of great cafes and brands that do good in Bali. GIVE café in Canggu is one of my ultimate favourites. Owned by Kynd Community (probably the most instagrammed pink wall ever), it is 100% non-profit and serves the most incredible vegan food. Once you pay for your meal you're given a token and can choose to donate to either a Bali dogs charity, a charity helping children and those in need of prosthetics or charity supporting sustainable education and farming programs. Also my friend owns a Bali bags brand, E. Lane Traders and donates a portion of sales to Bali Street Mums and sponsors a child. There's plenty of ways to give back.

And once you meet some locals, you'll want to. Balinese people are some of the loveliest, kindest people I've met. Bali is home to a mix of religions but the most widespread is Hinduism. You'll spot daily offerings to the gods in the street and maybe even outside your door (some resorts even teach you how to make these!) so be careful not to step on them. If you're visiting a temple or religious space be sure to dress appropriately and take a sarong. Religious processions can be incredible to watch and although it occasionally may hold up some traffic, be mindful and patient.

Also, it helps to learn a few local bahasa phrases!
Terima kasih = 'thank you'
Selemat Paggi = 'good morning'
Selemant Sore = 'good afternoon'
Selemat Malam = 'good night'
Apa Kabar = 'how are you'
Permissi = 'excuse me'
Tidak = 'no'

9. FAIR PAYMENT (but don't be stingy either)

I touched on this with the taxi's, but it goes for everything in Bali. Ask around for what a fair price for a trip or tour ticket should be before handing over cash. Try and pre-book your airport transfer. For local markets and sellers on the beach prepared to haggle a bit (a fair price for a sarong is 20-50k (£2-3), around 20-30k for a shell bracelet and around 100-150k for a a small rattan bag. But just remember, a little to you is probably a lot to them. A Bintang (local beer) should cost you around 30k, and you can get an indonesian meal from a Warung (local restaurant) for around 30k (£1.50).


This sounds a bit cringe, but for real – once mama Bali gets her hold on you it's likely you'll come back again and again or, like me and thousands of other expats, want to make a proper life out there. It's not for everyone, of course, but it is for many. The island so beautiful and full of so much amazing energy, sipping coconuts and watching sunsets on the daily becomes addictive and being around so many good vibes 24/7 is such a special thing and the lifestyle is infectious. You'll also meet amazing people – I've made some incredible friendships in Bali. And met my last two ex-boyfriends there (lol).

Not only that, there's buzzing hubs like Canggu and Ubud where new businesses, entrepreneurs, digital nomads and creatives a like are thriving. The sense of community is incredible and going out for drinks is nearly always like networking. My friend bought a sofa off another girl in Canggu Nomad Girls and she ended up being her biggest client! People are making it work out there and it's a pretty inspiring place to be – stay tuned for my post on living/working here.

I hope you found these tips helpful, please save and share if you did. I can't wait to start this next chapter and share it all with you.
New York

. November 12, 2019 .

Good evening angels. I can't quite believe how far into November we are and that I've been home from New York for almost a month already. I had the most wonderful trip with my mum, it'd been too long since we'd had a girls trip together and the five days we spent here were just magical. Despite a forecast of rain, we were blessed with some gloriously sunny autumnal days and saw so much of this crazy city. I had a lot of DM's asking for for advice on what to see etc, this was my fourth time visiting so I thought I'd list my five favourite things to do in New York City and the tips I've picked up along the way.

First up, if you're flying from the UK I can't recommend Norwegian enough. With fares starting from £139 one way and £245 return (!) it's such a great value airline yet the inflight experience is never compromised – always such a comfortable flight, impeccable service and you can order drinks and snacks right to your seat (winning). They run three flights a day from Gatwick, and their 6am departure means you can arrive at Times Square by 10:30am local time. 

NYC location wise, I stayed at Yotel NYC. It was my second time staying here and I loved the property just as much as last time. Cute, efficient little cabins with gorgeous views over downtown Manhattan with a restaurant, rooftop bar and gym all on site. The location in Hell's Kitchen is a stones throw from Times Square and a great base to reach everything else from in the city. Now.. into the good stuff.

1. Walk the High Line & have brunch in the West Village

I did this shortly after it opened a few years ago and it's remained one of my favourite things to do in the city. Only a 10 minute walk from our hotel, we headed here on our first morning and, in my opinion, it's the loveliest way to start the trip – but definitely do it on clear/sunny day if you can! The Highline is actually an old railtrack running from Hell's Kitchen area all the way down to Hudson Yards, that's been transformed in to a beautiful 1.45 mile walkway (or 'elevated linear park') for New Yorker's, commuters and tourists alike. Weaving between tall, modern skyscrapers and old traditional New York buildings, the High Line is lined with gardens that took inspiration from the self-seeded landscape that grew wild for 25 years after the trains stopped running – I'm sure you can imagine this makes for a pretty beautiful juxtaposition between urban and nature. Not to mention, the epic, elevated views of the iconic skyline.

