Bali 2018 Photo Diary


It's been some time since I've written anything personal here and updated you on my latest wanderings. I've been super busy for the last 6 weeks, travelling New Zealand's South Island with Stray and I've just returned from a relaxing holiday in Bali.

There are a bunch of new blog posts coming your way very soon from what I've been up to, but for now, I wanted to share some of my favourite photos from my most recent trip.

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As most of you probably know, I absolutely love Bali and ever since my first trip in 2015, I've consistently gone back every year (this latest trip was my fourth time).

Every time I go back it has grown more and more in tourism, but what I love most about Bali is that the people and their beautiful culture remain the same.

As mentioned, this trip was more of a holiday for my partner and I, to spend some time together in our favourite place, as he is going away for six months very soon for work. 

As we've been so many times we have already done many of the main temples and waterfalls etc. some more than once, in case you may be wondering why we didn't do them this time.

We enjoyed some well-deserved relaxing and soaked up the warm sunshine, being mid-winter back at home.

For the first four nights, we stayed in Ubud and then spent one week in Seminyak, where we also did a day trip and hopped over to Nusa Penida, the island next door to explore. 

Here are some photo highlights, first up:

UBUD

Monkey statue, Ubud
Lunch (and a beer) with a rice field view
At the Sacred Monkey Forest



Relaxing at Goya Boutique Resort
Tegalalang rice terrace

Beaut morning spread
Mojito's are always a good idea (love the art)
A beer for him (I made him pose like that)
Can't get enough of rice fields
Or the local food
Balinese :)
Amazing infinity pool at Goya

SEMINYAK

Checking in at The Breezes
Nice to be back at an old favourite
Time for happy hour and pool bingo
Seminyak street
Mojito bar down the road yasss
A fancy Balinese feast at Bambu



Cultural dinner and show at The Breezes
Traditional dancing
Healthy lunch at popular Sisterfields
Delicious vegan ice cream to finish off at Mad Pops
Balcony view :)

NUSA PENIDA

View of Mt Agung in the background (the volcano that keeps erupting)
Swimming with Manta Rays!
They are super friendly and a lot bigger than they look - at least 5 metres wide
Such an incredible experience!
We also did some great snorkelling in Crystal Bay
Huge bucket list tick - Kelingking Beach
One of the most epic views I've ever seen
Beautiful Broken Beach
A huge Manta Ray swimming in there
Amazing day trip!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a snippet of my 2018 Bali trip. Feel free to check out my Bali Guide for tips and top things to see and do (although I really do need to update it!).

Next time - because we all know there'll be a next time - I'm really keen to check out North Bali and more of the East.

Have you been to Bali or wanting to go? What are some of your favourite things to do there if you have?

Happy Travels,

40 Photos of New York City


Visiting New York City has always been the biggest dream of mine.

Ever since I was small I have admired this city through a screen - from watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, growing up with Friends, Gossip Girl and countless other movies and TV shows.

Standing in the middle of Times Square in real life watching the people flow by, strolling the skyscraper-lined avenues looking up, mouth agaze, cycling through Central Park, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, seeing the Statue of Liberty from a ferry, peering down from the tallest building in the Western World...

I fell head over heels with New York like I knew I would. Coming from such a small place, I can't get enough of wandering the streets of big cities and feeling the electric energy.

New York has such a vibe to it like no other. I marvelled over the skyscrapers and different styles of architecture.
I got stuck into the street food and took advantage of the multinational cuisines at my fingertips.
I mastered the subway and walked until my feet ached.
I got to visit some of the most iconic spots in the world and see an epic show on Broadway.

More than anything I really enjoyed photographing New York City. I tried to choose just twenty of my favourite photos and memories to share, but that was far too hard!

Here is New York through my eyes.

