I read so many Turkish hammam horror stories online from other travel bloggers that my curiosity got sufficiently piqued: I just had to volunteer myself on the naked altar of the body scrub sacrifice for the greater good of this blog (I know, tough…) – a rather painful and awkward experience by many if not all accounts. Tales of buck-naked merciless scrubs in crowded rooms, with nude masseuses getting to second base with prude North Americans had me sort of worried as I stepped inside Kiliç Ali Paşa Hamami in Istanbul, not really knowing if the tales were true. Thankfully, I quickly learned that the Turkish hammam experience can be a blissful, relaxing and absolutely beautiful one. Without further ado, here’s how I found myself naked as a jaybird with a bunch of other women from all over the world in the center of Istanbul.
It’s that time of the year again where you all started to complain on Facebook about the heat rather than the cold! Hurray! Good time to talk about sun protection. Last year, I wrote a post about my favourite sunscreens for traveling, and so today I thought I would present you with an updated version of what sun protection I have been using lately. I placed an order with my favourite online natural product shop iHerb and have been putting to the test five new natural sunscreens in the last few months.
A few weeks ago, in the town of Mapusa, Northern Goa, India, a man called Ramakrishna stared right through my soul before making me a small bottle of perfume.
The island of the Gods.
A feast of colours, culture, beauty and devout faith.
With such beauty all around, it’s no wonder Bali boasts such a rich tradition of beauty and spa rituals whose names alone evoke the most exotic and luscious of pampering experiences: boreh, lurlur, temu-temu, avocado cream bath, spice bath – I could just picture myself in one of Ubud’s secret gardens being scrubbed and massaged with rare oils and exotic spices.
If you caught a glimpse of me in the flesh right now, you possibly wouldn’t believe that I am one of those nutcase who slathers sunscreen on in the dead of the Canadian winter when there’s a snow storm outside. Because, yes, right now I am very, very tan, but this was a long, unavoidable and unintentional process. I am very aware that this is contributing to premature skin aging, but I am taking most precautions (and I say ‘most’ because, unlike Vietnamese women, I am not willing to wear long jeans, socks, gloves, a hoodie, face mask and hat when it’s 40 degrees Celsius outside) and this is one of the few evils I am temporarily ok to deal with for the sake of traveling. I avoid the sun in the middle of the day, wear a hat, slather on a high SPF sunscreen, yet here I am, after four months in South East Asia, looking like an oompa loompa.
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but here’s something a little different for ya. I’m planning on doing a “what’s in my camera bag” and “what’s in my suitcase” at a later time, so stay tuned if that’s what you’re into.
With my previously crazy busy life in Canada, my morning smoothie-and-makeup routine was often the only down time I would get in the day, and so makeup sort of became a relaxing hobby. Both applying it to my face, reading about it online, and shopping for it. I slowly became an avid consumer of beauty blogs and YouTube beauty channels, and I’m guessing this possibly had to do with my growing makeup collection (which is mostly in a box in a self storage in Canada at the moment).
We were lucky to be invited to spend a long weekend in Las Vegas at the New York, New York last weekend. I had been to Vegas for just a few hours in 2005 on my way to California, so I was so happy to be able to return for a few days to be able to experience it properly.
We hardly slept. At all. And seeing Cirque du Soleil’s “O” from the 3rd row in the middle of the night whilst jet lagged is possibly the closest I will ever feel what it’s like to be on LSD.