journal https://www.mahabis.com/blogs/journal living the mahabis lifestyle Tue, 29 Nov 2016 17:54:12 GMT en-us 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

 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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mahabis guide // the upside of downtime https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-upside-of-downtime mahabis guide // the upside of downtime
mahabis guide // upside of downtime window space
mahabis guide // the upside of downtime
mahabis

mahabis guide // the upside of downtime

 

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” Rainer Maria Rilke

 

We live in a hectic world where moments of relaxation are often limited, and those that we do have are frequently spent worrying about what's next. Although the hustle and bustle of today’s society means we don’t have limitless free time, it is important that the time that we do have is filled with a creative productivity, making it feel endlessly rewarding. We all have these moments of blissful creativity, inspired by the world around us - we just need to take the time to appreciate them. These moments of quiet enliven us, and connect us back to our true creative selves.  

 

mahabis // guide to downtime // coffee

 

The time we spend on a creative project in the middle of a busy life is a moment of luxury. The benefits of creative downtime are plentiful: it’s good for the mood; we feel alive and connected; we have produced something just for us. Even the act of exercising in our downtime helps our brain to grow new brain cells, revitalising us. The joy of trying something new in our downtime is in itself an exercise in brain development - be it writing or trying out a new recipe - it all helps the brain to generate new ideas.

 

mahabis // guide to downtime // painting

 

Creative downtime is wonderful for the body and has a myriad of benefits. Not only does it build better relationships by awakening our capacity to empathise, research has also shown that creativity in our lives increases our observational skills, our sense of wellbeing and even makes us braver.

The world of technology is left behind as we work on the graphic novel that we find inspiring, or pick up a guitar to finish that song. The range of skills we bring to our creative life reflects on our work life. Using our hands differently, and filling our minds with imaginative rather than administrative thoughts nourishes us and renews our essence. The focus on process rather than result lets us enjoy the moment we’re in. The range of small decisions we make as we connect to our creative centre leads to larger decisions. As we continue, we build confidence in the decisions we make, the result opening us to a calming awareness that we are able to deal with more than we think.

 

mahabis // guide to downtime // creativity

 

Our society may not have always prioritised creativity in our lives, but it’s becoming clearer that the way we use our time affects who we are and how we grow. It builds our personalities just as it did when we were children, playing in sandpits or with blocks, creating rich narratives from the tools in front of us. This creativity does not stop at school though. Our creative productivity enhances our abilities, sharpens and hones them, whilst also allowing us to find the balance we need in our day to day lives. The time is well spent.

  

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

 

photos: via unsplash
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mahabis guide // how to find your creative space https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/finding-your-creative-space mahabis guide // how to find your creative space
mahabis guide // creative space gallery
mahabis guide // how to find your creative space
mahabis

mahabis guide // how to find your creative space

 

‘To be creative you must create a space for yourself where you can be undisturbed…separate from everyday concerns.’ - John Cleese

 

During the day our thoughts come and go, a relentless chatter in our minds. We become used to the chatter as we take in our surroundings, thoughts of things we must do, work concerns, messages and notifications. Our everyday white noise can be stifling for our creativity. In the busyness of life it can be difficult to find a space to relax in our thoughts. Yet space is one of the most pertinent things that affects our thought-scape.

 

mahabis // spaces of creativity

 

We react instinctively to space. Open doors can leave us uneasy and unfamiliar darkness can cause disquiet. The space we exist in affects the shape of the thoughts we have. Finding spaces which allow the fluid movement of our thoughts, stretching outward like a yoga pose, enhances our creativity. The mind, like a muscle, enjoys being stretched out, allowing thoughts to drift, and feel their way into the space. When it is not bound by the built walls around us or constrained in a highly focused task, it allows the thoughts we have to reach their natural conclusion, not cut off by pressing matters or interruptions. The links which allow our thoughts to gently move from one to another become more tangible, and ideas flow.

Inspiring environments are those which allow for thoughts to have the space to develop - such as the stimulating space of an airy library filled with the smell of travelled books and potential. Surrounded by knowledge and thought, the seemingly unending collection of ideas stimulates our own creativity. The museum gallery. A white and airy space containing hours of creative work, which can be contemplated and enjoyed, unencumbered by the everyday.

 

mahabis guide // creativty in museum space 

 

Spaces of inspiration often provide a space of potential. Potential can be seen as openness, a minimalistic environment which allows our thoughts to drift and fill the space, uninhibited. Crowded, cluttered spaces often leave us feeling the pressing weight of the objects around us. Inspirational spaces exist all around. Rolling waves of a beach, woods filled with life and nature, rainfalls that rush down on everything, leaving us to smell the freshness it has left. Spaces of potential are those which open us up, allowing us to have the room to think, feel and most importantly relax.

The spaces we create for ourselves are so valuable in our own lives: the relaxed, minimal bedroom which allows for rest; the organised kitchen which opens our creativity to cook and experiment with flavours. The commonality between them is that they are not overbearing, they allow us to exist within them rather than shaping our existence.

 

mahabis // room for creativity

 

The relaxed, inspired creativity that comes from free thought gives our lives the ability to operate on a range of volumes. The high volume of our busy daily lives can be countered by the soft muted background of our creative, lives. The spaces we exist in shape us - therefore creating our ideal spaces and visiting them often can help us truly realise our potential.

  

If you enjoyed reading this blog, feel free to share it with this ready-to-go tweet.

photos via unsplash

 

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visual guide to chill // part five: on the horizon https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-visual-guides-to-chill-on-the-horizon visual guide to chill // part five: on the horizon
visual guide to chill // part five: on the horizon
mahabis

visual guide to chill // part five: on the horizon

There’s little more relaxing than the feeling of looking out over the horizon. That’s why, for this edition of visual guides to chill, we selected photos to make you feel free, taken in positions where the line of sight is unobstructed for miles.

 

Osman-Rana-Unsplash-Mahabis

Jenn-Richardson-Unsplash-Mahabis

Dyaa-Eldin-Moustafa-Unsplash-Mahabis

petradr-Unsplash-Mahabis

Carlo-V-Unsplash-Mahabis

Quino-Al-Unsplash-Mahabis

Tetiana-Syrova-Unsplash-Mahabis

Tim-Wright-Unsplash-Mahabis

 

Sweet-Ice-Cream-Unsplash-Mahabis

Kalle-K-Unsplash-Mahabis

Matthew-Bedford-Unsplash-Mahabis

Tom-van-Hoogstraten-Unsplash-Mahabis

photo: osman rana, jenn richardson, dyaa eldin moustafa, petradr, arnaud mesureur, carlo v, quino al, tetiana syrova, tim wright, sweet ice cream photography, kalle k, matthew bedford, tom van hoogstraten
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mahabis guide // the power of putting pen to paper https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-putting-pen-to-paper mahabis guide // the power of putting pen to paper
the mahabis notebook
mahabis guide // the power of putting pen to paper
mahabis

mahabis guide // the power of putting pen to paper

A creative outlet. A repository for thoughts, ideas, memories. The written word, treasured. 

The mahabis notebook, available now

 

 

Writing can be many things to many people; a creative outlet, a learning tool, an organisational crutch. For those whom creativity flows from unexpected crevices of the world, whether the most mundane commute to work or upon summiting Everest, it is invaluable to always have the ability to create a record of whimsy or wonder. The simplicity of pen on paper holds great appeal. It won’t run out of battery or distract you with an ad. It provides you a clean canvas, and a reliable one.

 

 

 

A notebook purveys privacy and intimacy in the age of digital, where the value of pen on paper can become somewhat lost. The plethora of apps available to take in your every thought, idea, snapshot and memory is overflowing. What they lack though, is the charm and tactility of a simple note in your own handwriting, in a real book. Much akin to the ongoing existence of magazines, books and newspapers, a notebook is a tangible weight of pages and ink for you to hold.

 

mahabis notebook

 

What’s removed is the distraction. To be faced with a white page, empty of notifications, is refreshingly clear. A blank space for you to fill with observations, thoughts and ideas will allow your own words to take you on a journey. One which may lead to a brilliant discovery, a sense of clarity or direction unguided by external influence. A commonality is held in reluctance to begin a fresh notebook, borne of an anxiety to make mess of a shiny new possession. On the contrary, by the time a book is full, each crease, page corner and ink mark will be so full of character and personality, it will be unmistakably ‘yours’.

 

Pen on paper can also be one of the most valuable learning tools; revision need not be left behind in exam days of school. Many find the act of simply writing something down can be valuable in committing it to memory, which can be helpful for those more forgetful amongst us. And of course, it will still be there to refer to should you need to fact check at a later time.

 

mahabis notebook

 

We are so used to live-editing ourselves before we publish, that it can be daunting to go back to analog, to have the first draft in paper and ink just as soon as it pops into your head. In an instant, a thought becomes real, something you’ve created. Therein, lies the beauty of it: nothing is lost in the process of editing for its platform; there’s nothing so honest and raw as a written word.

 

To share this post, simply click on this ready to go tweet. You can also take a look at the mahabis notebook range here

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mahabis retreats // the minimalist chapel https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-retreats-minimalist-chapel mahabis retreats // the minimalist chapel
a chapel // mahabis journal
mahabis retreats // the minimalist chapel
mahabis

mahabis retreats // the minimalist chapel

 

a chapel // mahabis journal

 

Although it is named ‘A Chapel’, Predrag Vujanovic’s minimalist structure does not adhere to any particular religion; rather, it provides a tranquil space for people to gather or meditate.

The Stockholm-based architect drew inspiration from American sculptor Richard Serra when designing his minimalist retreat. Serra famously works with large steel sheets, making them appear much lighter than they actually are by moulding them into softly flowing curves. His most famous works sit in the New York and Bilbao branches of the Guggenheim, providing an amalgamation of sculpture and architecture.  

 

a chapel // mahabis journal

 

Vujanovic referenced Serra’s work with steel in his design for A Chapel, crafting the angular roof of his structure from steel sheets, intercepted by a floor ramp constructed from core-ten sheets. Sitting somewhere in between a building and a work of art, it parallels the multifaceted view of Serra’s structures.

 

a chapel // mahabis journal

 

A Chapel was designed with peacefulness and respite in mind. A ‘beacon of light’ in the middle of a barren plain in northern Serbia, it beckons visitors with its striking stature and softly lit interior; providing a place for shelter and a quiet space for reflection. A local place of pilgrimage for architecture-enthusiasts, minimalist advocates and seekers of silence, it gains visitors of non-religious persuasions who wouldn’t consider worshipping in a traditional religious building but nevertheless come here in awe.

The triangular structure does resemble the steeple of a traditional western Christian church, but the similarities end there. The interior is stark, minimal and holds no pews. Rather, this is a space to sit outside or to perch on the floor of and marvel in its silent splendour.  

 

a chapel // mahabis journal

photos: predrag vujanovic
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mahabis candles // creating hygge in your home https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-creating-hygge-in-your-home-with-candles mahabis candles // creating hygge in your home
mahabis candles
mahabis candles // creating hygge in your home
mahabis

mahabis candles // creating hygge in your home

 

There’s something about lighting a couple of candles that can transform any space into a cosy sanctuary. The combination of soft flickering candlelight, subtle fragrances and a tranquil ambiance creates the perfect ingredients for the Danish tradition of hygge.

 

Hygge. It’s a word that’s getting thrown around a lot lately. But there's little wonder that we’re all seeking a little inspiration from the happiest nation in the world. Commonly misconstrued as a purely aesthetic conception, there is much more to hygge than simply placing blankets and lanterns around your living room. To truly invite hygge into your home, you have to evoke a sense of warmth that touches upon all of your senses.

 

mahabis candles

 

This is where candles come in as a key feature of hygge. The visual appeal of candles is obvious; the warm wavering light emitted from the flame of a candle is a much softer and ambient way of lighting a room, instantly encouraging cosiness. Close your eyes, though, and you’ll still feel the essence of hygge smoking its way out of the wick. A carefully selected scent can make you feel content, as can the soft sound of a cotton wick crackling. Physical warmth radiates from the flame, as does a sense of calmness.

 

Picture a room in winter with no candles in it. Cold, unwelcoming and with harsh overhead lights. Even if piles of blankets, throws and cushions were nestled on comfortable armchairs, it would still feel like there was something missing. Prior to this current fascination with hygge, candles were always considered an essential item when creating an essence of calm. Hygge takes ‘cosy’ one step further, and turns a simple feeling into a fulfilling lifestyle, but candlelight is at the base of both feelings. 

 

mahabis candles

 

Introducing candles into your home can do more than just create hygge. The gentle element of candlelight helps with focus and concentration, providing the perfect conditions for anyone who works from home during the winter months when the light starts to fade mid-afternoon. Basking in warm, flickering candlelight can also relieve stress, as you instantly feel calmer in more relaxing surroundings.

 

Choose your fragrance carefully when selecting a new candle. Your sense of smell is connected to your emotional receptors and different scents can actually evoke different emotions in people. Soft floral fragrances such as jasmine are calming and tend to have positive effects on those smelling them, helping them to relax. Warm, musky and spicy scents, such as cedarwood are ideal for creating a cosy ambiance in a room.

 

One of the most endearing attractions of candles is how they can help you to achieve a sense of ‘home’ no matter where you are in the world. Try taking your favourite candle with you on a work trip, and your impersonal hotel room will immediately feel cosier. Lighting a familiar scent in an unfamiliar space can help transport you back home through memories and association, relieving homesickness.

 

mahabis candles

 

It’s little wonder that we have all become so reliant on candles during the winter months. This season’s fascination with hygge is only serving to further endorse the importance of candlelight in transforming your home into a cosy sanctuary. Learn from the Danes and fully embrace candles in your home, placing an abundance of candles in the rooms that you spend the most time in.  

Strike a match, light the wicks, and sit back and relax whilst watching the flames flicker.

 

mahabis candles

 

Check out the latest addition to the mahabis classic range: the mahabis candle. Available in six relaxing scents, our candles are the ultimate accessories to your downtime. Match with your mahabis slippers, or buy multiples to qualify for a discounted price. Find out more here

 

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visual guide to chill // part four: desaturate https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/visual-guide-to-chill-part-four-desaturate visual guide to chill // part four: desaturate
visual guide to chill // part four: desaturate
mahabis

visual guide to chill // part four: desaturate

 

 

In a world so overwhelmingly full of colour, contributing to the ever-present sensory overload, sometimes it’s good to pare back. For this edition of the visual guides to chill we remove a level of the composition and allow ourselves to appreciate the structure of the image; the line, curve, and space.

 

 

 

photo: billy lam, mike wilson, samuel zeller, julian bock, chris roe, colin carter, olivier miche, tim marshall, olya valoshka, elijah flores, joel herzog, dmitriy karfagenskiy, paulina jadezsco, felix russell-saw, tim allen, alession lin
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mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-how-to-prepare-your-home-for-winter mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months
mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months
mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months
mahabis

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

  

The days of lounging outdoors and soaking up the evening sun may be gone for another few months, but don’t dismay. These early autumn days are the perfect time to transform your home to embrace hygge and unwind indoors, no matter how bad the weather seems outside. What are you waiting for? Slip on your mahabis and put your feet up.   

