Your (eating) Guide to Bali


Sari Organik


Call it a love, call it an obsession, call it fate – there has just always been a connection between bali and I. From my very first trip with Morgan in 2008 I knew that this would be a second home. That first trip we were actually here for 2 whole weeks and 3 days before we were to leave I was crying as I didn’t want to go.

I love the people, I love the energy, I love the calm amongst the hustle and bustle and more recently I have fallen deeply in love with…. the food.

It’s why we come back here a couple of times every year and our love affair with Bali is why we chose to get married here.

I truly do adore Bali and all the beauty in every tiny detail it has to offer.

Being a hugely regular Bali visitor, Morgan and I get asked a lot in PM’s and emails for restaurant recommendations, so I wanted to put this post together as your one stop shop for all things sunset drinks and good food in the Island of the Gods.

But firstly, to explain why this post even needs to happen, you have to understand WHY the food and restaurants is so spectacular.

Bali has been calling the best chef’s from all over the globe to it’s humble city as I believe they get to live in to their passion of cooking, but get the lifestyle that comes with it. So amongst all of the phenomenal and always not to be missed organic or healthy café’s spotted here there and everywhere, there are also some incredible more high end restaurants where you can have a dining experience deemed priceless that I encourage you experience on at least one of your nights out. I

I also think that just like anywhere in the world, you can have an extraordinary experience or an ok experience and I do believe it can come down to planning and knowing where to go. Don’t ever get me wrong either, I LOVE spontaneity when I travel, but I love that when I am adventure travelling, if I am going to bali to zen out and enjoy delish culinary delights every day and divine sunset drinks at night, I want to know exactly where to go and the places to hit. And I want to make sure I’m booked in so we get the best tables and they know we’re coming.

So with all of that in mind, below, broken in to areas – are my top tips for where to eat in Bali.

And I promise you, pick any of them and you are SURE to have the worlds best time not just eating, but drinking or enjoying the sunset or hanging out in some of the best spots in Bali.


Yoga barn – Incredible place for yoga that serves some of the best organic delicious food.

Moziac gorgeous cocktails & amazing amazing fine dining food

Three Monkeys – Bustling groovy café offering food from contemporary to Italian (great pasta dishes)

Sari Organik 

Sari Organ

Set in the middle of rice fields about 15 walk in through said rice fields – open restaurant where you sit on cushions and have 360 views of the rice fields. It’s all organic (as the name suggests) and all delicious. The walk there itself is beautiful so it’s a 100% must dine at if in Ubud.


Ku De Ta HAVE to go for sunset cocktail. Think on the ocean, smooth tunes, beautiful setting, great atmosphere.

Moziac – (same brand as in Ubud) – brilliant fine dining food & groovy bar/restaurant on beach (note: some of the best passion fruit mojitios in Bali)

Deuss – really funky for chill out, great for a bit of a crazier night ‘out’. Best place in Bali for a Sunday Session (in Seminyak, I would do Single Fin for a Sunday Session if i was in Jimbaran / Uluwatu).

Potato head infamous in bali. BIG infinity pool bar / grass area. Yummy cocktails. You want to try to get a day bed by the pool but it can get really really busy in the busy season. So if you can get there earlier in the day, perfect. Always nice to have a meal in the restaurant too, for a big bar, the food is actually exceptional.

Mamma San – best indian in bali, fine dining and beautiful setting.

Metis fine dining restaurant, delicious food. Our good friends from Melbourne who we consider the biggest foodies we know rate this as their favourite and the best restaurant in Bali (I still would choose Sarong over this but we always ALWAYS visit here when we’re in Bali).

Merih Putih – If you’re looking for a beautiful dining experience then you need to book in a table here (and I would suggest booking as it does get very busy – here, Metis and Sarong are all finer dining places you will more than likely have to actually email and book). Walking in it’s like an inside out magical feast for the eyes and the traditional Indonesian cuisine they serve (yep, it’s Indo inspired food) is done with a modern twist so you get to enjoy the cultural tastes of the beautiful country you’re in without feeling like you need to eat at a Warung.

Saigon Street – THE best Vietnemese food we have ever tried (from anywhere in the globe). Again, go with a full stomach and if you can, with another couple of two. You want to try to get as many small bites off the menu as possible and share a main or two as it’s just THAT good you want to try to taste it all. Puk Puk Chicken and the Pork Belly are our two fav menu items, with the BEST dessert we have ever tried being from here (I would go here if only for these). It’s off the ‘tiny bites’ dessert menu, and it’s deep fried coconut balls, with a soft hot caramel centre. Order 2 for 1 person (just trust me on that).

La Plancha

la plancha

super bali. Beanbags on the beach attached to a bar – go for sunsets and a cold beer. You can go in bathers if you so wished and bare feet, it’s just a really relaxed, really casual awesome bar and setting.

Sea Circus really really really yummy breakfasts (I prefer this place as a breakfast place above all else, but also great for lunch). It’s very groovy Perth cafe meets Bali.

La Luciola – on the beach, some of the best Italian food I’ve ever eaten.

Betlenut Cafe VERY awesome experience dining and a place I tell ALL international guests to go for the experience of it. It’s a “cubby house” overlooking rice fields and it’s all open. ALL organic food and delicious organic food to boot.



Thai/Indonesian/indian – fine dining and FREAKING DELICIOUS – beautiful decor, happening vibe. It’s a must go, this is one of Morgan and I’s favourite restaurants in Bali. TIP: Go a little earlier as there is a big gothic esque bar that you can sit at for pre dinner drinks. I love to go earlier and sit and have a cocktail or two then move to the table. You will need to BOOK IN ADVANCE as well. We will always book a day or so before we get to Bali as the popular times are always taken if you don’t book (and you don’t want a table at 9:30pm!)

Woo Bar 

Woo Bar

Mustttttt go here. On the beach, happy hour from 4-6pm, amazing (!!!) cocktails, funkiest tunes in bali, just super relaxed atmosphere whilst being really upmarket. I always like to dress up a little for here, and then go out for a nice dinner (you can walk to sarong or Merih Putih from here). The happy hour cocktails are delicious and you get free margarehetia pizza for your table as you sip on the cocktails watching the sun go down.

Motel Mexicola 


Mexican food as the name suggests. REALLYYYYY funky decor, cool tunes, great for dinner (& yummy sangria!!!) I love it lunch or dinner as food, decor and service is always impeccable BUT it really is a fun night out with friends if you’re in to fun music, atmosphere and general good times with delicious food.

La Finca incredible Spanish tapas bar – best tapas I have had out of Spain (try the dessert plate too) and a MUST GO TO every time we are in Bali.

Barbacoa – Think sexy decor. Worlds best cocktails (order the Cosmo Kiss, it’s not on the menu but they will make it for you and its the best cocktail I’ve ever had). I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.Y delicious Tapas. THIS is Morgans favourite restaurant in Bali hands down and in the last 3 years have come every single time without fail no matter what. Try EVERYTHING on the menu if you can. We have, and there isn’t one thing we haven’t wanted to eat 100 times more of. My favourite though? Pork Ribs and the cauliflower salad.



Awesome, awesome breakfast / lunch and dinner – best espresso martinis in bali and best breakfast in Bali also. We have done all 3 dining experiences here – brekky, lunch and dinner, and each has offered a different atmosphere but absolutely delicious food, great service and yummy beverages.

Crate Café really small hole in the wall but super infamous with the locals. GREAT for breakfast (smoothies / breakfast type food). Super basic ordering (think smoothies, coconuts and bread based dishes) but awesome wall for photo ops and a check in 😉

Milk & Madu – LOVE this place in Canguu for breakfast. Outdoor dining experience with great coffee and a big variety of menu options. This place wasn’t ever not busy when we would go every morning for breakfast whilst staying in Canguu



Really popular cafe in Bali that is a fantastic little spot for a casual (and healthy) breakfast or lunch. I love it for the balance of healthy vs naughty. I can go here and grab a big yummy salad and smoothie whilst Morgan can still order a burger or smashed avo off the menu. Win / Win.

Jimbarian Bay



Some of the best food I’ve ever had – one of the top restaurants in bali (in ours and others opinion). An absolute dining experience, and I think best as a couple romantic dinner. You can choose to opt for a ‘private dining’ experience where they can shut off your table to the surrounding tables with curtains or you can have more of a fun, vibrant dining experience at ‘the bar’ (which is like a sushi bar and you can watch the chefs make the food). My advice? Go twice and do both experiences.



