journal https://www.mahabis.com/blogs/journal living the mahabis lifestyle Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:12:31 GMT en-us mahabis journal // spring traditions around the world https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/spring-traditions-around-the-world mahabis journal // spring traditions around the world
spring traditions
mahabis journal // spring traditions around the world
mahabis

mahabis journal // spring traditions around the world

 

Spring as a season offers many things. The change in daylight savings, the blue reappearing in the sky and the flowers emerging from the ground signify the end of winter. For some places, it also indicates the future success of the harvest and new life. Many cultures celebrate with parties, fiestas, and traditions as they enter the new season. We share with you our favourites from around the world. 

 

Holi festival // india

Likely one of the most famous festivals of spring, the Holi colour festival, originating in India, is highly photogenic due to its vibrant nature. It is celebrated with street parties, parades and festivals in which everybody throws colourful chalk powder. Its uplifting nature has now spread around the world. With western cities such as Berlin, Utah, and London now throwing colour to signify the prominence of good over evil, and to have fun make friendships and let go of negativity.

 

 

spring equinox // england

For those who don't know, Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument situated in the south west of England, close to Salisbury. It's understood to have been built 5000 years ago, but the builders and purpose remain a mystery. Each year at the spring solstice, almost 1000 people gather to watch the sunrise above the stones. A tradition with beginnings in pagan and druid history, it has become popular for those who would like to feel a spiritual link to their predecessors.

 



manhattanhenge // new york city

An interesting spin-off of the Stonehenge solstice gathering (without the spiritual connotations) is that dubbed 'Manhattanhenge'. Twice a year the sun aligns with the east-west grid of Manhattan, allowing a stunning sunset between the skyscrapers. It is wondered what civilisation will think in thousands of years of the city grid that aligns perfectly around the solstice, as we ponder Stonehenge.

 



songkran water festival // thailand

The name of the festival derives from a Sanskrit word translating to 'transformation' or 'change'. Literally the festival of the change of seasons, traditionally it's celebrated with some truly lovely traditions. These include the offering of food to the temples and monks who live there and the pouring of water on buddha statues and elders hands to wash away bad luck. These days, although old traditions still arise, it is celebrated less formally with parades and colourful festivals in which people splash one another with water and dance.

 

 

hanami cherry blossom // japan

Originating in Japan, the cherry blossom festivals we see widespread internationally are traditionally called 'hanami' which means 'flower viewing'. The period of hanami lasts for around two weeks each year (somewhere between March and May) and is planned according to the 'blossom forecast'. In some places yozakura is also observed, which is essentially the appreciation of the blooms at night, lit by paper lanterns. Appreciation of this beauty in festival form can now be found in Vancouver, San Francisco and Georgia to name but a few. 

 

images // maxime bhm, antonina bukowska, jj harrison, sevtibidou

 

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mahabis stories // discovering gotland https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/discovering-gotland mahabis stories // discovering gotland
mahabis stories // discovering gotland
mahabis stories // discovering gotland
mahabis

mahabis stories // discovering gotland

 

At mahabis, our design aesthetic is largely based on scandinavian minimalism. From Larvik to Skane, each of our brand colours is named after a specific Scandinavian town or city. We decided to celebrate the influences behind the names of our colours and styles, beginning with our Gotland Green.

Gotland Green is named after the largest island in Sweden. It translates literally to 'a different land, and certainly lives up to that name. It's now a UNESCO world heritage site, and archaeological digs have found evidence to indicate it's age at over 5000 years old. Ensconced by the Baltic Sea, lying about 90km East of the mainland you'll find a tranquil location. With a small population mostly concentrated in the capital Visby. The elders unpon the island still very much see themselves as Gotlanders rather than swedes; a throwback to its independence in early history.

