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TRAVEL

BALI BLISS!

March 15, 2017

So this Bali blog post is finally here…. who knew it was so painful to upload videos to YouTube! Seriously that process needs to be fixed, I unfortunately kept making the mistake of letting my laptop fall asleep, which would then cancel the download process, this would continue for about 3 days until I decided to branch out and ask for help, but atlas I finally got there – Persistence is key!

It’s been my third time now travelling to Bali, with each trip boasting very different experiences. Which is a good thing because the last thing you wanna do is relive the same experience over and over again #GroundHogDay. This time around I decided not to stay in the same place for the entire stay, opting for a little more variety. With so many beautiful places in Bali it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. So three it was!

 

Villa Sungai – 

Located about 15/20mins out of Canggu this very private and luxurious Villa is ideal for those looking to beat the normal hustle and bustle of Kuta and Seminyak, the ultimate for pure relaxation. With more chefs then house staff Villa Sungai prides themselves on their extensive food and drink options. We would order in the morning for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the chefs would source the freshest ingredients from the local markets and prepare the food on site. You seriously don’t ever have to the leave the Villa to eat, it’s completely self catered. Boasting 3 private king sized rooms, all three with outdoor showers and the master with an outside bathtub for that ultimate touch of luxury. Oh I forgot to mention the infinity pool which overlooks the river running along side the villa, on site spa room, private driver, one of the comfiest beds I’ve slept in and just overall good energy radiating from everyone who worked there. Would definitely stay here again and can’t speak more highly of this place!

Padma Ubud – 

Our second stop on the Bali adventure was deep into the Ubud forrest staying at Padma! Built in 2016 this extremely new resort pretty much offers everything you’re looking for in regards to a Balinese stay. Incredible views over the forest, magical infinity pool, top-notch facilities and spa, super friendly staff (like almost to the point it becomes creepy how nice they are, I mean that in the best way possible!) free shuttle bus to and from Ubud town centre, heaps of daily activities including sunrise yoga classes and more. While I was staying, there was still construction going ahead as they’re still building certain aspects of the resort which unfortunately was our view until we moved rooms. My only other negative would be I wasn’t a major fan of the food, found it all a little greasy and heavy. Personally as I enjoy my privacy I would rather stay at something a little more intimate, but Padma would definitely be ideal for a family holiday or elderly couple or those who don’t feel the urge to have to leave the resort!

Glamping Sandat – 

The last stop of the adventure was also in Ubud staying amongst the rice fields at Glamping Sandat, which was kinda off the main roads in the middle of nowhere. If you’re a fan of camping/glamping you’ll love it here. Peaceful, boutique and lush stepping into Sandat feels like you’ve kinda stepped back into the dinosaur ages or something out of Tarzan. The styling and execution is on point, and could be quite lovely for a couple with some rooms having a private plunge pool. If you’re used to finer things in life, like telephones and aircon this isn’t the place for you. Each room has a different musical instrument which notifies the staff at the hotel you require assistance, which is kinda cute. Once again as it’s quite isolated you can fall at the risk of getting bored quite fast, but they have board games in the communal area! Breakfast was kinda a let down, and the food at the hotel is priced quite high for Bali standards. But the staff and everyone who works there will go above and beyond for you if called upon.

TRAVEL

Taste Of Tuscany – Part 1

July 18, 2016

As the title suggests you can probably guess as to where I went after Rome…Tuscany! If you didn’t read my previous post you can “click here and read all about the first part of my travel adventure!

A little background information, the region of  Tuscany is located in central Italy and makes up an area of around 23,000 square kilometres, with a population of a roughly 3.8 million inhabitants. While Tuscany is well known for it’s landscapes, rolling hills and greenery, it’s also well regarded for it’s traditions, history, artistic legacy and it’s influence on high culture. I teamed up with Viator for an intensive 4 day tour of a lifetime, exploring multiple towns within this untouched region.

I decided to break this post up in two part as it was slowly becoming a novel!

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TRAVEL

Roaming In Italy

June 28, 2016

Bonjourno, greetings from Italy! Currently en-route to Milan via train, hence actually having some free time to sit down and write, edit, and fill you all in on what’s been happening so far!

