What's it like to ski powder?

Photo

Fab Pete Spence asked me if the conditions I recently skied in Japan were outstanding which led to the words below...

"Absolutely outstanding!

Skiing through trees is exhilarating! I'm at speed, sailing down, slowly singing my body from left to right and I spot gaps between the trees to choose where to go and it delights me. I develop a heightened intuition of the way to go and ease and it's a peace of mind - like meditation - while I'm sure the heart is pumping fast. It feels like I'm on a conveyor belt of velvet with lovely powder flying around me. The photo here shows the effect - massive smile (often looking funny owing to the effect of cold temperature on my face) and I've had numerous "face shots" (powder is my face) so you can see snow around my face.

Long open 'bowls' without trees are fabulous too because I need good speed to let it all work and it can take time to trust that the snow IS so light to go through and falling doesn't hurt - it leads to loads of happy laughter!

Powder can be all different types too - where I was in northern Japan there are Siberian winds and the ocean so close so it has perfect climate for very light powder and lots of it. A powder factory! It is especially impressive when cold - later in the season the sun / warmer climes hit the powder and this compresses the snow flakes and makes it more dense and heavier (more effort) to ski through.

When it's light it disperses around me like talcum powder and floats around me. I'm going at speed and entranced by nature. It's exhilarating.

Skiing powder takes the smallest movement and effort - less so than on usual "groomed runs" at ski resorts. I'm totally biased though - I do love both. A lovely groomed run on an Australian ski field first thing on a cold Spring morning with blue sky and great friends nearby... Superb!!

Happy days to you,
Sam

www.SamanthaBell.com.au

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

I went to Niseko, Japan to snowski and learnt it was so much more.

Img_1807

Niseko was so much more than the original intention of snowskiing for 10 days. I learnt new ways of being. The people, culture, and values provided delighting experiences. Another experience of travel humbling & teaching me. Broadening my perspective. Yay!

The Japanese architecture, cooking, and design-embedded-into-everything was entrancing. The ceramics looked beautiful, felt full of care and were something to keep hold of!

Design breeding design. 

I loved being distracted by the kitchens - exporting deliciousness with no/minimal conversation between the creators. 

The sake and plum wine bottles with beautiful artistry and matching thought out colors. 

Bowing, toilet slippers, warmed toilet seats, and food I often didn't recogniz - on ceramics of all shapes and sizes. 

Skiing in resorts where the lift operators are the local dairy and potatoes farmers. 

The honesty, standard pricing and generosity. 

Care, grace, and beauty. 

A country I'd like to return to. 

Have you been? What did you think? Are you going? :)

S

samanthabell.com.au

 

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

Meditation and #deepdive on Twitter

[[posterous-content:pid___0]]

I'm relaxing on a minibus as I type on my iPhone from Niseko, Japan enroute to the airport. Niseko is where I've been skiing for the past 8 days - epic place to ski and visit.

For over a year I've tweeted before I meditated, once when I woke and once before I slept. While traveling or busy with work and life, I fitted in meditation wherever I was. Sometimes lying down in bed before sleep, sometimes my usual cross legged sit which I prefer. 

While in Japan I didn't do this. At the startof the trip I meditated each day then tai chi each morning and meditation every few days. 

What I noticed was...

* It was nice to ease into meditating without using technology.

* I am aided much more in life through meditating twice a day. It's easier to be more aware of life and surrounds, and to be more understanding towards others. it's like a strong spine or backbone to my life. 

* I enjoy sharing a regular meditation practice with others via Twitter - as insight to what works for me, it affords me frequent connections with people who are wondering about doing it and possibly inspires others. 

* consistent, regular practice works - constantly adding to a platform of deeper/happier being in the world. (It doesn't have to be perfect. Over time thoughts slow down and stop and start again and life speeds up and ... the consistency & commitment works.)

...Time now to be and enjoy the white snowy outside, the foggy windows from the warm/cold, and the birch trees and the heavy-snow-laden-roofed houses. 

Including #deepdive in a tweet before meditating was started by Jan Stewart - read her great words about it here and have a look at who else includes #deepdive in their tweets when meditating. If you're interested in meditating and joining others, you could join in. 

Thanks to Steve Hopkins, Jan Stewart, Ross Hill, Jules Hughan, Ehon Chan, Doug Millen, Cheryl Lin & the #b03 crew for igniting my desire to blog and Eddie Harran for the draft read-through :)

samanthabell.com.au

 

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

Bali Tips - Seminyak, Ubud,

Below are my tips for Bali that I send to friends who are lovers of great food, amazing environments, and even more. Bali is just so good to create your own relaxing adventure...

Food baby Food - Seminyak

A scrumptious, relaxing & extraordinary lunch or dinner overlooking the sea, is Gado Gado and also La Lucciola is beautiful (if you like chocolate - you may love the chocolate desert they have - YUM) and I love their coffee frappe / icey drink. yum yum.

(Don't leave without going to La Lucciola for breakfast, lunch or dinner ... and plan to stay for at least 2 hours - it's just so relaxing!)

