adventure

La Joya II Biu Biu, Bali

"We found paradise"

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Our first stop in Bali couldn't have been better. What can I say about La Joya that doesn’t speak for itself through the photos? 

It must be one of the most relaxing places that we have ever stayed. It is quiet, peaceful and surrounded by nature. La Joya also has its own private beach which was was fun to explore in the morning before the tide came in.

Steps to the private beach

Steps to the private beach

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The resorts two infinity pools were the perfect temperature. they both had incredible views over the ocean and plenty of space to sunbath by them. The main three tiered pool was where most of the guests relaxed (there was only a handful of guest when we were there). The second crescent moon pool had no one by it the whole time we were staying there and was a great place to escape to and feel like you had your own pool over looking the ocean.

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The morning yoga classes overlooked the ocean and there was also a plunge Jacuzzi that sits on the top of the cliff where you can watch the sunset from. You can book it and have it all to yourself. We treated ourselves to a massage in the outdoor spa area. It was extremely peaceful, just us and the waves crashing in the distance. 

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Breakfast made rolling out of bed in the morning so much easier. The menu had a variety of options from more traditional Balinese and Indonesian food to more European breakfasts. We tried the eggs benedict and the American pancakes, but the highlight of the menu was the smoothie dragon bowl for sure. We also had a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate  and a selection of fruit juices and a plate of fresh fruit. 

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The rooms were a peaceful retreat fully equipped with air con, your own bathroom and plenty of space! They were the perfect hideaway from the heat and the perfect place to chill and read a book. The big windows brought the outside in and also so much light! The beds were super comfortable and spacious, we slept so amazingly well. 

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We were impressed by the selection of meals offered by the resorts restaurant and the pizzas we had as well as the green curries were very good, complimented with a fresh coconut to drink from. It was a great place to watch the sunset and have a romantic evening meal. They were local amenities nearby and very close to other nearby attractions such as Balangang beach, Padang Padang beach, Kuta Golf and Uluwatu Temple. We couldn't recommend it more if you need somewhere to go on honeymoon, or just go for a relaxing break in a great location. 

We loved our time at La Joya and we want to say a big thank you to Celine and all her staff who were just incredible. Every single one of them were happy and smiley and were always the first ones to say hello in the morning.  We will be back again to visit this incredible, quiet and peaceful spot of Bali.

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Plataran, Borobudur

When we planned to visit the Island of Java, one of the places on the top of our list was visiting the Borobudur temple. We decided to stay at the Plataran Borobudur resort. It is located within close proximity to this historic icon and had by far the best view overlooking the jungle with the majestic stone temple rising from the canopy. The viewpoint from Plataran enables you to turn back time and imagine how the Borobudur temple was lost to the jungle, when the Javanese were converted to Islam. 

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Upon arrival there was an instant sense of calm, beauty and serenity. We were warmly welcomed with our refreshing welcome drinks after a hot and long ride in our taxi from Yogyakarta. We were shown to the Stupa restaurant where they serve a range of authentic Indonesian cuisine surrounded by serene lush greenery.  The lobster and beef oxtail soup was the perfect partner for our taste buds. Once we had finished lunch, we were driven to our private Garden Plunge Pool Villa with our very own infinity pool. The villa was a traditional wooden Javanese house, which was beautifully adorned with intricate colourful wooden carvings.  The infinity pool had an outlook to the Menoreh Hills encircling the resort and had the biggest bathroom we had ever seen, where you could open the window and bring nature inside whilst having a bath.

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The afternoon was spent relaxing in the pool and exploring the grounds of the Plataran resort. We ventured to the resorts very own Borobudur viewpoint and it was simply breath taking. While sitting and enjoying the view we were served afternoon tea and cakes. It is easy to understand how Borobudur is one of Indonesia's most popular attractions. We prefer quieter spots absent of crowds of tourists and the viewpoint from the Plataran resort made this possible, so you could truly appreciate this majestic monument set within the Javanese landscape.