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

Hygge, the word on everyone’s lips this season, as the Danish secret to a content winter finally makes itself known to a wider audience. The high season for hygge is Christmas, but there are plenty of ways to embrace the tradition in Autumn, from supper clubs to ski resorts. But firstly: hygge begins at home.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

Textiles are integral to creating a cosy and welcoming home. Think of scattering a range of blankets, throws and cushions in a variety of soft textures. Add cushions to your sofa and armchairs, keep a stack of blankets within easy reach and drape throws over the back of less welcoming items of furniture. If you have wooden or tiled floors, try introducing thick rugs to lock more of the heat into the room.

To bring warmth to a minimal home, there's no need to paint over white walls. Introduce textile wall hangings, paintings, or bring warmer colours into rooms with your choice of furnishings. Yellow ochre tones will make your rooms feel cosy whilst retaining a sense of calmness.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

Avoid harsh overhead lighting and keep table lamps dotted around the corners of your rooms to offer a softer and warmer light. Try replacing your usual bulbs with filaments that create a less harsh light. Place candles inside glass lanterns and on your mantelpiece to create the perfect lighting for cosy nights in. With minimal natural light, draw your curtains when the sun sets and embrace the candlelight.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for winter months

 

If you have an open fire or wood burning stove, keep your wood pile replenished and light the fire when you have company. The aroma of wood smoke and flickering light will instantly help you and your guests to unwind. Compile playlists of your favourite relaxing songs and allow your home to become flooded with music.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

Keep your mahabis classics within easy reach, ready to slip on when the temperatures drop. Likewise, now is the time to relocate your sweatshirts and cable-knits to the front of your wardrobe. Keep yourself comfortable and bundled up to reflect the ambience of your home and to allow yourself to fully unwind.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

There’s no shame in relaxing on the sofa swathed in layers of wool and reading a book when there’s a gale blowing outdoors. Likewise, lighting candles around your bathroom and sinking into the tub for a long and relaxing hot soak. These are the times that a little idleness is acceptable, and preparing your home in advance will help to ensure that you can slip into a relaxing state with minimal effort.  

 

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the sunday guide to // lisbon https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-sunday-guide-to-lisbon the sunday guide to // lisbon
mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon
the sunday guide to // lisbon
mahabis

the sunday guide to // lisbon

photo: diogo tavares 

 

We prefer to take our time when exploring a new city, slowing things down and wandering around at a relaxing pace. Rather than rushing to tick off the usual tourist hot spots, we slow things down and dig a little deeper to find the more peaceful heart of the city. This week, we’re visiting Lisbon.

 

Lisbon

When you picture Lisbon you probably think of yellow trams, beautiful tiles and delicious custard tarts. It’s true, these are all in abundance (and reasons alone to visit Portugal’s capital), but the cultural and historical attractions in and around the city should also be explored. When it comes to relaxation, Lisbon may not be the first destination that crosses your mind, but it is a slow paced city that is known among its residents for its relaxed pace of life.

Meandering up steep hillsides, there are plenty of terraces and rooftops perfectly positioned to sit and admire the picturesque city below. Locals start their day with a custard pastry and espresso, and tend to end it in Bairro Alto, high on the hills of the city where the streets are lined with restaurants and bars that encourage al fresco dining.

Read on to discover our relaxing guide to Lisbon.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Stay

Enjoy one of the best views in the city from the rooftop pool and wine bar at Memmo Alfama. Upon arrival at this minimalist boutique hotel guests are greeted by a cosy living room rather than a traditional reception desk, instantly making you feel welcome and relaxed. Standard rooms offer views out over the Tagus River, whilst Terrace rooms boast private wooden decks where guests can sit outdoors and soak in the views.

 

Relax

It’s worth hiring a car during your stay, as there are several day trips that can easily be made. Although Lisbon is a relaxing city, if you’re craving more peaceful surroundings, the largest oriental garden outside of China is just over an hour’s drive away. The Buddha Eden Garden offers a serene space to wander around, admiring the collection of Giant Bamyan Buddhas that were rescued from being destroyed in Afghanistan and brought to Portugal to be preserved. The garden itself was designed with relaxation in mind, with winding paths leading through the grounds and plenty of places to sit and rest whilst admiring the statues. Entry is just €3 and, as the garden is located in the grounds of a vineyard, wine tasting is also available.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Visit

Another essential day trip whilst staying in Lisbon, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra is one of Portugal’s most impressive destinations. Nestled in and atop the leafy hills, the area boasts historical landmarks, secret gardens and a colourful palace perched at the top of the hill. There’s something for everyone here, with certain landmarks attracting more visitors than others. The 10th Century Castelo dos Mouros showcases astonishingly well-preserved stone battlements, whilst Pena National Palace is a complete contrast of colourful turrets and decorative tiles. Quinta da Regaleira’s secret grottos, tunnels, wells and statues are more peaceful to explore, and if you are in search of further seclusion, discover the natural beauty of Sintra National Park and the cliffs at Roca Cape.

 

Admire

Back in the city, an abundance of culture offers plenty of museums and galleries to choose from but we recommend Centro de Arte Moderna for its outstanding collection of both international and Portuguese art. As a bonus, entry is free on Sundays. The gallery is situated in the centre of a garden filled with sculptures, which can be explored prior to entering the main gallery. Artists exhibiting include David Hockney, Anthony Gormley and Jos de Almada Negreiros, alongside a variety of temporary exhibitions.

  

Ride

We would usually recommend forgoing public transport and strolling around the city to fully appreciate all of the small nooks and crannies, but Lisbon’s trams are all part of its charm. No visit to the city should be without a journey on the iconic yellow ‘28’ tram which winds its way up the steep hills of Alfama, passing many of Lisbon’s most interesting historical and architectural sights on its way.

 

Wander

If you prefer exploring by foot, why not take the tram up to the top of the hill then disembark to wander back down the steep cobbled streets at your own pace? Alfama is Lisbon’s most traditional district, yet to succumb to gentrification; subsequently offering a view of the city of old. Admire the pastel-hued facades and decorative tiles that greet you on every corner, and stumble across hidden cafes and bars aimed at locals rather than tourists.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Drink

Located right by the water in the Cais do Sodre district, Vestigius is one of Lisbon’s best loved bars for both its stylish interior and extensive collection of local wines. Housed in a former warehouse, the bar pays homage to the sailors that frequented this area in the past with several maritime references throughout its décor. Even if you don’t plan on drinking, it’s worth visiting simply to admire the interior of the bar which resembles a design museum with its marble floor and eclectic furniture collection. Check the schedule ahead of visiting, as the space also showcases art exhibitions, film screenings and a collection of antique books to peruse.

 

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visual guide to chill // part three: looking up https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/visual-guide-to-chill-part-three-looking-up visual guide to chill // part three: looking up
visual guide to chill // part three: looking up
visual guide to chill // part three: looking up
mahabis

visual guide to chill // part three: looking up

In the busy day-to-day we find ourselves hustling to the next meeting, looking down at our phones, or digging in our handbags for our wallet. It’s rare to take the opportunity to look up.

So, for this part of mahabis' visual guides to chill, we combined two of the most calming elements found in photography; sky and curves. Take in the sensation of looking up.

 

 

photo: scott webb, michael seh, aron van de pol, dmitri popov, bady_qb, kelly sikkema, max rentmeester, lee ferrell

 

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a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/a-slow-road-trip-norways-atlantic-road a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road
a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road
a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road
mahabis

a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: unsplash

 

If you’re seeking dramatic scenery but looking for somewhere peaceful where you can get away from the crowds, head to Norway for an unforgettable drive. The winding road from Bergen to Trondheim includes the five-mile-long Atlantic Road, a stretch that sweeps and curves over eight iconic bridges to connect the small islets that lie in its path. The journey between Norway’s two largest cities outside Oslo takes in this road, as well as visiting some of the country’s most spectacular fjords.

 

the atlantic road

Named the ‘Best Summer Drive in Europe’ by Lonely Planet, Norway’s Atlantic Road is a short stretch of the national route 64. Only five miles long, it’s best to tie in a trip to the road with a longer route that takes in some of Norway’s iconic scenery.

Driving from Bergen to Trondheim, you'll naturally slow your pace to soak in the dramatic landscapes that you pass through. Jagged mountains, deep fjords and rugged coastlines compete for your attention with a rich cultural history as you navigate the winding roads. Take time to stop the car, hike up to snow-capped peaks and admire the unparalleled view of the fjords from above.

 

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: jose murillo

 

bergen to geirangerfjord

The first leg of the journey begins in Norway’s second largest city, Bergen. Despite its status and the abundance of culture to absorb, Bergen feels like a much smaller town and is the perfect place to set the mood for the rest of the drive. Spend a couple of days exploring the town at your leisure, taking the funicular up above the town to admire the view of the fjord, exploring the old wharf and visiting the many museums and art galleries.

Once you’re ready to leave, head inland to Voss, where adventure lovers will be in their element. In the winter, this is the perfect spot for skiers to spend a couple of days exploring the slopes, and in the warmer months, white-water rafting and skydiving are popular activities. Those who seek something a little tamer can explore Bordalsfjelet, a dramatic gorge 5km from Voss, or can visit the traditional turf houses that contain the folk museum.

Leaving Voss, the route passes by Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in the whole of Norway. Stop to take to the water on a kayak or simply to sit on the banks of the water and admire the view. Continuing on the Fjaerlands Road, take a detour to visit the Jostedal glacier and the Norwegian glacier museum before heading to Hellesylt to take the car ferry over Geirangerfjord.

More than merely a means to continue your journey, the boat trip offers a chance to sit back and admire the dramatic scenery of one of the world’s most picturesque fjords as you sail past iconic waterfalls including the Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil.

 

a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic roadphoto: via wikipedia

 

trollstigen to alesund

After disembarking the ferry, take the steep ‘Eagle Road’ up the mountain pass to Eidsdal. Here, you will need to take another ferry over a fjord before tackling Norway’s most visited road: Trollstigen (the ‘Troll Ladder’).

Those with a fear of heights will want to close their eyes at this point, as the road hairpins as it climbs, offering jaw-dropping views of the valley below. As Romsdalsfjorden comes into view, you will want to find a place to park and spend some time peering over the precipice to admire the landscape far below.

From here on, the road weaves around the edge of the fjords, occasionally snaking inland before eventually emerging at the Art Nouveau fishing port village of Alesund. Following a fire that destroyed the town in 1904, Alesund was completely rebuilt in the popular style of the time, providing a complete contrast to the traditional Norwegian fishing villages that line the rest of the route.

Allow yourself time out from driving to explore the charming little town with its colourful buildings and surprising amount of galleries, restaurants and shops. Surrounded by mountains and fjords, there is plenty here for lovers of nature, architecture and culture.

 

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: jay mantri

 

molde to the atlantic road

To reach the coastal town of Molde, drive back on yourself before heading north to reach the terminal for the car ferry. In the heart of the fjords, you will find yourself surrounded by small islets and snow-capped peaks from all sides as you sail across the open water.

Plan to spend some time exploring Molde, a small traditional Norwegian town that is particularly known for its rose gardens. Wander around the gardens and visit the Romsdal folk museum, before heading to the Varden viewpoint to admire the town, the mountains and surrounding fjords from above.

Heading north, the small fishing village of Bud heralds the start of the iconic Atlantic Road. Take your time driving across the eight bridges that make up this short route, stopping wherever possible to get out of your car, take photographs and admire the view. If you’re visiting during a calm day, look out to sea for the chance of spotting orcas or seals frolicking in the waves. During stormier days, you’ll need to be vigilant as the winds are strong and the waves occasionally splash up onto the road, but the moody vistas make the drive worthwhile.

 

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

Haholmen to Trondheim

Shortly after the white-knuckle experience of driving the Atlantic Road, you’ll reach Geitoya quay, where we recommend leaving your car for a couple of nights. From here, take the boat to Halholmen to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this remote island. This tiny fishing hamlet offers the opportunity to spend the night in a traditional wooden fisherman’s cabin with no distractions albeit the beautiful scenery.

Back on the mainland, the final stretch of road takes you along the water before sweeping inland to arrive at another coastal town, Trondheim. Known as the ‘Capital of the Vikings’, this vibrant city is home to an impressive cathedral, a folk museum and many reminders of its time as the capital of Norway. Rows of traditional wooden colourful buildings adorn the harbour and out beyond the waters of the fjord, snow-capped mountains beckon.

Although we finish our journey here, the many fjords further north beckon with possibilities for future trips. Instead, we recommend sitting by the shore and admiring the views.

 

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: anton hoojidonk
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visual guide to chill // part two: the great outdoors https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/visual-guide-to-chill-part-two-the-great-outdoors visual guide to chill // part two: the great outdoors
mahabis // visual guide to chill
visual guide to chill // part two: the great outdoors
mahabis

visual guide to chill // part two: the great outdoors

We understand the pressures of modern life mean that you can’t always pause to read an article or absorb a book. That’s why we created our new ‘visual guide to chill’ series of journal posts, designed to offer a brief respite where you can take just a couple of minutes to scroll through a series of images selected to be calming, relaxing and ideal for unwinding.

This week, we’ve themed our image-laden post around ‘the great outdoors’. Whether you’re strolling through a park, dipping your toes in the ocean, admiring the view of a fjord from a perch atop a towering mountain, we know that being outdoors amidst nature can aid us in relaxing.

If you can’t find the time to get out into the wilderness yourself, take just a couple of minutes to admire these images and allow your mind to drift …

 

lake  // mahabis journal

mountains at sunset // mahabis journal

rugged beach // mahabis journal

forest  // mahabis journal
winter landscape // mahabis journal
snowy landscape // mahabis journal
lake // mahabis journal
fjord // mahabis journal
photo credits: toby wong, unsplash, life of pix, via unsplash, dominik dombrowski, dreamy pixel, via unsplash, via unsplash
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mahabis retreats // up in the clouds https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-retreats-up-in-the-clouds mahabis retreats // up in the clouds
mountain resorts // mahabis journal
mahabis retreats // up in the clouds
mahabis

mahabis retreats // up in the clouds

mountain resorts // mahabis journalphoto: igor trepeshchenok

 

As summer is drawing to a close, we're looking beyond the beach for our next relaxing getaway. Instead, we’re embracing the colder weather and plotting long weekends unwinding above the clouds in mountain-top resorts. Wondering where to head for high altitude downtime? Read on to discover our edit of the best elevated sanctuaries.

 

There’s something about relocating yourself to the slopes of a mountain that instantly evokes relaxation. Being above the clouds, looking down and admiring the views, you can’t help but feel tranquil. There’s little wonder that there seems to be an influx of spas and relaxing resorts opening atop mountains. Ideal for an autumn retreat, the vistas perfectly complement the luxurious facilities and range of treatments on offer, allowing guests to indulge in a little ‘me’ time where it’s perfectly acceptable to have your head in the clouds.

