journal https://www.mahabis.com/blogs/journal living the mahabis lifestyle Sat, 18 Feb 2017 02:05:23 GMT en-us sunday guide to // rome https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/sunday-guide-to-rome sunday guide to // rome
sunday guide to rome
sunday guide to // rome
mahabis

sunday guide to // rome

 

Italy is one of those romanticised places, heavily featured in film, television and even music. Not without good reason, though; the language, the food, the architecture and the atmosphere... Certain places in Italy invoke those feelings of freedom and openness which lead to the creation of irreplaceable memories. Rome is a city like no other. Rich with history and the supposed birthplace of civilisation, we've collated the musts for a modern twist on the ancient city.

 

 

eat // 

Italian food reaches far beyond the country's borders, inspiring sub-cuisines and chefs, cookbooks and restaurants around the world. True Italian food at it's best is rustic and simple, featuring fresh ingredients such as basil, tomato and mozzarella heavily in menus. If this is the type of food you seek on your trip to Roma, look no further than the traditional Trattorias. The Pigneto neighbourhood especially features chic little eateries like Porchettoni. Here you'll taste olives like nowhere else and rich house wines served by carafe, not bottle.

 

do //

This truly is an experience you'll never have seen before, and most likely will never see anywhere else. You can train to be a gladiator for as little as a two hour class, in order to get a taste of the battle skills and gall needed by a true Roman gladiator. Alternatively, should you be lucky enough to stay longer, you may enroll in Gladiator School, to learn theory, history, practical skills and gain a real understanding of the lifestyle of the ferocious warriors.

 

 

see //

The Pyramid of Cestius is essentially a 2000-year-old pyramid in the centre of Rome. It's actually built into the ramparts, or city walls which were commissioned by Emperor Aurelian. An intriguing sight, the juxtaposition of the crude construction with the stunning architecture that surrounds it is curious.

Sadly the story behind its arrival in Rome isn't nearly as odd as the way it looks in it's placing. Quite simply, the Italians went through a fashion of taking inspiration from Egypt. It was constructed as Gaius Cestius' tomb but isn't a well known tourist attraction as it only opens two days per month.

 

stay //

After the delicious food, exploration and potential warrior experience, you'll need somewhere comfortable and fresh to rest your weary head. If you like to stay in a room with a view then Boscolo Exedra is the place for you. Overlooking Piazza della Repubblica, this luxurious offering allows you to bathe in Rome's only rooftop pool. Edged with cabanas, it provides a regal view and a feeling of grandeur of times long past. 

For those who like to feel close to the bustle of a city rather than perched over it, the G Rough has a more artsy, boutique feel. Nestled in the bosom of Piazza di Pasquino it proudly displays soft furnishings, art and decor from homegrown designers and artisans of the mid-1900s.

 

 

 

images // Ludwig Thalheimer, Chantel Lucas, Jan Tielens

 

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five scandinavian foods to try https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/ice-fire-and-feasts-scandinavian-foods-to-love five scandinavian foods to try
ice, fire and feasts; five scandinavian foods to love
five scandinavian foods to try
mahabis

five scandinavian foods to try

 

When the world outside is stark and white with skeletal trees and frozen lakes; nothing can compare to curling up beneath a blanket and indulging in pure comfort food until Spring. Fortunately, Scandinavia knows how to whip up wonderful feasts from foraged berries, the land and the sea. Read on to find out more about these delights from the land of ice and fire and Viking lore.

 

five scandinavian foods to try

 

 

Smørrebrød //

The Danish open faced sandwich is the stuff of legends. Hearty, dark rye bread is topped with sweet salt beef, pretty pickled herring with biting horseradish cream, or cured salmon with a slice of lemon and dill. The Smørrebrød is an art form – an integral part of café culture.

 

The Swedish waffle //

The Swedish waffle is thin and crisp and warm on the tongue. Waking up early on a cold day, padding softly to the kitchen and cooking up sweet waffles is the epitome of a sleepy Sunday morning. Blend beautiful frozen fjord cultures by topping with a dollop of bright and sour cloudberry jam. 

 

fjord culture

 

Artsoppa //

Served on Thursdays, when the wind is biting and you want to sit at a trestle table and sup something warm. This golden and glorious yellow split pea soup is simmered with sweet marjoram and salted pork. Serve with a glob of fiery mustard and a shot of arak and thin pancakes for dunking.

 

Kanelbullar //

On frosty afternoons when the sun sinks low, nothing can brighten a dark sky like a fluffy bun doused in cinnamon. These melt on the tongue treats are perfect served with a tall glass of milk or ripe coffee, preferably while gathered for a catch up with your closest friends.

 

ice, fire and feasts; five scandinavian foods to love

 

 

Fried Herring //

Tiny fish fresh from the icy waters, mashed potato doused in fragrant parsley butter, and a spoonful of ripe lingonberries to bring a kiss of sweetness. This dish is the ultimate in comfort food fancy and is best enjoyed after a winter walk through a silent forest.

 

five scandinavian foods to love

 

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atmospheric norway, by nikita shuliahin https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/atmospheric-norway-nikita-shuliahin atmospheric norway, by nikita shuliahin
norway
atmospheric norway, by nikita shuliahin
mahabis

atmospheric norway, by nikita shuliahin

 

Norway is often known for being one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From it's glaciers to it's fjords, there is no denying the overwhelming natural beauty you can encounter there. We decided to take a look at some of Ukranian photographer Nikita Shuliahin's work, whose 'Atmospheric Norway' series captures some of Norway's lesser known spots. This lesser known landscape adds another layer to the scenery of Norway, one that is simultaneously captivating and haunting. Sit back, relax and lose yourself in these fascinating images.

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

photos via behance

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minimalist seating series, by wootek lim https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/minimalist-seating-series-wootek-lim minimalist seating series, by wootek lim
wa series
minimalist seating series, by wootek lim
mahabis

minimalist seating series, by wootek lim

 

Eastern and Western cultures consider the concept of space very differently. Whilst Eastern cultures are traditionally seen as preferring floor based sitting and slippers, Western cultures prefer sitting on chairs and sleeping on beds. Wootek Lim's 'wa series' takes these two different lifestyles and combines them into one. His design, combining the pillow, the legless chair, and the chair, is aimed at maintaining simplicity whilst also providing sufficient support.

 

minimalist seating

 

minimalist seating series

 

minimalist seating

 

minimalist seating

 

minimalist seating

 

minimalist seating

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

 

To see more of Wootek Lim's work, click here.

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feet up. mahabis on. unwind together. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/feet-up-slippers-on-unwind-together feet up. mahabis on. unwind together.
feet up. slippers on. unwind together.
feet up. mahabis on. unwind together.
mahabis

feet up. mahabis on. unwind together.

 

At mahabis we truly value our downtime. In the midst of the chaos of our day to day lives it’s important to take time to enjoy everything that you work so hard for. Often we focus on the serenity of spending time alone. It's at these times we're sure to put our mahabis on and breathe a sigh of content, whilst we absorb a good book or a simple moment of silence.

Whilst the peace of solitude is important to cherish, at this time of year we like to appreciate those we choose to surround ourselves with. Whether it be a partner, a friend or family, it’s important not to underestimate spending time with the people we love. Most of us are around others constantly, but the rush of the school run, pressure of productivity or a looming project can often occupy our minds.

Spending downtime with loved ones includes switching off from distractions, investing focus and energy into the people you are with. Take inspiration from the things you enjoy doing alone, and share your interests or hobbies with those you love. Take an interest in something your loved ones do, or something new and exciting. No matter the activity, just simply being with someone and sharing your downtime with someone else is relaxing.

In light of Valentine’s day we have asked some of our favourite ambassadors for their thoughts on how they like to unwind with others.

 

sharing downtime

jamie day 

 

"Once the children are in bed, we get to enjoy some downtime together. In most cases, after a day of dodging a minefield of Lego pieces, this will simply be knotting ourselves together on the sofa with a glass of red and a box set. This small yet essential daily luxury, gives us a chance to unwind, refuel and reconnect before we have to do it all over again in the morning."

 

sharing downtime

 

 

 

sharing downtime

laura pashby 

 

"On the rare occasions when my love and I get to spend a quiet morning together, it's pure luxury to cosy up and relax with a book and a cup of hot coffee."

 

sharing downtime

 

 

 

sharing downtime 

ali dover 

"Mine and my daughter Lucy's mahabis go literally everywhere with us; they are a tiny slice of home comfort and a natural treat for our feet."

 

sharing downtime

 

 

 

sharing downtime 

donna howell 

 

On the rare occasions that we have time sans child we love nothing more than a cosy day at home recharging with coffee, good food and a great box-set! The perfect way to unwind in comfort.

 

feet up. slippers on. unwind together.

 

 

feet up. mahabis on. unwind together.

 

 

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

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lunar effect, by mika suutari https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/lunar-effect-by-mika-suutari lunar effect, by mika suutari
lunar effect, mika suutari
lunar effect, by mika suutari
mahabis

lunar effect, by mika suutari

 

We take a look at the work of Finnish photographer Mika Suutari. Keen to take photos with a powerful atmosphere, Suutari's 'lunar effect' series captures night time at its best. The clear sky allows us to take in the magnitude of the universe we live in.

Sit back, relax, and lost yourself in some fascinating images of Finland at night.

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

Photos via behance

Click here to more of Mika Suutari's photography.

 

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2 https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/minimalist-instagram-inspiration-part-two minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2
minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2
minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2
mahabis

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

A short while ago we put together a few lesser known minimalist accounts. Here's another installation of inspiration to keep you going. Sit back, put your mahabis on, and enjoy.

 

lifestyle //

@labuchta is a Czech food blogger with a line of books. Featuring a lot of the stunning imagery and recipes from the books, their profile is worth a follow.

 

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

 

illustration //

@k.a.r.o.l.inka is a self-professed 'mother of wolves' and an artist attracted to simple things. Simple certainly equates to beautiful on this account, which flits between illustration and photography.

 

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

metal //

@wild_fawn_jewellery creates custom pieces of wearable art using precious metals. Hand made, sustainable, subtle pieces made in London adorn the Instagram profile, in addition to a smattering of flower petals and white linens.

 

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

 

abstract //

@encodedartwork, an account by graphic and abstract artist Richard Parsons features a broad range of works. Featuring photography, mixed media, graphic art and most recently, experiments in video, this one will continue to surprise and delight.

 

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

 

If you enjoyed our post or have a suggestion on a great instagram account, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

 

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relaxing cabin retreats https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/cabin-retreats relaxing cabin retreats
getaway cabins
relaxing cabin retreats
mahabis

relaxing cabin retreats

 

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

 

While the whisper of spring is still far from the horizon, now is the time to take advantage of dark nights and drizzly days. There is something about tramping across frozen ground and beneath the shadows of trees that makes you want to embrace the gift of downtime and write. For those who feel the need to put pen to paper escaping to remote and wild cabins could be just the answer to find a room of one’s own. Spend days collecting lingonberries and firewood, and evenings curled up beside the fire. Pack your journal, a cozy sweater, and lose yourself in the forest of your own thoughts.

 

cabins in the woods

 

 

Treehotel, Lulea, Sweden //

A tiny town hidden beneath the weight of snow – Lulea is celebrated as a simple place. Yet in the branches of the forest you will find architectural prowess as tiny homes cling to the trees. The Treehotel is one of the coolest B&B’s in the world with 7 different pods capturing 7 different styles. From the classic cabin hanging high in the canopy to the futuristic mirrored cube that sits camouflaged in-between the leaves, you can embrace pure cashmere Hygge beside the frozen lake.

 

cosy cabins in the woods

 

 

The Old Schoolhouse, Eilean Shona, Scotland //

The private island that whipped up the wonder of Neverland, Eilean Shona in Scotland was once a summer retreat for JM Barrie. The Scottish winds may whistle through the trees but you can take sanctuary inside The Old Schoolhouse. Toast your feet beside the coal fire, read by the flickering glow of gas lamp and sink down into a steaming claw footed tub at the end of the day.

 

 

Potter House, Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado //

Wake up to golden sunlight filtering through the peaks surrounding Potter House. In the calm of Colorado, the alpine ghost town of Dunton Hot Springs welcomes you in for a blissful escape. Trout fish shimmer in the ponds, sunset panoramas are sure to make you blush, and according to local lore this is where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out after their heist. With a fireplace in the master bedroom, exposed beams and tartan touches – this is the art of luxury wilderness living.

 

cosy cabins in the woods

 

 

Plusvilla L, Southern Finland //

Plusvilla L is a marvel of minimalist architecture and seems beautifully at home in the eerie landscape of Southern Finland, where the aurora borealis swirls against a midnight sky that doesn’t fade. Glass walls intercept scented pine and the in-house sauna provides pure rejuvenation after winter walks through forests seemingly frozen in time. Slate and wood floors, cream furnishings, and open plan living with few rooms ensures that Zen can flow through your pen as it does in this space. 

 

 cosy cabins in the woods

 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

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top ten coffee shops to visit worldwide https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/top-ten-coffee-shops-to-visit-worldwide top ten coffee shops to visit worldwide
top ten coffee shops
top ten coffee shops to visit worldwide
mahabis

top ten coffee shops to visit worldwide

 

As complex as wine, as ripe as spring, and a daily fix that boosts our energy – coffee can bring calm to a world of chaos. For dreamers, creatives, and those who dabble in small moments of luxury – coffee is nothing short of a ritual. Coffee shops can provide a church for that ritual.

Taking a moment to step away from the bustle of your day and sink into a steaming latte is something you can do across the globe. From the cherry blossoms of Japan to the snowy peaks of New Zealand – here are some of our favourite coffee shops in the world.

 

Skye Coffee, Barcelona //

A pop up coffee shop that took the Instagram world by storm – Skye Coffee started life as a food truck. The on the go coffee truck moved into Espacio 88, an eco-working space for creative types inside a simple warehouse. Beautiful flat whites are served out of a lovingly restored 1970’s Citroen truck in style.

 

skye cafe, barcelona

 

AP Café, Brooklyn //

Ever a haven for artists -Brooklyn has long been tempting the cool cult of modern society. AP Café provides a philosopher’s touch to the ethos of combing coffee with creative space. The décor is minimalist – a play on glass, wood, and light. Sit on a stone bench and sip a Vietnamese iced coffee while watching people scribe around you.

 

top ten coffee shops

 

Mirrors, Gifu, Japan //

In the spring, Japan turns into a frothy Monet picture of white and pink lace. The cherry blossoms are celebrated across the world and one coffee shop decided to make the most of this time. The Mirrors coffee shop in Gifu is true to its name - with mirrored gables reflecting the nature outside. Add in a Camilla tree, a white courtyard, and interior design that feels like you are sat beneath the boughs.

 

mirrors cafe, japan

 

 

Café Craft, Paris //

Freelancers descend upon Café Craft in the city of chic. The timeless black façade sits beside the hip Canal Saint Martin and offers long communal tables with a sleek and modern style. The café au lait and perfect buttered pastries stay true to the Parisian name.

