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.
I fell in love with being nude in public at vabali spa berlin. 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 upon visiting vabali, 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.
I took a cooking class at The Thai Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. The main reasons why I 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. I had an amazing day, made all of the vegan Thai curry recipe, 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.
You might have noticed that things have gotten a little weird over on Instagram recently. If you haven’t, well it is time you be in the known. Someone mentioned to me there were some sort of a celery juice movement happening unbeknownst to most normal people, one of the purported claims being that it could be beneficial to those with chronic urinary tract infections. UTIs are not really something I’ve talked about here, but they are a very annoying real part of my life. In the last few years, I’ve grown to be resistant to several types of antibiotics and spent hundreds of euros on natural remedies and potions of all sorts in the hope of curing this rather annoying condition. And I know A LOT of women relate to this. So if someone tells me that buying two euros worth of stalky things and drinking a big glass of it might help, whatever the benefits of celery juice may be, Imma juice, yo. Imma juice so bad it hurts. Imma juice like there’s no tomorrow.
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 don’t be shy from trying them! check out those inversions for beginners) 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. 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.
I realise that what I’ve been putting here about Berlin, and not only but also including the vegan scene, has been totally hedonistic. Vegan burgers, all the fast food, clubbing naked and plain just getting naked. I’ve done a pretty decent job in my now three years in Berlin, I’d say. But Berlin is not just that, I promise you. It’s also a mecca for all things health-minded, with yoga studios, green and healthy restaurants, temples, parks and amazing fitness options. All the decadent stuff I’ve written about is what got me excited when I arrived. What I’m telling you today is what is making me stick around. Incidentally, now that I’ve been here for three years, would you be interested in exploring the city with me and Withlocals? I feel I have much to contribute by now!
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.
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, returning from a few months in South East Asia, looking like an oompa loompa.
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.