Attached to the four seasons (where we stayed pre wedding) Beautifulllll restaurant / bar. My recommendation? Book a sunbed at Sundara pool and bar for a day 🙂 There is a minimum spend but it’s SO worth it. You can take the 10metre walk up to the inside or outside restaurant area for lunch or dinner and dine on absolutely DELICIOUS and fresh food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We have done all meals here, and again, one of our un missable restaurants whilst in Bali.

Rock Bar – attached to Ayana resort ..literally as the name suggests, a bar carved in to rocks. SUPER cool tunes, cold cocktails, AMAZING sunset viewing. DELICIOUS tapas. It can get busy, and hot – so you have to be ok with waiting to get in in busy season BUT worth it if you’re in to awesome bali dining experiences. Try to get a lounge and watch the sunset over the water sipping on a cool cocktail.


Single Fin – amazing amazing for sunset drinks & chill out / photos. Much younger crowd, and I don’t like to stay on here to ‘party’ (I must be getting old!) but it’s great for a late afternoon drink over looking the ocean. Pizza is delicious but this place to me is more a go to for drinks vs food.

El Kabron

El Kabron

If you do nothing else, go HERE!!! closest thing to Santorini I’ve been. BEAUTIFUL place for drinks and DELICIOUS tapas. One of our absolute fav bars in Bali. Even if we stay in Seminyak we will book a driver out to Uluwatu for a sunset drink and dinner here. They also have a pool on the cliffsedge so you can swim and take in the sunset whilst sipping on one of their delicious cold cocktails. Once the sun has gone down, dry off, slip in to a nice dress and walk the few metres to the restaurant for a night of incredible food.


So there you have it. The COMPLETE guide (in my humble opinion) in eating your way around Bali. There are lot’s of other GREAT spots (like ‘Sling Bar’ or ‘The Plantation’ or ‘Double Six rooftop bar’ – all those 3 listed restaurants are actually at the Double 6 hotel by the way) BUT I still don’t think they’re as good as the above listed places.

Next trip over to Bali, plan ahead, work out where you would love to go and book ahead so you have a plan knowing your food and sunset cocktails are all planned out, and I promise you your trip will go from an amazing 8, to a solid 10.

Happy eating gorgeous souls.

Love, Anna xo

Images: ALL my own, except La Planchaa credit here and cover photo, credit here. 

Date a girl who travels. Yep. Her

There was an article doing the rounds awhile back on “Don’t date a girl who travels”, and I eagerly clicked on the hyperlink hungry to devour it’s contents, genuinely thinking it sarcastic article and it was going to be a cleverly written piece on all the reasons you should in fact, date a girl who travels. 
But it wasn’t. It really was as the title suggested and an article with a detailed list of articulated reasons why you should not in fact, date a girl who travels. Things like her not begin able to hold down a steady job and the fact she doesn’t like to work like a robot all day (does anybody want to do that?) and goes out to take what life has to offer and heaven forbid might challenge you to do the same (you’re damn right she will). 
The clincher came for me when I read; Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty, she goes with the flow and follows her heart. 
I am a girl who travels. 
In fact 50% of my time is spent here at ‘home’ – little ole Perth for you International readers – and the other 50% of my time is either travelling or planning my next trip away. Does that mean I live with uncertainty, and it’s a bad thing that I go with the flow and follow my heart? Absolutely not. 
Travel fills my being with purpose, love, gratitude and is my souls food. It keeps me alive and there isn’t anything I love more than finding new cities to explore and corners of the world to discover.
I have a mission to leave my footprints all over this big beautiful globe, and to scatter my soul around the world over creating memories that last. That journey has of course already begun like when Morgs and I visited here, here, here, here and here
So when I saw this article, a beautifully written and accurate piece by Steph, I couldn’t have agreed more. You SHOULD date a girl that travels; and in her own words, here are some of the reasons why. 

Date a girl who travels

She is the one with the sun kissed skin and lightly scattered freckles. A sense of wellness radiates around her, paired with plump healthy skin and a twinkle in her eye.
Date a girl who travels. She is less materialistic. She doesn’t dote on possessions but rather treasured experiences. Expensive presents are unnecessary, rather give her photographs she can have with her at all times. She can see those that live with less, recognize the small fortunes of happiness.
Date a girl who travels for somewhere is always home. She values her time there and relishes hearing about normalcy even if it’s not long before her feet start to itch again. She is proud of her hometown for it is a new city for someone else to explore.
Date a girl who travels. She is the hardest workingwoman you will know. She will most likely hold down 2 or 3 jobs to fund her adventures. Not to mention an entrepreneur turning her travels into an income source. She is smart and knows that these days many employers find international travel favorable in future candidates.
Date a girl who travels for you will always be pleasantly surprised.  She navigates unknown cities with a great sense of direction but also enjoys the spontaneity of getting lost.
Date a girl who travels. After many missed flights, wrong turns, delays, bad street food and bad restrooms to deposit said food, she is easy going and adaptable. She is prepared for bumps in the road literally and metaphorically. Life throws curve balls and she smacks them right out of the park
Date a girl who travels because she is supportive and understanding. She is conscious you may not ever be as travel orientated as her but she will always be fun, take what life has to offer and help you do the same. As a bonus she will put up with snoring and farting because she has shared a 20 bunk hostel room.
Date a girl who travels as she engages with worldly company learning the history, culture and behaviors of societies, which is sure to impress the parents. She is used to befriending strangers, thriving at conversation. She will always be open to meeting new people and impress at your work social engagements.
Date a girl who travels. She is independent, smart and strong. She will always be self-sufficient; never needy. She doesn’t believe in stage five clingers. She knows the rewards of good budgets and saving her money. She learns the ins and outs of how people live and has the kind of street smarts that will spot the sketchy looking guy a mile away before he pulls a “distract and go” scam.
Next time join her. Travel bonds you.
Images; here & here 

Bali; Our week in Paradise

There are places all over the world that just so fundamentally get me. Everything about the city or country just speaks directly to my soul. I love everything. The food, people, music, culture – and when I leave I don’t fully ever leave completely. My heart and soul is literally scattered all around the world and one of the first places I ever left it and it still remains today is; Bali.
Of course, no year is complete for me without a trip ‘home’ and Morgs and I returned two weeks ago for a blissed out week re connecting to ourselves, each other, and a place that we adore. 
We swam. Drank. Swam some more. Talked – alot. Drank some more. Watched the sunset over the water every.single.night. Connected with other travellers. Laughed. Found new places to relax at and just disconnected for the hustle and bustle of life. We swam and read all day (yep, Morgs on his ipad, I immersed in soulful paperback books) and drank and celebrated each night. 
I truly believe life is a party. A gift to be unwrapped each day and travel for me is my way of living that truth. It fills me up and connects me back to what I love. It truly does light my soul on fire. 
We so love it in fact, that Morgs and I decided a mere week before we flew there that we would in fact, promise our forevers to each other in Bali! The date is set and we are going to be saying ‘I Do’ cliffside somewhere in Bali (it’s a surprise) middle of October 2014. We couldn’t ignore the pulling on our hearts that we were destined to have a destination wedding. 
Excited and in love with our plans is an understatement, and I’ll be able to start sharing more of those plans on the blog as they come together. 
So here is my challenge to you; as I share some of my favourite snaps (+ places to drink mojitos and eat yummy food whilst watching the most divine sunsets on the planet) … if your spirit is so called to…BOOK THAT TRIP. Don’t wait for the perfect amount of money, or more leave, and don’t let fear hold you back. At the end of your life you’re going to remember the trips that you said yes too, not the money you saved or the boss you kept happy by playing safe. 
P.s want to visit some of the amazing places we dined and played at? I can’t recommend these places highly enough; 

Petitenget Restaurant – For fine dining, delicious risotto and some cold wine (& divine decor) 

Dejavu – For fantastic tapas, some of the best cocktails in Bali and sunset views on the beach 

La Plancha – Think bean bags, delish cocktails (& bintang for the boys), ON the beach…at sunset. Relaxing in style at it’s best

Ku De Ta – up market bar on the beach, amazing cocktails, amazing pizzas, divine view, fantastic ambiance (but boys, be warned, no entry in a singlet!) 

Potato Head – Fun. Just fun. It’s a little more upmarket but you can be a little more cheeky which I love. There is an infinity pool and you can drink your cocktails on a sun bed watching the sunset on the beach. Divine with a capital D. 

Moziac Beach Club – probably my fav place we snuck to in Bali. It’s tucked away up the beach but has one of the most divine views of the sunset. Best seafood tapas I’ve tasted and the best passionfruit mojitos on the planet. You can go poolside / deckside for a little less formal or go up in to the restaurant for more fancy. BOTH options offer you an unforgettable experience. 

