Last week I was lucky enough to have my first overseas trip, yes that’s right I have never left our beautiful Australian shores. Not out of not wanting to, just more to the point that whilst most travelling seems to be done in your late teens and ALL of your twenties, I spent those years pregnant or with a baby firmly attached to my boob or my hip. Having never been overseas before I was minus the golden (and primarily blue) ticket to freedom; my passport. In my typical Rosie form, it arrived the week before I left.
The trip was for work and I was grateful to be travelling with my phenomenally talented photographer and friend Heidi to shoot for some fantastic brands.
I am not a good flyer, in fact I'm terrible. To the point that stranger’s hands have been grabbed during turbulence and impromptu counselling sessions have been received by the truly wonderful Virgin Australia crew.
When I was informed that Bali was the destination and that it was a six hour flight, I was nervous. The most I've ever accomplished was 2 hours and even that had me a little on edge. Although, now with my job I’ve become accustomed to flying alone and all the ins and outs that come with travel but flying to another country and navigating myself through a strange city was next level stuff. Prior to my departure I was told numerous times that I would have a major culture shock and that I should be very careful traveling to Bali. So, me being me, my plan was a hasty exit from the airport, cab straight to the hotel and bunker down with 2 Minute Noodles and bottled water. Bali Belly could kiss the arse that it was seeking to torture. The horror stories I heard before I left had me seriously doubting the trip, to the point I found it hard to sleep the night before I left. It was reminiscent of when you’re pregnant and everyone has a horror story to tell, seemingly forgetting the presence of any miniscule amount of positivity involved. I was expecting to land and it to be so confronting that I would collapse in a hysterical mess, proceed from the arrivals gate, u-turn, and straight back into the departure lounge on the next plane home.
Upon exiting the airport safely though, Heidi and I were greeted with the Bali paparazzi and although it was a little overwhelming, everyone was very polite, respectful and had a big smile to go with every interaction. When we found our hotel transfer, we were led to our van and were shown first-hand how beautiful Bali actually was. The traffic and scooters were as accurately described.. insane. No different to some of the crazy behavior that you see in Brisbane at peak hour though. Although, having said that I can’t remember last time I saw a baby being held by the pillion passenger on a scooter. The scenery, the atmosphere and the people were beautiful.
Our first stop was Luna2 in Seminyak and I fell in love with the streets, the shops and the people. They were all so friendly and I really felt welcome and safe. The hotel was so different from what you would expect in Bali. The theme was completely original and based on the Monopoly board games.. No Old Kent Rd for us! We were privileged enough to be able to stay on Bond Street the rooms were filled with retro pop art mixed with a space theme that was really quite cool and different from the stereotypical Bali retreat. The hotel had a cinema, a rooftop bar with amazing views and a restaurant with delicious fresh food. I must admit I was hesitant to shower and eat the food but the quality at Luna2 was so good we didn't have any doubts that we would be ok. Details of the hotel are below and I would highly recommend Luna2 if you're wanting something retro and cool with friendly staff and great service.
Heidi and I couldn’t wait to explore, soak up and try to capture some of the Bali vibe. Shopping in Seminyak was a great experience, we loved every second and fell in love with the place and are already planning our next trip over.
More on our travels to come :)
Luna2 Studio Hotel - www.luna2.com