We sat at the stern of the boat, S, myself and three strangers, as well as our captain (or ‘Kaptan’), cook and deck hand.A map was spread out on the mahogany table, as we were talked through the route we’d be taking down the Turkish coastline, with our first stop a short ride away to a secluded part of Samanlik Bay. We felt so euphoric; beautiful blue waters and full of the sense of adventure that lay ahead. It’s almost impossible to keep S and I out of the sea – we love it; so, seconds after the boat had anchored, we were in some of the clearest water I’d seen, swimming out to rope swings and jumping off the rocks and into the water. We settled in that night to dinner and cards, and our first night below deck. I rarely lie in, and less so when I’m somewhere new…

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  “You’ll love it! I’ve paid the deposit, let’s just go… please?”. You might remember my friend S, who encourages me to adventure all the time. I’m also convinced she might be the death of me given some of the things she somehow persuades me to do. This time, it was staying on a traditional Gulet in Turkey. Begrudgingly I said yes, with ‘you can always cancel‘ hovering quite firmly at the back of my mind. As the days rolled by, our departure date drawing closer, work was intensifying and if nothing else I needed the break. I had some misconceptions about Turkey, and wasn’t all that keen on sharing a tiny room with strangers, but if I’d known what I know now, you’d never have been able to stop me from going to Turkey; spoiler alert – it’s my favourite ever holiday. Our travel time to Turkey saw us land in…

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One thing they do not tell you is that once you’ve been through security (which you’ll probably be late for thanks to Indonesian traffic), you have to go through another round of security, meaning that you’ll be running like madwomen through Denpesaar airport, to hop on a flight to take you to Malaysia, to hop on another flight to get you to Melbourne…

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Maybe it was the magic of the sunrise hike, or maybe there’s something just extra special about Ubud, but I knew as soon as I got there, it was the kind of place that was going to steal my heart…

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  The hike up Mt Batur had been freezing cold, but the way back down was positively roasting… It was still early in the morning so the temperature wasn’t horrific, but we could feel the heat begin to rise around us…

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When I escaped to Edinburgh recently, I had the pleasure of staying at Cheval Edinburgh Grand.   I’ve never stayed in serviced apartments before, usually going for quiet air b n bs or lovely little hotels. Walking in to the Edinburgh Grand literally makes you feel like a princess. The building itself was originally built in the early 1800s as a hotel.  In 1825, the building was purchased by the National Bank of Scotland, and The Edinburgh Grand Team have done a beautiful job of sympathetically maintaining some of the original features whilst modernising it. You step inside and immediately your attention is drawn upwards – this is the view from the top floor down into the stunning lobby. I stayed in one of their Deluxe One Bedroom apartments. This room used to be one of the note burning rooms, where the bank workers would burn fake currency in the 1800s.…

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1am is a time suitable for one thing, and one thing only on holidays: getting in from dinner and dancing. Or so I thought, until my alarm (and several others around the room for good measure) went off. L and I had long decided before our arrival in Bali that doing the sunrise hike up Mount Batur was firmly at the top of our bucket list…

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I’ve been so excited to bring you on my travels! Bali was more perfect than I could ever have hoped; it’s such a dreamy place, I can’t wait to go back and I can’t wait to share all it’s beauty with you! Speaking of beauty, I can think of no better starting place for my travel diaries, than Rock Bar…

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