Bali by my iPhone

Wed 16th, Jan, 2013

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Good morning from Bali!

When Mr Beach Cottage and I realised that this school holidays (if you are reading from outside Australia the children are on school hols from before Christmas and for the whole of January – for some lucky parents, like me, that means 8 weeks of the kiddos home) could possibly be our only window of opportunity for a holiday all year (work and school commitments the rest of the year) we started looking around at places to go…


We initially looked at places in Australia to go so that Barls could come along too, that notable place up the coast a few hours from us, that’s a lil’ boho and hippie sprung to mind, but once we looked into it the vastly inflated school holiday prices in Australia meant that we would rather spend our cash on seeing another culture…some cottages we looked at were close to $10,000 a week to rent.

We looked at a lot of options…our main one was that we didn’t want too long a flight, which really means Asia and no further, we looked at Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Japan and a few others…but Bali seemed easy and accessible for us…and though I think most Australians I know have been here more than once and it’s all a bit kiss-me-quick to some, to us, being from the Old Country, it seemed a bit special.

I was also hugely sucked in by the whole spiritual thing, just call me Elizabeth Gilbert with 3 kiddos in tow haha – in the last few months of last year I had decided that my life needed a bit more calm and bit more connecting with myself (still quite not sure how one does that but it sounds good) and a bit more I don’t know what, it’s sounds all sissy, but I thought I might find whatever it is in Bali…

Well I didn’t find anything much like that at all, I was looking for a serenity, some calm and peace in an Indonesian paradise setting, what I got at first was a whole lot of mad-paced, frenetic life fuelled by tourism, a lot of international brands topped off with flowers and very beautiful people on scooters in lovely bright clothes…

…it is crazy and you can see hints of the old Bali everywhere but I think it could be very easy to come here and leave with anything but serenity and calm… I did dig a little deeper though and so glad I did and did learn a few things, just little things to head into the new year with, but to be honest it’s not particularly because of Bali…though I must say I love it here…but more just those things you get on holiday if you know what I mean?


1. I love travelling and seeing new things in my life (I think we already established on this here blog that fact) – this trip to Bali has fuelled that and I am looking at booking another little trip (might have to be on my own little lonesome) as soon as we get back – it’s only going to happen if I make it happen, right?


2. I am not good roughing it.  Period.

As I said yesterday we had a few accommodation problems.  Sorry but I like laundered sheets.  And to shower without cockroaches falling on my head.  And I expect the facilities advertised to be available and work.

I don’t want to see a rat.

Just call me a princess.


3. I need to stop and do less more often and seriously get back to reading fiction – it’s so good for that serenity thing to get lost in a book.


4. I don’t like fish nibbling my feet


but up for trying out being on the back of a moped


5. Mostly this trip has shown me how life could be quite different for me…made me slap my wrist, pull up my socks and feel very very grateful for the Lucky Country and our new life there…

Have you been on holiday to somewhere that you had pre-conceived ideas about that turned out to be quite different?  Do you come home from holiday grateful for your life?  Do you like the idea of fish nibbling the dead skin off of your feet?

I’ll be the one with the smooth feet ;)

See you soon, I’ll be tuning in tomorrow with more, oh and there’s a bit of news on ABeachCottage Mark II! Exciting!



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35 Responses to “Bali by my iPhone”

  1. Those pictures are beautiful! And those colors are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! And, yeah, have to say, I’m with you on the rats. Not! And I do like me some fresh sheets as well, lol! Anxious to hear with the beach cottage news is!

