2018 – Same But Different?

It’s almost the New Year!

 

So you’re either one of those people who is anti the New Year Resolution, you see it as a pointless cliché way to set yourself up for a fail, that you shouldn’t need N.Y to be the time to make a change. Because if you really wanted something then you’d just do it any time, right?!

Or you are that person who is up for a change and need this as a kick up the butt to get you motivated to do something different, to challenge yourself in some way. With Christmas out of the way surely it’s the best time to start?

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We set goals ALL YEAR Round, we just don’t publicise it the way we do at this time of year. But by telling family and friends what your “resolutions” are, you become more accountable. It’s also a great way to encourage each other to start something new that you may not want to tackle solo. When you start a challenge with someone else, you’ve got a motivator at the ready that doesn’t want to let the side down either.

 

Forget the “New Year, New Me” BS, chances are you’re already awesome just as you are, but most people don’t like standing still, not improving in some areas of their life. Weather that be with their health, in their career, financially or in education. So I like to use N.Y to present a starting point to improve on my weaknesses or learn something new.

 

Everyone hates January, FACT! So I see this as a way to stay focused this month on new things that challenge me, as well as still keeping up with those personal goals I have set myself previously throughout the years.

 

Last year I made the decision to go vegetarian, to cut out all meat from my diet. I have not looked back since. In an ideal world I would like say I could have gone all the way and gone Vegan, but admittedly making such a drastic change to so many aspects of my life kept me from going all the way. What I can say now is that making a smaller change to begin with has put me in good stead to take the next step.

 

If you are thinking of making some changes to your life, weather it be diet or any other; set yourself a realistic goal, write down how you plan to achieve it and what steps you can take to help motivate you and keep you on track when the times get tough. Tell your friends and family if you think they will support you, if you don’t feel they will that’s ok. This is about the changes that you want to make, no one else.

 

We all know the person we want to be. Remember more often than not, the only person standing in the way of your own success is you.

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My Bangkok – The Alternative To-Do List

With Bangkok’s reputation for parties and dodgy street food, I never thought it would actually end up being on my guilty pleasures list of places to visit.

After school I never made to pilgrimage around Asia to ‘find myself’ or have a ‘Gap Yahh’ to explore Buddhist Temples and rave at Full Moon Parties. Instead I moved to Melbourne, I worked there and travelled as much as I could for two years before returning back to the U.K. Bangkok was never really on the radar for me or on my most wanted list, but when I saw the code BKK appear on my roster, I was intrigued and excited to be exploring a new corner of the world.

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Save the Tuk Tuk for joy rides, not rush hour.

I have been to Bangkok 3 times now with my airline, for six days in total. Each trip has been completely different and I’ve seen a different side to this crazy city with each visit. My first trip was shortly after their King, had passed away last year. The country was in a state of mourning (a whole year to be precise) but it didn’t really affect me as a visitor, only that a few roads at the time were closed for processions, meaning I had to catch a boat up the river instead to see some temples, which ended up being a really great way to see another side of Bangkok, and to see some floating markets, something I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. In terms of culture, Bangkok is brimming with temples and shrines, but if you’re only going to see one make sure it’s the Sleeping Buddha. A huge golden Buddha who is led down “asleep” it is a pretty impressive sight, and a little different to the more commonly seen seated Buddhas.

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A floating market, where you can buy anything from coconuts to souvenirs.

My advise to you if you want to get around Bangkok is try and use the train line wherever possible, it’s super easy to use and the by far the cheapest way to get around. Yes, a Tuk Tuk is fun and definitely a must if you’ve never had a ride in one but save them for short journeys not during rush hour, otherwise you may as well walk if the traffic is bad. I’d never seen a city whose traffic jams are comparable to London, until coming here – yes I’m ashamed to say I still haven’t been to NYC! If you were thinking about cycling around this city, I would reconsider your options, the pavements are fairly ropey and at times the roads non existent, even sticking to the main roads you still have the pot holes and crazy local drivers to contend with!

Walking is the best option for short distances, but keep your belongings safe and don’t wear flip-flops! My first two trips went fine, until my recent trip I was out walking in flip-flops when the heavens opened. For over an hour it poured, I couldn’t hail a taxi and I was miles away from my hotel. The roads quickly became rivers, which meant that crossing them in flip-flops became near impossible because you’re essentially wading through a river full of rubbish and dirt

One thing that will never leave me is the smell of Bangkok, which is especially pungent when it’s hot and wet, which is most of the time.