 



The capital itself is a goldmine of stunning medieval architecture, including churches like St Karins Kyrka, noted for its gothic interior and octagonal wonder Helge and Kyrka. More lively activities include the Island Games, which rotate between islands (Faroe Islands, Aland Islands, Isle of Wight, Gibraltar, Jersey, Gotland, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Shetland, Rhodes, Aland Islands, Isle of Wight, Bermuda and Jersey) each year. 2017 is Gotland's year once more. Another fun tradition is 'Medeltidsveckan' - or medieval week. It takes place in August each year. Festivites include large feasts, medieval dress, jousting and markets. Delicacies of the island are lamb-centric, with the most difficult to find dish consisting of a sheeps head, understandably not sold in many restaurants. For dessert you can expect a more appetising treat - saffron pancakes served with dewberries is the local preference.


The rugged and ever changing landscape of the island will likely require a car to get around easily, and allow you to adequately take in the beauty and haunting serenity in full. As you explore, you'll find reminders of the Viking history entrenched at every turn. The unique picture stones (supposedly found only on the island) tell intriguing stories of viking lore. To the south of the island you'll find the Museum Lars Johnsson, which holds paintings and watercolours, plus a cinnamon scented cafe. 


For those adventurers amongst us, the blue lagoons and caves are an example of how Gotland has conserved it's natural beauty. Many urban legends exist around the discovery of the now well-trodden routes through the Grottos. Hike, paddle or bike your way around Visby, the beaches and it's surrounds for an outdoorsy adventure.

 

 

images // wikimedia commons: gotland

 

...check out mahabis larvik light grey slippers with a gotland green sole here.

gotland green 

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the tree hotel // sweden https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/tree-hotel-sweden the tree hotel // sweden
the mirrorcube, sweded
the tree hotel // sweden
mahabis

the tree hotel // sweden

 

Found in Harads, northern Sweden, this mirrored glass box hides the perfect getaway location. Suspended high in the trunk of a tree, this 4x4x4 metre cube is built with reflective glass to reflect its surroundings and the sky. Designed by Tham & Videgârd, its camouflaged image reflects the starting point of the Mirrorcube - the relationship between man and nature. The tree hotel fits two people, and is only accessible via the rope bridge that is attached to the adjacent trees, making it the ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

 

the mirrorcube 

the mirrorcube

 

the mirrorcube 

the mirrorcube

 

the mirrorcube 

 

the mirrorcube // sweden 

 tree hotel // sweden

 

tree hotel // sweden  

 

photos and design: tham & videgârd
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mahabis interviews // ian andrew nelson https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-interviews-ian-nelson mahabis interviews // ian andrew nelson
mahabis ambassador // ian andrew nelson
mahabis interviews // ian andrew nelson
mahabis

mahabis interviews // ian andrew nelson

 

Before we begin, describe what you do in a sentence.

I am the Creative Director for Remember Nhu and a Freelance Commercial and Travel Photographer. 

 

ambassador // ian andrew nelson

 

When did you start taking an interest in photography?

Actually it was when I first got an iPhone about 6 years ago! My whole life I've always enjoyed snapping photos here and there, but it was never an actual hobby (none-the-less a career) until the iPhone and Instagram started pushing me to get out in the wild with friends, shooting landscapes through mobile photography.

 

Talk us through a typical day in your life.

This actually varies a ton depending on the day. One day I might be working remote from a coffee shop in Portland, or where I live. On a different day I may be traipsing around Kenya or Romania on a work trip with Remember Nhu. On another day I’m in the car for a long road trip with Land Rover doing some commercial shooting. On a different day, my wife and I may be reviewing a hotel or tourist destination in a new place for our Travel Blog. Needless to say, things stay interesting.

 

ian nelson 

 

Where do you find it easiest to work?

For me it’s anywhere with wifi, space for my laptop, and good coffee! My whole work life is 100% remote, so I guess the world is my office!

 

mahabis ambassador // ian andrew nelson

 

If experiencing a creative block, how do you recharge your creativity?

Great question. I have two answers:

Try new places, and try new people. First, try going somewhere new.

 

Personally, traveling in general tends to inspire me creatively because you get a new perspective and are exposed to new creative sources when you travel. I’ve heard it said, “If you want to take better photos, go to better places.” I agree but might tweak it to say, “If you want to take better photos, go to different places.” Just going somewhere new is a great start for breaking through creative block.

