This Is What It’s Like To Get Paid To Travel

Sometimes all I want is to be back in my own bed with a cup of tea.

June 14, 2016

Restore Your Health And Wellbeing In Ubud

Bali has an infamous reputation of being the party capital of the world. With Kuta a usual starting point for visitors, it’s easy to become overwhelmed in the bustling streets and hectic nightlife.

RELATED: Keep Fit And See The World: Active Getaways

That’s why it’s great to take a trip out of the usual tourist options and head up into the hills to the town of Ubud. While still a tourist attraction, Ubud is much quieter than other popular places in Bali and is one of the best destinations to travel to, to relax and rejuvenate.

Health spas and wellness retreats are common in Ubud, which is mostly seen for its culture, art and connection with nature; yoga and meditation are a way of life. If you’re looking for a getaway that is more ‘me time’ than land marks, Ubud is the place to go to spend some time with yourself and focus on your wellbeing.

health, retreats, travel, ubud, bali

Denpasar Airport is a mere six hour flight from Sydney, with Ubud sitting an hours drive north of the city. Among the lush green fields and forests lie your pick of retreats that are sure to rejuvenate you and help you to de-stress for your life back at home. Ubud is all about healing the mind, body and soul with spiritual remedies.

Many retreats and resorts will offer you activities such as daily yoga, temple visits, rice field walks and meditation, as well as amazing spa treatments to really help you let go of any stress that you’re holding. Joining a retreat will also include your meals, with chefs cooking up healthy and organic meals to help your holiday cleanse.

There are ancient temples, arts and crafts communities and small villages around Ubud that have you connecting with Indonesia in a way that doesn’t involve vodka shots and clubbing. As a great cultural experience and a chance to restore your health and relax in a great country, Ubud is a must on your holiday bucket list.

Images via

August 14, 2015

New John Hardy Campaign Featuring Cara Delevingne

John Hardy has debuted the campaign for Fall 2014, featuring Cara Delevingne, shot in Bali, the birthplace and home of the John Hardy brand. Featuring Delevingne and Canadian male model Simon Nessman, the campaign was shot in the pristine natural environment in East Bali, capturing the essence of the brand. Adorned in John Hardy’s handcrafted luxury jewelry, Delevingne’s one-of-a-kind beauty and passionate personality shine through the images.

RELATED: Read more about John Hardy Luxury Jewelry

Delevingne described the experience as “a true adventure” saying: “The team was amazing to work with, the energy and creativity was incredible. The shoot was so raw; I didn’t want to leave Bali.”

John Hardy, Cara Delevingne, Bali

While in Bali, Delevingne took the time to experience firsthand the John Hardy way of life – from the collaboration between designers and local artisans, its workshop where each piece is crafted by hand using ancient techniques, to its Greener Every Day initiative, and the brands continued support of local communities, all integral parts of the brand’s ethos of meaningful beauty.

“I can’t begin to describe how magical it was going to the John Hardy workshop. I was able to see the artisans at work and see how happy they are. I want to live there. The craftsmanship and the pure love that goes into hand-making every piece is so real you can just feel it,” Delevingne said.

The campaign, shot by internationally renowned photographer and film director, Sebastian Faena, under the creative direction of advertising veteran, David Lipman, will be launched worldwide in October. John Hardy was founded in Bali in the 1975 and has established itself as a pioneer of Sustainable Luxury™, with its unique handcrafted jewelry collections available in 27 countries and regions around the world.

John Hardy, Cara Delevingne, Bali

September 23, 2014

Benjamin Von Wong’s Underwater Perspective

Canadian photographer Benjamin Von Wong has defied nature and shot a collection of artwork consisting of images taken underwater. The photos done in the depths of Balinese water made for the perfect abstract backdrop for a fashion shoot. The surreal images created a challenge between the wreckage and aquatic flora with Wong describing:

“Normal models wouldn’t work unless they had extensive dive training and even then, they wouldn’t have the ability to hold their breaths for very long, especially at depth so free divers were going to be required.

“Normal clothes couldn’t be rented since the sea water would wreck them, so we had to find a designer willing to part with the clothing they’d lend us. Normal assistants wouldn’t work, specially trained safety divers were going to be necessary to ensure a smooth photoshoot”.

Underwater, fashion, Benjamin Von Wong, photography, Bali

Though, despite these complications the models look at ease, as though they were at home in the ocean, peaceful, even asleep and dreaming. The clothing is much the same, flowing to the current and moving with the models in a manner of serenity.

Models Nora Li and Camilla Argent made the impossible happen, as Wong said, “Lighting and gear would be limited – shooting underwater meant that we had to work with what we had available: on camera strobes or natural light.” Yet their bodies looked as though they were in a studio and these complications were non-existent.