 

top ten coffee shops

 

Knoll Ridge Café, New Zealand //

Drink a cup of hot java perched on the edge of a volcano at the Knoll Ridge Café. A feat of modern architectural design – this airy coffee shop is a wonder of blond timber, natural light, and alpine delights. Snuggle down with a coffee and feel safe and warm even when the winds are blowing and the snowstorms are settling in.

 

Dreamy Camera Café, South Korea //

One of the strangest, yet coolest coffee shops in the world – this is how you marry imagination and the art of coffee. A couple in South Korea built a café inside a giant Rolleiflex twin-lens camera. Rather than being glib with their design choice - the couple are camera enthusiasts with a love for sharing stories.

 

 

dreamy camera cafe

 

Café Ki, Tokyo //

Tokyo paves the way for ultra-minimalist Zen designs and Café Ki is its own haiku. A white forest in the heart of an urban city – this is pure space for both the body and mind. Slip your shoes off at the door, pad across the pale floor, and ponder over your coffee surrounded by steel trees and no distractions.

 

top 10 coffee shops


 

Haass Coffee, Cape Town //

Art and coffee collide at this chic venue in Cape Town. The Haass collective is so much more than coffee, it’s a collector’s gallery, an art studio and even an advertising business all in the same space. Deer antlers, wood panels, eclectic art, and whimsical furnishings provide the mise en scene. Haass also serves kopi luwak - one of the most expensive coffees in the world made from civet droppings.

 

Caffe Florian, Venice //

Some coffee shops have the architecture, others have the taste – but this one has the history. Caffe Florian is the oldest coffee house in Europe and has served cups to the likes of Goethe and Byron. The heritage and heart is overly romantic rather than cool, but with three hundred years of history and authentic 19th century wall panels you cannot help but get carried away.

 

top 10 coffee shops

 

Snickarbacken 7, Stockholm //

A 19th century building blends gothic touches with modern Swedish minimalism at Snickarbacken 7. Vintage fashion and books adorn the tables, a gallery sits to the side, and the taste of fine coffee transports you to NYC’s east village.


 If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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five scandinavian habits worth adopting https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-5-scandinavian-habits-to-adopt five scandinavian habits worth adopting
five scandinavian habits worth adopting
five scandinavian habits worth adopting
mahabis

five scandinavian habits worth adopting

 

With Scandinavian countries consistently topping the lists of 'happiest residents' and 'quality of life' it seems only pertinent that we take a closer look at what they are doing so right. 

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting

 

// diet

Due to the location of many of the scandinavian countries, and their proximity to highly fishable waters, fresh fish plays a large part of their incredibly healthy diet. With less of an environmental impact and less distance travelled from sea to plate, fish is readily available and cost efficient. Trout, herring and salmon are full of protein, omega-3s and antioxidants and feature heavily in any Nordic meal. 

Popular fruit and vegetables include sprouts, kale and cabbage - some of the most nutritional veg with high levels of antioxidants. The same goes for the local berries. Rather than importing, they feast on lingonberries, blueberries and cloudberries. For a sweet and salty twist, it's not uncommon to eat grilled fish with lingonberry jam - a double whammy in terms of omega 3.

Not only are the Norwegians, Swedes and Danes particular about what they eat, but when they eat it. We've all heard the old adage 'Breakfast is the most important meal of the day' but in Scandinavia it's very strictly upheld. Most households will sit together for a full and fresh homemade breakfast to set them up for the day.

Perhaps these factors contribute to their impressive obesity levels; as low as 10% in Sweden. At any rate, a fresh and tasty diet and taking the time to enjoy your breakfast are all delightful habits to consider integrating. 

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting

// equality

'Janteloven' is one of those fantastic words which don't translate directly into English. It is an essential part of Scandinavian culture, which encompasses the idea that no one is better than anyone else. There is a particular focus on gender equality. When it comes to not only pay but opportunity, Scandinavian countries seem to lead the charge.

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting

 

// money

Scandinavian countries are consistently some of the richest countries in Europe. Although it hasn't always been the case, they are particular and competitive about keeping their economies strong. Well funded public sectors, consistent investment in Education and an alternative attitude to work-life balance all play a part in keeping Swedes, Danes and Norwegians happy and financially stable.

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting


// chill

On any visit to Norway, you may hear the word 'kjedelig'. It's arguably the best of all the untranslatable Nordic words. Rather than being worked up about something annoying or rubbish that happened, Norwegians use this word to dismiss it as 'kind of boring'. Kjedelig is a fantastic way to describe something that you're not bothered about, and probably isn't worth your time. This attitude is something that infiltrates every sector of the National identity - essentially pretty tolerant and very chilled. 

The Danes have 'hygge' which is another lovely word (phonetically: hoo-ga) that covers all manner of things involved in relaxing and feeling comfortable. Any country that has an entire abstract philosophy around that is one of endless chill.

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting


// chat

People tout the Germans for their efficiency, but in reality the Swedish do it better. This is especially true when it comes to conversation. In order to fit in as a true Swede it will be necessary to cut out all small talk. Apart from very polite hellos, goodbyes, pleases and thank-yous, don't expect to exchange pleasantries in order to fill silence or pass time. 

This can be read by other cultures as cold, or blunt, but understand that as soon as you cross the threshold into 'real conversation' there will be no holds barred. Nothing is off limits when it comes to topic, and all will be discussed with candour. 



As long as they continue to top the charts when it comes to quality of life and work-life balance we can confidently look to them for lifestyle inspiration, even if it means sacrificing small talk about the weather.

 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

images // jon flobrantclem onojeqhuomatthew henrybaim hanifmaria

 

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work-life balance in // iceland https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/work-life-balance-iceland work-life balance in // iceland
work-life balance in iceland
work-life balance in // iceland
mahabis

work-life balance in // iceland

 

Iceland is a country of contrast. Hot springs of the Blue Lagoon steam amid bitter winters. Rugged snow-covered terrain underneath a swirled canvas of Northern Lights. For the 330,000+ citizens of Iceland, this contrast can also be found in their quest for a satisfying life outside of their normal workweek. According to a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Iceland ranks below average in work-life balance.

 

work-life balance in iceland

 

For a country that offers waterfalls, geysers, and volcanoes among its sought after outdoor sights, the problem many Icelanders face is finding the time to take advantage of their surroundings. Despite ranking high in such categories as employment, a sense of community, and being environmentally responsible, a concern for many in Iceland is working long hours and therefore not having adequate time to spend on personal and leisure activities. Nonetheless, Icelanders have a higher rate of satisfaction for their lives than the average responses surveyed by the OECD.

 

work-life balance in iceland

 

A high self-evaluation for Life Satisfaction in Iceland could be attributed to several causes, but the access to inimitable scenery is a point of jealousy for people the world over. Whether seeking out filming locations from Game of Thrones to channel one’s inner wildling or hiking alongside the Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland has rich offerings for any outdoorsy adventurer. Though, with only a few hours of sunlight in winter, Iceland relies on more than natural beauty to engage its people.

 As presumed with any island, seafood is a staple component of an Icelandic diet, both for its accessibility and its tie to traditional work and survival. As most of us can relate to, the Icelandic have a growing appreciation for coffee, as evidenced by an increase in cafes and roasters, especially in the capital and largest city, Reykjavik. 

 

work-life balance in iceland

 

So, with all that Iceland has to offer, whether it’s a meal and visit to an art gallery in the city after work, a weekend hike along the coast, or a trip to a spa to unwind from it all, why do the Icelandic feel their work-life balance leaves something to be desired? Time. All the activities and attractions available to us are only meaningful if we have the time to appreciate them.

 

work-life balance in iceland

 

Getting the time away from work is key to recharge, and a shift towards prioritizing leisure time is not a simple change to make for a society that is driven towards workplace productivity. So, if you can punch the clock at a reasonable time, the potential for exploration of natural beauty and culturally rich opportunities are at your doorstep in Iceland.




Read about different work-life balances in other countries here

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photos via unsplash
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minimalist instagram inspiration https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/minimalist-instagram-inspiration minimalist instagram inspiration
minimalist instagram inspiration
minimalist instagram inspiration
mahabis

minimalist instagram inspiration

 

Here at mahabis, we like things clean and simple, so we've put together a few lesser known minimalist accounts. Sit back, put your mahabis on, and let the simplicity of the images inspire you. 

 

geometry //

@danica_firulovic is a Sydney based artist who has transitioned from urban perspectives to 'Albescence' - a series exploring the meaning of white.

 

minimalist inspiration

 

minimalist inspiration

 

illustration //

From Bogota, Colombia, @mylastnameiscuadrado creates minimal but meaningful line drawn illustrations to light up your feed.

 

minimalist inspiration

 

minimalist inspiration

 

digital //

Hailing from far-flung Bengaluru in India, these digital creations are part of a wide aray of graphic and traditional art by @naman_daga. He'll infuse your feed with playful colour, pattern and line.

 

minimalist instagram inspiration

 

minimalist instagram inspiration

 

structure // 

@cheryl_fu explores structure and line in her surroundings using only an iphone and an excellent eye.

 

minimalist inspiration

 

minimalist instagram inspiration

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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arctic light, by bjørg-elise tuppen https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/arctic-light-by-bjorg-elise-tuppen arctic light, by bjørg-elise tuppen
arctic light
arctic light, by bjørg-elise tuppen
mahabis

arctic light, by bjørg-elise tuppen

 

Between the 29th of November and 28th of January, the sun is under the horizon in Arctic Northern Norway. Whilst this period is called 'the time of darkness', the sky is in fact lit up with magnificent hues that are constantly changing. Photographer Bjorg-Elise Tuppen captures the stunning colours that light up the sky in this time.  

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

Click here more of bjørg-elise tuppen's photos.

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

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sit less. stand more. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-sit-less-stand-more sit less. stand more.
sit less. stand more.
sit less. stand more.
mahabis

sit less. stand more.

 

In today's world of ongoing technological advances, an average of 70% of people sit for most of the working day. More technology inevitably means more work enabled by computer, and less manual, physical work necessary to get us out of our chairs.

 

mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

However, the effects of a sedentary lifestyle are not to be envied; stiff joints, weight gain and muscle loss, to name a few. With ever more of us spending significant time in offices and at desks, it forces physical activity onto a checklist. Gym memberships, running clubs, and exercise classes all become one extra thing we have to squeeze in before or after work, because activity is no longer part of our day.

A lack of physical stress can have a profound effect not only on our bodies, but on our minds too. Without the endorphins induced by exercise we are prone to lethargy and even depression. 

The science behind the benefits of sitting less may be surprising; it's all to do with astronauts. Sitting simulates a low-gravity effect on our bodies, which exacerbates cell deterioration. The good news is that to reverse this, you won't need to squeeze in extra time at the gym. All you need to do is stand. 

 

mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

 

Bending, stretching, and simply standing up increases the force of gravity on our bodies. Although vigorous exercise (and plenty of it) is great for your body, studies have shown that your sessions at the gym will do little to combat the effects of prolonged sitting. Interruptive, intermittent periods of activity need to be introduced to your day to allow your body some respite from the punishing conditions of sitting. 

Recommendations are that of each 30 minutes, you should spend 20 sitting, eight standing and two moving around. For those working the average eight hour working day, this will add up to over two hours of standing time. In the long run this could translate into lower diabetes and heart disease risk, and improved metabolism. If you'll struggle to get into this habit, most smart watches have a function to remind you, and there are desktop apps available too.

 

 

"The reason [standing could be good] is because when we stand there are many muscles working to keep you standing... whenever muscle is used, it consumes sugar and affects triglycerides," - Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, director of preventive cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester 

Activity throughout the day also gives a temporary increase in blood flow and boost in endorphins, which in turn leads to hyper-oxygenation of the brain. Whilst the actual activity may only last a couple of minutes, the effects on your concentration and productivity can last a lot longer. 

 

 mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

 

It's safe to say that the toll from extended periods of sitting can be dangerous to your ongoing health. You don't need to abandon your desk altogether, but take the time to move. Do it sooner, rather than later, and you will reap the benefits for your mind and body. 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos via unsplash
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sunday guide to // san francisco https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-sunday-guide-to-san-francisco sunday guide to // san francisco
sunday guide to // san francisco
sunday guide to // san francisco
mahabis

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

San Francisco has had many nicknames during its rich history; 'Fog City', 'The City by the Bay' or even 'The City that Knows How'. These days it's mostly known for tech start-ups, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, but none of this goes even halfway to accounting for its charm or authentic feel.

 

 

stay //

Some things never fail to woo, and the skyline of a vibrant city is one of those things. So how about staying somewhere where you can have all that without leaving your hotel? You're in luck. San Francisco has a plethora of hotels with incredible rooftops views. The Loews Regency has a bar with a vista across the bay to Oakland with Treasure Island in the middle ground. Alternatively, stay in the luxury of the Fairmont, where you can surround yourself with lush greenery on top of the city in their stunning roof garden. The garden is complete with Palm trees, water fountains and a view all the way to Alcatraz.

 

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

ride //

Normally the best way to explore a city is by foot, especially in European cities where the alleyways are tiny - barely made for cars. However, not recommending a ride on San Francisco trams would almost be negligent. A city of the New World, San Francisco is relatively spread out - not to mention the hills! They're pretty tough on the legs so take a tram in order to put your feet up for a sec and enjoy the view across the bay peeping through the buildings. 

 

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

wander //

One of the most spectacular things about San Fran is probably the landscape. It sits on the San Andreas fault line which created hills like Mount Davidson - the tallest one at 928 feet (283 m) high. Other funny quirks to see include the most crooked street in the world; Lombard street. It contains 8 hairpin turns on a steep block, mimicking the slalom of a ski slope. Despite the cliché - the Golden Gate park is actually an incredible walk. Across from the city, you'll find succulents galore, growing on the side of tiny walkways to lighthouses. Look out upon the surf and the little boats in the channel and remember that Japan is the next land they'll see. 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet.

photos via unsplash
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in a world of black, white, and colour. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/julian-schulze-black-white-colour in a world of black, white, and colour.
black. white. colour.
in a world of black, white, and colour.
mahabis

in a world of black, white, and colour.

We look at the work of photographer Julian Schulze. Focused on geometric abstraction and minimalistic compositions, this particular series captures the interplay of colour in a world of black and white. Fluctuating between abstract and concrete architecture, Schulze's series also challenges our perspectives and understanding of the world around us. 

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour. 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour. 

 

black. white. colour. 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

photos: via behance

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

 

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5 ways to use 5 extra minutes https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-5-ways-to-use-5-extra-minutes 5 ways to use 5 extra minutes
5 ways to use 5 extra minutes
5 ways to use 5 extra minutes
mahabis

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

 

No matter how thorough the planning and organisation, our daily life involves wait time. The inevitable late train, heavy traffic or delayed meetings could leave you twiddling your thumbs for 5 minutes here and there, but, it need not be time wasted. We share 5 ways to make the most of your wait time and improve your day to day.

 

stretch // 

This is something you can do anywhere, anytime you arrive early or your appointment arrives late. Stretching is a simple exercise that will give you a rush of endorphins, a boost of energy and, over time, improved flexibility. 

