It was all a dream – Bali & the Gold Coast

Larasstory Lara Lain blog Canggu Bali graffiti 2019

So much has happened since I last posted! From Cairns ✈️ to Bali ✈️ to the Gold Coast (and a mingin’ Bali-induced illness in-between) it’s been a hectic couple of weeks.

I had my first full-day back at work today and while I am still a bit wiped out I felt compelled to write a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ as my emotions start to come back to earth.

This one time in Canggu 💫

Flying into Bali on the 16th May was the start of my 4th visit to the Land of the Gods. While I don’t think you could ever have a ‘bad time’ in Bali, this was definitely one of the best trips of my life to date. As soon as I stepped off the plane I felt 110% Lara Lain. HELLO BALI. I LOVE YOU AND I’M BACK BABY!!

I couldn’t wait to get to my PNB surf pad by the beach, get changed and get out! I landed at 1am but knew I could be in the mix ASAP – Sand Bar beach party goes on until 4am … A coupla hours is better than no hours when you’re so excited to be somewhere. I couldn’t wait to be surrounded by Canggu life!

That first night I was meant to meet a friend but didn’t find him – as much as I would have loved to see him, this worked in my favour as the friend I did meet changed the course of my whole trip for the better.

I talked to so many people in such a short time that night – many of whom lived on the Gold Coast. Splitting life between Canggu and the GC is not a bad way to live that’s a dead cert!

Most people in Canggu are there for surfing, yoga, digital nomad’ing or all three. If you like laid-back people who make the most of their lives – Canggu is an absolute must.

Family time ❤️

After that first laughter-filled night in Canggu I went on to spend a few nights with my family, 10 mins or so away from my first night spot. We were so lucky to stay in an amazing villa; Villa Joju.

Villa Joju is created for families and comes complete with the loveliest team of staff who are on hand to help you with any request you can imagine. They cooked meals for us (amazing!), ordered us in-room massages (amazing!) and provided us with an awesome driver to take us to all the tourist spots.

Travelling with Grandparents, and my two little sisters (13 and 4 years old) was made so easy thanks to the Villa Joju team. If you are ever looking for a Canggu family home that literally has EVERYTHING you could wish for please look it up – you will not be disappointed.

One of the highlights of the few days with my family was sunrise walks with my Mum. We wound our way through the streets of Canggu to go and check out the surf. Of course; it goes without saying I LOVE absolutely every minute I get to spend with any/ all of my family. We are always on borrowed time, since we live oceans away – honestly any alone time with my Mum I really treasure. I feel like she has never said an incorrect word in her life. She’s my hero.

Another ‘highlight’ was my 4 year old sister telling me ”No Lara, you can’t sit next to me – you’re BORING” in a VERY serious (aka absolutely fewmin!) voice. WELL! I was wounded when she said that – call me fat, ugly, old … anything but BORING!

It was so funny! By the time we parted she said I ”wasn’t boring anymore”, so all was right in the world again.

We went to the Monkey Forest in Ubud, an amazing waterfall, shopping in Seminyak, body boarding in Legian and lots more – we crammed in so much!

 Scooter adventures 

After my family time I spent another night loving life in Canggu. As you can tell, by this point; Canggu is one of my fave places on the planet!

My friend picked me up from the villa which helped prevent my water works. I can just about hold myself together when I say ”Bye” these days but it takes a fair amount of constraint. I avoid ”Bye” in favour of ”See you soon” and find those few words soften my heartache somewhat.

Going off on the back of the scooter, I held back the tears for a few seconds. By the time we hit the main road I was back in the game; wind in my hair, scooter dreaming with my beloved backpack on … it was quickly a strictly ”Look ahead to what’s next!” situation.


Turtle time in Gili T 🐢

The next few days were spent with friends from Cairns on the paradise island of Gili Trawangan – Gili T is a must-visit if you’ve never been to Bali. It is so pretty and paradise-esque. With sunsets that feel like they go on for days, horses instead of cars and push bikes to cruise around on – it’s easy to lose yourself on that island.

A highlight of the Gili trip/ my life so far was swimming with Sea Turtles at the aptly named ”Turtle Point”. If you look at the island as you arrive by boat you’ll find this spot a few minutes bike right to your right.  They are just metres from the shore all day, so many of them just chilling – eating sea grass then coming up for air. They are beyond cute – I was mesmerised by them.

