Spiritual Healing in Bali

Wednesday 20 March 2024

As I mentioned in my roundup, my recent trip to Indonesia was about grounding myself; and maybe a little bit of closure - for the year I’d had. It was some of the hardest months, emotionally, of my life and Bali was a chance for me to put a physical finish on it. 

Asia had healed me before I needed its help again.

A healing ceremony; I told my friends as I showed them TikTok videos of girls screaming into the abyss. A traditional Balinese Purification ritual known as "Melukat"

I woke up at 3 am that morning, crying about something that I didn’t think had affected me, so that was a good start. It set an emotional tone for the day.

Arriving at Tri Desna felt eerie. The dark wood structures and purple fabrics set an unfamiliarly dark ambience, heightened by the distant echoes of other girls' screams.

That’d soon be me.

Sitting in a wooden cabana, I sipped my tea and waited. We started with a tarot reading which did not relate at all, so I came out of there in a huff. We’ll just breeze over that part.

I was then asked to pick an outfit from a wall of sarongs and ties that lay in front of me. By the time I had gotten changed, another girl had arrived so we sat together and shared stories of what brought us there.

I told her how eerie it all felt and she quite wisely said, 'people come here to dump their trauma and leave, of course it felt weird.' It made so much sense. The dark, moody sky all added to the atmosphere.

The videos I'd seen, had shown girls screaming their hearts out at this part and to be honest, I thought it was a load of rubbish. Surprisingly, I wasn’t told to scream, just to let it all out as and when. 

I could feel myself tearing up as it was happening. I'd had a really hard few months.

They poured water full of flowers over me and as chants filled the air, the emotions I had suppressed surged to the surface; so I did let it all out. Screaming, sobbing, releasing what had consumed me for months. I felt terrible afterwards.

After sitting there for a little while, we moved to another corner of the garden - which was now a sunny spot. A sanctuary of vibrant fruits, flowers, and swirling incense. Together we said prayers as I was blessed with holy coconut water and offerings of rice and fruit.
As you can you can tell by the photos, I was feeling very sorry for myself at this point. 

Before I left, they tied a traditional Indonesian bracelet of red, white and black thread around my wrist; representing love, life and death. Told not to remove it, I am still wearing it now, 5 months later.

The weird feeling lingered for a few days after the ceremony, I was emotionally drained. Sitting by the hotel pool that afternoon, I called home to talk it though amidst the haze of emotions that clouded my mind.

Adhering to instructions, I also refrained from showering for three days to let the holy water sink into my skin. Like a good little girl, I arrived back in the UK with dried flowers stuck in my hair, still smelling like Bali.

Returning home, the haze slowly lifted and was replaced by glimpses of happiness which I hadn’t felt for months. Tri Desna gave me what I had come for.  Looking back on my trip to Bali - and all my adventures of the past year, I was thankful to have them as happy memories during the worst year of my life.

My favourite travel days of 2023.

Friday 15 December 2023

Travel is such a huge and very important part of my life; and 2023 has been full of incredible adventures. Here are some snippets of my favourite days from each.


In January, I was fortunate enough to escape the cold on a last minute trip to Tenerife. 

One of my favorite moments was lounging by the pool with a frozen cocktail in hand. We stayed in an amazing suite with a rooftop jacuzzi so my time was mostly split between there, the spa or eating iberico ham at the beach bar.


I had been desperate to go back to Marrakesh ever since my press trip in 2017, so this was a real treat.

The whole city is just magical and reminds me of Aladdin so I especially enjoyed having more time to wander around the souks and the Medina this time.

My favourite part of this trip was our afternoon at the La Sultana; where I had my first hamam experience and an awesome massage. After that we went to a Moroccan restaurant and ate traditional food whilst the belly dancers weaved around us.

Amalfi Coast

My driving holiday along the Amalfi Coast was unforgettable. Cruising along the twisting roads in a Fiat 500 while watching the sunset was magical. However, my favorite day was our boat trip to Capri. We made friends on the boat and spent the afternoon sipping sparkling cocktails with them on the island before heading back to the mainland for dinner in Positano.