Times Square


The Lyric Theatre
Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

St Patrick's Cathedral

Central Park


Times Square by night - very crowded!
The Empire State Building
Staten Island Ferry
NYC skyline
Statue of Liberty, New Jersey & New York
Memorial Pool
9/11 Memorial Museum
One World Trade Center
View from the tallest building in the world
Looking out over Brooklyn
America's Response Monument
Inside the Lyric Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play
Cool buildings in Lower Manhattan
Spot of shopping at Bloomingdales. Friends fans will know why!
Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan Bridge
Back in Central Park

The Plaza Hotel
The Friends apartment building!
A whole pie of Joe's pizza
Gossip Girl fans will recognise The Palace Hotel
The back of St Patrick's Cathedral
The Met Steps (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Inside Grand Central Terminal
I stayed at The Wellington Hotel - great location and highly recommended!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a peek into my trip and saw some of the magic I did. Stay tuned for plenty more New York City posts coming soon, including travel tips and top things to do.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram to see more photos and keep up with my travel adventures!


Let me know if you want to see more photography based posts like this one from different places around the world.

Happy Travels,
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Melbourne: Street Art and Graffiti Chronicles


The second most populous urban area in Australia, Melbourne is an incredibly cool cosmopolitan city. It is a melting pot of cultures, has a vibrant cafe and food scene, grand architecture of old and new and has a strong sporting, university and arts culture.

Melbourne is very well-known for its laneways full of impressive street art and graffiti. While some may not appreciate it as art, I think these artists are incredibly talented and many pieces tell a story or message.

I thoroughly enjoyed wandering the streets and stumbling upon alley after alleyway of colourful and interesting works of art.

Below is a collection of my favourites, found mostly around Hosier Lane, Acdc Lane, Market Lane, Stevenson Lane and Duckboard Place.




























































Do you like street art and do you know of any other cool cities around the world that also shares a passion for it?

Happy Travels,
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21 Photos to Inspire you to Travel Laos


Laos is a gorgeous country and one quickly rising in popularity on the Southeast Asian backpacking trail. It is easy to see why, as there is no shortage of simply stunning scenery and nature, as well as being vibrantly rich in culture and history.

Did you know Laos is the most bombed country in the world? Quite an interesting fact I thought. On a more positive note, they are also well-known for their adventurous outdoor activities, French colonial architecture, mountainous terrain, hill tribe settlements, Buddhist monasteries, being the highest consumers of sticky rice in the world and having a nation-wide midnight curfew.

Visiting Laos for the first time recently was during my fifth trip to Southeast Asia and I'm so glad I finally went. I only got to spend 10 nights there and I know I'll be back (but preferably not during the rainy season again!).

Below is a collection of 21 of my favourite photos and highlights from Laos, from Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. Hopefully, if you haven't been before they can inspire you to visit Laos on your next Southeast Asian trip.

That Luang Tai Temple
Tuktuk in front of the Mekong
Kuang Si Waterfall

Luang Prabang National Museum
Nam Khan River
Wat Xiengthong
Riverside Resort views in Vang Vieng
River tubing down the Nam Song River!
Wat Xiengthong
Beerlao is the delicious award-winning national beer 
Pha That Luang, the symbol of Vientiane
Bridge over the Nam Song River
Monk monastery at That Luang Tai
Sunset along the Mekong River
Patuxai 'Victory Gate'
Where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers meet
That Luang Tai Temple
Splashing about in Nam Song
Vientiane, capital of Laos
Painting-like sunset, Vang Vieng

Photographs were shot on Sony RX 100 iv, Samsung Galaxy S7 and GoPro Hero4.

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Happy Travels,

12 Female Wanderlust Inspiring Instagram accounts to follow


Instagram is by far my favourite social media platform. It is creative, artistic and your very own portfolio to showcase whatever you please in your own way.

I am super picky about the big travel accounts out there I choose to follow, of which there are so many. I like to feel inspired and motivated when I scroll through Instagram (which, let's be honest, is pretty often).

Here are twelve of my favourite female Instagram accounts, including single particular people and big communities of female travellers. They all ooze inspiration, positivity and spark that burning wanderlust desire.



A post shared by LISA HOMSY (@lisahomsy) on

I have the biggest girl crush on this Canadian! She is so down to earth and relatable and her Instagram is absolute goals. Her stories are addictive to watch and she is one hell of a babe. I have been following her since she was at 20k and watched her grow rapidly in just 6 months!