 

mountain resorts // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Ideal for those who wish to explore the Atlas Mountains in comfort and luxury, Kasbah Tamadot is nestled in the foothills of the mountain range with its iconic infinity pool providing the perfect spot to float and admire the views. Decorated in traditional Moroccan style, the hotel is filled with colourful textiles and authentic artefacts, providing accommodation in both hotel rooms and Berber tents. The luxurious tent suites are perched up on the hillside, offering dramatic views of the valley below from the Jacuzzi tubs on their private terraces. Divide your time between exploring the mountains and indulging in an array of traditional spa treatments and relaxing on the rooftop bar.

 

kasbah tamadot // mahabis journal

  

Wildflower Hall, Shimla, India

When you envision visiting the Himalayas, soaking in an outdoor infinity whirlpool and enjoying traditional Ayurvedic therapies may come as a surprise. Wildflower Hall offers unparalleled luxury in the midst of the mountains, fusing antique interiors with contemporary luxuries and holistic spa treatments. Those more adventurous can venture into the mountains for a guided trek, or guests can feel free to admire the views from the comfort of their own suite. Alongside the main bar and restaurant, a private candlelit dinner can be enjoyed at the hillside gazebo or a bespoke picnic can be prepared to take to the hotel’s private picnic spot.

 

wildflower hall // mahabis journal

 

Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie, Washington, USA

Perched atop Snoqualmie Falls, there could not be a more romantic location for the Salish Lodge & Spa. Devotees of Twin Peaks will delight in spending the night at the ‘real’ Great Northern Hotel, whilst others will revel in the picturesque panoramas. For a relaxing way to start the day Vinyasa Flow and yoga classes take place in the Hidden Terrace, offering dramatic views out over the waterfalls. After lunch, spend time exploring the local area by bike or kayak, before returning to the lodge to spend an afternoon pampering yourself in the award-winning spa. Soak in therapeutic pools, enjoy a soothing massage and indulge in a treatment using the spa’s own honey.

 

salish lodge and spa // mahabis journal

 

Salto Chico Lodge, Patagonia, Chile

Located in one of the most spectacular mountain regions of the world, Salto Chico Lodge is ideally located for exploring the surrounding Torres del Paine National Park. Offering a respite of luxury at the southernmost tip of the world, the hotel sits on the banks of a serene lake surrounded by boardwalks for guests to wander and admire the rugged snow-capped mountains that frame the landscape. There are over fifty different guided hikes and horseback rides on offer for guests to explore Patagonia during their stay with an extensive programme of essential oil massages available at the spa to soothe aching limbs upon return. In the evenings, soak in a private outdoor Jacuzzi tub by the shore of the lake, sipping Chilean wine and basking in the views.

 

salto chico lodge // mahabis journal

 

Vigilius Mountain Resort, South Tyrol, Italy

Only accessible by cable car, the Vigilius Mountain Resort lies high above the Tyrolean town of Lana. Supplied by a natural mountain spring, all of the water in the hotel is refreshingly pure, from the water that you drink to the water that you bathe in. This natural theme is emphasised in the treatments offered in the spa, including mountain pine peels and green tea exfoliating massages. In between treatments, guests can relax in the indoor and outdoor pools, enjoy a gentle stroll around the surrounding mountainside, or simply sit and admire the views with a glass of wine from the wine cellar. In the evenings, retreat to the glass-fronted restaurant, where you can dine on fine cuisine whilst watching the sun softly set over the Dolomites.

 

mahabis retreats // up in the clouds

 

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mahabis guide // how to embrace the greek concept of volta https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-to-volta mahabis guide // how to embrace the greek concept of volta
mahabis guide // volta
mahabis guide // how to embrace the greek concept of volta
mahabis

mahabis guide // how to embrace the greek concept of volta

mahabis guide // volta
 

If you’ve been stuck at a desk all day, then a relaxed stroll around town can be a great way to de-stress in the evening. 

The Greeks take this one step further with the concept of volta, a word with no direct English translation. Volta involves taking a leisurely stroll along the main promenade of your town during the hours of sundown. Rather than simply describing a casual walk, volta is a pastime that is shared with friends and neighbours, providing a social highlight to the close of the day.

 

mahabis guide // volta

 

Previously when we have discussed untranslatable words, we've concentrated on Nordic terms that often describe activities designed to centre around a lifestyle where cold dark winters force people indoors. Hygge, fika and mysa, gemütlichkeit can all be enjoyed at any time of year, either indoors or outdoors, but all conjure up visions of steaming cups of coffee, piles of blankets and twinkling candlelight on chilly, dark evenings.

Volta hails from the Mediterranean, and subsequently draws on the warm climate. The long hot summers in Greece boast stifling hot daytime temperatures, when locals would rather retreat indoors. When the temperatures drop to pleasant milder climes in the evenings, it is the perfect opportunity to wander around the town. As the sun sets, the meandering paths of the locals find themselves converging in the most scenic areas of the town, usually the main square or beside the sea.

 

volta // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

This is a social occasion; a chance for people to catch up with their peers at the close of the day. Walking is never rushed, everyone wanders around at a slow pace, enjoying the fresh air and the atmospheric sight of the sun setting over the water or behind a hill. By taking time each day for this slow paced stroll, participants allow themselves an opportunity to relieve any stresses, enjoy good company and to fully unwind.

This isn’t just a Greek tradition, however. The custom of an evening promenade is coined passeggiata in Italian and korzo in Serbian, Czech and Slovak. The French flaneur also has resemblances, describing those men of leisure who strolled around the streets in classic French literature. There are plenty of words to describe a leisurely walk in English (promenade, saunter, stroll, stretching your legs), but they fail to capture the social aspect and sense of relaxation of volta.

 

mahabis guide // voltaphoto: aidan meyer, in pikermi, greece.

 

Many of the Greek population indulge in daily volta to clear the cobwebs at the end of each day. When visiting Greece, it is easy to slip into the local routine, and many tourists will find themselves strolling around amongst the locals during the evening hours. When you return home, it’s all too easy to settle back into your usual evenings of sitting on the sofa.

 

mahabis guide // voltaphoto: agnieszka bladzik

 

Incorporate volta into our everyday lives can be as simple as switching off the TV in the evening and heading outside with your partner, friends or family every evening to meander around your local area. Strolling around a new part of the city, or the heart of your town at sundown, will provide a glimpse into the Greek tradition. The full experience, however, is harder to emulate (weather and beaches aside!), as the core part of volta that differs it from a simple stroll is the community element. 

To compromise, take the element of volta that is easily emulated and encourage your close friends and family to join you for an evening walk to reflect on the day and prepare for tomorrow. Doing so for just twenty minutes is likely to have a positive effect, and help to clear your head before the next day begins. 

 

 

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slow adventures // sailing around the greek islands https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/slow-adventures-sailing-around-the-greek-islands slow adventures // sailing around the greek islands
slow adventures // sailing around the greek islands
slow adventures // sailing around the greek islands
mahabis

slow adventures // sailing around the greek islands

photo: jay mantri

 

For the next article in our ‘slow adventures’ series, we are once again stepping away from the more typical summer holidays of beach retreats and city breaks. Demonstrating that it is indeed possible to enjoy adventures at a slow and relaxing pace, we suggest spending a few weeks in the sun sailing around the Greek islands.

 

sailing // mahabis journalphoto: luis llerena

 

Whether you have sailing experience and decide to self-sail or you book onto a small yacht with an experienced team, prepare to lie back and relax as you drift through the sea, leap into crystal clear waters and visit a selection of diversely different islands.

 

santorini // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

To begin planning your sailing adventure, first decide which region of islands you wish to visit. The Saronic & Argolic Gulfs are ideal for a debut sailing holiday, thanks to their calm waters, and the seas around the Ionian Islands offer less strong winds than other areas in the region. It is the Cyclades, however, that are often seen as the ultimate destination for a summer spent sailing around their clear waters and picturesque islands.

 

sailing// mahabis journalphoto: anthony delanoix

 

Santorini and Mykonos may be the islands that lure in the tourists, but there are plenty of tranquil bays and peaceful islands to discover as your boat is pushed along by the notoriously strong winds. A sailing trip around the Cyclades offers the perfect combination of adventure and chances to unwind, with the opportunity to head to somewhere more populated if you so wish.

 

sailing // mahabis journalphoto: alex wigan

 

From July to September, the strong Meltemi northerly winds blows across the Cyclades, occasionally whipping up to strengths of Force 7 or above. This makes for invigorating sailing, although the winds do lull, allowing for a more relaxing pace. For those seeking an adventurous sail, these winds offer the perfect opportunity.

 

santorini // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

Deciding upon which of the 220 islands of the Cyclades to visit along your journey depends on your preference of pace. If you are seeking remote, idyllic getaways, situated off the beaten track and away from the hordes of tourists that descend on the area each summer, stay clear of Santorini, Mykonos and Ios. Santorini may boast spectacular sunsets and white-washed villages perched upon the clifftops overlooking the caldera, but it is one of the most popular islands to visit in the summer months. Mykonos and Ios, meanwhile, are both popular with the under-25s and are renowned for their nightlife.

 

greece // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

Instead, set sail for some of the area’s lesser-visited islands, which boast just as spectacular scenery yet are further from the tourist trail. Head to Milos for white sandy beaches and underground hot springs, Folegandros for dramatic cliff-top views, Andros for secluded beaches, and Serifos for white-washed buildings perched upon steep cliffs – not unlike Santorini, apart from the lack of tourists. Picturesque Naxos is a paradise for archaeology advocates, thanks to the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, the Venetian castle that overlooks Naxos Town and Byzantine remains scattered across the island. Kimolos, Paros and Donousa all offer beautiful beaches and hidden coves that you’re likely to have to yourself.

 

greek islands // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

When at sea, you'll experience the ultimate tranquillity, with the crew and your travel companions being the only other souls for miles around. Lie back on the deck and soak up the sun whilst enjoying a good book. Dine on Greek salads and sip local wine whilst admiring the uninterrupted views of the spectacular sunsets. Leap into the azure waters to cool off. Then set sail for land to discover the next postcard-worthy island.

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the sunday guide to // marseille https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/sunday-guide-marseille the sunday guide to // marseille
mahabis // sunday guide to marseille
the sunday guide to // marseille
mahabis

the sunday guide to // marseille

the sunday guide to marseille // mahabis journal

 

When we travel, we like to take things easy. Rather than trying to cram in as much as possible during a short city break, we recommend slowing things down and wandering around your new location at a relaxing pace. You’re supposed to be on holiday after all, and that means unwinding, even if you’re in the midst of a thriving metropolis. This week, we’re sharing our secrets for how to have a relaxing weekend getaway to Marseille.

 

marseille //

Whilst cities further east along the Cote d’Azur (such as Nice and Cannes) are associated with luxury and glamour, Marseille gained somewhat of a bad rep throughout the past couple of decades. All this changed in 2013, when it was named that year’s European Capital of Culture. A huge clean-up of the city resulted in the rejuvenation of historic areas of the city alongside an injection of new modern structures and an ongoing programme of intriguing cultural events and exhibitions. The new direct Eurostar from London means getting there is easier than ever, elevating Marseille to the perfect destination for a long weekend getaway where you can soak up the diverse culture. As France’s largest port, various nations have left their imprint here with obvious Greek, Russian, Italian, Spanish and North African influences throughout the city.

 

the sunday guide to marseille // mahabis journalphoto: martin fisch

 

stay //

If you’re a fan of Brutalist design who is looking for a relaxing abode where you can enjoy views of the city from above, Hotel le Corbusier is the perfect place to rest your head. The dramatic concrete structure features a rooftop pool where you can float serenely far above the busy streets and calm yet directional rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing the light to flood inside. It’s perfectly located, within easy walking distance of Parc Borely and the beach, yet not too far from the centre of Marseille.

 

wander //

Previously one of the most run-down districts in the city, the waterfront area of Panier is now one of Marseille’s most impressive. It’s here that the two contrasting sides of the city are the most evident, with the 17th Century Fort Saint-Jean sitting side-by-side with the dramatic modernist structure of the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Spend some time slowly ambling around the area, nipping in to MuCEM and admiring Ombriere (a striking mirrored canopy) as you pass them by. There’s plenty to discover as you wander up hill and down the tiny winding streets, admiring the old buildings adorned with pastel shutters, floral displays and the occasional piece of intriguing street art. Stroll by the port to watch the boats come in, before seeking out one of the local restaurants famed for their fresh seafood, such as Schilling. The area is also the best place to purchase the olive oil-based soap that Marseille is famed for: La Grande Savonnerie is one of the last remaining companies using the traditional methods.

 

the sunday guide to marseille // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

discover //

MuCEM (the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) is one of Marseille’s most important cultural centres, although there are many more museums and galleries waiting to be explored. Perhaps the city’s best known contemporary structure, MuCEM is worth a visit even if you plan to simply admire the architecture, but the exhibits inside are also worth investigating. As France’s most important port, Marseille has a rich history that delves into many diverse Mediterranean cultures, all of which are explored within the museum. Alongside history and art, the topics of worship, cuisine, travel and gardens are also touched upon, providing interest for anyone with an interest in anthropology or history.

 

the sunday guide to marseille // mahabis journalphoto: noel bauza

 

visit //

Escape the city and take a scenic trip to the Calanques National Park, only a short journey from Marseille to admire the dramatic limestone cliffs and crystal-clear aquamarine waters. From October until June visitors can walk along marked trails on top of the cliffs and through the surrounding area. Although summer visitors are confined to the sea, this is perhaps the most relaxing way to view the scenery. Ensure that you book onto a boat trip that allows time to meander in the area, giving you the opportunity to dive into the sea and swim beneath the towering cliffs towards isolated beaches.

 

the sunday guide to marseille // mahabis journalphoto: via bucketlistly

 

explore //

Marseille is the perfect base for exploring both the French Riviera and Provence, but if you’re only planning a short trip, we recommend saving the long drives for another time and taking a twenty minute boat journey to Île de Porquerolles. This quiet little island is reminiscent of Corsica twenty years ago, with serene white beaches backed by pine forests and a distinct lack of development. There’s only one village on the island, offering a small selection of family-run traditional restaurants with a focus on seafood. It does get busy with predominantly French tourists around the harbour, but if you wander further afield you are sure to discover a hidden cove where you can lie on the sand and relax for a few precious hours in peace.

 

drink //

Once the sun sets, head to the Old Port to admire the view of the city lit up at night. You’ll find an abundance of bars and restaurants scattered around the water, many of which require advance bookings to secure a table with a view where you can spend your evening unwinding and watching the world go by with a glass of local wine in hand. We recommend heading to Pauletta, where you can enjoy the menu of traditional regional dishes such as bouillabaisse or simply sit and slowly sip a drink as you watch the sun set over the water.