Wong created the highlight of his career with this collection, the unpredictable shoot required hard work and training, but in the end, the effort was more than worth it. 

Image via

By Amy Miller

July 13, 2014

Cara Delevingne Is The New Face Of John Hardy

John Hardy announced that Cara Delevingne will be the face of the brand’s new advertising campaign. The shoot took place in Bali, the birthplace and home of the John Hardy brand, by internationally renowned photographer and film director, Sebastian Faena under the creative direction of advertising guru, David Lipman.

John Hardy was founded in Bali in the 1970s and has established itself as a pioneer of Sustainable Luxury, with its unique handcrafted jewelry collections available in 27 countries and regions around the world.

John Hardy’s CEO Damien Dernoncourt said:

“It was natural for us to bring Cara and the entire production team to Bali so they could experience and capture the soul of the brand and express it in iconic images. We envision this campaign as an artistic expression of our brand’s essence, paying homage to our rich heritage and at the same time creating a bold, modern vision for the brand. Cara, like John Hardy jewelry, is one of a kind.  Her independent and irreverent nature personifies the ethos and spirit of our brand.” 

The campaign featuring Delevingne and Canadian male model Simon Nessman was shot in the pristine natural surroundings of Amankila in East Bali by Faena, who is known for his bold dramatic photographs that speak volumes to his passion for creating visual narratives filled with emotions. Alongside Lipman and Faena, the team included industry veterans Bob Recine, Sara-Jane Hoare and Tom Pecheux.

Delevingne described the experience as “a true adventure” saying:

“The team was amazing to work with, the energy and creativity was incredible. The shoot was so raw and now I don’t want to leave.” 

July 1, 2014

Shannan Ponton Headlines Feel Younger Summit

Australia’s health and wellness guru Shannan Ponton will headline the June 27 Feel Younger Summit, a health and wellness event for the over-40s, Gen X and Baby Boomer generations held in Bali. The summit brings together some of the world’s leading experts on nutrition, brain fitness, exercise, motivation, disease prevention, anti-aging and more, with the likes of brain fitness expert Dr Jenny Brockis, stem cell therapy researcher and international advisor Dr DeAndrea and cancer prevention expert Dr Lodi plus a host of international guest speakers all joining Shannan on stage.

“With the growing trend from folks to look for ways to improve wellness and prolong youthfulness, an event like the Feel Younger Summit is ideal to get all the answers and be inspired to make positive changes,” the Biggest Loser TV series host said. “I am stoked to have been asked to speak at this event.”

Held at the Pan Pacific Nirwana Resort, near the picturesque Tanah Lot temple in Bali away from the hustle and bustle of Kuta, the Feel Younger Summit represents a unique opportunity to get the cutting edge on wellness, disease prevention and anti-ageing straight from international experts. 

The Feel Younger Summit aims to inspire positive change for body, mind and soul for folks in the second half of life and if these four are any indication, the event will get you motivated and making changes too. It’s a must-attend event led by Shannan Ponton, who has made a name for himself helping thousands of people change their life for the better.

Full program details and ticket information can be found on the event website

June 15, 2014

Spotlight On John Hardy Luxury Jewellery

When John Hardy, a former art student and a radical environmentalist from Canada, set foot in Bali in the 1970s, he was instantly captivated and inspired by the natural beauty of the Indonesian isle. Bali was and still is a welcoming place for artists with a rich culture and a beautiful landscape to provide infinite sources of inspiration.

By chance, he encountered local artisans who produced handcrafted pieces using the jewellery-making techniques honed by their ancestors. The Balinese have a rich history of dedication to the art of making jewellery, brought to the island by the Majapahit Empire 700 years ago.

John began to study ancient jewellery artisanship and to work with the local descendants of goldsmiths, who once made beautiful creations for Balinese royalty. By infusing their ancient techniques with modern ingenuity, the John Hardy brand was born in 1975, offering collectors statement pieces that are unique works of art.

John Hardy, jewellery, Bali, Indonesia, luxury, designer, sustainable luxury

An avid environmentalist, his lifestyle of harmony with the natural world became an inspiration for the brand foundation. The brand’s Bali compound is built with local, low-impact natural materials, including bamboo, adobe and thatch. At its heart is the design studio, housed in a restored Balinese community hall with an antique timber structure with a natural grass roof. Nearby is the showroom, a bamboo cathedral thatched with alang alang.

