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 cramped public transport or walking with a heavy backpack for several kilometres 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 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 Hamamiin 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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo courtesy of Wat Kow Tahm
If someone had told me a few months ago that I would be voluntarily enrolling myself to sit cross-legged on the floor, without moving, 10 hours a day for 7 days in a Buddhist monastery – in complete silence – I would have chuckled in your face and told you that you were mistaking me for someone else.
1. THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS IS TOUCHING ME BEYOND WORDS AND HAS 100% RESTORED MY FAITH IN HUMANITY
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 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 😉