It was a short 21 hour flight from Sydney to Rome – I practically watched every movie available and then some. Flying via Abu Dhabi I decided to break the trip up, opting for a 24-hour layover in the land of sand. I managed to squeeze in a free tour of the breathtakingly beautiful Grand Mosque, and from there it was back on the plane and onto Rome for my first taste of Italian culture!

– Day 1 –

Landing in Rome it was straight into a taxi and onwards to the hotel, where a hot shower and a good coffee was in desperate need! #Zombie.

I stayed around the Rione III Colonna area just off Via Del Tritone, which just happened to be perfect, and very central! Once the coffee had kicked in and I felt clean again, it was time to explore this vibrant and busy city. First stop, one of the world’s most famous fountains; Trevi. Like most things in Rome you can be walking along enjoying the surrounding architecture then you turn a corner and bam you’ve just stumbled upon a great monument, in this case the Trevi Fountain. Standing 26 meters high and nearly 50 meters wide this fountain is mesmerizing to say the least, and attracts a crowed like no other. Seriously it’s constantly packed with people and their selfie sticks. Made from the same material as the Colosseum, one could easily just sit there for hours watching the world go by!

Roughly a 5 minute walk down the road you will find yourself standing in-front of a structure built in 118-128 AD, the Pantheon. The only way to describe the Pantheon is; WOW. (I’m going to run out of adjectives describing these monuments). I found myself saying over and over again for a lot of these ancient structures “How?” The level of detail and sheer size is unbelievable. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome… let that sink in!

Unfortunately the Spanish Steps were closed due to maintenance and restoration. So I did what any tourist in Italy would do, I sat down at a cute little restaurant called II Chianti, ordered a huge pizza and enjoyed a glass of vino!

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– Day 2 –

After a well-deserved rest, it was time to hit the ground running for the 9AM Vatican Tour! With 50,000 other people. I kid you not, supposedly the day I decided to go, every other tourist in Rome decided the same thing! I booked myself into one of the many “skip the line” tours thinking I’d get more out of the experience, unfortunately due to the mass of people. It wasn’t as enjoyable as I imagined. It’s almost a little overwhelming trying to take in so much history in such a short time.

Each room is packed with priceless artworks and sculptures from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian. Highlight for me and probably many others was entering the Sistine Chapel, a true masterpiece without precedent. The fact that Michelangelo hand painted the entire chapel ceiling is mind-blowing. Standing under the “Creation of Adam” was a magical experience.

Exiting the Vatican (which I forgot to mention is its own city within Rome, complete with its own laws) it was time to find food, which isn’t hard because there is a restaurant pretty much everywhere you look in Rome. I had been recommended to check out “J.K Place” for lunch, which is actually a hotel. It was a little pricey but so worth it, probably the best pasta I’ve had in Italy to date. The atmosphere and interior was effortlessly chic and sophisticated.

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– Day 3 –

Welcome jet-lag, I was waiting for you to visit, I remember saying to myself as I sat wide awake 3AM Rome time. The downside to travelling across the globe I suppose, could be worse right!? Another thing I noticed with Rome, no one really eats breakfast? It’s really hard to find anything but sugary sweets or cakes. Me craving organic puffed corn, rice milk, fruit and protein seed mix.

That day I traveled across town to the Colosseum! Thinking I’d go a little earlier so I didn’t run into the same problem the day before, this time it actually paying off. Like all of Rome’s monuments nothing was created small, and the Colosseum is another prime example. It’s the largest amphitheater ever built, holding between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, making it a true engineering feat. For lunch I wanted to go up high, so did some research on some rooftop bars/restaurants in Rome and found myself at “Hotel Raphael” which is located right near Piazza Novena. The rooftop terrace was overlooking the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica #HiddenGem.

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– Day 4 –

My last day in Rome! Once again it was another sleepless night, with pizza, gelato & pasta haunting me in my dreams. #CarbOverload. So that morning I decided to go for a run around Villa Borghese, which is a beautiful big park, perched high on a cliff face with views stretching far over the city. The park casually has the Temple of Asclepius (Greek God of Medicine 290BC) at the mouth of a small pond, as you do. Working up an appetite and it was off to brunch at “Hotel Russo” – trust me when I tell you, you need to go here! Make a reservation, wear something nice, and enjoy the atmosphere. The restaurant is situated at the back of the hotel in the garden and below that is the Stravinskij Bar, which has a great vibe and delicious cocktails! I was there the entire afternoon I enjoyed it that much.