For all of Bangkok’s weirdness I have really enjoyed each of my trips, by looking beyond the typical tourist attractions of the red lights and pingpong shows I’ve managed to find some peaceful corners of this crazy city.

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Finding a moment of peace in the rain on my hotel’s rooftop.

I am strangely proud to say that (so far!) each time I’ve managed to not get food poisoning, be robbed or mugged off too badly as a tourist – well at least I think I haven’t on that last one. I also think that going vegetarian has also helped me out hugely too on the food poisoning front. In two out of three trips I have returned home with one crew member less, with one often falling victim to Bangkok Belly.

With that said, I’ve compiled a list of fun things I like to do in Bangkok, and a couple of my favourite places to eat too if you’re looking for somewhere tried and tested!

Get A Thai Massage

An experience I won’t forget in a hurry… At the most authentic massage parlours you shouldn’t expect to pay much. Leave your shoes at the door and slip into some linen PJs for a full body experience for only 150BKT – around £3.50 (not including tip). Be prepared to get into some funky positions, clicked, cracked, elbowed and not to mention stood on. Your personal masseuse will leave NO stone unturned, so get ready for those knots in your neck to have some serious attention, by attention I mean borderline torture.

Drop In Cross Fit Class

If you wanted to escape to smog of the city and really get some air into your lungs, check out Aspire Club, conveniently placed right by the Asok stop on the BTS Skytrain. They have a range of classes including Cross Fit, which they host on the roof! The setting makes a challenging workout more interesting, but being outside also means there’s no aircon and Bangkok is humid! Be prepared to get sweaty and don’t forget to strap your hands and chalk up!

Yoga Fly @ The Pilates Station

Take the weight off with this super fun class that combines yoga, acrobatics, Pilates and dance. Don’t be fooled by the petite Thai instructor she means business, with no slacking under her watch – you will feel the burn and your balance will be seriously put to the test  in this hour long class designed to strengthen and stretch your muscles.

May Veggie Home

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Spring rolls from May Veggie Home the first ever all Vegan restaurant in Bangkok.

Keen to try out some authentic Thai food with a difference? Then look no further, May Veggie was the first ever all vegan Thai restaurant in Bangkok. The animal product free menu has so many local flavours to try, the food is fresh and colourful. I loved the Thai green curry, rainbow spring rolls and baked tofu with a classic satay dipping sauce.

Shopping at The MBK Market

I’m not a huge shopping fan but this market has it all; handbags and sunglasses to the elephant print pants that you can pass off as originals from your gap year back in 2010. Wow that makes me feel old. Plus if you fancy your hand at bartering for a good price, you are sure to get a bargain for your souvenirs.

An Inversion Yoga Class

Get upside down in more ways than one at Yogatique’s intermediate class. Set to some soulful tunes and the empowering voice of Minh your inspiring instructor, you are mentally prepared for a decent class; the other give away is the full to the brim studio of regulars. You will get into some funky variations and explore some alternative head and shoulder stands, as well as working on your overall strength and stamina. Without doubt one of the most testing yoga classes I’ve been to.

Broccoli Revolution

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The ‘Best Selling’ quinoa burger – Broccoli Revolution

Another all vegan restaurant but this one might offer a sweet escape if you’ve over done it on the scorpion skewers. Broccoli Revs is my ideal food joint, yes we are talking smoothie bowls, quinoa burgers and green juices galore. It’s also just a pretty cool place to hangout if want to relax with a coffee and escape the passing deluge.

Interview for ELLE UK

I have some super exciting news to share with you!!

I was recently asked by Katie O’Malley at ELLE UK to talk about my top 5 tips to staying fit and healthy on the go! I love talking about this because I want to share with everyone that it is ACHIEVABLE to maintain a healthy diet and exercise whilst travelling. Weather you are going on holiday, backpacking around the globe for 6 months, or like me travel frequently for work you can stay on track with your health, without missing out or making huge sacrifices.

I also cover my top 10 places to eat amazing healthy food around the world, and also 5 of my favourite classes and places to work out too!