 

 

mahabis ambassador // ian andrew nelson

 

Second, I recommend going out and shooting or creating with someone new. When I’m around other artists, I see things done a different way, I ask them questions to pick up new tricks of the trade, and I get fresh inspiration for things to try within my own banding or aesthetic.

 

Out of all your travelling adventures, which has been your favourite, and why?

This is the most difficult question in the world to answer because I’ve been blessed to do so many amazing trips. I'd have to say my favourite trip was the first time I went to Thailand a few years back and was exposed to a bunch of the work I’m now a part of for anti-trafficking.

 

One city you’d never tire of returning to, and why…

Paris, France. The art, the buildings, the statutes, the coffee & croissants, the Eiffel Tower, the distinguished high culture. It has "all the vibes" and there’s just something so enchanting and relaxing about that place.


mahabis ambassador // ian andrew nelson

 

For you personally, how important is downtime? And how would you describe the ultimate way you’d choose to relax and unwind from a busy day…

Super important. Any of us would burn out if it was always go, go, go. All the time I say “no” to cool stuff in order to prioritize family, health and career longevity. My ultimate way to relax and unwind is to mix a Moscow Mule or Old Fashioned at home and cozy up to either a good book or the ultimate time-waster of the modern era: Netflix!

 

Three random picks from your bookshelf/ music collection. Go.

Great Book: The Expats by Chris Pavone

Great Band: Chairlift

Great Album: “I’m Alone, No You’re Not” by Joseph

 

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

Learning a new foreign language.

 

mahabis ambassador // ian andrew nelson

 

photos: ianandrewnelson photography

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

sunday guide to // valencia

 

Continuing our Sunday guide series, we travel to Valencia. Read on to share in our recommendations on what to see, do and eat before resting your head in one of Spain's most vibrant year-round destinations.


 

see //

Valencia is so diverse that it's certainly not possible to see even a fraction of the sights in just one day. For instance, there are hundreds of plazas across the city, but you can narrow it down by visiting Plaza Redonda. It's is a must-see due to its unusual design and quirky contents. Not a square like most other plazas, Redonda is a circle filled with stalls selling everything from souvenirs to pet birds.

Diving the city almost exactly in half we have the Turia Gardens. After severe flooding in the 1950s, the city conjured up a plan to divert the River Turia outside of the city. From this sprung the need for a regeneration project, turning an empty bed where the Turia river used to run, into the largest urban park in Spain. Here you'll find every variety of small wheeled transport available. Whether you prefer to cycle, blade, hover, skateboard or simply walk, ambling the gardens is a must whilst visiting the city.

If you're willing to venture out of the city, you'll find Albufera about six miles south. One of the most important wetlands in Europe, this is where you'll find the rice grown for all the delicious Valencian Paella. You won't have to venture far to get a taste either - restaurants selling the locally acclaimed dish smatter the lake.

 

 

do // 

If you happen to visit Valencia in the spring, you should try to catch the Les Falles. This traditional festival lands in March and is both spectacular and peculiar in equal measures. The city districts construct statues to exhibit and adorn the city for the week, whilst the people exuberantly throw fireworks and firecrackers in the street. Women dress up in traditional dresses to offer flowers to the Virgin Mary, before joining the men in setting off fireworks around 2 pm during what is called 'mascleta'.

Regardless of the time of year you visit, The City of Arts and Sciences is an architectural and cultural treat created in the diverted Turia river basin. Designed by local architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, it is a vast area featuring six constructs. El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is an arts centre and opera house; El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe the notorious Science museum; L'Hemisfèric contains the planetarium and Imax cinema; L'Umbracle is a landscaped walkway and garden; Oceanografic contains the open-air aquarium or 'oceanographic park'; Ágora is a hosting space used for a variety of events.

