Do Your Fears of Travelling, Stop you in Your Tracks?

What is the mind chatter that goes through your head, when you think of taking a trip? Do you find the prospect of travel exciting or frightening!  Is your inner talk ‘fear-based’ or ‘your imagination running wild with excitement?’ Do you think thoughts like: What if I will get lost? What if I can’t understand the locals? How will their food taste? Will I enjoy it, or will it make me sick?

Do thoughts like these stop you from booking your dream holiday?  Or even simply putting travel off…. till its safer, or you have more friends to go with.

Or are you quite the opposite: Your insides ‘bubbling” and you can’t wait to get on the plane! You look up photos of places you will see, googling the food, the people, everything looks so different and exciting!

Our world is an amazing place, filled with wonderful places to visit, historical sights and full of people, just like you, who live the same as we do, just ‘doing life’ in their own way! Every culture has similarities but it is the differences that are so intriguing!

Here are some simple travel tips to overcome your concerns……

No: 1 – PLAN…

You have to know where you are going. Do some research! You don’t need to have a very detailed plan.. But knowing where you are going and a couple of ‘check-in points’ are common sense.Plan your Trip

THINK about: How long will you travel for.. WHAT do you want to see? WHY are you going to ‘that’ place? What do I want to see, do and experience?
ASK Yourself: How can I add value to the people I get to meet?

WHO will I travel with? Myself, with a friend/partner; in a group, or self-managed?
Where we go and what we want to experience plays a big part in this step in the planning.
RESEARCH… What are the highlights?
Does it fulfill any dreams or goals? Is there any safety concerns? can I do and see what I want to do? SECURITY! Travel partners- big or small group! Ages!
Be consciously aware of the possible hazards you may encounter and be prepared.
a. Food – chances of getting ‘runny tummy’…. anywhere in Asia/South America… the chances are pretty good.

No 2: PACK a medical kit – just in case stuff!

No3: TRAVEL with a friend.

Travel safely in a group

Having a buddy when you travel to look after you (and you look after them) is smart when traveling in a foreign country. Especially on your first trip and essential if you know no-one there.

No 4: Get insurance.

Travel insurance is a good investment. Buy an Annual policy it’s way better value for money. Shop around but check the benefits.  You are buying ‘Peace of Mind’  reducing the fears of travelling.

Take a small step. Go somewhere close for your first trip. Then, take a bigger step!
Get inspired, have a vision board where you want to go or have a diary..

How Do I Plan My Travel?

I have a Dream book where I paste amazing places I would like to visit, so does my husband.  We plan to have a ‘break’ or holiday once every year.  So we need to decide where to go … so this is how we do it!

We have a Joint Bucket list. It has three columns:

a: Places we want to see/ things we want to do.

b. How long do we need to spend travelling?  (Length of holiday)

c.  Can we combine a few things or places?

d. How much it will cost to travel there for that period, to do those things?

When we plan a holiday we go to the list…. and match up time and money and …. when we match up….    we are done and ready to go!

This process allows us to advance plan our trips.  This builds up anticipation and builds up excitement, sometimes years in advance…. and

Solomon Islands

Go Slow in Solomon Islands

we almost ‘know’ the destination by the time we get there as we have researched so much. You can do the same whether it is for a 10 day break or moving countries…. we have done both many times…. the process is the same! Know where you are going, what is there, the things to see, things to be aware of and fear is no longer in your way!

Do you have fears of travelling? How do you overcome them?

Why Do We Choose Bali for our Retreats?

Everyone knows Bali is the Islands of the Gods.  Bali has beautiful beaches, amazing spots to surf!  It also, has the best ‘pampering relaxation packages’ from the basic and affordable to the most decadent, lavish and expensive!  And then, there is the local people and the amazing energy which surounds the Balinese people!  But, there are also lots of other reasons we have chosen Bali for out signature Retreat destination, most of which you have never really thought about!

Here is a Blog from our Ground Management team, who makes sure all our guests enjoy every moment of their Retreat with Lie Change Retreats.     Have a read…. this is why we choose Bali Bui Retreat Company to look after you!  Their knowledge, experience and wisdom is the best available in Bali.


May Bali Retreat –  WOW, WOW, WOW!!!

What fun did we have at the Transform You Retreat in Bali!  7 days of relaxation, rejuvenation, and re-setting our plans for the future.

So what did we do?  ‘A Lot’  is the short answer, but let me go through the Retreat highlights.