 

the sunday guide to marseille // mahabis journalphoto: nicolas vigier
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mahabis guide // embracing autumn https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-embracing-autumn mahabis guide // embracing autumn
autumn // mahabis journal
mahabis guide // embracing autumn
mahabis

mahabis guide // embracing autumn

autumn // mahabis journalphoto: veronika sulinská

 

It’s that funny time of year, when there are still the odd warm days that delay you from packing away your summer clothes, but you can feel the chill in the air and sense that autumn is just around the corner. The thought of shorter days and colder weather might make you want to burrow beneath the duvet, but why not take inspiration from those who live in the Nordic countries and learn to embrace autumn?

Autumn doesn’t have to mean retreating indoors for the next eight months. Masters of hygge and fika, our Scandinavian peers have cold weather relaxation effortlessly sussed out, creating the perfect balance of keeping cosy indoors and bravely venturing outdoors to enjoy the fresh air. To the uninitiated, a Scandinavian autumn might evoke visions of snuggling up indoors surrounded by candles and blankets, but there’s so much more to learn about enjoying autumn the Nordic way.

 

autumn // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

We may feel dismayed at the thought of the clocks winding back and the days shrinking in length to just eight hours, but spare a thought for those who live further north for whom the sun will barely rise above the horizon during the winter months. But rather than pondering how they can cope with the long nights and cold air, those who live in the far north have learnt to think differently about their climate, and embrace the dark skies and cold winds.

Close knit Nordic communities find refuge from the worst of the weather in local coffee shops, making time to enjoy fika with friends. They head out into the wild weather to enjoy winter sports and activities such as skiing, snowboarding and sledging. They host festivals and celebrations at home and in public places, encouraging people to come together and enjoy that sense of winter cosiness together.

 

autumn // mahabis journalphoto: georg nietsch

 

Autumn is one of the most picturesque seasons, the skies emitting a soft light that shows off the natural environment to its best and providing the perfect conditions for photography. This may seem easier to appreciate in Nordic countries, where fjords and glaciers beckon, but you can appreciate the beauty of the season simply by strolling around your local park and admiring the autumnal hues. If the weather outside is crisp and clear, bundle up in your favourite autumn knits and head outdoors. Bundling up and admiring an autumn landscape can be just as soothing as lazing in a park during the warmer months.

 

autumn // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

There’s a reason why the likes of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland are often named among the happiest nations in the world. Their residents take what they have and make the most of it, embracing every season with aplomb. Festivities aren’t reserved for summer and Christmas, they are scattered evenly throughout the year, providing excuses for people to leave their homes or to invite others through their doors. People rarely spend their downtime in isolation, preferring to enjoy the company of others, a key ingredient for hygge and fika.

 

And so, at the start of autumn, as the temperatures begin to drop and the nights draw in, look forward to the season ahead. Plan all of the ways in which you will spend your downtime at home and outdoors, considering how you can share your relaxation time with others. By all means, stock up on candles and blankets – but ensure that you have enough room to welcome others into your home. And however miserable the weather gets, look forward to the breaks in the rain when you can venture outdoors and admire the leaves turning to rust.

 

autumn // mahabis journalphoto: via pixabay
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mahabis lifestyle // rest and recovery: stretching https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-rest-and-recovery-stretching mahabis lifestyle // rest and recovery: stretching
mahabis lifestyle // rest and recovery: stretching
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // rest and recovery: stretching

"Only those who have patience to do simple things perfectly ever acquire the skill to do difficult things easily" - James J Corbett

 

The art of luxuriating in something simple is one of the purest pleasures that can be found. Whilst the renaissance of mindfulness has nudged many to consciously reflect upon our thoughts and actions, we're taking this back to a much simpler level; focusing on some of the subconscious rituals that we enact throughout the day. 

Inspired by Max Strom's work on breathing, we're looking at stretching, and how this feeds into our day-to-day rest and recovery. 

 

mahabis lifestyle // rest and recovery: stretching

 

Often attributed to the morning ritual, of sleepy eyes and stiff muscles, stretching is so much more than just a wake-up moment. It's an instance of connection, and of release. In exercise, the importance of rest and recovery can be equal to that training (check out our interview with this Ironman triathlete duo).

 

In our lives we tend to put stretching into classes and formalised exercise moments, as warming up or cooling down or an action to prevent injury, and bar our little stretch in the morning the act of stretching for the pleasure has been somewhat side-lined. But stretching has a great many benefits in the body, and not just those deep Pilates and yoga stretches, but the ones that bring you upright in the morning.

 

mahabis lifestyle // rest and recovery: stretching

 

Stretching encourages your body to release tension, sending blood to increase cell growth and organ function. The simple motion can even boost our mood. Stress and tension cause our muscles to contract which can have a direct effect on our mood making us feel anxious and uneasy. The act of basic stretching as we all do in the morning, or after a long period of sitting, lengthens the muscles and releases the tension, causing a sense of tranquillity and euphoria. It’s instinctive nature, part of the lives of all animals, is just the simple act of loosening up and communing with our muscles.

 

mahabis lifestyle // rest and recovery: stretching

 

When we stretch out as we relax on our sofas, or in bed, we are reconnecting with our bodies, releasing tension and enjoying the calming effect it brings. As with mindfulness, paying attention to the small acts in our lives and feeling them to their fullest, stretching is something that we can also relish in.

Meditation often uses the isolated stretching of various muscles to alleviate the tension they carry and promote relaxation. And in many respects we do this unconsciously already. In our downtime it can often feel slightly indulgent to really enjoy our sofas, stretching ourselves out after naps, but these micro-behaviours have a wider effect: providing a calming moment in a busy world.  

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notes on downtime // part two https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/notes-on-downtime-part-two-the-importance-of-downtime notes on downtime // part two
mahabis // notes on downtime
notes on downtime // part two
mahabis

notes on downtime // part two

 

The Importance of Downtime


From a young age we are taught the importance of hard work, and of success. We learn how these elements are key in living a happy life, but what is often overlooked is the importance of downtime. Some extremely successful people have given opposing accounts in how downtime contributes to their success. The first female Prime Minister supposedly thrived on just fours hours of sleep per night, whilst Tim Ferriss, author of ‘The Four Hour Work Week’ famously strives for a minimal amount of ‘uptime’. This only goes to prove that the key to success is to find what works for you, underlining the essence of your own importance in your day.

Downtime must be created by you, and for you.

 

mahabis // notes on downtime // the importance of downtime

 

If feeling constantly rushed, or feeling a sense of guilt associated with relaxing, are things you identify with, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with the perception that when they aren’t working, or ticking off the ‘to-do’ list they are being selfish or unproductive. 


We can counterbalance this by unpicking the negative connotations of the word ‘selfish’. To think primarily of oneself is not inherently negative, but sometimes necessary! Also, by remembering productivity does not at all times equal satisfaction or happiness. Most sources of entertainment can be deemed completely unproductive; literature, music and theatre all serve simply to entertain. Allowing the purity of enjoyment to seep into your day may release the shackles of 24/7 productivity that could be weighing you down.

 

mahabis // notes on downtime // the importance of downtime

 

The art of taking time out of your day to truly relax and enjoy the moment can be difficult to master for those who are used to the hustle of a busy lifestyle. Many attribute their lack of downtime to the age of smartphones, social media and information overload. Whilst it’s true that it can be difficult to find a moment of peace or solace amongst this, the need for a digital detox is not applicable for all. For some, downtime is simply allowing themselves time to scroll through a beautiful instagram feed, or an inspiring pinterest board. If you are struggling for ideas of how to include a little downtime in your day perhaps consider when was the last time you laughed, and what caused it? What was the last book that you devoured so quickly yet didn’t want to end? Even the last meal you created and savoured? Discover the sources of enjoyment in your life and amplify them. Make time for them, and by proxy, time for you.

mahabis // notes on downtime // the importance of downtime

 

A clearer mind, a sense of balance and a space for the natural flow of creativity can all be achieved as a result of taking some downtime. You may be looking to slow down a little, or maybe just to cope better with the fast pace you are accustomed to. The answer to this may be counterintuitive, because it is not what is intrinsically preached to us; to work harder, faster, and smarter. Whether you take two minutes to breathe and empty your mind, or two hours to laugh with a good friend, allowing time to relax and appreciate yourself will become an essential part of your success and happiness.

After all, who really defines those terms? You.

 

 

Click to share this article using a ready-to-go tweet

 

Photos sourced by Unsplash

 

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mahabis interviews // olya hill https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-interviews-olya-hill mahabis interviews // olya hill
mahabis interviews // olya hill
mahabis interviews // olya hill
mahabis

mahabis interviews // olya hill

This week, San Fran mother of six, creative director, ballerina, and model Olya Hill talks to the mahabis journal. If there were anyone deserving of some downtime, we reckon it’d be Olya. But despite juggling multiple roles and a busy household, Olya still makes time for me-time during the day. 

Sharing her experiences and research into the modern family, her publication Living Notes was created to enrich the lives of parents across the world.   

With the help of modern technology, distance learning systems, and a well practiced childcare balance with her husband, Olya’s work is ‘never strictly work’. Whilst some 9-to-5s are a chore, Olya describes her full-on work schedule as often ‘therapeutic’, with ’the more work, the better'. We ask her how she balances downtime as a modern mum, and find out how intertwined her businesses are: from the dance studio, to the home, and the office. 

 

mahabis interviews // olya hill

 

Tell us a bit about yourself, and the path that led you to where you are today…

About myself: I am Ukrainian-born and raised, but I've spent exactly 1/2 of my life in the US now. There's not really one simple answer to this one. When I saw the US for the first time, I felt like it was the place for me to be at; the desire to study techniques from the greatest dance masters was a dream that I wanted to make a reality.

I met my husband almost 5 years after moving to the US, and after we got married the stars aligned perfectly for us to have our first child. He wanted a big family, but I did not know how it would be possible for me. When we had our first son, my life completely changed in all the best ways possible. Difficult as it is at times to be a mom, I have discovered a new, unknown and an amazing side to life that words simply cannot fully describe. As I went on to continue dance with my son often tagging along (we traded during the day with my husband) who'd be sitting in the rehearsal studios and coloring or making faces in the mirrors, I could see how more children could be possible. But it was only when our third child was born and seeing the three of them cuddled together, something shifted inside of me and I realized that more children is definitely a path I am willing to take.  

Every little child is unique, has his or her own personality, brings something new to the family puzzle and makes it more colorful and more fun, but each of them need a unique and individual approach to keep them happy and to keep the balance of the family. That was the reason behind the desire to research and discover lots of interesting things, sparked a passion for it and planted a seed to share all the findings with others as well. 

A career in dance often means that you get to do a lot of other interesting projects, which connected me with modelling, and that in its turn lead to working with/assisting to some of the greatest photographers and discovering a passion for that art of my own. My father is an exceptional photo-artist. As a child I spent many days on sets or in the nature with him, and the feeling of something magical happening became deeply rooted. When we were discussing the ideas for UrbanCrusing/ LivingNotes to launch, the role of creative director/photographer has naturally fallen to me. So, here I am today. 

 

How do you balance motherhood with dancing, running your business and writing your blog?

Probably, first and foremost it needs to be said that all of the above are so closely intertwined, it is difficult for me to see myself without either one. I love the full - maybe too full for somebody else's taste, but just right for me - life, and I look forward to every new day. Honestly. 

Children unlocked an entirely new niche of emotions inside of me that I didn't even know existed that directly affect everything I do professionally. 

The "Motherhood and dancing" combination is the simplest of all: the kids loved coming with me, and still do sometimes. I was very lucky to have great people I worked with who also loved kids and had families, so they encouraged me to have children early on and bring them along with me when possible. That most definitely was a big factor as well as my husband's support in that journey. As I grew professionally and changed to a freelancing artist, it has become even easier. 

As far as business, as Urban Crusing/ LivingNotes grew, we acquired new team members to help with logistics to ensure all runs smoothly. It was (and sometimes still is) difficult for me let go of everything and not to micro-manage, but it's a "must" if you want to grow. Having trusted team members take care of important details allows me to keep focusing on the creative side of LivingNotes, interact and directly respond to followers and balance that well with family.

Thanks to the mobility modern technology offers, I can work anywhere and use every minute I have productively. 

 

What motivated you to launch Urban Cruising/Living Notes?

Several things: personal experience, love for parenting and passion for the arts and artistic expression.

Urban Cruising is just one part of our main platform LivingNotes, which was created to enrich lives of modern parents, bring the newest research and information to help ease the decision process when it comes to all things/ products/ themes baby and family related, and to inspire and encourage to go after one's dreams and live the life to its fullest potential. 

 

mahabis interviews // olya hill

 

What does a typical day look like in your household? 

My morning starts around 5am,  +/- 30 minutes or so. I use this time for myself to refocus, get ready and check on work-related things and re-fresh on the tasks for the day. This time is a "must" for me to have a day run smooth. 

Kids wake up around 6:30-7 ( except for the babies) , get ready-make beds-clean room and have breakfast. I usually take the little ones out for a morning playground time while my husband is still home to supervise the rest of the crew. 

During the school time, somewhere around 8 or so is when they will open their daily plans (we have a distance learning system , something similar to an online school). They all have individual teachers and daily plans are set by the system for them, but it allows the flexibility of learning , encourages personal progress and gives the ability to learn from home and use time very effectively. Their school time is my big focus on work as well, which makes it very convenient: I can ensure that everyone stays very focused while completing much of the work myself. Usually they complete their daily plans by around noon (depending on how early they start and how much they need to do) and we head off to supplemental activities: museums, science academies, galleries, etc. I try to plan things to gauge the activities to current interests of the kids to keep them involved. Some days they also have class-group meet-ups in such places as well. 

I continue to work on the go (thanks to modern technology and my large stroller that carries my camera and a computer always) and due to its nature it fits very organically into my days. Everyone has lunches packed with them, we take a few minutes' break to eat and little ones nap in the stroller as we go about our day (which is why a good stroller is a must for me).

If there are classes scheduled for the day - we head in that direction. I try to schedule all classes for all to attend at the same time and as close in location as possible. Thankfully, the city life makes it easier. Usually the littlest ones conveniently take a second nap during that time which gives me an hour or two of uninterrupted email time and an ability to respond to ongoing questions. We hit a playground or a library sometime in the late afternoon. We meet up with my husband in the early evening and either head home, or I "transfer" duties and head to rehearsal/class, a studio for the current projects I have, or some work-related meeting. If the latter, then I won't get home until about 11pm or so and Justin takes care of the kids while I am away. If the first, then we walk and talk on the way back - this is one of my favorite times for me.

Then it's dinner-wash-prep for bed and bedtime for the kids, and Justin and I finish up work, re-evaluate checkpoints for the next day and spend some time together too. I hit a pillow around midnight. This is a general "stencil" for the day, but it does vary in the afternoon from day-to-day. Sometimes I have an in-studio scheduled time, so the kids come with me. Other times, I have a day meeting with the team, and then other times we maybe go outside of the city or to the beach - so afternoons definitely vary, and so do summers and weekends, of course. 

 

What does being a 'modern mum' mean to you?