 

 

eat //

As previously mentioned, Paella is a big deal in the region. The rice is locally grown and the seafood locally caught, it's worth a try considering you'll probably never have a meal that travels less distance to your plate. The trick is knowing where to find the best one. Many tout the restaurants in the Albufera national park, amongst the rice growing wetlands as the winners, but it's rumoured that Malvarrosa city beach is the place to head in the city.

If it's tapas you seek, be sure to stay out of the main tourist areas. Although the glitzy views can be tempting, a true foodie will listen out for the terraces full of locals speaking only Spanish. These are usually the ones which will be slightly cheaper and a lot more authentic. 

Those who have self-catering accommodation should head to the Central Market to stock up on flavoursome seasonal produce. Not only a feast to pile high on your plate, the art nouveau market is a treat for the eyes. Built in the 1920's and one of the largest in Europe, it's worth a visit to peruse the produce atop the 1000+ stalls.

 

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images // max rentmeester, igor ovsyannykov, cel lisboa
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innovative light, by arturo alvarez https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/arturo-alvarez-lighting innovative light, by arturo alvarez
arturo alvarez
innovative light, by arturo alvarez
mahabis

innovative light, by arturo alvarez

 

We take a look at the work of designer Arturo Alvarez. Inspired by nature and the relationships between humans, he creates unique handmade lights to convey a more emotional lighting. Alvarez works with specific materials so that his lights surpass the everyday, and instead express much more through their brightness, character and uniqueness. This play of lights is intended to inspire a more emotional reaction. Scroll on to see some examples of Alvarez's designs...

 

emotional light, arturo alvarez

  

emotional light, arturo alvarez

 

emotional light, arturo alvarez

 

emotional light, arturo alvarez

 

emotional light, arturo alvarez 

emotional light, arturo alvarez

 

emotional light, arturo alvarez

 

To see more of Arturo Alvarez's work, click here.

If you enjoyed our post, why not share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

 

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how to create your downtime haven https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/how-to-create-your-ideal-haven how to create your downtime haven
how to create your downtime haven
how to create your downtime haven
mahabis

how to create your downtime haven

 

A bedroom can be a sanctuary away from the world. A beautiful fort of comfort, and a place to hide away and renew your strength. Making your bed an expression of tranquility can change your mindset when you finally flop down between the sheets, it can invite downtime and dreams. Take a look at five simple steps to help make your bed a refuge of perfect slumber.

 

Sheets //

Take your comfort to another level with pure cotton sheets, that will help you to enter the world of coziness. In the summer your skin can breathe and in the winter the fabric is so soft to the touch you will never want to leave your kingdom of sleep. Check out these hand tailored ones from Evencki.

 

evencki bed linen

 

Layers //

The more layers are better. Choose a mattress topper, either duck feather or memory foam. Top that with a quilted cover and a blanket and suddenly you have a cloud like bed. Check out the mahabis blanket: generously sized and 100% wool, wrap it around you and lose yourself in its reassuring warmth.

 

how to create your downtime haven

 

Pillows //

Pillows can make all the difference to your world of slumber. We recommend having several different kinds to suit different moods. Down pillows are great for floating away, memory foam adapts to your shape, and small pillows add a little oomph and superior support. Why not spritz your pillows with lavender essential oils to help drift away into the sweetest dreams. 

 

Lights //

It’s no good sinking down into your private sanctuary if you need to get up to turn off the light. Opt for a low hanging light above your bed, fairy lights, or a lamp within reach. Take a look at Plumen lighting. Founded by multi-disciplinary designer, artist and creative, Nicolas Roope, these simple and subtle lights can make all the difference to your downtime. Why not add in a candle for added lighting ambiance.

 

 plumen lighting

 

the room// 

Making your bed every morning is a ritual we often forget to perform. Taking those few minutes each morning to straighten your sheets and plump your pillows is something your future self will fall in love with you for. Coming home from the outside world into a haven of a readymade bed works wonders for your self-worth and sleep mentality.

 

how to create your downtime haven 

 

 If you enjoyed reading our post, why not share it via our ready-to-go-tweet link.