Take five minutes to begin at the bottom circling your ankles, pointing and flexing your toes, and working up through your legs, mid-section arms, shoulders and neck. Finish off with a deep breath and release your tension. Not only have you filled your wait time, you've de-stressed before the next commitment.

 

 

look //

The word 'flâneur' is a french term for someone who absorbs their surroundings. Too many of us are constantly on autopilot throughout our day and throughout our incredible towns and cities. This is understandable considering we are so busy and the need for efficiency grows every day. All the more reason to take your wait time and use it to observe and marvel at the architecture, the humanity or the beauty around you. 

 

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

 

integrate //

This especially applies to those who experience the daily anonymity of living in a big city. London is guilty of alienating its residents, rarely do people talk to strangers on the tube. There could be an alternative ending to that scenario though; you could hear an interesting story or meet a new friend. For the introverts amongst us, this can be a little daunting but stepping outside of your comfort zone has its own benefits.  

 

communicate //

Have you ever felt an unadulterated smile creep across your face upon receiving a text from an old friend? Our busy lives often result in neglecting the people who matter most, as much as we may aim to avoid it. Familiarity provides comfort, and feeling loved is something to cherish. Taking your extra five minutes to respond to a good friend or call your parents will enrich that time and the future of your relationships. 

 

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

enjoy //

We all punish ourselves for some kind of guilty pleasure. Whether it's obsessively checking your phone, extra sugar in your tea or online shopping on your lunch break, instead of punishing yourself for it - revel in it! Allow yourself the me-time. Enjoy your guilty pleasure and you won't feel like it's five minutes wasted again.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

photos via unsplash
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minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-journal-minimalist-lighting-collection minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades
minimalist lighting
minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades
mahabis

minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades

 

Today's post looks at some of interior designer Michael Anastassiades's work. Starting out with his first studio in 1994, Anastassiades was interested in using his art and design skills to create thought and discussion. Still today, his eponymous brand succeeds in drawing those around into his engaging arrangement of physical materials.

Whilst these objects might initially seem minimal, on reflection they have an underlying layer of energy. Why not take a look at a collection we've put together and enjoy the refreshingly timeless nature of his designs. 

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal // minimalist lighting collection 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal // minimalist lighting collection

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

Click here to see more of Michael Anastassiades's work.

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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top 5 island retreats https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/113988868-mahabis-retreats-relaxing-island-getaways top 5 island retreats
nanuya lailai // mahabis journal
top 5 island retreats
mahabis

top 5 island retreats

 

As our day to day lives seem get gradually busier and busier, there’s often nothing better than packing a bag and escaping from it all for a couple of weeks. Although slow city breaks and relaxing road trips can be great, sometimes only an isolated island retreat will do. We’ve pulled together a list of some of the most relaxing islands in the world to take your pick from.

 

Lizard Island, Australia // 

If it’s an isolated island paradise that you're after, with crystal clear waters, almost empty white sand beaches and an endless ocean to explore the depths of, then head to Lizard Island, situated in the Great Barrier Reef. Here you can spend long lazy days unwinding on the beach, cooling off inside a private villa, and enjoying luxurious spa treatments. Experience the underwater beauty of the reef by snorkelling or scuba diving, or take a boat trip out over the water, lying back and relaxing with the sea breeze in your hair. For the ultimate in luxury, witness the reef from above by taking a helicopter ride over the ocean.

 

lizard beach // mahabis journal

 

 

Bequia, the Grenadines, the Caribbean //

The smaller of the Grenadine islands, Bequia is an idyllic destination for those seeking a chilled out getaway. Spend your days relaxing or walking on the pristine beaches, before retreating to a hilltop villa to watch the sun set over the ocean from the comfort of an infinity pool. The island is relatively undeveloped, and it is easy to discover secluded beaches with the absence of beach bars or tourist traps, such as Princess Margaret Bay and Friendship Bay.

 

bequia // mahabis journal

 

 

Ariara, Philippines //

This private island on the Calamian archipelago is surprisingly affordable to hire for the week for a group of eighteen. Enjoy the privacy and peacefulness of being the only guests on the island, taking your time to explore the palm tree lined beaches, turquoise waters, and inner jungle. A dedicated team of staff are on hand at all times to pamper you with massages, candlelit meals on the beach and morning yoga sessions, and there is a fleet of boats available to take out onto the water to see the island from a different perspective.

 

ariara // mahabis journal

 

 

Alonnisos, the Sporades, Greece //

The quietest of the Sporades, head to Alonnisos for an alternative island getaway. It might not be as exotic a destination as the other islands mentioned, but this Greek island is packed full of natural beauty and secluded beaches. Unlike the more touristy Greek islands, Alonnisos is filled with dense pine forests and a mountainous interior, although there are still plenty of picturesque sandy beaches. Enjoy the range of fresh seafood on offer across the island, making time to visit some of the smaller villages to experience an authentic Greek way of life. Take a boat trip from Patitiri harbour into Greece’s first National Marine Park for the chance to spot dolphins and seals frolicking in the wild.

 

alonnisos // mahabis journal

 

 

Nanuya Lailai, Yasawa Islands, Fiji //

This beautiful Fijian getaway is a desert island dream; white sand beaches with a central jungle, surrounded by turquoise ocean. Home to the famous Blue Lagoon, this is where the majority of tourists will flock to in search of the sparkling blue water. Stay in the Nanuyan Island Resort for a luxurious and relaxing getaway with its own private beaches, an onsite spa and the opportunity to partake on a sunset cruise to witness the sun setting over the surrounding islands. 

 

nanuya lailai // mahabis journal

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos via: cory doctorow, size4riggerboots, wikipedia publicdomainpictures

 

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mahabis journal // the house of the infinite https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-journal-house-of-the-infinite-by-alberto-campo-baeza mahabis journal // the house of the infinite
mahabis journal // the house of the infinite
mahabis journal // the house of the infinite
mahabis

mahabis journal // the house of the infinite

 

Alberto Campo Baeza is a Spanish architect and professor, whose works have been widely recognised. Inspired by his innovative designs, we decided to look at one of our favourites from his collection, known as 'house of the infinite'.

Built in the earthly paradise that is Cádiz, this particular house faces towards the infinite Atlantic Ocean. The house embodies the idea of infinity with its extensive horizontal stone platform looking out to sea. Alberto described his wish for the house to be capable of making time stand still, and as we look through these stunning images of vastness, it seems his wish has been granted.

 

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-visuals-abstract-architecture-johnny-kerr mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr
mahabis visuals // abstract architecture
mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr
mahabis

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr

 

We look at the work of fine art photographer Johnny Kerr, who has been interested in the world of art since he was a child. Now, it is his interest in graphic and minimalist design that greatly influences his photography. 

We've picked a few of our favourites from his project 'Abstract Architecture.' Interested in how people react differently to abstract art, Johnny's ongoing abstract series aims at opening up people's appreciation of beauty.

The simple monochrome colours combined with distinctly shaped buildings creates a very different, but refreshing view of our world. So, why not take a break from your day, sit back, and allow yourself to appreciate the beauty that lies in these abstract images.

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos via behance
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mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/polar-nights-in-tromso mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso
mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso
mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso
mahabis

mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso

 

Winter in Scandinavia is unlike any winter season found around the globe. It's frozen cold months feature daylight hours so short they've been forced to create words which don't translate, in order to weave a more liveable lifestyle. Hyyge has been touted as a "vague cultural concept which doesn't translate easily into English, but it has helped Denmark become the 'happiest country on Earth' despite long, dark winters" [1]  Undoubtedly, it works. Rather than enduring the winter as other countries do, they revel in it.

 

 

In Tromso, Norway, this is demonstrated even further by the fact that the sun doesn't rise at all between November and January, yet its residents do not suffer for it. Far from hibernating alone, they embrace the months in which the polar circle is engulfed in darkness. The Norwegian version of hygge is 'koselig'; directly translated as 'cosiness' but evoking much more. No word in English quite covers the closeness, togetherness and warmth of koselig; a Scandinavian world lit by the northern lights and a huge emphasis is placed upon spending quality time with loved ones. 

If the delightful hygge/koselig outlook isn't tempting enough, winter in even the darkest of winters is truly magical and full of life. For the exercise fanatics, the Tromso half marathon is surely one to cross off the list; like no other run, it's entirely in the dark, illuminated by the glory of the northern lights. For those with little ones in tow, embark on a short trip to light the magic of Christmas by helping Santa prepare for the festive season at Nisse weekend in Berg, a farm cluster just outside of the city. Alternatively, the northernmost city in Europe also holds a film festival. Outdoors, of course, you'll become enamoured with the idea of living in the dark when outdoor cinema wrapped in blankets captures your heart and imagination.

 

 

In a trip bound to be punctuated by reindeer burgers and festive markets, races and movies, Tromso's polar nights are also a natural sight to behold. Despite the sun never rising above the horizon during this time you can expect a full spectrum of colours due to various phenomena. When the sun is just below the horizon you'll see bright pinks, blues and yellows which mimic a sunrise or set with a clarity of colour you won't find elsewhere.

You may also catch 'the blue hour', between 1–2 o’clock in the afternoon. It feels as though you are looking through coloured lenses when the landscape is filtered by a deep midnight blue. The blue hour occurs at this time as sunlight is reflected off the sea and snow.

 

 

Of course the most spectacular of light shows is the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. The increased hours of darkness heightens your chances of catching this natural wonder of the world. The phenomenon was named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, combined with the Greek for the north wind, Boreas, and cannot be adequately captured by photo or video. We've all seen incredible photographs of it, and been amazed by the colours dancing in the sky, but nothing will match the experience of being bundled up in the snow and seeing for yourself. 

 

images // paul itkinjovi waqajames studarus

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mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-interviews-stefaan-and-sarah mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah
mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah
mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah
mahabis

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 mahabis interviews // sarah and stefaan

 

Before we begin, could you introduce yourselves and talk us through what you do?

Hello! We are Stefaan and Sarah, travel photographers and co-founders of Miles & Miles, an interdisciplinary brand that creates beautiful stories across media. In 2012 we left our design jobs in NYC to travel for over a year and haven’t stopped since. We use photography, videography and social media to collaborate with brands we believe in and to share our experiences traveling the world together.

 

You've traveled together all around the world, which destinations were your favourites?

There are so many it’s hard to choose! But, a place we haven’t stopped thinking about since we left is New Zealand. If you love amazing food, mind-blowing geography, and insanely friendly people you will be in heaven there.

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 

 

Where on your travels did you find most relaxing?

We traveled all over Southeast Asia for three months, our route taking us through Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and finally Thailand where we stayed for 3 weeks. Although being on the move constantly is very exciting, it can be exhausting as well. Sometimes you just need to stop and enjoy where you are for a while, and Thailand was where we felt most relaxed doing just that.

 

Where do you plan on wearing your Mahabis? Will you take them with you on your travels?

Surprisingly we just bought our first home! This of course won’t slow down our travels, but we are certain we’ll be wearing our mahabis at home and while we’re traveling too. Being comfortable while we’re on the road is a must, so having elements that bring a sense of home with us no matter where we are in the world are crucial.

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 

Which countries are you planning on visiting next?

We have an ongoing list of places to see, next up we’re hoping to get to Japan, Scandinavia, and Mongolia!

 

How do you like to relax when you are traveling?

Sometimes the most exhausting part of travel is the sense of urgency to see everything. After years on the move we’re able to accept that we won’t always see it all, so we make sure to take the time to slow down and enjoy where we are in the moment. Even if that means skipping the Eiffel Tower to stay in and watch movies all day! Also, we always make time to be close to the ocean, that’s the most relaxing place in the world for us.


How do you balance your work, personal life and time to travel?

We feel very lucky that our work and travel go hand in hand. When we’re traveling for a job we do our best to extend our trip and make our own time to explore. When work slows we plan personal adventures to places we’ve been wanting to visit and always make sure to surround ourselves with friends and family no matter where we are.

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

  

What three non-essential items do you always take with you on your travels?

You learn to pack light when you travel, so non-essential items rarely join us for our adventures. Three things I (Sarah) absolutely cannot leave home without my Nemo travel pillow, chapstick and my camera of course.


When you're at home, how does your downtime differ to when you are travelling?

When we’re home we cook a lot and get our fill of friends and family. When we’re traveling we always embrace the food and culture of wherever we are so that inevitably involves eating out a lot more. Although we do cook when we have an airbnb somewhere new, we spend a lot of our time exploring the foods of the country we’re in.

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

  

If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?

The more time outside the better, so an extra hour exploring somewhere new everyday would be wonderful!

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet.

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mahabis travel // new year. new getaways. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/new-year-new-getaways mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.
mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.
mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.
mahabis

mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.

With the first days of winter now behind us, you may be questioning how long we will have to endure the drizzle and wind. Fortunately, not everywhere in the world is subjected to ambiguous seasons and winter can be a magical time of year. Whether you prefer stars and snow or sun and shining seas, we've put together a further selection of winter retreats to escape to.

 

mahabis travel // relaxing winter retreatsphoto: © courtesy of Luxury Retreats

 

switzerland //

Favoured by ski-bunnies and hikers, Switzerland has plentiful lesser known areas to offer, full of peaceful cabins and spas. High above Verbier and far from the apres ski, find yourself a spacious villa with an outdoor spa and a heated pool where you won't be disturbed for weeks away from the rat race.  

 

france // 

If snowy mountains aren't for you, avoid harsh climates in the ever-sunny French Riviera. This microcosm on the med gets an average of 330 days of sun per year, meaning your chances of a bad spell of weather are pretty small, no matter what time you visit. From Monaco to Marseille, the coast is littered with spas, villas and contemporary boutique hotels. Nab one like Tiara Miramar in Theoule-sur-Mer, with a heated infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranean sea to make you feel as though you're experiencing the ocean waves, without the chill. 

 

photo: © courtesy of Tiara Miramar Beach Spa 

russia //

 Whilst Russia may feel like an unlikely retreat recommendation, the 'Black Sea Riviera' is a destination not to be missed. Encompassing not only Russian coast, but parts of Ukraine and Bulgaria too, the black sea coast sounds as though it should be ominous and overbearing. To the contrary - the coastline is, in parts, subtropical and mild and sunny year round. Sochi in particular is full of Neoclassical buildings to explore and the fated Olympic park to marvel at. 

 

new zealand //

Fancy celebrating christmas cheer with a BBQ on the beach rather than turkey by the fire? You're in luck. Its varied and changeable climate makes New Zealand a wonderful place to visit year round. The NZ winter brings snow from June to September, but Christmas and New Year will be bathed in sunshine. Explore the tumultuous landscape famous for the backdrop of 'Middle Earth' or immerse yourself in a yoga or surf retreat for true relaxation. 

 

photo: unsplash - Mathew Waters

 

canada //

 If it's snow you're looking for, the eternal winter of Vermont will not let you down. It's more than just fondue and mulled wine though. Holistic resorts like the Topnotch resort offer reiki, aromatherapy massages and hot tubs with a view of the mountains. Retreat here to escape the chaos of ski lift queues and snowball fights.