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It was time to treat ourselves and truly unwind at Padma spa. The setting of the spa is incredibly beautiful with rooms onward looking to the Borobudur temple. The sun had set and we were pampered with a traditional Javanese massage and they had a choice of divine aromatic oils. If the body massage wasn’t relaxing enough it was followed by a gentle soak immersed in rose petals within a bath made of volcanic rock from Mount Merapi. The most perfect romantic setting where we watched fireflies through the glass wall, what a magical moment which will last with us forever. We were treated so kindly and we never felt rushed or asked to leave and we were just left to relax.  

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The choice and quality of food at the Plataran resort was overwhelming. There was so much to choose from and everything was presented to perfection and overwhelmingly delicious. We wished we had more time to try everything on the menu. The Patio venue restaurant overlooking Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu and Borobudur Temple was a very romantic location to watch the sunset and have dinner. We also really enjoyed having lunch brought to our grand spa pool villa where we had our own outdoor dining area and we could eat poolside. The breakfast had a large variety of choice including fresh fruit juice of the highest quality. The only disappointing thing was when our stomachs couldn't fit another pastry in.

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The villas were spacious, comfortable and stylish and some of the best we have ever stayed in. The Traditional style Exclusive Pool Villa was perfect for that Javanese vibe and having a more authentic experience of the culture. We loved the style and beauty of the construction. The villa was overlooking flora and the Menoreh Hills and we felt secluded once we had closed the main door into the villa.

 

We spent our second night in the Grand Spa Pool Villa. Once we opened the door into this villa it made us gasp with amazement when we walked up the steps. The style of the villa was much more modern, with a large seating area outside and inside with a large TV to relax and catch up on some movies. The bed was one of the biggest and comfiest beds we've ever slept in. You just sunk into the bed and it cuddled you to sleep. There was a pond you would walkover to your very own private spa where we experienced our second massages. You could bathe in the spa room with doors open looking up to the stars. There was even a desk behind the bed, which was perfect to catch up on our work. The bathroom was spacious and very chic and had a calm and soothing ambience. We then had the outdoor dining area over looking the pool, which was the perfect spot to each lunch. At over 700m2, the Grand Spa Pool Villa was spacious and felt much more like a home than a room. It was thoughtfully laid out and we very almost didn't leave when it was time to check out. We couldn’t recommend this place more if we tried and will be a memory cherished for a lifetime. 

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Never let fear determine your future

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I’m one of those people that likes to make a plan and try and stick to it. As you can imagine planning a 6 month trip is a bit of a hefty task for my brain to comprehend, it naturally wants to plan the trip to almost every detail and make sure nothing is missed! After speaking to many friends and family, the advice I kept getting was leave it as open as possible, you will want to be flexible. Going against my natural instinct has been a struggle but also an exciting one not knowing exactly where we will be gives complete freedom and spontaneity!

Sharing this excitement with friends and family has been very important to both Jonny and I. It has been a shock that some of those close to us have not understood why we would want to do anything like this and have given remarks such as, “you should be settling down, getting a stable 9-5 job and having children.” My initial reaction to these comments was that they just didn’t understand or perhaps ever think that they would want to do anything like this. Everyone has different outlooks and opinions but this was still hard to hear especially from those you would hope would give you their support and share your enthusiasm and excitement for something you’ve wanted to do for such a long time. I don’t completely understand why they think their opinion about how our life should be is more important than what we know we want it to be. What will it change? Nothing. Only we truly know what we love. It hasn't been a last minute decision, I’m not that kind of person. Regardless of all that, would you question or criticise someone's decision to have a baby or would you be happy for them and offer support? Feeding fear is not the answer. It has made me really appreciate those who support us without question, this is so important to make people feel loved and supported. To build hope, trust and respect not tear it down. Do you need permission to follow your passion? No, you don’t, but boy does it make a difference when those you love support your dreams and hopes in life and don’t hold you back or stop you from doing what you really want to do.