This is a big wanderlust-inspo community for female travellers worldwide. If you have an awesome enough photo and use the hashtag #sheisnotlost you might just be lucky enough to be reposted!




Aggie is another of my favourite ladies (who I discovered through Lisa Homsy).
From Poland, she is beautiful, sweet and inspiring and is currently celebrating her 30th birthday with all her travel buddies in Greece right now! Her stories and feed are to die for.



A post shared by Backpacker (@backpackerstory) on

A fun community that showcases all the incredible places this world has to offer to get inspired for your next trip!




This Australian is incredible and one of the original travel Instagrammers. At one million followers, her photography is magical and oozes wanderlust to all.




A warm travel blog community 'inspiring and empowering women to travel more, do more and be more'.




This young Australian is the girl next door with incredible photography skills. She's currently living in New Zealand and I'm just loving her feed!




A community group for all of the travelling career girls out there. Their feed is full of inspiring and motivational captions as well as amazing photos.




This lovely lady from Bulgaria is a literal ray of sunshine with the kindest spirit.
Partner of the legendary travel vlogger Fun For Louis, she has her own amazing YouTube channel as well now. She is a joy to follow on all platforms.



A post shared by Nadine Sykora (@heynadine) on

I've been following Canadian Nadine's awesome travel blog and Youtube channel for years and love her style and personality. Her Instagram is jam-packed with the best destinations!




Another large and wonderful community that I love to follow, with a message to 'inspire, connect and educate female travellers'.




Last but not least is the sweet Australian Brooke, another of the very first travel bloggers that inspired so many to start their own blog. She is someone I highly look up to and her feed is, of course, absolute goals.


There you have my twelve favourite and most inspiring female travel Instagram accounts. Follow along if you like for multiple daily doses of wanderlust and creativity.

Oh and me!
If you feel so inclined, follow along on my Instagram journey too.


A post shared by Krysti Jaims (@krystijaims) on

I love photography and sharing my travels. I can only hope one day that my feed will be half as good as any of theirs! They are all definitely something to aspire to.

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Do you know any other inspiring accounts to follow? Comment below, I'd love to read them.

Happy Travels,

Incredible Cambodia | Photo Diary


Last month, I had the pleasure of exploring my first new country in a while: Cambodia!
I had heard such mixed views of Cambodia, from horrid to fantastic, so I just had to see for myself. There is no doubt this country has a deep and dreadful history and the impacts are still very evident today.
However, I can see that it has picked itself up in many ways and I found it a very safe and likeable place to visit. It has a lot of similarities to Thailand and it is a very tourist friendly place. 


Siem Reap 20-27 July

Starting in Siem Reap, being the rainy season it actually rained 5/7 days I was there!
So most of the photos you see with a blue sky were just from two or so days.
Fun fact: when it rains (which is often) the streets turn into a mud bath! I quite often walked back from town in the rain and I had mud flicked half way up my back. Then when it dried, it was incredibly dusty.

The street I was staying down


The Tuk Tuk drivers were the most, uh, persistent I had ever come across (getting asked "Tuk Tuk" literally 1000 times in half an hour) but the people in general were very friendly and helpful. Though like many other Southeast Asian countries, they try and get as much money out of you as they can.



I quite often ate at two cafes: Sister Srey and Vibe, both had glowing reviews and healthy and vegan options. After 10 weeks of eating whatever I wanted, I was really craving something fresh and healthy! Siem Reap has a lot of fantastic cafes and I highly recommend these two.
Don't worry of course I still ate local food! I especially loved Fish Amok and Lo Lak (they just aren't so pretty to photograph).

A Bodia bowl at Sister Srey
On my first evening, I was invited to see Phare the Cambodian Circus. The talent of the artists are astonishing, it was a truly incredible show of theatre, dance, live music and modern circus arts.
I was totally drawn in by the compelling story they told and their energy, enthusiasm and emotions were highly infectious.








Every ticket purchased helps to support and transform the lives of Cambodian youth, so it's a wonderful cause as well. Highly recommended!