W Retreat (aka Woo Bar) – This place is pretty breathtakingly beautiful and will more than likely make you speechless when you first walk in. If you go between 5pm – 6pm it’s 2/1 cocktails too (they had me at hello) p.s Morgs & I have booked pre wedding drinks on the sunset floor here 2 nights before our wedding with our wedding guests. So it holds an extra special place in our heart. 


& some other moments captured that made our trip memorable xx

Soulful Suggestions

There was a quote I heard many moons ago that has always stuck with me…”respond to every call that excites your spirit”. Some might resonate straight away, some might wonder what it even means, and some, well some of you are just here wondering what this space is all about (welcome). This is what I know though. Rumi had it so right. Life is about living. Crazy I know. But to live goes much deeper than just living. 
Living, to me, means to follow our heart, soul & spirit and doing what makes us FEEL good. It means leaving everything you’ve got on the table every single day. It means telling everyone you love just how much they mean to you. It means laughing with no inhibition. It means to love with no titles. It means to be free. To be a spirit on this earth responding to every call your heart and soul ask of you. 
Sometimes we get lost though, we forget what it means to live and laugh and love. Truly. To truly live and laugh and love. We forget that life isn’t about being ruled by time, or schedules or societal norms which we never should have accepted in the first place. 
Your goal this week is to just live a beautiful life. A life you’re proud of. With your favourite things and favourite people. Don’t worry about bed times or work deadlines. Focus on how many strangers you can say hello to, and hugs you can give out. Don’t worry about the number on the bathroom scales or in your bank account – instead, focus on the beautiful free things of life. Your breathe. Your bed. The clouds in the sky and your favourite music. 
And if you’ve forgotten just what excites your soul and spirit, I have a few little reminders for you with love below …

Our wonderful trip to Melbourne

Fun & Love in Melbourne 
Oh Melbourne. You MINX.
There we were. Like every trip, riding to the airport like two excited kids on Christmas eve (ok well I certainly raise the excitement metre and carry it for us both). We were off to Melbourne for 5 days to hang out, shop, eat and drink and we had been hanging out for the trip for weeks.
Getting to Melbs with my handsome man also just happened to be number 7 on my 25 before 25 list but it was so so much more than that.
We wanted a time out. We wanted some Morgs & Anna time. Breakfast dates. Wine dates. Relaxing dates. Just to be in each others company & Melbourne delivered in spades.
I think it’s no secret that we love to travel, in fact, the comment was made sitting together beer & pie in hand (because it’s rude to not drink & eat a pie at the footy right?) that we really do just want to travel the world together forever. 
So the vow has been made. Travel will always be involved in our lives – even when we start having little Morgan & Anna’s.

Here is what I challenge you to do though. BOOK THAT TRIP. You know, that trip you have been saying you really want to do, but still haven’t organised. The road trip down south, the quick flight to Sydney, the week holiday in Bali. Just book it. One of the biggest lessons that I still relish in every single day is there is never any point in waiting, for the right time, or more money. It’s not morbid to say, but you honestly, truly really don’t know just when your time is up. Imagine putting off living because you were worried about submitting a leave form, or asking your boss, or spending a bit of money. I have never let time, annual leave or money get in the way of a good holiday and once I commit it always works out, always.


In the true spirit of a travel post though, and after getting some amazing recommendations that truly made our trip, here is the roundup of where we ate & drank in case you want to give any of the spots a try.

P.s We stayed at an amazing hotel in between South Yarra & Melbourne CBD called ‘The Blackman Hotel’ .. highly, highly, highly recommend it. When we go back to Melbourne we will ab-so-lutley be staying there again.  

M&A’s Food Guide to Melbourne 

Newmarket Hotel – St Kilda … Fantastic hotel / restaurant with sexy atmosphere (& amaze wines). We went to visit some friends here & it was hard to leave to kick on for dinner. 
Naked for Satin – St Kilda … THE most happenin’ bar / restaurant that does Pintox for $2 a toothpick. We went, had some pintox, some wine, & chilled out with old friends on some comfy sofa’s. Absolute MUST do in Melbourne. Groovy story behind the name and history behind the place so do make sure you grab the story off the bar when you’re there.
China Town – Melbourne CBD … You can’t go to any city I believe without giving their China Town a red hot crack. We just stopped at the first restaurant we came across that was packed & settled down for lunch. Delish Asian cuisine and vibin’ little area. 
Dukes Coffee Shop – Windsor … This is where I had the world’s yummiest muesli. Absolute must do for Breakfast & Coffee if you’re in Melbourne. We kicked our morning off here with some delish food then shopped up a storm on Chapel Street (which is where this bad boy is located) Win freaking Win.
MerryWell Crown Casino – Melbourne CBD … Because honestly, a trip to Melbourne isn’t a trip to Melbourne without a visit to the Crowne. We opted for burgers and wine here & honestly, I’d go back to Melbourne for this burger alone. Amazing views over the Yarra river & skyline too.
Classico – South Yarra … Morgs & I wanted to give a red hot crack at eating most cuisines whilst in Melbourne so this gorgeous little restaurant dished us up the Italian of the trip. Intimate setting, incredible wine list, great sized portions, friendly service & awesome food. 
St Ali – South Melbourne … If you like coffee, get here. Just simply, get here. One of the best coffee’s we had in Melbourne & I would go back again. Freaking happenin’ little spot, awesome vibe and seriously good coffee. The food looked amazing too (but we had just gone for a taste of their coffee) 
Queen Victoria Markets – Melbourne CBD … We went for some market breakfast & coffee and turns out it was some devilishly good tasting coffee and THE best pancakes I’ve ever eaten in my life (massive call but I just made it). The Melbourne Markets are a must do if you’re in Melbourne regardless but don’t give their food stalls a miss. 
T-Roy Browns – Melbourne CBD … This is quite literally a whole in the wall but a hole in the wall that isn’t to be missed.
Rose St Artist Market – Fitzroy … We found this groovy little art market whilst wandering Brunswick street on the way to get some raw vegan goodness and stopped past to have a wander. It’s small enough to not get lost for hours and has some really (really) cool handmade stuff in there. If you’re going to shop or eat on Brunswick street then these markets deserve a visit.
Chez Dre – South Melbourne … We popped in to this divine bakery’esque place whilst grabbing a coffee at St Ali & can I Just recommend you do the same. Fresh style home made pastries and cakes and so mouth wateringly delish I can’t put in to words. Just GET there.
Slow Poke – Fitzroy … This place is another little gem hidding in Melbourne like an unsuspecting hole in the wall. We hit it up for Breakfast and I almost died over their Chai Latte (THE best I’ve ever had) and the bonus of the whole meal was their home made relish’s that accompany most dishes. This is a breakfast place you can’t miss in Melbourne (I’m serious).
Meatball & Wine Bar – Melbourne CBD … Almost every single retail staff member that was recommending us places to go in Melbourne told us we had to go go here we went!! We popped past after the game of football we caught thinking we’d stay just to check it out before we kicked on somewhere else but ended up staying the whole night. It was SUCH an intimate awesome little bar and we loved the menu concept. Literally, pick your meatballs, pick a sauce, pick a side. SO yum – and we tasted the yummiest cocktail of our lives here also (their reds are imported from Italy as well so it made me get transported right back to our Europe travels). Don’t go to Melbourne without paying this place a visit.
Yong Green Food – Fitzroy … This place was reccommend by at least 4 people to us so even though we’re not Raw Vegan foodies (Which is what this place delivers in spades) we knew we had to def check it out. We could only stop for a morning tea (we had big plans for lunch) and gorged ourselves on raw cheesecake and a big delicious smoothie. All the food around us (there is also hot vegan food available) looked like some of the yummiest, freshest food I’d ever soon. Whether you are a raw vegan or not, get here to try some healthy goodness.
Veggie Bar – Fitzroy … Veggie Bar is literally down and across the road from Yong Green Food and we popped in a different day to give their own smoothies and raw desserts a try. It is a gorgeous place buzzing with people and the menu is drool worthy.
Gradi 400 – Brunswick … If you like Pizza, and I mean real, Italian style pizza this is your restaurant. Morgs refused to leave Melbourne without trying it (after it coming highly recommended) and we are SO glad we ended up paying it a visit. Gorgeous interior, amazing service and absolutley delish pizzas. The name comes from the fact they cook the pizzas for only 90 seconds, at 400 degrees. Ah-mazing.
Cafe Vue at 401 – South Yarra … We popped in to this unassuming cafe on our last morning as we walked in the general area of where we were staying and it was the most delicious breakfast we were so impressed. Their porridge (I was just so excited they did porridge) was amazing and Morgs said it was one of the best “big breakfasts” his ever had!

