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.
If you follow my Instagram, you might have seen that I attempted a zero waste challenge in May. I just about missed the boat at presenting you my impressions on time for Plastic Free July, but here I go anyway. Now before I go any further, there’s a reason why I used the word attempted: my plastic-free living month was admittedly less than perfect and there was a fair bit of infringement in the form of deep-set habits executed on autopilot.
Hiking holidays are a great way to keep fit and experience intimate encounters with nature. They are the most rewarding types of holidays because they leave you feeling inspired and give you a sense of accomplishment. Hiking with your partner is a great way to reconnect, or if you are looking to make new friends with likeminded people then you could join a hiking group. With the many hiking destinations you can visit around the world, here are five great places you should consider for a hiking holiday.
From one vegan traveler to the next, I can’t stress this enough: you have to chill, man. There have been times in remote areas of Southeast Asia where all there was for me to eat on the menu were stir-fried vegetables and rice for several days in a row, and other times where the language barrier made it impossible to communicate my dietary needs. I’d hate to see food go to waste, so when this happens, I tend to suck it up and eat around the offender. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened often. But I can’t stress enough that a relaxed attitude will take you a long way. The best we can do is do our best. And take snacks with you, always.
I hit the gym most evenings after work before I became a full-time traveler. While this was a perfectly enjoyable way to spend a few hours by myself and unwind at the end of a long day (especially on cold winter nights where exercising outside in the dark had absolutely no appeal), it quickly became either impossible or too expensive once I started traveling to far flung destinations. It also made no sense to trap myself in an air conditioned room with all this warm and wonderful tropical nature around me to use as a playground. The answer came organically: yoga.
For many students, college is the first time they make all their decisions on their own. The hustling from one classroom to another, term papers and exams, poor diet choices and long hours without the proper amount of rest can cause stress and reduce the body’s ability to thwart off colds and other common illnesses. Luckily, there are ways to prevent the onset of stress and physical weaknesses so you can remain strong, healthy and focused.
I’m a huge proponent of making the most of every moment in a foreign country. Even on a trip to Mauritius or Zanzibar, where sitting by the pool in a resort is the norm, there’s opportunities that can keep you busy adventuring for weeks.
However, the truth is that most people aren’t cut out to be on their feet all the time, and trying to fill up every second can actually ruin your trip. Burnout is a real problem, and so is getting sick. Especially if you’re traveling somewhere with a different climate to your own, you might find yourself sniffling if you don’t take care of your well-being.
Going on a vacation is an opportunity to discover more of a country through different ways, such as exploring its iconic landmarks, meeting its hospitable people, and of course, sampling its delicious food. However, the problem is that if you are a vegetarian, some countries can end up being frustrating, and you can be left hungry. With this in mind, enjoy reading the rest of this post where we will have a rundown of some of the best destinations that will provide you with plenty of options for a great vegetarian meal.
It’s that time of the year again where we all started to complain about the heat rather than the cold, yiiii! Let us talk about sun protection! A few years back, 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.
If you come here regularly or follow me on my social media, you probably know that yoga takes a very big role in my life. Beyond the fancy headstands and strange contortions I sometimes photograph myself into, yoga established itself as a daily practice in my life when I started backpacking through South East Asia two years ago. Spending long hours in crammed public transport or walking with a heavy backpack for several kilometers ended up taking a toll on my shoulders, back and hips and I found that daily stretching and yoga was the best way to keep my body limber and pain-free. So today is all about yoga for travelers.
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.
2015 was a year of great changes for me: in the span of just a few short months, I lost a family member as well as my long-term relationship, amongst other things. Traveling became something that I both dreaded to do by myself and needed to do all at the same time, and I fortunately came to the simple realization that what I needed above all was to change how I traveled. So I swapped my backpack for a bicycle and everything suddenly clicked into place.
1. THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS IS TOUCHING ME BEYOND WORDS AND HAS 100% RESTORED MY FAITH IN HUMANITY
I have not had to pay for accommodation in over a month and food has been provided for me along the way on several occasions. Whether it be friendly and generous Couchsurfing or Warmshowers hosts, friends met during or before the trip or people at private houses, police and gas stations or temples where I have clumsily asked permission to pitch my tent, the response has always been overwhelmingly positive. I am just blown away by the generosity of everyone that has crossed my path so far. Although I know this isn’t the reason why they are doing it, I cannot wait for the day I can pay it forward when I am in a situation to do so.
