UBUD HOTELS | PONDOK NAYA

Anyone who revels in the chaos of endless mopeds, the smells of fragrant food drifting from street vendors, temples laden with intricate architecture and sticky heat settling on your skin, you'll adore Indonesia. Bali, in particular. Home to the tranquil town of Ubud, where rice paddies and luscious forests engulf a serene haven, set far from the madness of Kuta.

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THE STRUGGLES OF EATING IN TOKYO

Food, Glorious Food

The people, the culture, the sights but most importantly, the food. All these factors that help to mould your feelings about a destination and push you to decide whether you did or didn't like that place. For me, food is a key factor and does tend to influence my feelings on a place. Japan was definitely interesting in terms of food. Putting aside the fact that I am a fussy eater, when in Tokyo, I tried to open my mind to all the quirky things I was about to experience. Reading blogs and guide books glorifying the Japanese delicacies and wonderfully unique creations, a mild excitement got me wondering if I'd become a sushi fanatic upon my return.

I can confirm, I most certainly did not. The language barrier had a small part to play and although the Japanese were more than welcoming and amused by our games of charades at every meal time, I couldn't help but feel hugely ignorant to the fact I had turned up to Japan thinking most people would have a basic understanding of English. Brit fail #1.

However, I concluded that raw fish, seaweed and pickled veggies are not my friend. Regardless, there were a few dishes that left a lovely Japan shaped stamp on my heart.

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TRAVEL TALES OF AN INTROVERT

I think I consider myself an introvert. I don't have tonnes of friends nor do I go out socialising very often and I'm probably far too comfortable in my own company. I've always been the quiet one, seemingly shy and will often pick a night in over a night out. It came as a shock to myself as much as it did my friends and family by finally biting the bullet and booking a two month trip to South East Asia. Alone. As much as I wanted to go with one of my friends, sisters or boyfriend, there were too many elements getting in the way and I just thought to myself that I have to do this now otherwise I'll never do it; in the hopes that someone might one day be able to come with me.

A week before I'm due to leave, I've overpacked my backpack and I'm so overwhelmed by a terrifying mix of emotions ranging from utter excitement to gut wrenching anxiety in an instant. Will I make friends? Is two months too long? Will I get sick of being with people everyday? I can honestly say these worries evaporated as soon as I stepped off the plane.
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