 

 

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china. japan. morocco. // tea culture around the world https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/tea-around-the-world china. japan. morocco. // tea culture around the world
tea culture around the world
china. japan. morocco. // tea culture around the world
mahabis

china. japan. morocco. // tea culture around the world

 

Coffee can shake our senses and streamline our mind for productivity. Yet, sometimes caffeine can cause us to surpass the simple art of relaxation. When you want to melt into your softer side, the ritual of tea can be a great replacement. The art of tea is practiced across the world; from mint in Morocco to Zen like ceremonies in Japan. We invite you to embrace your own ritual with these tea leaf suggestions for your downtime…

 

top teas

 

Moonlight Jasmine Blossom //

Delicate as a strand of silk and as fragrant as a spring morning – this Japanese flower tea literally blooms in the water. The wildflower is plucked from the Okinawa region and hidden inside a tea ball to dry, before being scented eight times with jasmine. The presentation of this tea is a ritual in itself, save it for a special moment.

 

Maghrebi //

Also known as 'moroccan tea' or 'mint tea', maghrebi is a green tea prepared with spearmint leaves and sugar. A traditional social drink in Maghreb, it is the norm to welcome guests with it, and to drink at least cups whilst socialising. Known to quench thirst better than cold water, magrehbi is a welcome refreshing drink, particularly in hot climates.

 

Moonlight White // 

The poetically named and gently potent brew is a gorgeous gateway drink for those who are entering the world of tea. The title of this tea comes from the fact that you are supposed to wither the leaves under a slant of moonlight rather than the sun. Hints of smoked peach and a creamy finish make each sip a wonder to behold.

 

tea  

Yame No 5 // 

This sencha tea comes from the village of Hoshinomura in Japan. As soft as freshly mown grass and with mellow notes of roasted almond, every sip is fresh and pure on the palate. This is the perfect tea for quiet mornings contemplating the world outside your window.

 

Lapsang Souchong //

The first black tea in history, Lapsang Souchong is hailed as a living legend for tea sommeliers. All the way from Wuyi region of China, the leaves are traditionally dried on pinewood fires lending to the smoked flavor of this deliriously dark tea. Perfect for late mornings when you want to meditate over a book.

 

tea

 

 photos via unsplash
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relaxing road trips https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/relaxing-road-trips relaxing road trips
relaxing road trips
relaxing road trips
mahabis

relaxing road trips

 

“Now, on this road trip, my mind seemed to uncrinkle, to breathe, to present to itself a cure for a disease it had not, until now, known it had.” ― Elizabeth Berg.

 

The open road shimmering on the horizon, a destination unknown, and the power of feeling that you are in the driver’s seat. This is the essence and allure of the road trip. From the scorching sun of the Pan American highway to roads that wind through ice encrusted mountains; time behind the wheel gives you the chance to dream. Take a look at the world’s most inspiring road trips and prepare to let your mind wander.

 

Glen Coe, The Scottish Highlands // 

Glorious sun dappled glens, glowering mountains, and soft heather – the highlands welcome you with open arms. Meander around the A82 in-between the folds of brooding buttresses. Pull over along the way to walk in fairy forests and sip whiskey at the distilleries.

 relaxing road trips

 

Amalfi Coast, Italy //

A ribbon like road flutters along the pretty blue coast, punctuated with pastel colored villages clinging to the cliffs. The Amalfi Coast is a postcard image, weave your way through sleepy fishing villages, stopping only to breathe in the salt sea air, gorge on pizza, and sip homemade limoncello.

 

relaxing road trips

 

 

Atlantic Road, Norway //

Norway’s Atlantic Road is like driving to the very edge of the world. This is a place where the road dips and rises like a rollercoaster, where the ocean crashes at the feet of towering mountains, and where tiny fishing villages hunker down in sweet simplicity.

 

relaxing road trips

 

Ruta 23, Argentina //

Passing through Patagonia’s unforgiving landscape is nothing short of iconic. The jagged peaks of Mt Fitz Roy, the wide and open plains with wild horses, and the changing sky that floods and clears – this is the epitome of a wild and untamed road trip.