Our Complete Europe Itinerary

So here it is. Our holy grail. Our complete itinerary from our UK & Europe adventure which lists our cities, time spent in each place, and most importantly (and let’s be honest, what I think most people really want!) .. the links to all the accommodation for the whole trip. I’ll also be listing all the websites that we used to get all the information we needed to help you in your own scheming and planning. Hooray!

Our trip included visiting 48 cities in 20 countries. Wowee I had never counted that before until just then…god I miss being in each and every one of those 20 countries. 
An important disclosure before I share allll of our info however. I am, in no way shape or form sharing this for you to take the trip and do it exactly the same. There is no way you could ever replicate a trip from doing so. Our itinerary worked perfectly for us as it was exactly what we wanted but every single person is different and you really need to find your own travel groove. Take a little or take a lot but just use this as a good inspiration and guiding light to get started. 
Are you ready?
Our Europe Itinerary for 4 & a half months

London for 4 nights & we stayed here 

Cardiff for 1 night & we stayed here
Dublin for 4 nights & we stayed here
Belfast for 2 nights & we stayed here
Inverness for 2 nights & we stayed here
Portree for 2 nights & we stayed here*
Elgin for 2 nights & we stayed here
Edinburgh for 4 nights & we stayed here
Amsterdam for 3 nights & we stayed here
Brussels for 2 nights & we stayed here
Athens for 2 nights & we stayed here
Santorini for 7 nights & we stayed here & here
Mykonos for 3 nights & we stayed here
Split for 3 nights & we stayed here
We then Sailed Croatia for 7 nights (highlight of our trip) & used this company
Budapest for 3 nights & we stayed here
Kirchburg for 5 nights & we stayed here
Vienna for 3 nights & we stayed here
Prague for 4 nights & we stayed here
Rome for 4 nights & we stayed here
Naples for 2 nights & we stayed here
Positano for 2 nights & we stayed here
Amalfi for 2 nights & we stayed here
Florence for 3 nights & we stayed here
Venice for 3 nights & we stayed here
Milan for 2 nights & we stayed here
Vernazza (Cinque Terre) for 2 nights & we stayed here
Monte Carlo for 2 nights & we stayed here
Nice for 2 nights & we stayed here
Cannes for 2 nights & we stayed here
St Tropez for 2 nights & we stayed here
Toulon for 2 nights & we stayed here
Nimes for 2 nights & we stayed here
Barcelona for 4 nights & we stayed here
Valencia for 4 nights & we stayed here
Mallorca for 2 nights & we stayed here
Madrid for 2 nights & we stayed here
San Sebastian for 3 nights & we stayed here
Paris for 4 nights & we stayed here
Luxembourg for 2 nights & we stayed here
Berlin for 3 nights & we stayed here
Frankfurt for 2 nights & we stayed here
Heidelberg for 2 nights & we stayed here
Munich for 2 nights & we stayed here
Interlaken for 5 nights & we stayed here
Dubai for 6 nights & we stayed here
Websites that we used to book all of the above – & spent a million hours researching on…
Skyscanner – to book all of our flights internally & across countries
Airbnb – an ah-ma-zing website that we adored. This is how we stayed in luxurious apartments for so cheap.
Hostelbookers – you can’t backpack through Europe without staying in hostels & this was the best website.
Hostelworld – also good for booking hostels but less variety than hostelbookers & a little more expensive.
Booking – great to find hotels & hostels when the other websites can’t find you many options.
TripAdvisor – we didn’t use this to book, but great to read honest reviews of hotels from previous guests.
Also, the only iPhone Apps that we couldn’t live without over there was the following.
AroundMe – SO helpful in any and every city we went too when we needed to find an ATM, restaurant, toilet, the list goes on! It would pick up on where you were and then point you to the closest everything. It saved our butts many times.
TripAdvisor CityGuides – TridAdvisor is obviously every travelers best friend so this app shouldn’t surprise you! Before reaching each new city we would download it to the app so once there could look up all the top attractions, tours, restaurants and activities. It would map you there from wherever your starting point was as well so if the mood called to use it we could just get the app up and map ourselves to the tourist thing we wanted to do at that moment. Fan-tastic!

[Left; Budapest      Right; Cinque Terre ] _________________________________________________________________________________

So there you go. 4 & a half months of trip of a lifetime travel condensed here, for you, with love, in just 3 paragraphs. This is the thing though, I am trying to encourage as much as humanly possible for you to just book that trip. Just go. Stop telling yourself that you never have the right timing, or money or circumstance because let me assure you, if you keep telling yourself that, then you never will. I had told myself, that no matter what, when I finished uni, I’d go to Europe. I spoke it aloud, I wrote it down, I shared the dream, and last year I did just that. I would love to see 2013, or the years to come manifest in to the year you took a trip to the place you’ve always dreamed of but never deemed possible. I truly believe, with the right belief, planning, research, saving & tools you will be able to do it. And this is exactly what I hope my 2 Europe posts will do for you.

Your turn.

If you have any cities that aren’t on there that you think people would love or should know about then I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Also share any other websites or Apps that you have found amazing when traveling, let’s help people grow their travel dreams together.

Love, light & big wishes,

Anna xx

[ Madrid ]

[ Croatia ]
[ Nimes ]
[ Kirchburg ]
[ Vernazza ] 

[ Munich – Oktoberfest ]

How to plan & travel through Europe

I have promised this post since my return home and I am excited to say it is finally here. Once I got home, I was overwhelmed – in the best way possible of course – with emails, tweets and messages across every social media platform from friends and strangers alike asking for any and all advice for their own impending Europe trips. There have been many a question like, “where should I go”, “how much money will I need”, “which were the best places in Europe you found” and I kept thinking I should just compile it all in one ‘go to’ post where you will hopefully find everything you need to plan your own trip of a lifetime. 

A disclosure before we begin this marathon post as well. This advice comes to you with the bestest of best interests at heart and with hours, and hours and hours and h.o.u.r.s of research. Planning and booking Morgs & I’s 4 and a half month adventure became my 2nd full time job. I scoured every accommodation website and read before picking hotels/hostels/apartments and read website after website and asked fellow seasoned travelers for their own advice before picking cities and countries – plus followed our hearts & spirits every step of the way. 
I will be doing a follow up post with the itinerary I did up for Morgs & I for our whole 4 and half months – so which cities we went too, how long for, and where we stayed. It is my holy grail, and I am willing to share, along with all the best websites and app’s we used to book everything and get us around once over there. 
I hope that this advice helps and my wish for you & this post is that you bookmark it for future travel, forward it to friends and family who are planning their own travel adventure or simply use it as inspiration to finally book your own trip of a lifetime. 
Settle in, it’s long, but most of all, enjoy xx
Anna’s Ultimate guide to budgeting, booking & travelling Europe
So you have decided you want to go away! Congratulations, is there room for one more? Relaxxx, I’m joking, not really. Before you even start dreaming of distant lands though, here are my 8 things I believe are important for you to consider from the get go.
1. Choosing the places to go in Europe.
2. The most efficient route possible.
3. Your budget for the trip.
4. What to get in order before you go.
5. Do I need a visa.
6. To Eurail or not to Eurail 
7. How to best pack for a long trip.
8. Travel tips if you’re travelling with a bf/gf
So let’s begin shall we?
1. Choosing the places to go in Europe

Potentially the most important part of the trip, because what is the trip after all, without all the magic from different cities and countries unknown you are about to discover. I am about to tell you the single handed most important thing you need to remember when choosing places and pay close attention now….
Do it for yourself. 
Not because your cousins girflriends best friend said her time in Florence was the best time in the whole wide world, or because your frenemy on facebook had some jealous worthy photos in Switzerland you potentially want to out do. 
Choose places that you’ve always dreamed about going. Cities that your friends might not have been too, but you personally have always had a fascination with. Places where you aren’t just doing it to cross another country off the world list ‘just cos’. And don’t worry. You aren’t sure you’ve ever had anywhere like this? That’s beyond ok. That’s why I’m here to help. Ready? …