Everyone arrived at the Retreat venue on Saturday 18th on schedule and were escorted to their room to freshen up, unpack and relax a little before our first get together and Welcome Ceremony.  The OO’s and ahhh’s as the ladies walked into their rooms was gratifying as one can never tell how the retreat venue will ‘rate’ to the guests but everyone was very happy with their room, location, and inclusions.Retreat Bali 2019

After our Welcome Ceremony, the Management and staff invited to attend a special Balinese Blessing Ceremony to ensure we had a safe and happy visit to the Resort.   It was very special as we were linked and blessed.   I will remember this ceremony for many years to come.  It was so unexpected and very beautiful.  It will be an inclusion in every Retreat package in the future at this venue.  The ceremony set the standard for the exceptional service that we had from each and every member of the Alam Sari team.

Each day of our retreat started with peaceful meditation or laughter yoga, followed by a delicious breakfast.  Fueled for the day, we had our retreat workshop, which over the week included, hypnosis, exercises, and tasks to reset our thinking.  Over the years, we build habits around everything we do.  Planning is no different.  Eventually, we do things, automatically, almost by remote.  So it is the same process, we don’t even think about, and even if we didn’t achieve goals last year, we set them the same way this year.  The retreat workshops are designed to change the way we think, and thereby change the results we are getting.

 Retreat Highlights

Pyramids of Chi.

This was an amazing experience.   The timing of this Retreat meant we were lucky enough to be visiting the Pyramids during Full moon, so the package was upgraded to include the Full Moon Ritual.  Amazing!  We started with a short introduction to the process, so we knew what to expect.  Then we were ‘smoked’ to cleanse our energy and spirit!  We formed a circle around a huge open  fire pit,

Spiritual Sound Healing Experience

the spirits, birds, and animals of the 4 directions were called in to join us!  (An amazing Shamanic experience) we burnt our sabotages and let them go plus offered our dreams and wishes to the spirits to bring us guidance on… as part of the fire ceremony.

Then it was into the Pyramids for Sound Healing.  If you have never experienced this, you should, it is amazing.  You will resonate to one or many of the sounds.  Everyone agreed…. the whole experience was life changing!  Beautiful, emotional, time stopping!  Just very hard to describe!      Afterward, we were treated to a fantastic vegetarian meal of musleman curry, rice, dessert, and a sweet drink.

All in all, a wonderful night out and confirmed The Pyramids of Chi as a definite inclusion in any retreat hosted in Bali!

Karsa Spa Pampering Package

Included in the Retreat package was 2 – 3 hours of pampering.  I choose for the group a ‘special’ Buddha Package that included a 60-minute massage, a Chakra Healing and a facial.  Wow and more Wow!   The staff at the Karsa Spa were brilliant.  Relaxation +  and topped off with the Chakra Healing – everyone was in blissful land ……

Cultural Excursions

We visited an elementary school as we had brought with us donations of rubber balls, reading books, pencils, paints, crayons, etc for the kids to use at the school.  The kids loved the balls.   The teachers loved the art equipment and reading books.   We loved the joy on the faces as we sat and chatted to them.    It is an inclusion in each Life Change Retreat to give back to the communities that we visit in some way.  So, this visit definitely ‘ticked’ my boxes for the contribution!

Monkey Forest

Great place to visit, in fact, I would say, a must do, in Ubud.  We saw small (tiny) baby monkey’s, grumpy old monkeys and every type of monkey in between.  They tried to steal the bags, water, and phones off unsuspecting tourists, but fortunately, we had our wits about us and escaped in tack.   It was a lovely place to visit.

Tirta Empul Temple

On our tour around we came across the Tirta Empul Templand where, if you wish, you can take part in a purification ceremony. Tirta Empul Temple Lorraine and Vanessa decided this would be a great challenge.   The water is freezing cold and you have to be for about 45 minutes.  The ceremony included changing into bright green robes, creating a blessing, giving blessing to the temple.  What a wonderful experience this was for the two ladies.

I am going to include this as part of the next Bali Retreat.  They came out with smiles, ear to ear, very reflective and very happy that they took the plunge and trusted their intuition and just went for it.  Those of us who watched from the sidelines were quite envious!


Markets – Shopping and Eating,

Every retreat must have shopping included!  and Ubud is an amazing place to shop.  You have choices of markets, boutiques and very exclusive outlets to venture into and save yourself some serious money.   We spent time in the markets – everyone filled their souvenir lists; we visited silver factories; batik factory and lots of specialty shops.   Bracelets, essential oils, pottery, buddha’s, yoga equipment and really anything you can imagine they sell somewhere.   Shop till you drop …….. so we did and the ladies certainly got their fill!

The restaurants are amazing and whether you want local Balinese food or international cuisine you will find your choice in Ubud.  Alam Sari kept us very satisfied with a very extensively breakfast, generous and tasty lunches (different taste every day) and we ventured out at night!

