Soooo I Got A Tattoo……

Settling back into the Canggu Community of hipster Bali, Pat’s original travelling companion Matt joined them at the Jungle House Hotel. Pat and Matt had been travelling since October through Nepal, Vietnam and Thailand.

With another Skater lad to hang out with and watch Jess thought it time to make some girlfriends. Plucking up courage she made a few failed attempts at not bonding. Making new ‘Girl’ friends at this point in her travelling experience was extremely difficult. The three travellers moved on to Canggu Castle which Jess thought was the best hostel they had stayed in so far. Persevering with her attempts at making finally paid off.

“She’s 22, so not a lot older than me compared to everyone else.”

Jess’s new German friend was travelling alone and was a good tonic of spirit, fun and company! An American followed and a couple of Portuguese soon after. So while the lads were Skating Jess and her new friends had a few good days of “bonding”, “chilling”, “exploring” and shopping at Old Man’s Sunday Market.


I am glad my daughter loves food! I am not surprised one of her favourite places to eat was Ithaka Canggu! As someone who has suffered from “Hangar” since she was little this menu can refuel any foodie!

For less than £3 healthy portions of Gado Gado – Peanut Sauce with Veggies and Rice or Nasi Goreng – with Sambal Sauce or Pad Thai etc… etc… can be devoured. Western Fusion Food is also on the menu – The Canggu Combo – Veggies, eggplant balls, Tapas, omelette, rice fritters, and samba sauce. They even serve Tapas, or Build your own Sandwiches -Yummy!

Jess also loved the local Balinese ‘Warung’s’ and even though she had become ‘Veggie” liked ‘Shmurger” at Berawa’s Kitchen. Jess is also a bit of an avocado fan.



Fifteen days into her trip I was still missing Jess very much. I am not sure why people become tearful when they are happy to see someone they miss. But I felt relieved and happy and sad all at the same time and during a video call must have come across as a wounded animal.

So my Gen’Z child sends me a lovely comforting “Don’t cry” message then slam dunks me with ….

“Soooooo….I got a tattoo….don’t shoot me…What’d u think?….

“Followed shortly by a cheeky message of photos

“…Here’s some pics if u miss my face”.

Like the Yoga classes in Ubud Jessie had been researching where to get a Tattoo done – La Femme Tattoo House does have an impressive Instagram account, and a day after her 2nd Rabies injection my daughter, the first person in my family entered ‘La Femme Tattoo House’ in Badung and let a talented tattoo artist inscribe in ink her arm with “dainty fine lines”.

Pat and Matt’s mums later found out their boys had been “inked” in Thailand and they were also left temporarily speechless. I had given Jess a pashmina before she left the UK to wear in Temples, this apparently is perfect for keeping the Sun off a new Tattoo!

The final few days in Bali started to become more entangled with all the Australian travel and work plans. Instead of going back to Ubud they stayed on at Canggu Castle for a few more days, soaking up Pretty Poison Vibes and being sociable. La Laguna was a perfect place for “hipster” Somerset types who are accustomed to Bunting and Wagons! Then they moved in convoy on scooters and in a Gojeck to Uluwata in the South of Bali. This would also make it easier for the Airport.


The three buddies stayed at the Karma Backpacker Hostel and relaxed on Padang Padang beach. Jessie’s favourite place to eat was ‘Single Fin’. A bar/Cafe/Restaurant/Shop overlooking “a surfers spiritual home” – The Indian Ocean. Set above the Warung’s along the Suluban Beach and below the Blue Point Hotel and Spa.

Cocktails on the balcony and a dip in the pool?

“Don’t catch me drinking my daiquiri”

Here you can have Acai Berries and Revolver coffee for breakfast in the Nula Bowl Shack, Uluwata Burgers and Coconut Pudding in the Restaurant for Lunch, Tapas for Dinner and Late night Cocktails and Music on Thursdays and Sundays. Jess said the Cocktails were around £5.


Being ex-dancers, skaters , gymnasts and adventurers they had to see the Kecak Fire Dance at the Open Air Amphitheatre on the cliff top by the Temple. With the Sunsetting into the Indian Ocean as the backdrop to this Great Hindu Epic Story it must be rather impressive. They missed the performance in Ubud which featured an all female cast. This one was all Male.