As my last day drew closer to the end I decided it was best to check in with the family and friends and let them know my whereabouts. Normally without some form of Wi-Fi this would coast a small fortune.

Luckily I found out about this “travel hack” by the name of Flexiroam X; a new roaming solution that has changed the way I use data overseas. It’s perfect for me as I can stay connected online, around the world (in over 100 countries!) without racking up ridiculous roaming fees.

It uses a brand new technology, which is a thin microchip film that you apply to your own SIM card. Available on android and iOS, it’s really easy to set up. And you get the best of both worlds – you can toggle on to use Flexiroam X data, and toggle off to access your existing phone number.

The best part is they actually give you free data- anyone who signs up can earn up to 100gb of free data. When you share it with your friends they actually get 100mb of free data too, so it’s definitely worth investigating if you have an upcoming trip!

Check them out on Instagram and Facebook here to see what it’s all about.

Special Offer For Benjiaus Readers

Flexiroam X is offering Benjiaus readers 300mb of free data on their Flexiroam X account when using the special promotional code: BENJIX300. This special offer is valid until the 31st of July.

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TRAVEL

BALI BLISS!

March 17, 2016

Back to reality and back to paying top dollar for everything, it’s so good to be back in Sydney *Insert Sarcasm*. Unlike the popular holiday destination Bali, where you can get fresh Snapper on a bed of mixed couscous, vegetables and rocket with a hot towel waiting for about $7 AU. Now can you see why nearly 3.6 million foreign tourists along with 6.6 million domestic tourists flock to the tropical island every year? Those figures were taken in 2015, so these numbers are expected to increase as Bali continues to be among the top holiday destinations.

Surprisingly this was my first proper visit to Bali, and my verdict….Loved it!

Bali has always had a special place in the hearts of Australian people, last year on average 16,000 Aussies jumped on planes there a week, you do the math. Whether you’re there for the cheap beer, stunning scenery, world-class beachfront restaurants, unique Hindu culture, the surf, the unique mixture of colours and smells, and of course the people, who welcome you with open arms, gentle voices and huge smiles. Bali has a little something for everyone.

Okay back to my adventure!

I decided to stay in Seminyak, which I’m told is like the new Kuta, minus a good majority of  tourists. The Colony Hotel was my home away from home, which you’ll see from the photos below was perfect, a bloggers dream, everything is white and crisp! There’s only roughly about 20 room’s which is refreshing, private and peaceful it’s like a slice of classic colonial heaven tucked away from the hustle and bustle.

The food in Bali is amazing and cheap! Everywhere I went to eat, I wasn’t disappointed. Fresh, flavoursome, unique cuisines all cooked by renowned chefs, you can’t go wrong. I complied a list of my favourite places to eat around the Seminyak & Canggu region. These are just a scratch of whats out there!

– EATS –

  1. Sardine
  2. Mamasan
  3. Sargon
  4. Bambu
  5. Sea Circus
  6. La Lucciola
  7. Motel Mexicola
  8. Petitenget Restaurant and Bar
  9. Spicy Coconut Vegan
  10. METIS
  11. Nook
  12. Watercress
  13. Crate cafe
  14. Cafe Organic

While I pretty much ate my way through Bali, like I do every trip. I also managed to see and do  some pretty amazing things. I planned a day trip to Ubud where I got to see the famous Ubud Rice Fields, Monkey Temple, Tegenungan Waterfall, all which I highly recommend. But be prepared it’s a long day of driving around, and in my case driving around and taking photos.

Other places I recommend is SingleFin in Ulawata on a Sunday it’s the place to be. Get in early as the traffic is chaotic, but so worth the sunset and atmosphere. RockBar while it’s pretty grand and seems like it would be amazing, was a little bit of a let down for me. You can’t actually sit in the top of the bar (which is shown is all the photo’s) unless you’re staying at the Hotel #Annoying. There facials, then there’s 24K Gold facials, if you wanna luxe it up a bit and treat yourself to something a little out of this world head to Goldust in Canggu and get pampered and plastered with 24K gold, Vampire facial what’ Kim Kardashian?? Never drink the water from the taps (unless you want diarrhoea) or drinks with ice, remember it’s still a third world country. If you hire a scooter (which is the main form of transport in Bali) remember to always wear your helmet 1. Safety 2. The Police will pull you over and if so be prepared to bribe them. Another useful tip I learnt is don’t waste your own time going to the money exchangers on the street, who offer these amazing exchange rates. They are all con artists pretty much, make sure you triple count your money because they are so fast you don’t see them undercut you! Your better off going to a reputable currency exchanger.