 

mexico //

Lastly, we take a skip, hop and a jump over the U.S.A and head to Mexico. Aside from some of the freshest, tastiest food in the world you will find a plethora of choice when it comes to relaxation. Ayurveda, yoga, surf or stay on an ecological reserve - Mexico has a little something for everyone. To step away from the beaten track, surround yourself with nature on Holbox Island. To be the social butterfly soak up the sun in Sayulita.

 

photo: unsplash Clem Onojeghuo

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

 

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mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day' https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/no-interruptions-day mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day'
mahabis guide // no interruptions day
mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day'
mahabis

mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day'

As we draw close to the end of the year, it's easy to crave the feeling that something has been accomplished. Although in all likelihood the year has been filled with hurdles and successes, it's easy to allow small tasks to hang over your head like a grey cloud.

 

 

why //

Feelings of a lack of productivity can lead to low morale and malaise, and that's no way to feel when you're about to enter a brand new year. Luckily, there's an easy fix to tie up those loose ends; add a holiday to your calendar. Perhaps not an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii (although that would do the trick too), we're talking about joining in celebrating 'No Interruptions Day'.

 

when //

For many, it’s just another day at work or running errands, but the last day of the year has now been unofficially dubbed 'No Interruptions Day'. We have to admit, December 31 is as good a time as any to find time to hunker down and tick of any pesky 'to-do' items that have been nagging in the back of our minds. 

 

mahabis guide // no interruptions day

what //

Searching for the origins of No Interruptions Day draws a blank and yet it seems to be a fairly widespread tradition: 'Although this day has no official origin or proclamation, essentially it came about due to those in the workforce. Unfortunately not everyone has this day off and for many folks it’s just another day on the job.' [1] 

 

how //

A study at the University of California found that people struggle through as many as 20 interruptions an hour at work, and especially around the end of the year it can be difficult to concentrate. Efficiency expert Edward G. Brown said in interviews that when someone asks for a minute of your time that 'a minute is never a minute'. These so-called 'time bandits' could be anything from phone calls, idle chat, unnecessary meetings... so allow yourself to be closed off. Give yourself enough time, quiet and space to feel accomplished for the end of this year.

 

who //

Although this seems to be a trend that began in the workplace, work productivity is not the only thing that can suffer from constant interruption; our personal relationships can be easily affected by constant interruptions and distractions. Dedicate your No Interruptions Day to quality time, face to face, with friends and family. Alternatively, after a hectic festive season, maybe the someone who deserves an uninterrupted day to themselves is you.

 

So take a break. Put your feet up. And let yourself unwind ...uninterrupted. 

 

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mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-winter-perks mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter
mahabis lifestyle // the perks of winter
mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter

In the depths of winter, especially in colder countries, it's often tempting to be sucked into wishing away the time until spring. Bonding over complaints about the weather and succumbing to colds and sniffles almost becomes commonplace. However we'd like to explore a more positive side of winter and share some of the things we enjoy about the chillier months. 

 mahabis lifestyle // our 6 winter highlights

1. clear air //

With the absence of sunshine and the appearance of frost, comes a crispness to the air. Somehow the cool air tastes and smells fresher. The summer haze replaced with snowflakes and visible breath may be cold, but when you wrap up warm you can go for long walks unfettered by pollen, allergies or sticky heat.

 

 

2. health benefits //

Winter brings to mind months of sniffles, the endless cold that sweeps the office over and over, and little red noses sneezing on the train. Contrary to popular rhetoric, the cold can be good for your health; it reduces inflammation and swelling, kills off disease carrying bugs and increases the chemical responsible for pain suppression. You may be battling with a cold for a little bit, but a little exposure to chillier climates can be good for you long term. 

 mahabis lifestyle // the perks of winter

3. long evenings //

Rather than focus on the shortening day, why not envisage a season full of longer evenings. Allow the magic of the night to befall you - more time to stargaze, to wander by moonlight, or to cuddle up by the fire. There's something quietly calm about the long nights of winter, and of stepping from the cold into a toasty home.

 

4. increased energy //

Studies have shown that exposure to cold can boost energy, not just whilst exposed, but for some time after. This means a brisk walk on a chilly morning should be enough to help fend off the fatigue of the 2pm slump. 

 mahabis lifestyle // the perks of winter

5. people time //

In the depths of winter, when you really just want to stay curled up in bed, you're more likely to reach out to friends and family for comfort and conversation. With less motivation to get outdoors and doing stuff, we automatically allocate more time to the most basic of activities - talking. This, combined with less busy schedules, fewer bank holidays and an absence of conflicting vacations equals more time connecting with loved ones. 

 

6. hearty food //

Nothing can be more satisfying that a delicious hot meal on a bitter cold day. With a plethora of winter recipes using fresh seasonal food, you'll have plenty of excuses to host friends in the comfort of your own home. For those who do want to venture out, a steaming hot mulled wine in a christmas market will satiate the need for warmth.

 

photos via unsplash

 

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mahabis sounds // winter playlist https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-sounds-winter-playlist mahabis sounds // winter playlist
mahabis sounds // winter playlist
mahabis sounds // winter playlist
mahabis

mahabis sounds // winter playlist

 

Now that we are getting well and truly into winter, we thought we'd put together a playlist that you can listen to whether you're staying cosy indoors or out walking in the fresh winter air. So, headphones in or speakers on, listen, and relax. 

 

1. kiasmos - looped 

 

2. kidnap kid - moments

 

3. aphex twin - flim

 

4. shura -just once

 

5. the xx - on hold

 

6. bob moses - stealing fire

 

7. lucy rose - till the end

 

8. bonobo - kerala

 

9. gold panda - in my car

 

10. moderat - running

 

Feel free to share this playlist via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-feet-up-book-open mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.
mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.
mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

  

Today's post takes a look at how short fiction might be the ideal way to relax this winter. With dark nights drawing in, temperatures dropping, and our lives getting constantly busier, what better way to switch off from it all than to get lost inside a fascinating fictional world.

The winter solstice falls on 21st December, coinciding perfectly with Nancy Christie’s Short Fiction Day. A short fiction author herself, Nancy hopes to promote short stories by encouraging a day spent enjoying easily digestible tales. And when it is a dark and gloomy winter day outside it's almost the perfect setting for such an event.

 

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open

 

Whilst a longer tome might be a daunting task to embark on, short fiction is ideal for our increasingly busy lives. Collections of short stories are becoming ever more popular as they can be enjoyed in short bursts, rather than dedicating a prolonged period of time to completing a full-length novel. And it isn't just that the length that is short, but also the fast paced action and lack of excess characters mean that you'll most likely have to try harder not to finish in one sitting.

Commutes to and from work, the odd hour in the evening or even a relaxing twenty minutes on your lunch break are the perfect times to peruse a couple of pages. 

Short stories aren’t the only way to stimulate your brain with a short period of light reading. Magazine articles and blog posts also fit the bill. Short, snappy and to-the-point articles are perfect for those who prefer fact to fiction but still like to read.

 mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

 

Reading fiction has long been described as the perfect escapism, allowing our minds to wander to a complete different world where we can forget any stresses as we become absorbed with the story. Loosing yourself in a book or article can help to refresh, inspire and challenge your brain.

On December 21st, why not try dedicating an hour or so of your day to reading. Arm yourself with a collection of short stories, a favourite magazine or an arsenal of word-rich blogs and allow yourself to become consumed with the written word.

 

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

 

Wondering what to read? Here’s a little inspiration.

 

Treats, by Lara Williams

Treat yourself to the debut collection of short stories by Manchester-based author, Lara Williams, a witty and relatable collection of tales about contemporary life for twenty-to-thirty year olds, covering sex, love and friendships. With 21 stories squeezed into just 224 pages, you’ll find the separate tales quick and easy to read; perfect for your commute, although you’ll be left wanting to read more. 

 

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

The complete works of short fiction by Man Booker prize winner, Lydia Davis will provide you with hours of reading. With some tales only one sentence long, you’ll have something to read however long your break.

 

Carve magazine

One of the leading printed publications focused on short fiction, Carve magazine is dedicated to ‘honest fiction’. Read stories for free on their website or purchase their magazine if you prefer leafing through pages.

  

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share with our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos: via pexels, unsplash
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mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-visuals-silence-series-by-claire-droppert mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert
mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert
mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert
mahabis

mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert

 

"Silence is the lack of audible sound or presence of sounds of very low intensity."

We look at the work of Claire Droppert, a photographer based in the Netherlands. Claire's work focuses on simplicity and minimalism, and this week we chose to pick some of our favourite shots from her two 'Silence series'.

From the Netherlands to Greece, these images all capture desolate places that embody stillness and tranquility. The lack of distractions within these images allows us to appreciate the serenity that exists in our world. So why not take just five minutes to sit back, scroll and enjoy that tranquility that we rarely have time to acknowledge in our busy day to day lives. 

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 all photos: claire droppert

 

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mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/downtime-in-december mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december
mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december
mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december
mahabis

mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december

 

With Christmas almost upon us, we thought we’d find out how some of our mahabis ambassadors choose to spend their festive time. The holiday season can often be crammed full of festivities, and a hectic time of year, so we’re focusing on how people choose to unwind amongst the chaos.

We spoke to some of our favourite instagrammers to hear about what their best part of the holiday season is, and how they like to spend their downtime in winter. From curling up on the couch, to going for long walks in the crisp air, everyone has their own way of relaxing and enjoying themselves this time of year.

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime 

Mary Maddocks 

 

"I love getting crafty at this time of year - something about the cold weather just makes me want to nest and get creative. I love gathering foliage and making messy wreaths to decorate the house, and I also usually make my own Christmas cards and tree decorations. I also love getting out of the city and exploring the countryside - those frosty sunny days in winter are so beautiful. We wrap up warm, give ourselves the whole day and always take a big flask of hot chocolate."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

mary’s choice of mahabis: larvik dark grey x ilen ivory

 

"I love Boxing Day when all the craziness of Christmas day is over and there's a chance to relax, spend time with my family and eat copious amounts of leftovers in front of the TV. There's no need to get up at a certain time, no big meal to cook and no pressure to do anything. It's just a lovely unstructured day." 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal blog 

Oliver Hooson 

 

"The way I like to relax in the winter is I go for a run every morning (the colder the better) and upon my return home stick the fire on in my small front room."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

oliver's choice of mahabis: larvik light grey x larvik grey

 

"Cosy doesn't come close to explaining how relaxed a place it is to be, logs crackling in front of me whilst enjoying properly garnished porridge... For me that is making the most of freelance life!" 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Duygu Ntagkala

 

"During my off times, I usually like going to small and cosy cafes around my neighbourhood and gather with my very close friends. Also, one of my favourite activities is to wander around streets to discover small and lovely boutiques for inspiration for my own brand."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

duygu and elise's choice of mahabis: larvik light grey x rjukan red

 

"My favourite part of the holiday season is having my family around and all the decorations in the city."

 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Tommaso Baldi 

 

"In winter during my downtime I like to watch tv series or films, and also surfing on internet on design website to increase my creativity and inspiration."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal blog

tommaso’s choice of mahabis: larvik light grey x borgen blue 

 

"My favourite part of the holiday season is the lunch with my relatives which makes me feel a part of a big family."

 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Caroline Birk Bahrenscheer 

 

"During the week and when it's really dark in the afternoon, I love curling up on the couch after a long day with a good magazine or a good series. At the weekend I take a walk if the weather is nice, to get the last sun of the year, or maybe visit a Christmas market."

  mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

caroline's choice of mahabis: larvik light grey x ilen ivory

 

"My favourite part of the holiday season is that it's all about "Hygge". A danish expression that is hard to explain but it's all about spending time with your loved ones, picking up the Christmas tree, go ice-skating and just have a really nice time."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Mohammed Aneez

 

"I always like to start by making a to-do list for my downtime. I used to think the point of having free time was to avoid having a to-do list. However, I've found that as with my job I'm far more productive if I set out goals for myself at the start of the day. Even if an item on my downtime list is as simple as, "Read for an hour," at least I know I'll feel accomplished when I get to cross it off."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

mohammed’s choice of mahabis: larvik dark grey x skien black

 

"My list during the holiday season tends to include things such as: plan a winter party, explore a neighbourhood, try out new techniques in photography."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Ilenia Martini 

"I travel a lot for my work, therefore whenever I have some downtime, I like to spend it at home. I like to unwind with a nice cup of tea and a book or a good tv series."

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

ilenia’s choice of mahabis: light grey x skien black

 

"My favourite part of the holiday season is definitely the crisp air, chestnuts and the smell of Christmas. I love to indulge in long walks whilst sipping a chai latte and just take as much time for myself as possible (before all the family shenanigans begin!)."

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-dining-culture-around-the-world mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world
mahabis guide // dining culture around the world
mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world

Here in the UK and in America, it’s often customary to eat your dinner on the sofa whilst catching up on your favourite TV show. If you have guests, you may set the table and indulge in dinner time conversation, but allocating an hour each evening to simply sitting and dining has generally become a thing of the past. In order to reclaim our meal times and get used to enjoying our food rather than rushing through it, we’re taking a look to other cultures to see what good habits we can pick up.

 

mahabis guide // dining culture around the world 

 

spain //

Lunch is typically the largest meal of the day in Spain, coinciding with their siesta. In smaller Spanish towns, many people still take a 2-3 hour break in the middle of the day to rest, although it is more likely that they will return home to enjoy a prolonged meal with their family rather than taking a nap. Lunch is normally served after 1.30pm, and includes several courses intercepted by large glasses of red wine. Rather than rushing through the different courses, Spaniards take their time over lunch, indulging in lingering conversation and savouring the taste of their dishes.

 

dinner culture around the world // mahabis journal

 

 

italy //

Eating a large meal in the middle of the day followed by a lighter late supper is typical to other Mediterranean cultures, including Italy. Again, Italians like to linger over their meals and often enjoy at least two courses for lunch. Most Italians who work close to home will take a long lunch break to return home and enjoy their lunchtime meal with their families. In the larger cities where people typically have longer commutes to work, families will enjoy a lingering multiple-course meal in the evenings instead, using the opportunity to catch up about their days. 

 

israel //

Jewish households all around the world observe the Sabbath from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. Friday nights are subsequently reserved for relaxing meal times with the entire family, where everyone is encouraged to unplug from technology and to enjoy the company. The table is set, candles are lit and conversation constantly flows around the table during the meal.

 

mahabis guide // dining culture

 

china //

Many cultures around the world encourage people to come together and share a variety of dishes from one table (tapas, meze, etc.) but the most iconic meal time ritual has to be dim sum. Originating from the Silk Road, where teahouses would host both travellers and farmers, dim sum has evolved to become a time-honoured tradition that is enjoyed all around the world. Typically served as brunch, the small rolls, dumplings and buns are presented in bamboo containers, designed for a group of family and friends to sit around a table together and share.

 

dinner culture around the world // mahabis journal

 

 

What can we learn from other cultures?