To me, being a modern mum is living the life to the fullest with the little additions to the family and enjoying the journey of parenthood while continuing on the path of personal development and growth.

The modern mum today has so much at her fingertips in comparison to what even our moms had; we are really lucky.

I see a "modern mum" as an interesting and an accomplished woman, who at the same time loves going down the slide with her toddler, has just as much fun sipping a cup of a hot chocolate with a 3 year old at the cafe as a cappuccino with girlfriends, and is awfully fun to hang out with at the park. 

 mahabis interviews // olya hill

 

How important is downtime for you? (With six children, do you manage to find time for yourself and to relax?)

It's very important and yes, I do try to make time for myself every day.  Early morning is an important time, but also evenings after I hand over the "mommy-duty" to my husband. My sacred "bath ritual" does wonders. Sometimes getting away for a cup of coffee alone is very needed after a hard day (they do happen, you know! Babies are babies and toddler are toddlers :) and Terrible Twos do exist). I love to get a cup of almond cappuccino and just spend some time looking through and editing pictures. Maybe work too, but it is so therapeutic to me. And when doing it on my own, it's definitely a rest time :)

 

What is the ideal way that you spend your downtime? Is there a favourite place you go to (either alone/ with family) to relax… 

A weekend at the beach with everyone is ideal! I love picnics, so we do them often. We recharge by the ocean, although we definitely did not make it enough this year! San Francisco has been very cold last few months. A favorite French cafe LeMarais is another one. They opened when we first moved to SF and we grew to love it dearly. We often make our way there on the weekends for a calm breakfast and good family conversation.

 

When do you slip on your mahabis? 

Every minute when I am home! (if no-one else stole them before I was able to put my feet into them).

Early in the mornings when I take my little ones to the playground, I just add the soles to my mahabis to go outside.

 

mahabis interviews // olya hill

 

Which mahabis colour combination did you go for, and why? 

I liked the light grey and borgen blue combination, although all of the options are beautiful. But this particular one appeared very soft and feminine to me , and that's what seemed to be the very right fit at the moment of choosing.

 

Are there aspects of your job that are relaxing (from ballet to photography), or is it strictly work? 

My work is a part of me, so it's never strictly work. When I step into a dance studio or pick up a camera, I transform to another world: the world without worries, the world free of limitations, the world full of unknowns to be discovered, the world where magic happens. It's therapeutic in many ways, and without it I am not myself. Without a busy schedule I simply wilt, so the more work the better. This is probably why we have 6 children too. 

 

If you had a 25th hour in the day, how would you spend it? 

15 extra minutes cuddling everyone, 15 extra minutes outside discovering new things with a camera in hand, 15 extra minutes reading and 15 extra minutes with my husband. 

I need a 26th hour too: for more interesting reading, and a little more sleep would be a great idea too. 

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the sunday guide to // budapest https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-sunday-guide-to-budapest the sunday guide to // budapest
budapest // mahabis journal
the sunday guide to // budapest
mahabis

the sunday guide to // budapest

budapest // mahabis journal photo: emma lavelle

 

Our collection of Sunday Guides demonstrate how to get the most out of a city break by taking the trip at a slow and relaxed pace. Rather than rushing to tick off everything in your guidebook, allow yourself to slowly meander around your new destination, soaking in the scenery and trying some of our suggestions below. This week: Budapest.

 

budapest //

Known as ‘the city of spas’, Budapest boasts more thermal and medicinal spas than any other capital city in the world. If you’re seeking a truly relaxing getaway, you could easily spend several days trying out the waters of a handful of the baths, as each one offers a completely different experience.

Don’t limit yourself to the spas, however, as Budapest has much more to offer. Although its nightlife is legendary due to the eclectic collection of Ruins Bars (or kerts), there are an array of serene candlelit venues where you can escape the hordes. During the day, it’s possible to simply wander around the streets and the banks of the river, admiring the scenery and the baroque architecture.

Tempted to visit? Read on to discover our top tips for a slow and relaxing getaway in Hungary’s picturesque capital.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

relax //

What better way to relax than submerging yourself in the healing waters of one of Budapest’s 15 public spas? There’s something for everyone, but our top choices have to be Szechenyi and Gellert Baths. Housed within a striking yellow-domed baroque building in the middle of the city park, Szechenyi Baths offers the opportunity to bathe outdoors beside the locals. The smaller and hotter pools are usually occupied by local men playing games of chess as they bathe, whilst the larger pools are kept cooler for swimming. Gellert Baths are located on the other side of the Danube in Buda, within a luxurious hotel. These indoors baths offer more of an opulent bathing opportunity within a Turkish-inspired spa.

 

stay //

Book a stay in one of the river-facing rooms at Art’otel to enjoy the views of Pest from your bed. Dedicated to art, the hotel proudly displays several artworks by painter Donald Sultan and doesn’t shy away from colour, with bold hues dominating the interior. For a quiet respite from exploring the city, spend time relaxing in the hotel’s garden or browsing its art shop.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

explore //

Catch a glimpse of Hungary’s communist past by visiting the peculiar Memento Park. Here, visitors can walk amongst gigantic statues and memorials profiling the likes of Stalin and Lenin, most of which used to stand in public spaces throughout the city. Telephones are set up so that you can listen to famous speeches ‘over the phone’ and there are film screenings demonstrating how the secret police recruited spies.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

visit //

Budapest thrives on creativity, with colourful street art decorating the streets of Pest, in particular. There are an abundance of small contemporary galleries to visit, displaying an array of photography, local art and emerging Hungarian artists. Vintage Galeria is the best destination for photography fans, showcasing work by local photographers and a diverse collection of work that experiments with new media. Concept art is rife at 2B Galeria, unusual exhibitions can always be admired at Kisterem and INDA Galeria boasts a constantly changing collective of young and inspiring curators.

 

wander //

Although Budapest has an easy-to-navigate transport system, slowly wandering around its streets has a certain charm. Hilly Buda on the western bank of the river offers more challenging strolls thanks to its steep inclines, but the view of the city from Fisherman’s Bastion is the best place to watch the sun set. Wandering around Pest, on the east of the Danube offers an opportunity to admire the dramatic Art Nouveau architecture that is seemingly everywhere. To cool off, head to Margit-Sziget, one of the islands in the middle of the river, and sit on the rocky bank of the Danube watching the boats sail past.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via tookapic

 

drink //

Many visitors flock to Budapest for the nightlife, as the Ruin Bars have gained a reputation as being some of the best bars in the world. Offering labyrinths of small rooms to explore, filled with eclectic art, unusual seating and usually lit by fairy light and candlelight, the kerts are unlike your usual city nightlife spots. Housed in the courtyards of condemned buildings and in the gaps revealed between buildings after apartment blocks have been torn down, the kerts are scattered all across Pest, but are especially concentrated around Terezvaros and Erzebetvaros. Szimpla Kert and Instant may be the most popular kerts, but they attract a vibrant party atmosphere and hordes of backpackers. To experience the Ruin Bars without the crowds, try Fogashaz or Lokal, where you’ll have a similar experience but with quieter music and a more peaceful atmosphere. Alternatively, visit some of the more popular bars during the day, when you can admire the art and sip a cocktail but are likely to be one of only a handful of visitors.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle
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the 15 hour work week and non-finite downtime https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-15-hour-work-week-and-non-finite-downtime the 15 hour work week and non-finite downtime
mahabis // the 15 hour work week
the 15 hour work week and non-finite downtime
mahabis

the 15 hour work week and non-finite downtime

 

mahabis // the 15 hour work week

 

"What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are." - George Eastman

 

The idea of a great deal of leisure time can feel like something which should be reserved for holidays, and even then, the long unstructured hours can often feel hard to fill...

In our downtime we settle into the understandable balance between life and work, looking forward to the weekend and early mornings and coffee breaks. But what if the hours we worked were drastically reduced and we were able to live easily on only two or three hours of work a day and relish the other hours as those of our own? Being unencumbered by work and un-indentured by the nine to five routine, and free to engage how we want, and occupy ourselves with any activity we chose. Our leisure time could seem like an unending stretch.

A fifteen-hour work week may feel like an incredible impossibility now, in a culture like ours which often positions work over play, and those around us seemingly are judged by their careers rather than their character, but this is exactly what John Maynard Keynes predicted for us, back in 1930. He envisioned a future where we would only be working a mere fifteen hours a week as our material needs would be met with much more ease. He predicted that we would have much more leisure time due to our living standards increasing dramatically.

 

mahabis // the 15 hour work week

 

Keynes may not have been able to predict our overwhelming addiction to being connected to our technology, but we can still derive something from the idea.  The fact we don’t have unlimited work time can give us the ability to prioritise what we do find important. So although we're not always at liberty to change the structure of our entire working week, we can focus on the benefits of downtime in our lives. The idea that when we have too much of something we begin to not even see it, Perec spoke of the picture hung, to disguise the bareness of the wall and then seen so much that it became unseen.  We can view our completely unstructured downtime like the picture that we enjoy until it becomes so well-known we can barely differentiate it anymore from the expanse around it. The benefits that come with a lessened work time can still be part of our busy lives.

 

mahabis // the 15 hour work week

 

How many people know the disbelief that comes from having time off and not getting anything that you had planned done? Many of us understand that having much less structure in our lives can often leave us with too many possibilities and we end up not knowing where to start. Even though we may have a longer working week, we do have the opportunity to view our downtime as a precious non-finite commodity, something which can be looked forward to, relished, and ultimately enjoyed more often. Having a clear time to focus on ourselves, knowing that it may be a small window in our day over a cup of coffee or reading a couple of pages of a novel we love, can help us to find calm in our busy lives.

Even if we don’t have a fifteen-hour work week just yet, the downtime we can associate with that style of life can encourage us to make the most of the peace we have outside of the connectedness of our work lives. The luscious lie in that feels unashamedly good, breakfast reading the papers, the first cup of coffee, or the time spent on a creative project...

 

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mahabis interviews // benjamin degenhardt https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-interviews-benjamin-degenhardt mahabis interviews // benjamin degenhardt
mahabis interviews // benjamin degenhardt
mahabis interviews // benjamin degenhardt
mahabis

mahabis interviews // benjamin degenhardt

 

This week we caught up with acclaimed Pilates teacher and mahabis ambassador Benjamin Degenhardt.

With over 15 years of experience, Benjamin is the creator of an immersive education program called 360° Pilates. Though he live in Brooklyn, he presents his work around the globe, and is rapidly growing a worldwide pilates community across social media. 

But whether he's teaching, travelling or working from home, his mahabis are always close to hand (/feet!). Read on to find out more about Benjamin, and click on this ready-to-go tweet to share the piece. 

 

mahabis interviews // benjamin degenhardt

 

Before we begin, talk us through what you do in just one sentence?

I am an independent Pilates educator and run training programs for Pilates enthusiasts and professionals around the world.

 

How do you divide your time between teaching Pilates, writing for your website, traveling and relaxing?

More often than not, all these things blend together seamlessly—they are all part of my work, take up even amounts of space in my life, and fortunately they all fulfill me. 

 

How important is downtime to you, and why?

The importance of downtime is fully engrained into the work I teach—philosophically, the original teachings of Joseph Pilates (who came up with the work we now know as "Pilates") were really designed as a method of physical self-maintenance that decidedly doesn't wear you out, but leaves you feeling rejuvenated. So that you have energy left to play and enjoy yourself.

 

How much of your work, do you consider as ‘work’, and are there elements that you find relaxing? 

I live a cliche: "love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life", even if on paper I work pretty much non-stop. My work is incredibly varied and I get to wear many different hats in a day, so it provides a lot of stimulation and doesn't wear me out as fast. Working with my students and actually teaching is the most rewarding, and possibly the most relaxing—like a good conversation can be.

 

mahabis interviews // benjamin degenhardtphoto: benjamin teaching at the padara beach studio, in summer mahabis

 

You spend a lot of time traveling with your profession, if there was one city you’d never tire of returning to, which would it be - and why? 

I never seem to tire of visiting Southern California, Los Angeles in particular. Born and raised in Germany and having lived on the U.S. East Coast for much of my life, the concept of warm weather year-round is completely foreign to me. Whenever I visit California, I can feel how the climate opens the door for a whole different culture—a different way to interact with the world, the outdoors, and others.

 

If you only had space for three books to take with you on your travels, what would they be?

I must admit that I haven't been much of a reader in recent years (other than literature relevant to my work). Instead, I turn to podcasts, mostly to stimulate my senses differently and getting to listen—rather than observe and speak. My favourite podcast is the TED Radio hour—it's a phenomenal way to learn about the world and to listen to some of the most fascinating people talk about their unique perspectives. That said, I'll probably have a copy of "Return to Life through Contrology", the original Pilates book with me where I go...

 

mahabis interviews // benjamin degenhardtphotos: instagram // @benjamindegenhardt 

 

When do you choose to wear your mahabis? 

Let's just say very frequently! What I love about mahabis is that they never look out of place in most of my everyday life. Whether I teach, lecture, shoot materials for my online courses, or travel, lounge, work from home... The ability to slip an alternative sole colour into my bag really fit my varied daily activities from work to play. And it doesn't hurt that they are really comfortable and easy to get in and out of!

 

Which colour combinations did you go for, and why? 

I have 3 slippers and 6 soles so there's quite a few possibilities. One of my go-to combinations is the nora navy slipper with the gotland green sole, but recently I've also been wearing the combination of sala stone and ilen ivory quite a bit.

 

mahabis // benjamin degenhardtphoto: benjamin's mahabis of choice // nora navy x gotland green 

 

Describe your ultimate downtime, the best way you’d choose to unwind…

The ultimate downtime for me is active—I can't sit still for long periods of time—but introspective. That could be a moving meditation, taking a long walk in nature, or getting immersed in an honest conversation.

 

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

I would probably alternate between cashing it in as an extra hour of sleep and using it for one of the aforementioned ways to unwind...

 

Thanks Benjamin! To share this post, click on this ready-to-go tweet

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notes on downtime // part one https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/notes-on-downtime-part-one notes on downtime // part one
notes on downtime // part one
mahabis

notes on downtime // part one

Honouring national relaxation day, we gather thoughts on downtime from top creatives and mahabis ambassadors. From their morning rituals, to their evening routines, and everything in between... Read first-hand accounts about relaxation and lifestyle, in our latest series: "notes on downtime". 

 

 

mahabis // national relaxation day 2016

Nicolas Roope // multi-disciplinary designer, artist and creative

"I need downtime because I need to keep perspective. If you never decompress, you start to see a distorted world and that leads to ill-formed ideas and counter-productive perspectives. If you can stay balanced and grounded, then you’re more able to come up with good ideas and make the right decisions. I’m not a workaholic at all so don’t need to be persuaded to kick back." 

mahabis // national relaxation day photos: instagram // @plumen

 

 

mahabis // national relaxation day

Ali Dover // photographer and designer 

"In the last ten years or so, the pace of life in the western world has become increasingly frenetic - saying you’re ‘so busy’ seems to have become a badge of honour, and not to be busy, a sign of failure. But that’s a terrifying state of affairs - extreme busyness impacts on people’s wellbeing and thus the wellbeing of society in general. When we take less care of ourselves, we are taking less care of the planet.