I also loved Sardine - dinners there are so memorable. Others to try are Metis, Sarong (expensive - special night out!) and Mamasan. More here: http://www.travelfish.org/eatandmeet/indonesia/bali/bali/seminyak/eat 

Pool Bars - Seminyak

Book for all day and/or sunset, take your swimmers, hang out and relax. Divine! Try W, Potato Head, Ku De Ta and the relaxed "cocoon beach restaurant". Great for all ages too.

Ubud

Around Ubud, I loved going to (and working at!!) Green School and I'm yet to get to John Hardy's jewellery place - also a treat by the sounds of things - you can email them and book in for lunch under the banyan tree which sounds lovely as food comes from their organic farm / compound.

There's also a restaurant at the Como Shambhala Estate where we ate lunch and it's soooo beautiful nested amongst the big gorge / greenery of Ubud. 

Clear Cafe is also highlight in Ubud and many other cafes / restaurants to find!

Surfing

I highly enjoyed surfing lessons with Odyssey Surf School and they are great fun, pick you up from your villa / hotel and ...if you wish, teach you Indonesian on the way. I had 2-person-private lessons - slightly better than group for me.

Preparation

Wayan is great for a massage - every day! $10 per massage and will come to you. His mobile is +6281558359941 and you could SMS him before you arrive. Like many in Bali he doesn't earn much so it's nice to contribute to him & his family. 

Kadek is a great driver +62 852 37117562 - very clean car with air con - no seat belts in the back seat - I can recommend another driver if you need this!

 

Entry visa for Bali is US$25 - have this in your passport or equivalent currency that can be converted. Another great alternative is organising a VIP service - US$30 - a person meets you and saves you about 30 mins - 1 hour of time. http://www.balinicetour.com/en/airport/1/0/baliPvipPairportPservice.html

Leaving Bali - hold onto 150,000 Rp for departure tax.

 

I enjoyed "Eat Pray Love" - i thought they did well to depict Ubud so if you haven't yet seen it - could be worth a watch as a lovely lead in... Plus tripadvisor.com is a great check to see if hotels, restaurants etc are good. Here's the places I've reviewed:  http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/members-reviews/sambe11

Get excited! Photos here: 

 

When you arrive

If you are going to be around Seminyak, get a copy of the Yak magazine - great info and the map (see below) is really good as it shows all the great places.

Screen_shot_2011-12-27_at_2

 

The Bintang (supermarket) in Seminyak is fabulous for the little shop that organises your local SIM card within minutes, to stock up on water and supplies. Homewares (!!) upstairs!

Go!

That's possibly enough!! You don't need too many tips - go, enjoy, relax, get some sun on your bones. YAY!! It's a very special place.

Sam from my tips, Sophy's, LJ's, Libby's, Brenda's, and loads of others who contributed to my amazing times in Bali.

 

More of Sophy's Seminyak tips in addition to the above here:

• LA SAL

A MUST, WE LOVE THIS PLACE – so romantic at night! Delicious tapas 

and Argentinean BBQ grills!

• THE JUNCTION

Stylish and well-priced lunch and dining spot. Recently renovated 

with a great new menu.

• HU U BAR

Tel: 736433

SUPER romantic spot at nighttime. Gardens are just so pretty, with 

huge bean bags to chill out on.  Yummy cocktails and a great 

nibbles menu. Perfect for pre dinner drinks.  Food quite pricey

• MADES WARUNG

CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!! – This is the place to go for Indo food. The 

Mee Goreng is to die for!

• TRATORRIA 

Great Italian!

• SEA CIRCUS

Drinks and food are great (steak get the thumbs up!).

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

2011: The Year of Great Friendship

Img_0686

I learnt a lot about great friendship this year.

I learnt how enjoyable it is and how simple it is.

I learnt a heap about unconditional love.

I learnt how beautiful it is when care and love comes, like a warm blanket the instant you're cold.

Being friends with someone for years gives a stronger sense of knowing of another.

Being there for the great times and the challenging ones gives me a chance to listen - has me realise that often, listening is what makes a difference.

And how a new friend can feel as close as someone I've been close to for years.

And how time doesn't matter; sharing deeply does.

Sharing knowing looks at each other. 

Sharing time in supporting each other.

Knowing that you're there and they're there.

Knowing who the people are that you 'click' with and who delights your soul.

Dear friends having children and growing friendships with them - an extension of our friendship.

Beautiful, unexpected, fun, silly, crazy, wild, exhausting (!!) and priceless.

It is sweet. My dear friends are amazing, inspiring, loving, warm, caring, interesting, nurturing, fascinating, insightful, courageous, charming, thoughtful, wise and more.

It is a delight to be around them.

Thankyou to everyone I spent time with in 2011!

#LifeIsGood.

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

2011: The Year of Great Friendship

Img_0686

I learnt a lot about great friendship this year.

I learnt how enjoyable it is and how simple it is.

I learnt a heap about unconditional love.

I learnt how beautiful it is when care and love comes, like a warm blanket the instant you're cold.