The (vegan) cavewoman in me always worries about starvation. I worry there will not be enough food and never leave home without a gazillion snacks. As a health-minded person though, juice cleanses have always been on my radar, but thanks to the aforementioned, I’ve always been a little wary of them. I decided to give one a try anyway with the help of the good people at Lifestyle Juicery in Kuala Lumpur. Feel like doing your own juice cleanse at home but don’t know where to start? Check out these juicers reviews on Janes Kitchen Miracles.
As you might have guessed from the quantity of blog posts that are already piling up here about Bali, we absolutely loved it. A LOT. And for many reasons. The one I’ll be discussing today is jamu, this traditional Indonesian medicinal drink that looks a bit like mango juice and that you might have seen popping up on several warung menus or in baskets on the head of the Jamu Gendong, these women roaming the streets selling their precious potions to the locals every morning.
With its abundance of wellness centers, spas and yoga studios, it’s no wonder Ubud has such a vibrant healthy, raw/vegan, and organic restaurant scene. And if you’ve been following us for some time, you’ll know that this is right up our alley! It is, in fact, one of the many reasons why we lingered around Ubud for so long.
Would you believe me if I told you that ten years ago, I was a chain smoker. I drank my fair share and took the least interest in what I was ingesting, so long as it had a good quantity of butter, sugar and caffeine. Which is all a bit strange because I lived my teenagehood as a dreadlock-sporting, health-conscious, non-smoking vegetarian treehugger. I guess my early and mid-twenties were just a big careless party where I lost sight of myself a little. Don’t get me wrong, it was freaking awesome and I regret nothing.
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.
The food in Cambodia was nowhere near as good as the food in Thailand, and the vegan options were also a lot more sparse. We had our fair share of rice and noodles with vegetables, and quite a few incidents of unsolicited eggs. One thing I realized early on in Cambodia is that, no matter how vegan something appears to be on the menu, always specify no egg or you might end up with a surprise. That being said, we did have some amazing food in Cambodia. From baguette, to durian, to tofu amok (a mildly spicy, coconut-heavy curry), to mango salad, we had some lovely exotic food – most of the time 😉
Hi! A few weeks ago, we took a cooking class at The Thai Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. The main reasons why we picked this specific school over all the other ones is because they offered the opportunity to veganized everything on the menu and because their farm is fully organic. We truly had an amazing day and met tons of other fun, food-loving travellers! I can’t recommend this day out enough if you happen to be in Chiang Mai.
Last Sunday I completed my 4th half marathon here in Montreal. I did my personal best, thanks to Hal Higdon’ intermediate training program (which was great, I very much recommend if you’ve been running for some time and feel you’ve reached a bit of a plateau). The weather was perfectly cool and crisp and the fact that Montreal Marathon has just joined the Rock and Roll series made it all the more freaking awesome. I just cannot wait for next year to take another 5 or 10 minutes off my PR.
Here’s a few photos!
Today is the last day of Summer! It was a hot one over here in Montreal! I didn’t have much exciting stuff happening in term of traveling, but I sure made the best out of the outsides (lots of running!). Also my mom visited from Gaspésie for a few days (kayaking, walking, biking, cooking, spa!), I went over to Gaspésie to visit family with Richard (beach, beach beach!) and I also went to Quebec City to visit my sister.
I have a terrible confession to make. I was never fat. There. It’s out. I have no amazing before/after illustrated story on how I became healthy and slim. My story is more one of a lazy-skinny-pot-smoking-couch-potato, I’m afraid; it’s not as golden and glorious. I’ll only say it once (because my mom reads my blog, as if she never knew!).
My amazing not very amazing secret would be this: I am shit scared on getting old. So one day, I decided to kick my little 28 year old butt and get a gym membership. And then I took on running because I thought I needed some form of cardiovascular exercise alongside the weight lifting. I thought it would be fun to get a little fitter before my 30s (before things start pointing southward, you know..)