Jess, still wearing her pashmina was perfectly dressed for the performance. The lads were given beautiful purple sarongs to tie around their waists that covered their legs. Jessie found it amusing that everyone used their story sheets that explained the performance as Fans to waft away the heat. This was a good end to her trip on the Island of Bali, the only problem now was being on her own in Australia and missing Pat.


Sunday 6th January 2019

Today we hugged goodbye.  I would like to thank the Coach driver of the 12:15 Bath to Heathrow National Express today.  After loading my daughter’s massive ‘going away for a year or more’ rucsack on board he let me give her an extended hug goodbye on the coach steps.  This cheered me up immensely, I felt like I had been given the chance to give her a proper final hug and leave – happy that this moment hadn’t been complicated by other travellers or a grumpy driver.

I still fled to the outside of the station to fall apart at the seams a little, only to look back and catch my son catching a glimpse of me in this dreadful state.  Turning away from his gaze I forced myself to ‘Straighten up’ and walked along the outside of the station to the coaches exit road.  I wanted to wave goodbye to Jessie on the coach along with my son and better half.  It was hard remaining composed,  I wanted to have an irrational  outburst and wail and cry as if I would never see her again, but instead I prepared to wave Goodbye!

This had to be a happy not sad farewell.  “Be calm and carry on” or in this case “Be strong and smile”  The coach pulled up at the station exit road but it was stopped by the traffic lights on red.  This gave time for a brilliant encounter.  The coach driver smiled at me, at us.  Then a bigger smile appeared on his face.  We had out iphones and camera ready to take a photo of Jessie as she passed by us on the coach.  Then he made me laugh, all of us laugh.  He waved at us, then put his thumb up, then gave the biggest cheesiest grin, waving as he drove by, and four seats behind was Jessie grinning and waving happily at us too!  Within seconds they were gone.  But I felt it was a good start to her adventures!

Photo by Artem Bali on

New Years Day 2019 – 6 Days before the Journey Begins

This is my first Blog and first post. I live in the quiet City of Bath, UK.  I woke up at 4am this morning  strangley happy.  For the past few weeks I have been waking up at this time with fear and worry. In my sleep I must have come to the conclusion that to be happy at this time in the morning was a better feeling.  Today is Tuesday 1st January 2019, in 6 days time my 19 year old second born child will be travelling to Bali, Indonesia, via Bangkok, Thailand and then on to Sydney, Australia.  The only way I think I will cope with this seperation happening is to write about it.  It maybe an outpouring of saddness, but  hopefully along the way there will be many happy and funny stories to share.  I hope maybe other people in my position will connect with this feeling.

The past few weeks have been rather worrying for me.  Did I think my daughter would manage this epic Journey alone?  Would she have enough money?  Has she had all her vaccinations? Where will she live?  Were the Planes safe? etc.. I then started to become a little neurotic Which Airline was she flying with?  Which country was she connecting flights in? We changed the original flight route but then the poor Travel agent did have to be a little firm with me and keep everything on track, “There really is no point flying all the way to Hong Kong and then back to Bali”  So Thai Airways and Virgin Australia are booked. My daughter’s Visas, and Banks are sorted and Hostels in both Countries are expecting to Welcome her.

Then terrible stories in the news put the fear in me.  A brave intellegent, independent young woman in the prime of her life was pointlessly murdered in New Zealand.  My daughter was upset by the reaction of the media and Facebooked all the positive stories about this young Woman’s right to travel alone.  My daughter is a happy, brave, free spirited, adventurous, kind young woman in her prime, embarking on a similar trip. I felt so deeply sorry for Grace’s family, I couldn’t watch the news coverage.

Then a Tsunami hit the coasts of Sumatra and Java in Indonesia and swept away all those young people watching a local Pop band Seventeen, the horror of it still rips through me. My daughter is an avid music fan and would have been at that concert if she lived there. Hundreds and hundreds of people in one night…how can this happen?

My daughter still determined to go to Bali made me worry less as she was sure it was what she wanted.  The only worry shown was when the Child of Krakatoa started spewing out ash.  We are hoping it stays quiet.  Her positive nature about everything has kept me rooted and let me let go of her to do this trip.  In 6 days time I will give her a final hug goodbye for a Year and I shall miss her immensely.  This is a Diary or Travel Blog by someone left behind.  I turn 50 this year and have always wanted to write a blog. Now I have a Year to get on with it.


Welcome to a Fantastic New Year 2019