 

relaxing road trips

 

Uluru, Northern Territory Australia //

While others may rave about the blues and whites of the Great Ocean Road, Uluru will take you to the heart of fire. The rusted red landscape, endless stretch of outback, and indigenous mythologies soak the road in splendour.

 

relaxing road trips 

photos via behance 

 

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into the fog, by joel filipe https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/into-the-fog-by-joel-filipe into the fog, by joel filipe
into the fog, by joel silva
into the fog, by joel filipe
mahabis

into the fog, by joel filipe

 

We look at the work of digital designer and creative director Joel Filipe. On a walk on a foggy day in Madrid, Filipe captures some of Madrid's stunning buildings as they disappear in the sky. Living in a world where we often walk with our heads down, caught up in our own busy lives, taking the time to look up every now and then can be refreshing. So, why not sit back and enjoy the change of perspective Filipe's photography offers.

 

into the fog, joel filipe

 

into the fog, joel filipe

 

into the fog, joel filipe

 

into the fog, joel filipe

 

into the fog, joel filipe

 

into the fog, joel filipe

 

into the fog, joel filipe

 

into the fog, by joel silva

 

into the fog, by joel silva

 

photos via behance

 

Feel free to share joel filipe's stunning photography via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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

sunday guide to // rome

 

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

 

 

eat // 

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

 

do //

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

 

 

see //

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

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

 

stay //

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

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

 

 

 

images // Ludwig Thalheimer, Chantel Lucas, Jan Tielens

 

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

five scandinavian foods to try

 

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

 

five scandinavian foods to try

 

 

Smørrebrød //

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

 

The Swedish waffle //

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

 

fjord culture

 

Artsoppa //

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

 

Kanelbullar //

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

 

ice, fire and feasts; five scandinavian foods to love

 

 

Fried Herring //

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

 

five scandinavian foods to love

 

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

 

 

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

atmospheric norway, by nikita shuliahin

 

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

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

atmospheric norwary

 

photos via behance

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

minimalist seating series, by wootek lim

 

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

 

minimalist seating

 

minimalist seating series

 

minimalist seating

 

minimalist seating

 

minimalist seating

 

minimalist seating

 

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

 

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

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

feet up. mahabis on. unwind together.

 

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

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

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

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

 

sharing downtime

jamie day 

 

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

 

sharing downtime

 

 

 

sharing downtime

laura pashby 

 

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

 

sharing downtime

 

 

 

sharing downtime 

ali dover 

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

 

sharing downtime

 

 

 

sharing downtime 

donna howell 

 

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

 

feet up. slippers on. unwind together.

 

 

feet up. mahabis on. unwind together.

 

 

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

 

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

lunar effect, by mika suutari

 

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

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

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

lunar effect

 

Photos via behance

Click here to more of Mika Suutari's photography.

 

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

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

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

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

 

lifestyle //

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

 

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

 

illustration //

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

 

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

metal //

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

 

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

 

abstract //

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

 

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

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

minimalist instagram inspiration, pt 2

 

 

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

 

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

relaxing cabin retreats

 

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

 

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

 

cabins in the woods

 

 

Treehotel, Lulea, Sweden //

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

 

cosy cabins in the woods

 

 

The Old Schoolhouse, Eilean Shona, Scotland //

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

 

 

Potter House, Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado //

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

 

cosy cabins in the woods

 

 

Plusvilla L, Southern Finland //

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

 

 cosy cabins in the woods

 

 

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

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

top ten coffee shops to visit worldwide

 

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

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

 

Skye Coffee, Barcelona //

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

 

skye cafe, barcelona

 

AP Café, Brooklyn //

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

 

top ten coffee shops

 

Mirrors, Gifu, Japan //

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

 

mirrors cafe, japan

 

 

Café Craft, Paris //

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

 

top ten coffee shops

 

Knoll Ridge Café, New Zealand //

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

 

Dreamy Camera Café, South Korea //

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

 