Click the link to see the full article!

http://www.elleuk.com/life-and-culture/culture/news/a37402/flight-attendant-tips-healthy-fitness-regime/

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The ‘F Word’

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Have you ever burst into tears because you couldn’t decide what to have for supper? Truth is, I have.

 

People often see the life of a flight attendant as glamorous and exciting. Who can blame them, when you can go from breakfast in Paris to cocktails and tapas in Barcelona in the same day?

 

It is very common for cabin crew to suffer from the “f word” as it is so often referred to, because it is not ever used lightly and it isn’t easy to talk about. Airlines have strict guidelines they must adhere to with crew’s schedules, including honoring minimum rest periods, controlling limitations of movement between time zones and maximum duty hours. However, they are not always realistic for the human body tolerate, a slow gradual build up of sleep deprivation, with long working hours, early and late starts can really creep up on you.

 

Fatigue can affect anyone and everyone’s symptoms can range from physical symptoms like headaches, feeling weak, having slow responses and poor decision making skills. To emotional symptoms such as; suffering from depression, anxiety, being easily irritated, and even experiencing insomnia.

 

I myself, turn into the most volatile and irritated person on earth when I am fatigued. My decision-making skills are thrown out of the window; if you ask me how I am doing, I will either bite your head off or struggle to string a sentence together that actually makes any sense. Or better yet, cry if you ask me if I want my eggs scrambled or poached. So much so I actually make my family and loved ones nervous upon my arrival home from a long trip away, as they never know quite what condition I will be in.

 

I’m not talking about falling asleep on your jump seat kind of tired, although that is not ideal either. I’m talking about going to sleep for 12 hours and waking up feeling worse than you did the night before. In the same day, I will not be able to fall asleep and will suffer at the mercy of my good friend – insomnia.

 

Admittedly, talking about being tired is a fairly dull topic. However the truth is when the ‘f word’ hits; we make bad choices, selfish decisions and give into temptations. Not to mention as crew we put ourselves, colleagues, aircraft and passengers all in danger, but also jeopardies our personal relationships, health and wellbeing.

 

So although I do not have all the answers and still struggle a great deal with fatigue, I would not wish it upon anyone else. So I’ve done a little of my own research to avoid it in the first place, to help combat any symptoms and hopefully keep this pesky soul sucker away.

 

Get ahead of the problem Study your roster, look for periods that might pose fatigue risk and prepare for them. If you can, swap off certain duties. Give yourself as much rest as possible during tight turn around periods. Plan your rest before a night flight.

 

Try to get good at sleeping Sounds obvious, but the more you get used to napping the less time it will take to fall asleep when you need to rest before a duty, or have rest within a duty.

 

Make your bedroom a sleepy zone Create a relaxed environment in your own room, with no TV or bright screens, read books not twitter. Including in the your hotel room, I never turn my TV on and always put my phone on the other side of the room.

 

Check your overall health If you are genuinely worried about long term or chronic fatigue; speak to your doctor and get an assessment.

 

Spend more time in corpse pose As if I needed to preach the benefits of yoga anymore. British studies show that after just 1 class a week for 6 weeks; clients reported improved energy and clearer thinking.

 

Up your water intake Dehydration alone can decrease alertness and cause lack of concentration, so drink plenty of water especially before and after a flight.

 

Cut the caffeine Only use it as stimulant to keep you awake when you need it. Caffeine can stay in your system for 3-5 hours, so ditch it as your go-to to avoid over doing it.

 

Take some time out If you just cannot catch up with yourself, so take leave or report your fatigue to your airline or workplace. Most companies have allowances for fatigue related time off.

 

The Benefits Of Yoga After A Flight

I love my job, but sometimes it can be hard to combat the physical and mental stresses flying can cause. I’ve practiced yoga for a few years now and during this time I have learnt to take key elements of my classes away with me to help alleviate some of the stresses cause by flying for long periods of time. Here are some of the best ways to use yoga after a flight, or just in general if you’re stressed, want to relieve aches and pains or improve your circulation and mental wellbeing.

