I hate to bring this to you babies, but Christmas is right upon us. I know, right? Holy forking shirt, eh. 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 vegan in your family for whom it is impossible to find the right present because, well, vegan gift, what the what! But fret not! I’ve made this handy vegan Christmas gift guide for you! Here’s what I think the best vegan presents are for all budgets this Holiday season.
Since I get asked this question on the regular and people are just in the midst of making their Winter holiday plans, I thought now was a great time to present you some yoga retreats I have been saving on my list and am dreaming of visiting this Winter. What better way to slice right through the Winter slump than to reconnect with nature and yourself somewhere warm for a few weeks, while practising yoga and eating delicious healthy food? None in my book. Here are my recommendations for the best international yoga retreats for 2018-2019.
Berlin. Vegan. They. Have. It. All.
It’s taken me the best of the last three years to wrap my head around all the vegan options in the city and I’m excited to finally present you the best of everything. Just for you guys, I’ve eaten my way around the finest vegan kebabs, burgers, donuts, cakes… in fact, just pick your favourite food. I’ve probably eaten it in Berlin. The problem with spending three years trying to eat all the vegan food is that it’s such a vibrant scene, it’s constantly expanding. I keep thinking I’ve eaten everywhere, then overnight another five incredible vegan places appear.
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.
I was a bit underwhelmed the first ever time I set foot in Berlin. I thought the city lacked in “WOW” factor and was sprawling too much and missing some form of a focal point. Some may beg to differ, but this was my first impression. But here’s the thing. Correlating my relationship to Berlin to a romantic one (and I think it very much is), since I have been doing a ton of dating since I’ve been here and come to see differences between exploding flamboyant things that crash and burn in seconds and slow burners that surprise you over time and make you grow fonder. Berlin is a total slow burner. It may not impress you immediately, but give it time and patience, and it’ll start to grow on you until you just can’t get enough of it and start seeing beauty at every corner.
Who hasn’t fallen prey of either totally over-packing and not wearing half of what they brought or, at the other end of the spectrum, feeling way too utilitarian and backpacker-ish for a fancy little city break? I have definitely done both. As a seasoned backpacker, I tend to fall in the latter category most of the time, but I do like to feel stylish when I’m city-hopping in trendy capitals. Do you think it’s possible to look sort of trendy-ish yet comfortable AND pack in a carry-on luggage? I like to think so! I’ve done a fair bit of city-hopping these past years (and there’s more ahead, stay tuned!), and this is my tried-and-tested packing list of the moment. I’m a pretty neutral-shade type of gal, and in this specific case, it makes sense to pack that way, because everything will fit together. Hurray for keeping it simple! Get packing!
It can take a while getting your bearings on in Siem Reap, I totally get it when people said they didn’t like their time there. It’s easy to fail to see the beauty outside of Angkor Wat if you wound up on dusty old Pub Street, amidst drunk tourists and pushy street vendors. But scratch the surface a bit and you’ll discover a town where social projects and vegan restaurants abound. A place I would 100% call home if I had the luxury to still be nomadic. Siem Reap is also emerging as one of the newest most affordable hotspots for digital nomads with great cafes and hostels, as well as very convenient visa options. Travel there with your Cambodia visa ready and keep reading to discover the best hostels in Siem Reap, ranked and researched. Whether you are a solo backpacker or five-suitcase family, Siem Reap has a home for you.
Let’s start by stating what’s obvious. I’ve been growing roots in Berlin over the past three years. To a point where I’m now ready to call this damn gorgeous crazy impossible city my home. There once was a time when the thought of having all my belongings fit on the back of my bicycle was reassuring — that way I could push the eject button and ghost at any opportunity. But something, I’m not sure when, shifted.
I started buying plants. I got a second-hand sofa and started chilling on it for the simple enjoyment of being home. I started fermenting stuff. I even got a goddamn dressing gown. Me. A dressing gown.
When you think of travelling to Thailand, Bangkok will undoubtedly be on your list of places to explore. But why not stray away from the usual EDM, flashing lights and obliterated drunk traveller-infested Khao San Road that so many people are so quick to recommend? If you are looking for a very hectic and overwhelming stay where you will have to squeeze through a swarm of people to get something to eat from one of the stalls, let alone to get in and out of your hostel, then Khao San it is. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely worth a visit as it is one of those “must-see” places in Bangkok, but as it often happens, these “must-see” places become overpopulated, over-stimulating and overpriced tourist traps. But fear not! Below is a list of my three favourite districts with some of the best hostels in Bangkok that will supply you with just as much classic Bangkok fun and excitement as Khao San promises, and will guarantee to deliver a more authentic and personalised stay for a well-rounded trip to the world’s most visited city. And don’t forget to check out my vegan guide of Bangkok!
Remember Myst, the 90s computer game set in a beautiful fantasy world where you could get lost in the different “ages” and discover all sorts of magical stuff for hours on end? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to tell you that I have found the island of Myst: it is in Bangkok, Thailand, on the bank of the Chao Phraya River in what is dubbed “The Green Lungs of Bangkok”. Not only that, but it also has an enchanted tree house where I got to spend a few days – an eco-friendly project crafted out of sustainable and reclaimed materials amidst the jungle, a mere seven or eight km away from the downtown core of Bangkok.