The next best way to choose your places to go is by working out what you want to feel and experience. 
When choosing our places to go Morgs & I sat down and worked out how we wanted to feel, what we wanted to experience and what we wanted to get out of the trip. We compiled a list, which I am now recommending you do, that had things on there like; “Sky dive in Switzerland”, “Eat a traditional pasta and drink home made red wine in Italy”, “Walk the Cinque Terre”, “Feed pigeons in a Spanish square” …. the list was long’ish, but not overwhelming nor out there, but it was OUR list and a list we loved. We knew by finding those experiences we’d find fun, excitement and adventure which is what we were looking for from the trip.
So remember. 
1. Rule out places that you only want to go to because society, family, or whatever other reason has kept on your travel list. Make sure you’re picking places PURELY for yourself.
2. Write up a couple of things you really want to experience; eating ice cream in the snow, hot air ballooning over an old city, doing a ghost tour underground are some suggestions to get you going. 
3. Write down key countries you have always dreamed of visiting and google some of their less touristy places you might want to travel to. 
4. Now get down to the nuts and bolts of it. Sit with a map of Europe and write down each country (with some possible cities you would like to go to) on a piece of paper then sit on that for a couple of days. See how the countries sit with you, after a few days you might want to scratch some off, add some on or keep it exactly the same. 
5. Write your final list, having worked out what countries you’ll get your experiences in, the ones you’ve always dreamed of going to and the ones you will come home from with the most fulfillment and put those places in big, exciting, bold letters on a page. 
Congratulations gorgeous!! You now have your list!!! Now we just need to work out….
2. The most efficient route possible whilst over there

[ A map route I did up quickly as an example in Google Maps, that you can easily do yourself ]

Do not underestimate the money and time you can save on your trip by doing a little bit, ok sometimes a lot, of homework before you start getting all excited and booking. Europe can be a funny thing, places you would never think would cost much getting from and to end up being the most expensive tricky parts of the trip, and places you’d think would be expensive are cheap as chips – it is ALL in the research. 
First thing to do here really is work out when you actually want to go and can go on said adventure of a lifetime. That is always going to be different for every single person for a multitude of reasons so of course…work that out first. You are going for the 3 months of Summer? Awesome, you will pretty much be fine in any and every country you go to with weather. You are going end of Summer start of Autumn? Well work out first which places you’d prefer to be hottest and cities you won’t mind if its not as hot. For Morgs & I, we were going end of their Summer to the start of their Winter (which was perfect for us), so we knew that at the start of the trip we’d want to hit places like Greece & Croatia first so we still had hot days and warm nights. So get prioritizing you! Like I said, if you’re going for the whole of Summer it really doesn’t matter, but if your months are going to have a climate that starts changing it’s important to work out which cities and countries you want to see when the days are hotter rather than when they start to cool. 
Got it? Good. Here are the rest of the steps laid out a little simpler for you.
1. So you now have your list of cities you’d like to see when they’re warmer,keep that in mind as the starting place of your adventure (you’re more than likely flying in to London first anyway but there are hundreds of other cities you can fly in to as the start of your main trip). 
2. Buy a clear and simple big map of Europe. 
3. Work out, in pencil, what appears to be, for you, the most logical and non ‘double back’ way around all your countries as possible (refer to my above picture I did as an example, where the line went in a big circle and there was no double back). I.e if you’re wanting to go to Portugal, Greece, France, Spain then on a map you would sensibly (saving you time and money) go Greece, France, Spain, Portugal (but you will see this for yourself when you look at your own map!)
4. Start to do dummy bookings. Will you be flying from Rome to Athens? (having felt that’s the best route on your map). Go to Skyscanner and punch in that route with similar dates you are thinking of and see what it comes up with. If it’s a high amount, you know it’s a difficult route but low means go for it! 
5. Do this for almost all of your first draft itinerary to see what kind of costs you are going to be up for and if it is the best route for you. Write down all the costs you are working out to track your budget.
6. Also start having looks for accommodation on Hostelbookers, Hostelworld and airbnb. Putting dummy dates in (i.e if you already know you roughly want to stay in Barcelona for 4 nights, then put in 4 nights for accommodation in Barcelona) and you will be able to gauge the average cost it will be from scrolling through all the options that come up. 
HOW exciting you – we now have the countries and cities you wish to go, with the best route worked out for you, now we just have to work out…
3. Your Budget for the whole trip

I’m sure this is where most of you will either zone in or zone out completely but unfortunately a budget is super important for a trip. Having always wanted to do Europe for a few months (not weeks) and in luxury (not budget) I always knew I never wanted to do it by accumulating debt so I was proud to have saved for the cost of the whole trip and I came home with $0 debt. 
The thing is though you might want to do the whole thing with a personal loan or a credit card and that’s fine too, whatever you want to do is the best way to go. 
What I CAN tell you however is that either before you go or whilst you’re there, without a budget I promise that you will stress. I can’t count on both hands (I’d need 2 or 3 sets) how many people would ask “Howww are you & Morgs doing this and not worrying about money, I’m running out!” when we were over there mingling with other travellers. 
Our secret?
We stuck to a rough daily budget that we knew we could spend comfortably!!! Did it impede our trip? Not ONCE!! In fact we had more money to do more things every step of the way. 
Do you want to know our other secret?
We had our trip of a lifetime as we didn’t plan what we could do AROUND a budget. We planned what we wanted to do then made a budget for that….key important distinction. Do NOT let money get in the way of a dream trip. Work out where you want to go, what you want to do, THEN work out exactly how much you’ll need. Because what we’ve gone over so far is the real ‘nuts & bolts’ of planning, let’s re hash what you should have done so far before this next step.
+ Written your dream destinations down and what you want to do and feel over there – worked out from that which countries & cities will go on your list!
+ Bought a big, clear map of Europe and marked out your most efficient route to save time & money. 
+ Done ‘dummy’ bookings for majority of your trip (I did it for all my trip but I know most of you won’t be thaaaat thorough) to get a really good estimate of exactly what costs you’ll be up against for your flights and accommodation. 
Now you’re here. Already with a good idea of flights/trains and accommodation costs so these should be your next steps. 
2. Put the amount you already know it will roughly cost you to travel once over there (flights, accommodation, trains etc) at the top of the page. 
3. Work out the number of days you will be over there in total. I’m going to use the common time of 6 weeks travel. So that would equate to 45 days. 
4. Think of a figure you think you would be comfortable with being able to have at your disposal daily….would it be $80 dollars? $100 dollars? This number is going to be different for everybody and so I am reallyyyy going to leave this one up to you (if you can go by Morgs and I’s trip, we had worked out $80 euro a day each (which was about $100 Australian , and some days that was beyond enough and other days we went a bit over). Remember, this is really just for food, drinks and fun though, you’ve already got the other number at the top of the page for the serious stuff like flights and accommodation. 
5. Multiply the number of days you’re there with the figure you have come up with. If that’s $100 euro per day, for 45 days, that is going to give you a grand total of $4,500. 
6. Add that to the figure you’ve come up with as the average for flights and accommodation (I’ll say it’s going to be roughly $5,000) and congratulations you have your goal figure to work towards = $9,500 and it’s time to save….
How do I save that much? 
simple really…

1. Open a savings account totally seperate to your other accounts so it’s harder to transfer between bank accounts at the flick of a button (i.e. if your normal spendings account is with Bankwest, I suggest opening up a strict savings only account with NAB. It’s MUCH harder to flick money across accounts when it will take days to go through).
2. Work out your budget for each pay (I would hope you would already have something similar in place anyway!) with what you need for your necessities – rent, bills, food, petrol. Once you have that figure work out how much you could comfortably put away that will stretch you but not send you broke. Remember….living your dreams and kicking huge goals sometimes take a little sacrifice. If you’re used to having $500 left over every pay to splurge on clothes and going out, maybe ration yourself $150 and put the other $350 away. 
3. On every pay day….pay yourself first. As in, put away your savings FIRST, then go and pay your necessities. It was the best advice I ever got from the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. If you pay yourself first, you will always have to find a way to make ends meet. It might just mean one less dinner out that week, or not being so flippant with your bank card. I swear on my life, I did this for the 18 months we saved for our trip. And guess what? I never missed out on putting exactly how much I wanted and needed to put in to my savings, I always had the money I needed for my necessities and still managed to have a bit of fun.
4. Now eat, sleep, exercise, save, repeat. The above is really just common sense but SO important in building up a really healthy savings account and hitting your goal amount for when you want to go overseas. 
High five for getting your savings account and saving money well underway, it can sometimes be the hardest part of the trip, but you are on your way so you need to pat yourself on the back! Now here we are, not only do you now have a clear control on your budget and how to save for it, you also have your itinerary. This is where we now need to look at….
4. What to get in order before you go

Oh god. If I had 3 of me before I left I still don’t think I would have found the time to have done everything I needed too with relaxed ease. Multi-tasking and midnight thought bubbles – like; ‘have I written that to do list at work for Richo, shittt I can’t remember if I ended up buying those vac sealed bags, god I hope Morgs remembers to pick up our overseas licenses’ – will become more regular the closer your departure date arrives. Having been there and done that I know having a list of things to cross off is ever so helpful so here is your go to (and by all means add or subtract off of this) as you countdown to your own adventure of a lifetime..

