I remember being at my Couchsurfing host Laura in Milan in preparation for my arrival to Berlin, a little shy of two years ago. She happened to be living between the two cities and kept yapping on about how free-spirited Berlin was. Specifically, she mentioned several times how wonderful it was that people were just naked in clubs like Berghain and Kitkat Berlin, having sex in public as casually as you’d sip on a Coors Light back where I’m from.
I remember thinking she was either completely off her rocker, or something decidedly weird or wrong was going down in Berlin.
Looking for some ideas for day trips from Berlin?
Berlin is an incredible place to live, but just like any other totally happening city, there are times when you just need to get away and recharge. We all need a break, and a change of scenery once in a while a great way to find new inspiration. We come back full of energy and ready to take on the world — but not everyone has the time to go on indulgent getaways. Often, though, a day trip is sufficient to give you that much-needed boost, and if you’re living in Berlin there are great destinations not so far away that are just waiting to be explored. Below are my choices of top day trips from Berlin that you can add to your day-tripping list
I fell in love with being nude in public at vabali spa.
I know some of my German friends would roll their eyes at me for saying that Germans love themselves a bit of mixed gender nudity. 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.
Europe is a magnet for travelers from all over the world, and for vegans it’s fast becoming a succulent, meat-free meca. The same is also true for travelers and those on vacation who just want to eat healthier, and do their bit for the environment and animal compassion. We don’t all have to tuck into blood-oozing steaks all the time, and you too can embark on a vegan travel odyssey as part of your exploration of the mighty continent of Europe.
One reason I was so keen to return to Chiang Mai is the vegan food.
What’s so great about Chiang Mai vegan food is the selection on offer. There are vegan and vegetarian restaurants elsewhere in Thailand, but they generally are your standard “Jay” (a Buddhist form of veganism) lunch buffet and are not always amazing. Sometimes they are. But I didn’t visit any of those whilst in Chiang Mai, because they can be found everywhere else. Instead I went for the organic farm to table, Japanese macrobiotic, healthy salad bar concepts and all the different and original options in-between, because they truly are what make Vegan Chiang Mai so special.
Koh Phangan swallowed me whole yet again with its beautiful vistas, beaches, yoga, food and everything that comes with it. This was my fourth time on the island and it was as good as ever. You can read the story of how I fell in love with the place here. For now though, let’s talk vegan Koh Phangan!
Most vegan restaurants on Koh Phangan are located in Srithanu, the heart of the yoga community and my favorite area of the island. Note that a lot of places are closed in the afternoon. I don’t have the opening time for everything, unfortunately, but if you like to eat at random hours like I often do, beware that some places are closed in the afternoon. Call ahead to be sure 🙂
I knew Ashtanga was going to be a challenge. I knew because I had already tried and failed not that long ago, at a time where I wasn’t mentally prepared. One thing you may not know about me, if you aren’t so close to me or haven’t been a reader of many years, is that the last three years were the most difficult of my life. A heartbreak lead me first to great heights, with a powerful adrenaline rush that propelled me from Kuala Lumpur to Berlin by bicycle on almost a single breath. But arriving in Berlin was an entirely different story. I fell from very high up and into the depth of a depression, something I hadn’t before experienced and that I have been a little shy of discussing here.
Siem Reap could rub you the wrong way if you tackle it from a certain angle. Much like Khao San Road in Bangkok, it’s easy to wound up exactly in the wrong place of the city (let’s hypothetically call this place Pub Street) and wonder what could have possibly gone wrong in such a quaint, culturally-rich, and spiritual part of the world. I did it, several people have done it, has Lonely Planet told us to do it? We’ve all got our reasons as to why we ended up in the most touristy and dare I say backpacker-damaged part of Cambodia whilst on the hunt for vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Siem Reap.
There is a lot I have missed about Southeast Asia since I was last here – sunshine, fruit that tastes like sunshine, a focus on space as opposed to time, tuk-tuks, negotiable prices, … There is less I currently miss about Berlin – except for one thing. My recycling bin. Traveling as a vegan is becoming a relatively straightforward thing to do, but integrating all my conscious habits from back home is a different story. Especially in Southeast Asia, where they really really REALLY love their plastic packaging, and recycling facilities are currently as mythical as unicorns… So when I rocked up at luxury boutique hotel and ethical resort Jaya House Siem Reap, I was excited not just at the anticipation of a comfy beds and good coffee (fine, I miss these a little bit too), but to find out what a hotel with the ambition to be 100% plastic free is like.
Vegan. Burgers. NYC. Enough said.
Time in New York is never enough to content me with all of the amazing food it has to offer. I was there on a cheeky mission to eat my way through all the Vegan Burgers NYC has on its plate and, although I reckon I did a semi-decent job following these New York tips (and I have the belly flab to prove it), I still couldn’t sample everything. You can now find the much talked about Impossible Burgers in several locations in NYC, but I did give that a miss. Too much meatiness for me. Here’s what I managed to stuff my face with however.