Let’s be honest, it hasn’t been the most straightforward trip to plan, we had and still have commitments at our church, we have a house, jobs and a cute cat to name a few. We couldn’t just say off the cuff “Let’s get outta here!!” We had to do our research, give notice and be pretty darn organised to get it to actually happen. We had difficult dealings with letting agents which only made it all the more difficult, and to top it off one week before departure we read the news that Mount Agung had finally erupted after months of rumblings. Flights had been cancelled due to the airport being closed as ash was making it dangerous for any planes to fly. The pure frustration and frantic worrying that after all this planning and time we might not be able to fly out to our first destination Bali which was coupled with worry for the livelihood of those in Bali. We closely monitored the weather, air traffic control and media to see whether the situation would change and whether we may have to start making a contingency plan. It wasn’t looking good, local media were broadcasting the fears that the volcano may erupt again bigger than previously.

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The moment of truth arrived and there was no news of any cancellations, which were showing previously. However, there was still a worry in the back of our minds that the volcano could erupt at any time and we would either be delayed or diverted.  Once again anything could happen. The media were reporting that the imminent eruption would be the end of humankind as we now know it (source from a highly reliable newspaper always dramatising everything and truly factual - notttt). We had a stopover in Dubai and the first leg of the journey was complete. Once we set foot off the plane and checked the information board we couldn’t see any flights to Bali! We found out that it had changed to a day later without any notice that we would be stranded in Dubai airport for the next 12 hours. After some negotiating we managed to get to stay in a hotel and do a very quick trip into the city, seeing first hand the huge Burj Khalifa (largest building in the world). Our flight to Bali was difficult to catch up on sleep as we flew right through a storm and it was very turbulent with a sporadic feeling of dropping which kept waking me up from the sleep my body so desperately needed. But we made it!!! I have been amazed by the friendliness of the people here, the food, culture, sun (perhaps a bit too much on our first day!) and breathtaking views. It’s been worth all the struggles and difficulties we’ve had in coming here. Tourism in Bali is one of the main incomes of the island and because of the eruption many locals have really struggled to make a living, as this time of year is usually one the busiest. Fear and inaccurate reports of the danger of the volcano has ruined the income of many families on the island. This however has had an added benefit to us, there are less tourists which means we have a lot of the beaches to ourselves and was worth the effort in getting here. We can see the volcano from where we are staying and watched it have a very minor ash cloud eruption this afternoon. The volcano is still a long distance from any tourist areas and is safe for many on the island. It’s a shame to see that fear has been triggered by unreliable sources in the media and has affected the wonderful people of Bali and it is hard to see them struggle in such circumstances. Let us not let fear determine our futures.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our next blog post all about our adventures in Bali. If you have any recommendations on things to do or places to stay let us know we would love to hear from you. 


Hannah x

The purpose of life

To see the world, things dangerous to come, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life. - The secret life of Walter Mitty

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Since watching the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it really inspired me to pause and reflect on whether my dreams were far from reality. If you haven't watched it, go and do it now you will not regret it! There are many lessons you can learn from the life of Walter and how he comes to realise that he needs to follow his passion for adventure and exploration which is where he eventually finds himself.  It made me reflect on whether I was realising my dreams and making them into a reality.

Since Hannah and I met, the first thing we ever spoke about was where we'd travelled to and where we wanted to go next. This has been a running theme in our travels and we have always wanted to venture somewhere new. Our longest trip together so far has been to South Africa for two months. We loved being able to immerse ourselves in the South African culture that can only really be experienced on a longer trip. These experiences have made us realise our passions and our desire to go on more adventures and to live more purposefully by doing what we love. A recent passing away in the family only further emphasized that time is precious and doing what you love now rather than waiting for the right time is not the way to live as it will never just happen on its own. Life is about being present now, being true to yourself and not putting your dreams aside. 

"We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for." - George Mallory

After two years of planning, saving and working our butts off, we are adventuring around South-East Asia to explore temples, discover waterfalls, trek jungles, climb mountains and learn to surf! In what will be our longest adventure yet. We have realised that we need to live our adventure (instead of just dreaming about it) and we hope we can inspire you to live your adventure whatever it may be! We are excited to take you with us on our journey and can't wait to show you what we get up to. 

We'd love to know what you're excited to see us do and please give us any recommendations you may have below in the comments. Thank you for all your support, subscribe for blog updates below and follow us on instagram.