Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take 2: Re-launching, Travels and A Fresh Start…

I’ve been wanting to post a new blog for the past few weeks since returning from my travels to Bali and North Queensland but have been putting it off. It’s definitely not that I’ve been too busy or don’t have things to blog about. I actually have a whole list of things! Maybe I just needed a kick up the bum but I think what I really needed was some inspiration. And inspiration is exactly what I got out of yesterdays Sunday night movie – Julie and Julia. Can I just say…I absolutely LOVED it! It made me smile and laugh and go ‘awwww’ and most of all, it made me go…’I want that too!!’ What do I mean by that? I mean that I want to put one of MY passions into something that keeps me occupied in life, something that gives me purpose in life, something that I can play with, call my baby and throw all my energy into. I see so many people that have achieved such great things in life by putting their creative ideas into action and I want that too! There’s a whole long list of things that I want to do in life that range from starting and maintaining this Blog and opening a cute little café; to completing an interior design course and owning a rental property; to living the expat life and aiding people in developing countries; to sailing across the world with the person I love; to having babies and starting up my own business in making cupcakes. The list definitely doesn’t end there. My mind runs wild with ideas and desires and passions but I guess you have to take it step by step, plan and start somewhere, right? I am a bit of a nomad in life at the moment. I’m leaving Perth after having lived here for only a year but don’t know where I’m off to next. I guess I’ve always been a bit of a nomad in life though. An international baby is what I am and ‘Home is where the heart is.’ I guess that just leaves me with definitely being able to put one of my ideas into action, which is keeping up THIS BLOG and I’ve decided to be a ‘do-er’ about it! So here we go. This take #2. I am re-launching my very own Baked In Love. J

The idea for this Blog was to blog about two of my great loves in life – Travel and Baking. Both just make me so happy! Well I got my little fix of travels (which, can I just say, was oh so needed!) throughout the month of September by exploring two beautiful parts of this world – Bali, Indonesia and bits and pieces of the sunny Northern Queensland in Australia. I started my full time job in March of this year and ONLY six months later do I jump on a plane with the intention of traveling somewhere new. When you live in a place like Perth, that’s a bit too long for me. Now most of you might look at me and think I’m a bit of a weirdo. C’mon, six months isn’t that long Stella. Yea, I guess it’s not, but when you live in Stella’s world, six months of a Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm routine is a loooooooong time. Let us just say that the joy and excitement...that special feeling that you get in your stomach before flying somewhere exciting…it was intense! Saying that I felt excited is an understatement. I think it was more of a ‘I’m about to pee in my pants’ type of excitement that I felt.

Bali, what a cool place! A surfers’ paradise and so much more than that at the same time. Rob and I spent two weeks there with four of our lovely friends, which allowed us to get a good taste of it. Genuine people, beautiful beaches, good shopping, hip bars and lounges, amazing food and simply an overall fun and carefree vibe that makes you want to come back. We got to see quite a bit over our two weeks. Seminyak, Uluwatu, Sanur, Nusa Lembongan, Ubud and some more Seminyak were the places we stayed. Hiring a car and scooters throughout our stay made it so convenient and easy for us to explore jewels of the island. Since it was over three weeks ago, I’ll just re-cap by highlighting the favorites:

Favorite Beach: Balangan – Feels almost like a hidden beach in Bali. Not crowded and the views of the surf are stunning. There’s proper white sand, which is hard to find on the island, and the small selection of cute Warungs keep the ladies refreshed when watching the boys surf.

Favorite Dinner Choice: Jimbaran – Ever fancied a proper dinner with tables, chairs and good service on a beach!? Well, this is where you can find it. Our table was literally on the sand and there’s a whole array of restaurants to choose from. What’s on the menu? Some of the best barbecued seafood you’ll find on the island. Yummy! One little tip: Make sure you wear clothes that you don’t have to wear the next day, as they are going to absolutely reek of smoke.

Favorite Café: If you’re into the Organic, Natural and Healthy trend, Kafe in Ubud is THE place to go. But also if you’re not into that, this place is still THE place to go. Go for brekkie or lunch and you won’t be disappointed. The food is wholesome, fresh and you’ll even get free wireless. Try the roast veggie salad!

Accommodation: Stay at either Coconuts Resort or Playgrounds when staying on Nusa Lembongan. Enjoying the views from the infinity pool with a cocktail in your hand, you’ll think you just died and went to heaven. Top it off by having a 1-hour massage for under $10! Beauty.

Cocktails: Check out Ku De Ta in Seminyak for a fancy cocktail at sunset. The music is loungie and if you’re early enough, you can snatch yourself a comfortable and perfectly situated day bed, overlooking the ocean whilst the sun is setting. Blissful really.

As for North Queensland…can I get a WOW!! That enthusiasm definitely came from how we conducted our little one week adventure. The crew of four included Ben Wallace, his misus Claire Wallace, my lovely Robin and myself. Having a true local on board (a.k.a. Mr. Robin) made it absolutely amazing. We had already organized the rental of a boat before landing in tropical Cairns, which Ben and Claire picked up with their Forbie (4WD) on their drive up from Byron Bay. We packed the boat full of camping gear, which would’ve included everything you can possibly think about. And more importantly, we packed the boat full of yummy goodies to keep our next four days on a deserted island full of smiles and satisfied tummies. Our new home for four days was called ‘Garden Island’, which lies about 20 minutes by boat off the mainland. Robin grew up in these parts of Australia when he was a grom so he had plenty of stories of previous island adventures to keep us entertained. Garden Island is its own little paradise. You can stroll around the entire island in 20 minutes; it almost feels untouched by human nature and above all, there was absolutely no one else out there!

After claiming our territory and setting up camp, we spent the next four days fishing, boating, reading, sunning, talking, laughing, cooking and eating. Percentage-wise, the boys probably spent 80% of the time fishing, which paid off when we were able to enjoy a freshly caught Coral Trout on the fire for dinner, not on one, but on two different occasions. Yum! Overall, the trip was blissful. It was just the four of us at sea without a care in the world! No noises other than nature and no days without sunshine. Can I get a Hallelujah!

Travels oh travels. What a wonderful way to spend money. What a wonderful way to learn. It opens your eyes and makes you more aware of what this world has to offer. It’s a healing remedy, a teaching tool, an occupation for the lucky ones and without a doubt, one of my deep passions. Thanks to my lovely parents, the act of moving and traveling is engrained in me. The travel bug would’ve entered my system during our first overseas posting in Togo and now the bug won’t ever leave me. I’ve accepted this and am quite pleased about really. It keeps things exciting in my life. I never really know where I’ll be bouncing around in a year’s time. Perth has been good to Rob and I but we’re both 100% aware of the fact that there are so many more places out there we’d rather be. The good thing is that we’re making it happen. I am ueber excited about what the near future holds. Not just excited; I am so eager and enthusiastic, almost impatient at times and definitely a bit anxious, and quite possibly even a wee bit scared. But it’s all healthy, natural and normal. All in all, bring on 2010, bring on a fresh start and bring on LIFE!!

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