+ Ensure your passport is 100% useable, up to date and A-OK. You MUST have more than 6 months left till it expires in almost any and all countries overseas and your photo must not have so much as a smudge on it. Do not f*ck this one up ladies & gents.
+ Buy a backpack, a really really good one too – don’t scrimp or cut budgets on this one, you need those really fancy looking ones with the lumbar support and all that jazz.
+ Get yourself a micro fibre towel. Most hostels/hotels/apartments/b&b’s come with all linen provided but our micro fibre towels were our saving grace on more than one occasion. psst – Micro fibre towels can be wrapped up tiny AND dry reallyyyyyyyyyyy quick. Winning.
+ Go down to your local RAC office and organise your overseas drivers license. It cost Morgs & I $26 each and allowed us to drive in every country overseas (you need it to hire cars and anything motorised)
+ Buy yourself a good camera. I can’t see any good reason to not invest in a decent camera to capture all your moments when over there when it’s one of those once in a lifetime trips. Spending thousands and thousands to get there and live those moments then capturing it all on an iphone or small digi cam just doesn’t seem mondo correcto to me. If you are in a position to do so, get yourself a good camera before you leave.

A little overwhelmed yet? You shouldn’t be – it should just be list making time and excitement, oh and of course you need to know the following…

5. Do I need a visa?

The short answer is….there is no short answer.

This section is only relevant if you are an Australian citizen reading this post – if you’re planning it from another country the information isn’t hard to find out though. The BEST advice we got and followed was from the ‘smart traveler  website so the long and the short of it can be surmised like this.

+ If you are going to be in Europe Schengen Area for 90 days or less (that’s 3 months people), then you will NOT need a visa. Even ONE day over 90 days however, you will need to contact the Embassy for whichever country you’re in at that time.
+ If you are there for 4 months for example, but 1 month is spent in the UK and a week in Croatia (Croatia is not part of the Schengen area) then you still won’t need a visa as you are in the Europe zone less than 3 months.

Here is an excerpt directly from their website however with fancy wording and correct advice that will be relevant for your own trip. (This section is sooooooooooo important to not get wrong)

Generally, Australian tourists planning to spend less than a total of 90 days within a 180 day period in the ‘Schengen area’ do not require visas for countries which are parties to the Schengen Convention.

The following countries are parties to the Schengen Convention: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
It is important to get your passport stamped when entering the Schengen area. The absence of an entry stamp from the initial Schengen port of entry could result in a fine or create difficulties during subsequent encounters with local police or other authorities throughout the Schengen area.
Some countries require you to register with local authorities within three working days of your arrival.
Australians who are likely to exceed the cumulative 90 day limit, or who are visiting the Schengen area for other than tourist or business purposes, should contact the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of the country or countries concerned to obtain an appropriate visa. Visa rules relating to work and business visits are governed by the individual countries.
Travellers who exceed the 90 days within 180 days period of legal stay in the Schengen area risk being fined or even banned from entering the whole Schengen area for a period of time.
Australians should be aware that the United Kingdom, Ireland, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine are not part of the Schengen area. Australians should consult the nearest High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of these countries for visa information.

Kapeesh? It’s really not that hard, if your trip is 3 months and under and you’re going to be in Europe then you won’t need a visa. Any longer you will need a visa, or you need to split your time up in the non Schengen states (all listed in the last paragraph above). The serious stuff is almost out of the way but there are still a few more things to consider, especially…

6. To Eurail, or not to Eurail 

Even the word Eurail still sends me in to a bit of a travel related spin, as both Morgs & I had spent copious amounts of hours (I seriously mean hoursss) on researching if it was worth getting a eurail pass or not for our own. We both came to the same conclusion that for us, it just wasn’t worth it but for you it could be completely worth it. It can just vary so widely for each individual.

I could sit here and rattle off all the facts about Eurail from a boring ‘what eurail is, how it works’ point of view so you could make your own mind up from a more educated position, but I’m not going to do that as I never found that worked for me. What I wanted to know the whole time Morgs & I were umm’ing and uhh’ing about getting one or not, was who had actually traveled and either decided to use one or not. They were the opinions I ended up going by, and by doing so, here are our own personal facts we found incredibly helpful and have since come up with our own to help you also.

+ Once you pay for the eurail and once you’re over there, it’s not as simple as then just hopping on any train you like (which is how they sell it to you essentially) and it all falling under your one time amount paid to acquire the card. Any & Every train you want to get on to travel on long distance trips within a certain country or across borders, you actually have to reserve your seat and pay €10 fee per trip. If you happen to miss that reservation (and believe you me it can happen, regularly) the original fee paid and booking made doesn’t stand and you have to make a whole new booking and pay the €10 fee all over again. So Eurail costs don’t end at the ‘one time’ fee of $xxx (it can vary) for the card, every train you get on you also have to pay another €10 and pre book. For Morgs & I, we preferred just arriving to the train station and booking that morning and that be the end of it. Another way to do it (it works out cheaper) is when you arrive in the train station from another country or city, we would then book our next train ticket then and there for wherever we were going next. If anything ever stuffed up too (like we wanted to swap the destination or time) the offices at the train station always helped as we had brought the ticket from them, in their country, we met a lot of people in lines who would get offered no assistance as eurail had nothing to do with that particular countries train company
+ We never regretted NOT getting one. We had budgeted before we left on average what the trains would cost between each city for the countries we would be needing to use the trains in and so for us it never would have been worth it.
+ Whenever we got in to conversations with other travelers at hotels or hostels and got chatting about where we’d been, where we were going and swapping advice, Eurail almost always came up and 85% of other travelers had done their own research and also decided against it too.

I have two important things to say also though that need to be seperate from the above.

+ If we could have done it differently, we would have organised a Eurail for Italy (but only Italy), and I am suggesting you look in to this yourself too. We did spend over 3 weeks in Italy and covered a lot of ground but apart from that, trains in Italy are expensive, quite expensive, especially compared to places like Germany, France & Spain (note: We easily found France to be the least expensive). Having a Eurail for Italy alone would have ended up saving us quite a bit of money, so learn that lesson from us.

And lastly,

I still hugely encourage you to do your own research on Eurail. This was just our experience but I find sharing experiences vs re hashing known facts helps more in forming your own decision. Now you have this information though, do go and look at the facts (cost for a eurail pass for one country vs 2 or 3 countries and the cost for 10 days vs 3 months etc) and make your fully informed decision then.

Right! Now we have the serious stuff out of the way, (I can almost hear the collective hooraaaay) your next thing to give serious consideration too is…

7. What to pack for a long trip

I s.t.r.e.s.s.e.d over the fact I only had a backpack with me for 4 and a half months that could comfortably carry 15kg of my clothes and things in. How the HELL was I going to fit everything in and almost more importantly how was I going to still feel good and have some variety in my clothing options to mix up my outfits? Somehow, I managed. And not only did I manage, I felt like I had a masters in packing by the time we had returned home. Packing can already be tricky enough already for short work trips away or two weeks to closer holiday destinations, so their really is so much more added pressure and stress to ‘get it right’  for a huge trip like Europe.

Having obtained my masters in packing from my own 4 and a half months away, I have learnt there are some simple things you can remember that will help you when you are about to pack your life in to a suitcase or backpack which are as follows…