 

Sleep aid for insomnia Travelling through time zones, working long days with little sleep or early starts can leave your body confused and often I find, overtired. Even after being awake travelling for 24 hours I can sometimes find myself collapsing into bed exhausted yet struggling to fall asleep. Yoga helps focus your attention to your breathing, allowing you to clear your mind, thinking about nothing else other than inhaling and exhaling. The more you bring your focus to your breathing, the more you feel all of your muscles start to relax, starting from your toes all the way up to your forehead. If I find myself tossing and turning unable to sleep, I will lie in Savasana or ‘Corpse Pose’, a restorative pose where you lie flat on your back, feet relaxed and turned outwards with your palms facing up. This pose helps take uneven pressure off the spine and neck and also helps relax the diaphragm so you can breathe more freely.

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Easing lower back pain Another benefit to lying in Savasana is, when done properly, it helps to relax the muscles in your back, which often become tense and tired after sitting for long periods of time. I find it is the best way to ease lower back pain, brought on either from sitting still on a flight or from working as crew, where during a long shift it is easy to forget your manual handling techniques and not lift things correctly. This is especially common I find when closing some awkward overhead lockers which are over-full. It takes a lot of strength if you can’t get someone else to assist you! Also lifting heavy objects, such as canisters and trolley tops, in awkward spaces such as small galleys can leave you with a tight lower back too. Obviously it’s better to first try to lift correctly, but if you do find yourself with some tightness, I find that lying on my back and hugging my knees into my chest – a common stretch used in yoga to massage out the sacroiliac – can really help and almost eradicate the problem immediately. Try rolling from side to side and in small circles to relieve pain and pressure points, then lie back into Savasana to relax and allow any tension to leave the body. 

Reboost your blood flow A common problem I encounter with long flights are complaints about swollen feet and ankles. When you’re working on a flight this isn’t such a problem as you tend to be on your feet moving, but sitting for hours on end can lead to this. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes it can be painful, you are also highly at risk if you suffer from DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), which if left untreated can lead to blot clots. Yoga is especially good at moving the blood around your hands and feet, which will help ease the swelling to these areas. Spending just a few minutes in an inversion (where your heart is higher than your head) like a headstand or shoulder stand will increase the rate of blood flow to your heart, which in turn gets pumped back to your lungs to be re-oxygenated.

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Decease Bloat I hate that bloated feeling you get after a flight, so I find doing some gentle movements can really help get your body and your digestive system back on track. Manipulating your internal organs by using twisting motions will help move blood and fluid around your body, try a twisted seating pose or a bind. I personally also find that simply sitting in Child’s Pose can really help, as your knees put gentle pressure on your internal organs to help release any trapped gas and toxins.

Mental Wellbeing Frequent flyer or not, operating as crew or travelling as a passenger, sipping Moet in first or slumming it in economy – travelling is stressful. I could list the number of influencing factors that bring so much stress to travelling but I would be here forever. Taking 5 minutes to yourself after a long journey or flight can really help clear your mind and refocus, remind yourself of why you are where you are, why you are doing the job and what benefits you can now gain from this trip. Forget Mr. Andrews sat in 11A and his screaming brat of a child who kept kicking your seat, and forget about how frustrating it is (again) trying to get two grown adults to talk reasonably to each other about weather a seat is to be reclined and not reclined *smacks palm to face*

Find somewhere comfortable and quiet, in any seated position you can happily stay still in for longer than 5 minutes. Close your eyes, breath deeply, inhale and exhale those negative thoughts. Think about nothing other than your breathing, go to your “happy place” if you know where that is… I am yet to find mine so don’t worry if that’s not there for you. I’m not saying you have to chant three “Ohms” or anything; it’s just good to center yourself for a moment or two. This generally helps me make better decisions when I am down route, as I am normally short on time due to our layovers becoming increasingly shorter and shorter. I worry that I spend a lot of time deciding what to do with my precious time, which in turn wastes that time! I find these fives minutes spent in a medative state help me focus on the priorities and what I really want to get out of a trip. The overall goal here for me is to calm my thoughts and make better choices about what I do with my time, what I say and what I consume. Of all of the benefits I have touched on, this to me is by far the most useful tool I have when recovering from a long day of travel.

If you’re looking to start yoga or attend a practice somewhere else other than your normal class or comfort zone, here are a few of my personal recommendations from the places I have visited.