  • Why not take more time over meals, rather than rushing, using it as an excuse for conversation, catching up with your family and friends
  • Make an effort at weekends to sit down and enjoy lunch as a family, rather than grabbing a snack on the go
  • Dine up to the table, rather than in front of the TV
  • Set aside one evening a week for a formal dinner where everyone sits around the table and enjoys each other’s company
  • Prepare meals such as tapas, meze or dim sum that are designed to be shared, creating a more social dining occasion

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

photos: via unsplash
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mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-insight-astronomy-photography mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe
mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe
mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe
mahabis

mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe

 

In light of the announcement of this years winners of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 competition, a fascinating exhibition held at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, we thought we'd share some of our favourite images from this years winners and runners-up. 

From China to Norway, the exhibition features work by photographers from all over the world, all capturing the incredible nature of the universe that we live in but do not see. 

Sit back, relax and take in these stunning images of the moon, galaxies, aurorae, and more.

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo: Black and White Aurora - Kolbein Svensson

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography
photo: Twilight Aurora - György Soponyai

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo - The Rainbow Star - Steve Brown

 

mahabis guide // astronomy exhibition
photo: M94 Deep Space Halo - Nicolas Outters

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography
photo: Binary Haze - Ainsley Bennett

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo: Baily's Beads - Yu Jun 

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography
photo: Maurolycus to Moretus - Jordi Delpeix Borrell

 

mahabis guide // insight astronomy photography

photo: Man on the Moon - Dani Caxete

 

mahabis guide // insight astronomy photography

photo: Antlia Galaxy Cluster Extreme Deep Field, 152 Hours - Rolf Wahl Olsen

 

The exhibition runs until June 2017 so why not head to the Astronomy Centre to see more breathtaking photography, or, if you're interested in entering next years competition, find out more here.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

 

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work-life balance in // belgium https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/work-life-balance-in-belgium work-life balance in // belgium
work-life balance in belgium
work-life balance in // belgium
mahabis

work-life balance in // belgium

 

When considering which country has the best work/life balance, most of us would immediately think of one of the Nordic countries boasting the happiest people in the world: Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway or Finland. You may be surprised to learn that recent studies placed Belgium in the top five for a healthy work/life balance.

 

work/life balance belgium // mahabis journal

 

belgium //

Ranked behind only Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands, Belgium is currently in fourth position on the OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) list of the countries with the best work/life balance. Based upon average working hours, pay, quality of life and several other criteria, this ranking places Belgium at leaps and bounds in front of other nations, including the UK, the US and even Sweden.

It may be because the Belgians offer up to 30 days of annual leave a year (including public holidays) or linked to their shorter working hours; but it is likely also linked to their general attitude towards work. Similar to other countries that rank highly on the index, Belgian’s see work as a means of living, rather than allowing it to consume their lives.

 

 

work/life balance belgium // mahabis journal

 

holidays //

One of the most important factors in determining the perfect work/life balance is how many holiday days’ workers are entitled to each year. Belgians who work five days a week are entitled to 20 days of annual leave a year – plus a generous 10 public holidays based around the Catholic calendar and important historical events.

In a slightly unusual twist, annual leave is calculated on the amount of days that employees worked during the previous year. However, measures are in place to ensure that those who start work at the beginning of January are still entitled to holidays.

Most people take their annual leave as a full months summer holiday in July or August, coinciding with school holidays to enjoy a well earned rest from work. Rather than having to beg your employer for longer holidays, the Belgians encourage taking your holiday allowance all at once to spend quality time with your family.

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

pay //

The salary system in Belgian is far from typical. Rather than being paid monthly twelve times a year, employee’s salaries are divided by 13.92 with two extra pay days each year at the times when expenses are most likely to soar.

In May, you are given an extra 92% of a month’s salary as vacation pay, to fund your expected month-long vacation over the summer. At the end of the year, around Christmas time, an extra month’s bonus is given (known as the 13th month’s pay). Rather than saving for holidays or for Christmas, this helps Belgians to organise their finances.

Salaries are also indexed, automatically increasing each year based on rising living costs. This inflation is based upon the health index (consumer price index minus tobacco, fuel and alcohol), and essentially means that the government assess the rising cost of living annually to raise salaries accordingly.

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

working hours //

Belgian law fixes typically working hours at 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. These hours can be reduced by mutual agreement, but are rarely increased and it is a seldom occurrence for staff to work longer days.

The working day is typically 8.30 – 5.30 with an hours lunch break as standard. Occasionally management may exceed these working hours, but it is very rare for staff to work through their lunch break or stay at the office late into the night.  In fact, only 5% of the population work exceedingly long hours.

The OECD observed average of daily time off is 15.46 hours, a figure which rises to 16.61 hours in Belgium.

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos: via upsplash
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mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-visuals-architectural-dreaming-by-kim-holtermand mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand
mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming
mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand
mahabis

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand

 

We look at some of Kim Høltermand's work, an award winning Danish photographer who captures some fascinating architecture and landscapes. Wrapped up in the busyness of our everyday lives, we often don't take the time to look around and appreciate our surroundings. So why not put your feet up and relax by gazing at some of the breathtaking architectural visuals that Kim has captured here. 

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

  

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

  

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming 

 

 

All photos: Kim Høltermand

 

To share Kim's incredible shots, click on this ready-to-go tweet link.

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mahabis interviews // arrested development https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-interviews-arrested-development mahabis interviews // arrested development
mahabis interviews // arrested development
mahabis interviews // arrested development
mahabis

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

Trailblazers of the hiphop scene in the early nineties, Arrested Development pushed the boundaries with the messages their music conveyed. Songs such as Mr Wendal and People Everyday are still enjoyed years after release, not just for their melodic mash-up of different genres, but also for the fact that they deal with social issues that are relevant today.

We talk to two members of the band, Speech and Fareedah, to find out more about what their lives are like after having released 12 albums. With much of their career spent busy touring and living on the road, the band share that there's rarely time to sit back and enjoy where they've got to. But when there's a chance for downtime, it's either spent in mahabis, meditating, unwinding to their tracks, or hiking.  

Read on to find out who they look to for musical inspiration, as well as what their alternative career paths might have been...

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

before we begin, tell us about the path that led you guys to forming the band, and getting to where you are today?

FAREEDAH: In my case, the band was already formed, by the time I came along. I was selected from an audition process, to fill in for Eshe, while she was pregnant with her beautiful daughter. From then on I was an understudy and I would fill in for shows that she was unable to do.

 

Most of our readers will be familiar with your work, but if you could sum up Arrested Development in just three words, what would those words be?

SPEECH: Uplifting and lively.

FAREEDAH: Positive, energizing, consciousness.

 

mahabis interviews  // arrested development

Speech's choice of mahabis: gya grey summer

 

Known as trailblazers of the hiphop scene in the early nineties - how has your music evolved over the years since Mr Wendal and Tennessee?

SPEECH: Similar but updated!

FAREEDAH: I think the sound has evolved into a more eclectic mixture of all genres of music along with hip-hop and so there are elements of pop rock jazz Neo-Soul some of everything. The subject matter has evolved as well. Speaking to many issues occurring within our society that affect people all over the world, as it did back in the nineties the music reflects issues of the time and addresses them or at least sparks a conversation.

 

Who have been your biggest inspirations? and which emerging artists are you keeping an eye on at the moment?

SPEECH: Public Enemy to Prince. New artists: Drake to Jay-Z.

FAREEDAH: I absolutely love Michael Jackson I grew up listening to all of his albums and I loved watching him perform and his stage presence and his amazing dance moves. I also loved how his songs told a story. As I got older I also gravitated toward his sister Janet Jackson, for the same reasons. However, visually, I could relate to Janet even more because she was a beautiful young black woman doing all the same things which made me feel like I could do them too.

 

arrested development 
Fareedah's choice of mahabis:  summer black edition 


If you weren’t musicians, which other routes do you reckon you’d have gone down?

SPEECH: A depressed teacher ! Or a journalist.

FAREEDAH: Previously had I not been able to be a part of Arrested Development I probably would have been working a corporate gig somewhere in an office. Now however I've become a part of the circus I've become a part of the circuits Arts community studying aerial dance on silks, trapeze and Lyra... so if I wasn't a musician with Arrested Development I would probably be performing in that capacity.

 mahabis interviews // arrested development


There must have been some pretty hectic times in your career, did you have many chances to sit back, and enjoy where you’d got to?

SPEECH: Rarely. But Australia & Japan are exceptions.

FAREEDAH: Unfortunately we don't really get that much time to actually sightsee and explore the cities that we go to as much as we would like there were a few times in Australia where we were able to sightsee a bit, it doesn't happen that often, but I'm super excited when it does.

 

What tracks do you reach for when you want to relax?

SPEECH: Ours, or literally massage type music.

FAREEDAH: Pretty much anything from Alina baraz Sade Erykah Badu India Arie or some Jazz instrumentals.

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

How do you fit in downtime when you’re in the studio/ on tour? 

SPEECH: Insist upon it, I like enjoying life in the moment.

FAREEDAH: I really don't like a lot of downtime. Whenever I'm not working I like to spend time with my family or check out a movie with my friends and just hang out. I really enjoy what I do for a living so I love spending my days doing it. Either rehearsing, training or teaching. 

 

When and where do you wear your mahabis? 

SPEECH: I work from my home recording studio, so I'm able to relax in what feels like house shoes while I'm tracking, but when I need a break from music, my wife & I LOVE to do a nature walk. Wearing my mahabis it's as easy as slipping on my soles and I'm off.

FAREEDAH: When I'm at the studio teaching Aerial dance, I'm usually barefoot. It's nice to be able to throw on some comfy slippers in between classes or while training. The removable soles make it so convenient to go from outside to inside, without having to completely take them off to walk through the space. They're especially nice in the winter months, I love them!

TASHA: When I'm home from being on the road, I teach voice lessons from my studio. I love wearing my mahabis because I can still look professional while wearing my slippers.

 

mahabis interviews // arrrested development


What are your tour essentials? The things you can’t leave behind.

SPEECH: Phone, computer and various cords!

FAREEDAH: My tour Essentials are definitely my phone so that I can take pictures, listen to music, and stay connected via Wi-Fi. I also like to make sure I have an extension cord with an array of power adapters. Headphones. I tend to pack a few snacks from home that I may not be able to find out on the road. I always pack a bathing suit, flip flops, my own soap and toothpaste.

 

How important is downtime for you all as individuals? What’s the ideal way you choose to to unwind?

SPEECH: Extremely important! Bike riding, hiking, eating.

FAREEDAH: If I'm not sleeping trying to rest and rejuvenate my body, I like to listen to music or sometimes I just sit in silence just to clear my mind in prayer and meditation.

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

What it’s in the pipeline for the year ahead?

SPEECH: More projects and a possible motion picture. 

FAREEDAH: I'm looking forward to more shows traveling to more places that I haven't been yet I'm also looking forward to performing some of the new music that we've been cooking up and have yet to perform live, I think it's going to be really exciting.

 

If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?

SPEECH: Sleeping.

FAREEDAH: Soaking in a jacuzzi! 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

 

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mahabis guide // how to live in the now https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-how-to-live-in-the-now mahabis guide // how to live in the now
mahabis guide // living in the now
mahabis guide // how to live in the now
mahabis

mahabis guide // how to live in the now

 

‘Live in the now’ is a phrase that you probably hear every single day, as we are starting to become aware of our tendency to focus more on our past and future, rather than living in the moment. The idea of being mindful isn’t a new one; it’s all to do with being more conscious of your life as it actually happens. It is, however, a way of life that is becoming more relevant as we are increasingly bombarded by temptations from our past and for our futures.

 

mahabis guide // how to live in the now

 

Consider a typical working day. You might be the kind of person who likes to make lists and plan ahead, which isn't a problem unless you discover that all you seem to do is plan for the future, and that you don’t have any time left to actually do your work. It can be the same with the past – rather than constantly analysing results or performance from the previous weeks or years, you could be getting on with the task at hand.

This can be applied to all aspects of your life. By being present and living in the now, you will find yourself enjoying the simple things in life more: eating meals, relaxing with family and friends, taking a walk.  Unsure how you can stop thinking about the past and the future and live more in the present? We’ve curated a collection of simple tips to get you started.

 

single task, don’t multi-task //

When you attempt to do too many tasks at the same time, it’s hard to focus your brain on just the task in hand. Rather than trying to do too much at once, strip things back and concentrate on one thing at once. Cook your meal, then sit and eat, then have a conversation, then listen to the radio.

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

take your time //

Don’t rush over tasks, however mundane they may seem. If you’re rushing to complete something and thinking about what you are going to be doing next, it’s even harder to live in the moment and fully concentrate on the task in hand.

 

put your camera away //

We’re not saying don’t take photos, but sometimes it's nice to not document every thing that you do. Eat your meal as soon as you sit down to the table, rather than pausing to document it. Go for a walk and simply enjoy the scenery, and being among nature without feeling the need to constantly take photographs.

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

do less //

If you’re going to be taking your time and concentrating on just one task at once, it stands to reason that you may well have to cut down on your daily job lists. You might think this is impossible, but if you write a list of tasks, it is easier to work out what is high priority and what can then be carried over onto another day.

 

love your job //

If you don't enjoy your job, you are likely to spend the working week counting down until the weekend and wishing your time away. It’s difficult to live in the now when you’re not happy. So, try to find the positives in your daily tasks and concentrate on enjoying them.

 

try not to worry //

If you are a natural worrier, you will find it hard to concentrate on the present when you instinctively fret about the future. Try to take things as they come rather than thinking ‘what if’, and worrying about what might happen.

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

concentrate on the task in hand //

When you’re talking to someone, fully invest yourself in that conversation and don’t let your mind wander to think about what you need to do next. When you’re working on something, allow 100% of your thoughts to concentrate on the task. Don’t let your mind wander and you’ll find that you become more productive and finish tasks sooner.

 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

photos: via unsplash
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mahabis travel // best european squares https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-travel-best-european-squares mahabis travel // best european squares
european city squares // mahabis journal
mahabis travel // best european squares
mahabis

mahabis travel // best european squares

 

All across Europe, towns and cities boast squares or piazzas where locals flock to sit al fresco and relax, whilst tourists swarm to admire the architecture. This culture of lounging in chairs outside cafes watching the world go by is quintessentially continental, associated with a slower pace of life.

When visiting cities across Europe, why not visit the local squares to soak in the architecture and culture, but also to sit with a cup of espresso and spend some time simply watching the world go by.

Wondering where to visit? We’ve curated a list of seven of the best European squares, selected for their atmosphere, architecture and culture.

 

Piazza Navona, Rome 

piazza navona // mahabis journal

 

Although St Peter’s Square in Vatican City may be Rome’s most famous square (and we do recommend paying a visit), Piazza Navona is our favourite Roman destination for soaking up the local culture. Originally built as a stadium for chariot races, the Piazza is now used as a meeting place for locals, lined with dozens of cafes whose alfresco seats are always filled.