+ Don’t go overboard, pack as light as you can. I adhered to this rule to a T when picking clothes that would go in the stay pile vs. back in the wardrobe pile. The lighter you pack the better…you WILL buy things over there.
+ Pack basics and nothing too patterned or ‘stand out’. Taking your fav tshirt/dress/whatever that has a really identifiable pattern on it doesn’t  do you any favours in the ‘mixing it up’ to give yourself different outfit options. I stuck with majority basics – Blacks/Whites/Plain colours .. and then mixed them many different ways to the point where I could almost not outfit repeat for just over 3 weeks (which made it great for photos!)
+ Take some accessories that will go with almost anything you packed clothes wise. My plan was to pack basics, and bring enough bold necklaces, earrings and scarfs to rock the outfit a little more sassy. It felt nice to still be able to feel comfortable but dressed like I’d be dressed if I were at home with my whole wardrobe at my dispense.
+ Plan outfits before you pack it in the suitcase/backpack so for the first few days you know exactly what to grab and not spend time pulling everything out to work out what you’re going to wear.
+ Trust me & listen to me when I say; Take sneakers & some gym type gear!!! Morgs & I didn’t plan on ‘working out’ on holiday (& didn’t once) but packing our gym gear and sneakers saved us weekly. You are going to want to do fun crazy things – like bike ride the Austrian alps, Canonyeong, Sky Diving, Trekking through old towns….having reliable shoes and gym type gear helps in a lot of situations.
+ Take lots of underwear. Lots. Seriously. I think my undies count topped out around 35 pairs….but I never ONCE ran out of undies. One thing you are always going to want when travelling is clean underwear and it’s better to be over the top than save packing space on this item.
+ Did I mention Pack light? PACK LIGHT.
+ Pack 2 pairs -minimum- of black leggings (trendy if you can, but comfort is the name of the game here). I KNOW ordinarily wearing leggings as pants is a fashion crime ordinarily, but they will save your comfortable life in Europe. Plus they are great for wearing on commute days on trains and planes, around hotels and hostels to relax in and when you really just don’t feel like wearing jeans on a day you’re going to walk 24km (yeah we did that)
+ So so so so important …. Take a first aid kit!! Buy a small travel one from any Chemist, you should not leave the country without one. Our first aid kit doubled as our first aid / life saver kit. We ran out of panadols one day and luckily found some in there, got stuck with a clothing problem and desperatley needed a safety pin which was in there and used it for numerous other occasions all of the time. Do not forget this item in your bag. It should be a priority.

I asked Morgs to contribute to this section for the guys and this is what he emailed me back. Short, to the point and what got him through 4 and a half months of travelling (whilst buying other stuff along the way).

Keep it simple,
Bare essentials, lighter the better!
2 pairs of shorts
2 pairs of trousers or jeans
8 t-shirts
1 nice dressy type shirt
1 pair of running shoes
1 pair of thongs
1 pair of nicer shoes
20 pairs of jocks
And a first aid kit.

I hope by now you’re feeling a lot more calm about what is ahead of you on such a huge trip…You can at this stage, if you’ve been doing everything correctly as you go along, pretty much relax, take some of those deep woosaaa breathes and know that you have your shit under control. Well done! The next step is just going to help you if you’re about to do said trip with your other half and help you it will…

8. Travel tips if you’re travelling with a bf or gf 

Ahhhh love. Sweet, sweet love. Love whilst you’re travelling with a boyfriend or girlfriend though can be such a fickle, crazy almost all consuming thing though (i.e. completley different to the normal love when you’re just in your routine at home). One moment you can be staring deep in to each others eyes reminiscing of your most amazing times whilst walking the Cinque Terre and the next moment you’re both yelling you can’t believe you ever thought you could do this trip together and you want the other person to go home (note; this didn’t happen to Morgs & I but we did see this happen on the Cinque Terre) … This advice was written and shared right here on the blog after travelling together for a few months but I felt it good to include it in this particular post again. Can I just say though, without a shadow of a doubt, you will undoubtedly get in fights with your loved one when you’re over there, and that’s totally ok, totally normal and probably sometimes, totally necessary. It’s how to react in the arguments and how you deal with each other afterwards that is incredibly important though. This is the same with life in general but you must always, always remember to keep a cool head, don’t say anything you can’t take back and that you really do in fact love them, they’re just the only person there you can take your frustrations out on at that moment in time….Coming from two people who love each other very much (that’s Morgs & I guys!) and who want you to have the trip of a lifetime together, here are a few key other pieces of advice we put together to remember when travelling with your special someone.

  1.  If one of the two of you is starting to get agitated, annoyed, flustered, or stressed, be sure to remain the calm, upbeat, happy one. It works. Trust us. It works. This has saved us twice on the trip so far – once in Cardiff & once in Belfast where both of us have assumed the role of staying calm or happy if the other one gets stressed. It diffuses any situation almost immediately. 
  2. If you are starting to get grumpy, be honest & call a time out. We worked out almost straight away while travelling that communication is key (when isn’t it I suppose). If either of us are needing an Anna or Morgan break we just say and go sit in the sun by ourselves, read a book – whatever! 10 minutes later it’s like you haven’t seen them in a week!
  3. When in a foreign country, where you don’t know the laws, the rules, or what the people are like, always remain with your partner, & don’t be a dickhead. We went out in Dublin for a big pub crawl and I knew, even though neither of us are jealous types (at all), if either of us gave too much attention to other gendered travelers or if I let a random guy talk to me at the bar, fights would erupt  It sounds stupid, but just be respectful & don’t do anything that could piss the other one off – the same should apply in Australia, but especially when travelling. 
  4. With everything that you carry, own, have brought over, adopt the concept that you’re both equally responsible for everything all the time. Taking a bag out for the day and the man is carrying it? Or maybe your more responsible so hold on to things like passports or itinerary’s and phones. It doesn’t matter who is holding it your both responsible to ensure it is on you & remembered at all times. This tip alone has probably saved us 10 fights. We evolved, adapted, came up with this almost day 1 when I lost tickets to the London Eye – its ok I ended up sweet talking us on – and Morgs almost lost our backpack with all the electronics in it. Neither of us got mad at the other as either of us could have checked & asked the other have we got anything, have we remembered, can we look after it for awhile. If you’re both responsible as well you are almost guaranteed to never forget anything. 
  5. No matter what the problem that is going to cause the huge argument, no matter how tired and agitated you are, or how angry you are at the other person – stop and realise exactly where you actually are, that you’re living a dream, & be grateful for the opportunity. Life is already too short for anger & arguments over nothing … especially when you’re having an extraordinary time overseas. Any harsh words or misguided anger is going to be such a waste when you should just be grateful and excited for the opportunity to live a goal of travel & be experiencing awe inspiring moments with a loved one. So drop it, walk away, leave it, cool down – do whatever you gotsta do to let it go and move on.


That’s it beautiful souls. My complete guide to getting ready for your own big Europe trip of a lifetime. Well done on getting down this far, I know she was a long one but oh SO necessary. Can I just say this now also that I’ve been waiting to say the whole post; Like anything in this big beautiful crazy life of ours, you should only just take what you need from advice. You can either take it or leave it, and that’s totally ok, but just know that it is there for you if you need with a whole lotta’ love from me.

If you guys have any personal questions or burning un answered ones that didn’t get answered from this post then flick me an email at and I’ll be more than happy to answer them in there!

My wish for you is that you’re own adventure is as big, great, shiny & wonderful as you hope and plan it to be.

Travel really does awaken the soul, spark a fire and fuel adventure and I can’t wait for my own next chapter in my ever growing travel story.

Good luck you, can’t WAIT to hear all about it.

With love, light & so much enthusiasm for your own travel,

Anna xx

p.s stand by for the post following this .. I’ll be sharing my holy grail of travel… our complete itinerary!

Bologna 101; Italian food + Tours

{ Fresh Egg Pasta freshly made }

Not being ready just yet to let go of travel inspired posts I have an extra special post for you today my gorgeous readers! Do you remember the time in Italy that Morgs & I did our very own food tour of Bologna? I had shared our take on this gorgeous Italian town and the fact that the best food Morgs & I tasted in Italy came from Bologna. There was some big non negotiable’s for us both when travelling and eating & drinking our way around Italy was high on that list. We were so lucky to end up following our noses and stomachs to Bologna as it turned in to our yummiest and one of the most random/adventure packed days from our 3 weeks in Italy. It was such a lovely surprise when Gabriele from the website Emilia Delizia contacted me after reading my post on our food tour in Bologna! I asked her to do a special post for you guys on her personal take on ‘What to eat & drink in Bologna’ which I am sharing with you today…

If we had of found this website when we were in Italy there is no doubt we would have been one happy traveler – I can’t encourage a bookmark of this website if you are ever heading to Italy as it will make tour booking so much easier. Hopefully you guys enjoy learning about traditional Italian food as much as I did from her piece.

So Gabriele take it away!

“What to eat & drink in Bologna”
This short guide provided by about eating out in Bologna will help your readers to choose food and drink while they are in Bologna. This town is called the fat because of its opulence in the cooking department. Dishes tend to be quite elaborate, rich and decadent. In Bologna you will drink red sparkling wines and you will eat “English soup” as dessert!
Fresh Egg Pasta
Bologna has no durum semolina pasta in its tradition, all the pasta you will find here is made fresh from soft from wheat and eggs as a protein binder. The results come in many shapes from the simple Tagliatelle, to more elaborate Lasagne, Tortelloni and tortellini. Tagliatelle are served with ragu’ which is a meaty sauce resembling more to a stew than a pasta sauce. Certainly you can also find the famous pasta strips topped with porcini mushrooms or a Parmesan cream with truffles, possibly from the nearby town of Savigno. 