  2. Claire says:

    I love coming back from holidays all fresh and full of inspiration! It’s great to be able to see your life with fresh eyes and appreciate the things you love about it, maybe making a few changes for the better. I know I’m in the zone when my creativity soars and once again there seems to be enough time in the day to do everything I want to. The hard part is maintaining the feeling and avoiding the slow slide back to stress and busyness… Lovely pictures Sarah, thanks for sharing your trip with us x

    • sarah says:

      you are so right! I feel creative and grateful for my life which I think is a good feeling to get from being on holiday x

  3. Ahhhh …. I cannot wait! And I want to do the fish thing!

  4. Stunning photos! Think I might plan that trip to Bali now.
    Can’t wait to hear about your news.

  5. Selby says:

    Haven’t had a proper holiday away in a really long time(& never been to Bali ) holidays at home in your house aren’t quite the same vibe are they? hehe nice as they can be;) – but I know what you mean about looking for the ” something” that will lead to connectedness & as you say “Whatever it is”& hoping to find it somewhere… I often feel if only I had a holiday away I’d find it, or read the right book or had the right conversation etc …& then like a dag I sometimes stupidly waste time having a stress about not finding it or working out what ‘it’ is:)
    I hope in 2013 you find some of “it” whatever it looks like for you & so do I :) maybe ‘it ‘ will sneak up quietly & find us when we least expect. Xx

    • sarah says:

      yeah I don’t think there is an ‘it’ I think it’s all in the mind!

      I think getting away is the answer!

  6. BB says:

    Gorgeous photos Nikki – I hear you on the hecticness of Bali. Apparently there ARE parts that are serene but really the only quiet place we could REALLY find (away from hawkers) was inside the resorts. I would not cope with fish nibbling on my feet.

  7. BB says:

    Gorgeous photos Sarah – I hear you on the hecticness of Bali. Apparently there ARE parts that are serene but really the only quiet place we could REALLY find (away from hawkers) was inside the resorts. I would not cope with fish nibbling on my feet.

  8. mellie lang says:

    Wow love the montages of iphone pics, its great to see so many different things from your trip.
    We haven’t been to Bali yet, not keen on the chaos touristy bit but like the idea of seeing life outside of that, especially after reading your experiences.

    • sarah says:

      It’s very touristy in certain areas, I would keep clear of that and elsewhere is very beautiful x

  9. Pam says:

    Thanks Sarah. Stunning colours. Is it the light in Asia or the wonderful photographer??????
    Vietnam did it for me . Stunning colours, food and food markets and made me extremely grateful about my life in Australia. I appreciate the solitude you can find here and living on the coast with space around you.
    Ankhs for sharing . I’m off to look at my 1000 photos I took of Vietnam.
    Ps don’t think I could do the fish.

    • sarah says:

      well the light is pretty stunning – it’s been quite overcast here (rainy season) so the light is filtered and so very good…

      Vietnam is on our list…

      the fish was revolting but so glad I made myself do it! x

  10. Jules says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your holiday. I feel as if I’ve gotten a nice break, too! Gorgeous photos. Glad you all are having a great time.

    And I agree with all your points, especially #2!

  11. Alice says:

    I didn’t think you could find serenity or any sense of spirituality in Bali thanks to the nature of tourism…If you want (forced) serenity (because lets face it, it is hard to slow down and be “serene” thanks to the nature of today’s society and pace of life) you should try cruising it to the pacific islands (just don’t go during schoolies). Places like Vanuatu and New Caledonia can be a hustle and bustle near the port but once you tour further in…. Well the wonder of Mother Nature really does work magic (especially Vanuatu)…Mystery Island was another place oozing serenity…. This ofcourse was a while back so I don’t know how much it has changed. But I found serenity there… As for spirituality…That I have found is with in us all, not within a place or object… It is up to us to search within ourselves to find it and follow the path that it takes you… I found the Harikrishna (Ashfield / Croydon centre) to be very helpful in opening up and expanding my understanding of our place/role in this world…Though I don’t practice their rituals/customs (I should really do meditation though) their spirituality is beautiful and makes sense to me even as a Catholic… Oh dear another long one…What is it about your blog Sarah that makes me say so much?!

    Excited by the News!

  12. Melinda says:

    I love the pinks in your first collage – very summer-y, holiday-y :)

    I might find it hard to gain inner calm, peace and serenity in a deep spiritual sense on a family holiday – somethow its seems something Id get into more on a solitary retreat….. which never happens!!
    However, I love it when I feel a sense of well being, relaxation, & inspiration. A general feeling that all is well in my world and a gratefullness for that. I love having the luxury of time with my family in a new environment that offers something for each of us and an opportunity to share experiences.
    For me thats the sign of a good holiday, when we are all together and content.

    a gentle slowing and a life stocktake – it has to be good for the soul

    It looks like you’re having a wonderful holiday


    ps maybe a little mishap along the way adds a bit of flavor to the holiday memories – a bit of yin and yang!

