Jewelry designer and style blogger Gypsy Lovin Light aka Helen Janneson Bense has been lighting up Instagram with her ethereal photos of gorgeous sunsets, flowing dresses and delicate silver jewels. Last month the Finnish-Australian set out for Bali, one of her favorite destinations, for a stay at Pandawa Cliff Estate. We caught up with her to find out all about her latest travels.
We know you love Bali. What’s your favorite thing about the island?
Yes,we love Bali so much and it’s very close to where we currently live in Perth, Australia, making it an ideal getaway for our family. It’s known as the ‘Island of the Gods’ and you only need to witness one of their glorious sunrises or sunsets to understand why. The sky and ocean light up in so many different colors, each day creating a beautiful and unique magical feast for the soul. We also really love the Balinese culture; it’s so peaceful and humbling to see the gratitude they feel for the simple things in life, and for each other.
What was your favorite thing about Pandawa Cliff Estate?
We loved absolutely everything about our villa. The entire layout and flow was designed so perfectly for families or large groups of friends to enjoy. With so much space to move around in, we each found our favorite little spots for recreation and some quiet, relaxing time. For me, it was the al fresco lounge upstairs, so luxuriously appointed, overlooking the infinity pool and ocean. I loved starting my day watching the sunrise from this spot with a cup of tea and the whole day of exciting possibilities ahead of me.
Did you eat well on your trip?
The food was all so amazing it’s very hard to choose a favorite thing, but we all really loved the traditional Balinese style dishes the most. The Soto Ayam, a Balinese style soup, has always been a favorite of mine, and it was so wonderful to have it made with such fresh ingredients. We were also huge fans of our daily breakfast spread. It was so abundant and delicious, including the delicious gluten free bread and muffins. We were so grateful that the staff catered to our dietary requirement. It was such a special touch and we felt so well taken care of.
Your Instagram aesthetic is all about peaceful beauty. What’s the most magical place you’ve ever been to?
The most magical place I’ve ever been would have to be Glacier Point at Yosemite National Park. At a height of 7000ft overlooking the Yosemite Valley, the giant cliffs, the waterfalls, the view is quite possibly the most breathtaking and magnificent I’ve ever seen. It puts everything into perspective. In my mind there’s is no doubt that magic exists when you see something this beautiful. I’ve heard many people say ‘god lives here’ It’s literally heaven on earth.
A photo posted by Helen Janneson Bense (@gypsylovinlight) on
Is there one item you always have in your suitcase?
I always pack bikinis, and lots of them. Even if it’s cold, there are always saunas, or heated pools to head to. I’m such a water lover and long to be in any body of water. Even when it’s freezing cold, I’ve been known to go swimming in icy glacial water! Though these days I do tend to travel to warmer climates almost all year round. I’m a huge fan of Del Maar Latin Swimwear. I love how vibrant and stylish their designs are. Every suit I have fits so perfectly, is super comfortable, and extremely flattering to wear.
Do you have any pro tips to staying fashionable while you’re on the road?
When I travel, I like to feel both stylish and comfortable. I want my clothes to look and feel fresh, flowing and crease free. I usually pack mostly cotton and silk fabrics that don’t require ironing. I also pack a product called Iron-Free that you can mist onto your clothes that takes the creases out almost instantly. I pack a few jewelry looks in silver, gold and rose gold that can work with all my outfits. I pack my jewelry in clear zippered bags so they stay tangle free and are easy to find when I’m getting ready and on the go. I always carry a hat. Especially when I travel to a humid country where my hair is likely to go frizzy the moment I step off the plane. It instantly adds style to my look and saves me from those crazy hair moments.
We LOVE the jewelry collection on your website! Who’s your favorite designer?
That would have to be Anna Beck Jewelry. She designs beautiful, elegant, sterling silver and gold jewelry, handmade by artisans in Bali. I admire them not only for their incredible designs, but the charity work they do as well. They support a very special Women’s Health Centee in Bali called Bumi Sehat, which is A non-profit organization run by the amazing Robin Lim. She was CNN Hero of the Year, and is woman with so much heart, that endlessly gives to the community, to create more peace and love in our world.
Is your photographer-husband just as stylish as you are? Any expert tips for men’s vacation style that he can share…?
Bobby (@BobbyBense) tends to stick to basics and staples and mix and matches these so he can pack lightly on his travels. He always has a tailored white shirt, loose white tank, a couple of surf tees with subtle graphics, board shorts, distressed denim, flip flops and dress shoes/pants, that can go from day to night. Then he’s all set for airport lounge attire and casual lounging at the beach and resort.
What will you remember about this trip?
Spending quality time with my family. No matter where we travel, that is always what matters most and holds the deepest memories within my heart. I’ll remember those slow breakfasts all together, listening to everyone’s excitement about what the day will hold, the fun times playing in the pool, the belly laughs and silly jokes, sharing all Balinese beauty and culture together, playing family frisbee on the lawn as the sun sets and turns the sky all those pastel shades of pink and purple, finishing off yet another perfect day in paradise.
Where are you headed next?
Next on the travel journey is Broome, Western Australia. We are yet to explore this stunning part of Western Australia and so very excited to see more of the country we now call home.
Find out more about Pandawa Cliff Estate