When head designer and creative director Guy Bedarida joined the company in 1990s, he brought with him skills and aesthetics developed while working with some of Europe’s high-end jewellery brands. The CEO Damien Dernoncourt and Guy together elevated the brand’s sustainable philosophy by applying new sustainable practices, like using 100 per cent reclaimed silver and planting bamboo seedlings in Bali to offset the company’s carbon emissions. To date, the brand has planted 900,000 bamboos throughout the island of Bali, the noble grass helping to sustain the lifestyle of the locals as well as protecting the environment in a variety of ways including aiding the soil’s natural water retention.

Today, John Hardy is the embodiment of ‘sustainable luxury’, preserving ancient jewellery-making techniques, which would otherwise be lost, while ensuring its business operations are environmentally conscious at all levels.

May 21, 2014

Would you get a Python Massage?

Pampering by…python? An Indonesian beauty spa is offering a massage with a twist – a python massage!

The python massage at the Bali Heritage Reflexology and Spa in Jakarta involves several pythons placed on your body.

Doesn’t sound too relaxing, does it? That’s actually the point – the adrenaline caused by the fear of the snakes slithering all over your bare body is said to have a positive impact on metabolism.

But don’t worry, the snakes are non-venomous. Hmm…


The python massage lasts 90 minutes and costs around $50.

From snail facials to python massages, we’re not sure we want to know what the next beauty trend is going to be!

Would you try a python massage? Tell us in the comments!

Photos: Getty


November 3, 2013

Our Top 5 Australian Fashion Designers

We love Australian fashion for its originality and unique combination of fun, chic and style, so we thought we’d take a look at our 5 favourite Australian fashion designers.

Collette Dinnigan

Collette Dinnigan got her start in the costume department of the Australian Broadcasting Department, but has made her name in chic styles for the modern woman. In 1995, the designer was the first Australian to show her ready-to-wear collection in Paris. Dinnigan’s Autumn/Winter 2013 ready-to-wear collection is highlighted by slim sheath silhouettes in neutrals of black, white and silver with accents of leather or lace – many of which would make breathtaking bridal gowns – and for something for classic bridal, she also designs a stunning bridal collection. Stunning tailoring and timeless, feminine design is why Collette will always be one of our favourite Australian designers.


Carla Zampatti

We’re happy to report that the grand dame of Australian fashion designer is still going strong at 71. The Italian-born Zampatti move to Australia with her family as a child and debuted her first limited collection in 1965. Two years later, the designer went national and in 1970, created Carla Zampatti Limited. Zampatti’s career achievements include a chain of boutiques, being the first Aussie designer to introduce swimwear into her collection, a pair of fragrances and even redesigning a car! In 1985, Zampatti partnered with Ford Australia to create the Laser, an auto especially for women. For Autumn/Winter 2013, Zampatti offered a collection that’s classic, ladylike and feminine with lots of black softened by shades of cream and coral. The designer creates for the modern woman, with chic business suits and elegant eveningwear. For four decades, Carla Zampatti has epitomised true style.



The design team of Nicole and Simone Zimmermann have been delighting savvy fashionistas with their clever cutting and delectable fabrics since 1991. The sisters are especially noted for their body-sculpting swimsuits in trendy graphic prints that are now spotted on beach babes from Bali to Barcelona. The Zimmermann collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 featured frankly feminine dresses in soft, warm natural tones of almond, pale yellow, gold and grey—just the thing for warming up a cool day. The show-stopper of this set was a gown of gold foil with an irregular hem, perfect for showing off your sexy shape!


Sass & Bide

Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke have come a long way since their humble beginnings of selling jeans they had customised from a stall at London’s Portobello Road Market. After relocating to Sydney, the pair unveiled their first collection at Australian Fashion Week in 2001. A chance meeting in New York with actress Sarah Jessica Parker led the designers to create a few pieces for Sex and the City, which gave worldwide recognition to the Sass & Bide brand. The Sass & Bide Autumn/Winter collection ranges from floor-length knit dresses to separates of shiny yellow vinyl. The pairing of a rigidly tailored black-and-white striped jacket with those yellow pants shows plenty of sass.


Lisa Ho

Success came fast for Lisa Ho, who launched her own brand just weeks after finishing design school, selling her cutting-edge designs at Sydney’s Paddington Market, and becoming one of the most famous names in Australian fashion. Her pieces have been seen on a bevy of celebs including Delta Goodrem, Miranda Kerr, Sarah Wynter, Elle Macpherson and Jennifer Lopez. Highlights from her Autumn/Winter 2013 collection include fitted jackets with A-line or pencil skirts in colours of black, blue and wine. Sadly, Ho’s future is currently in limbo, as the Lisa Ho Group was recently closed down due to being deeply in debt. Hopefully she’ll bounce back and relaunch her brand.

Who is your favourite Australian designer?

August 5, 2013