It's been a mere few hours since touching my feet back down in Oslo, and already I'm missing the magic that is Bali. There is something about the island... something about its magic. You immediately feel it when you arrive: the people are spiritual (and oh, so kind), the nature is abundant and beautiful, the vibe is full of healing and self love. It is truly a magical, magical place.
I'm feeling very blessed to have made my second trip to Bali in the last 365 days. Last time, I was there for my Yoga Teacher training, this time, to experience the Bali Spirit Fest, and of course, reconnect. It may sound cliche, but if there is one place on this planet that you will feel that you are "coming home" to yourself, it is here.
So with that, I'll jump into it - chatting about what I did, some highlights of my favourite foods and places to eat, as well as my favourite finds.
First Stop: Royal Pita Maha, Ubud
After a few jet-lagged days in Seminyak, I made my way up to Ubud where I started off with an absolutely blissful few days at the Royal Pita Maha (thanks to some very good deals online). Tucked away 20 minutes outside of the "city," amongst the jungle and overlooking the river, is this beautiful sanctuary of private villas and infinity pools. It took me a few days to let my nerves calm down and reconnect, and this place and space definitely helped with that process.
BaliSpirit Festival 2016
The main reason I took this trip when I did was to attend the BaliSpirit Festival - an annual event that happens over the course of 5 days each spring in Ubud, Bali. You might recall LPN giving away a ticket in an Instagram post a few weeks back. It was an incredible experience - and to be quite honest - hard to describe. The goal of the BaliSpirit Festival is to "awaken and nourish each individual’s potential for positive change within," and awaken it did.
I arrived feeling surrounded by "my people". Spirit seekers, yogis, earth savers and plant eaters. It was an experience for all the senses and all the facets: mind, body and spirit.
Some incredible headliners included Nakho & Medicine for the People, Danny Paradise (who is doing some incredible work with the charity Children of the Forest working against child sex trafficking in Asia in Burma and Thailand) as well as Claudine & Honza Lafond.
I started off my first day at the festival with Richard Bock leading a class on Quantum Light Breath - an intense meditation that brings about some serious opening. Following a beautiful vegan lunch, I went onto take a class with Daphne Tse (and her amazing band) in Chakra Chanting, Toning and Sound Healing Meditation.
Poking Around Ubud
My Bali Necessities & TreasuresIn Ubud, I spent some time on the balcony staring at the beautiful water lilies and practicing yoga. Each morning I would spend some time meditating in this beautiful place. I brought with me, my favourite light kimono robe which I got from Eco Diva Beauty (which is a One Love Organics and Plum Pretty Sugar Collaboration). This is the perfect and prettiest robe for the spring/summer months (and also my favourite little travel cover up). The gift set from Eco Diva Beauty contains
- Plum Pretty Sugar Kimono Style Robe
- On feather-soft indian cotton voile, this beauty is perfect for the sweet unwind or the bloom of getting ready
- Plum Pretty Sugar + One Love Organics Tote Bag
- One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub and Masque (full size)
Shop the Plum Pretty Sugar and One Love Organics Mask on Eco Diva Beauty for $146 USD
While cruising around Ubud, I also fell in love with these earrings from Ananda Soul Creations. I previously fell in love with her stuff a few years ago (I own a pair of her earrings that were a gift from a dear friend, and a beautiful amethyst necklace, that you can see here). These earrings are called "Creating my Dreams" earrings and are so darn pretty. Check out some of her other creations on their site.
In previous posts I've talked about this awesome aloe vera gel - and you've probably also seen it on my Instagram. This stuff is brilliant for bug bites, sun burn, dry skin, and anti-aging. I love it, and don't travel without it (at least never to sunny destinations).Find the Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel for $4.60 USD on iHerb, and use code MEP206 on your next purchase to save $5 USD. Then there is this perfect self-tanner (they have product that is great for all skin shades, just pick the one right for you). I used Coco Lite by Chocolate Sun, as this formulation is very gradual, meaning NO orange, stripes or uneven application risks. It took me about 1 shade darker in one application and when it was fading off you could not tell (I've had some terrible experiences with other natural self tanners - especially when they start to ware off). This stuff is the best!
Then there is this glorious moisturizer / body highlighter from Prtty Peaushun. As seen on my Instagram, this skin tight body lotion is luxe in every sense of the word. It leaves the skin looking near flawless by improving the condition of the skin whilst concealing minor imperfections and enhancing definition. I compare it to the RMS Luminizer for the legs/chest/arms and, well, pretty much anywhere.