On the other hand Tortelloni have a more elaborate hat shape and they are stuffed with ricotta and herbs, the condiment could be just tomato sauce and basil or butter and sage. The king of the Winter months is the Tortellino. These smaller versions of the hat shape are best served in their capon broth with a rich sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. You should look for restaurants or delis which serve hand made Tortellini to really fulfill this experience.

Bread, bread and more bread.

Italy probably will make you forget about your carb free diet for awhile, as you might know it is all about eating wheat products such as bread, pasta, foccacia, pizza and so on. Bologna is no different but there are some special breads that are worth a mention (and for you to try!)

For example, Crescentine are small round breads that in the good old days were cooked between clay disks (tigelle) near an open fire. These small breads were originally the staple of the poor farmers on the Bologna hills. They are still very popular today and they are cut in 2 halves and served like a modern sandwich with cured meats like; Prosciutto di parma, Mortadella di Bologna, Coppa, Salami, Culatello and the list goes on!

{Crescentine bread}

Piadina is another example local bread and it is a street food and you can easily sample in Bologna. Originally from the Eastern part of the region namely Romagna. Piadina is a flat bread traditionally prepared with pork clarified lard and cooked on a cast iron pan. The lard will give a nice fragrance to the bread that it is going to be served with squaquerone cheese and cabbage if you follow the farmer tradition, but today you can top it with anything you like. 
Wine drinking in Bologna

Bologna when it comes to wine is very eclectic. On the Eastern hills we have Sangiovese wines which are made with homonymous grapes. Sangiovese is a full bodied red wine and when aged it has a lot of pleasant structure with hints of rustic charm. On the Western part of Bologna you will find Pignoletto, a white and sparkling wine which is served young, soon after the harvest. We also find Lambrusco, a unique red sparkling wine which is also served young and in Summer is best served chilled. All of these wines are just perfect with the local cuisine. 


No meal is complete without a dessert! In Bologna you will have plenty of choices but one stands out more than the other; Zuppa Inglese, which translates in to English Soup. It is in fact a trifle mimicking the famous English trifles but with local Bolognese ingedients. It has a base of savoiardi biscuits soaked in liqueur and topped off with egg and chocolate custards.

If your headed to Italy soon or know of any family that are send them to – Morgs & I looked in to a lot of food and wine tours when we were over there but didn’t find any that were perfectly suited to us, but if we had of found emiliadelizia it would have been a different story.
Now…who feels like some pasta?
Yours with dreams of red wine & pasta in Italy,
Anna xx

Finding Love & Magic in Interlaken

If there were 5 words to sum up just how truly amazing, beautiful and memorable our time in Interlaken was they would be…
It can’t be summed up. 
It truly can’t. 
How can you honestly put in to words one of the most incredible, exciting times of your life? WE SAW SNOW. Cue fireworks and band music now. But not only did we see snow, we saw some remarkably heavy heavy snow that covered the whole town in white and allowed us to frolic like we were 12 year olds, do snow angels and have snow fights all whilst the snow was still falling. It was un-real. 

Here is the clincher though – Morgs & I had put Interlaken on the list (Switzerland in general) for 2 reasons … 
1. To go Skydiving over the Swiss Alps.
2. To go skiing for the first time for us both ever
And guess what? Both of these amazing events couldn’t or didn’t end up happening because it was snowing so heavily. Initially I was pretty sad that two of the big to do’s on our trip list couldn’t end up happening – in fact to say I was gutted about not being able to skydive would be an understatement. But here’s the beautiful thing, remember me first sharing how much I’d let go on this holiday? Well that came in to play hugely, but alongside that, I had Morgs who without skipping a beat shrugged the whole thing off like it wasn’t no’thang’, immediately said it was for the best as there were obviously better plans for us – have I mentioned how much I adore this man? and dragged me back out in to the snow for some more laughs & incredible awe inspiring moments.
I don’t think either of us can really explain what it was about Interlaken that was so so amazing for us – it’s just snow after all (right? wrong!), but being two snow virgins being out in falling heavy snow was one of the most magical moments of our life. 
The awesome thing that happened as well is that because we couldn’t go skiing or skydiving it opened up two whole days for us to explore the surrounding mountains which ended up being some of our favourite memories from Switzerland. Being able to train up to Lauterbrunnen and Grindewald to have big lunches, play in even more heavy snow and laugh till our cheeks hurt from the fun are moments and memories we get to now cherish forever. 
The other cool thing that happened was we declared to the universe obviously Switzerland wasn’t meant to give us all of our experiences and falling snow and being in snow was what we were to take away from Interlaken. We are now exploring the option of booking a ski holiday in Queenstown New Zealand and exploring different sky diving options at home (jumping over the ocean is high up our list as is doing it when we get over to Melbourne this year), both things we never would have gotten to experience otherwise which we are totally claiming as beautiful blessings in disguise. 
With all of this love talk about Interlaken here are just a few other incredible lessons we took away from our time in this magical white winterland…
  • To live, laugh and love with carefree abandon. I really mean it.
  • That acting like a child again was some of the most freeing and hysterical fun we had.
  • That when plans fall through, plans we had your heart set on, it was for the best and the universe has so much more in store for us.
  • To truly be in the moment and show up for ourselves. 
  • To find peace in the quiet moments. And I really mean Peace.
  • To do exactly what I felt like doing when moments called for it (like spinning till I fell over, screaming from excitement and running out in the cold with barely any clothes on to feel what its like) was some of the most fulfilling fun moments of our travel trip. 

Even sitting here quietly now, back in my beautiful sunny home town Perth writing about our Interlaken experience actually makes me tear up, it was truly just that fun and memorable. Like the whole rest of our trip though it just worked, everything that was meant to be happened for us and it couldn’t have been a more perfect town to end our huge 4 and a half month adventure in. Leaving Interlaken bound for the Zurich airport to start our trip home I felt relaxed, fulfilled and truly blessed for 5 days of pure magic. 

Can you believe this is it though? Interlaken was our final destination in Europe and although I have a post to do on Dubai – oh myyy god did we love Dubai! – our big adventure is over. I will be sharing a few more posts to do with Travel before it’s back to business around here and I have some exciting & huge plans for the blog in 2013. 

Thank you to all you gorgeous souls though for following along on Morgs & I’s crazy adventure – we felt connected through all of your comments on the blog, tweets and instagram comments….a big thank you post is on it’s way but for now, just know having you all ‘along for the ride’ made our trip that much more special and memorable.
I hope you’ve loved sharing our experiences as much as we loved living them and writing about them. 
SO much love + gratitude,
Anna (& Morgs) x x

We heart Heidelberg

It’s hard to put in to words just how beautifully surprised we were when we first arrived on Heidelberg’s doorstop. Our biggest no-no when travelling was from the very get go to never go in to a country or city with expectations from ourselves, and especially from others so Heidelberg was of course no different. We arrived with no expectations just a little knowledge of this old town full of character and our heavy backpacks. Can I just say here though, if we did have any expectations, they would have been exceeded, exceeded so much that to use metaphors, the ball of expectation would have been smashed way out of the ball park, down the road and around the corner, we were that surprised and that immediately in love.
It’s like with any new city or town or country that we went to and fell in love with though. You can’t put your finger on exactly what it is about that place you love so much. I mean, after all, it’s just a new city, with similar shops elsewhere in the world, an old castle that most other old cities had, and friendly locals willing to help out if need be. But you don’t love it any less. 
Heidelberg for us was it’s Baroque old town, its gorgeous cobblestone streets, it’s incredible Christmas markets scattered all over the city and it’s beautiful old, rich rich history. The town had originally been slapped on our travel map as when looking in to Germany we discovered it was one of the only towns that escaped bombing during WW2 which meant that the town stood originally as it did many moons ago, which was a huge attraction to us. Once there though we both fast said it was one of our favourite places visited in Germany and we loved how we could be surprised with new things to see or do each and every day. 
We walked for hours everyday getting lost in it’s old town streets, we wandered up to the medieval castle high a top the hill, we found hole in wall cafes to drink hot cups of coffee out of the snow and we went for food and fun every night in the Christmas markets alongside all the other locals and tourists searching for the same thing as us – memorable times with loved ones. 
When we spoke of going to Germany, everybody gave us fantastic recommendations on where to go like Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and all the normal places you would expect to go….but if I can give you our own recommendation put Heidelberg high on your priority list (and make sure you stay in old town, it’s the heart of this beautiful city). 
Your turn…
Have you ever been to a city you’d never heard of before and it been one of the most magical times ever? I’d love to hear about it and get inspired for our next trip.