I like to think of myself as a healthy travelling gypsy and so it was only a matter of time before I decided to head back to Bali. I have been to Bali twice before…the first time was twenty years ago and then second was seven years ago. Loved the first and hated the second! I had two reasons for going this time, one was that I have always wanted to go to Como Shambhala in Ubud and the second was that I wanted to visit Jess, my girlfriend from New York, who had ditched the New York fast lift to move to a yoga retreat in Bali for some 'eat, pray, love'.
I spent an amazing six days at Como Shambhala in Ubud, in the most fantastic setting with the jungle all around me, spring pools to go cool down in and amazing healthy food. I cleansed, juiced, had lots of massages and I also went to places I had not been before including Uluwatu and Canggu. I went back on a surfboard again (I tried in Fiji a few years ago and loved it until I got hit by the board and carried a massive black eye for 3 weeks…ha ha) and this time I loved every minute of it. I had a very cool surf teacher Wayan from the Chill House which is a great little boutique hotel that specialises in surfing retreats…check it out it's like a mini Soho House Balinese style. I also spent four days in the super cool eco-retreat Desa Seni in Canggu. The perfect place to enjoy yoga and home grown vegetables as it is a community built retreat with a real soul to it. Cool crowd, cool gear and amazing energy.
Bali is the Ibiza of the East but without the music…the shops are cool, the restaurants have morphed into 70s style California-cool surfer dude hangouts or super healthy 'earth cafes' with amazing menus of raw or vegetarian gluten free food. Just to mention a few places, these were rocking: Potato Head, Watercress, Motel Mexicola, The Salty Seagull.
I managed to squeeze some shopping in and bought lots of fun tees and a very cool little sequin fringe bolero which is very Isabel Marant and will go well with all my new Donna Ida purchases (my new R13 boy skinny black jeans for example will be rock and roll). If you're travelling to Bali, I'd say it is very surfer chick…denim shorts, hippy tops, mini skirts with tees. It's a sporty island so the Sports Luxe trend for SS14 works well. Swimwear is key (sporty for surfing, cool ones for hanging out on the beach/poolside) so I brought all my new Melissa Odabash pieces which were fabulous and refreshing. I love my white one with gold chains or my other favourite is a green python print which blended in well with the jungle!
I rarely wear jeans in hot climates but my J Brand Aidan Boyfriend were my new best friend all the way from the airport lounge to a bike ride to an evening hangout. They go with anything from Ancient Greek Sandals or wedges to strappy sandals, hallelujah! I love the Surf Yogis brand and picked a few things for the kids as suddenly very touristy items like 'I love Bali' bracelets or tees look cool when put together with the right jeans.