Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Jetting off to Bali

I have always had a love affair with travelling, with work or for my own self discovery – it’s always with a purpose, to either soothe myself mentally and physically or to inspire or to sort myself out after some kind of trauma or more like drama in my life. For those who know me well enough, you will know about my love for Asia and Bali in particular. The first trip I ever
made alone was to Mexico when I was 15 and I have been travelling religiously ever since. I guess it is the Portuguese in me from my father as traditionally the Portuguese have always been travellers – explorers in fact – from the days of the Magna Carta and when countries were being discovered, it was proudly my ancestors who were part of this.

In true Ana style the journey began in a rather unorthodox manner as many who know me would have expected! After having a shitty week before I thought it only right to hit the free bar in the private VIP lounge at Heathrow! I did feel slightly out of place with my tatty once white, ripped converse, tattoos and leggings, complete with yoga mat strapped to my back. I got a
rather lot of confused, if not bewildered looks from the large array of mundane looking businessmen in the lounge, as if to say ”how did you get in here?!” Well my friends that’s what private banking and Barclays wealth does for you!

After slupping through three double gin and tonics I thought I better slow down a little otherwise I would not even be allowed on the flight. Then I would have to go back home in shame and spend three weeks on the sunbed to pretend I had been away! The flight to Bali is a killer, it’s 17 hours and when you land you feel like you have been drinking heavily. The heat and
disorientation smacks you in the face the minute you leave Denpasar airport.

I have been coming here for the last 10 years of my life. Sadly the last time was over three years ago now. It’s like a second home for me, heaven on earth, and somewhere I have experienced many things. I have lived through a lot here – I was here when both of the bombings happened, the first in 2002 in the Sari nightclub and again in 2005. I witnessed both. Bali is changing though. It really hit me when I arrived this time, not only the more stringent searches at the airports but the buildings everywhere. They are building places with two and three storeys now where as before it was one.

Everything is much more expensive, gone are the days of £2 a night; it’s more like £6. But who am I to complain? It’s still cheap! My only fear is that it will become like Thailand, over-commercialised and horrendous! I went there 10 years ago and I can safely say I would never go back! My local Balinese friends also share my views on this and concerns
about the future of the island and what it will become. It seems like the government have big plans for it to be gearing up into this big business-such as shame!!

Anyhow, my plans here are rather sporadic and unplanned – just like me! I like the sense of disappearing for a while when I walk into a country in Asia, so far away from my normal life. I like being out of the loop and not around for a while. I generally move around a lot here, which is what I plan to do. For me this trip is to forget about work and my business to a degree
so that I can clear my mind to be creative. I think as a designer, artist and jeweller we must always be aware that we must look after our minds and to discard the mundaneness of everyday life to allow for creativity.

I do, however, find that one of life’s little ironies is the fact that we work ourselves to the bone and fill our bodies with crap and then we need to run away to cleanse and sort ourselves out. Why cant we live like this all the time!?

Sorry, I am probably rambling, but have a lot to say as per usual! I guess another purpose of my trip is to be inspired visually but its also a lot about how I feel. I like to be in silence here and really lose myself. I have found the hustle of life sometimes zaps my spiritual side and I need to rediscover this in order to be creative. I guess I like losing myself to re-discover myself! As I move around the island I will blog on beautiful things I see and experience and will include pictures too.

I may also dabble with debates and thoughts going through my head as a designer and an artist as it may help to answer some young up-and-coming designers’ questions.

If you have any questions for Ana, email her at:

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Comments that promote commercial services without adding substantively to the discussion will be removed.