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Travel to Ubud one Last Time

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Travel to Ubud one Last TimeLike1

‘A Reserve’: A protected area of importance for wildlife or features of geological which is reserved and managed for conservation.

Mandapa‘:  Sanskrit for temples, is a place where people can rest their mind, body, and soul.

‘A Mandapa reserve’: A conserved surrounding secluded from emotional stress and chaotic noise from everyday life. A safe place of acceptance and love build in nature where you can feel your lungs inhaling good and exhaling the negative. Where the sunlight claps through the trees, into your room window. A remedy for those who wants to stay away and just be silent.

 

 

 

Travel to Bali and make sure you stay in Ubud.

That’s what I usually hear when they speak of Bali. Your ‘Eat-Pray-Love’ experience. Despite the neighbouring islands in Bali being on people’s bucket list recently, you still find travellers lurking their way back into Ubud. The commercial and over-populated Holy mountain desperately trying not to lose it’s magic, gasping for air behind every tourist.

I was in Bali for 30 days and despite being back for the 3rd time…I ignored most people’s suggestion on skipping Ubud and I’m glad I did.

My last 3 nights in Bali, would end in the luxury property of Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

I’ve found my happy ending.

I had entered an incredible open-air (lobby) that sits on top of a hill and looks down on the village-like property surrounded by trees in a vast open space and all you see is an inception-like world inside Ubud, listening the water running from the river Ayung and the nature all around you.

 

 

Things are different since the last time I first landed here.

It was 14 years ago when I had my first encounter with a monk in Bali who blessed me and told me that I was going to be a stubborn woman while growing up. Thankfully, he was right, I am more stubborn than I ever was and maybe that is what got me today to where I am now in my career.

14 years ago felt like yesterday, but the culture and beliefs seems to be hanging on a thin thread washed by mass tourism and westernization.

But then, you have Mandapa, a reserve that opened its doors in September 2015 with 60 intimate private villas and changed the ideology of the present Bali and maintained the past, where time stood still and nature, beliefs and culture ruled.

Hence, establishing dominance in the area.

There were days where I couldn’t wake up as early as I used to and so breakfast would be served in my room facing the rice fields by the pool. It’s almost as if the reserve contained everyone’s balanced energy.

If you travel to Bali, travel to Ubud one last time…and experience Mandapa

 

I never needed to step out of the reserve. Shopping was 15 minutes away to the city center with a free shuttle bus but I was not looking to shop. The dining options were 3  restaurants to chose from with impeccable service and delicious Indonesian cuisine, especially the picnic by the river Ayung kept me busy, the activities schedule of planting rice in the fields with the farmers and learning about their day and their job kept me looking for more answers.

Yoga sessions where on a daily basis every morning at 8am and at sunset and kept me balanced. I was also offered to meet with a medicine healer, today I wish I had, just out of curiosity… and the spa room was right by the river with the window facing the water that drowns every thought with the loud rush noise it makes. My 4 year old daughter joined me halfway across my journey. She was fascinated by the Mandapa Camp (acting as a kids club), an opened air kids area.

There was a day where I booked a vintage car, a classic VW 181 convertible to be specific, to visit a little bit up north. I remember it being our last day in Bali and Chloe and I amused by the wind while driving.

 

1-compressor

 

 

Distractions. . . .

that’s what makes up a big part of our lives, every person is driven in the direction of their own destination with the help an invisible rope called dream.

Distractions distances me from those goals (dreams).

When I learn to follow my instincts and not the voices around me, I know I end up in the right direction. Mandapa is a place you come to leave everything at the door when you walk in and take everything out with you from the inside as you walk out.

It’s not just a property or a resort.

It is a place where people can rest their mind, body and soul.

 

 

 

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*Insider tip: I stayed in a One bedroom Rice Terrace Pool View – Make sure you order room service for breakfast one morning and sit outside by the pool! The two & three bedroom villas are directly facing the Ayung River! Also, make sure you try the Indonesian cuisine at Sawah Terrace!

 

*Insider tip: Here is a number of a brilliant educated tour guide and a friend: Nyoman : +62 813 3776 5040 | Make sure you send him my regards!