The Shaman

The Shaman was a Retreat optional extra!  All the ladies decided “Why not?” and what an experience for them all!

The stories left us in awe and laughing at his antics so no recap of our adventures will ever be complete without mentioning the Shaman. Such a character.   If you have seen the Pirates of the Carribean you have ‘met’ the Shaman!  He was amazing.   Look for the Video I have uploaded of him sharing a ‘laugh’ with Vanessa, the Laughter Yoga Lady.

Transform You Retreat Summary

We had fun and laughed so loud.  The Balinese culture – the dancers, the Shaman, the staff, the kids, all were memorable moments!  The friendships built added so much value to us all and the enjoyment of our retreat.  We arrived as strangers and left as family, knowing that we would keep in touch and meet up again regularly.

Check out the Testimonials on the Review Page.         For More information on Retreat Bali 2020 Click here


Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean a short flight from India.  The main export is tea.  But Sri Lanka is more than just tea.  Sri Lanka is Bali 50 years ago…. But with far more archaeological importance than you could ever imagine!

UNESCO Heritage Sites

Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and it houses more archaeological wonders than most tourists ever expect.  It is a small country where both Hinduism and Islam have both had a huge influence.  There are mosques and temple complexes found everywhere throughout the country, however it is Buddhism that really underpins the Sri Lankan Culture.


No journey to Sri Lanka would be complete without a trip to the 1600 year old Sigiriya Citadel Rock, a 200 metres high mountain of rock standing large and tall over the plains of Dambulla.  The summit can be reached by visitors by climbing 1200 steep, well-worn steps and twisting ladders to the first plateau where we catch our first real ‘breath-taking’ view of the surrounding countryside.  It is amazing.  Those with some strength left, it is up another 200 steps or so to the summit and the ancient citadel and elaborate Buddhist city of Alakamanda,  and home of a former royal palace, dating back to the 10th Century.  There are only ruins remaining but use your imagination to picture the magnificent structure, some 7 stories high, housing some 1000 chambers and inhabited by the Kings family, servants and palace aides.

Simple Sri Lanka

The climb to the summit is not for the fainthearted but it is worth every ‘out of breathe’ step.  You pass murals and frescoes of nymphs and Buddha statues of Gal Vihara and the ancient relic shrine of Hatadage.  #One wall is so highly polished, yes even after all these centuries, that it still reflects sunlight to light up a frescoes you would otherwise not see.

The trip down Sigiriya is quicker but the views and artifacts you pass by are just as fascinating.


Sri Lanka is a tropical Island with two main climate zones.  There is a wet zone, covering the south-east quarter and a dry zone covering the rest of the country.  The island contains no natural lakes except a few small flood plain lakes but has hundred of man made reservoirs.  The earliest of these built over 2500 years ago, the more recent… 800 years ago.  How forward thinking were the Sri Lankan people.  They still today have no issues with water.  The irrigation canals and drains to move water from the mountains to the plains pre-date Christ and most were built in 6 to 3 BC!   Just imagine that…. Triangular drainage canals, that still work to this day, built BC.

During  the period 1984 to 1986 three lakes were built, mainly for hydroelectric purposes.  These were Lakes Kotmalé, Victoria and Randenigala and were built by impounding the River Mahaweli and were deliberately constructed at different elevations.  The water is collected and then moved to where it is needed for farming purposes (and to generate electricity) via drainage canals similar to those constructed centuries earlier.    It is amazing system and the Gardens below Sigiriya shows them canals and drainage systems in operation.


The people are friendly and welcoming.  The food delightful, nothing like Indian which was a surprise.   You will see kids playing cricket everywhere, fishermen on poles and bargaining in the markets.  It is vibrant, colorful and your senses will be overpowered by the smells and sights.  It is delightful!  Amazingly, not too crowded, which was a surprise.

When people told me that Sri Lanka was how Bali was, before tourists, I was skeptical… but they are right.  You move back in time in a good way, when you visit Sri Lanka.

No matter where you go in Sri Lanka you will constantly be reminded, there is way more than ‘tea’  to see here.

Is Bali the World’s Bogan Capital?

There is an unfortunate joke around the world, that when you arrive in Bali it is okay to lower your normal standards, act inappropriately, in fact, just join ‘everyone’ else and become a bogan!  What is a bogan, I hear you ask…  Well acting like a bogan is being ‘unsophisticated, acting as having low social status, or being offensive’ in public or to those around you.

It is a stereotype that Australians seem to be labelled with, but is it justified?

