Search
  • Hayley ❀


Going to Barcelona has always been on the bucket list for me and Jacob has always wanted to shoot Barcelona from the sky so when we found ourselves at home in London with a weekend spare we thought why not use the time for a quick break to finally tick it off the list!

We flew directly to Barcelona from London Gatwick with Easyjet in around an hour and a half flight time. Once we landed in Barcelona we hopped in a taxi and headed to our hotel, Soho House. The interior in this house was beautiful, we had our own balcony with a view straight onto the harbor.

After checking out bags in our room we headed up to the top floor where they have an authentic terrace restaurant. It was a beautiful day so we had an early lunch whilst deciding what spot to go to first!




We took to the streets and made our way to the most known location in Barcelona, the La Sagrada Familia and it did not disappoint. They start building in 1882 which is crazy and it's still unfinished but incredible all the same! The detail in the architecture is amazing, you can clearly see the older parts of construction compared to the newer due to the different materials/ design. We were there at around 2 pm and it was super busy so if you want to beat the crowds I would recommend going early!



Our next stop was the Arc de Triomf, only a 20-minute walk from the La Sagrada Familia. Leading up to it is a beautiful grass verge which looks super nice in all the pictures and the arch itself is beautiful, with a strong orange colour to it, surrounded by palm trees it was a beautiful place to visit and photograph on a sunny day.


I would also definitely recommend walking around the 'gothic area' it's really cool and slightly eerie with small alleyways connecting it all together. With funky buildings and just alongside the area are lots of shops so its such a mix, one minute you can be exploring alleys and then you're on the main stretch with high street shops around you.


Now for pretty much the only reason we went to Barcelona, the heli ride! We got a taxi from our hotel straight to the helipad to begin our sunset ride with Cathelicopters. We got harnessed up and ran through the safety instructions, talked through the path we wanted to go and what we wanted to focus on whilst up in the air and before we knew it we were clipped in and ready to take off! We have been lucky enough to go in many helicopters in different cities but I must say this one by far was the most ... Seeing the city of Barcelona was like looking at a puzzle, I had no idea from walking around the streets that it was laid out the way it was. With each block having its own community around it and then roads cutting through the individual blocks it was incredible.





The pilot was also amazing, he wanted to have some fun and so did we so he started doing banking turns above the La Sagrada Familia and it literally felt as if we were flying as we were tied in so securely that we could lean out during the turns. As the light began to fade below the horizon we made a slow journey back to the helipad, after flying above the maze-like city for an entire hour! As we were coming into land the sky started to turn an orangey pink, touch down onto the ground and we were all buzzing with excitement. We had all just experienced one of the best hours of our lives and wanted to do it again! If you do go to Barcelona, make sure you do the help ride, it's s a must.




The next morning we woke at around 6 am and headed back up to the roof of our hotel where they have an outside swimming pool and beds to lay on, the sun rises directly in front of the pool so we watch it come up like a bright yellow ball and had a huge breakfast and dip in the pool in time for our flight back to London.



Barcelona is such an underestimated city in my opinion if you get a chance to go and explore there then do not think twice! Book that flight:)


Hayley ❀


  • Hayley ❀

Updated: Oct 2, 2018



After being in Bali for some time and surrounded by areas that are saturated with tourists and Instagram spots, we wanted to go and explore somewhere we'd never been or seen much of on the internet. We were also craving a culture shock and that's exactly what we got when we landed in Taiwan! We've been to a few Asian cities but Taipei has now become my favourite and I wanted to share with you why!


We flew to Taipei from Denpasar airport in Bali with China Airlines, with a flight time of 5 and a half hours. On a UK passport, you do not need a tourist visa which was ideal as we had actually forgotten to check before we left, that could have been a nightmare! One of my favourite things about Taiwan is that hardly anyone there speaks English which was so so refreshing! It was great being somewhere that wasn't westernised and made us have to communicate in a different way, through facial expressions, body language, and gestures! The city itself was so pleasant, super clean with cute streets lined with food trucks, bright orange lanterns and bubble tea shops at every corner. It's super easy getting around as they have a train/ metro service and the taxis are cheap and are always there to hail down when needed.


Places to eat:


Being a vegetarian with an allergy to dairy isn't easy, let alone when traveling to Asian countries as vegetarian food isn't really a thing there, they all are big meat eaters. With a bit of research and asking around, we managed to find some really good vegan spots. I have included where we went for food during our stay and its a mixture of Western and Asian cuisine.


Vast Cali Eatery- Located in the Da'an district, the area where most of the good food spots seem to be, this restaurant gave us an unexpected taste of California. With a huge variety of smoothie bowls, vegan tacos, and steak salads, this is the place to be if you're craving healthy Western food and if you have a group of you with different dietary requirements.



Untitled Cafe- This is a super simple but amazing cafe, the BEST avocado toast I have ever had, they also offer an extensive coffee list including a charcoal latte and it's also one of the only placed I found that offer nut milk as well as whole milk.