If you walk in the Hell's Kitchen > Chelsea direction like we did, you can find yourself a short walk from the West Village just in time for brunch. My forever favourite is Jack's Wife Freda (although they have 3 more locations across the city), and filling up on their delicious brunch menu is just what you'll fancy after your walk. FYI – the green eggs with feta are the bomb.com

2. Visit the Top of The Rock (& how to save on entry)

Now I've done the touristy things a few times in NYC, but as mum hadn't been in over a decade we definitely wanted to check a few of them off. And to be honest, I don't think I'll ever take a trip here when I don't go here. The Top of The Rock, in my opinion, is the best of the sky scrapers you can visit when it comes to seeing the city from above. Having visited both here and The Empire State observation deck's on this trip, it's definitely the more spacious, less crowded and the views are unparalleled. We went shortly after opening at 8:30am and were lucky to be two of only a handful of people there. Unfortunately the clouds hadn't cleared for us yet, but I imagine this would be even more spectacular as the sun rises over manhattan.

You'll need to buy a ticket to get in ($38), but if you're planning on visiting a few of the sites, I can't recommend picking up a NYC GO City Pass. Saving you up to 44% you gain admission to the top 6 New York attractions, including Top of The Rock, MoMA and The Statue of Liberty Island to name a few! I was kindly gifted one of these to use during my trip, but paid for one for my mum too as they were such amazing value.

3. Brunch & shopping in Nolita/ Soho

Nolita and Soho are maybe my favourite neighbourhoods on Manhattan. From the dreamy fire escapes and pastel painted buildings, to the plethora of trendy brunch spots and pretty boutiques. It's a really cool area that makes you feel like a local and is the perfect place to spend morning or afternoon mooching about and perhaps even staying for cocktails in the evening too. 

We had a lovely brunch at the Butcher's Daughter in Soho, one of my favourites in NYC for vegan/ veggie eats. With tables just outside it was a great place to people watch and see the New York go by right in front of you, all of course whilst sipping on an oat-milk matcha and munching their vegan deli sandwich. Some other great spots nearby are also Rin-Tin-Tin, Pietro Nolita and Egg Shop. Afterwards, you can wander around the neighbourhoods and do a bit of shopping – these areas are a hotspot for sample sales too. And, if your muscles are aching from all the exploring, head on over to Chinatown for a massage. We were recommended by a local to visit Renew Day Spa for a $36 dollar 1hr massage and it was bloody amazing.

4. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge & take the ferry to Williamsburg

Perhaps surprisingly, this was maybe my favourite day of the trip. It was Saturday and the sun was shining, the day ahead was looking beautiful. Of course, that meant half of Manhattan showed up to walk the bridge too, it was so lovely none the less and the views are just spectacular – just get there early if you can to soak as much of it in as possible. Over the bridge you'll find Dumbo, AKA Dan Humphrey's 'hood for my GG babes out there. Again, this might have been because it was a sunny Saturday, but the main street was full of people getting that iconic shot of the Manhattan Bridge. There are however a few lovely lunch spots, we went to Al Mar and definitely would have stopped for a drink at Ceccioni's if it wasn't too busy.

From Dumbo you can then take the NYC Ferry down to Williamsburg. My friend and fellow NYC maven Hayley gave me this recommendation and it was such a good one! Only a couple of dollars so it's 10x cheaper than getting an Uber and oh my god was it 10x more beautiful. Download the free app to purchase your ticket and avoid the queues, then to enjoy a beautiful view of Manhattan as you cruise along the river.

We got off at North Williamsburg and a short walk from there was Smoursburg food market which we stumbled on by complete chance. Open on Saturdays and Sundays, it's the most insane collection of delicious street food of all kinds – the NY Times even dubbed it the Woodstock of Eating! There's also a bar just next to it where we enjoyed a couple of pints, before indulging in some seriously delicious treats from the stalls. I picked up a fresh coconut, loaded fries, a soya meat slider whilst having a little boogie to one of the stall's reggae music – pure heaven.

Afterwards we headed to The Hotxton Williamsburg for sunset cocktails (again get here earlyish) and made it to their rooftop bar, Summerly, just in time for sunset. Both the drinks (go for the Key Lime Colada) and location where phenomenal. The views of a slow burning sky kissing the manhattan skyline, Mum by my side and cocktail in hand are memories I'll cherish forever.

5. Have lunch in Central Park at Tavern on The Green

Central Park is of course an absolute must when visiting NYC. It's beautiful in all four seasons and often provides the perfect sanctuary when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. We were pushed for time, so this time took a rickshaw around the park and actually had the best time! We lucked out with an amazing rider who showed us all of the most beautiful parts of the park, taking pictures and loading us with all the history and famous film spots along the way.

On the west side of the park you'll find Tavern on The Green. It's a beautiful restaurant and bar looking over the edge of the park with an amazing menu. I had a salmon Ceaser salad that was to die for, washed down with a couple of flutes of prosecco of course. This spot is perfect for a special occasion or birthday and I'll come back every time I visit New York.

This is actually a very personal recommendation, we visited the Tavern on The Green as a family back in 2002 and I remember to this day having such a special evening, running around the property and dancing underneath the fairy lights with my brother. So I surprised my mum with lunch here on our last day and it was the perfect way to end the trip.

Thank you so much for reading! You can see this all in action in my IGTV vlog of the trip here.

lucia grace