So most people buy a chocolate bar or a soft drink as an impulse purchase, but I ended up buying a quick holiday getaway to Bali…is that normal? At the very end of last year, after a quick visit to the doctors, I impulse bought a holiday. Now I have never been to Bali as I’ve heard so many people go there, get very ill or just spend a lot of time getting drunk so it held not a lot of interest for me. This time, I needed a destination that was cheap and not too far away so Bali ticked all the boxes (can you believe it’s cheaper to go to Bali than Sydney or to go down south for a week?! Crazy right!?). So that’s what we did, we booked a trip breaking down our time between an Ubud resort and Club Med; the perfect mix of jungle and beach. Now normally when I go to a new country, I’m out there every day checking out as much as I can, but this holiday was mainly designed as a relax and chill kind of trip so although I did go out and explore, I didn’t do as much as I normally would and spent a few days just at the resort relaxing and reading by the pool. But how do you have a Bali holiday and still feel like a pinup? Let me break it down.
Being a tropical area, Bali is humid so I didn’t even bother packing my curlers. My hair doesn’t deal well with humidity so it’ll instantly drop its curls and straighten/frizz like mad. Although I’m a full-time pinup, I didn’t really want to wrestle with my locks all day, put up with my hair sticking to the back of my neck or worrying about a hair net so for the entire week, my hair was either in a tight bun or inside a wrap. If you’re a pinup/vintage lover, I recommend you find simple styles that can be done without curling such as milkmaid braids, a Gibson roll or pile all your hair into a bun. You can keep the hairstyle vintage with hats, scarves, wraps or flowers.
In particular, I wore my Kitten d’Amour straw hat on a daily basis and especially when I was relaxing to keep the sun off my face and shoulders. This hat isn’t ridiculously large like others I own but the size was perfect for crowded areas and for covering myself. Hats in such climates are essential as I don’t want to burn but also, they help cover my head so I don’t need to stress about my hair frizzing. Because this hat has long straps, I wrapped them around my low back bun which meant that when the wind blew, my hat stayed right on my head. Perfect!
In terms of styling, I packed mainly swimwear because I planned to be in the pool/water most of the time. There are lots of modern vintage-inspired swimsuits you can still buy in a large range of colours and styles and I highly recommend Ester Williams Swimwear. The quality is excellent, the range is amazing and they often have sales which I frequently shop. I did pack some vintage swimsuits but I don’t think I took any photos in them, I didn’t really photograph myself every day as some days I was simply relaxing and not thinking about working.
As for actual clothing, traveling somewhere tropical is an amazing opportunity to wear bright colours and embrace the tropical/tiki patterns and prints. I gravitated a lot to greens and blues. My favourite dress was a 1950’s Hawaiian print halterneck dress in a deep royal blue covered in hibiscus flowers with gold details. It sat so beautifully, had a very full skirt perfect for twirling but was also very light being made out of strong cotton. Although it was backless, I just remembered to reapply sunscreen as needed and wear my hat.
Another favourite item of mine was my long white pants. Now I know wearing long pants in a humid climate may seem strange but I actually found them really comfortable. You don’t have to worry about your legs burning as you walk around and you don’t stick to seats in the heat. If you find a nice linen fabric or light cotton, the fabric will breathe letting air in and out from around your legs so you won’t get heat rash, chaffing or the gross leg sweats. Another thing, white is so simple to style and you can add any coloured top and you’ve got a fabulous outfit. My favourite was a green wrap top from Louella DeVille and a matching headwrap I made using fabric from Spotlight. I was cool, comfortable and covered. The only downside is being worried about staining your pants by sitting on something dirty but my pants stayed clean the whole trip despite several outings.
As a pinup, our accessories can really finish off an outfit but I didn’t want to pack a whole chest of things so I kept it simple with two bamboo bangles and a pair of gold hoops. I didn’t need anything other than those items for the whole trip and it didn’t bother me that there would be the same items in each photo. I really loved wearing the bangles as it’s something I hadn’t really done before and I received them from a pageant prize pack so it was nice to try something different. The earrings were from Micheline Pitt and were inspired by Barbie and Audrey Hepburn.
Now that we’ve discussed how to dress and feel like a pinup, I’d love to share some thought I had and some of my experiences. There is so much life in Bali, it’s never-ending with so much to see and do. We only had a day and a half to book, plan and pack everything we needed so we didn’t really get to do much research. Don’t worry, I’m ready for my next trip so I’ll be a bit more informed so think of this trip as a taster or a first impression. I absolutely fell in love with Ubud with its lush rainforest and jungle. When we reached our hotel, the Payogan, we were shown to our villa which was right on the edge of the jungle and had a private infinity pool. I loved hearing all the noise from the outside, breathing in the heat and spotting all the little creatures clambering around the trees.
When I was booking the holiday, I could hear my soul begging for nature, I needed to be surrounded by something real, something green and something strong so the Ubud area really sang to me. We saw rice fields, plantations and lots and lots of jungle. I even napped outside just to listen to the noise a bit longer and to wake up to the beautiful scenery, I particularly loved watching the clouds come in and play hide and seek with the mountains. We ventured out to the main city area, explored the markets, looked at all the lovely things the shops had to sell and ate some delicious food. In particular, we found a vegan/vegetarian Indian cafe with the most delicious selection of curries! My favourite was the cheese and pickle, it was delicious! There were lovely temples and shrines to explore as well as a chance to watch locals go about their daily business. Also, going during monsoon season, it did rain on and off but it didn’t really change our plans and meant that we go to relax in a cafe more.
Leaving Ubud, we went to Club Med Bali in Nusa Dua which was quite a contrast. For those who havn’t been to a Club Med before, it’s more of a resort with everything you need within it’s walls. The total price includes all the food and drink you can eat all day everyday, activities, events, shows and entertainment. It’s a great way to have a simple holiday where you don’t need your wallet on you and you can do your own thing. We only ventured out of the area a fews times goig through a local market and looking around but we really spent this time just relaxing. We went snorkling almost every day and saw many beautiful fish and aquatic creatures, we tested out our skills at the trapeeze (it didn’t go well, no I don’t want to talk about it, can we just move on), and relaxed by the pool with a constant supply of mango and passionfruit juice being delivered.
Now I know this post isn’t a guide and doesn’t have a lot of information, so please just see it as a musing on an impromptu adventure and some tips for travelling in pinup somewhere humid. When I go next time, we have a much longer list of things we want to see and do but until then, it was all a delightful getaway. I think my favourite part was definiely Ubud, it was just so peaceful and I felt alone but not isolated. In saying this, the wonderful friends we made at the Club Med definitely came in at a close second in terms of Bali highlights.
It’s been a while since I posted about my travel as I sometimes feel that because I’m not an expert on an area, I can’t really comment about it. I’m also always scared of missing something especially when it comes to vintage shopping guides so please take all this information more as a reflection.
I will be adding more images from Bali to my social media soon but I thought I’d spread the trip out over a little while just so I don’t flood or bombard people with my holiday. This also means I get to relive the fun at a later date.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way.