I have travelled to many countries and different places seem to attract ‘labels’ for nationalities.  I am not sure why! However, although in some places of Bali, like Kuta, there is a ‘party’ atmostphere;  in other areas a ‘surf and beach’ culture, overall I find Bali and the typical tourist similar to any island beach resort.   Yes, of course, there are those who drink to much and leave their manners at home!  Then there are those who are still living in the 70’s and look like they have lost touch with reality.. but they are fun to talk and listen to.  There are tourists who are rude and dis-respectful.  But we all have these people in the towns and cities where we live.

Here are some hints and tips on how to create a new and positive stereotype for Tourists in Bali!

Explore More.

Your Vibe attracts like minded people.  One of the best ways to really enjoy Balinese Culture and your trip is to avoid the tourist traps of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Canggu and get out and see the real Bali.    North and West Bali have sensational sights to see, its almost a different culture. Climb the Volcano at dawn; visit a temple; eat some street food, and of course, sample the local beer.  Remember to try the boutique beers flavored with local fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables.  There’s lots to do, eat and taste!

Travel Responsibly

Be conscious of what you are “leaving behind”.   Take a reusable water bottle with you.  Don’t drop your litter or plastic bottles ‘anywhere’ but a rubbish bin.  Volunteer to help anywhere you see an opportunity.   Life Change Retreats has a “Pack with a Purpose” motto and we pack and donate school supplies to local schools near the resorts we stay in.  You can do the same.  Every kid like new pencils, books etc…. they don’t take up much space.  Pack a few things to give away while you travel around.

Dress Appropriately

The Balinese dress more conservatively than we do, so dress like you are on holiday, but think ‘culture’ before you step outside… looking half-dressed to the local people.   If you are on a motorbike (you shouldn’t be – your travel  insurance doesn’t cover you unless you have a licence) realise that your sarong will blow in the wind and you will be exposed to sun and people.  Also, be aware of the sun, use protection – a hat or sunblock.  Keep your shirt on everywhere except on the beach.  Respect the culture!

If You Ride a Scooter…

Be careful and aware.  Know that Australian Travel Insurance does not Cover you unless you have a current Australian Motorcycle Licence (Check your policy) Wear a Helmet.  Avoid getting burnt by the Sun or the exhaust when stepping off the bike.  Don’t be tempted to drink and ride or do dumb stuff you wouldn’t do at home.  Always, put your gear under the seat, so you do not suffer a ‘drive by’ robbery.    When you are riding around,  remember, road rage has no place anywhere.  It will be frustrating, remember you are on holiday… you have plenty of time.

Have fun!

Bali is a fantastic place to visit, to explore and to let your hair down.  Don’t have fun at the expense of others.  Be respectful.  You will enjoy your memories for years to come more comfortably if you are not secretly ashamed of any of your actions.    Let’s become the new generation of tourists in Bali…


Travel, it can be the most exciting or the scariest thing to do, depending on your confidence. I have been travelling, virtually every year, usually more than once, since 1975. So climbing on a plane is more familiar to me than catching a bus. But I know for many people this is not the case, and the thought of ‘what might go wrong’ is so daunting that it stops them even dreaming about booking a holiday.

What a Wonderful World

Our world is an amazing place, filled with wonderful places to visit, historical sights and full of people, just like you, who live the same as we do, just ‘doing life’ in their own way! Every culture has similarities but it is the differences that I find intriguing! Things we take for granted in Australia, are a privilege of the wealthy in some countries, but things we wish we had time for, a normal way of life in others. It is said travel broadens our perspective and brings more understanding and tolerance into our lives. For me this is true.

So, if you would love to travel but are apprehensive, where do you start? I thought if I gave you pointers of what I do before each trip, it may help.

Travel Tips and Hints


Travel is exciting

There are things that I always do prior going on a trip. My starting point is always my Dream Book! What is this I hear you ask! Well, a lot of years ago, I sat down with a whole heap of magazines… I flicked through cutting out photos of everything I wanted to go and see across the world. The pictures were of things like Angkor Wat, Muchu Picchu, Myanmar, Mynan Ruins in Mexico, Big 5 in Africa, Pyramids, Morocco, Spain, Chile, Amazon, Greece…. etc. I didn’t have a plan but they all looked exciting, different and intriguing.

Over the years, I have ticked well over 60% of these places off my list. So, if I am planning a trip, I want to go somewhere I haven’t been before , so I start there.