 

dreamy camera cafe

 

Café Ki, Tokyo //

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

 

top 10 coffee shops


 

Haass Coffee, Cape Town //

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

 

Caffe Florian, Venice //

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

 

top 10 coffee shops

 

Snickarbacken 7, Stockholm //

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


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

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

five scandinavian habits worth adopting

 

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

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting

 

// diet

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

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

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

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

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting

// equality

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

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting

 

// money

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

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting


// chill

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

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

 

five scandinavian habits worth adopting


// chat

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

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



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

 

 

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

 

images // jon flobrantclem onojeqhuomatthew henrybaim hanifmaria

 

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

work-life balance in // iceland

 

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

 

work-life balance in iceland

 

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

 

work-life balance in iceland

 

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

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

 

work-life balance in iceland

 

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

 

work-life balance in iceland

 

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




Read about different work-life balances in other countries here

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

 

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

minimalist instagram inspiration

 

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

 

geometry //

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

 

minimalist inspiration

 

minimalist inspiration

 

illustration //

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

 

minimalist inspiration

 

minimalist inspiration

 

digital //

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

 

minimalist instagram inspiration

 

minimalist instagram inspiration

 

structure // 

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

 

minimalist inspiration

 

minimalist instagram inspiration

 

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

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

arctic light, by bjørg-elise tuppen

 

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

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

arctic light

 

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

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

 

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

sit less. stand more.

 

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

 

mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

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

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

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

 

mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

 

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

 

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

 

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

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

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

 

 

stay //

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

 

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

ride //

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

 

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

wander //

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

 

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

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

in a world of black, white, and colour.

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

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour. 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour. 

 

black. white. colour. 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

photos: via behance

 

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

 

 

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

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

 

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

 

stretch // 

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

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

 

 

look //

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

 

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

 

integrate //

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

 

communicate //

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

 

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

enjoy //

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

 

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

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

minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades

 

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

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

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal // minimalist lighting collection 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal // minimalist lighting collection

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

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

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

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

top 5 island retreats

 

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

 

Lizard Island, Australia // 

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

 

lizard beach // mahabis journal

 

 

Bequia, the Grenadines, the Caribbean //

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

 

bequia // mahabis journal

 

 

Ariara, Philippines //

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

 

ariara // mahabis journal

 

 

Alonnisos, the Sporades, Greece //

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

 

alonnisos // mahabis journal

 

 

Nanuya Lailai, Yasawa Islands, Fiji //

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

 

nanuya lailai // mahabis journal

 

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

 

photos via: cory doctorow, size4riggerboots, wikipedia publicdomainpictures

 

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

mahabis journal // the house of the infinite

 

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

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

 

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

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

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

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr

 

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

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

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

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

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

 

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

mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

images // paul itkinjovi waqajames studarus

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

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 mahabis interviews // sarah and stefaan

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 

 

Where on your travels did you find most relaxing?

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

 

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

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

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 

Which countries are you planning on visiting next?

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

 

How do you like to relax when you are traveling?

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


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

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

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

  

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

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


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

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

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

  

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

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

 

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

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

mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.

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

 

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

 

switzerland //

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

 

france // 

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

 

photo: © courtesy of Tiara Miramar Beach Spa 

russia //

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

 

new zealand //

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

 

photo: unsplash - Mathew Waters

 

canada //

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

 

mexico //

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

 

photo: unsplash Clem Onojeghuo

 

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

 

 

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

mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day'

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

 

 

why //

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

 

when //

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

 

mahabis guide // no interruptions day

what //

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

 

how //

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

 

who //

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

 

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

 

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

mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter

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

 mahabis lifestyle // our 6 winter highlights

1. clear air //

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

 

 

2. health benefits //

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

 mahabis lifestyle // the perks of winter

3. long evenings //

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

 

4. increased energy //

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

 mahabis lifestyle // the perks of winter

5. people time //

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

 

6. hearty food //

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

 

photos via unsplash

 