If we can slow down, both mentally and physically, and engage in every present moment, rather than always worrying about the future, or feeling guilty about the past, life becomes so much more enjoyable and fulfilling."

mahabis // national relaxation day 2016photos: instagram // @ali__dover

 

 

mahabis // national relaxation day
 

Jessica Wright // editor of Bon Traveler 

“Relaxation for me is found in the smaller moments. I have a hard time sitting still, so I try to find 15 minutes a few times a day just to be calm. These moments help me find balance and put the day in perspective. I’ll grab a cup of coffee, or just sit on the carpet and read a book. Being intentional during these times in the day helps me to relax.”

mahabis // national relaxation day photos: instagram // @bontraveler  

 

mahabis // national relaxation day  

Rob Jones // photographer, traveller 

"Often photography is my downtime, because it provides a creative outlet outside of my work and gives me a fun way to explore new parts of a city too. Apart from that I love sitting in a cafe where the background noise and music all blends together, and I can get into the zone with a good book and a coffee."

 mahabis // national relaxation day photos: instagram // @robmuch 

 

 

mahabis // national relaxation day

Jessica Jungbauer // writer and photographer

“In striving for a slower lifestyle, cherishing downtime is a crucial part of my everyday life. Whether it’s unplugging an hour before bedtime or taking time off during the week after finishing a deadline – to know when your body is at its best and when it needs to rest was one of the key elements from the very first moment when setting up my freelance business.” 

mahabis // national relaxation day photos: instagram // @jessicajungbauer

 

 

notes on downtime

Calum and Lauren, 'The Rolling Home' // adventurers and creatives

"For us there is no better place to relax than in our campervan we call 'The Rolling Home'. One of our reasons for traveling in a small, simple space is to escape the pressures of everyday life. We lay in hammocks to escape the midday sun, throw open the windows to catch any small breeze and finding ourselves reading by candle light underneath forests canopies and dark skies."

mahabis notes on downtimephoto: @therollinghome

  

 

notes on downtime // part one

Brittany Bathgate // fashion blogger

"During the day my job requires me to be on my feet and engaging my brain constantly so down time after work is crucial for me. It enables me to reset my body and mind in preparation for the next day. Believe it not the first part of my un-wind routine is to either go to the gym or go for a run after work. This helps me relieve any stress that might have built up during the day, running especially is a great time to reflect.

To help with relaxation I've started to read more, particularly in the evening. Half and hour to an hour before bed I like to cutmyself off from technology. I turn off the tv, leave my phone in a place that it won't distract me and turn my muji diffuser on. Then climb in to bed with a book and a lemon and ginger tea. Before I know it my eye lids and drooping, I find simply avoiding the harsh lights of a tv and mobile phone before bed can result in an amazing nights sleep."

 

 

 

mahabis // notes on downtime

Brooke Holme // commercial and fine art photographer

"I spend my downtime traveling and visiting new places, which actually turns out to be my uptime because I'm running around photographing everything and taking in the scenery. It's nice to go to a place and not have a schedule. I find that to be quite calming. I've been in between countries and homes now for 7 weeks traveling, it feels nice to be a bit of a nomad." 

mahabis // brooke holmphotos: @brookeholm

 

 Share these downtime thoughts by clicking on this ready-to-go tweet

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mahabis // national relaxation day 2016 https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/national-relaxation-day-2016 mahabis // national relaxation day 2016
mahabis // national relaxation day 2016
mahabis // national relaxation day 2016
mahabis

mahabis // national relaxation day 2016

 

This year, National Relaxation Day falls on a Monday, possibly the least relaxing day of the week for most people. However, don't let the Monday blues get in the way of your downtime; here we discuss why we'll be honouring the day along with a sneak peek of our latest blog series, featuring quotes from our ambassadors. 

 

national relaxation day // mahabis journal

 photo: carl cerstrand

 

We say this often, but that's because it is true for many people: we don't spend enough time relaxing. Work, family and social commitments are all essential and fulfilling, but tend to fill up our days meaning that we barely get any time to indulge in ourselves and our own needs. And whilst it seems like there's a dedicated 'day' for everything, sometimes it takes that extra bit of encouragement to remind ourselves that me-time is a necessity, not a luxury. 

 

mahabis // national relaxation dayphoto: evencki x mahabis

 

National Relaxation Day is a day that everyone can participate in. Even if you only manage to take fifteen minutes to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee without any distractions, you should be able to find time in your day to simply enjoy relaxing.  

But it isn't just about indulging in a little relaxation on this one day, however. It also serves to remind those of us with busy lifestyles that taking time to unwind shouldn’t be seen as a failure, or a break in productivity. Instead, it's essential, and helps us to recharge.   

 

mahabis // national relaxation day 2016photo: via unsplash

 

Little things can make all of the difference. Whether it's taking inspiration from the Swedes and taking your coffee break away from your desk in a cosy café, or walking the last section of your commute to give yourself some headspace on a morning stroll... 

You may not be able to indulge in hours of me-time every single day, but National Relaxation Day is a great opportunity to try out some of these small changes to your everyday routine. 

In need of a little inspiration for how to take time to relax on National Relaxation Day? We spoke to a few of inspirational creatives about their downtime. Check out these snippets below, and continue reading our 'notes on downtime' series for more... 

 

 

mahabis // national relaxation day

 Jessica Wright // editor of Bon Traveler 

“Relaxation for me is found in the smaller moments. I have a hard time sitting still, so I try to find 15 minutes a few times a day just to be calm. These moments help me find balance and put the day in perspective. I’ll grab a cup of coffee, or just sit on the carpet and read a book. Being intentional during these times in the day helps me to relax.”

 

mahabis // national relaxation day photos: instagram // @bontraveler  

 

 

mahabis // national relaxation day  

Rob Jones // photographer, traveller 

"Often photography is my downtime, because it provides a creative outlet outside of my work and gives me a fun way to explore new parts of a city too. Apart from that I love sitting in a cafe where the background noise and music all blends together, and I can get into the zone with a good book and a coffee."

 

mahabis // national relaxation day photos: instagram // @robmuch 

 

 

 

mahabis // national relaxation day

Jessica Jungbauer // writer and photographer

“In striving for a slower lifestyle, cherishing downtime is a crucial part of my everyday life. Whether it’s unplugging an hour before bedtime or taking time off during the week after finishing a deadline – to know when your body is at its best and when it needs to rest was one of the key elements from the very first moment when setting up my freelance business.” 

 

mahabis // national relaxation day photos: instagram // @jessicajungbauer

 

Want more? Head to our first instalment of "notes on downtime" for the full post... 

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mahabis guide // how to embrace the german concept of 'gemütlichkeit' https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/how-to-embrace-gemutlichkeit mahabis guide // how to embrace the german concept of 'gemütlichkeit'
mahabis // gemütlichkeit
mahabis guide // how to embrace the german concept of 'gemütlichkeit'
mahabis

mahabis guide // how to embrace the german concept of 'gemütlichkeit'

In previous posts, we have looked to Scandinavia and discussed the untranslatable concepts of fika, hygge, mysa and friluftsliv. But it isn’t just the Nordic countries, however, who have specific phrases that they use to describe a particular sort of downtime. The German gemütlichkeit is very similar to the Danish concept of hygge.

 

mahabis // gemütlich

 

There is no direct translation and the term can mean several different things but, overall, gemütlich is all about comfort, cosiness, and being at ease with your surroundings. It can be used to describe a pleasant and comfortable ambience, a relaxing situation, being among familiar company or to nestle up on a cosy piece of furniture. 

 

mahabis // gemütlich  

The very opposite connotations of gemütlich involve hurrying and discomfort. It describes something slow paced, relaxed and without haste, embodying the sense of slow living and downtime. Perhaps this is why we have no direct translation, because so often our lives can be hectic and rushed, and we struggle to take time out for ourselves on a daily basis. There is certainly something that we can learn from these concepts; taking more time out for ourselves is the simplest way to relax and remove stress from our lives.

 

 mahabis // gemütlich

 

So, how can we learn to embrace gemütlich in our everyday lives?

Cosy cafés, comfortable furniture, sharing a bottle of wine with friends, taking time over dinner, running a hot bath.... all these activities are simple ways to bring the german concept of gemütlichkeit into our daily life. The key is investing time in comfort. 

 

comfortable seating // mahabis journal

photo: via unsplash

 

The German Christmas markets are the perfect place to enjoy gemütlichkeit, wandering around the stalls, sipping hot drinks and bundling into bustling bars. The notion of making oneself cosy and comfortable certainly lends well to wintertime pursuits and snuggling up indoors sheltering from harsh weather conditions, but it is also an integral part of life throughout the rest of the year. Summertime gemütlichkeit could be taking a pile of blankets and a picnic to a nearby lake with a group of friends, or serving an al fresco meal in your back garden.

 

Try and insert a little gemütlichkeit into your everyday life, making time to rest in between working and to concentrate on achieving a sense of cosiness whilst making yourself perfectly comfortable and adopting a slower pace.

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the sunday guide to // zurich https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-sunday-guide-to-zurich the sunday guide to // zurich
mahabis // sunday guide to // zurich
the sunday guide to // zurich
mahabis

the sunday guide to // zurich

zurich / mahabis journal photo: bucketlistly

 

Our Sunday Guide travel series has dotted across the world, bringing alternative recommendations for visiting some of the most interesting cities in countries as far spread as Sweden, Canada and Australia. For this latest instalment, we’re sharing our secret tips for a relaxing, slow-paced getaway to the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich.

 

zurich //

It’s little wonder that Zurich is known for being one of the happiest cities in the world. Fresh mountain air, dramatic views, and snow-capped peaks usher in a sense of calm as soon as you arrive. Culture takes second place only to natural landscapes here, with a thriving arts scene and a very cosmopolitan atmosphere thanks to the city’s international inhabitants. Since Switzerland is a relatively small country, day trips to nearby mountains, other lakes and nearby cities such as Basel are all easily achievable when basing yourself in Zurich.

It’s easy to relax here, whether you're spending your time in the city, strolling by the lake, or hiring bikes to soak up the scenery en route. Read on for our recommendations for spending a slow weekend experiencing the very best of the city.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: dennis jarvis

 

stay //

There are plenty of stylish hotels located in the centre of the city, but why not take the opportunity for a more peaceful sleep in the shadow of Zurich’s Uetliberg Mountain at the Atlantis by Giardino hotel. The slick contemporary exterior is mirrored inside, with a design that marries style and comfort. Large windows and protruding balconies look out over the lake with the city in sight only a short journey away. Take advantage of the hotel’s outdoor & indoor pools, Ayurvedic spa and two luxury eateries – or head out into the woods for a stroll.

 

wander //

Before planning day trips, or heading to the wealth of galleries and designer shops, it's worth taking advantage of the natural scenery on your doorstep. Lake Zurich extends southeast of the city, and the famously clean water makes it a great spot for a quick swim in the city's public baths and beaches. The boardwalk starts from Bellevue and allows you three kilometres of uninterrupted strolling along the shore with plenty of opportunities for you to stop and rest whilst soaking in the sight of the mountains looming across the lake.

 

switzerland // mahabis journal

 photo: martin sattler

 

unwind //

Luxury meets traditional at Zurich’s Thermalbad & Spa, housed in an old brewery. Here, you can cast aside any stresses and completely switch off as you soak in thermal water drawn from mineral-rich springs below the city. On sunny days, float around in the rooftop infinity pool, admiring the mountain vistas in the distance. Don’t worry if the weather takes a turn for the worse, instead retreat to the cellars to bathe in huge wooden barrels under stone vaulted ceilings. Highlights in the thermal spa include a meditation pool, a shallow pool for relaxation, whirlpools, the Kneipp wading pool and a massage lane. If you want to spend more time indulging and relaxing, opt for the Irish-Roman Spa Ritual, which aims to warm, cleanse, relax and then cool your body for the ultimate pampering experience.

 

eat //

There’s no shortage of luxury restaurants in which to enjoy a delicious evening meal before embarking on Zurich’s nightlife scene. But if you want to immerse yourself in local customs, Sunday brunch is the most important meal of the week. Every Sunday around noon the most popular eateries in the city are bustling with people enjoying casual meals, reading the newspapers and socialising with friends. Head to Kafischnaps to dine with Zurich’s most fashionable crowd, Fork & Bottle for artisanal fresh food and craft beer, or Hitl for a diverse buffet brunch at the world’s first vegetarian restaurant. Just remember to book to ensure that you get a seat.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: bucketlistly

 

float //

Take advantage of Zurich’s abundance of water and book a boat trip on either the lake or the river, sitting back and relaxing as you admire the city from a different perspective. Specially designed flat boats cruise past the sights of the Old Town on the river, journeying beneath a series of seven low bridges during the trip. Alternatively, take to Lake Zurich and take a round-trip around the entire lake, drinking in the dramatic sights of the mountains, trees and small towns that you pass along the way.

  

switzerland // mahabis journal

 photo: azer koculu

 

explore //

Make the most of your time in Zurich by heading up into the mountains to hike amongst luscious green hills and snow-capped peaks. If you’d like to see the breath-taking views of the city from above, but don’t fancy a strenuous hike, take the SZU train to the top of the Uetliberg, the mountain that overlooks the city. Once at the top of the peak, you can climb the observation deck for 360 degree views as far as the eye can see. If you fancy a stroll, you can wander along the trail to the Felsenegg, enjoy a meal with a view on the terrace of the restaurant and take a cable car back down the mountain.

 

visit //

There’s no shortage of entertainment for art lovers in Zurich with over one hundred galleries to explore. Visit the Kunsthaus to view an impressive collection of both Swiss and international artists and sculptures, including an entire room devoted to Swiss artists Alberto Giacometti and a collection of interesting Japanese wood cuttings. If you’re more into contemporary art, head to the Lowenbrau complex, a former brewery where you will find a collection of pioneering galleries including Kunsthalle and Galerie Francesca Pia. Kunsthalle showcases a constantly rotating series of experimental exhibits, whilst Francesca Pia promotes emerging talent with her carefully curated collections. There’s also an interesting selection of street art that has been popping up around the city, easily discovered during a slow-paced stroll.

 

zurich / mahabis journal

photo: bucketlistly

 

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mahabis lifestyle // morning rituals and slow living https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/morning-rituals-and-slow-living mahabis lifestyle // morning rituals and slow living

mahabis lifestyle // morning rituals and slow living
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // morning rituals and slow living

 

Alarm rings. You snooze it until the last possible minute. No time for breakfast. Rushed commute. Sound familiar? 

Not the ideal way to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Allowing yourself a slow and relaxed morning will set you off on a better foot for the rest of the day. You'll feel more focused and productive for the day ahead, and will start the day with a clearer head. Follow our simple tips for starting to embrace your mornings.