Street performers, painters and musicians fill the Piazza with life, tempting visitors to stroll around before settling down into a seat to enjoy a cup of coffee. Spectacular architecture lurks behind every corner in Rome, but Piazza Navona is particularly special with its fountains, Baroque buildings and surrounding palazzos creating the feeling of an outdoor museum.

 

Red Square, Moscow

red square // mahabis journal

 

One of the most iconic city squares in the entire world, Moscow’s Red Square is a pilgrimage for architecture lovers who seek to admire the iconic domes of the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral. Lacking the cosy cafes and street performers of other European squares, Red Square can seem quite forbidding on first glance, but its awe-inspiring structures rarely fail to impress.

The Kremlin and the Cathedral (best viewed when lit up at night) aren’t the only important buildings on the square. Lenin’s Mausoleum, the Kazan Cathedral and various bronze statues all tempt history buffs to visit the site of many of Russia’s key historical moments unfolded. 

 

Piazza del Campo, Sienna

piazza del campo // mahabis journal

 

One of the most enchanting medieval cities in Italy, Siena is home to a delightful square which still fulfils its original function as the heart of the city. Locals gather here to eat brunch and catch up with friends, but also for the Palio di Siena horse race which takes place in the square twice a year.

A casual, relaxing atmosphere flows through the square, encouraging visitors, but the grand buildings that surround it also draw in the crowds. Gothic houses, medieval structures and the Fountain of Joy attract interest from tourists seeking the historical buildings that Siena is famed for.

  

Rynek Glowny, Krakow

rynek glowny // mahabis journal

 

Krakow’s Main Square sits in the heart of the city’s Old Town, surrounded by a melting pot of striking architecture from different eras of the city’s history. Colourful and decorative buildings, including the 13th Century Town Hall Tower and Gothic churches tower above an array of cafes and restaurants that spill out onto the square.

During celebrations such as Easter, the Rynek becomes a bustling hive of activity with festive markets and outdoor concerts hosted in the centre of the square. An enchanting destination all year round, the square thrives during the lead up to Christmas as with one of the most vibrant Christmas markets in Europe.

 

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

plaza mayor // mahabis journal

 

Spanish cities are famed for their plaza mayors, similar to Italian piazzas where locals meet to catch up over a few drinks. Salamanca’s plaza mayor is renowned throughout the country as one of the most beautiful public squares in Spain, even gained UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to the Baroque architecture that surrounds it.

In the past, the square may have been used for bullfighting but that is now a distant memory, with locals and tourists filling the space with laughter, conversation and a party atmosphere. Merry-makers linger here until the early hours of the morning; in summer simply perching on the pavement with a group of friends and bottles of beer.

   

Grand Place, Brussels

grand place // mahabis journal

 

Brussel’s Grand Place is perhaps most renowned for its bi-annual Flower Carpet event, where over 700,000 blooms are crafted into a statement carpet design that covers the floor leading up to the Town Hall, tempting crowds of tourists to descend on the city.

Even if you don’t manage to coincide your visit with the flower festivities, the Grand Place is a favourite location with visitors thanks to the fusion of Baroque, Gothic and Louis XIV architecture that surrounds the square. Another city square that boasts UNESCO World Heritage recognition, the Grand Place is the perfect destination to soak up the culture of the city by visiting the cafes, shops and important buildings that surround it.

 

Old Town Square, Prague

old town square // mahabis journal

 

Filled with character and culture, Prague’s Old Town Square demonstrates the diverse array of beautiful architecture in the city’s Old Town. Gothic and Baroque churches sit side by side, nestled below the iconic Prague Astronomical Clock that delights tourists and locals alike.

The pavements are filled with friendly little cafes, their tables spilling out onto the streets to allow the perfect setting to simply sit and people watch whilst enjoying local delicacies and a refreshing drink.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos: via wikimedia
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mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-embracing-the-unknown mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown
mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown

 

Being in one’s comfort zone implies familiarity, safety, and security. Creating a comfort zone is a healthy adaptation for much of our lives. But so is stepping out of our comfort zone when it’s time to transition, grow, and transform." - Abigail Brenner M.D

 mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown

 

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is something that doesn't come naturally. Whether it's a physical challenge like a skydive, or a mental one such as a discussion with a stranger, it takes an element of self awareness that many lack. Fear of failure is inherent in our society, which discourages us from trying new, scary, things. In some ways this can be excused on the basis of self preservation. On the contrary, once you've mastered the art of identifying the comfort zones in which you reside, the ability to push yourself to diversify and grow becomes exciting. Personal growth can be one of the most fulfilling feelings there are. 

 

accept change //

Those who create challenging situations and choose to experience new things within their control are actively training themselves to deal well with change. Unexpected changes to our circumstances can be extremely stressful, but those who have chosen to let go of the reins can be better prepared when control of a situation is taken from them forcefully.

 

 

improve performance //

Psychologists have found over and over again that stress, albeit a word with negative connotations, can actually help us to outperform ourselves. The right amount of anxiety causes the mind to focus, and perform at a level which is much higher than that which we run on autopilot. 

 

improve creativity //

It's a hard hurdle to get across, but once we shed our fear of failure, and frame it in a context of a journey to improvement, it's known to improve the creative process by encouraging unusual thought. Allowing your imagination to run totally wild creates a certain vulnerability to your ideas, but equally heightens the chance of a 'eureka' moment. 

 

mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown

 

slow the aging process //

This idea sounds a little far fetched, but is based in logic; as we get older we become set in our ways. The situations we feel comfortable in become less. We end up doing less, thinking less creatively and our minds can easily become stale. A young person with broad spectrums of experiences, challenges and thoughts will lead to an older person with a more active, working mind.

 

create interest //

Challenges, new experiences and conversations with people who don't think the same way as you all add up to a person with crazy stories to tell. Feeling interesting and interested in life will help you feel confident, and sharing your experiences with others can change others perceptions of you. 

 

 

live life to its fullest //

Quite apart from all of the psychological and physiological benefits, one reason to push the boundaries of your comfort zones is because living life to its potential is a gift. With a little self awareness, anybody can jump onto a more fulfilling journey.

 

If you enjoyed reading our blog, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos:  HelloquenceAlexandre ChambonLukas BudimaierDmitry Kotov
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mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-10-ways-to-inspire-creativity mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity
mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity
mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity

 

Creativity comes natural to some people, waking up with their heads brimming with ideas and inspiration every morning. The rest of us sometimes need a little help with encouraging our creative juices to flow, whether that involves adhering to a routine or allowing yourself moments of spontaneity.

 mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity

 

You learn with time what inspires your own creativity – what works for one person may actually suppress inspiration in another. Once you’ve sussed out the habits, conditions and triggers that incite creative thought processes, write them down and keep a log to help you to recreate the conditions in the future.

To get you started, here are a collection of patterns that creative people often follow to inspire their creativity.

 

daydream // 

Creative people know that working a solid eight-hour shift is no way to inspire creative thoughts. Allow your mind to wander frequently, stepping away from your tasks and letting your thoughts drift off in search of inspiration. You’ll find that your thoughts begin to meander away from the task in hand, allowing your mind to open up to the possibility of more creative ideas. After all, the best ideas frequently appear out of the blue.

 

get outdoors //

It’s often hard to feel creative when you’re stuck inside all day. Try walking to work instead of taking the bus, take a break in the middle of the day to go for a stroll or fit in walking your dog around your peak creative hours. Getting outdoors for just a short time each day helps to clear your head whilst the exposure to nature will incite your creativity. Read our post about the calming effects of hiking to discover more benefits of being outdoors.

 

inspire creativity // mahabis journal

 

be flexible //

Not everyone feels inspired during the hours of nine and five. Some creative folk do their best work in the dead of the night or in the early hours of the morning. Learn when you feel most creative and where possible, choose to work during this time period, leaving the rest of your day free for other activities.

 

work from a cafe //

Complete silence doesn’t do anything for creativity. Try working from your local café for a couple of hours every day to surround yourself with ambient noise to help to promote creative ideas. If you can’t get to a café, have gentle music on as background noise, or turn the radio on at a low volume.

 

inspire creativity // mahabis journal

 

learn to embrace solitude //

There’s no need to turn into a hermit, but in order to stir up your creativity through processes such as daydreaming or napping, it helps to feel comfortable in your own company. Don’t be afraid to book a weekend away by yourself to stir up creativity in a new environment.

 

embrace new experiences // 

Routine can be one of the biggest dampeners on creativity. It’s important to mix things up a little and try out new things that could inspire you in different ways to what you are used to. Travelling to new places, meeting new people and engaging in different activities can all help to inspire.

 

mahabis lifestyle // adventure

 

take naps // 

Taking power naps throughout the day has been shown to unlock creative thoughts, especially inciting inspiration just before you drift off. Set your alarm, get comfy on the sofa and allow yourself a short doze whenever your creativity is feeling stifled.

 

put pen to paper // 

If you keep all of your thoughts locked up inside your head, they’re more likely to get jumbled up or you may forget something. Keep a notepad and pen with you at all times, ready to roughly jot down ideas whenever creativity strikes.

mahabis lifestyle // putting pen to paper 

 

be curious // 

The most creative people are those who wonder ‘what if’ rather than simply accepting things at face value. Allow yourself to wonder how something works, why someone has a particular view or why an artist chose to paint a specific scene.

 

discuss your ideas // 

Don’t keep your ideas close to your chest; discussing and debating with those whose opinions you respect can help to further evolve your ideas. Ask those you trust what they think of your ideas and allow their responses to inspire your thoughts.

 

If you enjoyed reading our blog, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link

 

photos via unsplash, ben moore
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mahabis travel // inspiring views from around the world https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-travel-best-views-around-the-world mahabis travel // inspiring views from around the world
mahabis travel // inspiring views from around the world
mahabis

mahabis travel // inspiring views from around the world

Travel destinations are chosen on a variety of merits: tourist attractions, culture, ancient monuments, weather. When searching for a stillness rarely experienced in the daily grind, you may want to plan your next trip to absorb the awesomeness of one of these amazing views from around the world. From city, to snow, to sea, they all have one thing in common; the ability to stop you in your tracks, allowing you to take the time to truly appreciate the grandeur of the world in which we live.

singapore // marina bay sands 

Usually tipped for a spectacular view from the Singapore Flyer, an alternative in Singapore is the more relaxed view from the Marina Bay Sands. Whilst relaxing on a sunbed or in the worlds largest infinity pool, you'll feel a step removed from the chaos of downtown. Look upon the lights from afar and take a moment of calm to enjoy.

 

ireland // west coast

Green is the colour of Ireland, in more ways than one. The west coast of Ireland is known for its wild weather, crashing waves and incredible panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Take a road trip around the expanses of rolling hills to truly appreciate the rugged landscape, smattered with idyllic cottages.

 

bolivia // salar de uyuni 

Amongst the largest salt flats in the world you'll find a truly unique view in Bolivia. As though a giant has knocked over his salt pot, the flats will douse you in ethereal magnitude. The crystal clear reflections of sky play amongst the salt creating optical illusions, take a moment to capture them in a photograph or in your mind for safekeeping.

 

norway // preikestolen

Those who suffer from vertigo or acrophobia may want to steer clear. For those who enjoy standing on the precipice, this 604m sheer cliff may top the list. Roughly translated to 'Preachers Pulpit', Preikestolen may even grant you the sight of a base jumper or two leaping to the depths of the Lysefjorden. Peering over the edge can bring a great sense of clarity to those brave enough.

 

bhutan // paro taktsang

This sacred Buddhist site, known as tiger's nest, is settled deep in the Himalayas. The myriad of temples perches precariously on the mountain face, and takes some hiking to get there. Any visitors who do make the journey will be in good company, as Wills and Kate also completed the trek in April 2016. Explore the temples and take a moment to absorb the arduous feat that went into the creation of the tiger's nest. 

 

canary isles // chipeque point

Whilst Tenerife does not always inspire images of luscious views and magical moments, Chipeque couldn't escape this list. Standing above the Orotava Valley and looking out to the Atlantic Ocean to one side and the majestic Teide volcano on the other, it provides a panoramic aesthetic journey to embark upon. 

 

canada // cn tower 

One more city view to take you high above the masses, this Toronto landmark is unique in that it features a glass floor and a daring observation pod rail walk. It's the highest full circle in the world, therefore another unsuitable for anyone afraid of heights. Lucky photography have caught some stunning imagery of lightning hitting the 3rd tallest building in the world. For a little less thrill, perhaps just take a moment to revel in the view. 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready to go tweet link.

 

images // Silas KhuaIan SchneiderLuca Galuzzi, PixabayVIkramjit KakatiRaico Bernardino RosenbergWade Gardner

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mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-ambassador-eric-pilon-bignell mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell
mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell
mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell
mahabis

mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

We talk to adventurer and explorer Eric Pilon-Bignell and find out how even the most fearless people need their downtime too.  Eric tells us how, in between ascending some of the world's tallest peaks and spending time participating in high-adrenaline sports including wakeboarding, snowboarding and surfing, he too likes to chill. Keep reading to find out more about Eric's latest adventures, how he likes to relax and when he wears his mahabis.

 

Before we begin, could you describe what you do in one sentence?

Oh wow, good question, can it be one long sentence?

Project7 is the adventure of a life time, in which I will be working on climbing the 7 highest mountain on each continent in an effort to raise money and awareness to help us better understand the most important part of the human body, the Brain. 

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

What has been your most challenging climb?

Still being early in the project, I would say the hardest climb to date was Russia (Mt. Elbrus – 18,513’) which we summited this August. 

What made things difficult was our weather window closed on us. We were expecting to use 4-5 days to summit, taking a few days to do some acclimatisation hikes and a rest day. However a serious weather system was moving in over the last 2-3 days when we were planning to summit, and mountain rescue was informing all teams to call off their summit pushes on those specific days. Meaning we had two options: try to make a 2-day push, or wait a week. 

I was fortunate to be with my friend Vitaly Stegno, who is one of the best guides on the mountain. After assessing the situation and our condition, we opted to try and summit in the next 30 hours.  We did an acclimatisation climb up over 15,000’, came back down to camp (12,500’), ate dinner, tried to sleep for 2 hours or so and left some time around midnight for our summit push. 

If you haven’t seen a sunrise at 18,000’, it’s a surreal experience of this pink and purple sky that emerges from the dark; it’s incredible. We summited that morning, it was awesome.

 

mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell

 

When you're not climbing mountains, hiking or snowboarding, how do you like to unwind?

I don’t have much of an in-between. I am usually super intense in my activities and extremely relaxed and chill in my free time.

I like relaxing with friends and family. I’m going to get big brownie points here, but I like just relaxing with my wife on our patio, in ski villages, by the lake or camping.

 

When and where do you usually wear your Mahabis?

I wear them anywhere, but I would say I wear them most often around the house. 

There is something about disconnecting from all the noise we surround ourselves with in our daily lives. I’m not sure why but putting on slippers helps me reconnect with that and disconnect a little. Plus they are extremely comfy!