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

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

mahabis sounds // winter playlist

 

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

 

1. kiasmos - looped 

 

2. kidnap kid - moments

 

3. aphex twin - flim

 

4. shura -just once

 

5. the xx - on hold

 

6. bob moses - stealing fire

 

7. lucy rose - till the end

 

8. bonobo - kerala

 

9. gold panda - in my car

 

10. moderat - running

 

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

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

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

  

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

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

 

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open

 

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

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

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

 mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

 

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

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

 

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

 

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

 

Treats, by Lara Williams

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

 

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

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

 

Carve magazine

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

  

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

 

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

mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert

 

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

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

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

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 all photos: claire droppert

 

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

mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december

 

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

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime 

Mary Maddocks 

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

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

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal blog 

Oliver Hooson 

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

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

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Duygu Ntagkala

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

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

 

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

 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Tommaso Baldi 

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal blog

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

 

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

 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Caroline Birk Bahrenscheer 

 

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

  mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

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

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Mohammed Aneez

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

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

 

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

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Ilenia Martini 

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

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

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

 

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

 

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

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

mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world

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

 

mahabis guide // dining culture around the world 

 

spain //

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

 

dinner culture around the world // mahabis journal

 

 

italy //

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

 

israel //

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

 

mahabis guide // dining culture

 

china //

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

 

dinner culture around the world // mahabis journal

 

 

What can we learn from other cultures?

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

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

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

mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe

 

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

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

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

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo: Black and White Aurora - Kolbein Svensson

 

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

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo - The Rainbow Star - Steve Brown

 

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

 

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

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo: Baily's Beads - Yu Jun 

 

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

 

mahabis guide // insight astronomy photography

photo: Man on the Moon - Dani Caxete

 

mahabis guide // insight astronomy photography

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

work-life balance in // belgium

 

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

 

work/life balance belgium // mahabis journal

 

belgium //

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

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

 

 

work/life balance belgium // mahabis journal

 

holidays //

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

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

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

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

pay //

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

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

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

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

working hours //

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

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

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

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

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

 

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

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand

 

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

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

  

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

  

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming 

 

 

All photos: Kim Høltermand

 

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

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

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

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

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

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

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

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

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

 

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

SPEECH: Uplifting and lively.

FAREEDAH: Positive, energizing, consciousness.

 

mahabis interviews  // arrested development

Speech's choice of mahabis: gya grey summer

 

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

SPEECH: Similar but updated!

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

 

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

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

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

 

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


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

SPEECH: A depressed teacher ! Or a journalist.

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

 mahabis interviews // arrested development


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

SPEECH: Rarely. But Australia & Japan are exceptions.

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

 

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

SPEECH: Ours, or literally massage type music.

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

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

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

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

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

 

When and where do you wear your mahabis? 

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

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

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

 

mahabis interviews // arrrested development


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

SPEECH: Phone, computer and various cords!

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

 

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

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

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

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

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

SPEECH: More projects and a possible motion picture. 

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

 

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

SPEECH: Sleeping.

FAREEDAH: Soaking in a jacuzzi! 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

mahabis guide // how to live in the now

 

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

 

mahabis guide // how to live in the now

 

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

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

 

single task, don’t multi-task //

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

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

take your time //

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

 

put your camera away //

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

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

do less //

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

 

love your job //

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

 

try not to worry //

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

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

concentrate on the task in hand //

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

 

 

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

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

mahabis travel // best european squares

 

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

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

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

 

Piazza Navona, Rome 

piazza navona // mahabis journal

 

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

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

 

Red Square, Moscow

red square // mahabis journal

 

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

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

 

Piazza del Campo, Sienna

piazza del campo // mahabis journal

 

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

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

  

Rynek Glowny, Krakow

rynek glowny // mahabis journal

 

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

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

 

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

plaza mayor // mahabis journal

 

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

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

   

Grand Place, Brussels

grand place // mahabis journal

 

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

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

 

Old Town Square, Prague

old town square // mahabis journal

 

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

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

 

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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.

 

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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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