And that pretty much sum’s up my #BenjiausTravelAdventure till next time!

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TRAVEL

ALOHA!

December 7, 2015

Stretched out on a beach chair, white sand between my toes, crystal clear blue waters seen as far as the eye can see with a coconut in hand. Total Bliss! This pretty much sums up my trip to Hawaii, my first taste of America.

Hawaii, an isolated volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific. It’s islands are renowned for their rugged landscapes of cliffs, waterfalls, tropical foliage and beaches with gold, red, black and even green sands. Of the 6 main islands, Oahu has Hawaii’s only big city, Honolulu, which is the island I chose to explore.

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TRAVEL

LONDON TOWN

July 14, 2015

I’m back! Apologies for the lack of posting boys & girls, if you’ve been following me on Instagram or Snapchat you’ll know why! But if you’re anti social-media it’s because I’ve been travelling around London and then a small stopover in sand land, Dubai!

Trust me I tried to sit down and write, but mixed between the jet lag of three different time zones, and the action packed days I had planned, I had zero energy or focus when it came to writing. But nether the less it was my first time to London and I absolutely LOVED it!

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LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

A Hotel Unlike Any Other.

May 8, 2015

You may remember a little while back, I partnered with exclusive hotel QT Sydney, as their official Sydney Mardi Gras Ambassador. This past weekend I was welcomed to stay at the hotel which I can definitely describe as Sydney’s sexiest, most creative, and quirky, in-demand hotel!

“Welcome to the QT Sydney!”

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FASHION, TRAVEL

Fashion Forward Dubai

April 16, 2015

Hello Boys and Girls, I’m back after a crazy few weeks! If you’ve been keeping up to date with my movements on social media, then you’ll know I decided to do something a little different this year. Instead of sticking around for the annual “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia – MBFWA” I decided to high tale it out of Australia and head to the City of Gold; Dubai – to attend their version of fashion week, FASHION FORWARD!

Fashion Forward (FFWD) is the definitive fashion platform for the Middle East. A fashion movement that highlights strengths, inspires and nurtures industry growth and its wealth of talent, with the ultimate goal of driving forward the entire fashion industry in the region. FFWD includes numerous catwalk presentations from the top regional designers, inspiring talks and panel discussions led by global industry experts and fashion academia.

This event is not for the faint hearted its 110% go-go go!

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LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

Sydney Mardi Gras 2015 & QT Sydney

March 13, 2015

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 36 years and never heard of “Mardi Gras (MG)” then ignore the following blog post…. Just kidding keep reading! This past weekend, Sydney held its annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, which closed off and took place on the iconic Oxford Street, Sydney.

The Gay and Lesbian MG is one of the biggest celebrations Sydney has to offer, attracting thousands of men and women from all over the globe to help celebrate Equality, Diversity and Sexuality.

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LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

Travel Diary Part 2 – Bonjour!

February 27, 2015

From the croissants to the choquettes, the fashion houses to the effortlessly stylish Parisian women, the architecture to the city bursting with history. France was a trip I’ll never forget.

Starting in Paris (8th) I tried to fit in and see as much as possible, with my trusty tour guide in tow (many thanks to Mr Cuesta for this once in a life time experience) and my eyes wide open, I was ready to take in everything this beautiful city had to offer. I can still remember how I felt the moment I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Instant goosebumps and in complete awe of how grand it stood, so tall, so strong, so beautiful.

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LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

Travel Diary Part 1 – Into the Glass Pyramid

February 6, 2015

First post from my trip to Europe, which first saw me in the very cold, but oh so beautiful Paris! The atmosphere in Paris is like none other, rich in history, architecture, style & class Paris just oozes chic. With so many things to see & do my first stop was none other than one of the worlds most famous museums “The Louvre”

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LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

The Ultimate Get-away!

January 9, 2015

Looking for the perfect tropical get-away? Where your greeted by coconuts where ever you go? Infinity pools & crystal clear water as far at the eye can see? Sex on the beach, I’m talking about the cocktails. Then look no further I’ve put together the go to guide to exploring BALI!

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