Arriving in India I waited for the famous Indian culture shock for quite a while. Visiting Kerala, the most southern province of India, was a bit overwhelming, but there was nothing that was too much for our senses. My first true culture shock came while visiting the Calcutta flower market also known as the Mallik Ghat market. It was a very powerful experience and still is one of the activities I’ll recommend when visiting Calcutta or Kolkata in West Bengal, India. Just as I’m putting it on your to-do list, it was praised to us as a true local experience by a friend of a friend and, he was right. This flower market is, just as most things in India, unlike any other flower market you have visited before. I went thinking of Columbia flower market in London or the local foreigners market (aka vreemdelingenmarkt) in Antwerp and quickly had to adjust my expectations. First of all they don’t sell flowers to put in vases and you will most certainly not find any plants. What you will find is fresh flower petals, flower heads, flower decorations and garlands in all colors and shapes. Most of these flowers will be used for ceremonial purposes and only a small fraction of the flowers will be used to decorate a home, unless there is a ceremony held within. The most important flowers are yellow and orange marigolds, roses, orchids and several other flowers that all serve a different religious and/or medicinal purpose in daily Indian life. Continue Reading
If there is ever a place to enjoy life in Vietnam, it most surely is in Hoi An. This cosy town in the middle of the country is full of exceptionally beautiful colonial buildings and has the best food, excellent shopping, a cosy atmosphere and one of the best spas of the entire country. Almost everybody that comes to this city stays longer than they intended to. I know I did. Since the city is most likely located halfway through your trip, whether you’re going south to north or the other way around, it’s the perfect place to relax, regroup and head back into the hustle and bustle of the rest of the country. Besides you’re going to need a couple of days anyway if you want to have some garments custom-made. Hoi An is after all thé place to do it. Sure, they will tell you that it can be ready within 24h, but when it comes down to it, you don’t want a badly finished piece of clothing nor do you want to be the person that is making the seamstresses work through the night. But most importantly, this is the city to eat, A LOT. The food here is by far the best I’ve eaten in Vietnam and you can even learn how to make it. Enjoy yourself with way too much shopping (I had to send a box home) or a trip to one of my favorite spas. Continue Reading
Most of the time, the favorite pieces of my wardrobe are pieces I picked up from abroad. This blog post is a beautiful example of Vietnam meets Antwerp. This kimono is another one the pieces I had made in Hoi An and I am in love with it. As you can read in my post of the time, I wanted a powder pink blazer and a long kimono, but I just decided to combine the two instead of making separates. The fabrics for kimonos were not right and the fit for the blazers were not modern enough. That being said, it is not the easiest piece to combine. Might be because it has the tendency to look like a giant powder pink bathrobe. But as it is a powder pink kimono, all combinations are possible. For this day I went for ripped denim to counterbalance the soft color of the kimono. Continue Reading
I’m writing this blogpost from the airplane that will bring me to Bangkok. The capital of Thailand, the first place I ever saw in Asia (or outside Europe for that matter) and the start of my South-East Asian trip back in January. I’m writing this post on the third time I take this journey and I am writing this because I’m flying solo (again).
The question I get asked the most about traveling by yourself is, “Doesn’t it get lonely?”. To answer this question I would have to say yes and no… Continue Reading
Lately I’ve been feeling a bit jaded with the cookie-cutter fashion found in high street retail stores and I have been craving unique pieces. Expensive but gorgeous pieces of the high fashion industry, however, are far beyond my budget. Not when you’re traveling through Asia though. A couple of months ago I wrote a post about the shopping heaven that Hoi An in Vietnam is. I had several pieces custom made but I haven’t had the chance to show you these yet. This pair of shorts is the first item on to appear on the blog and it is one of a kind. Not only because I had it custom made but also because this fabric is actually meant for traditional Laos skirts (known as a sinh). I picked it up on the mainland next to Don Det and was carrying it around until I arrived in Hoi An. Continue Reading
Sunset on the Maldives is an event on its own. Every evening we would make sure to look for a nice viewpoint, whether it was on the beach or on the rooftop of our hotel (if you have a closer look, you can see our faces on their booking page ;)). One day the clouds would be perfectly reflected into the ocean, the other day we would be amazed by the colors in the sky or the flying foxes in the air. Continue Reading
I spent most of my time in Bali surfing. For about a week, my time at Solid Surf House was divided between two yoga sessions and six hours of surfing every day. It felt great to be so physically active. The combination of surfing and yoga trained my entire body (more than I ever expected) and even though I enjoyed spending the entire day in the water, it was also pretty exhausting. I had to make sure I took good care of my body so I would have the energy to get up on my board. I got plenty of sleep, ate good food and always took a beach bag with me filled with my essentials. Continue Reading