United Sates:

San Diego – Yoga One

Washington – Tysons Bikram Yoga

Seattle – Sweat Box (Bikram)

Bali:

Canguu – The Practice

Canguu – Serenity Eco House Yoga

South Africa:

Capetown – Hotdog Yoga

Johannesburg – Planet Fitness Yoga/Hot Yoga

Bangkok:

The Pilates Station

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“Yoga Fly” @ The Pilates Station, Bangkok

A long awaited trip to Bali

I write this sitting on a flight back home from a trip away to a place I have been dreaming of visiting for years. Bali. Beautiful Bali, a country I had shaped in my mind, and from my friend’s stories, to be the most blissful place on Earth. With beautiful weather, warm seas, glorious tropical surroundings and a yoga retreat on every corner, I had already built it up to be a place that I immediately would want to pack my bags and runaway to forever, even before my first visit.

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Thanks to a Qatar sale, some last minute decision-making and ignoring the fact that it was wet season, I was on my way. For me, travelling in more of a “backpacker” style is now somewhat a novelty that I love and miss. As most of my trips are away with my airline, I don’t get to decide where I stay, whom I am with and I always feel so limited with so little time. This time I went with my boyfriend, two of his friends, and I had nine whole days; a huge luxury for me – in fact I was secretly a little worried I would get bored.

Bali is everything I imagined it to be, and more. We stayed in Canggu, a town South West on the island, brimming with organic cafes, surf shops, juice bars and yoga studios galore. Every day was a struggle to decide where to eat, because you’re just so spoilt for choice. From day one I made the decision to eat vegetarian wherever possible, simply because it is so easy as there is so much choice if you are a vegetarian or even vegan. There are so many vegetarian and vegan restaurants here; you could turn the most carnivorous of meat eaters veggie. In traditional Balinese cooking, eggs, chicken and fish are commonly used in a lot of local dishes, however the majority are Hindu, so beef is not as popular. The food here is delicious as the island has so many natural and fresh resources like ginger, garlic, thyme and turmeric. A favourite staple of mine is the coconut, which grows here and can be found in so many dishes and used in such a variety of ways, from curries to smoothies and in clever vegan alternatives.

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One of Crate Cafe’s colourful creations

 

You would have a job to find processed food in Canggu, most cafés are now Australian owned or influenced and have a clean and healthy approach to eating. Your average breakfast menu includes colourful smoothie bowls, decorated acai bowls, smashed avo with eggs on sourdough, English breakfast with added greens and of course a cold pressed juice or organic coffee. If there was one thing I wish I could take home with me it would have to be the coffee in Bali, not one of the many cafes I visited disappointed me. Never too bitter, never too weak, never too hot or too cold. One thing is sure, the Balinese people have learnt from the Australians how to make the perfect flat white, or maybe it is the other way around? I forgot to ask.

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Coffee Art comes as standard with every flat – The Hungry Bird

Being one of the best places on the planet to practice Yoga, I couldn’t wait to get into a full week of testing my limits and trying the various types of yoga. The cost of a class here ranges from around £6-8 for a drop in, or you can pick up a week’s pass for a little less. I dropped into Serenity’s Eco House yoga for my first couple of days; whilst the guys surfed I picked an early morning Mysore class, a practice I had never done before. I found it challenging in many ways, with poses I have never attempted before, but with 3 instructors to individually help you into poses, there is plenty of encouragement. For people that shun yoga and think it’s easy, I would challenge them to complete a Mysore class here, especially in this tropical climate. All I can say is, I’m glad I practiced my headstands and keep your sweat towel close by!

I went for a second day of Mysore at Serenity and also a Surfer’s yoga practice later in the week, which was half Vinyassa half Hatha, more commonly practiced in the West. If you want an authentic yoga surrounding, with all the yogic terms, all green, all veggie and eco friendly, this is the place for you to visit. They have several open-air attic style studios, with communal areas to chill after your practice and their Alkaline café is exactly that. Detox heaven. They even have a ‘Gong’ meditation if you want to experience something a little different.