It had always been a big dream of mine to see Angkor Wat, the largest religious monumental site in the world. I eagerly booked a full day with sunrise tour for my third day there. During the rainy season (as I found out on the day) it is unfortunately extremely unlikely to see a sunrise or sunset at Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat at sunrise
I wondered why they still offer it as a sunrise tour then, but oh well. I was a tad disappointed because I guess it was something I had built up in my head - taking a nice time-lapse of the sun rising in the majestic setting. The reality was that I was standing in mud, pushed around by crowds and I had to tippy toe and raise my camera as high as I could just to not get other people in my photos.

I had to wait for 10 minutes for people to move out of this shot!

Despite that, I still had an INCREDIBLE day, one of my favourite days from my whole trip. You don't only see Angkor Wat (which is very impressive) but loads of other equally as awesome ancient temples including Bayon, Baphuon and Ta Prohm. The latter was my favourite, also known as the Tomb Raider Temple!
I just loved how nestled in nature it was with giant trees growing out of the tops, vines coiling around, the intricate carvings and moss on the crumbled rocks. It was so so cool to see in real life and such a highlight.








The Bayon temple



Baphuon Temple





Ta Prohm 'Tomb Raider' Temple







I hope everyone can visit once in their lifetime, they are truly marvellous sites - I took 470 photos just on that tour! It was a hot day walking 11 km in 38 degrees, so I wasn't looking the best in the ones with me in them!


Central Siem Reap

Pub Street by day
My first Acai bowl at Vibe cafe
A temple downtown
Pub street by night! It was the only night that it didn't rain so I could finally venture out!
Delectable treats to try! ;)
Fun fact: you have to pay to take photos
Cool umbrella sky in an alleyway off Pub Street
On my final day, I went on a half day Floating Village tour where we got to visit a local school and witness such a different way of life. It wasn't touristic at all, they weren't selling anything and it is genuinely how the people live. The guide is from there and all proceeds go straight back to the school. It was really interesting and the children were oh so friendly and happy! It was a wonderful day.

We started by trying bamboo smoked sticky rice on the way there 
Wearing my new handmade in Cambodia dress I had bought that day



A happy fisherman
A local community
The school where 60 children sit
View from the school

I really enjoyed my time in Siem Reap. I had a whole week there and I felt that was plenty of time. During the rain, I stayed in and did a lot of catching up on blog posts. It was a tad more expensive coming from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam but still very affordable.
I took a VIP Ibis bus to Phnom Penh for $15 USD. It was only a six-hour ride and there were three stops along the way so it was pretty good.


Phnom Penh 27-30 July

In Phnom Penh, I booked an Airbnb straight across the road from the National Museum which had a great view of it from the balcony. I got really lucky in Phnom Penh - it didn't rain once!

Sweet view!
Front of the National Museum
Typical street: Monk, Tuk Tuk, motorbike and rubbish
Walking to the Royal Palace

Only a ten-minute walk from where I was staying was the Royal Palace. It reminded me quite a lot of the Royal Palace in Bangkok, although definitely not as grand! Still really worth a visit though.





I loved that fern tree/plant
The Silver Pagoda
Sometimes, you just gotta take your own photos
The park in front of the palace
The pretty riverfront


I am still SO so sad about this, but I lost all of my photos from an entire day in Phnom Penh and three days worth of videos from Siem Reap (including the Floating Village tour and Pub Street at night nooo). Basically my SD card was wiped due to a formatting error. I spent so long trying to recover them to no avail.

What I lost was a really big day for me. I did the S21 Prison and Killing Fields Tour.
It was really important for me to learn fully about the (scarily recent) history of Cambodia to understand what the people have been through. It was a heartbreaking day seeing and learning about their horrific past first hand and I'm mostly sad about losing the photos because I was planning on writing a whole blog post on it. I only have two photos I took on my phone:

A pamphlet guide
Memorial at the Killing Fields

Nevermind, what's done is done. I can highly recommend doing the Hop On Hop Off tour which includes pick up and drop off for only $15 USD. They take you to both places in a bus and you can hire audio guides there and go through yourself. I was glad to have done that because I couldn't imagine having to have a conversation with a guide about what I was being told... I needed to take it in in silence.