Din Tai Fung- Now for the best Asian food I have had in a long time. Located in the Taipei 101, Din Tai Fung was clearly the place to be as we did have to queue for 30 minutes for a table, as soon as you walk in you can see them freshly preparing the dumplings right in front of you! The menu is never ending and they had plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. We ordered a bunch of food to share between the four of us, this consisted of dumplings, bao buns, pickled cucumber, rice, sautéed spinach, taro buns, and delicious chocolate buns. We only ordered one chocolate bun each but I could have sat there all day eating them!




Dualing Bubble Tea- Taiwan is where Bubble Tea originates from and this was obvious as you can find it at every corner, it was such a godsend when I finally found a place that uses soy milk! 90% of the other stores only use fresh whole milk so when I could finally have a tea I was so happy!


Hoshina- A Japanese vegan restaurant that is known for its Udon Soup and it's clear why! Located in the Da'an district, it is the perfect refuel for lunch in-between all the boutique shopping.


Lemongrass Thai Bistro- A perfect spot if you want to dip into a different cuisine, from Curries to Pad Thai and also one of the only restaurants that allowed me to alter my dish and add tofu!! Win Win.


Shilin Night Market- The market is a great place to explore your taste buds! They have many different and quirky typical Taiwanese delicacies like stinky tofu, which lives up to its name, fermented chicken eggs, Bubble Teas and a lot of deep-fried goodies.





What we got up to:


Huashan 1914 Creative Park- Being in Taipei with a bunch of creatives, it was obvious that we had to hit the famous creative park. It's a super cool area with some boutique shops that sell various things from crystals to drip coffee machines. In the midst of all the streets, there were 6 different exhibitions all showcasing different art projects. They were all so much fun, we wandered around them messing and playing around.



Night Market Shalin- If you want to experience the real Asian culture then head straight to this famous market. As soon as you walk into the market you are greeted by stalls lined up either side filled with random food to taste, people shouting at and calling you over to try all they have to offer at their stool and games after games after games. We got stuck straight in from shooting balloons and darts to basketball hoops and hook a duck! It was actually super fun and we all somehow managed to win a prize!




Shopping at Taipei 101- The main shopping mall, based surrounding the 101 Tower has every kind of shop you could want, from high street shops to designer and also many different food places. You could end up spending an entire day here.


View from 101- When you're in the 101 shopping mall, you can go straight through to the ticket area for the viewing deck, tickets are $600NT per person. There's usually a bit of a queue but it doesn't seem busy when you're at the top so don't panic! Taking one of the fastest elevators up to the 89th floor you are greeted by a magnificent 360 view over the city. You can see the contrast of the busy built-up city surrounded by the calmness of lush, green mountains. Such a unique view and one that you should definitely take the time to see!



Xiangshan Hiking Trial (Elephant Mountain Hike) - The hike is super easy to find as its only a 15-minute walk away from Taipei 101, on the edge of Xiangshan park.This hike is not hard, it's around 400 steps to the top but I can guarantee you will sweat. Walking up that many steps in the humid heat of Taiwan and you will look like you've just had a shower, but the view is very rewarding! There are three separate views points that you can go to. I'd recommend going for sun set, it may be busy but there's a reason for that. The sun sets straight below the skyscrapers and with the mountains surrounding this, it makes for a beautifully unique sunset.


Jiufen- We wanted to visit this small village in the north of Taipei for so long and it only took us an hour and a half drive from central Taipei. The drive was beautiful as the village is up high in the mountains surrounded by the ocean which made the journey all that bearable. On arriving at the main strip in Jiufen you soon realise you have walked into organised chaos. With food stalls lining the thin alley, different smells hitting you and big crowds of people wandering around, it was such a surreal experience. We wandered up and down the tight alleys trying all the different freebies they offered to taste, buying little souvenirs like a traditional fan and stopping to take pictures of the cute lanterns lighting up the way. It's a great place to visit for a real cultural experience out of the city.


Hayley ❀



  • Hayley ❀


The top thing everyone has in common lately is that they're bored of their hometown, looking to escape and explore. Maybe due to being sick of the bad weather, in need of a change of jobs or you just have itchy feet and are in need some vitamin C? There were a few different options of places for Jacob and I to move to when our plans to move to NYC fell through and our instant decision and thought was Bali! I think the main reason was due to it being so close to the other side of the world for us, with it being so close to Australia and Asia it was the perfect location. I hadn't actually been to Bali before our big move so it was a risky one for me in case I didn't like it but I mean come on, who doesn't like Bali! Since moving we know its the perfect place for us, being freelancers its the perfect space for us to work. It has such a chilled vibe to it but at the same time, you know everyone is hustling in their own way. Everyone is hardworking and passionate about what they do, whether it's starting a new cafe here in Bali or their own clothing line. I know that many people want to make a big move/ visit somewhere else and experience a different culture so I have included a what to know before you move to Bali, even if you're not thinking of moving here but you want to visit, carry on reading as it will be super helpful for you guys too!