You can easily become acclimatised to the pace of life in Canggu, starting each day with a choice between a run on the beach, some yoga or an early surf to start your day. Nipping around on a hired scooter is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get around. The roads are narrow and in some places cobbled making them a little scary at peak times, but what I love about it is its authenticity. You won’t find tall buildings or even road signs, there don’t seem to be any driving rules either, but people just get on with it. You just beep to let someone know you’re there, and that’s pretty much it!

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Coconuts big enough to fit a small man inside – Echo Beach

If there was one thing I was a little disappointed in it would have to be the amount of rain we had during our stay. Maybe I am naïve in thinking a tropical country couldn’t see that much constant rain in such a short time, but I was blown away to see the field opposite our hotel turn into a lake in just one day. Nevertheless, there is still plenty to do if you don’t mind exploring in the wet. The best thing you will spend money on is a rain mack, for about £3 it will save your holiday. Don’t get me wrong the rain is pleasantly warm and actually enjoyable, one evening I was doing a HIIT workout on the roof of the hotel and it started raining torrentially. But it didn’t bother me because I was already dripping with sweat – it was like having a shower at the same time!

Things to do when it rains in Bali are also some of the most enjoyable, like going to get a massage. We went to a spa called Therapy Canggu for an amazing back massage when it didn’t look as though the rain would ever stop, but by the time we came out it had. You can visit one of the many temples, such as Tannah Lot, the floating temple. Or spend a lazy afternoon chilling in one of the many awesome cafes, drinking organic coffee and browsing surf photography collections.

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Milk & Madu’s amazing French toast

As far as gyms go in the area, there are two Cross Fit gyms in the Canggu; S2S Cross Fit and Wanderlust Cross Fit.  If you’re new to Cross Fit then S2S offer a free intro class, which is good for beginners. Firstly you work on technique for one movement, after a quick warm up we learnt the ‘kipping’ technique which helps you with movements such as ‘toes to bar’ and pull ups. You then move onto the WOD (work out of the day), which was 12 minutes of continuous ‘wall balls”. If you dropped the ball, missed the marker, or stopped to rest you had to complete 10 toes to bar, the next time you had to do 10 burpees. It was a pretty horrendous workout and after so much bar work warming up, my upper body was shot, so I quite literally refused to drop the ball! Eight minutes into non-stop wall balls, I dropped the ball for the first time to complete my first set of toes to bar. After 12 minutes had past I had completed a total of 210 wall balls. I was finished; even though I won the WOD it wasn’t worth being able to not walk for two days after, I couldn’t even bring myself to practice any yoga.

The Wanderlust Cross Fit is well worth a visit too, it’s much bigger and they also have a decent timetable of Cross Fit classes if you too want to push yourself to the max. Or not. You might be a normal person who likes to have the full use of their limbs whilst on holiday.

 

There’s something so easy about life in Bali, the service is amazing everywhere you go, the locals are so inviting and there’s a cool mix of people on holiday from families learning to surf to backpackers and yogis. One thing is for sure – if you love to be outside, you will love Bali. I’ve been lucky enough to see some amazing places in the last couple of years with my job, but I must say that Bali has fast become a favourite and somewhere I already can’t wait to come back to and keep exploring.

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Upside down at The Voyager Boutique Creative Retreat

I have left Bali with glowing sun kissed skin and more importantly the clearest skin I have had in years. As someone who suffers with dry irritated skin, in general and from flying so frequently, the humidity has breathed new life into my skin. Alongside eating exceptionally cleanly all week and getting plenty of nutrients from fresh whole foods, I don’t think I have ever returned from holiday feeling and looking better than before I left.

I only live in hope that Bali doesn’t change too much between now and my next visits. Even in their wettest of months it was surprisingly busy; so I can only imagine how over crowded the roads must become and how much competition there would be for a spot on the beach or waves in the summer. Not to mention the many new buildings that were popping up all over the place. I know Canggu is already a popular place for tourists and I’m sure it’s a good thing for their economy and the people of Bali more importantly, but I just hope it doesn’t lose it’s soul somewhere along the way trying to make everyone else happy.

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Breakfast at Milk & Madu

 

 

The SoCal Life

img_7960I fly into San Diego on a 747 Jumbo Jet, which is by far the biggest aircraft that comes into this tiny airport. The locals all know when it’s coming in, mostly because of the roar of its four engines and also because it barely misses one of the public car parks as it makes its entry onto the just-about-long-enough runway, with enough time to stop. Let’s just say it makes for an interesting view if you are lucky enough to sit in a window seat, or even better, the flight deck for landing.