My Travel Prep:

  1. Decide where I want to go
  2. How long for?
  3. Think about why? What do I want to see, do and experience?
  4. How can I add value to the people I get to meet?
  5. Who will I go with? Myself, me & husband; in a group, or self managed? Where we go and what we want to experience plays a big part in this step in the planning.
  6. RESEARCH… what are the highlights? What boxes does it tick? What are the concerns? can I do and see what I want to do? Security! Travel partners- big or small group! Ages! .

I highly recommend travelling with a group if you are travelling for your first trip by yourself, unless confident and self reliant. I dislike travelling in large groups. Ten to 14 people is my ideal, 10 perfect! A couple of reasons, more personal, easier to connect, no long waits for the person who is always ‘late’! Smaller buses means you can get into more spots easier. Do not book into a group tour that has different levels/hotels… you will spend hours each day between hotel drop off and pickups! Frustrating and valuable tourist time wasted.

Steps to Travel Bliss

  1. Decide on ‘how’ … research options. Groups, flights, packages may seem the same, but investigate which ticks the most of your boxes regarding costs, value for money, inclusions, optional extras (if you are in a group – do the options!)
  2. Book. (I always try to have my own room, or share with someone I really know well – sometimes you need chill out or ‘me’ time, when travelling with a group)
  3. It is essential to check two things: security (political unrest) and vaccinations required.
  4. Finalise your details
  5. Imagine your holiday going so well it exceeds your expectations. Do not dwell of negative possibilities. See yourself enjoying every one of the excursions, chatting to locals, every part of your holiday. Google, google, google where you are going, immerse yourself in the experience so that you ‘have been there’ before when you arrive! That little tip will save you hours of anxiety!

The scariest part of travel is arriving in a foreign country and not sure where to go, what to do, and it can be very confusing, although the process is the same, it can be very different depending on the country. So, book transfers from the airport to your first hotel. A friendly face will greet you with your name on a board… happiness is… being guided to a taxi and on your way to the Hotel quickly.. no stress.

So, overall, travel should be fun, exciting and a little humbling … if you are unsure.. contact me via FB messenger and I will be happy to help you in any way I can.. or  join one of our trips.

Take a moment to read a little about David Coates (Suntara) playing at the Pyramids of Chi, Ubud Bali.  This is one of the amazing excursions we have planned for your Retreat.  We are booked in already but, knowing David is running workshops and playing at the Pyramids we are now working to arrange to be there to partake in his performance.   Check it out here.

Voice Liberation with Daniel Coates “Suntara”

Pyramids of Chi, Bali
THIS SATURDAY, join us at the Sun Pyramid for a life altering workshop with Daniel, VOICE LIBERATION.

Are you scared to use your voice for singing or just for speaking up in life?

In this workshop, we dive deep to clear the blocks that are stopping you from using your voice to it’s full potential.

Daniel Coates (Suntara) holds a safe and lighthearted space for you to express your voice. We will use vocal toning and a series of fun and exhilarating processes to expand and open your voice. You will be pleasantly surprised at the sound that will be coming through you by the end of the workshop.

In this exciting one-day workshop you will:

– Learn the secrets to freeing your voice that no singing teacher will every tell you.

– Improve your voice dramatically without years of practice using a simple technique that you can do anywhere.

– Move forward with your life by clearing obstacles using sound.

– Discover how to use your voice to heal yourself and others.…/voice-liberation…/var/ri-2.l-L1/

Click on the link to see Suntara chanting at Angkor Wat

Daniel Coates (Suntara) is passionate about helping others free their authentic voice. In 2006 Daniel experienced a profound and life changing healing with an Opera Singing Shaman in Oxford, England which showed him the power of sound for healing and gave him the keys to unlock vocal freedom. Since then Daniel has been working with his voice and sound constantly discovering new ways to use the voice including channeling sound, tuvan/tibetan throat singing, ethereal chanting and singing for healing.


“Brilliant! I would highly recommend a session with this amazing healer” – Trish Rock, Healer, Canberra, Australia

“Daniel helped shift the shackles of things that had stopped me doing what I needed to do to be content and fulfilled in my life here and now. I can never repay him for that. If you are thinking of seeing Daniel just do it!” – Allison Morris, Hypnotherapist, Sydney Australia

“Daniel channels the love of the Divine through his beautiful sound healing. Transformational and much needed work for our people & our earth. Thank you Daniel, for listening to your hearts calling….” – Prem Williams – Sacred Earth Music

“This evening was life altering for me. Little did I realize walking into it that in the most natural and nurturing way, I would be addressing the root of my insecurities of expression & childhood blockages of worthiness and not feeling heard. I left empowered with a new found memory of my child-like, playful confidence.. and the practical tools to keep nurturing these shifts.” – Teagan Hillyard, Producer/Dj, Reno, Nevada