Rest and Relaxation at Villa Mana, Bali

Misha Gillingham of Wildluxe looks back on her Bali travels

Misha Gillingham of Wildluxe was born and raised in Malibu, but her taste for adventure sees her exploring a new corner of the world every few weeks. She recently touched down in the beautiful coastal town of Canggu on Bali’s south coast, to stay at Villa Mana for a few days of rest and relaxation. We caught up with her to find out more about her love of travel and her memories of the trip.

What motivates you to travel the world?

I am far more than just motivated to travel. I am addicted to it. Travel makes me feel alive. It forces me outside of my comfort zone, bringing about new adventures, experiences, and challenges. It has given me a global education – one that can’t be learned in any classroom. Being able to gain awareness of different customs, cultures, and people has really opened up my mind, shedding light on new perspectives. Travel is my university and I don’t ever want to stop learning.

What did you love most about Bali – have you traveled there before?

Yes, I was in Bali years ago for my honeymoon. I loved it then and I love it now, for so many reasons. What stands out to me the most is the food. Indonesian food is so delicious. The spices and all of the ingredients had me in heaven. Gado Gado is my favorite dish, and the chef at Villa Mana made the best one I’ve ever had.

What are your top travel essentials?

Even though I constantly travel with overweight – and I mean VERY overweight – baggage, there are only three things that are absolutely essential for me to bring on any trip. My camera, sanitizing hand wipes, and facial cleansing pads. I guess I’m a bit of a clean freak.

Do you have a bucket list destination that you’ve not yet visited?

Yes. I have three, and they all start with the letter “N”: Namibia, New Zealand, and Norway. In that order.

What was your favorite thing about Villa Mana?

There were so many wonderful things about Villa Mana. First, the staff was amazing. They literally had everything covered – from meals to laundry to helping me book transportation.

I also loved the unique design of the home. There are gardens that pour over the rooftop and hang over the first floor in a very unique way. The entire house is open to the outdoors with the focal point being the fabulous pool backed by the beautiful rice fields. And the bathrooms, those are in a category of their own. Each one is huge and some of them are open to the outside with a glass roof. Sitting in the giant bathtub I felt like I was outside in the jungle.

Last, the villa is very close to a temple. Every morning I’d awake to a beautiful morning prayer echoing through the house. It was a very peaceful and and serene way to start each day.

Describe Bali in three words?

Lush. Cultural. Colorful.

What does luxury mean to you?

To me, when it comes to travel, luxury is being able to experience something unique in combination with impeccable customer service. If the customer service is unfriendly or unsatisfactory, the entire experience can be tainted. This is why I loved working with Luxury Retreats and the staff at Villa Mana. They did a wonderful job at making my experience in Bali a truly memorable one.

Find out more about Villa Mana

Jenny Cahill-Jones