Larasstory Lara Lain blog Serenity Canggu

Yoga life in Canggu 

From Gili T I headed back to the mainland to Canggu again – shock 😉 … Canggu is a kinda ”If you know, you know” experience. The vibe, the people, the surf, the food, the sunsets – just all of it.

After Canggu I went to leave for home on the Friday and was just about to line up to check in to find out my flight had been delayed to a volcano. The first flight back to Cairns for me was not until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

As this all happened so late that night I stayed in Kuta then made my way directly back to Canggu (surprise surprise!) the next morning.

This final, unexpected (!!) leg saw me see my mate that I had missed on the first night – yay!. I also made another new friend, she was staying at an amazing Yoga Eco Guesthouse, called Serenity.

It was so refreshing to get more of an understanding of how the other half live – I’ve never been into Yoga but I fully appreciate how good it is for you and how much it can change your life for the better.

Maybe I will have a go soon! It definitely inspired me; being surrounded by so many Yoga-focused, raw-food eating, spiritual people during those last few days was cool!

Bali-belly guna getcha! 😬

Bali-belly is infamous; pretty much everyone gets it at some time or another during a Bali trip. It often comes from drinking the local water (by accident when brushing your teeth / eating salad washed under the taps).

When it hits you it’s gruesome. Think (lots of) time spent in the bathroom, followed by fever, lethargy and not being able to eat all thrown into one, on repeat.

Sometimes you have it for 24hrs then it’s gone, this is pretty common. More rarely you can take that bad boy home with you too.

Unfortunately I got mine on my last day, which was a complete wipe out. I almost didn’t fly home I was so ill but after the volcano-delay I had to go!

Larasstory Lara Lain blog Polo By The Sea Gold Coast 2019

Pushing through for the Gold Coast 

My few days between arriving home and leaving again for the Gold Coast were overtaken by my illness. As always I tried to push through – last time I was ill I promised myself I would go directly to the doctors to get sorted. But this time I started to feel better so didn’t go – stupid mistake.

I pushed through it and went to the Gold Coast for the weekend for Polo By The Sea – an annual awesome event full of ponies, sunshine and great people watching.

While I was there one of my bestie’s was over from Perth for an awards ceremony. Her business Messy Mat Perth won TWO National What’s on 4 Kids awards … it was awesome to see her on such a special occasion. Gooooo Messy Mat! Wooooo!

I LOVE the Gold Coast, it has such a good cafe-culture and so much surf! I didn’t realise quite how much I missed the Aussie ocean until I was next to it breathing it all in. It was so beautiful to be near the waves and checking out the surf, like I did daily back in Bondi.

The Gold Coast is the epitome of the Aussie Dream – for starters it has the word Gold in it’s name – I mean, come on – it’s everything you imagine Aussie life to be before you get here. The weather is so good on the GC the weather reporters say ”Copy and paste” because it’s pretty much always perfect weather. #winningatlife

Did that all make sense? Because I just about remembered it all in order 😅

I am going to give more time to a Bali post – which will be more ‘Tips’ and ideas for things to do depending on if you are with family/ solo traveling so I will keep this one light on the information for now.

If you ever get the chance to go to Bali please do!

Being away reminded me how much I love being away; I live for adventure and making memories. #sleepwhenimdead

… Of course I am making memories (away from the UK!) daily here in Cairns and have so many opportunities to do awesome things on my weekends but I currently live here; so some feelings are lost on me.

If you are traveling through somewhere everything is on borrowed time. I love the urgency of trying to cram in as much as possible to my days, yet also being super chill and not having a care in the world if that’s how I wanna roll. Essentially it’s a freedom thang that lights my soul!

I met some really interesting and inspiring people on this trip. I feel like I had my eyes opened to different ways of life. Ways of living I knew existed that were cool to see close-up.

I will be writing more on Bali and will share some of my fave tips for the Gold Coast soon too. As you can see from this post A LOT has happened, so it’s been good to brain dump for now!

I spent my two weeks in Bali without a phone and it was the best, I was fully committed to my trip and everyone I shared it with. I have very few pics to share of my own – if you can imagine me doing something I probably did it 😉

Thank you for reading and huge thanks for the memories to those who shared this with me … Choose adventure. Choose making memories. Choose being where you want to be. Choose people who make you laugh. CHOOSE LIFE. 


*Villa Joju & Serenity pics courtesy of their social pages*



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