If you’ve been reading my articles about spas around the world, you might have noticed an emerging pattern. If you haven’t — newsflash: I seem to have taken a liking to getting buck naked in public. I mean, who doesn’t? Right? Righhhhhhttttt? Anyone? Well, ok, fine. Today, for a change, let me tell you about this one time in Iceland when I did not get naked at the spa. It does happen, sometimes.
I hate to bring this to you, but Christmas is right upon us, peeps! I know, right? Where does the time go? I’m sure I’m not the only one to think that it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy Christmas presents for the ones around us, with so and so being allergic to this and that, and so and so buying only locally and fair trade. I’m sure a few of you have this lone traveler in your family for which it is impossible to find the right present because she is living out of a small backpack, and on top of that is a vegan. Fret not! I’ve made this handy gift guide for you! Here’s what I think the best vegan-friendly presents are for all budgets this holiday season.
I know some of my German friends would roll their eyes at me for saying that Germans love to be naked in public. But I think they totally do. If you’re not familiar with the Freikörperkultur, of FKK (free body culture), chances are you will after spending some time in Germany. And while some would simplify that the FKK movement was born as a form of resistance against the East German regime, nudism in Germany has its roots way further in history. After doing a little research, what stuck with me most is the use of nudity historically as a way for people to free themselves from the religious restriction that has taught people to be ashamed of their body, and from the industrial society. Without clothes, no-one is a factory slave, everyone is equal.
When I decided to move from Asia to Europe last Fall, I didn’t know where I would base myself. Most Working Holiday Visas (also called Youth Mobility Programs) for Canadians end at 30 years old, but a few European countries offer them for people aged up to 35. Upon doing some research, I found that my options were the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland or the Ukraine. I was pretty amazed when I realized the possibilities! I picked Germany based on the amount of people who had told me how much I would love Berlin and how easy it would be to find employment as a non-native German speaker.
A lot of you wander here in search of vegan and long haul travel advice. But some of you (the ones who stick around and support me, I love you all so much!) have a genuine interest in me as a person and how my inner journey unfolds. I owe you a bit of an update… So it’s been six months – SIX! That’s the longest I have stayed anywhere in three years – since I arrived in Berlin from Milan. Obviously, the pace has been very different from the constant backpacking or bicycle touring you’ve known me to do, and the current state of the blog is a reflection of that – I feel like I have nothing exciting for you to bite into. It’s hard for me to share what I am up to for various reasons, and I have been postponing it up until now.
Although I am a photographer by trade, I really don’t consider myself an expert in the field of travel photography. Still, people ask me for tips and tricks on how they can improve their travel snaps all the time, so I thought I’d address the topic today! Often, this comes from people with state of the art gear and little clue on how to use it. Having good equipment could be considered a first step in the right direction, but it really isn’t in some other regards – because photography remains a means of expression. Having technical skills is one thing, but an important aspect is the ability to develop a keen eye for what’s around: learn to see the extraordinary in the mundane, connect emotionally with what surrounds you, speak to people, touch, feel and follow your instinct. Granted, getting this sensibility for photography comes with practice and can be the work of a life time, but there are ways to cheat this and make sure you get the best shot each and every time. Here are some tips!
I had the immense pleasure to buddy up with TripCreator recently for an amazing trip to Iceland with my mom which you can read more about here, here, here and here. An extended layover in Iceland en route from America to Europe is a brilliant idea, as it is pretty much smack in the middle and it is honestly one of the most fascinating countries I have ever been too. Icelandair understood that and is now offering up to a seven-day layover at no additional cost on many trans-Atlantic routes. Hopefully this short clip will give you a little taste of all the magic there is to be found in Iceland and you’ll make it your next destination! 🙂
I’ve written a bit about photography in the past, but not a whole lot if you consider the fact that I actually come from a photography background. I suppose there’s a part of modesty in there, but I also never considered myself to be a travel photographer – where I came from, there were strobes and make-up artists and fluff, all in the confines of a studio. I do however receive a lot of compliments and questions about my photography – which is nice – so today I thought I would address my workflow in regards to retouching my travel photos for my blog and my Instagram account.
When I started researching options for where to eat vegan food in Reykjavik, I honestly wasn’t expecting much from a nation that eats puffin, shark and whale. But there is nothing I love more than being proven wrong about something, and Reykjavik emerged quickly as one of the most vegan-friendly places I have ever traveled to. For such a small capital, Reykjavik boasts more vegan-friendly restaurant options that I could visit in 10 days and the options were as diverse as they are exciting. Here are my picks. I would love to know if I missed anything, so please let me know!
I can’t really begin to explain how cool Reykjavik is. The northernmost capital of the world feels more like a small colourful village plopped against the stunning backdrop of Faxa Bay and the snow-capped mountains, where hip people strut and stop at even hipper cafes. Naturally, hip hotels and hostels abound in this design-forward city, and I found myself staying at the Scandi-Chic hostel-cum-hotel Hlemmur Square for a few days last month.
Hlemme give you the grand tour (get it?!)