 

mahabis lifestyle // morning rituals and slow living

 

Quit the snooze button //

Rather than opting for the perpetual snooze-button-cycle and calculating the shortest amount of time possible that it takes to get ready, try setting your alarm up to an hour earlier than usual. With more time to ease into the day, you can take things slowly and enjoy a rush-free morning.

 

Find your morning ritual //

Whether it's preparing a steaming pot of coffee, or collecting your thoughts in the shower, find a morning ritual that helps you get into the motions of the day. It could be as simple as reading a chapter of a book before getting into gear, or noting down tasks for the day ahead. 

Taking time over breakfast is a great way to get into the right frame of mind for the day. Rather than grabbing something convenient on the run, you could spend one day a week making breakfast into an occasion.

Whatever the ritual, allow for some downtime in the morning to help you keep up the pace throughout the rest of the day.

  

Start the day on the right foot //

Whether it's a morning gym session that helps get you into gear, or a quick spot of yoga, alternate your mornings with both exercise and downtime.

When it's a downtime day, it's key to take it slowly. Rushed mornings are never fun. Rise from bed with extra time to potter around the house and prepare for the day ahead. By getting out of bed just half an hour earlier every day, you'll give yourself a handful of extra hours each week. 

 

We asked a couple of slow-living Instagrammers to share their slow morning routines with us:

 

 

mahabis // lazy morning rituals

@me_and_orla

Sara Tasker // photographer, writer & instagram coach

"Since going self-employed I've had the luxury of not setting an alarm clock. I have a toddler, so there's no danger of oversleeping, but it's so nice to live by our joint body clocks instead of the shrill sounds of an alarm. It makes the day start so much more peacefully."

 

mahabis // lazy morning rituals

@circleofpines

Laura Pashby // photographer, writer & editor

"Sundays are my slow morning. It's my husband's turn for a lie-in, so I get up early with the kids. I pull on my dressing gown, slip on my mahabis and patter down to the kitchen to make breakfast which, on a Sunday, is always a huge stack of pancakes. It's a meditative process, and as I stand at the stove, I listen to 6 music or to Joni Mitchell's Chelsea Morning on Spotify, whilst I sip the first cup of tea of the day, which, of course, is always the best cuppa of all."

 

mahabis // lazy morning rituals

@aquietstyle

Emma Harris // stylist, photographer and lifestyle blogger

"In an ideal world, I rise before everyone else so the house is quiet. i do some breathing and a few stretches, then make some banana pancakes with walnuts and blueberries and sit on the garden steps devouring them to the accompaniment of bird song. But I have two girls and a school run so this is definitely not everyday, more something to aspire to. Everything we do to slow down helps a little."

 

mahabis // lazy morning rituals

@littlegreenshed

Lou Archell // writer, photographer and travel & lifestyle blogger

"I love to rise early in the summer months and take my cup of green tea into the garden. It's a relaxing way to start the day before I need to get my boys to school."

 

mahabis // lazy morning rituals

@hanbullivant

Hannah Bullivant // writer and events/interiors stylist

"Monday mornings are probably our favourite, as there's no kindergarten and as everyone is back to work or school it feels like our own secret weekend day. We laze around in bed until as late as we can (the heady hour of 8am!) then make our way downstairs. I make a pour over coffee and, at this time of year, wander into the garden. We eat our breakfast an drink our coffee and ease into the day in soft morning light surrounded by birdsong." 

 

mahabis // lazy morning rituals 

@lapinblu

Sarah-Louise Francis // photographer, stylist and lifestyle blogger 

"Anyone with school age kids (or kids full stop in most cases!) would admit that true slow mornings are far fewer & farther apart than we'd like, but it is still possible to catch a moment with a morning ritual to help start off your day right. Mine is Tea & Ten...whether I'm running late or with time to spare, I make a cup of tea & spend ten minutes sipping quietly before allowing the hustle to begin. I find this helps act as a pause between sleep & waking that helps me gets my thoughts in order."

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the sunday guide to // barcelona https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-sunday-guide-to-barcelona the sunday guide to // barcelona
the sunday guide to // barcelona
the sunday guide to // barcelona
mahabis

the sunday guide to // barcelona

barcelona // mahabis journalphoto: jarmoluk

 

Continuing our series of relaxing city guides, we are visiting Barcelona to discover the tranquillity away from the crowds that gather at the Ramblas.

 

Barcelona //

Spain’s second city is renowned for being a throbbing cultural hub, filled to the brim with dramatic architecture, exciting contemporary art and an uncountable amount of restaurants and bars. The majority of visitors flock to the Ramblas, fighting the crowds to glimpse the cafes, restaurants and colourful market stalls that line the infamous street, before exploring the Gothic quarter and queuing up to experience the awe-inspiring creations of Gaudi. We recommend taking in Barcelona at a much slower pace, slowly ambling down hidden alleyways in search of quiet tapas bars and avoiding the crowds.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: paulina jadeszko

 

Visit //

When visiting Barcelona, you’ll no doubt want to experience the instantly recognisable buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi. Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell are the two most famous locations that most tourists will have heard of – a fact which reveals itself in the winding queues that you will have to face in order to gain entry. Avoid the crowds and get your Gaudi fix at one of the architect’s lesser-known projects, such as Colonia Güell or Caso Batllo. For a unique perspective of Gaudi’s work, visit the residential building, La Pedrera which is more akin to an intricate sculpture than an apartment block.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: tyler hendy  

Relax //

One of the highlights of visiting Barcelona is that you can have a city break and a beach getaway all in one trip. Perfectly located right by the coast, you’re never far away from a sandy beach to relax on. If you’re heading to the beach in search of a peaceful spot to lie back and unwind, avoid Barceloneta and head half an hour north of the city to discover the tranquillity of Ocata beach. This long beach attracts far less tourists than the beaches situated within the city, providing more of a peaceful getaway from the busy city streets.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: ornella binni

 

View //

There are so many galleries in Barcelona that it can be quite overwhelming deciding which to visit. Whether to peruse the works of Pablo Picasso or browse contemporary art at Marlborough, there is plenty to choose from. If you only have time to visit one gallery, rather than rushing around the city, head to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA). On the ground floor, you will find a permanent collection of contemporary Spanish and Catalan art, whilst the gallery floors are dedicated to visiting exhibitions that aim at challenging the viewer’s perceptions of art. Talks, events and concerts are regularly scheduled to complement the current exhibits.

 the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: kimforsure, own work, cc by-sa 3.0 

  

Unwind //

After exploring the streets of Barcelona, there is no better way to unwind than to book an afternoon at Aire de Barcelona Arabic Baths. Dark lighting and ancient stone walls help to create a serene ambience inside the spa, allowing visitors to forget that they are in the heart of a bustling city. Experience the thermal baths, therapeutic showers, aromatherapy treatments and diverse range of massages for a relaxing afternoon dedicated to your well-being.

  

Explore //

If you have the chance to leave Barcelona behind for a day, take the one hour train journey to Montserrat to explore the natural beauty of the mountain and the serenity of the Benedictine monastery. Admire the views of the surrounding area from the top of the mountain, before entering the Basilica to sit in silence and listen to the daily choir boy performances of Gregorian chants. From the monastery, you can take a funicular railway to the peak of the mountain, or spend the remainder of your day hiking around the ravines.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: mark strobl, via flickr

  

Drink //

When in Catalonia, you should acquire a taste for the region’s popular sparkling wine, produced with the same methods as for making champagne. There are plenty of cava bars (xampanyerias) within the city itself, but to taste the local cava in a more relaxing atmosphere, head outside the city to one of the many vineyards within easy reach of Barcelona. The tranquil and elegant setting of Cavas Codorniu is the perfect location to explore the underground wine cellars and taste a selection of cavas.

 

 

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a slow road trip around // new zealand's south island https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/slow-road-trip-new-zealands-south-island a slow road trip around // new zealand's south island
new zealand // mahabis journal
a slow road trip around // new zealand's south island
mahabis

a slow road trip around // new zealand's south island

mt cook // mahabis journal photo: via bucketlistly

 

Continuing with our Slow Road Trip series, we are outlining the ultimate road trip around New Zealand’s lesser-populated South Island. Perfect for those who love the great outdoors, a route around the island offers dramatic scenery, towering mountains, icy glaciers, luscious rain forests, pristine beaches and an abundance of wildlife. Take at least three weeks to drive around the island, allowing plenty of time to relax and take things slowly.

 

The South Island

Although the South Island is significantly larger than the North Island, it is far less populated with just over 20% of New Zealand’s population living there. This allows for visitors to explore the island at their own pace, discovering quiet beaches and isolated mountain passes that they could have all to themselves.

Driving around the island, the focus is less on towns and settlements (which are seen more as bases for adventure sports) and more on the scenery and wildlife that you'll encounter en route. Skip public transport and hire your own car to tour the island. Bypass transport schedules, and take in the scenery at a more relaxed pace.  Park up and overlook beaches in the day, and take in the views at a dark sky reserve by night.

 

abel tasman // mahabis journal

photo: via bucketlistly

 

Christchurch - Kaikoura

Start your journey in Christchurch, the most convenient place to fly in and out of. The Garden City is still in recovery after 2011’s devastating earthquake, but a stroll around the Botanical Gardens is worthwhile, before heading north.

It takes just under two hours of leisurely driving to reach Hamner Springs, an alpine town that is renowned for its thermal hot pools. Spend a day here, indulging and unwinding in the natural rock pools, floating down the lazy river and experiencing luxury spa treatments. Although there are likely to be many visitors, it is possible to book private pools where you can lie back and relax in your own company.

 

 

abel tasman // mahabis journal

photo: via bucketlistly

 

If you would like to extend your stay in the area, the nearby Hamner Forest Park is ideal for short hikes through woodland, along streams and past waterfalls.

Head towards the coast to discover the picturesque peninsula of Kaikoura, nestled below dramatic mountain peaks. The main draw here is the ocean, it's worth taking a boat out into the open sea for an afternoon, and heading back at sunset. 

 

franz josef // mahabis journal

photo: via bucketlistly

 

Blenheim – Nelson

The north of the island is famed for its Sounds and its wines. Driving up the coast to Blenheim, you enter the Marlborough region and begin to spot an abundance of vineyards with dramatic views of the coast on one side and towering mountains on the other. Famed for its Sauvignon Blanc, this is an ideal place to stop for a few days and tour the local wineries in one of the sunniest regions of the country. There are over twenty wineries in the vicinity of the town that offer tours and that you can purchase wine from for the remainder of your trip.

Just half an hour detour off your main route takes you to Marlborough Sounds, an area of ancient sunken river valleys that offer sheltered waters, island sanctuaries to explore and isolated sandy beaches on which to relax. There are plenty of adventure sports on offer in the area, but if you’re seeking something a little more relaxing, take a kayak out onto the Sounds for a peaceful afternoon.

 

milford sound // mahabis journal

photo: via bucketlistly

 

Take time to enjoy the scenic drive to Nelson, which is the perfect base to rest for a couple of days exploring Abel Tasman National Park. As well as being in close proximity of yet more wineries, Nelson has a blossoming arts scene, with many stores and galleries to visit.

Just an hour North of Nelson, you can discover one of New Zealand’s most beloved national parks: Abel Tasman. Here, you will find serene golden beaches, sparkling ocean and vast rainforest. Water taxi companies offer day trips where you can experience boat trips, sea kayaking and trail walking, or you can spend longer exploring the area on your own.

 

new zealand // mahabis journal

photo: via bucketlistly

 

Punakaiki – Wanaka

It’s a long drive through luscious national parks to Punakaiki, where you can take a short stroll to view the infamous pancake rocks and spouting blowhole that channels bursts of sea water skyward. Continue your drive south along the coast, before swooping inland into the mountains to visit Hokitika Gorge.

Here you’ll find vivid turquoise water deep in a rocky gorge surrounded by green native bush. Walk through the forest to reach a viewing platform before crossing a swing bridge to experience the ravine in all its glory.

 

new zealand // mahabis journal

photo: via bucketlistly

 

The drive then climbs further into the mountains as you approach Franz Josef glacier. Spend a couple of days admiring the scenery and soaking in hot tubs in order to free up time to get up close and personal to the glacier. You can hike up and inside the glacier with a local guide, or if you fancy something a little more indulgent and much less strenuous, take a helicopter ride to admire the view from above before landing on the ice. End your day with a soak in the Glacier Hot Pools.

Drive on through mountain passes until you reach Wanaka, nestled at the tip of the eponymous lake. Here, Eco Wanaka Adventures offer lake cruises and nature walks, or you can simply sit on the shore and admire the scenery.

 

dunedin // mahabis journal

photo: via  bucketlistly

 

Queenstown – Christchurch

After making the journey from Wanaka to Queenstown (perhaps stopping on route to watch bungee jumpers at the site of the world’s first bungee, AJ Hackett Bungy), head to Arthur’s Point, overlooking the city for a relaxing alternative to the area’s adventure sports. Onsen Hot Pools offer massages and soaks in an outdoor hot tub whilst admiring the views of the valley below.

From Queenstown, drive south before swooping north-west towards Te Anau, the gateway to the fjords. Here, you take the picturesque Southern Scenic Route through a sparsely populated area that is rife in waterfalls, lakes, rainforest and rugged coastlines. Milford Sound is the destination of most visitors to the Fjordland National Park, offering the opportunity to take a boat trip down the fjords past towering mountains on either side.

If you’re looking for a more isolated location, it is possible to take a boat from Manapouri then travel by bus over Wilmot Pass to reach Doubtful Sound, which is a larger fjord that is less visited due to its remoteness.  

 

mt cook // mahabis journal

photo: cartuun jewvutthipong

 

The road to Dunedin is long, stretching across the width of the south of the island, but is one of the most scenic stretches of the entire journey. Once you arrive at the small city, you are perfectly positioned to explore the nearby Otago Peninsula, home to colonies of Yellow-Eyed Penguins and the Royal Albatross.

Before heading back to Christchurch to complete the loop around the island, take a short detour inland to spend a night at Lake Tekapo. On the route through the Southern Alps, you will catch a glimpse of the island’s largest peak, Mt Cook towering in the distance. Upon arrival at Tekapo, the turquoise lake is a beautiful spot for an al fresco supper, but it is at night that you'll truly get to appreciate the wonder of this location. Lake Tekapo is the world's largest International Dark Sky Reserve. Distanced from the lights and bustling noise of New Zeland's towns and cities, the vast flat plains offer unparalleled clear skies. Throughout the year, aurorae, zodiac constellations and meteor showers grace the skies, and thousands flock to watch with an uninhibited gaze. 

 

 

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the sunday guide to // riga https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-sunday-guide-to-riga the sunday guide to // riga
riga // mahabis journal
the sunday guide to // riga
mahabis

the sunday guide to // riga



riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

We continue our Sunday Guide series of relaxing city breaks by heading to the Baltic States for a visit to the Latvian city that is known as the ‘pearl of architecture’, Riga.

