I can’t believe our Bali adventure was four months ago already! It has taken me a bit of time to edit all of our video footage from our drone, Go Pro and camera, but I finally finished going through it all and have created a video filled with highlights from our trip. Ciaran and I spent twelve full days in Bali, travelling from the North in Munduk, down South to the Gili Islands. It was a full on few weeks, but we enjoyed every minute of it. We purposely decided to steer clear of super touristy areas, with the exception of Ubud for a couple of days. We wanted to experience less populated areas and see the “real” Bali as much as we could. Of course, this was sprinkled with visiting temples, waterfalls and rice fields, which you can’t miss when you’re visiting. We covered a lot of ground and for anyone planning a trip, I wanted to share our full itinerary with you.
Being an American expat in London, I get a lot of questions from other Americans about life abroad, tips and must-dos when visiting as well as what I miss most about living in the USA. I always answer everyone individually when I am asked, but thought I’d pop my most frequently asked questions into a single blog post for you guys! Here we go…
The London Underground is the best way to get around when you’re visiting! I take the tube every day and while it’s both incredibly convenient and usually pretty quick, it can be quite frustrating to navigate, especially as a tourist when you are not familiar with the polite courtesies and expectations from fellow passengers. Having lived here for nearly four years, I can pluck a tourist out of a pack on the tube, and sometimes it’s because they are doing something wrong like standing on the left-hand side of the escalator or blocking the passageways to the platform. While it’s no fault of their own, it can be mutually confusing and irritating for both tourists and Londoners alike. So, to save you from sticking out like a sore thumb, I’ve put together a handy guide of useful tips and etiquette to follow that will help you seamlessly blend in like a Londoner!
London has one of the best dining scenes in the world. There’s always new restaurants opening and the best way to test drive them is by booking in for the soft launch ahead of the official opening day. Soft launch offers usually take place over the course of a week and include 50% off the bill. For those of you who want to be in the know, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the soft launch offers taking place in July. Get your diary at the ready as you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to try some awesome restaurants.
Middle Eastern food is my all time favourite and if you’re a fan too, then you are going to fall in love with Delicatessen in Hampstead, a phenomenal restaurant on Rosslyn Hill that serves up the most mind blowing dishes inspired by rich, middle eastern culinary culture. The food will feed your soul and you’ll love the warm buzzy atmosphere and superb service. To be honest, there isn’t much not to love about this special little restaurant. Let’s dive in in…
American Independence Day is always a blast. Growing up, we celebrated the 4th of July by spending the day at the pool with friends, grillin’ out hot dogs and hamburgers, watching the fireworks in the evening and enjoying drinks on the deck as the fireflies came out. Well, you can take the girl out of Kansas but you can’t take the Kansas out of the girl and despite being 3,000 miles away, I still celebrate the 4th of July every year. Truth be told, London does Independence Day pretty darn well and I’ve rounded up some of the best star spangled specials being served around town in honour of the special holiday!
London comes alive in the summer time and there is nothing better than seeing a concert when the sun is shining, drinks are flowing and everyone is in great spirits! A few weeks ago, I had the chance to let my hair down and have some fun at the Jay Z and Beyonce On the Run II concert at the London Stadium and it was an absolute blast! Before the show, I wanted to find the perfect outfit to slip in to that would make me feel my best. When in doubt, I usually go for a chic little black dress as it’s always perfect for a multitude of occasions – you can dress it up or down and completely change the look based on the accessories you pair it with. Debenhams on Oxford Street has a fantastic range of LBD’s at different price points, so I headed there to find my ideal outfit for the evening!
Our second to last stop on our Bali trip was to the gorgeous Gili Meno! The small island just off the coast of Lombok in Indonesia is remote island bliss – think soft, white sand; warm, crystal clear water and colourful coral reefs perfect for snorkelling. Our four days in Gili Meno are my favourite parts of our Bali adventure and even though it’s quite a trek to get to from mainland Bali, it is well worth it once you arrive. Read on for my tips on how to choose an island and how to avoid getting scammed on your way there!