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 Eric's choice of mahabis - larvik dark grey x larvik grey sole

 

How do you like to spend your time relaxing when at base camp?

Eating, sitting around talking and drinking tea, and dance parties…I am a terrible dancer! Since it’s difficult to sleep at elevation, we tend to goof around and rock out to music like Nirvana, the Lumineers and Barbra Streisand …don’t ask, long story!

Looking back I have no clue why; it’s strange how you act hyper and funny when you’re really tired, you know what I mean? Anyway, lots of hanging out and chilling. You learn a lot about people when on a long climb. Since you are experiencing new things together you seem to find a connection and confide in each other, and you find yourself talking about things that you might not otherwise normally talk about.

  

What three non-essential objects do you carry with you on expeditions?

A hat (baseball cap style) which I use strictly for when I’m not climbing and just hanging around, and an iPod & iPhone. One could say my mahabis, but I would argue they are not a ‘non-essential item’ because they are multi-purpose. They are great for inside use or even inside your sleeping bag, but if you want to step outside then you can simply throw on the detachable sole!

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

 

How do you relax/celebrate once you have reached the peak of a mountain?

Once I reach the summit, I take it all in for a little while, then turn my attention to the descent. It is funny how quickly my mind turns to focusing on my next challenge.

I really measure the success more based on the experience, making the summit is definitely a nice bonus though.  Once we get back down, I like to eat a nice celebratory meal with some drinks and talk about our summit/adventure!

 

What would be your ultimate mountain to summit?

Cho Oyu, Makalu, and Everest.  An 8000m peak is the ultimate goal for sure, there are only 14 of them in the world, all located in the Himalayas.

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

Where is the most unusual place that you have worn your mahabis slippers?

Oh boy, where haven’t I worn them?! Honestly though, I wear them around my place a lot and if I need to run out, I just pop on the detachable sole.  It sounds strange to think about wearing slippers at a gas station or picking up food but why not be comfy if you can! 

 

 

What would you do with an extra hour in the day?

Another good question. Get in an extra training workout, or sleeping for extra hour would be nice as well.  

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

 

all photos via eric pilon-bignell

 

 

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mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-reclaiming-meal-times mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times
mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times
mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times
mahabis

mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times

 

All too often we rush through eating, grabbing a breakfast bar during the morning commute, eating lunch at our desks and ignoring the dinner table in favour of consuming our evening meal in front of the television. In keeping with a slow living lifestyle, it’s time to reclaim our meal times and rediscover eating as a way of enjoying downtime.

 

breakfast // mahabis journal

 

Rather than rushing, meals should be savoured and slowed down. Never mind the physical health benefits of eating slower and taking more time to consider the food that you are putting on your plate – we’re more concerned with enjoying meal times as a form of relaxation.

Dining should be a social occasion, no matter the size of the meal. Whether you’re meeting a friend for a slice of cake in a local café or hosting a dinner party, eating has the power to bring people together and to incite conversation. You always make time to eat at least three times a day, why not allow yourself more time to actually appreciate the experience?

 

mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times

 

Start things off slowly with breakfast. Rather than snoozing your alarm clock until the last possible moment and eating on the go, train yourself into rising earlier each day so that you don’t have to rush out of the house in the morning. Pull together a simple breakfast for your household and sit down to eat together before you leave the house. Taking this time to slowly wake up whilst enjoying light conversation will put you in a much better mood for the day ahead.

 

mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times

 

Why not take lunch away from your desk - sit and eat in a communal area with other members of your team, or take a walk to a local eatery. We ought to remember it’s called a lunch break, and so we should resist the temptation to check our emails whilst eating.  

Mid-afternoon, it's often easy to be tempted to pop open a bag of crisps at your desk. Instead, take a lesson from the Swedes and allow yourself a short break for fika. Nip to the closest coffee shop or even just catch a five minute break with a colleague in the kitchen over a steaming cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun.

Rather than searching Deliveroo when you arrive home in the evening, it can be equally, if not more enjoyable, to pull together a meal that you can share with a partner, family or friends. Sit up to the table and turn off the TV so that you can focus on the food in front of you and the conversation with your peers. Savouring each course and appreciating the food as much as the company makes the moment all the more enjoyable.

 

salad // mahabis journal

 

It isn’t all about learning to let go of modern distractions and concentrating on company. You can still enjoy your meal times if you dine solo. Many of us automatically turn on the television as a distraction when dining solo. If you must have entertainment, why not try listening to the radio as an alternative, so that you can at least look at your plate whilst you eat. Otherwise, simply relish the experience, paying more attention to the flavours and textures of your meal than you would usually.

Linger over meals, allowing your food to settle before leaping up to take care of the washing up. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee at the table after dinner, extending the experience. Think of meal times as a highlight of your day, when you can forget about the stresses of work and fully unwind.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link

photos: via unsplash, pexels jay mantri  
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mahabis journal // our guide to zero tasking day https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-zero-tasking-day mahabis journal // our guide to zero tasking day
mahabis journal // zero tasking
mahabis journal // our guide to zero tasking day
mahabis

mahabis journal // our guide to zero tasking day

 

Historically, most countries in the world adhered to daylight saving time as a way of maximising productivity during daylight hours. And yet, each year, more countries abandon the tradition, as it becomes less necessary in the modern world. As many countries still adhere to it, however, we focus on the benefits of having an extra hour, and how we can make the most of these benefits all year around.

 

mahabis journal // zero tasking day 

In the spring we tend to punish ourselves for the 'lost hour' - intent on getting more work done, ignoring the inevitable loss of an hours sleep. Those affected by upset sleep patterns force their bodies to work through it, focusing on the positive - the imminent arrival of the summer sun. The steady increase in daylight hours serves as the literal light at the end of the tunnel of winter. This helps somewhat to ease us through the spring time change.

Surely then, when it comes around to gaining the hour back in the autumn, that means we've already done all we need to do in it? Far from squeezing in an extra hour of work or chores, it's an hour we've earned of freedom from thought, stress and work. With no extra sunshine on the horizon, just early dusk and long nights, the autumn time change is traditionally the more difficult of the two. It needn't be.


mahabis guide // zero tasking

 

This is where the notion of Zero Tasking Day arises. Created by Nancy Christie, author of The Gifts of Change, Zero Tasking Day is 'a day is to fill that extra 60 minutes with nothing. In other words, take this "extra" time and rest, give yourself a break from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday life.' Much akin to the processes she discusses in her book, we are encouraged to take time to adapt to change, instead of ignoring or working through it. Christie believes we have more to gain from change if we re-evaluate and gain new perspective.

As a result, regardless of whether it's when we're getting that daylight savings hour back or not, we should try to grasp an hour where we can with both hands and claim it all to ourselves. In our ever-connected world, it is possible to underestimate the advantages of taking an hour to switch off. Indulge yourself for an hour in a book you've had on your shelf for a while, listen to some new music with a glass of wine, or go for a fresh winter walk, wrapped in soft wool crunching through the last of the autumn leaves.

 

mahabis guide // zero tasking day

 

There are many ways to switch off, and as with most things, it's important to find what works for you. (Our notes on downtime have inspiration on that topic.) This Sunday, why not forget striving to be more productive, and instead, why not strive to make some time for yourself. Find yourself clarity, relaxation and empty time. You may find your body and mind will thank you for it all winter.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

images // kari shea, nomao saekialejandro escamilla, worthy of elegance
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mahabis kids // stories from mini mahabis ambassadors https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-kids-ambassador-stories mahabis kids // stories from mini mahabis ambassadors
mahabis kids // stories
mahabis kids // stories from mini mahabis ambassadors
mahabis

mahabis kids // stories from mini mahabis ambassadors

 

mahabis kids // downtime activities

 

In light of our kids launch, we decided to hear from some little ones themselves about what they think of their mahabis, and what they like to do with their playtime/ downtime.

From drawing to reading, we find out that no matter how old you are, having fun, wearing comfy slippers, and enjoying your downtime is just as essential.

 

 

 

mahabis kids // stanley

Stanley, (3.5y)

Stanley, son of photographer and designer Fiona Burrage, now has matching mahabis with his mum. Since his speech is still developing, Mum fills us in on why he loves his mahabis, (or ‘swippers’ in Stanley's words). Having chosen the larvik light grey and borgen blue combination, Stanley tells us he's a fan because they are 'grey and furry', and enjoys wearing them whilst snuggled up on the sofa watching programmes about trains in his dressing gown.

Even at the age of just 3 and a half, Stanley is no stranger to minimalist design, since Mum Fiona is also the owner of the lifestyle brand Nor-Folk. Their apparel is designed with a timeless, minimalist aesthetic, and is available for the whole family. We love their Dot Tee in Mint, (it's a great match for the aqua kids slippers). 

 

mahabis kids // downtime activities photos: @nor_folk

more from mum: 

"As a parent, I think they are beautiful quality and the sole being blue is a really nice touch. Better yet we have matching pairs and they blend seamlessly into our apartment."

 

 

mahabis kids // edie

edie, (4y)

Edie, daughter of award winning dad blogger Jamie Day, likes her mahabis because they’re cosy and soft, but mostly because they’re the same as her dad’s. Jamie elaborated for us a little - she has been wearing her Mahabis ever since they arrived. Every night they're placed neatly beside her bed, ready for the morning. Edie’s choice was larvik light grey with skane yellow soles. And whilst younger son Arlo (11 months) falls a little out of our size range, he's also a fan! You can check out Jamie's blog on his matching classics here, and why he thinks they are the perfect gift for the hands-on dad. 

 

mahabis kids // downtime activitiesphoto: @dayjam

more from dad... 

"She likes them because of the cosy lining, but I actually think the main reason she likes them is because they're the same as mine - I think children love this kind of association with their parents (it's a bit like pretending to put make-up on when my wife does).” 

 

mahabis kids // s 

S, (8y) 

S, son of Laura Pashby, tells us how he likes spending his downtime. Just as mother Laura blogs at Circle of Pine Trees, we find out that her son also likes being creative, as he tells us “when I'm at home, I love to read, especially Harry Potter. I always build stuff with Lego, and I like drawing too. Dragons are my favourite thing to draw”. S went for larvik light grey with borgen blue soles.

 

mahabis kids // circleofpinesphotos: @circleofpines

more from s... 

“I like my Mahabis because they're furry and warm inside. I keep them next to my bed so I can put them on in the morning."

 

 

mahabis kids // edie and astrid

astrid, (6y) and edie, (8y)

Astrid and Edie, daughters of journalist and interiors editor Ciara Elliott, have matching pairs of mahabis classics. Astrid went for larvik dark grey x rjukan red, whilst Edie chose the light grey x skane yellow. When not not reading or watching Harry Potter, Ciara informs us that they are both obsessed with gymnastics, and are constantly cartwheeling and doing flips in the garden. 

 mahabis kids // downtime activities photos: @ciaraelliot

more from edie...

“I don't want to take them off! Do you think I could wear them to school?" - Edie
 
 

 

mahabis kids // reuben

reuben, (6y)

We also caught up with with Reuben, son of one of our earliest ambassadors, the lovely Tiffany Grant-Riley. Her blog Curate and Display is a source for all things minimalist, beautiful design, and slow living. Tiif tells us that Reuben has been walking a little taller since his 'grown-up slippers' arrived, and you can check out more photos of how he's been enjoying his mahabis here. 

 

mahabis kids // reuben photos: @curatedisplay

more from reuben... 

“I like to sit down in my slippers in my favourite spot on the sofa. I like the green on the bottoms and I also like the grey. They feel nice.”



 

mahabis kids // bailey

bailey, (4y) 

Mother, writer and photographer, Melanie Barnies embraces slow living culture. Daughter Bailey’s is shown below cosied up in her mahabis. She chose the ilen ivory to go with her larvik light grey classics, which also match Mum's pair!

 

mahabis kids // downtime activities photos: @geoffreyandgrace

more from bailey... 

"I like them coz they're fluffy and they keep my feet warm"

 

 

mahabis kids // oliver and sebastian

sebastian, (4y) and oliver, (8y)

Sebastian and Oliver, sons of lifestyle blogger and photographer Deborah Gordon, are also wearers of the new mahabis kids. Sebastian insists on having his ‘swippers’ right by his bed, whereas Oliver loves being able to go outside without having to change his shoes! You can see the larvik dark grey classics with ilen ivory soles below.

 

mahabis kids // downtime activities photos: @apieceofcake82

more from oliver and sebastian:

"Mama, put my swippers right beside my bed so when I wake up, I can put my toes in my comfy swippers and be all warm " - Sebastian, 4.

"Does that mean I can go outside with my slippers on and not have to change my shoes" - Oliver, 8.

 

Take a browse through our all new kids range below, and feel free to find out more here

  mahabis kids // downtime activities

 

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work-life balance in // brazil https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/work-life-balance-in-brazil work-life balance in // brazil
mahabis lifestyle // work-life balance in brazil
work-life balance in // brazil
mahabis

work-life balance in // brazil

 

We have delved into the work life balance in Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. All three have systems which promote a healthier distribution, but what about countries outside of Europe?

Of the entirety of North and South America, Brazil is second only to Canada according to the Better Life Index. With only 9.5% of its residents working long hours, the Brazilians put more emphasis on leisure time in order to boost productivity during work.

In recent years, Brazil has gone through a period of rapid economic growth which has had knock on effects, such as different requirements from the workforce and changing family dynamics. They have been forced to adapt, but remain insistent on maintaining policies and initiatives which strive to achieve healthy balance.

 

mahabis guide // brazilian work life balance  

work hours

Despite the recent drastic change, many of their policies to improve the balance have been in place since 1988. Although Brazil isn't amongst the lowest when it comes to hours worked, their rules to enforce maximums are much stricter. These policies may seem unfair on businesses but the commitment to improving citizens lives is refreshing.

The upper limit on the working week is 44 hours, and the average closer to 40. The biggest benefit of these laws regards overtime; any hours worked past 44 must be paid at time and a half, on weekends or holidays it is double. This encourages businesses to ensure employees have enough time for leisure, for family and for themselves. 

 

mahabis guide // work life balance in brazil  

 paid vacation

Whilst shorter working days and weeks are important for the everyday balance, real time away from the office is key to authentic relaxation. When we are on vacation many of us tend to take a little while to snap out of the work mindset. Pushing to the back of our minds the minutiae, and resisting checking emails is often difficult.

For these reasons, Brazil's incredible 41 days holiday most certainly impacts upon the high satisfaction reported by Brazilians. The 11 federal holidays are mandated. In addition to the 30 days of vacation, this allows for real downtime. 

 

bonuses

In order to truly enjoy all of that incredible vacation time, many of us tend to feel pressure to work overtime in order to feel financially secure. In Brazil, prior to taking vacation, employees receive a bonus equating 33% of their monthly pay. 

For many, it's also common to feel the pinch around the holidays. In Brazil however, a 13th month bonus paid in December enforced by law allows all employees are free to enjoy Christmas without concern. 

 

mahabis guide // work life balance 

family time 

There's no time when family is more important than with a new child arriving to the family. The time to share and connect with a new child, and with well-wishers and extended family is not overlooked in Brazil. In 2008 maternity leave was extended from 120 to 180 days. Although the extra sixty days is optional for private companies, it is heavily adopted. 