 

Mandapa A Ritz-Carlton Reserve | Book online | Bali, Ubud, 80571 Indonesia | +62 361 4792777 | Offers: Book here

 

 

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  • It isn’t always easy for me to get those moments shots. Most of the times, I take a million pictures before getting to the right one. If you flip through them, you can get an idea on how I really looked like before looking like this photo here. Just almost like I have it all together. 
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I had asked @dennisstever to help me out with an image I had in my mind. 
After couple of attempted shots, it wasn’t working out the way I imagined it would.
So we just gave up. 
I remember walking deeper in the forest then heard him scream from far: “Michelle, don’t move!” I paused and stood still. 
And he took the shot. 
What you can’t see, is that right behind me was a 6 meter drop to the frozen white lake, snow falling heavily and my heart beating a million beats per second and I was freezing!
I didn’t want to move, breathe or leave. The view from here was incredible. I tossed my baloon up in the air, and waited for it to slowly fall back to me. 
Travel and photography, always an incredible beautiful surprise and adventure. 
Thank you @dennisstever for the photo and for allowing me to put my camera down in subzero temperatures... even for a little while 💫
  • On the other side, is the best version of yourself you could possibly be. Now close your eyes and let go of everything else... only then will you understand 💫
  • I’m not incomplete. I've learnt to fill my own inner void; But I need to keep being inspired and deeply moved to continue forward. 
Our trips are a reflection of who we are. 
The people on TJD trips are a reflection on the energy we attract. Falling in love with their souls, their strength and the small gestures they do to make you feel so important in their lives. And I’ve felt it. 
When I leave a place like Finland, where I find magic, freedom and peace... my strength is put to test, my balance and my willingness to endure. Because, as someone who is always searching for balance, I find it there. Breaking my own limits, outgrowing myself to live the best way I possibly can, and not the life others expect of me. 💫❄️ #TravelwithTJD @ourfinland
  • {Here is how you can win your dream trip worth 20,000 dhs! Anywhere in the world} link in bio
It’s no secret that I, like almost everyone else, have to take a couple of extra (a thousand) shots before getting the right one. But the most difficult ones to take, are the ones with Chloè! 
I cannot get her to stay still!! This was taken 2 years ago unedited. You can see I was desperately trying to keep her still for the shot until she caved in! 
I’m posting this because I’m happy to announce my partnership with @rsainsuranceuae with our second season campaign after the success of the first award winning campaign: ‘The Unluckiest Traveler’ 
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  • I have so much respect for the emotionally brave. The ones who put in the emotional work and take the real risks of being vulnerable and removing masks. It's easy to make chitchat, but it's hard to speak about what's really under the surface. It's easy to joke, but difficult to cry. It's easy to numb, but hard to feel. That’s what keeps me going with @travelwithtjd and the people I meet along the way. That’s who they are and I love them for it. My love to @dennisstever for taking this photo of me, even when we both knew the ice on the lake was super thin but we braved our way through it. 😊 #TravelwithTJD
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  • If you think you’re having a bad day, just remember, there are people that have their ex’s name tattooed on their body... Happy Wednesday! ♥️🤷🏼‍♀️
  • Do you often have picnics?? I found this picnic basket in a store last weekend and, although I don’t do a lot of picnics in Dubai, I bought it, and decided to use it for this photo shoot and get inspired by Italy with the @theitalianwayuae project that I’m so happy to be part of once again this season! Where is your favorite place for picnics??#theitalianway
  • A beautiful day in Dubai with a little too much ice cream! I spent my last weekend with friends & family on the beach before flying back to one of my favorite place on earth to witness the polar nights!! Can you guess where I’m flying back to?
  • I had my doubts when I posted on my stories yesterday on how long many of you here were following my journey. 
The response I had was so far beyond my expectations. 
I got a little emotional when I found out that almost 80 percent of you are here from the very start, 6 years ago!
Your messages this past 24 hours left me overwhelmed with feelings. There are no words, that’s why it took me all day trying to write a caption, and I still came up with nothing’s close to how I’m feeling. 
Everyone I’ve interacted in my life has brought out a side of me, the ones who stuck, where the ones who brought out the beautiful parts of me. 
So, if you’re new or if you’re old here... all I can say is thank you for following my journey, my ups and downs and my job...but most of all, for trusting me and what I believe in.💕
  • Over the weekend I thought a lot about ‘purpose vs goals in life’ and ‘happiness’.
Do we define happiness by reaching our purpose in life or by reaching our goals? 
Either way, I think a lot of us put pressure on the word ‘purpose’ and ‘goals’ in life and forget the simplicity of being just happy. 
In reality, we don’t always get fully to where we want to be, because we always find ourselves wanting more of everything... Personally I know I want to be happy in every decision I make, in my personal and business life and it goes far beyond having body goals or couple goals. 
There are days that life beats me down, and days I feel I’m on top of the world. 
But my purpose?? I don’t know yet, and I may never know.... But that doesn’t matter, because I’m still trying to make every single day count. 
So what is more important to you? Goals, a purpose or simply reaching happiness regardless??