 

riga //

Based on the coast of the Gulf of Riga and at the mouth of the Daugava River, Riga’s proximity to so much water and escalating summer temperatures have helped to boost tourism in recent years. Known as much for its subcultures and burgeoning arts scene as for its eclectic array of architecture, Riga has something to offer every visitor. To escape the city, head to one of the more secluded beaches that line the Gulf.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: monikawl999

 

stay //

Book your stay at Tallink Hotel for a restful sleep close to many of the city’s famed buildings and cultural hot spots, including St Peter’s Church and the Latvian National Museum of Art. A cool and modern ambience is evident throughout the hotel, with textured chandeliers hanging above the lobby and vibrant splashes of colour highlighting the minimal design aesthetic. Seek out the hotel’s hot tub and sauna when you are in need of a little downtime after a day spent exploring the city.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

visit //

Whether you prefer sandy beaches or green parks, the area surrounded the city has an abundance of serene open spaces where you can sit and relax. Some of the beaches are more popular with locals and tourists than others, and it’s worth doing your research to find a secluded spot where you can enjoy your downtime in peace. The beach at Garciems is easy to reach by train, yet is seldom frequented by tourists, offering the ideal getaway. Boasting high sand dunes and a dense pine forest, this rustic beach is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll.

If you prefer to stay closer to the city, head to Mezaparks for an afternoon of relaxation. The huge green space is home to a zoo, the song festival grounds, a sprawling forest and also offers the opportunity to swim in the Daugava River.

 

explore //

Take your time to wander around the streets of Riga at your own pace, keeping your eyes peeled for medieval, Art Deco and traditional Latvian structures. Known as the ‘pearl of architecture’, discovering the array of buildings is one of the greatest pleasures of visiting Riga and is perfect for structuring a walk around. Stroll around Old Riga to admire medieval buildings including Riga Cathedral, Blackhead’s House and St Peter’s Church, before seeking out some of the more ornate Art Deco buildings. After admiring the building designed by Mikhail Eisenstein down Alberta iela, visit the Riga Art Nouveau Museum and Art Nouveau Riga shop to find out more about the movement and to purchase souvenirs.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: roman drits

 

rest //

If you’re in need of a relaxing spa day, head to the five-star ESPA Riga where you can indulge in an array of treatments. The futuristic interior is designed to create a utopian ambience inside the dramatic Art Nouveau façade. Once inside, discover six floors of swimming pools, treatment rooms, saunas and relaxation areas, offering so much choice that you could easily spend a whole day unwinding here. Treatments are both modern and traditional Latvian, including an array of relaxing massages and pampering amber crystal or lava seashell treatments that aim to restore energy and remove stress.

 

unwind //

Head to Riga Art Space in the Old Town area of the city to experience under-the-radar exhibitions that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe. The gallery space hosts exhibits from both local and international artists, alongside occasionally hosting musical events. Exhibitions are constantly changing and there is always something new and exciting going on with a focus of contemporary art.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

try //

If you fancy a more physical activity that requires stamina but that you can take at a slow and relaxing pace, try Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) on the Daugava River. There are a growing number of operators offering water sightseeing adventures where you can paddle yourself along the river seeking out alternate views of some of the city’s main sights and discovering hidden spots only accessible by water. Take the trip at sunset to enjoy a more romantic view of the city.

 

drink //

Although Riga is perhaps not the first place that you think of when discussing the finest wines in Europe, there is a blossoming wine scene emerging in the city and the surrounding countryside. Latvian wines are often made in small family wineries, using local fruit and berries such as black currants, rhubarb, quince and rowans as well as locally-grown grapes. Visitors can head out to one of these family-run wineries to sample the local wines, or most traditional Latvian restaurants will offer tastings of their local wines. For a chance to sample the more unusual wines, Zilver winery offer a tour of the winery and samples of their limited editions cloudberry, lilac or dandelion wines – perfect for sipping as the sun sets on a relaxing day.

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mahabis minimalism // simplify. declutter. streamline. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/simplify-declutter-streamline mahabis minimalism // simplify. declutter. streamline.
mahabis minimalism // simplify. declutter. streamline.
mahabis minimalism // simplify. declutter. streamline.
mahabis

mahabis minimalism // simplify. declutter. streamline.

 

minimal architecture // mahabis journal

photo: samuel zeller

 

Inspired by Tiffany and Ilaria's #aminimalminute concept, we're taking a closer look at embracing minimalism in daily life. What does it mean to be minimalist and why do we covet minimalism?

It seems that we are continuously trying to streamline our homes, our wardrobes and everything else that surrounds us, in a quest to keep up with the current zeitgeist. Far from simply preferring paring down design aesthetics, true minimalism is an aim to live with less and abandon all clutter from your life, both physically and metaphorically.

 

minimal interior // mahabis journal

photo: via unsplash

 

By pulling together a capsule wardrobe of simple, classic pieces that can all be worn together and work for any occasion, we are embracing minimalism. When we clear away all of the unnecessary paraphernalia from around our homes, and strip back the unnecessary, we're in pursuit of a minimalist aesthetic. 

Writing duo Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, aka The Minimalists describe minimalism as “a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” To truly embrace minimalism, they infer that you need to cast aside all of the unnecessary objects in your life and learn to live with simple necessities that you use every day.

 

mahabis minimalism // simplify. declutter. streamline.

photo: unsplash

 

So, where did this love and need for a minimalist life suddenly materialise from?

Minimalism has been around for a long time. The idea that in order to live life to the fullest, you should live with less 'stuff' around you, is certainly not new. But as a design aesthetic and a covetable lifestyle, minimalism has certainly boomed in the past decade. From geometric architecture to futuristic fashion, and the crisp pages of Kinfolk and Cereal, there's elements of minimalism wherever you look.  

Scandinavian influence is evident within the minimalist movement. With emphasis upon simplicity and functionality, the design sensibilities of Nordic countries have been exported worldwide. But it's worth noting that the concept extends beyond purely design and aesthetic; people who fully embrace minimalism and remove all meaningless objects from their lives are those that are going against the grain instead of following the herd. These are typically people who want to live their life their own way and aren’t easily influenced.

 

mahabis minimalism // simplify. declutter. streamline

 

Joshua and Ryan attribute their happiness in life to embracing minimalism and simplifying their lives. Many others who follow the lifestyle agree, and there are a large community of minimalists that spend their lives guided by such principles. The Minimalists even host worldwide meet-ups, with discussions about reductivism, intentional living and more. 

To appreciate minimalism, you don’t necessarily have to go to the extremes of removing 90% of your belongings from your home. Taking small steps, such as decluttering, can aid in simplifying your lifestyle in subtle ways. 

 

minimal // mahabis journal

photo: imanuel pasaka

 

Try streamlining your wardrobe and removing all of the items that you never or rarely wear, instead building up a capsule collection of clothes that complement each other and make you feel comfortable. Or try counting the amount of items you have in one room in your house. Consider whether or not you really need that many items, and have a clear out of all the unnecessary objects. Think about the famous William Morris quote: “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

And, of course, having less clutter in your life and a more streamlined environment to live in, will aid your concentration, productivity and relaxation. It’s far easier to unwind when you are based in serene surroundings with little or no distractions.

 

mahabis minimalism // simplify. declutter. streamline.

 

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remote destinations // lofoten islands, norway https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/remote-destinations-lofoten-islands remote destinations // lofoten islands, norway
lofoten islands // mahabis journal
remote destinations // lofoten islands, norway
mahabis

remote destinations // lofoten islands, norway

 

lofoten islands // mahabis journal

 photo: switchback travel

 

Many visitors who head to Norway aiming to reach the Arctic Circle flock to Nordkapp, so that they can brag upon returning home that they stood on the northern-most outcrop of Europe. If you’re seeking midnight sun and spectacular scenery, yet yearn for a quieter trip where you can unwind surrounded by nature, rather than tourists, head instead to the Lofoten islands.

 

lofoten islands // mahabis journal

 photo: via pixabay

 

Located right at the tip of Norway, up in the Norwegian Sea, miles above the Arctic Circle, the Lofoten Islands discourage crowds of tourists simply by their location. To get to the group of islands, you will first need to fly to Norway, then find your way up to the north via car, a connecting flight or a train. You will then have to head to the north of the islands to drive on the E10 road, which connects the five most easterly islands, and travel by ferry to reach the furthest two. When you finally arrive, admiring the tall craggy peaks of the mountains as you curve in between them, you will realise that your destination is worth the long journey.

 

lofoten islands // mahabis journal

 photo: via wikipedia

 

A winter’s visit would treat you to snow, ice and magnificent glimpses of the northern lights dancing through the sky, but we recommend visiting in summer for the best chance of experiencing good weather and to take advantage of the midnight sun. Around the summer solstice, the days are never-ending, allowing plenty of time for exploring your surroundings; hiking, kayaking or simply sitting by the side of the fjord.

 

lofoten islands // mahabis journal

 photo: via pixabay

 

One of Europe’s last remote outposts, the Lofoten Islands offer visitors the rare opportunity to get back to nature without the bombardment of modern distractions. The surprisingly mild summer climate (thanks to the Gulf Stream), allows travellers to spend all of their time enjoying the outdoors, which is, of course, why people come here. The perfect way to experience the islands is to drive between them on the interconnecting road bridges, taking it slowly and allowing time to admire the scenery. Visit the small fishing villages to get a taste of the local life, spending your nights sleeping in old fishermen’s cabins right on the water, known locally as rorbu.

 

lofoten islands // mahabis journal

 photo: via pixabay

 

Spend your days fishing in the fjord, walking up mountains to enjoy full vistas of the landscape, keeping your eyes trained on the skies to spot eagles, and hiring kayaks to explore the islands by water, discovering hidden coves. The long, quiet beaches are also ideal for surfing. Take a boat trip down the dramatic Trollfjord, or hop on a whale watching vessel from the furthest islands to spot sperm, humpback, fin and killer whales. At night, sample the local cuisine in one of many seafood restaurants, or build a fire on the beach, cook your own fish and enjoy the lingering sunset with a beer in your hand.

 

lofoten islands // mahabis journal

 photo: via wikipedia

 

The beaches here are completely unspoilt and idyllic, offering miles of white sand without any sign of another soul. It may not reach the humid temperatures of the Mediterranean, but the mercury has been known to rise to 20˚C in the summer months, and you’re highly likely to have an entire beach to yourself. Take a good book, find yourself a spot with a view of the mountains, and spend an afternoon unwinding without any interruptions.

 

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the sunday guide to // gothenburg https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-sunday-guide-to-gothenburg the sunday guide to // gothenburg
gothenburg // mahabis journal
the sunday guide to // gothenburg
mahabis

the sunday guide to // gothenburg

gothenburg // mahabis journal photo: via wikipedia

 

Our Sunday Guide travel series visits bustling cities across the globe, detailing how to spend a relaxing weekend exploring the sights. Put away your guidebooks and take your time exploring Sweden’s second city as we share our secret tips for how to spend a tranquil Sunday in Gothenburg.

 

gothenburg //

The best thing about Sweden’s westernmost city (besides its abundance of fresh seafood, laid back demeanour and buzzing cultural scene), is its array of hip hidden hangouts. There are plenty of cafes, bars and independent shops scattered around the city for you to discover, allowing plenty of opportunities to purchase covetable Scandinavian wares and to sit and enjoy fika. When you’re craving the outdoors, you’re based right by the sea with a beautiful archipelago to explore.

 

mahabis // the sunday guide to gothenburgphoto: erik söderström via flickr

 

stay //

Spend your nights at the Avalon hotel, one of the most stylish and comfortable accommodations in the city. Minimalist Scandinavian design features fuse with a cosy ambience brought in by splashes of colour, natural materials and warm textures, and you’ll find furniture and art works by many of Sweden’s most famous names scattered around the hotel. Up on the roof, the glass-bottomed swimming pool is one of the most iconic skyline sights in the city, jutting out over the streets below, allowing dramatic views for both swimmers and passers-by.

 

visit //

Spend a day exploring the archipelago by boat, travelling in between the small and tranquil islands to get a glimpse of traditional Swedish life. There are over twenty islands to visit, and many of them are car-free, providing a welcome escape from city life. If visiting in the summer, head to Donsö and Fotö for some of the best swimming spots on the archipelago, and don’t miss exploring the scenic isle of Vinga to visit its unusual red triangular lighthouse. If you’d prefer to explore the area by boat, rather than hopping off, seek out a seal safari to catch a glimpse of the inquisitive animals in their natural environment.

 

gothenburg archipelago // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

unwind //

The old harbour area of the city is currently being regenerated into an area which will be known as Jubilee Park, and is due to be completed by 2021. The beginning of this project has already opened to the public, in the form of Sweden’s most unusual sauna. Free to use (but you must pre-book online), the sauna is an imposing structure that towers from a small jetty over the water, skilfully crafted from corrugated metal on the exterior and wooden shingles on the interior. Before entering the sauna, you change into your towel inside the changing and shower area that has been crafted from hundreds of empty wine bottles. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, there is an illuminated floating swimming pool close by, where you can swim laps whilst watching the boats drift by.

 

drink //

When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do, and when in Sweden, indulge in fika. You can’t pay a visit to any Swedish city without taking time out to sit and relax whilst enjoying a cup of coffee, a traditional cinnamon bun and good conversation with friends. Head to the vibrant neighbourhood of Haga, where you will find cobbled streets lined with traditional wooden houses that now play host to an intriguing selection of independent cafes and boutiques. This is the perfect place to sit and unwind with a steaming cup of coffee, and you’ll be spoilt for choice with the selection of cafes.

 

gothenburg // mahabis journalphoto: michael coghlan via flickr

 

view //

There are plenty of museums and galleries strewn across the city, with something for all interests (including a Volvo museum for car enthusiasts), but it’s the Hasselblad centre for photography that we recommend whiling away a couple of hours in. Displaying exhibitions by both international and Swedish photographers, the centre is focused on intriguing and thought-provoking works that will stay with you long after your visit.

 

rest //

Spend your afternoon slowly ambling around the Botanical Gardens, delighting in the array of plants on display. One of the largest gardens of its sort in the whole of Europe, the area is spread out over 170 hectares and plays host to regular exhibitions throughout the year. Ensure that you visit the greenhouses, especially if you’re visiting during winter and wish to warm up, to view the large collection of tropical orchids and the extremely rare Easter Island tree.

 

eat //

Unusual for a city of its small size, Gothenburg plays host to seven restaurants that boast an esteemed Michelin Star. Whether you’re in search of gourmet cuisine, or you’re more keen on moseying up to a tantalising food truck, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to finding a place to dine. Due to its position by the sea, seafood is the speciality, and if you want to get a true taste of local cuisine, head down to the Feskekörka (‘Fish Church’), an indoor seafood market where you can ogle over the local delicacies. If you’re eating lunch, snatch up a fishy salad or delectable pie and take your food outdoors to eat by the water, or if you are seeking finer dining, there are two restaurants upstairs, serving traditional fish and seafood dishes including oysters.

 

 

 

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