In May, I took my first solo trip since before lock down and it was full of great days.

Maybe the five star hotel spa day, the day I spent surfing on the flow rider; or maybe an accumulation of the lazy days spent at the pool at my jungle hotel.

Every day was special in its own way on this trip. I was really struggling with life at home in May and needed some time away to reflect and process what had happened. I spent a lot of time journalling by the pool, speaking to my therapist and getting into bed early and came back feeling much better.


I had been wanting to see Ushuaïa for as long as I can remember so whilst I'm not a big party girl, this is what my trip to Ibiza was about. Another bucket list item, done


Our biggest girls trip yet - we some how managed to find a date where everyone could come which was great. Still doing a lot of reflecting, I spent a lot of time of my own by the beach but my favourite memory from this trip was getting afternoon drunk on frozen strawberry daiquiris by the pool.


I haven't got a lot to say about this trip because I spent the majority of it in bed sick. I did manage one morning of adventure though which involved a food tour around the city and I enjoyed that very much.  


This trip was booked totally last minute when I won a ticket to see Blink 182 play there. It turned out to be one of my favourite memories from the whole year. Not only was I super excited to see one of my favourite bands which I'd not been about to get a ticket for in Lodnon, but I also took my skates along with me and spent the afternoon skating up and down the beach in the sun. I ate tapas in the street, wandered about on my own and fell in love with around a city I'd previously written off.


Having already flown to Asia earlier in the year I was looking for another excuse to go back so when I saw that another favourite band of mine, Bring me the horizon were playing in Jakarta it was the perfect excuse. 

Jakarta was another place I had no interest in visiting, I was only there to see the band but funnily enough, this was another place I ended up really loving. 

Bali I know well and with a mix of luxury hostels and private treetop villas, it was a wonderfully varied trip. I made friends and went to beach clubs some days and jumped between delivery food by my private plunge pool and the spa on others.  

This trip was less reflective and more grounding. I looked at it as a healing trip and wanted it to be about getting back to myself and being happy - and that's exactly what happened. 

I am very grateful I was able to travel so much this year and after a couple of quieter years due to covid, it reminded me just how happy travel makes me. I look forward to whatever adventures 2024 brings!

43 hours in Jakarta

Monday 20 November 2023

I'd never had any interest in visiting Jakarta, but with Bring Me The Horizon playing a gig there I finally had a reason to visit.
Buying tickets for show was no easy feat. The app they were sold through had no English translation so in desperation I reached out to a skating page I'd been following on instagram, that happened to be based in Jakarta and they helped me out. I was so grateful - and excited - we agreed to meet when I arrived.

Jakarta surprised me. Polluted, grey and chaotic, yet oddly charming. I liked it because even though it was mayhem there was an unexpected order beneath it all and noticeable level of quality. Modern cars, well maintained shopping centres, and everyone seemed to be wearing fresh, branded clothes. Plus I don't really know what I was expecting but my new friends all had normal office jobs.

Jakarta seems to me, to be a city of contrasts, which surprised me beyond the initial chaos.
Excited to finally meet, I got a motorbike taxi to meet Rossi in the city centre. A big hug and friendly face was very welcome after 18 hours of travel.

She brought along a couple of friends and after introductions, they took me to a street food stall on the side of a crazy road. We ate food I'd never seen before - a curious chicken foot and pork knuckle soup (I think), with cows skin crackers. Odd but exciting. I love trying new food. The delights continued with some kind of sweet tea and chewy pandan cakes whilst we discussed our respective lives on opposite sides of the world.
After dinner we headed to a Treehouse style rooftop bar which was very familiar. Turns out they brought me there because it is often frequented by Westerners. Figures haha.

We ordered cocktails. And then a plate of nachos turned up, which I assume they ordered for me, because none of them knew what they were or how to eat them which was hilarious. Probably like me and the chicken foot earlier on.

An electric storm provided an unexpected backdrop for the rest of the evening. The skies opened and it poured; very impressive. I love thunderstorms.
It's not totally unlike me to sleep for 16 hours but jetlag-induced slumber aside, the next day brought the disappointing news of a cancelled Bring Me The Horizon gig. I suppose this is the contrast I was talking about. The stage the night before had been structurally unsound so they had to pull he show.