Key ingredients include: arnica diminishes bruising and anti-inflammatory extracts of green tea which reduces UV damage and prevents collagen breakdown. Also includes high caffeine content (bye bye cellulite) and rosemary extract (to help stimulate new cell growth).
Shop online at Eco Diva Beauty for $56 CAD (USD available too!)
Annmarie Gianni, one of my alltime favourite brands. You can see all my posts on her collection here, here and here. No sunny destination post is complete with out my favourite facial sunscreen -- my Annmarie Gianni Sun Love. This stuff is a miracle worker both in protection and creating a flawless finish. It's tinted sunscreen is an 18% zinc oxide formula (containing no harmful nanospheres) which provides light, everyday wear sun protection. The antioxidant herbs and oils also help neutralize the effects of damaging UV rays. Great for all skin types - simply shake and apply a thin layer before heading out.
Last time I was in Bali, I fell for this body oil from Cantika (the Ylang Ylang scent). I was running out and stocked up just before coming back (shop them in Ubud at the Earth Market) or check them out here online - they are super cheap, just around $6.50 USD.
Oh you've seen this one on my Snapchat several times (snap.kate) and for those of you that join me at Leela Yoga for yoga classes, you've probably smelled this roller ball from The Goddess Line in the scent Radha. An incredibly intoxicating blend of Organic Essential Oils Of Bulgarian Rose, Peach, Saffron, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Jasmine and Sandalwood. Oh my Goddess I love it!! <3
The Goddess Line is a beautiful essential oil roller ball perfume blend line that is inspired by all the traits of the Goddesses - find your scent based on your nose, or the traits you wish to instill. All products are handmade in NYC.
Where to Eat & Drink in Ubud, BaliThere are so many amazing places and spaces to eat in Bali - especially in Ubud. A quick list of my favourites include: Alchemy - juices, smoothies and raw foods galore, this is your go to for incredible raw food while in Ubud (well worth the walk). La Pacha Mama - Awesome Mexican vegetarian restaurant found next to Alchemy (and owned by the same people), you'll have some of the best Mexican food you've ever tasted. Get on with the incredible Guacamole and Gluten-free enchiladas. Clear Cafe - I think I've eaten here more than any other restaurant in Ubud - known for its awesome vegan, vegetarian and raw foods, but also offering local favourites, cooked meals and minimal meat (some fish). I love their Green Hornet Smoothie and often ate their Kitcharee (Ayurvedic stew). Not far from Alchemy. Bali Buddha - I didn't actually eat in here, but rather had takeaway to the hotel. Awesome gluten-free options, raw options, juices and smoothies. I had a yummy gluten-free pizza, because, you know, cravings. ;) Earth Cafe (formally Down to Earth Cafe) - Nestled upstairs form the grocery store (where you'll find all the natural goodies and kombucha for your heart's content) find a great plant-lover's restaurant with great juices/smoothies raw and cooked fare. Try their half dragon bowl with some soup and a young fresh coconut for lunch. LaRamona - for those that aren't into the vegan/raw food scene, you MUST check out LaRamona Tapas bar. In this "hole in the wall" you'll have your tastebuds dancing. Some of the best (and well priced) food in Ubud. A must! Garden Kafe (at the Yoga Barn) - Full of raw food options, vegetarian, vegan and Ayurvedic, you'll have everything here for a post yoga-class lunch. It’s a great place to hang out too.
Uluwatu - A Little ParadiseThis trip was my first time exploring Uluwatu. I am glad I did, and will plan to be back. Last time I spent time in Ubud, on the Gili Islands and in the North part of the island (also should not be missed), but the beaches and vibe in this surfer town were too awesome not to highlight. Make sure to find yourself a room at the Yoga Searcher in Uluwatu and enjoy some of the best food, great yoga classes and some treatments at the Ayurvedic spa. Rent a scooter and take off to the temple, catch some beautiful ocean views, and make your way down the cliffs to some beautiful quiet beaches.
Snapchat Highlights: Add snap.kateA few snaps from my Snapchat story for those of you who aren't on Snapchat. If you are on snapchat, let's connect there: snap.kate is my username. xx
And a beautiful Sunday to you, my loves.