Being friends with someone for years gives a stronger sense of knowing of another.

Being there for the great times and the challenging ones gives me a chance to listen - has me realise that often, listening is what makes a difference.

And how a new friend can feel as close as someone I've been close to for years.

And how time doesn't matter; sharing deeply does.

Sharing knowing looks at each other. 

Sharing time in supporting each other.

Knowing that you're there and they're there.

Knowing who the people are that you 'click' with and who delights your soul.

Dear friends having children and growing friendships with them - an extension of our friendship.

Beautiful, unexpected, fun, silly, crazy, wild, exhausting (!!) and priceless.

It is sweet. My dear friends are amazing, inspiring, loving, warm, caring, interesting, nurturing, fascinating, insightful, courageous, charming, thoughtful, wise and more.

It is a delight to be around them.

Thankyou to everyone I spent time with in 2011!

#LifeIsGood.

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

2011: The Year of Great Friendship

Img_0686

I learnt a lot about great friendship this year.

I learnt how enjoyable it is and how simple it is.

I learnt a heap about unconditional love.

I learnt how beautiful it is when care and love comes, like a warm blanket the instant you're cold.

Being friends with someone for years gives a stronger sense of knowing of another.

Being there for the great times and the challenging ones gives me a chance to listen - has me realise that often, listening is what makes a difference.

And how a new friend can feel as close as someone I've been close to for years.

And how time doesn't matter; sharing deeply does.

Sharing knowing looks at each other. 

Sharing time in supporting each other.

Knowing that you're there and they're there.

Knowing who the people are that you 'click' with and who delights your soul.

Dear friends having children and growing friendships with them - an extension of our friendship.

Beautiful, unexpected, fun, silly, crazy, wild, exhausting (!!) and priceless.

It is sweet. My dear friends are amazing, inspiring, loving, warm, caring, interesting, nurturing, fascinating, insightful, courageous, charming, thoughtful, wise and more.

It is a delight to be around them.

Thankyou to everyone I spent time with in 2011!

#LifeIsGood.

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

Sam the Surfer

Here's recent pic's from Bali. Learning to surf was a HOOT! 

I'm so excited and can't wait to be on a surfboard again!

:)
Sam

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

My bucketlist is empty!

I realised my bucketlist is... empty! Turns out I have crossed everything off in the past year - anything I'd always planned to do / wanted to do - such as: 
  • go to great conferences anywhere in the world (sxsw 2010, Wisdom2.0DoLectures 2011), 
  • speak at great events,
  • see India, 
  • snowski heaps, 
  • meet loads of exceptional people, 
  • be outdoors lots,
  • eat well in great places,
  • ski with my NZ family, have a family holiday in Bali, spend time with my nephews, take Mum to Tuscany (something I promised a few years ago), 
  • drive across the Nullabor desert in Australia,
  • stroll in Paris, 
  • Spontaneously fly to Sydney for the day,
  • say "Yes" to great trips/experience with dear friends when they arise, support dear friends, celebrate decades of friendship,
  • work with great people producing great stuff that I and they are proud of,
  • have the freedom to be wherever the work, great food, exceptional people and fun is: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, London, Ubud (Bali, Indonesia), Solomon Islands;
  • smile loads, laugh lots,
  • yeeeehahhh....
My business is now orientated to working wherever I am and I'm continually refining how I operate best. I work with fabulous clients work and I'm very grateful.

It was a surprise: saying yes to what I wanted, respecting what's best for others around me, and having everything around me work to accommodate it.  

I'm off to Bali next month to learn how to surf and creating new additions to my business. 

May you similarly be inspired!
Sam 

P.S. Here's some of what I've experienced - enjoy :)

</object>

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell

The Kindness of Strangers in Montalcino

This afternoon I washed the inners of my new barefoot shoes (thanks @rosshill!) then hung them on a basic washing line I'd strung across the window. Then *plop* ...one shoe fell out the window and down into a foresty scrub below. Oh dear. 

I searched around the perimeter of the hotel and saw it was inaccessible - or so I thought. "Oh well!" Went off and enjoyed an hour or so and then... a nagging in my mind came. 

Off I went to see if there was another access. Walking in and out of people's houses and gardens I went. Came across a man who waved me on and said it was fine for me to be there (I think - he was speaking Italian). I scrambled around in the scrub and looked up and Mum's voice is somewhere above laughingly wondering where I am. Hilarious! Bamboo amongst a thick scrub. And bitey thorny things. Then *FOUND*! Grabbed my shoe and slipped back down to a a safe ground. 

On the victorious walk back to the Hotel I came across the same man. He invited me to sit with his wife and proceeded to bring me figs picked off the nearby tree. I learnt to peel the green skin off the figs and they brought out the most beautiful Moscadello wine. I spent a while learning loads of italian as I searched iTranslate app on the iPhone to converse with them. It was a truly joyful experience.

And I'm taking Madre (Mum) back there domani (tomorrow) for a coffee. Amazing.

Life is sweet.

Posted via email from By Samantha Bell