At this point I was in a bit of a daze with it all but my new friends came to the rescue. I headed out for a bubble tea and then met Rossi and another friend, Nasi at the Roller Skating rink. Perfect. I haven't posted much about it here but skating has taken over my life recently so I was pleased to get my fix after a few days away from my skates.
Unlike London rinks, it was two stories and decorated with neon lights and art installations. Nasi taught me a new trick and we had loads of fun sharing skills and practicing together. Skating has become my peace during all that's happened over the last couple of months and yet again, it made everything make sense.
We went to the mall for dinner afterwards and then got in Tulus car for a nighttime tour of the city with a bag full of Indonesian desserts. It's even more chaotic in the dark.

So I didn't get to see BMTH this time but what's another gig to a super fan - I'll see them when they're back in London, or maybe elsewhere, who knows! Instead, I left Jakarta with new friends, happy memories and a newfound appreciation of a city I previously had no interest in.

The best acai bowls in Lagos

Thursday 17 August 2023

I went to Lagos last year and it didn’t really make an impact. It was a different type of trip for me, granted but I found it a bit unmemorable; so when my friends decided it was the location of our big girls trip, I wasn’t fussed.

Having now spent some more time there, I feel like I connected with it a bit more and have a newfound appreciation for the place.

Apart from the spiritual awakening it seemed to initiate within me, (don’t ask) I spent a lot of time away from the group, just wandering around taking it all in. Navigating the cute, cobbled streets in the sunshine and settling down at one of many brunch places with my headphones and an acai bowl. 

I’d say it has quite a Bali vibe to it in that respect and I think that’s why I felt quite so at home. Whilst the girls partied into the night and got up late, I was looking forward to getting up each morning to go and find breakfast - via the beach.

Acai bowls are one of my favourite dishes and one of the few foodie things that London is not very good at. Lagos however had lots of options and here are my thoughts on the three I tried.

Coffee on Waves

Coffee and Waves is a very cute surfer café complete with boards, merch and just a few tables for two.

My bowl here was perfectly presented, topped with peach slices, banana, berries, coconut, granola and some random pieces of sour grapefruit which I did not appreciate. It cost €7.50 plus an additional €1 for the peanut butter – which kick started a new obsession.

The acai itself was quite frozen which is preferable as sometimes bowls can be more like a smoothie and get a bit sloppy. This one held together well. The granola was very good, providing some crunch to break up the textures and the peanut butter, my new joy in life, was smooth and the perfect spooning consistency.

Goji Lounge

The girls wanted to go back to Goji after our first morning because it had a lovely outside terrace and they were all keen for more avo toast. I decided it was time to try the acai since I can get my avo fix in London.

This one cost me €7.20 and wasn’t quite as good as the previous but it did the job. It was much looser which usually would have been an issue for me but actually, that came in quite useful. They didn’t have any granola so it was topped with oats which would have been quite dry had I not been able to mix them in. That being said, I still prefer granola. 

Of course there was the additional peanut butter which I very much enjoyed and some more variation on the toppings with strawberries, kiwis, chia seeds and passionfruit involved. 

Note: it’s cash only.


The final location was pretty special plus the acai was great so probably my favourite all round experience.

It was our last morning and I headed out early in search of some serenity before the chaos of going home started. The street level tables were all full so I went up to the rooftop which was perfectly tranquil - I was the only one up there for a while so found myself a comfortable corner and sat under an umbrella, staring up at the clear blue skies until the girls arrived. We very much enjoyed the boho vibes with cushions, lots of wicker and fairy lights. 
I ordered a fresh OJ and their paradise bowl (€7.50) which came with the usual toppings, plus cacao (although this turned out to just be dark chocolate chips which threw me off) which was served in a coconut. Very Bali.

and of course, a side of crunchy peanut butter. In terms of consistency and toppings, this one was just the right, I felt like Goldilocks.

Golidlocks and the three acai bowls.

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