  13. laurie says:

    Oh Sarah…..what a fabulous place you chose! Thanks for sharing your awesome trip with us! It’s probably someplace I’ll never get to travel to, so seeing your photos was such a treat! ♥

    xoxo laurie

  14. MDN says:

    Again, your eye is unerring! Photos are wondrous…even that from the berholder’s eye of the fishies! (Always a bit squeemish about the througt of them “at work”, but wondered, too, if the process works…sounds as tho it does, but not in a “relaxing” way!)

    Taking it, too, that the BC family and you will always have memories of these many and diverse Bali experiences. (Just compare the scope of your pics!) Agree w/ you about having a dream for a more serene pace; but, with the globalism about us, it’s getting ever more difficult to find. And, your kiddos don’t have any other “pace” to guage things by, so maybe they’d have difficulty getting down to what we’d consider “beta.” Don’t know.

    Took my first and only trip to France a couple of years ago w/ friends. We tried to fit in as much as we possibly could in 8 days since it was likely our only trip there. (Thus, we rushed here, there, and everywhere. Even made it to Barcelona for 2 days. The elders of us jokingly call it the “been there, done that” trek!). We saw Versailles palace, but only had time to “see” the gardens from the palace windows, “did” the Louvre in about 4 hrs., and the Musee d’Orsay in about 3 hr. ‘ While I was so taken w/ emotion viewing some of those paintings (tears down my cheeks), I looked up and saw that the group already was three rooms ahead of me… In many ways, the trip left me hungering for more time to savor things. But, then, we truly did have innumerable new experiences, taking in the cultures, the (devine) food and wine, Palace de Papes, Roman ruins around Nim, checking out a “foreign” grocery store, Silk history in Lyon, riding/cheese-wine picnic on the (fast) rails and realizing the Provencal scenery today still reflects the Impressionists’ interpretations, a Flamenco dinner show, Goudy’s work, just to name a few. Seeing Mona Lisa from a four to five person deep crowd did allow me to get its size in perspective, experiencing the excitement of the Eiffel Tower alive w/ lights, and the walking L & R Banks of the Seine, some huge markets (food X2, flowers, another) were even more pleasures. All-in-all the memories have lasted (and always will). And, we laughed and enjoyed each other alot! Guess we all just need to be able to turn off any pre-concieved notions and go w/ the flow. (I have a hard time doing that, but am trying.) Agree, tho re rats and bugs. EEewwwwh! Don’t know where to suggest that you all go to really to chill out, tho.

    Anyway, I do know who will rejoice to have back his “people” and that his family will be esp. happy to be w/ him, too! That pleasure and getting back to “normal” also are things to truly enjoy.

    TKS for sharing your Bali trip!

  15. MDN says:

    PS – Enjoyed the dual person “feet” pics, too…start of a new BC family tradition?

  16. merilyn says:

    sounds like you are having a wow of a time in beautiful bali sarah!
    a good place for a well deserved break, a good experience for the kiddos too!
    no place like it, i love it!
    sights, sounds, smells!, spiritual awakenings … all good in bali enjoy!
    your great photos take me there immediately. cheers m :)

  17. Sarah says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Amazing photos as always. Bali is SO close to us up here in Darwin, it seems crazy we haven’t been there yet! Not that we’ve really had a chance with four kids aged from 17 to 1. Though, you have inspired me to save my pennies.
    I also wanted to say thanks for your sweet blogging course. Downloaded it yesterday and it really gave me that final bit of inspiration to finally do what I’ve been thinking about since I first started reading your blog. (My apologies for being a lurker and not introducing myself sooner. Life has been pretty busy- please see above re four children!)
    Anyway, enjoy the rest of your holiday and, if you get a chance, take a look at stayathometerritory.blogspot.com and let me know what you think!
    Sarah : )

