Creating a Start Up like The Travel Bra™ Company is exhilarating but exhausting. Any day now I am taking off to my current favourite rest and replenish health resort for under $1000 a week, the Ubud Sari in Bali. I will be kicking back with organic fruit mocktails and soothing foot massages with eyes closed and all worries gone.
This place has everything an Australian health retreat has, but for only a fifth of the cost. The detox programs are designed by a medical doctor and really work. I felt great – amazingly great – after I did the Body, Mind and Spirit Rejuvenation. It cost me less than $US1,000 for seven days and six nights and that included absolutely everything.
When you arrive at Ubud Sari (they pick you up at the airport), you have you own personal attendant throughout the week who oversees your detox and schedules all your activities. But don’t think it’s all just lying around detoxing. Man, it’s busy! – rice paddy walk in the morning, followed by yoga and meditation, followed by organic detox juices with special herbs. Then you have to fit in massages, facials, body scrubs, steams, deep tissue body work, shiatsu, candlenut scrubs, reflexology, more juices, more massages, saunas, swims and facials, as well as a cranio-sacral therapy treatment. My one piece of advice? Unless you are seriously ‘clogged’, skip the daily colonic hydrotherapy. Ubud Sari will tailor a program just for you and substitute these with extra massages or facials.
What I loved about Ubud Sari was also just hanging out in the open air organic vegan café where it was easy to meet other women and chat – main topic of conversation being of course how our lives were going to change when we got back home and how we really should do this detox thing more often.
My one vice was to sneak out every morning between treatments and down a delicious short black coffee that an enterprising young man sold me – here was a man who really understands what a woman wants!
I love Ubud – being up high it’s cool even in summer and there is lots of yoga places. My favourite? The Yoga Barn. And there are lots of organic vegan restaurants and
wonderful shops and galleries to explore. Every afternoon I spent an hour or so just walking the streets and rice paddies.
Oh, and Ubud Sari has wifi in the café, so you can still stay and work if you really have to.
Research by New York Police in the 1990s revealed that not only is it possible to profile a criminal but it is also possible to profile a victim. Some people just scream ‘rob me’. You can reduce your risk of being a victim on a holiday with a few simple precautions:
Listen to your instincts and just don’t go somewhere or with someone if there is any doubt that you are 100% safe - whether it is down a street, into a bar, or with a group of people. Take a taxi rather than risk walking back to the hotel in the dark if you don’t know the area. Stay with crowds.
Don’t advertise your wealth. If you are walking through a poor area, don’t wear expensive jewellery or carry an expensive handbag, try to fit in. Leave glamour for a time and place where you are with others in the glamour set.
Keep your spare cash in your Travel Bra™ or in a hidden compartment in a safe bag. Only keep enough cash in the wallet you use to meet that day or evening’s needs. Keep two wallets.
Walk confidently. A fearful tourist is more likely to attract a thief than a confident tourist. If you find yourself in a dodgy situation, just keep saying to yourself ‘don’t even try it buddy’ and somehow that is the message that will be heard.
If the worst happens, just give them whatever they want. A lot of experienced travellers keep an 'I surrender' wallet with some money in it (not too much but not too little either), just in case. Hand it over and run.
Do your parents a favour and register at DFAT before you go overseas. It’s a good idea to also check DFAT’s travel advice for the destination you are heading to, and you can subscribe to their travel alerts. Remember the Australian Government is always there for you when you are overseas, but NOT if you break the law in that country. And don’t forget to wear your Travel Bra™ – our Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop’s got one!