Visas:

Visas are easy to get to visit Bali. Speaking from someone who holds a British Passport, If you are visiting for less than 30 days you can get a visa on arrival, just a simple stamp in your passport. If you know you'll be in Bali for longer then 60 days then ensure to get the 60-day visa when you arrive for a fee of $35. Once you have completed the total of 60 days you do have to leave the country it can not be extended. You can return within a few days and get another 30 days! This applies to 140 different countries/ passport but just check before you travel to ensure you are good to go! As our business is registered in the UK we can not get a working visa here for Bali, plus with the amount of travelling we do we are never in Bali for more than 30 days a time so this is what we do in terms of visas for Bali.


Flights:


The journey to Indonesia has seriously improved over the years. When we made our move over here we flew with Air Garuda from London Heathrow straight to Jakarta and then a small flight to Denpasar ( international airport for Bali) however it wasn't always this simple. My parents visited Jakarta back in the 80s and it took them 30+ hours with four stops minimum!! From London, there are many carriers that fly to Bali such as Emirates (via Dubai), Singapore Airlines (via Singapore), Malaysian Airlines (via Kuala Lumpur) and many more.From the US there are also many flight options - From NYC you can also fly with Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qatar (via Doha). From LA you can fly with Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong) With Balis airport being an international one it's so so easy to get to meaning there's no excuse not to come!!


Getting a Villa:


If you are visiting for a holiday I'd highly recommend getting an Air BnB. There are so many nice ones in really good areas close to cafes and shops, the owner of the Air BnB can also help out with everything from an airport pick up to hiring scooters to get around the island and they are also very reasonable, depending on the time of year you come!


If you are planning on being in Bali long term then getting a villa to live in is a lot easier than you'd think! There are many different agencies you can contact to help you look such as 'Kibarer' and 'Bali Long Term Rentals'. Along with this, there are many signs on the side of the road with villas that are available with a number to call so look out for them! If you're into Facebook groups then there are a few that you can join to keep updated on to find your perfect villa, groups dependant on the area you are looking for. Most of the villas are three bedrooms, two beds are hard to find but there are a few out there! In terms of what you need to do once you have found your perfect spot, you just need to provide them with a photo of your passport and the price for the villa for the year is usually required upfront at the start of the tenancy. There are a few that let you do it 3 monthly but mostly it's a year so it's a big chunk/ commitment to ensure you have found the perfect one before going ahead.

We have based ourselves in Berawa as its a bit quieter but the other main places are Canggu, Umalus and Seminyak.


Getting around:


The main type of transport in Bali is scooters, as the roads get clogged up if there are loads of cars and it's easier and quicker to get around. You can hire them for around £3.50 a day. To get petrol is super easy as there are many stools on the side of the road selling bottles of petrol. Just ensure to wear your helmet to be safe and also if the police see you without one on they will pull you over until you pay them a fee. I am yet to actually get on a bike myself as I am too scared but I'll need to learn soon as I'm just on the back of Jacobs the whole time!


Times of year:


From November - March it is the rainy season here in Bali. Some days are a complete right off as it doesn't stop raining making it hard to do a lot. High season is from June - September meaning its very busy as many Australians come over to escape their winter.


Gyms:


There are many gyms around where you can get 10 days pass or a monthly membership to keep your fitness up to scratch so don't worry about losing your mojo! We go to Avenue Fitness.


Money:


The currency they use in Bali is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) at the moment it's around 20,000 IDR to £1 or $1.50 USD.


Helpful Balinese Words:


In many of the touristy parts of Bali, the majority can speak English which is super helpful but it's nice to know a few basic words to get around, plus if you go and explore the rural parts of Bali their English Isn't as good so keep these words in mind to help you get around:


Hello = Halo

Thank you= Terima kasih

Goodbye = Selamat

How much? = Berapa banyak

Help = Tolong

Open = Buka

Closed = Tutup


The must-have app:


Go- Jek, download this app when you arrive and it will help out so so much! The app is really easy to use and very clear, it allows you to order food and a driver will collect it for you and deliver to your door. There is a supermarket option where they will go to the shop and get what you want and deliver it to you and there is also a go ride section where they can offer you a lift and you just pay them in cash! Its super easy and helpful, especially as I'm not on a scooter yet so getting around without Jacob here would be hard but I've just been ordering a Go Jek for a lift! Life changer!


I hope this has helped and given you an idea of what to expect and how to make moving/ visiting Bali that little bit easier. Just remember that moving to a different country is daunting and can be lonely sometimes but that's okay! So many people are in the same position as you so just be friendly and talk to people! This is the best way to learn and get tips from others who have been there and experienced it first hand. Don't forget to respect the locals as it's their home too! I will also be writing a few blogs on places to eat/ visit so keep an eye out for those!!


Hayley ❀