San Diego has to be (so far) my most favourite city in the states to visit. I have tactically learned to deal with the jet lag here, knowing I will always wake up early with the eight hour time difference, I always have a plan to go to the earliest yoga class I can find. Yoga One in downtown have a 6.30 sunrise classes most days which is perfect for this. I have been several times over the period of a year, the teachers are always so friendly and amazingly, remember me each time.

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The 100 Conference Centre Steps

When seeking a more intense workout I will always plan a visit to the Conference Centre stairs along the port. The Conference Centre stairs are a really popular workout spot for just about anybody who wants a challenge, totaling 100 steps, each one loved and probably a little hated by many fitness enthusiasts like myself. You can make up your own workout, alternating step patterns, adding squat jumps, push ups, whatever you like, however crazy, you can create a really diverse and intense workout. Often I see PTs holding boot camps with large groups, it does get quite busy at peak times though and competition for right of way can be fierce! Having said that, if the jet lag has taken it out of you, just walking up and down can also create a really beneficial low impact workout. The great thing about this spot is the view of the both the Port and the City, it’s a nice atmosphere training alongside other’s outside and it’s essentially a free gym!

San Diego is steeped in outdoor activities from paddle boarding and surfing to running and cycling in Balboa Park or hiking in Palm Canyon. Why not cross the bridge to Coronado island with your bike by Ferry and cruise around the picturesque streets lined full of perfect displays of the ‘American Dream’ lifestyle? The houses are unbelievable! Whatever you decide to do, personally there is not a trip long enough to fit it all in, I still have a long list of new things to try here which never seems to shorten.

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Paddle Boarding in The Harbour Marina

It’s well known that Californian’s eat well and look after themselves, I guess when you live in a place that’s hot most of the year, it’s always bikini season! Being in America, you can literally find any cuisine you can think of, but of course being a stone’s throw from LA the home of ‘clean eating’ healthy food is easily accessible. I’ve just about tried nearly every organic, super food, vegetarian, vegan food joint I can find and I have made a short list of places I love the most!

 

Undoubtedly my favourite cafe is; Cafe Gratitude a plant based (all vegan!) restaurant situated in the beautiful area of Little Italy. Their Breakfast is an absolute must, boasting a lengthy menu of goodies from buckwheat pancakes with cashew cream, chia seed pudding with fresh fruit, organic coffees, cold pressed juices and awesome power smoothies and of course wellness shots!

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Chia Seed Pudding at Cafe Gratitude

Sol Cal Cafe is another great place for breakfast close to the Gaslamp Quarter. Here you can grab yourself some smashed avocado with eggs on toast, or the best Acai bowl in the city. You also get a free organic coffee with every breakfast, what more could you want?

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Juice Crafter’s Acai Protein Bowl

One of my favourite places to get a fresh juice or smoothie is Juice Crafters, you can find a couple of these dotted around the city, and there’s also one on Coronado Island. It ticks a lot of boxes; all vegan, organic, non gmo and locally sourced. If you’re looking for something filling you should try one of their chickpea wraps or one of my favourites, the Acai protein bowl loaded with walnuts, strawberries and almond butter.

Why not try California’s healthy version of fast food? Tender Greens is a chain with a “fast food” style approach to dining with the outcome of nothing but delicious goodness. From giant salads topped with tender steak, to warming soups and tasty vegan dishes, there’s something to please everyone. Plus the staff are always super friendly!

I literally could go on and on about how cool this city is and how easy it is to be healthy in San Diego, coming here for me now has become somewhat of a ritual, sometimes I feel like it’s my second home – or at least I wish it was! Besides the lack of sleep which comes (to me) with traveling west, overcoming that I generally arrive home feeling happy and healthy. I put this down to the amount of time I get to spend outside exercising and how easy it is to find great, healthy food. Also the lovely, friendly people of San Diego might have a little something to do with that too.

If you too have been to San Diego or live there and there’s something I should check out please do let me know, I’m always looking for fun and new things to try. If you want any more information on the places or activities I’ve mentioned please do let me know if you are planning a visit!

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Coronado Island Beach