 

sacred lunch breaks

In the UK, America and much of Europe, lunch is an unceremonious affair. The pressure to continue working can be so high that many eat at their desk or on their way to meetings. Akin to the French, don't expect it to be business as usual between 12.30 and 2.30. For Brazilians, lunch time is extremely important. A cold sandwich or a salad eaten at your desk will not suffice. Breakfast is a lighter affair and may simply be french bread and coffee, which allows people time to work up an appetite before they pour from offices with colleagues in order to chat and unwind at a churrascaria.

 

mahabis guide // work life balance 

coffee and conversation 

Coffee is not simply a form of caffeination, but a form of olive branch. It's known that a coffee can conclude the most heated of arguments. If someone offers you coffee it can be taken as an invitation to converse, to solve a dispute or to get to know someone better.

Of course, that's not the only aspect in which coffee has infiltrated Brazilian culture, but the emphasis on the accompaniment of conversation with coffee rids their people of the 'on-the-move' attitude. This allows for more pauses, more time to digest and enjoy company.

The appeal of Brazil is undeniable. If you want to read more, take a peek at curitiba here.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link


images // felipe G, martin ezequiel sanchez, caleb jones, andrew neel

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mahabis guide // the calming effects of hiking https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-relax-the-calming-effects-of-hiking mahabis guide // the calming effects of hiking
the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal
mahabis guide // the calming effects of hiking
mahabis

mahabis guide // the calming effects of hiking

 

Fresh air, dramatic views and a chance to stretch your legs; we all know that walking is good for your physical health, but were you aware that taking a long walk in the countryside can help to clear your mind and relieve stress?

Being cooped up indoors can hinder your creativity and reduce your productivity by limiting external stimulation. Nobody feels inspired by staring at the same four walls all day long. Taking a small break for a brisk walk around your local park can help, but there’s nothing quite like packing a backpack and setting off on a long hike to clear the cobwebs.

 

the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal

 

Picture the scene. You’re in the wilderness without any phone signal, hiking at a leisurely pace. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, misty moorland or luscious forest, every vista is a photo opportunity. Whether you’re walking in a group or on your own, you have the time to appreciate your surroundings and gather your thoughts. Inspiration hits with every step you take, and the longer that you walk for, the further away the stresses of daily life seem to be.

  

the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal

 

The health benefits of getting back to nature have become more apparent in recent years. Doctors are prescribing 'nature therapy' to help reduce stress. Research demonstrates that people who have access to email have higher heart rates than those who are cut off from the internet. Unplugging, switching off and getting back to nature allows a well earned break from the chaos of modern life.

Wandering through the countryside, whether that’s a leisurely stroll through fields or a challenging climb up a mountain, helps your brain to become calmer, relieving brain fatigue and aiding concentration. The sound of leaves crunching underfoot, the feeling of the sun shining on your skin or, the smell of wild flowers in bloom; the bombardment of stimuli to all of your senses and the exertion from the physical effort all help to abolish stress and allow your mind to relax.

  

the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal

 

So, where are the best places to hike to clear your mind? We recommend getting out of the city and heading to your nearest national park. In the UK, the likes of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Cairngorms and Snowdonia beckon with their rolling hills, towering peaks and ancient woodlands. Further afield, the Norwegian fjords and Iceland’s Highlands provide ample hiking opportunities far removed from busy cities.

 

the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal

 

The USA and Canada are home to an abundance of both short and long hiking trails. The likes of the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail are more suited for serious hikers with several months to spare, but there are endless day or half-day hikes all across the continent. Some of our favourite hiking trails are along the Columbia River Gorge in Washington, in the Great Smokey Mountains, at Yosemite National Park and in British Columbia.

 

If you liked our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link

 

photos via unsplash

 

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mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-winding-down mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend
mahabis guide // winding down
mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend
mahabis

mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend

 

It’s a common experience to feel like your weekends are slipping away. With working hours creeping later and later, weekends should be our respite, where we don’t have to feel guilty about relaxing. But in fact, for most people it seems to be the opposite; Saturdays and Sundays are spent rushing around and attempting to cram in as much as possible. It’s time to reclaim our weekends for ‘me time’.

 

mahabis journal // slow weekends

 

Traditionally, Saturdays and Sundays have been seen as days of rest. They were the days that would be spent at leisure with the family. Over the decades, they have lost their meaning and have become associated with catching up on chores and making up for lost time in the week. Even those who seek to spend their time embracing a slower lifestyle can attempt to cram too much into their two days off a week.

When we work busy jobs and have little time to spend with our family and friends during the week, it can often become increasingly tempting to try and do too much at the weekend. But weekends are for winding down and recharging. So why not embrace a slower weekend and reclaim more time for ourselves? Whether that be lounging on the sofa, having a drink with friends, or getting out of the city - winding down can be whatever works for you. 

 

mahabis guide // slow weekends

 

It's sometimes a good idea to keep things to a minimum and allow plenty of time to yourself to rest and recuperate ready to face another working week. You don’t always have to have company to enjoy your weekends. Spending an evening on the sofa with a good book or catching up on your favourite TV series is more than fine. If your weekdays are a bombardment of people and information, then the weekends are the perfect opportunity to switch off and enjoy a little ‘me time’.

 

mahabis guide // winding down

 

There’s no reason to feel guilty about indulging in a lie in at the weekend. Most of us tend to wake at the crack of dawn during the week, so what are a few extra hours of lounging around or enjoying breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning? There's no need to make plans until early afternoon; instead why not enjoy long, lingering slow mornings where you take your time to rise, reading the Sunday papers in your slippers as you enjoy an indulgent brunch. It’s moments like these, when we slow down, and concentrate on the moment we're in, that we end up enjoying the simple pleasures in life. 

 

mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend

 

To get the most out of our weekends, and to really wind down, it makes sense to void your time of distractions, and simply focus on yourself. Of course, make time for family and friends, but be prepared to say no when you feel like you’ve taken on too much and you just fancy some me-time. Take things back a couple of decades and revisit the traditional use of the weekend; days of rest.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link

 

photos: via pexels, unsplash, flickr, elisabet dominguez, basti93

 

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mahabis guide // does coffee boost creativity? https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/coffee-culture-how-caffeine-can-boost-your-creativity mahabis guide // does coffee boost creativity?
mahabis guide // coffee culture
mahabis guide // does coffee boost creativity?
mahabis

mahabis guide // does coffee boost creativity?

 

There’s nothing better than a steaming hot cup of coffee to wake us up in the morning, another one half way through the morning to help retain our focus at our desk, and perhaps a third several hours later for an afternoon energy boost. But can your daily coffee fix also enhance your creativity?

The studies are mixed. There are decidedly two camps in the argument, one recommending caffeine for a creative spurt and the other insisting that coffee actually stifles creativity. Coffee has certainly been the drink of choice for many famous artists, musicians and writers over the years, and there is no doubt that it is a stimulant. But can a simple Cup of Joe really make you a more creative person?

 

mahabis guide // coffee culture

 

A recent piece in The New Yorker by Maria Konnikova (‘How Caffeine Can Cramp Creativity’) argues that drinking coffee can actually make us too focused. Our most creative ideas tend to occur when our mind is wandering and we are subsequently less focused. When we attempt to concentrate on a problem in hand, aided by extra stimulation from caffeine, it can have a detrimental impact on our creative thought process.

However, it’s no secret that drinking coffee (in moderation) each day boosts our energy levels and makes us feel more awake. Caffeine can also aid our concentration, enhance our performances (both physical and mental) and aid our decision making processes. It helps with initiative, commitment and self-doubt – barriers that need to be broken down in order to think creatively.

 

coffee // mahabis journal

 

Perhaps the main benefit of drinking coffee for a creative boost, however, is more to do with the rituals and routines involved, rather than with the substance itself. Getting together with a colleague for a meeting over coffee, pouring yourself the perfect drip brew before settling down to your laptop, taking a coffee break when you start to feel overwhelmed and uninspired at your desk; it is often the association with preparing a cup of coffee that reinvigorates your brain to spark creative thoughts. Having daily rituals is an essential part of the creative process, after all.

So, perhaps the creative boost happens before you even take a sip of coffee. The association with taking a break, the routine of making your perfect brew in your preferred method, the way your mind drifts when you’re sat in a bustling coffee shop waiting for your drink to cool; these all spark creative thoughts.

 

coffee and laptop // mahabis journal

 

Studies have shown that a certain amount of ambient background noise is a much better cue for creativity than complete silence. Picture the scene: perched on a stool in a busy café, your drink steaming on the table and a pen in your hand. Throughout the ages, writers have retreated to coffee shops to write award-winning tomes, for the atmosphere as much for the caffeine. Being surrounded by sounds, sights, tastes and smells can only encourage creative thoughts.

And what happens once those creative thoughts have sparked and your mind begins wandering? You start to sip your cup of coffee and become gradually more and more focused, perfectly poised to put pen to paper and write down your thoughts.

 

mahabis guide // caffeine and creativity  

Perhaps this is the solution: placing yourself in an environment that encourages creativity, then drinking your coffee as the second stage in the creative process, helping you to streamline all of the thoughts that are firing around your brain. Perhaps a cup of coffee is the focus that you need to channel your thoughts, and it is the environment in which you drink it in that sparks the initial creativity.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to tweet it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos via: unsplash, life of pix, marcus spiske, bench accounting, kaboompics
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mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-visual-note-taking mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking
mahabis guide // the art of visual notetaking
mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking
mahabis

mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking

 

When we pick up a pen and notebook it's easy to be inclined to stay between the lines and ignore the blank pages. However, visual note-taking or sketch-noting is a technique that allows your notes to be more engaging. Reams upon reams of text in clunky handwriting is hardly aesthetically pleasing, so why not make your journaling or note-taking more pleasurable to look back upon? In this guide we take you through a few techniques used by visual note-takers and we look at the impact it may have upon the creative, organisational or therapeutic process that note-taking may become.

 

mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking

what //

Visual notes are the translation of content into a visual language that you can absorb, understand and process better. This may include some filtering of unnecessary thought in order to focus on the most crucial information, or to allow you to get different perspectives on creative ideas. Although the focus is on the visual aspect, it is really a tool to get the most from the text.

 

why //

Creatively, restricting yourself to traditional note-taking enforces linear thought, linear records and an 'end point'. Allowing your personality to seep into your notes will free your thoughts and allow you to process them in a holistic way, organise them into a hierarchy that makes sense to you, and easily highlight points you want to emphasise. Scientifically, visual thinking increases retention and recall of information by up to 30%, increasing the depth of understanding of your notes. 

 

 

Sunni Brown, author of Visual Notetaking 101 insists that visual and verbal thinking open different doorways in our mind; "Having access to both modes ultimately elevates the capacity of the person to think, feel and experience in more diverse and substantive ways. It strengthens a mental muscle that is currently drastically underused." [1]

how // 

  • Create 'containers' which represent the content inside. For example, write quotes inside speech bubbles. Using shapes and colours as containers to differentiate ideas or sections, can help to bring structure to your page.
  • 'Connectors', such as arrows, trails, or sequencing can tie loose ends and create a logical flow within the notes.
  • Icons may be used to highlight titles or sections and make notes easier to scan when you look back upon them. For example, some haphazard social icons, banners, or even a different font can bring life to the page.
  • Revisit to refine. Allow your notes to be spur of the moment, and follow your tangents of thought organically. Don't stress over each little detail initially; there's always time to review your page at any point. 

 

 

The wonderful thing is visual note-taking doesn't require any real drawing skill, just a little creativity and insight into your own mind. It doesn't matter if your notes don't look perfect, what matters is that they are stimulating and work for you. They should make you want to re-read, revisit and rekindle your creations, sparking your creativity all over again. 

 

If you enjoyed reading our guide, feel free to share via our ready-to-go-tweet link.

images // unsplash romstudies, studyingg
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mahabis guide // idyllic winter escapes https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-travel-winter-escapes mahabis guide // idyllic winter escapes
mahabis guide // winter escape
mahabis guide // idyllic winter escapes
mahabis

mahabis guide // idyllic winter escapes

lake bled, slovenia 

Bled is a small town in northwestern Slovenia, overlooked by mountains and forests and bordered by a uniquely stunning lake. Curious and picturesque, Lake Bled is warm enough to swim in summer, yet also freezes for ice skating in winter. It was formed from the melting of the Bohinj glacier and is fed (and surrounded) by natural springs.

 


The 2km wide body of water holds a tiny islet with several buildings in the middle. Known as 'Bled Island', it's most notable building is the church. Frequently visited, weddings are held there regularly. Amongst locals it is considered good luck for grooms to carry their brides up the 99 steps to the Chapel of St Maria, ring the bell and make a wish inside. 

 

Taking a stroll around the lake would take around an hour, but a traditional Slovenian horse and carriage ride, or 'fijaker' is also available. Stay in the wooden Ribno Cabins, complete with private wooden jacuzzis, or Grand Hotel Toplice for it's panoramic lake views.

 

cappadocia, turkey

The mystical Cappadocia region is known best for its 'fairy chimney' rock formations. As the cooler weather sets in Turkey it becomes a winter wonderland. A stark contrast to the blazing summer heat in Istanbul; Cappadocia is a haven of intrigue. 

 

 

Carved by natives from the volcanically-formed landscape since the 4th Century, 36 underground cities spread far and wide, tunnelling through the soft rock. With its 'open air museum' formed of caves and beautiful colourful churches set in stone, one stop that tops the list is Goreme. It also features a charming little centre where you must be sure to grab a hot Salep. The traditional drink made from orchid and cinnamon will warm you from the inside out. 

 

 

Whilst some guides say that all of the cities look similar, there are other sights to behold. Topped with snow, the region is breathtaking. Imagination valley is known for it's animal-shaped formations, and the views from Three Sisters is unparalleled. If weather permits, the chilly (but so worth it) balloon rides allow you to take in the aerial view of the unique landscape.

 

ullapool, scotland

Known as 'the gateway to the Northern Highlands', a little fishing village called Ullapool sits on the shore of Lochbroom. The town itself is bustling, but never overbearing. Touched by scandinavian influence, the fresh Scottish wind will undoubtedly put the colour back in your cheeks. 

 

 

When it comes to choosing where to stay, The Stone Houses are a stunning option. Featuring stone walls combined with floor-to-ceiling windows, and built using local materials and architects, they sit perched above Ullapool. A truly stunning view of Lochbroom is at your window - on a clear day it stretches all the way out to the Summer Isles. If you're lucky you may even be able to see the Aurora Borealis.

 

 

The highlands present a photographers dream, and in the local area there are walks, nature reserves and Stac Pollaidh. And for those inevitable days on which the rain is beating upon your window? A book by the log fire and an incredible view is still guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. 

 

 

If you enjoyed reading our blog, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

images // Oliver-BonjochMihael GrmekAnne Dirkse, Travel Coffee Book, The Stone Houses, ManoloFranco.  

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