A street around the corner from me
My local convenience store
On the way to the airport
The Independence Monument
My ride :)

I liked Phnom Penh. I definitely think it's worth going to learn about the history at least. Three nights was the perfect amount for me. I did really want to head south to Sihanoukville but alas I had run out of time. I still had Laos and Myanmar to explore in only a few weeks so I had to prioritise.

I'm really glad I went and I had an awesome time. Next time I would love to head out of the bigger cities and see more of the authentic rural Cambodia. There is so much more to see and do in this incredible country, I barely scratched the surface.
I know I'll be back to see more one day for sure. For now I think I hit the highlights!

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Coming up soon will be photo diaries from Laos and Myanmar and of course plenty of tips and travel guides when I have the time!

Happy Travels,

Rarotonga Travel Diary in pictures


Hey all,

Unfortunately with such a small window between the Cook Islands and my next trip to Vietnam (tomorrow morning), I just haven't had the time to write up my promised Rarotonga Travel Diary. 
I do however have many notes from my trip so I will be editing this post in the future into the proper intended travel diary, much like my last one from Bali. For now- here is my week in Rarotonga in pictures!
I have had time to write my previous post: Best Places to eat in Muri, Rarotonga and make my travel vlog for YouTube which you can watch here if you're interested:


I hope you enjoy the photos anyway and can get the gist of my time there-- which was incredible! I had the most amazing week and not just because I got to marry my favourite person in the world!
Rarotonga is such a beautiful island, the people are so friendly, the food, culture, the atmosphere, The Pacific Resort where we stayed and got married was the ultimate dream wedding location- everything was just fantastic and I really cannot wait for the day I get to return to the Cook Islands!

In order, here is my travel diary in pictures:

A warm welcome late on Sunday evening

Monday 21st November

The incredible view from our room at The Pacific Resort
Feeling relaxed!

The beautiful beach-front



Enjoying many a cocktail!


Tuesday 22nd November

We got to see a traditional serenade for the opening of an international boat race

Hopping aboard Koka Lagoon Cruises for my hens day!

My sister sorted me out with the usual get-ups!

Cool glass bottom boat

My maid of honour and I

My bestest friends

Fetching us some coconuts!

The whole girls group

Sister shot

...

Wednesday 23rd November

Gareth walking to his doom ;)

Beautiful nature in the Pacific Resort

A cool sign next to our lunch spot that day

Can't get over that blue lagoon!

My last cocktail as a spinster!

Thursday 24th November

The big day! I took some shots in the morning

The boys cufflinks :D

My jewellery

Getting ready with champers!

Loved my hair!

Where I walked through- so pretty!

The gorgeous hand-made archway for us

Mr & Mrs

Bouquet goals :D

Reception area

Amazing cake!

Really good string band

My seat and a much needed mojito after hours of photos!

Enjoying the night!

Friday 25th November

The nest day... burgers for breakfast!

A lovely wedding gift from The Pacific Resort

Enjoying the local brews!

We went to Highlands Paradise for a buffet dinner and cultural dance show

Shot with some of the talent

Saturday 26th November

Spot of canoeing

And snorkelling!

Unfortunately my camera died after this so I didn't get any fish shots!

Dinner at Sandals, this was the best Ika Mata (local dish of raw fish salad) I tried!

Sunday 27th November

Exploring the island

Loving the Nu! (Fresh baby coconut) 

Best fish sandwiches on the island at The Moorings

After lunch I bussed around the entire island enjoing the views (it only takes one hour).

Relaxed a little on the beach before having to pack our bags

One last dinner and dessert at the nearby Muri Night Market

A final beer and sunset on the beach before out late night flight home

I'm off next to Vietnam for two weeks so I will be away from here until then.
Stay tuned for my proper Rarotonga Travel Diary, my hotel and wedding destination review of The Pacific Resort and of course plenty of Vietnam blog posts!
I'm looking forward to jumping back into writing when I return, but for now- happy December and catch you next time!
Right... time to go pack!

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