  18. Fleur says:

    Glad you are having a wonderful time, I LOVE Bali, so much so, the hubby and I had a secret elopement to a quiet beach there a few years ago and tied the knot (With little Miss Daisy aboard in my belly) It was magical.
    So jelly you are having all those massages x

  19. Kat says:

    Sarah, your pics are stunning! Those colours just “pop” and are brilliant.
    I am all for calm and serenity and ways to add this to my life, so please pass on what you have learnt :)
    I haven’t been to Bali but have enjoyed exploring some of Europe before children.
    For us staying in a little village in Italy (Cortona) revealed a lot of the magic of everyday Italian life and I loved that. Bit of the normal and everyday in amongst the touristy stuff.
    Btw I need smooth feet, not sure I would be up for getting fish to nibble on them to achieve this, but you never know ;)
    Enjoy the adventure!

  20. Kat says:

    Ps I second the reading fiction more often. This time of the year is when I like to enjoy a good book or three.

  21. Lynne says:

    Hi Sarah
    I’ve been to Bali four times now ( from Canada ) and have come to LOVE it. I did the same as you – and finally found my favourite place to stay. It makes my trip AWESOME now. You may LOVE this hotel too. It is called the Padma resort. It is right on the beach. It is a big hotel but my all time fave of awesomeness. Go check it out. It will make your holiday just lovely.
    Much love – Lynne

  22. I just got back tonight and I feel quite down. I think I had such a good time that reality is nowhere near it. I have brought back so many treasures though that I will have fun playing with over the next week. Which area did you stay in? We were in Seminyak which is my favourite area. Hope you had or have as much fun as we did. Fiona

  23. alison says:

    You are not sissy or a princess.

    Fish nibbling my feet doesn’t float my boat at all. Call me old fashioned but I’ll stick to daily buffing. Can’t handle crusty feet, mine or on other peoples’.

    I so understand where you’re at about adjusting your head space with a holiday. One of my goals is to do more self nurturing in 2013 even when I don’t need it.

    Mr alison and I went to Lord Howe Island about 5 years ago after a huge drama in my life. I just picked and booked LHI randomly less than a month before we went. It saved my soul. It’s not for everyone but I really want to return.


  24. nicole Kruse says:

    I travelled to Bali over 20 years ago and earlier as a teenager. I felt the magic then and fell in love. There are lots of beautiful calm places to fall into. You just need to see past the mad rush of daily life of the island. I travelled back last October hoping I could see and feel the magic again… yes I found it again it had changed but it still had all of it’s smells, the thick heady humidity with the perfume of frangipani. The amazing food!!! Nasi Goreng is the best. There were lots that had changed…. progress…. it has helped the island in many ways. The hindu religion is so peaceful that you cant help but feel the serenity and the dedication of the people. Im going back in June taking my 8 year old daughter again. We are going to explore and travel a bit more then last trip. We cant wait :)

  25. Kim H says:

    We’ve been looking at a trip to Bali abit later in the year but to be honest, it’s not really my cup of tea and now, after reading your post, it’s really not my cup of tea still;) And no, i’m not into fish nibbling the crappy bits off my feet. Agh!!! And cockroaches jumping on me in the shower – not that either. And forget the rat thing. I no likey any of that!!!!

    Glad you’re home and happy. Looking forward to hearing all about Beach Cottage Mark 11. Will it be in Sydney or will you venture to the country, perhaps????? xx

    • sarah says:

      we have been looking into all sorts of places…most probably in the country or near-ish to here…still researching and looking at property but getting closer now!

      I think there are lovely places in Bali, but I was surprised by the tourism and the hawkers x

  26. Ingrid says:

    I went to Bali and number of years ago and was lucky I did stay in a beautiful hotel the four seasons. My memories are the serenity of the people, their beauty and the gorgeous colours. I suppose we did not venture loads outside this complex so I did experience some of the western ism in the local town when shopping. I did notice the extreme poverty but also the gentleness of the people. I would love to return. I did try the fish and it is not for me. I could cope with the fish tickling me but not them jumping out.

    You are so lucky to be back to warm weather. Have a lovely break with the children